The Internet has become an incredible tool with great speed, efficiency and the ability to reach millions of individuals in a short amount of time. Between staying connected with distant family and friends, paying our bills and applying for jobs, the Internet allows us to multitask from the comfort of our own homes.

The Internet has become an incredible tool with great speed, efficiency and the ability to reach millions of individuals in a short amount of time. Between staying connected with distant family and friends, paying our bills and applying for jobs, the Internet allows us to multitask from the comfort of our own homes.

But more importantly, to those interested in the real estate industry, the Internet has made the home-selling process easier than ever.

Generation X and Yers with an aptitude for technology are leading the 87 percent of buyers who use the Internet to search for homes. The Internet is the fastest-growing venue for consumers to learn and gain information about the real estate industry.

With 87 percent of the market surfing the Web for a new home, you'll want your listing on there, so ask your real estate agent which marketing tools he or she will use to list your home, and make sure the Internet is at the top of the list. The following tools and strategies addressed in this column are essential to marketing a home, so make sure your agent is using all of these necessary tools.

Let's start with digital marketing and the concepts associated with it: online marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), permission-based e-mail marketing and social media.

Agents who use online marketing strategies will typically post your listing on the brokerage's Web site and on his or her personal site. Look for agents who update their sites often. There are several advantages to Web listings. For example, they offer quality color photos of your home, detailed property information, virtual tours, floor plans and school and community data.

SEO is the process of increasing quality web traffic to a site by way of search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. Agents who frequently update their Web sites with pertinent content and listings will have better SEO, which increases the number of views of your listing. This important component of digital marketing is worth asking your agent about.

E-mail marketing is another player in the digital marketing game. Qualified agents today stay connected with clients, family and friends by sending them e-newsletters and e-cards. A friendly holiday wish accompanied with your home listing is a great way to attract more potential buyers to your home.

Another growing industry trend is the use of social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Linked-In and Twitter. These are great places to connect with a large number of individuals in a network. Your agent can post pictures of homes, virtual tours, blogs about the listing, applicable links and more.

With the emergence of the Internet, podcasting, social networking and even wireless mobile Internet, the sky is the limit as to how many potential buyers can view your listing. So now, as an informed home seller, talk with your real estate agent about how he or she plans to market your home and get it ready to sell.

Harley E. Rouda Jr. is the CEO of Real Living HER, the No. 1 real estate firm in central Ohio.

Harley E.

Rouda Jr.