Prudential Real Estate Affiliates is launching a new service that allows home sellers to monitor virtual visitors to online property listings.
Prudential real estate agents can subscribe to the new program, called Online Seller Advantage, which allows them to provide detailed Web traffic statistics to their clients.
The statistics, based on online property searches at Yahoo! Real Estate and Prudential.com sites and local property data, describe how often a client’s property appeared on search results; how often the property was viewed in a detailed format; how many viewers saved the property information; and discusses price changes of homes in the immediate neighborhood and status changes of other for-sale properties in the area. Clients also receive information about new property listings in the area.
Russell Capper, president of Prudential Real Estate Services Co., an e-commerce subsidiary of Prudential, said that the new program has been tested for several weeks by a group of about 600 agents, and the company formally announced the program today. Prudential did not announce the cost of a subscription to this new program.
Consumers whose agents participate in the program receive daily e-mails about Web statistics. Agents also will have the option to purchase an attachment to a for-sale yard sign that features a unique identification number that consumers can enter at the Yahoo! Web site to view property information.
Agents can post this number in fliers and other marketing materials, and Prudential has plans to integrate the Web identification system with wireless Internet-capable devices so consumers can receive on-the-spot information about these properties.
Yahoo! Inc. and Prudential in 2004 announced an exclusive agreement through which Prudential brokers supply property listings for display at the Yahoo! Real Estate site while drumming up Web traffic for Prudential Web sites.
Capper, who founded eRealty Inc., a real estate technology company that Prudential acquired in 2004, said the new program was conceived during the eRealty days. “Most of the interest and activity involved in the Web in real estate was really focused on the buyers. We often thought there were all sorts of advantages that the Internet could offer to sellers that were being ignored until now,” he said.
Prudential launched an online platform in 1999 that connects consumers and real estate professionals, and this platform is now active through Prudential Real Estate affiliates in 47 states and Washington, D.C., and offers access to about 2 million property listings across the country. The Prudential network has about 1.3 million buyers who have registered with the company, and the company monitors buyer search activity through its Internet platform.
Capper said the Online Seller Advantage program can be a good tool for listings presentations, and it’s also a good way for agents to keep in touch with existing clients. The daily e-mails, he said, include interactive links so that clients can view more detailed statistical information. And consumers who are working with agents in the test group have responded well to the new program, he said.
“It’s a good opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to the modern digital consumer,” he said. “The world is digital now. I’ve often contended it’s the consumer base that has been ahead of the Realtors for quite some time. I’ve always been an advocate of maximum information and fresh information because that’s what the consumer wants and needs.”
Aaron Lewis, a real estate agent with Prudential California Realty in Turlock, Calif., said in a statement that the new program helps to inform clients about local market conditions. “Sometimes, the sellers’ perspective of their property’s value is different from what the market will bear. The … e-mails they receive daily provide hard evidence to support my recommendations on staying competitive,” Lewis stated.
Another agent using the program, Trudy Van Horn of Prudential Shimmering Sands Realty in Panama City Beach, Fla., said in a statement that the program “takes a big burden off me because my sellers are able to stay informed without my having to call them as often.”
And Earl Lee, president of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates Inc., stated, “Until now, technology tools offered to sellers were limited to virtual tools and other visual online listing enhancements.”
Prudential has about 2,000 franchise real estate offices and about 64,000 sales professionals in its franchise network in the United States and Canada.