(This is Part 2 of a two-part series. See Part 1.)
You are competing against five other agents for a hot listing. Do you know what Web marketing services to offer that will knock out your competitors and cost you virtually nothing?
Web marketing is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The more places you have your needles, the more people will find you. Most agents have their listings posted on their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), their national company site, their local company site, and on their own Web page. There are a number of other great ways to achieve maximum exposure on the Web. Last week’s article looked at strategies for search-engine placement on the major search engines as well as Realtor.com. Today’s issue looks at sites that will let you post your listings for free.
The ultimate online market is eBay. The rules for posting are somewhat complex depending upon whether you take a traditional ad or use one of their auction formats. If there are no bids that meet your reserve price using the auction format, then there is no fee. If you use the eBay ad format, postings range from $150 for a 30-day listing to $300 for a 90-day listing.
Craigslist.com has exploded as a free national site where agents can not only post their listings, but also find just about anything else they need, whether it’s a messenger service, car, pet, or garage sale. Since visitors to Craigslist.com normally look at the most recent listings, you will want to update your entries periodically, especially if you have a price reduction or a change in terms.
If you have a listing over $1 million, www.UniqueGlobalEstates.com is a free MLS for estate properties. With thousands of international listings, this is a great way to provide your luxury listings with maximum exposure to some of the world’s most qualified buyers. If UniqueGlobalEstates.com sends you a buyer, then you pay a referral fee just as you would if you worked with a relocation company.
If you have a property that is in foreclosure, you can also post your listing on www.foreclosure.com for no charge. This site obviously attracts bargain hunters and professional investors, but it can also be an excellent means to sell a property prior to the bank taking it back from the defaulting owner.
A great new place to post your listings is www.Oodle.com. Oodle is somewhat like Craigslist or eBay in terms of having multiple categories in which you can search. What’s interesting is that some major companies have already jumped on the Oodle bandwagon. When I clicked on “search 5,000 San Diego Listings,” Oodle took me to the Prudential IDX solution. If you post an ad in a local classified ad section, on Geebo, PennySaverUSA.com, Adpost.com, or domesticsale.com, your ad will also be posted on Oodle. Oodle also can be an excellent place for agents to advertise since the sponsored links are actually “powered by Google.”
A final place to post your listings is www.Trulia.com. The folks at Trulia have the brainpower of Stanford University going for them and employ a Google maps model in conjunction with an online home search site for consumers. They also hope to become a lead generation site for agents and brokers. Although they are in California and have just launched in New York, their plans are to go national. The Trulia site searches brokerage Web sites for listings and displays that information on its site. One of the intriguing features about Trulia is that they provide accurate comparable sale information, a feature missing from most other sites. This can be extremely useful to both consumers and agents, since obtaining sales prices, square footage, and historical data can often be a challenging proposition. The price-per-square foot data can be especially useful if you are having trouble persuading reluctant sellers to be realistic about their asking price. Trulia’s goal is to become the “Google” of the real estate industry. Their current business model seeks to work with brokers to publish listings and route listing leads specifically back to the listing agent at no charge.
If you were selling your home and had the choice between listing with an agent who posted your listing on three Web sites or on Realtor.com, AOL.com, WallStreetJournal.com, eBay.com, Craigslist.com, UniqueGlobalEstates.com, Oodle.com, Trulia.com and ran pay-per-click programs for Google and Yahoo, who would you hire?
Bernice Ross, co-owner of Realestatecoach.com, has written a new book, “Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters,” available online. She can be reached at Bernice@realestatecoach.com.
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