November 13, 2008

Two of the Biggest Online Marketing Myths About Selling Homes Debunked

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of Realtors(R) (NAR) tells us that about 84% of all residential real estate transactions start online. NAR also tells us that 93% of agents are unhappy with their Internet sales success attributable to their website. If 93% of agents aren't sharing in the 84% of sales online, what is the reason? I believe the reason has its roots in basic misinformation portrayed as fact and simple knowledge unknown to many.

Myth 1: The most popular place consumers look for homes online is REALTOR.COM(R)

Fact: The most popular place consumers look for homes online is Google(R)!

REALTOR.COM is the website owned by Move, Inc. and licensed by NAR to be their only authorized website(s). They claim to be the most popular Internet shopping site for homes. With 7 million page views monthly, REALTOR.COM claims to own the largest market share of Internet home buyers. The fact, however, is that Google has 65% of all search traffic and 85 billion searches a month, of which an estimated 13% are real-estate related. Google receives about 870 million real estate searches a month. Clearly, the most popular place for Internet buyers to look for homes online is Google! You need to tap in to Google and other major search engines.

Myth 2: It's impossible for 'the little guy/gal' to compete against the big guys/gals in online marketing.

Fact: It's the opposite that is true; you can compete with anyone online!

This is the biggest myth of all. The Internet is precisely where 'the little guy/gal' can hold their own with anyone: corporate giant or the in-town competitor. You don't need to buy any expensive coaching program. You don't need to spend tens of thousands building the website to end all websites. You don't even have to be "tech savvy." You need to learn the rules of how to succeed online. We have learned through years of working with agents and brokers that faithful adherence to these simple principles does bring success:

-- Get yourself a good template website with plenty of features (Make sure it has a welcoming homepage, full access to listings, good virtual tours and an optional working IDX feature);

-- Hire good SEO to make sure Internet buyers can easily find that website on the first pages of those search engines when they go looking for a home online (you are a real estate agent, not a search engine technician);

-- Employ proper lead capture with incentives to encourage visitors to sign in;

-- Have all registrations text-messaged and e-mailed to you instantly and contact them as soon as humanly possible. These things are not optional, they are mandatory. Omit any of them and prepare to fail.

Fact: If you don't start succeeding online your days as a successful agent are numbered

In just a short few years, we are now at the point where 84% of all residential real estate transactions start online. Are you waiting till that percentage reaches 95% to do something? Surely, you aren't letting the market pass you by on purpose?

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same conduct, but to expect a different result. Do you want to sell houses online? Stop doing things the same old way you have always done them. No one can afford to ignore 84% of consumers and expect to succeed in the marketplace and stay in business. The Internet is where the action is, and the search engines are what deliver Internet buyers. To expect success without targeting search engines as a part of any online strategy might not be "insane," but such a strategy is factually unwise. Search engines are where the buyers are and you have to be found on the first page of them to even start to succeed at selling houses online. (C) 2008 Mike Parker

About the Author: Mike Parker is a principal at the Blackwater Consulting Group, Inc., and specializes in online marketing services for Realtors(R) and real estate professionals. You can reach him by e-mail at [email protected] Obtain a free copy of his popular booklet "SEO Secrets for Realtors" by writing [email protected] It will be sent to you free and no one will call you. To request a free review of your website to determine if it can be found by internet buyers and if it is search engine friendly, simply go to, fill in the necessary information, and it will be evaluated free with no obligation whatsoever.

Blackwater Consulting Group, Inc.

CONTACT: Mike Parker of Blackwater Consulting Group, Inc.,+1-949-760-3002, [email protected]

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