We cannot emphasize enough now important it is for luxury real estate marketing professionals, who are incumbent market leaders, to get their web sites up to speed technologically and also to embrace the right internet marketing strategies (locally and globally).  Even if you have a significant lead in mind-share and market share, a non-obvious tech-savvy challenger can come along and catch you off guard. It is our strong recommendation that you become pro-active and cover all of your bases before you have to scramble to catch up, in crisis mode. 

We have heard time after time, from disgruntled tech-challenged incumbent market leaders, how tech-savvy (yet not necessarily seasoned) agents are effortlessly capturing qualified internet buyer leads and  selling their listings (not to mention earning equal commissions).  In a buyer’s market, sellers are more prone to shift loyalty when presented with proven buyer acquisition results. This can outweigh years of experience, long -term relationships and a sterling reputation as a listing agent. If these buyer’s agents can also demonstrate a reasonable level of competence in marketing listings, too, they can become formidable challengers and turn the tables on you.

In Part 1 of this blog series we discussed how, in just one year, Apple and Samsung have turned the tables on Nokia, the previous market leading manufacturer of consumer smart phones.  Another potential casualty is Research in Motion (RIM) whose Blackberry phones have, for years, dominated the business sub-category of smart phone.

RIM is currently in crisis mode.  Many of RIM’s top sales team have jumped ship and are now working for Apple. They did not respond proactively and fast enough to properly position themselves to ride the wave of the touch screen + apps smart phone mega trend that Apple popularized. 

This fall RIM is coming out with a new line of Blackberry smart phones. But, more trouble lies ahead.  They acquired a very powerful operating system that could potentially compete with Apple or Android smart phones, but it will not be ready to incorporate in their phones until next year. Meanwhile, Apple is coming out with iPhone 5 this fall and several new Android phones will be released then as well.  Without, the apps (RIM has a paucity of apps) do they even have what now defines “smart” phones? 

Blackberry, the industry standard, became the staple of corporate America as companies purchased these devises and gave them to their employees to use primarily for work to increase productivity.  Now, more and more firms are allowing their employees to use their personal iPhones and Androids at work.  Note: Androids refers to the collective set of phones manufactured by a multiplicity of companies that all use the Android operating system).   The result is that the very definition of the sub-category of “business” smart phones that Blackberry has dominated is becoming blurred, meaning that the difference between consumer smart phones and business phones is no longer sharply defined.

It may even be too late for RIM to stay within reach of achieving the #1 or #2 (Apple and Samsung) position in the smart phone category of mobile phones. Their market share has slipped from 19.7% to 12.9% virtually overnight.  Now in crisis mode they have cut about one half of their staff. They have fallen behind the times and are slow to catch up.  The tables have turned.  Instead of thinking like a market leader, they must now think like a challenger.

Let this post be a sound of alarm for all who engage in the game of marketing luxury real estate. If you are an incumbent market leader, beware!  If you are a tech-savvy challenger take aim directly at one of the most common vulnerabilities of market leaders—a slow response to adapt to the new technological imperatives of today’s luxury real estate marketplace.

 Check out our lastest Blog Series: So You Want to Be a Market Leader


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