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"Successful Agent Web Strategies!"

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Mal Duane Photo
10/4/02 Interview with Mal Duane

MetroWest Homes
12 Library Street
Framingham, MA 01701

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Involvement with Internet Marketing

  1. Agents and brokers from RE-MAX who formed a group called NetMAX introduced Mal to the potential of technology.
  2. NetMAX became a trial group for a multiple listing service designed to be used on agent web sites at a time when agent sites were rare.
Establishing a Cyber Marketing Campaign

  1. First secure an available domain name, and then create your web site around it; be sure that email access is possible through the domain.
  2. A web presence gives you a chance to connect with the 80% of buyers who go to the Internet as their first source of real estate information.
  3. Few individual brokers use their domain name as their company name, but Mal developed her company name after seeing how much business her sitegenerated.
Popular Web Site Features

  1. Aim to deliver good information to the consumer; Mal's site gives littlepersonal information but focuses on what consumers are looking for; tools for consumers to use include free reports.
  2. offers consumers a little link that invites them to "Put me on your desktop" - clicking on it puts an icon on the desktop to bring consumers back to Mal's site; the resource for the service is (a one-time fee of $179).
  3. Some of the reports available at guide consumers through the real estate transaction (e.g., "How to Obtain a Mortgage").
  4. Mal's company has an association with a local lender (Loansnap) for quick pre-approvals; each company carries a reciprocal link to the other's website; similar associations are possible all across the country.
Multiple Web Sites

  1. Mal has used her primary site for carrying multiple listing access; it is a template site that was developed by The OnlineAssistant.
  2. Her second site is the template site from the Society at; she also has a site.
  3. Her newest site marks a shift in her marketing strategy - she is emphasizing with the byline "brought to you by"
  4. is a more generic, geographic presentation; she owns eleven related domain names of towns in her area that feed into the Metrowest site (e.g.
  5. The geographic complex of sites captures people who go into search engines looking for town names.
A "Follow-Me" Number

  1. A special phone number on her site and in ads allows consumers to reach her without using voice mail; the source is Linx Communications.
  2. With this service, clients call a single toll-free number to activate a sequence of contact numbers so that the client is almost always able to reach Mal directly, especially helpful to assure live response to weekend ads.
Personal MLS

  1. The multiple listing service on her web site is a convenience for consumers; unlike many other MLSs, it is up-to-the-minute on properties that go under agreement.
  2. clients receive daily emails about new listings and price changes on properties that meet their personal parameters; every 21 days, clients receive a market summary.
  3. The MLS clients are solid Internet leads - Mal captures names, contact info and real estate interests of the people who sign up (currently 300 are registered); the entire program functions automatically.
  4. The MLS function respects client privacy; the only contacts initiated by are a series of autoresponders that welcome clients and invite them, when they are ready, to use real estate services.
  5. Most clients find out about the MLS function through the company's print advertising; many people sign up at company open houses.
  6. Mal advertises her company domain name on every piece of advertising and even the back of her car. [See Expo Booth #5 at]
  7. The OnlineAssistant is the provider of the cost-effective subscription MLS program; Mal pays $100/month and gains 50 solid leads a month.
  8. As part of the pilot group who first used the program, she got 250­300 leads per week; now that more agents in her area also use it, the lead generation has become more manageable; a lingering effect of her "first useradvantage" is that her company works the program to the maximum.
Traditional Buyers vs. E-Buyers

  1. Instead of viewing an ad, calling the office and doing a drive-by, buyers go to web sites (an agent's, a corporation's, an organization's) to look forlistings and preview properties on virtual tours before seeking professional assistance.
  2. Essentially, e-buyers are better informed by the time they work with anagent.
Favorite Web Sites

  1. For technical information and assistance, the guru contacts are excellent.
  2. is valuable for finding people, places and town information; Google is a preferred search engine.
  3. Isucceed offers online training for Realtors in prospecting and marketing techniques through a coaching service priced reasonable at about $30/month.
  4. is a resource center for tools, books, supplies and suggestions.
Plans to Stay Competitive

  1. Intrigued with Michael Russer's presentation about virtual assistants at the Society convention, Mal is in the process of finding a virtualassistant; as a consequence, her staff will be freed up to tackle new projects.
  2. Work to be done by the virtual assistant will include mailings, follow-ups on sold properties, and distribution of "just listed" and "justsold" postcards.
Contact numbers for Mal Duane:

Contact Information for Mal Duane:

(v) 508-416-1800
(f) 508-628-1872

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing: Real Estate:


Lender with reciprocal link:

The OnlineAssistant:

Linx Communications:

URL auto tags: Expo Booth #5 at

Technical assistance: Guru Help at

Search sites:

I via

RE supplies and ideas: