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RISMEDIA, April 21, 2011—Finding new clients and prospecting is the lifeblood of the real estate industry. How have social networking and Web 2.0 affected the business?

Well, nothing has changed…really. Prospecting in the real estate business has always been about reaching tomorrow’s customer today.

While the average term of homeownership is five to eight years, it is easy to see that you are constantly searching for tomorrow’s customer. You more than likely met today’s customer yesterday and have been building that relationship over time.

Some things have obviously changed. We have the Internet, e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, iPods, iPads and iPhones. The rate of technology adoption is accelerating and it is in large part generational.

If you plan to be in the real estate business in the future, tomorrow’s buyers and sellers must be part of the vision of your business and your career. You need to begin prospecting now.

Who and where are the buyers and sellers of the future? How can you meet them today to get a jump on your competition? Is your competition already working to gain the competitive edge in the future?

Tomorrow’s buyers and sellers are known as the “Net Generation,” those born between 1975 and 1996. They can’t remember a time when there was no Internet. They are also the generation that will inherit the accumulated wealth of their parents and grandparents in unprecedented amounts.

Where are they and how can you meet them? They’re active on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and others. They can also be found in “Virtual Worlds,” which we’ll discuss in next month’s article.

Saul Klein is senior vice president, Point2, author of MLS 5.0 – The MLS of the Future Whitepaper, a licensed real estate broker in California for the past 32 years and 1993 President of the San Diego Association of REALTORS®.

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