Larry BraunerA commodity is any product or service for which there is demand, but for which there is no perceived qualitative difference between that which you offer and that which your competitors offer.

Its market price is determined solely by supply and demand.

With commodities, e.g., electronics or metals, consumers are as likely to buy from your competitors as they are to buy from you and will choose randomly among the lowest priced offerings available to them.

What is Commoditization?

Commoditization or commodifying is the transformation of a product or service into a commodity by external influences such as a commodities exchange or the growing virtual marketplace on the Internet.

Haven’t you yourself ever compared offerings for a product on the web and purchased the one with the lowest price? You used to shop for this product at a neighborhood merchant, but now you tend to shop around for it online.

Commoditization prevents a product or service from standing out and places  downward pressure on its price.

Commoditization in Real Estate

While real estate itself is far from being a commodity, the agents who sell real estate, especially residential real estate, are losing their competitive differentiation in the market.

I attended REMarTech in New York City this past week. The conference was marvelously organized and presented by Ryan Slack and Green Pearl Events. If you’re in real estate, you ought to join the Green Pearl social network on Ning.

Real Estate MarketingI met lots of interesting people at REMarTech and learned some important facts about real estate sales and marketing, as well.

I learned that real estate brokers and agents are no longer the main sources of information about real estate properties and property listings. Buyers readily obtain detailed property information and listings using online services like Zillow, Trulia and StreetEasy, each represented at the REMarTech event.

As a result, the real estate broker listing a particular property is more likely now than in the past to end up splitting the commission for the sale of that property with a competitor.

How Social Media Helps Real Estate Agents

A recurring theme at REMarTech was that blogging, social networking sites, and mobile apps help real estate agents convey to potential buyers and sellers the agent’s depth of knowledge and active involvement in the neighborhood he or she represents.

A number of real estate agents use foursquare to check in and take a stand in their respective neighborhoods.

One speaker reported being the mayor of all the buildings he represents. If you wanted to sell your apartment, wouldn’t you think that perhaps the mayor of your building would be the best person to sell it?

REMarTech Takeaways

I can report to you that leaders of major real estate companies, such as Fred Peters of Warburg Realty, Diane Ramirez of Halstead Property and Jacky Teplitzky of Prudential Douglas Elliman, have already adopted social media within their organizations.

A typical real estate broker or agent has limited social media know-how but wants to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.

Fortunately, Green Pearl Events, organizer of REMarTech, is eager to help early adopters to adapt — and so is, of course, yours truly. ;-)

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Larry Brauner

My tongue in cheek April Fools post Alphabet Wars was right on. Owners of social networking sites are increasingly facing tough naming choices that strain the 26-letter alphabet.

One of the newest players on the online social networking scene is Wowzza. The name tells us little more than that perhaps somebody’s keyboard tends to stick on the letter z. Why another social networking site? What’s different about this site?

Wowzza is an exclusive members-only site, not a free social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or Yuwie. All members are premium members.

Founder Jim Vigilante’s aim is to attract serious marketers and entrepreneurs. Jim is also playing up the referral income potential of Wowzza’s 3×9 forced matrix payout.

In an upcoming post I’ll explain why I am not networking at Wowzza.

Don’t miss any posts. Register, it’s easy, or subscribe to my RSS feed!

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