Ten years ago, our largest marketing expense was buys in the Wall Street Journal. We were in nearly every Friday edition and that single ad used to drive a tremendous number of buyers to our clients' properties. We phased them out because they simply do not work anymore. Today, more than 90% of home buyers will use the internet during their property search. Never before has such a huge percentage of an audience been in one place. Clearly, if you want to be seen today, you must focus on internet marketing. We now dedicate much of our marketing energy to digital efforts. Our website is the foundation, and all of our other online marketing points to it.
Through our various agents and brokers, we belong to five different MLS systems throughout Michigan. These are the databases that all area REALTORS® use to find information about available properties. Even more importantly, it's this MLS data that is used to populate nearly every national website including REALTOR.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, etc. The photos, description, and details entered about a given property into the MLS determine almost entirely whether a given buyer will care to pursue that particular property. Done correctly, it can generate interest for the most hard-to-sell parcel of land. Done wrong, it can prevent otherwise perfect buyers from even wanting to seek more information. We recognize the gravity of this and work hard to ensure every property we list is displayed in the most attractive light possible while still making an honest representation.
Once a playground for college kids, social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have become incredibly powerful tools for marketing when leveraged the right way. Between our various Facebook pages, Twitter account, blog, and Pinterest boards, we have the ability to reach thousands of followers in an instant with exactly the message we wish to send. Never before has it been possible to get that type of reach across the entire globe in so short a time.
While it's technically a social media outlet, YouTube is unique in that all of the content is in a video format. We've built a channel within YouTube that allows users to view our videos by playlists that appeal to either the type of property they may have an interest in purchasing, or by the geographic area. We'll be expanding our video exposure moving forward because video is quickly becoming the dominant player in hte social media market.