Radio Header

Get Adobe Flash player

"Home Advisor Power for Agents!"


Attend This Session

Matt Heinz Photo
10/5/01 Interview with Matt Heinz

MSN HomeAdvisor
One Microsoft Way, Building 118
Redmond, WA 98052
Biography

Print Print this handout

The Value of the Internet for Real Estate Pros

  1. The Internet has reduced or eliminated advertising costs for Realtors, and it lets Realtors advertise themselves and their listings to a much broader range of people than traditional avenues.
  2. People online tend to be more affluent, more educated and better buyers; for agents, Internet clients mean less time with each customer but more commission per transaction.
What's New with HomeAdvisor

  1. After three years on the Web, HomeAdvisor posts in excess of 1.1 million listings.
  2. Visitors are attracted by the considerable content related to home buying and home owning; also, visitors come through the site's connection with MSN, #1 Internet network in the world.
  3. The leads sent to its partners have risen to a current level of about 7,300/day; the number of leads is the most important statistic for Realtors.
  4. Also important are the quality of leads (ready to buy) and cost (free to its real estate partners)
Recent Awards

  1. Gomez Advisors has ranked HomeAdvisor the #1 home buying site four times in a row; PC Magazine has listed it in the top 100 web sites; even Yahoo! Internet Life has given HomeAdvisor an award.
  2. The accolades have helped to drive even more traffic to HomeAdvisor; traffic has tripled in the past year.
  3. Much of the recognition stems from the way the team has built the site‹to make it easy for consumers to get the information they want; a full-time usability lab researches agent/broker/consumer experiences and preferences.
The Status of Competition

  1. Heinz believes there is room in the marketplace for both HomeAdvisor and Realtor.com; the duplicated reach of these two sites is only about 8%.
  2. The race for customers exists above HomeAdvisor and Realtor.com at the level of AOL, Yahoo! and MSN, the three sites visited by 75% of the 100 million Internet users every month.
  3. Realtors should aim for exposure on all three by putting listings on multiple sites and then emphasize in their listing presentations to sellers that their listings will be positioned to reach at least 75% of Internet users.
Using HomeAdvisor

  1. HomeAdvisor generates revenue from advertising deals‹every listing is free to agents; be sure to include your email address on each listing because 72% of HomeAdvisor users prefer to contact an agent by email.
  2. Independent brokers/agents must have a real estate license to post listings, but they don't have to belong to an MLS; listings may include photos and virtual tours from sources of your own choice.
  3. HomeAdvisor refers you to other Microsoft companies that can help you as a real estate professional; bCentral.com offers web site design, hosting and other services‹plus is a source of good content.
Benefits of HomeAdvisor for Real Estate Pros

  1. The primary benefit is access to Internet customers; not only are they quality buyers, their numbers are growing; a recent NAR study shows that by 2005, 80% of homebuyers will use the Web.
  2. Website activity by buyers increases earlier (in January & February) than their traditional March/April increase in activity; online agents have an early chance to capture those online users.
  3. The Internet is changing how consumers find their Realtors; Internet users look for a Realtor on aggregate sites such as HomeAdvisor and Realtor.com and through search engines such as MSN, AOL and Yahoo!
Trends in Online Real Estate

  1. As transaction management makes more of the process paperless, standard forms and formats will become critical.
  2. The richer your data online, the more customers you will be able to attract listings that have multiple pictures and virtual tours already do better than those that lack such detail.
  3. Virtual tours are still used relatively infrequently in proportion to the total number of real estate listings.
How to Partner with HomeAdvisor

  1. Individuals should visit the Partner Center at HomeAdvisor.com for information; to become a partner, send an email to hasales@microsoft.com.
  2. Small brokers should visit BrokerDirect.HomeAdvisor.com.
Personal Favorites on the Web

  1. AllRecipes.com has an amazing database of recipes submitted by users.
  2. Amazon.com is notable for the personalization built into the site look for this approach to be a trend.
  3. Slate.com is a new MSN site with great political commentary and a convenient, daily summary of news from five top national papers.
Prognostications

  1. Realtors will continue to be successful even in downturns in the market by using the Web and technology to tailor service to customers' needs.
  2. Expect an expansion of services from brokers and agents into ancillary home ownership areas.
Contact Information for Matt Heinz:

(v) 425-705-7177
(f) 425-936-7329
(e) mheinz@microsoft.com
(w)www.homeadvisor.msn.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

homeadvisor.msn.com
bcentral.com
BrokerDirect

Partnership contact:
hasales@microsoft.com

Personal favorites:
www.allrecipes.com