In today’s real estate climate, everyone is working a little harder to close the sale. So it has never been more true that the most effective listing promotions include both on-line and off-line advertising. The best promotions integrate these two channels to spread the widest net possible. And the best part about this approach? By promoting your listings aggressively, you also promote you: listings are a major client-lead generator for top seller agents.
In this issue:
- Promoting Your Listings Online
- Oodle Classifieds Designed to Drive Traffic to Your Website
- Trulia Real Estate Search Engine Expands Its Geographic Coverage
- Announcing Spotlight – The Ultimate Single Property Website
In this market, it’s not enough just to get the listing. You need to have an aggressive marketing plan. While printed flyers, signage and the basics still have their place, over 70% of homebuyers begin their search for a new home online. Over $1.8B spent on online real estate advertising. The first step in aggressive promotion is to make sure your property is featured where homebuyers ar looking.
Maximize Your Website for Listings
As an iHOUSE customer, you already have a website and are likely already promoting your listings on it. You can add properties to your iHOUSE website quickly using the MLS import feature. Here are ways to increase the power of each listing:
- Add listing details – A picture is worth a thousand words, and you can add up to 100 photos.
- Promote listings on your home page – with a featured property listing or a dynamic slideshow with up to 25 listings.
- Keep you Hot Sheet Page hot – announce newest and most-desirable listings.
- Update your Open House Page – drive traffic off the web into your open houses
- Add Open House Summary to your home page – with a dedicated link to your Open House page
Get the Word Out!
Make sure your property is included on all real estate websites used by homebuyers to search for their dream homes.
- Submit listings to your MLS – the property will be included in the IDX feed for that MLS; many brokers and agents offer a full MLS search direct from their websites leveraging IDX feed using services like iHOUSE’s IDXPro MLS Search Solution.
- Submit listings to popular sites for house-hunters – There are a handful of top national search websites:
- Realtor.com is the #1 real estate website, and was ranked as #70 Top Website in any category in the U.S. by Alexa.
- Yahoo! Real Estate Classifieds submissions are easy with iHOUSE – just let us know you want us to submit your listing for you as you are adding your listing to your iHOUSE website.
- Trulia Real Estate Search Engine provides its visitors with summary listing profiles that include prominent links back to agent’s site to get more details. (more information below)
- Oodle Real Estate Classifieds – Positioning themselves as the online classifieds website, Oodle indexes current listings and directs web visitors directly to your website for details. (more information below)
- Explore local classifieds websites – These are usually pay-per-listing submissions.
- Craigslist.org – the first and still most-popular online local classifieds, Craigslist.org is a top 10 destination website in the U.S. and in some markets is the go-to online classified resource.
- Local Newspapers – your local papers may include listings online as part of their classified services, or they may have a separate online classifieds program.
- Research specialty property search websites – There are specialty sites for commercial, farms/ranches, luxury, rentals, and so forth. Often these use a pay-per listing model, and may require a membership or charge a referral fee.
- LoopNet.com – #1 Commercial online real estate website, paid listing service.
- EscapeHomes.com – Promotes second-home listings, membership fee/referral fee.
- Land.net – Promotes land and commercial real estate available for purchase or lease.
- Rent.com – An eBay company, Rent.com claims to be #1 in online rental traffic. Listings are free, but you pay $375 with a completed lease.
- Leverage National Broker websites – If you belong to a national broker franchise like RE/MAX, Prudential, Coldwell Banker, or Century 21, don’t miss the opportunity to include your listings on their national index hosted on their corporate websites. These websites capture a lot of traffic, and can be useful in capturing relocation leads.
Taking the Next Step
After you’ve covered the basics above, the next step is to grab the attention of prospective clients with a compelling seller presentation. Once you’ve secured the listing, capture other agents and potential buyers.
- Email an electronic version of your property flyer to local agents with the latest open house schedule and include a link to the listing’s webpage in the body of your email.
- Use an email marketing program, like iHOUSE MarketReach, to create pre-formatted flyers and open house invitation eCards to get the attention of other agents.
- Add a Virtual Tour which have been shown to keep visitors three times longer on real estate sites, and receive 40% more views than listings without virtual tours.
- Stake out the next frontier: Single property websites are becoming the new differentiator. Stand out from other agents during the listing presentation by offering a professional, stand-alone website dedicated to your client’s property. iHOUSE is launching Spotlight, a single-property website solution, in October 2006. (more information below)
iHOUSE and Oodle have partnered to provide you with quick Oodle listing submissions. Now your listings can be included in Oodle’s local classified listings. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s free. When you add listing details to your iHOUSE website, simply select the option to add the listing to Oodle.
When Oodle visitors complete a property search, Oodle displays a short summary of all properties that match their search criteria. When the potential homebuyer clicks on a property to see more details, Oodle sends the user directly to your iHOUSE website detailed listing page, generating traffic directly to your site.
Launched in April 2006, Oodle Real Estate boasts over 1.5 million housing listings and covers over 100 metropolitan areas. Over 1 million people use Oodle as their local classifieds resource. And best of all, Oodle sends over 4 million customers to its partner sites each month!
iHOUSE Web Solutions has partnered with Trulia, the real estate search engine that has been featured by CNN, the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.
Trulia promotes your website and residential listings online with no additional cost or work required from you. The submission process is the same as with Oodle and Yahoo!: when you add listing details to your iHOUSE website, just select “add to Trulia.”
A recent arrival to the real estate web services, Trulia is dedicated to creating the best search experience for homebuyers with its easy-to-use search index, helpful neighborhood information and useful buyer resources. Trulia provides users with summary listing profiles that all include prominent branding for the agent and links back to the agent’s site for details.
When iHOUSE added Trulia as a partner back in April, their geographic coverage was limited to California and New York. Today, Trulia has just announced nationwide coverage.
Impress potential clients with an attractive, information-rich website customized to exclusively promote their property. Add an iHOUSE Spotlight Website to your listing presentation: it’s quick, easy, and a powerful promotion tool.
Create a free “Preview” website in time for your client pitch to show first-hand how effective and aggressive you’ll be in showcasing their property online. There are no limits on the number of Preview websites you can create, and you pay only when you want to activate the site and promote the property at its own domain like 321SpotlightSt.com.
- Fast and easy
- Risk-free, with unlimited “Free Preview” websites
- Visually unique, with many attractive design options
- Branded with your contact information
- Customizable with photos, floor-plans, and listing details
- Helpful to you and your client, with buyer resources and links, and easy-to-upload password, protected documents page
Eclipse your competition by offering the best-in-class stand-alone website dedicated to promoting your client’s property. For more information on Spotlight, click here.