Last week a home search site, RealSeekr.com, came onto the scene. The main difference between this and a number of similar sites is RealSeekr was designed by real estate agents so presumably they’ve kept what we as a group tend to like and tossed what we don’t like in creating this platform.
Will anyone find this site while searching for homes? Maybe. Maybe not. But I put together a profile and I’ve started to add my listings, just in case, because you never know for certain.
Syndicating Phoenix Real Estate Listings
One of the challenges RealSeekr faces, in my opinion, is that listings have to be added to the system manually. There’s no IDX feed coming from Phoenix into the system and, since the site’s fairly new, there are no syndication agreements in place.
It’s not a question of laziness; I’m happy to invest the time if it means one of my listings is going to sell. It’s a matter of age and stress – I can’t seem to remember all of the different places where a home can be listed, at least not in a day and age when there are new sites debuting monthly.
All of my listings have been entered on RealBird.com, which then powers the map on the “My Listings” page here on AllPhoenixRealEstate.com. I could use a map from Diverse Solutions, but I’ve had RealBird’s map on longer and so it stays.
RealBird syndicates listings entered. So let’s take my new short sale listing at 7873 W. Redfield in Peoria. I entered the information on RealBird. And within a couple of hours the same data already has been entered on Zillow, Oodle, Trulia, Edgeio and CLRSearch.
Will buyers look at all of those sites? Probably not. Do I want my home there in the off chance that a buyer does find it on a small listing portal? Absolutely.
Return on Investment
It’s a question of the return on investment. All is takes for me to enter a listing into the Point-2-Agent National Listing Service (which also syndicates) or RealBird or Zillow or Trulia or anywhere else is a few minutes of my time. And given the uncertain return through most of those sites, the ROI – a possible sale in exchange for some of my time – is with the investment.
Not so with print. There is a very, very uncertain return with print advertising (aside from the certainty that it will be low to nonexistent.) But print costs real dollars. And as a businessman I’m not going to burn real dollars unless I know there’s an absolute return coming at the end of the day. Wishful thinking doesn’t cut it.
The same goes for the glossy real estate magazines about which I’ve written previously. Is it in the realm of possibility that someone will pick up a real estate magazine, fall in love with a photograph and buy the house I have listed? Sure, it’s possible. But the remote possibility doesn’t justify the exorbitant expense.
Throwing money at the marketing of a listing isn’t going to help the sale if the dollars are being spent foolishly. Glossy magazines are all about the agent – not your house.
Who’s Marketing What?
All real estate agents leverage listings to their own benefit to some degree. That’s why we have name riders with our phone numbers, why we plaster our own mugs on print flyers (for those unenlightened souls burning through our rain forests in the name of a remote chance of selling a home) and why we have open houses (not me, but others.)
Print ads aren’t about you – they’re about the agent trying to show their seller all of the hard work they’re doing in trying to sell the house, while they’re taking the calls on the side and trying to turn those folks into buyers – for your home or, more likely, another.
One local agent boasts about custom signs “that stop traffic” – even if that traffic is on a seldom-driven street in the middle of a subdivision where only the residents travel on a daily basis. Prominently displayed at the top of the sign is the brokerage’s motto.
Who does that benefit? You or the broker trying to secure additional listings? Will that custom sign cause more people to drive down that road? Or does the number of people that happen to drive past and take the time to stop still pale compared to the number of people who are seeing the same listing every day on line?
Where are marketing dollar better allocated – trying to attract the attention of the few whose sole qualification is driving past the house or picking up a real estate magazine or glancing at the newspaper classifieds as they wrap that fish – or trying to attract the eyes of the thousands of folks looking online at any given moment?
Seems pretty simple from here. So simple, even a silly beagle can understand it.
[tags]Phoenix real estate, real estate marketing[/tags]