October 15, 2010

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Finding Advocates, not Just Customers


Beyond great service, there are a few digital marketing strategies you can employ to get people on board as advocates for your brand.


Are FSBO Sites Taking Over?

Home for sale

Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen a swathe of new for sale by owner (FSBO) property websites come online, from owner-direct.eu in Europe to buymyplace.com.au in Australia. The UK market seems to be particularly flooded with FSBO offerings - hablib.com, tepilo.com, bethemiddleman.com, notestateagents.com, and auctionmove.co.uk are just a few examples.

So what effect are these websites actually having? Are they drawing traffic away from traditional property portals? Are they attracting business from owners keen to bypass real estate agents?


Fine-tuning Your Ad Strategy


Judging by the preliminary results of our poll, most Property Ad Guru readers are planning to invest significantly more in online marketing this year. With the Internet Advertising Bureau also predicting another increase in online ad spending in 2010, one question springs to mind: How do you make sure the money you spend on online advertising doesn’t go to waste? In other words, how can you fine-tune your advertising strategy this year to ensure it results in more leads?


Going Local for Leads

In a recent guest post, Ryan Hinricher said agents need to define their niche market to stand out in the online marketing game. It’s sound advice when you think about it - finding your niche, and owning it, gives you a much greater chance of becoming the agent who stands out when a buyer hones in on a certain suburb.

So, how do you promote yourself online as the expert in your chosen niche?


4 Essential Building-Blocks for Agents New to Online


propertyadguru.com welcomes a guest post from Ryan Hinricher:

Establishing yourself as a successful real estate professional in 2010 can easily be a daunting task. The real estate market is unrecognizable when compared to just a few short years ago. In 1994 the first online real estate listing was published in an email by Eric Hilding of Coldwell Banker in Morgan Hill, CA which changed real estate forever. Within 1 year ERA launched the first listing portal with over 50,000 listings. Today we have Zillow, Trulia, Twitter, Facebook, iPhones, and thousands of other tools and technologies which power the new real estate economy.

Because of this, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and impossible to stay ahead of the technology curve. I thought I’d put together a shortlist of critical components to your online real estate foundation. These are the building-blocks of any real estate business and most aren’t sustainable without them.


Listing as a Local Business Pays Off


Ever heard of the Google Local Business Centre? No? It could be worth investigating. For one US broker, listing his business with Google paid off in a big way.


Looking for Realtors to Test a New Application – ListGlobally


The team at Classified AdVentures (owners of Property Ad Guru) has been working hard on a new product called ListGlobally. This application allows agents to advertise their listings on market leading property portals around the world.

For example, an agent in the US or Australia can up load a listing and have it appear in the international section of such market leading sites as Rightmove in the UK, Enormo, Immobiliare in Italy, and Immobilienscout24 in Germany. Over the coming months ListGlobally will be adding more partners to its distribution list.

Not only is this a great way to promote your listings to an international audience, it is also a great tool to differentiate yourself from your competitors when marketing to potential sellers.

If you would like to be a guinea pig and help us test the application for free, just go to www.listglobally.com and click the link on the home page to register for a free trial. Once we receive your request, we will be in touch via email with your login details.


Big Changes at zillow.com

We knew something was up at zillow.com when it posted a “site down temporarily” note on its blog on Monday.

The next post confirmed our suspicions: zillow.com was adding the option to list rental properties on its US-based real estate marketplace. By the next morning, zillow.com was already touting the first ten listings to take advantage of the new option, and dealing with a wave of questioning regarding its new pricing strategy: US$9.95 for a 180 day listing.

The comments were relatively quiet on zillow.com’s own blog, but over at 1000watt blog and agentgenius.com things were different, prompting zillow.com’s spokespeople to respond.


Google Real Estate – Should Agents Bank On It?

The news just over a week ago that Google was “entering” the UK/European market has sent the share prices of Rightmove and Seloger into a tailspin. Seloger dropped by 9% while Rightmove has plummeted a whopping 17%. Seloger has since recovered to its pre-news price while Rightmove continues to be significantly down.

So let’s look at what happened, will the property portal landscape change and is this impact on the share prices is justified.

An article by the Financial Times (Dec 2 titled “Google set to enter UK property market”) seems to have set the cat amongst the pigeons. The article stated that Google is in talks with British estate agents and that “experts” say that an entry by them to the market could pose a serious threat to existing property websites. The article didn’t talk about what Google was going to do and Google didn’t comment. So there is really not much to go on. So the only guide we really have as to what Google may do in the UK and Europe is what they have done in Australia.


Rental Search Data from rentbits.com

US rental property search engine rentbits.com has released its first whitepaper: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Marketing in the Single and Multifamily Rental Industry.

The whitepaper covers a range of information on the rental housing market including what type of housing renters are looking for, which marketing sources renters are using, and how rental search varies across demographics.