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"Attracting Web Site Visitors "

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Ray Dixon Photo
2/21/97 Interview with Ray Dixon

Web Estate Publishing
35 Wilbur Boulevard
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

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Identification of WebEstate

  1. The site is a link directory, a mini-Yahoo, for real estate-specific businesses and professionals; Dixon has assembled information about news groups and mailing lists in one convenient location.
  2. The uniqueness of his site centers on its well-organized array of very usable tools, which can be difficult to track down through search engines.
  3. Other popular resources for Realtors are the more established IRED directory and Dealmakers; WebEstate is similar but includes some additional sources of information.
How to Use WebEstate

  1. To benefit from the postings, a Realtor has to follow the news groups and subscribe to the mailing lists; the page gives specific e-mail registration information for the subscription services listed.
  2. The mail lists are excellent sources of in-coming information about technology and real estate topics; browse these regularly to keep abreast.
  3. To participate actively, a Realtor can send messages to a mailing list ; a single message is broadcast to all the subscribers on the list.
  4. Some lists are geared for gathering information and others are geared for doing specific deals - e.g., Ted Kraus' Commercial - Real Estate forum or his Real Estate - Finance forum.
News Groups vs. Mailing Lists

  1. Technically, news groups are part of the USENET network, a system separate from the Internet that carries group forums on all kinds of topics; for example, Kraus has news groups as a cooperative venture separate from his mailing lists - Realtynet.commercial and Realtynet.residential.
  2. Both mailing lists and news groups can be used for posting real estate messages; the difference is that news group users have to go in to read messages, while mailing list users get messages delivered electronically.
  3. Access to a news group message board is possible through a news group reading program or by browsing through Netscape.
Good Search Engines and Links for Real Estate

  1. Included with search engine listings on WebEstate are sites such as HomeScout that have databases of raw listings that can be searched.
  2. WebEstate is an excellent marketing tool for a Realtor not in a multiple listing service who does not have access to
  3. Dixon uses the WebEstate listings as his reference for promoting Web sites that he designs; visitors may use it to create their own links.
  4. Peckham's Real Estate Investments Online offers a free link for real estate-connected businesses and urls; link requests on most sites are generally verified for appropriateness and subject to rejection or deletion.
  5. WebEstate lists the major search engines, which should be used to promote any real estate Web site; select key words to assure easy and appropriate access - renew connections every six months.
  6. The search engines will not pick up your site on their databases without your doing something to begin a connection; sometimes a link through another site will result in your being picked up indirectly.
WebEstate's Other Services

  1. The content of certain parts of WebEstate are controlled by visitors and provide promotional opportunities; visitors who respond to five questions on a monthly survey page may leave name, company name, a link back to their Web site and e-mail address - which are visible on the live results.
  2. Professionals and private individuals who submit news-worthy stories that are published are given recognition via a link to their home page, e-mail address, name and company name.
Attracting Web Site Visitors

  1. The survey page is part of WebEstate's strategy to generate traffic; the opportunity to post a free link is a powerful draw.
  2. Most visitors come through Dixon's active involvement in news groups and mailing lists; his responses to other participants carry his e-mail signature with a link to the Web page.
  3. A posted message through e-mail or news groups will result in an increase in traffic within 36-48 hours, especially if it alerts potential visitors to the chance to post a free link.
  4. Gary Nuska of Toronto, whose page deals primarily with Canadian investments but is branching out, has designed a program that comprehensively covers cyber marketing techniques.
New Plans for WebEstate

  1. Dixon's vision is to allow WebEstate to become whatever visitors want to make it; a message board (similar to Peckham's Guestbook feature) and chat rooms are planned as future enhancements.
  2. As a free or low-cost feature, WebEstate is developing a service for visitors to create a home page online; WebEstate does not require listings to include a home page link, though an e-mail address is required.
Generating Revenue from Sponsorships

  1. Sponsorships are arranged easily through the Commonwealth Network, a company which recruits advertisers and creates banners; using a link on any WebEstate page pops up a graphic, for which WebEstate gets a commission.
  2. Commonwealth Network has online forms to be used for registering any page of a Web site; the Web site owner is provided with codes that display an advertising banner whenever the page is viewed.
  3. Commonwealth Network logs the visits and pays the Web site owner a lump sum at the end of the month for the number of visits to all registered pages.
  4. To reach Commonwealth Network easily, click on the company name displayed on each advertising banner.
Other Money-Making Techniques

  1. WebEstate makes available the Internet Fax System and the Amazon Bookstore to visitors; WebEstate gets a fee for any purchase of the fax system or any purchase of a book through its link.
  2. WebEstate lists all the real estate-related books (over 200) that Amazon carries; a small Amazon banner appears under the main logo at the top of every WebEstate page.
Where the Technology is Going

  1. As problems are shaken out in the next few years, the World Wide Web will remain a significant communications vehicle and marketing tool for Realtors.
  2. The most aggressive and most successful professionals in the field will learn to use the medium proactively.
  3. Don't forget to make your e-mail and Web addresses an immediate part of the traditional means of telling people where you are; use them wherever you list phone and fax numbers.
Contact Information for Ray Dixon:

(v) 914-485-0093
(f) 914-485-0093

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Kraus' Dealmaker forums
Gary Nusca
Commonwealth Network
Amazon Bookstore
Internet Fax System "testdrive"