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"Getting Listing Results On-Line"


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Gregg Larson Photo
10/2/98 Interview with Gregg Larson

Clareity Consulting
6 Doral Road
Dellwood, MN 55110
Biography

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Listings Placement Issue

  1. Where to place listings is an important issue for brokers and local and regional MLS's; when the NAR couldn't provide space at last April's convention, Larson organized a successful conference down the street from the convention site to deal with the topic.
  2. For the first time, a wide range of providers, including Realtor.com and Microsoft, appeared on the same platform; since April, both of them have continued to expand efforts in the property listings area.
  3. The battle is over who will be the market leader for online Real Estate, predicted to be a huge market; online advertising is not limited to Residential listings, although that area is where the bulk of listings and consumer demand are now.
  4. Real Select has completed an agreement with the New Home Builders Association for new homes to be listed on Realtor.com; alliances with apartment associations and Commercial Real Estate groups are likely.
Status of the Listings Battle

  1. Realtor.com is ahead in the national web war for property listings right now as the #1 content site for Real Estate; its Gold Program illustrates the intensity of the competition.
  2. 2 The Gold Program is a preferred marketing relationship that is exclusive on the national level; Realtors are offered $1 per posting; despite criticism from competitors and others, the program has been successful in recruiting a number of associations and MLS's.
  3. Microsoft is becoming more aggressive - its Home Advisor site gives agents and brokers free sites; Broker First lets brokers advertise their ancillary services free.
  4. Microsoft's counterpunch strikes at one of RealSelect's major revenue sources, fees for agent and brokers' home pages; expect Microsoft to pick up depth in the listings area.
Status of the Traffic Battle

  1. On the traffic side, Microsoft benefits from people up-grading to Internet Explorer 4.0, which opens to the Microsoft Home Page as a portal to Internet sites, including the Microsoft Real Estate sites.
  2. Realtor.com has arranged deals with a number of the other leading Internet portals but has to pay for the privilege; Microsoft generates the traffic at no charge.
Other Leading Listings Sites

  1. The two other major national sites at present are CyberHomes and HomeSeekers.
  2. NewHomes.com and HomeHunter.com are sites that are competitive for local Florida listings; these sites are sponsored by the Classified VenturesGroup, a cooperative of newspapers.
  3. Ultimate winners in the listings battle won't be known for a few years.
Listing Results

  1. The most prevalent way to get postings on the national sites is to go through your area MLS, but a broker can individually submit company listings to any one of the sites.
  2. Residential Realtors express satisfaction with leads and referrals from posting listings on Realtor.com; Microsoft's HomeAdvisor is too new for results to be clear.
  3. Homes.com, related to the magazine Homes & Land), is very effective; Homes & Land is distributed free each month to 5.5 million people and has the url right on the cover; to have your listing on the site, you have to purchase a print ad.
  4. ColoradoRealEstateOnline, the #1 RE site for the state, is a successful local site that gets a lot of traffic through a relationship with The Rocky Mountain News.
  5. LoopNet, CIREI (for CCIMs only), COMMREX and the Florida Association's ABigDeal.com are good resources for the Commercial/Investment side.
  6. Check with peers to find effective listing sites; the Society will soon have out on disk its "Real Estate Marketing Wizard" listing and evaluating links and sites that take postings.
How to Differentiate Yourself and Get More Leads

  1. Because online Real Estate shoppers are information hungry, offer good content on your web site; some ideas are neighborhood and school reports, aerial photos and environmental risk reports.
  2. Any kind of content that you can link in, provide for free or at cost is another reason for someone to come to you; among sources for aerial photos are AirSho and Map Factory.
  3. A number of sites offer enhanced listings, i.e., premium service with a virtual tour; enhanced listings generate considerable traffic and are beginning to pay off.
  4. As soon as production costs come down, individual properties are likely to have their own web sites complete with videotaped tours.
  5. Realtors are not leveraging email fully; a web page may provide advertising, but email is the tool that will accomplish the actual sale.
The Next Great Technology

  1. Unified messaging - integrated voice mail, email and faxes - will benefit Realtors greatly; a number of companies are offering this already, including MCI, Lotus, Microsoft and small companies like Callware and PhoneSoft.
  2. In general, consumers are ahead of Real Estate professionals, and they tend to drive the industry toward the use of more technology; the pros who don't project a cyber-savvy image will be left behind.
The Evolving Future

  1. The trend is for local associations and MLS's to build a web presence, sometimes with a local partner such as a newspaper; newspapers are no longer locked into the strict classified model of charging for a listing.
  2. Associations are using their online presence to communicate with members; the Internet can deliver newsletter information and other member services more efficiently than traditional media.
  3. Clareity Consulting is sponsoring a series of regional conferences with local MLS's about the future of Real Estate online (the first is 10/16/98in Washington, D.C.); titled "Real Future," the conference combines topics about Internet law, advertising and e-commerce.
  4. Change is happening exponentially - every three months is equivalent to a year in traditional business in the way you can unroll new products and ideas and the way you can communicate.
Contact Information for Gregg Larson:

(v) 651-407-9510
(f) 651-653-4952
(e) glarson@clareity.com
(w)www.clareity.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Microsoft HomeAdvisor
NAR property listings
CyberHomes
HomeSeekers
Homes & Land site
HomeHunter.com
Florida New Homes
ColoradoRealEstateOnline
LoopNet
CIREI (CCIM's only)
COMMREX
Florida Asso's A BigDeal

Aerial photos:
Airsho
MapFactory

Unified messaging:
Callware
Phonesoft