Since purchasing realtor.com operator Move two years ago, News Corp. has poured money into the listing portal to bolster its allure to agents and consumers.
A new listing ad product is one of the latest fruits borne from this investment.
“Advantage” will offer agents and brokers more flexible branding, lead-capture features and marketing insights to agents than “Showcase Listings,” its predecessor.
One goal of the product, which comes with tweaks to realtor.com’s user experience, is to help broker advertisers ensure their agents are taking full advantage of realtor.com leads and marketing opportunities. Realtor.com will begin rolling out the product in late November.
Advantage offers more flexible pricing than Showcase Listings and could cost more, less or the same, depending on local median home price, demand and other factors, according to Tracy Mahnken, senior vice president of product management for realtor.com.
Listing search results show larger photos and fewer property specifications, while the yellow bars that lined the top of listing results for advertisers have been removed — all to increase engagement from prospective buyers.
On Advantage listing pages, advertiser branding appears at both the top and bottom. A “key innovation” is that lead forms follow users as they scroll down, Move said in a statement.
One image of an Advantage listing page that realtor.com sent to Inman included a “3-D Tour” tab on the listing’s photo gallery, corroborating realtor.com’s reported interest in 3-D integration.
But Mahnken said the 3-D tab would not be part of the Advantage program at launch, and another screen shot that realtor.com said was approved for distribution did not include the tab.
Revamped display and aesthetics
Choice and flexibility are a “hallmark” of Advantage, Mahnken said.
On listing pages, advertisers can choose to display the branding of a listing agent, broker or both in a variety of colors and with a tagline.
Advantage also gives broker advertisers the option to use a new lead-capture design that mimics a format found on Trulia and Zillow.
Brokers can choose to display up to three of their agents on a listing page in addition to the listing agent. But unlike on Trulia and Zillow, every agent on an Advantage listing would work for the broker advertiser, keeping all leads generated by the listing in house.
The design raises the odds that a lead will receive a prompt response and encourages consumers who may not want to contact the listing agent to still reach out, Mahnken said.
In contrast to Showcase Listings, Advantage lets advertisers select their investment level by property type. This means advertisers could choose not to receive leads from their rental listings, for example — presumably allowing them to allocate their marketing dollars more efficiently.
The product also offers new seller reports that agents can distribute to their clients. They show how a listing is engaging compared to similar realtor.com listings, offering sellers “benchmarks to help demonstrate the listing agent’s value to the seller,” Mahnken said.
For example, Advantage advertisers might be able to point to the above-average lead inquiries that may have resulted from the listing enhancements they pay for.
Dashboards for everyone
In addition to Advantage, realtor.com is introducing a dashboard for all agents and brokers, not just realtor.com advertisers.
It lets professionals manage their realtor.com listings and profiles and see listing and lead information. If they’re advertisers, users can set up their advertising and the track return on investment from the dashboard.
The dashboard for agents builds on a previous version available to them with the addition of new information and control options.
But the dashboard for brokers is brand new. It’s designed to help agents “be more successful using digital advertising and lead-gen offerings,” Mahnken said.
Brokers can see how complete their agents’ realtor.com profiles are, how many listings each agent has and how many realtor.com leads each agent has received.
This information will help brokers coach their agents on how to improve their profiles and better convert leads, Mahnken said.