THE LEADERS POST - Issue #24 - September 9, 1999
By: Doug Towes, Editor
About the Leaders Post
The Leaders Post is the newsletter for real estate
professionals committed to Net Success - from Results-net.com, an
online community of real estate professionals dedicated to
providing excellent service to their clients. If you prefer the
online version, the current issue as well as previous issues can be viewed by clicking
Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents
You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent
in it's entirety.
- 90% of home buyers will use the net in 2000
- Get off the computer and back to work!
- The "Siren Song" - better than sex?!
- New Forum Moderator
- Do-it-yourself listing ads - coming soon!
- Search Engine News
- Housekeeping time
- Tip of the day
A recent study by the National Association Of Realtors found
that 60% of U.S. Realtors use the internet for business. They
have an income 33% higher than Realtors who don't use the
Realtors with personal home pages earned an astounding 70%
higher than those without!
The study also found that in 2000, 90% of home buyers will use
the internet to house hunt. Will home buyers find you and your
I think those numbers reflect the fact that agents who were
already earning far more than the average agent are on the
internet in larger numbers than the average producer. One should
not think that all one has to do is get a web site and presto! -
earn 70% more!
Perhaps average producers have been slow to get on the internet
because of the investment required. Many real estate web site
designers charge several thousand dollars to set up a web site
(plus monthly fees) and there is no shortage of top producing
agents signing up for such sites.
As reported in many sources, Realtors are already making lots
of money by having an effective personal website. Dollar for
dollar, the internet probably is the best place for an agent to
invest in their business. However one must be careful not to
become too fixated on the "siren song" of the web at the expense
of conventional sources of business!
The House and Home Page program at
Realtor Web Sites - was set up to provide web
sites that work at a price all agents can afford. For about a
$1000 US per year, an agent can have a complete turnkey web site
that is proven effective. All the agent has to do to reap the
rewards of that small investment is respond to the leads as they
come in and follow up after.
They do not have to worry about search engine positioning,
effective web design, or keeping the site up to date. The
webmaster takes care of all these matters. Is there a better use
of $1000? I can't think of one! The returns from such a small
investment are far and away better than investing the same
amount in conventional real estate activities.
Because of the excellent returns from investing in an internet
presence, many agents become fixated on trying to squeeze more
and more dollars from the internet. They may spend an inordinate
amount of time (and money) on the internet - sometimes
neglecting other effective sources of business such as past
Other agents, not yet sold on the benefits of having an
effective web site, are unwilling to invest money in their
internet presence. They opt instead for free web pages, ego
sites, or do-it-yourself webmastering. This too comes with a
The price of free web pages is no results which leads to a
jaded view of one of the best sources of business there is.
The price of do-it-yourself webmastering is time spent away
from conventional sources of business and time spent away from
the family. The price can also be opportunity lost during the
inevitable learning period.
Why do agents do this? Do they deliver their own fliers and
tune up their own cars too? I can certainly think of better ways
for agents to be spending they time! Hey! I had an excuse -
there was no such thing as a "webmaster" when I got my first web
site. I had to do it myself - but that is no longer the case.
Agents should concentrate on real estate, not spending every
waking moment trying to keep their web site maintained and
ranked in the search engines.
Think of the internet as another good source of business - just
like past clients are. Don't fall in the trap of thinking there
is a fortune to be made from real estate on the internet. Money
made from your web site may total 30% to 50% of your total
It could be an even larger percentage of a smaller total if you
fall into the trap of spending too much time working on your web
site and neglect your conventional real estate business.
Realtors beware! The "siren song" of the internet is indeed
A new survey which is contained in a soon to be released book,
Revenge of the Computer Widow, found that almost 20% of female
and 17% of male computer users prefer spending their time on
their computer than indulging in sensual pleasures like sex and
One quarter of those who define themselves as computer "geeks"
take laptops with them to bed, while 40% take computers on their
Quick! Have a webmaster to manage your internet presence before
you too fall under the internet's spell!
Better than chocolate? Are they nuts?!?
With the search engines getting a lot bigger, and more web
sites to compete with, it is more important than ever to set
yourself apart from the competition. Is your web site an "ego
site" like most of the other agent sites in your area? You
know the type - agent photo on most pages and "this is who I am
and what I do". Why would anyone choose you over the hundreds
of other sites that begin to look identical to someone browsing
You need a unique and informative web site - one where it is
immediately apparent to a visitor that it is different from all
the others. The House and Home Real Estate Page is a good
example of a unique web site that has proven effective. Just one
is produced for each market area, and it is totally different
from any other agent web site. The site comes as a turnkey
package and are continuously updated to conform to the changing
criteria required by search engines - so you can sleep nights
and concentrate on selling real estate! Check it out at
What works for you? Your suggestions and submissions are
gratefully accepted, and if used you will receive credit along
with a link to your web site or (e mail address if you don't have
a web site yet.)
Happenings At Results-net.com
You can promote yourself very well by participating in
the Agents Online Real Estate Discussion Forums,
which are visited by an average of 1000 people a week now who
are looking for real estate information, agents, and property
listings! Participating in the discussion and sharing your
insights is great FREE advertising!
Currently under development is a FREE do-it-yourself system for
members of the House and Home Page program to upload and manage
their listings for display on their websites. The system uses a
simple fill-in form and allows for picture uploading and linking
to Virtual Tours.
The existing program for Showcase Listings and Virtual Tours
will also remain in place for those who are not do-it-
When the system is ready it will be announced in the House and
Home Page Members Forum at the Agents Online Real Estate Idea
Center, and made available to interested members.
Members of the High Performance Home Page program are reminded to
check their private forum for information, search engine
strategies, and new add-ons to their site. The forum is located
within the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center at
http://www.agentsonline.net and can be found at the bottom of the
list of public forums. Once registered at the Idea Center, send
me an email and I will "authorize" you so you can access the
This And That
Search Engine Notes
What are the most popular search engines? Which search engines
should your site be optimized for? On average, the House and
Home Real Estate Pages rank equally well on all of the major
search engines. A check of the Results-net.com log files, which
covers all of the House and Home Page sites, gives a reasonably
good picture of which search engines people use most.
In first place is AltaVista by quite a margin. If you have been
reading past issues of this newsletter you will already know
that being listed high in AltaVista is something that comes and
goes as AltaVista rotates it's database. In addition there is a
time penalty for new sites that results in a wait of several
months for those coveted top 20 placements.
Patience is required with AltaVista. The best thing you can do
with AltaVista is submit your pages once and forget about them.
They will get their turn at the top unless you resubmit them -
then they are back to the end of the list. Looksmart searches,
which are powered by AltaVista, are included in the totals as
In second place is Inktomi. I have lumped all Inktomi based
engines together, as once listed in Inktomi's database most
sites will rank about the same in all the search engines that
draw from the database. You may notice a difference in ranking,
but this is mostly due to a difference in the length of time it
takes for the various search engines to refresh their listings
and the fact that listings will drop in rank with age in some of
Inktomi based engines include AOL Netfind, Yahoo!, HotBot, ICQ,
Canada.com, and MSN Search. MSN Search is soon to be powered by
AltaVista. In fact the beta version of the new AltaVista powered
search is available online at http://beta.search.msn.com/
In third place is Excite.
In fourth place is Infoseek and Go.com, which seems to have
stopped adding new listings again. I am still waiting for pages
submitted at the end of July to appear.
In fifth place is GoTo.com, which surprised me even though I
have seen similar results reported elsewhere. Not happy with
your placement in GoTo.com? They accept payment for top ranking
for the keywords of your choice - so get the credit card ready!
In sixth place is Lycos.
In seventh place is Google/Netscape search, followed by the
Netscape Open Directory Project.
From The Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center...
I learned something new today... (so what else is new?)
I wanted to find a particular .jpg file, so I did it a little
differently than usual (for me)...
I couldn't recall exactly what I'd named it but figured I would
recognize it when I saw the file. I just went to the "start"
button on the bottom of the screen task bar - clicked "find" -
and typed in *.jpg
You wouldn't believe what came up.... hundreds, and I do mean
hundreds - of .jpg files that got onto my computer when I
installed Netscape, and my scanner program, and others...
WHEW!!! --- get rid of those things!!!... some of them are
huge.... taking up valuable space on your hard drive...
I could scarcely believe my eyes...bet others have plenty of
this junk on board as well???
Tip Of The Day
Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view. -
What you think about you talk about and what you talk about you
bring about. - Unknown
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professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to
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