Answering the Realtor Question: What is Web 2.0?

Every Tuesday, here at the American Trust Escrow blog,  we post Technology Tips designed to help you, the Realtor, grow your business, keep up to date on the latest technologies, and move you forward into the new era of Real Estate.

When discussing social media, technology tools, and trends for Realtors, the term  “Web 2.0″ come up a lot these days. Today’s post is designed to define what Web 2.0 is and discuss why Web 2.0 presents opportunity for Realtors.

Before we can define Web 2.0…let’s discuss what Web 1.0 is. Web 1.0 is basically a website that is a brochure for your product or service. It is your offline company brochure or pamphlet represented on line. It is static. It is promotional. It says what you do or what you are selling. Most agents have a Web 1.0 website. I think this is an important part of a Realtor’s online marketing campaign – when your clients go to the web, they should find you. A web 1.0 website accomplishes this. However, it does not provide the new business opportunities that web 2.0 sites do.

So, then, what is Web 2.0? This definition is provided by Wikipedia: Web 2.0 is a “business revolution….caused by the move to the Internet as a platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform”. Web 2.0 websites and technologies often have the following words used to describe them: social, open, connected, feedback, community, networking, transparency, interactivity. Web 2.0 technologies (and the resulting websites) create a fundamental shift in the opportunities for companies (and yes, even Realtors) to do business. Web 2.0 offers the Realtor new ways of communicating with people. It offers the Realtor new ways of prospecting. It offers new ways of creating and building business. This is because the rules of the game are so very different than how Realtors sell offline and in a web 1.0 world (more explanation on this to come in future posts).

There are many websites that you have probably heard of (in real estate and out of real estate) that encompass web 2.0 principles. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, even Match.com. And there are ways to use all of them to support and build your business because these sites provide the opportunity for interaction or connectivity with other people. In addition, there are many players in the Real Estate Web 2.0 space. Sites such as Trulia Voices and Active Rain are outstanding web 2.0 communities which offer great opportunities for Realtors. For a road map of the leading Real Estate Web 2.0 sites, check out this image by 1000 Watt Consulting:

realestate2_0map

I also find this comparison by Darren Barefoot between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 useful:

  • Web 1.0 was about reading, Web 2.0 is about writing
  • Web 1.0 was about companies, Web 2.0 is about communities
  • Web 1.0 was about lectures, Web 2.0 is about conversation
  • Web 1.0 was about advertising, Web 2.0 is about word of mouth

To me and many others, Web 2.0 presents exciting new ways of doing business. And, for the Realtor who is looking for new opportunities in this challenging time, Web 2.0 offers uncharted territory and hope. There is a growing number of Realtors who are building their business and experiencing success by working and applying web 2.0 strategies (and a growing number who are thriving!). By reading this blog, you will be introduced to several Web 2.0 strategies and sites that you may want to consider adding to your real estate repertoire.

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