Influence of Email Marketing on Real Estate Agent Performance

By Acharya, Ram N.; Kagan, Albert et al. | Journal of Real Estate Literature, May 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Influence of Email Marketing on Real Estate Agent Performance


Acharya, Ram N., Kagan, Albert, Zimmerman, Travis, Journal of Real Estate Literature


Abstract

An agent behavior model, based on the theory of reasoned action, is tested against empirical data collected from Realtors in Phoenix, Arizona. Since the empirical model includes theoretical constructs, a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach capable of handling variable latency and measurement errors is used to estimate the parameters. Model results are consistent with the a priori expectation that agent's perception and attitude towards new information technology affects their decision to use email as marketing tool. Moreover, the empirical results also support the observation that information technology plays an important role in determining the Realtor's economic performance.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Recent advances in information and communication technologies and subsequent adoptions, particularly by customers, are revolutionizing the way real estate transactions are conducted. Many real estate customers are now using innovative information tools such as the Internet, PDAs, and email to communicate with real estate agents, search for available properties, evaluate property features, locate nearby amenities and community information, and compare market prices (Crowston, Sawyer, and Wigand, 2001; Boyce and Rainey, 2002; Tse and Webb, 2002). These tech savvy customers not only expect their Realtor to provide up-to-date information about prospective properties but also to serve as a reliable partner who promptly informs them about new and emerging alternatives, provide advice about available financing and warranty options, and become a trusted mentor throughout the house buying or selling process (Achrol and Kotler, 1999; Crowston, Sawyer, and Wigand, 2001; Tse and Webb, 2002). As a result, the role of real estate agents is shifting from a mere mediator, who brings buyers and sellers together, to being a reliable partner, who looks after customer interests and manages the entire real estate transaction, which culminates in an effective closing process (Achrol and Kotler, 1999; Crowston, Sawyer, and Wigand, 2001; Tse and Webb, 2002).

Since information is the primary input for the real estate brokerage industry, a Realtor's ability to collect, analyze, and communicate real estate information with prospective customers will determine his/her performance (Baen and Guttery, 1997; Guttery, 2000; Crowston, Sawyer, and Wigand, 2001; Seiler, Seiler, and Bond, 2001; Tse and Webb, 2002; Jud, Winkler, and Sirmans, 2002; Kim and Heineman, 2003; Dixon, 2005; Kummerow and Lun, 2005; Sawyer, Wigand, and Crowston, 2005). Moreover, the economy of the twenty-first century is expected to be dominated by information ''networks'' (Drucker, 1993). In such a knowledge-driven society, information is the most critical economic resource. The breadth and quality of a firm's information network is likely to determine an organization's success. In this environment, business leaders who are able to identify and adopt appropriate information and communication tools are more likely to succeed (Drucker, 1993; Achrol and Kotler, 1999).

A number of studies have made an attempt to evaluate the impact of information technology in general on real estate industry, on Realtor income (Benjamin, Jud, Roth, and Winkler, 2002; Jud, Winkler, and Sirmans, 2002), on market size and efficiency (Kummerow and Lun, 2005), and market innovation (Li and Wang, 2006). Few studies have examined the impact of specific technological applications such as webpage views (Tse and Webb, 2002) and Internet marketing (Muhanna and Wolf, 2002; Ford, Rutherford, and Yavas, 2005) on Realtor income. In general, these studies find a positive impact of Internet usage on a Realtor's total revenue and net income (Jud, Winkler, and Sirmans, 2002; Tse and Webb, 2002; Benjamin, Chinloy, Jud, and Winkler, 2005). However, none of the existing studies have examined the impact of email marketing on agent performance.

Email allows a marketer (seller) to communicate detailed information about various products and services with customers promptly in a non-intrusive manner. …

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