Myths About The Internet Realtors Should Know


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #28 - November 4, 1999

from Results-net.com
By: Doug Towes, Editor
admin@rncinternet.com

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About the Leaders Post
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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.

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Contents
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- Myths about the Internet
- Real Estate Directories Want Your Money - is it Worth it?
- New Online Mortgage Qualifier
- New Online Mortgage Amortization Calculators
- 57% of REALTORS Report Business from Online Sources
- Search Engine News
- Tip of the Day

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Net Success
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Myths about the Internet

I read a great article the other day titled "10 Myths about the
Internet" written by James J. Cramer, co-founder of The
Street.com .

I picked out a couple of paragraphs that pertain to the way
REALTORS present themselves on the internet.

"Myth 4: You have a clever URL, they will come."

Wrong ! People will only come if you interact with them
successfully. Nobody surfs the Web for URLs. If you want
traffic, you have to buy traffic thru internet advertising or
search engine positioning and you have to interact with that
traffic one-on-one once it is in the cyberdoor.

A clever URL is handy for use in conventional (non-internet)
advertising but even that may be of little value, as the next
myth explains.

"Myth 5: Traditional advertising brings eyeballs to the Web and
generates bountiful traffic."

The author writes "This is totally false. I have spent more
time on TV networks, cable, local access -- you name it --
pushing our site than anyone has pushed any site anywhere. But
we have minute-by-minute traffic collections in TheStreet.com's
database that show virtually no increase, or mere incremental
increases from TV advertising and even my appearances. It just
doesn't happen. People don't watch TV and work on their
computer. Print is even worse. It doesn't work at all.

But Web advertising and Web promotions drive serious amounts of
traffic. As Web ad prices come down, the real bargain for
driving traffic will be from other Web sites. Everything else is
a waste of money.

E-mail word of mouth among satisfied customers is the most
effective way to build traffic, and that can only be done by
offering an intensely personal customer experience most sites
don't have."

I can vouch for the truth of Myth 5. One of the House and Home
Real Estate Page members signed up for a service in the early
spring that promised to bring buckets of results to those who
signed up for their service.

I sat through one of their sales sessions, and can tell you
they are very persuasive! Their service is basically a directory
listing and advertisement on their internet site. The first to
sign up in their city get top position for the ad size of their
choice - which can cost in excess of $600 a month (not a mis-
print!)

The first question anyone should ask themselves when presented
with such an opportunity is "how will anyone ever find their
site?". They have an answer for that! They recognize that their
site will not appear in search engines and that internet banner
ads can get very costly and can have a very small click thru
rate - so their answer is that they spend bazillions of dollars
on traditional advertising!

Supposedly folks will see the billboards and magazine ads and
listen to the radio ads and will head straight to their nearest
computer to visit their site. Once there, they will find your ad
on their site and soon you will be rich!

They claim the sites gets lots of "hits" but can offer no real
proof. In any event, "hits" are meaningless - the only thing
that counts is results. They do offer testimonials however from
some who say they have gotten business from the service which
helps to entice you to sign up.

Myth 5 says "NOT!" and I must say I agree!

The House and Home Real Estate Page site that signed up for the
service has the largest ad available and is in the #1 position -
which is the $600 a month (plus extras) package.

They are the first ad a visitor sees when they visit the site
and search for real estate in that city - and a check of
referrer logs after 8 months of being in the best possible
position and 8 months of paying the "big bucks" shows at the
very most only ONE visitor a day comes from that $600 a month
size ad!

Pretty meager pickin's for such a hefty chunk of change - just
imagine what results those with smaller ads and those who are
further down the list must be getting.

We are all bombarded daily with propositions similar to the
service above but on a smaller scale. How often are you
presented with the opportunity to be listed in a directory for a
fee? The fee charged is often in the range of $100 to $200 a
year - and you are sometimes offered some exclusivity as well.
Ask yourself how people will find this directory and ultimately
find you .

If it doesn't come up when searching for "yourcity real estate"
in at least one major search engine - likely nobody will find it
at all. Save your money.

I have been made aware that occasionally my name is being
mentioned as having recommended some of these directories.
Totally false! If I thought there was even a faint hope of ever
receiving business as a result of being listed in a directory
that will never be visited by a targeted prospect - I would be
in it!

The only directories I have recommended in the past are the
Results-net Real Estate Directory which is free - and does show
up in search engines. A check of referrer logs shows it sends
traffic to those listed in it.

I have also recommend the exclusive listings at the Agents
Online Real Estate Idea Center. There is a modest charge - but
the Idea Center shows up in the top twenty search engine results
for many keyword searches - and the referrer logs show that
visitors are being sent to those listed!

The best way to drive targeted traffic to your site is still
through good search engine positioning! (Check out the file
attached to this newsletter for an example of excellent search
engine positioning!) Still, once visitors arrive at your site
they have to want to stay there and you have to successfully
interact with them in order to convert the visitors to clients.

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With more web sites to compete with, it is more important than
ever to set yourself apart from the competition. You are
competing with those other web sites for search engine
positioning and also competing to have visitors "bookmark" your
site for return visits. Content, not information about what a
great sales person you are, is what entices people to return to
your web site.

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 to bookmark your site over the hundreds
of other sites that begin to look identical to someone browsing
the web?

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. You need a web site that has the search engine
positioning, appeal, and the content web surfers are looking for.

The House and Home Real Estate Pages produced by RNC Internet
Services are unique web site with the content web surfers are
looking for and the sites have proven to be very 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! The House and
Home Page Real Estate Sites also rank well within all of the
major search engines! Check it out the Search Engine Position
Report attached to this newsletter - then visit us at
Realtor Websites

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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.)

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Happenings At Results-net.com
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You can promote yourself very well by participating in
the Agents Online Real Estate Discussion Forums,
which are visited by people who are looking for real estate
information, agents, and property listings! Participating in
the discussion and sharing your insights is great FREE
advertising!

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Members of the High Performance Home Page program are reminded
to check their private forum for information, search engine
strategies, and 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 private forum.

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This And That
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A recent NAR survey reported that...
- 57% of REALTORS report business from online sources.
- 90% of REALTORS own or lease a computer
- 62% use email and the internet for business purposes
- 30% have their own web sites

Time to get on the bandwagon!

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Search Engine Notes

As predicted last issue, on Monday, Oct. 25. AltaVista
dumped its partnership with LookSmart and is using Open
Directory information instead.

Unfortunately they also dumped millions of previously well-
positioned pages and currently are operating on an old and
incomplete database. A spokesperson for AltaVista stated that
the problem occurred during a service overhaul in which an
incomplete index over wrote the previous listing. As of this
writing they are not listing new submissions either.

All of this is combining to put extreme stress on webmasters
everywhere and it is reported that the window ledges are getting
crowded!

The nonsense with AltaVista has been actually ongoing since
early Spring - so relax! If you are not listed there is not much
that can be done for now.

Problems are not AltaVista's alone, as Infoseek stopped adding
new pages to it's index as of the last week in September and a
message from their support staff states that it is unknown when
the backlog will be processed.

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Tip Of The Day
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"They are able because they think they are able." Vergil

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people
can change the world.   Indeed, it is the only thing that ever
has." Margaret Mead

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Results-net.com is an online community of real estate
professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to
their clients.

This newsletter is Copyright (c) RNC Internet Services, 1999
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