Archive for the ‘ Online Marketing ’ Category

Hello Video! – You are Now Part of the Real Estate Marketing Lexicon

I’m an early adopter with all things technology and as an early adopter, I’m keenly aware that there are pros and cons to buying in early. I’m ok with that. Technology changes rapidly and those of us that are early adopters buy the new technology as it comes out. The latest and greatest as they say.

Real estate marketing, however, has not changed too much for most agents. We all take photos, we all list in the local MLS system(s) and we all try to get the best price we can for each and every new listing we take. After all, it’s the price as it relates to condition and location combined with the photos that attract buyers and beget sales. Right? I think that’s true, but I think we need more, better marketing, in light of the fact that traditional resale homes are having to compete directly against somewhat comparable short sales and foreclosures that have spread like a virus across the real estate landscape.

I don’t think photos are enough. In this market, I think we have to make a more compelling case that are listings are better – worth more than the foreclosures and short sales down the street. I think we need video. I don’t mean panning still images set to some cheesy music either. I’m talking about videos that make your listings (and maybe even you) look fantastic. Here’s a video from some guys in Australia that have taken video over the top!

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Posted by: Ryan Ward on August 12th, 2011 under HomeGain, Online Marketing, Technology


HomeGain Home Valuation History – Our New Approach

As a pioneer in online home valuations, and the company that had the first online home value calculator, HomeGain launched HPX (Home Price Express) in 2002.   That was 9 years ago and the real estate industry has undergone quite a few changes since then. So have HomeGain’s online programs.

In October 2005, HPX went through a facelift and became Source4Sellers. Some of you who have been with us for a while will remember the program. Source4Sellers was, indeed, a program which connected sellers looking for a free home valuation to a real estate professional.

This was the strength of this program and all of HomeGain’s programs. Although many companies have produced a multitude of algorithms and methods of gathering property value information, there will never be a better and more accurate method of finding the current value of a home than having a qualified agent or appraiser determine the value.

As the market declined along with the value of homes, HomeGain realized that fewer and fewer homeowners were looking for home valuations. Most homeowners came to realize that their home had lost value, but many of them did not and do not want to find out how badly. As such, Source4Sellers did not deliver as many sellers as it had done in the past.

In August 2008, HomeGain launched the AgentView program. AgentView is, in the most literal sense, an online marketing program for real estate professionals. The program showcases agents’ listings and hosts a personal real estate blog for each subscriber in a completely exclusive zip code territory in an ad-free environment.

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Posted by: Peter McCullough on April 8th, 2011 under AgentView, HomeGain, Online Marketing


Marketing to International Buyers

In a relatively uncertain real estate market with lenders exercising strict lending practices, finding qualified home buyers can be daunting. However, there is a pool of qualified buyers who are otherwise neglected: International Buyers.

With a continually expanding global economy, local real estate has the potential of reaching home buyers anywhere in the world. The U.S. real estate market has always been an attractive investment vehicle for foreign buyers, who place emphasis on America’s strong private property rights and historically, long-term market stability.

According to a report by the National Association of Realtors®, for the time period ending 1Q2010, purchases by foreign buyers (those whose main residence is outside of the United States) accounted for $907B, a 4.45% share of the residential market. And although purchases by foreign buyers were reported in 39 states, there was a heavy concentration in California, Florida, Arizona, and Texas.

Furthermore, 55% of foreign buyers are cash buyers, due in large part to difficulties in financing real estate purchases in the U.S. Compare that to 92% of Americans who finance their home via a mortgage.

So how can real estate professionals market to international buyers? Continue reading this post


Posted by: Alex Cortez on November 4th, 2010 under Online Marketing


Great Tool for Estimating Search Volume

This may be old hat to most of you but not everyone is familiar with the Google keyword tool. In order to optimize your real estate website it helps to know what people are searching for and in what volumes.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know how many people are searching for the phrase ‘condos for sale in sarasota florida’ before you optimize a page for that phrase and go through the painstaking process of building links? Well, you can.

There are several traffic estimating tools out there but the Google keyword tool will work just fine in my opinion.

You can be much more productive in your SEO and link building efforts if you have a general idea of traffic volumes.

For example, you can focus your efforts on trying to rank for ‘condos for sale in sarasota florida’ which is searched for roughly 110 times a month or you can spend your time trying to rank for ‘sarasota condos’ which is searched nearly 7 times more at 720 monthly searches.

All you have to do is enter the phrase into the keyword tool and Google will spit out a variety of useful data. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Marc Rasmussen on October 7th, 2010 under Online Marketing

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Will Google Instant Change SEO?

The announcement of Google Instant made shockwaves throughout the online world, far beyond, with many wondering how that would affect SERPs. In an industry heavily dependent on traffic coming by way of search engines, any major changes in algorhythms, patterns, services, etc., can have a monumental effect and is to be taken seriously.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team and summarily the public voice of Google when it comes to SEO practices, answered “Does Google Instant kill search engine optimization (SEO)?” with an unequivocal ‘NO!”

What Google Instant does (and does remarkably well) is bring a functionality that had been lacking: an intuitive ability to search-as-you-type by predicting terms that an individual may be searching for, while remaining relevant and providing an user-friendly experience.

I, for one, did not initially enjoy having terms spelled out for me, after all, my line of thinking was ‘I know what I am searching, I don’t need a silly computer to fill it out for me’. That is until I gave it a chance, it allowed me an effortless, yet more thorough, search experience that went well beyond my expectations.

For now, real estate professionals should continue practicing solid SEO fundamentals/principles of on-site optimization (meta data implementation and valuable content creation) and off-site optimization (to include emphasis on quality link-building).

After all, whether it’s SEO, real estate (and for many of us, a marriage thereof) or any comparable industry, those who are able to conform/adapt to their environments will succeed when their peers do nothing but complain.

Somebody has to be #1.


Posted by: Alex Cortez on October 1st, 2010 under Online Marketing


Managing Your Online Reputation

Reputation often plays a huge role in a Realtor’s business. Think about how much damage an unhappy client can do to your income. Those clients tend to managing-online-reputationblab to more friends, more often and with more emotion about a bad a real estate transaction than a happy client who talks about a good one. Unhappy clients can cause damage even though it may not have been your fault.

The measure of your reputation is not only what you do but what others might say about you as well. Your reputation is earned whether you like it or not. Here are some tips to managing your online reputation.

Monitor Yourself

It is good to know what is being said about you. I use Google Alerts to monitor anything written or said about me. Google will email you when they find out a webpage, newspaper article or blog that mentions your name or what ever search phrase you want to track. It is a great way to continually monitor yourself, family members, stories or anything else you want to keep track of.

Delete or Compete

If you do find some embarrassing or inaccurate information about you on the web contact the website owner and ask them if they would be willing to remove the content. It is probably best to not get ugly and start a war. This usually just fans the flame and creates more controversy. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Marc Rasmussen on June 8th, 2010 under Online Marketing


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