Competing With Realtor.com


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #32 - December 30, 1999

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

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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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- Follow up to "You CAN compete with Realtor.com!"
- Instant Survey Results and New Survey
- FSBO idea
- Welcome to J.C. Rousseau - Montreal, Quebec
- Top Producer and Palm Pilot
- Tip Of The Day

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Net Success
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Happy Y2K! May you have a happy and prosperous 2000 - and may
your computer still work on Saturday :)

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The first item is a follow up to last issue's article about the
amount of actual traffic on Realtor.com as reported by PC Data
Online at which produces statistics
about internet usage.

The real estate portal Realtor.com, which is widely considered
to be the number one real estate destination is listed way down
the list at number 473 with only 1,232,000 actual visitors
during the month of November. A few readers pointed out that is
seemed quite low and seemed to conflict with what Realtor.com
represents it's traffic to be.

It was pointed out that agent traffic alone (checking their
listings etc.) would account for considerable traffic and this
is correct. The likely reason for the conflict can be found in
the way PC Data Online arrives at it's figures - which is by
polling the public.

Their figures would represent the buyer and seller traffic and
not include the agent traffic. To me, their traffic count would
be the one that really shows the true number of buyers and
sellers visiting the portal and confirms that it is not that
hard for individual agents to compete with them on a local level
as reported last issue.
(available online at http://www.leaderspost.com/lp_31.html)

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The most recent Instant Survey on Results-net.com asked the
question "Which do you think is the most effective way to drive
visitors to your web site?"

The results:

- Good search engine position - 50%
- Word of mouth - 23%
- Internet advertising - 13%
- Conventional advertising - 7%

What percentage of agents in your market area have their own
web site are active on the internet? That is what the new
Instant Survey on Results-net.com would like to know!

Visit http://www.results-net.com and give your views! You can
view the results instantly online, and also view the results of
previous surveys.

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This idea came in from Dennis Smith...

Offer the FSBO a free listing on your web site. They do the
write-up and you take a picture and post it with their write-up.
eventually the seller will list with someone...usually the one
who gave him something of value for free. You can also ask them
for the names of the buyers who were not interested in the home.
See my program at www.sandiegohomes4u.com/FSBO.htm for more
details.

- Dennis & Sunshine Smith

You may want to check with your broker before doing this on
your own web site. I had the same idea as you a couple of years
ago and talked to my broker about it. He thought it was a bad
idea because by listing a FSBO on my site I would be assuming
full responsibility for the representations being made and would
be liable - just because I was a real estate agent.

The scenarios were endless ... eg. if someone were to visit the
site, recognize the property as a neighbor, buy the property
direct from the owner without ever having contacted me - and
ultimately find that the info on my site was incorrect - I would
be liable simply because I was a real estate agent. By seeing
the property advertised by a real estate agent the public is
relying on that agent's expertise and so the agent can become
liable for any hidden defects etc.

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Once your site is up and running how will it generate business
for you? As many agents have discovered it will not - unless it
is designed to do so right from the start as well!

Remember the "Personal Brochure"? It was all the rage a few
years ago. Even those who promoted the use of Personal Brochures
admitted that it had little value in attracting new business.

The major use of a Personal Brochure is to build and reinforce
your profile to those who have already met or contacted you from
another source.

If your web site is basically a personal brochure - that is, if
it is mostly about you and what you do - you can expect the same
sort of results - very little or no new business.

Most, if not all agents, start with this type of site - and
after a year or so of no results they start the quest for a site
that will actually generate leads.

That search has led many to the Results-net House and Home Real
Estate Page program which has proven to be a successful
generator of new leads for the member agents. You can check it
out at Real Estate Web Design

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!

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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.)

Moderators have the ability to post announcements, edit and
remove messages, and are notified by email each time someone
posts to their forum. They are often viewed as a leader and/or
expert in their forum.

As well, the moderators name appears on the topic list page in
their forum. Moderators also receive a FREE listing as the
exclusive agent for their area listed in the pull-down menus at
the top of every page at the Agents Online Real Estate Idea
Center!

There is now a program in place to submit all the messages to
the major search engines on a monthly basis which will increase
traffic - and help promote you!

Moderators may be removed if they don't actively attempt to
encourage discussion. There are no hard and fast rules, but if a
moderator doesn't post a message for two months - they probably
have forgotten they are a moderator and may be removed without
notice.

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This And That
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I have been using the real estate software, Top Producer, since
1992 and have never found another real estate software package
that was good enough to make me consider switching. I have also
been using a Palm Pilot for a couple of years and I have been
maintaining two separate client databases and schedules - and I
have to admit that because of the ease of use and portability
the Palm Pilot had been edging out Top Producer as my Scheduler
and Database of choice.

So, I was thrilled to learn that Top Producer had released
it's application for the Palm Pilot! I recently installed the
app and am happy to report that it works as advertised. In my
shirt pocket I can now carry my complete client and contact
list, daily schedule, and listing and closing info with me at
all times - and the info is updated as often as I like from Top
Producer by using the Palm Pilot Hot Sync function.

If you don't have a Palm Pilot I would certainly recommend you
get one and if you want to use it with Top Producer, make sure
you get a model with at least 4mb of Ram memory. It will work
with just 2mb of Ram but will only handle a small number of
records and will be very sluggish.

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Tip Of The Day
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The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to
appreciate it. -- Franklin P. Jones

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not
stop." -- Confucius

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their clients.

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