nice tongue-in-cheek answer......
I see alot of veteran agents that are afraid of the technology, and therefore try to find any reason not to use it. Sad but true, just unfair to their clients.
I can't speak for your agent, but I have been tracking all of my inquiries for the last 2 years and have asked all my Buyers and Sellers how they found the home they inquired on, or found me. The vast majority did research on the internet prior to contacting an agent. If doesn't matter what price range. I advertised consistently last year in a print "homes publication" and received no contacts from that at all.
I hear over and over that Buyers really want to see as many photos of the property as possible, prior to setting up a showing. One thing that a Buyer told me this weekend was, if they don't see multiple photos on-line, they wonder what the Seller is hiding. The technology is so easy to advertise on-line, and is becoming very cost effective.
Talk with your agent, maybe they are not comfortable with the process, and just need someone in their office to help them.
I have observed that between internet searches and calls from the sign in front of the property - those 2 are the vast majority of reasons a Buyer calls on a home. Referral from a friend or neighbor can work, but my belief is to throw out the net as far as possible to catch the interest of as many people as possible.
Good Luck with your Move.
Our agent didn't follow up with the buyer and we ended up having to sign an extension for her financing contingency - twice. We got to the point where we didn't even have a contract to purchase for the final 2 weeks before closing. She had to go through 3 different lenders (that I know of!) before finally getting the loan and closing nearly 2 months after the accepted offer. It was a nightmare. If my agent had followed up earlier in the process, we would have been able to let the first offer expire, and be in a contract with the second offer before they pulled out (they hung on quite awhile hoping the first offer would fall through but after 3 weeks figured we were pretty well finalized on the first), thereby making more money. However, the first offer was written by my agent so she didn't have to split the commission. I feel that she totally hosed us yet again, just to keep more money. She is well aware she not only is not getting any recommendations from us, but that everyone we know has her name and is encouraged to spread the word that she is worthless.
The agent that helped us buy our new home was like a tiger with our listing agent in following up on her. To the point she wouldn't even call him directly, but strictly use his voice mail. He is who got our buyer set up with her final lender. We feel he is the one who got the deal closed. AND he got no commission for all the work he did on our house, only the one we bought through him. Therefore, when all was said and done, we gave him a VISA card for $500 as a thank you. And we are touting his ability to get results, as mentioned in one of the responses below.
My lesson learned: buyer's agents and seller's agents are 2 very different types of people. A person may be good at one, and not the other. Therefore, research their results in whichever capacity you need them, and follow up by phone or email every day even if it is just the Realtor shooting off a quick email of "no activity today, left messages for follow up calls to Tuesday's showing", all the way up to contact with the Realtor multiple times a day during the escrow process.
We're never moving again! :)
I understand the trend of Realtors getting away from print advertising these days, especially newer agents. Advertising in the newspaper is expensive and ineffective. In my brokerage we do it as a bonus but we realize it is of little value.
However, to say that buyers do not look online is, well, ummm, I'm speechless. Like Bill said, statistically 85% of all homes are first viewed on the internet and I actually think this number is going up. I would recommend seeking a second opinion in your area if it's at all possible and see what the next person says. Good luck!
Oddly enough. The home I just closed, was found by driving the neighborhood. The Realtors sign was up,(1 week) however had not yet been put it in the MLS.
When looking for a home you need to consider all of these sources.
Daily MLS Search.
General Internet Search.
Driving the Neighborhood.
If you feel that your Realtor is Naive, insane or out of touch. Your probably right about one.
Many buyers, once they have a solid relationship w/ their agent will rely upon their agent to keep them updated. Buyer clients can be on email updates where they get all new lsitings that fit their criteria every day from their agent. When the buyer criteria is clearly defined and the updates completely inform the buyer, that buyer may no longer search sites on their own.
But, other buyers continue to search internet sites and ask their agent questions about properties that they find online.
Because a Realtor brings a buyer to a property does not mean that a buyer did not look at your property online.....somewhere.....on Trulia, Googlebase, Yahoo, MSN, CraigsList, Realtor.com, an IDX site....and that is just a short list of the many possibilities.
Comprehensive expsoure over a variety of websites with well written text/copy and mulitple crisp and clear photos is part of a full service mareting program.
That being said ... again, most buyers find the home they purchase through a Realtor. What the ads on the internet and in the paper do is spur interest and get that buyer to take the next step and contact a Realtor to look at a particular home. Thus opening the door for us to show them others in their price range that meet their criteria.
I would sit down with your agent and have talk as to what she is doing to market your home. And you should tell her what you expect. If she is doing nothing more than listing it on the MLS, her commission should reflect it (same as a discount broker). If you are paying for full service, than you should get full service. Tell her that you want it on the internet and in the paper. What most sellers and buyers do not realize is that we are your employee and if we do not perform, we can be fired.
The demographics of the nation varies by area. While it is true that the largest generation of all time is coming of age (the millennials) and they are using the internet and electronic social networking to find just about everything there are other generations buying houses.
I had this discussion with our marketing people and they convinced me that in our area even the elders are tech savy and it should be the focus of our marketiing.
Your neighborhood of Milwaukee might be different. If the people moving in there are of a certain age and stature they might just be findiing out from friends that already live there and driving through the neighborhood. After 15 years in a market the agent would have to have her head buried in the sand to not know the market in her area.
Word of mouth is one of the best types of advertising but, also the slowest and smallest. It has the most impact but, it spreads very slowly and only to a few people at a time.
So my next question is then how long do you want to wait to sell your home??
Hope this helps.
(would love to know what price range of buyers your agent is talking about)