47% of Americans have broadband – why does it matter to Realtors?

And it really, really should be more.

Surprisingly, the Pew Internet Research report shows that 29% of Americans don’t use the internet at all. Not surprisingly, for those with household incomes over $75k, the adoption rate is 76%. For those whose household incomes are less than $30k, the adoption rate is 30%. The Times-Dispatch had a good front-page article on Monday.

When marketing, how do we reach that 29%? How do you?

Using 2005 numbers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US ranks #15 in the world in broadband penetration. #15!

As Realtors, we depend on broadband penetration. None of the innovative ways to market would be possible without broadband. Video would be impossible. Podcasts. Skype, multiple photos online, visual tours, etc.

Broadband penetration, historic, G7 Countries

This meshes well with an idea for a story from a few weeks ago –

What do you think of when you see this?


I was watching the classic movie Office Space recently with some friends who neither need the internet for work or personal business nor have they ever worked in an office. Needless to say, much of the movie was lost on them.

Moral of the story? We need to work to encourage broadband use and penetration, locally and not-so-locally (hint: it’ll take more than a few to make it happen). “Good enough” won’t cut it.

* Inspiration for the article partly derived from the book I am currently reading, The World Is Flat, (my next read may be the counter-argument) perhaps one of the most eye-opening and terrifying books I have read in some time. Real estate is local, but competition is global.

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