Realtor.com keeps innovating and developing as a more relevant and tech-friendly platform. With both a robust website and mobile app, the portal offers almost unlimited potential alongside industry-leading options for optimization and outreach. Here’s what agents need to know to stay ahead of the curve.

September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. Tips for better branding and in-depth features on how to take advantage of marketing tools provided by Zillow, Redfin and other platforms are all in the works in addition to insights from experts. You’ll find it all at Inman, as well as our two-day virtual, flagship event, Your Playbook for the Fall Market, in October.

This article was last updated on Sept. 26, 2022.

What is Realtor.com?

For many real estate professionals, Realtor.com is the preferred portal for promoting their services, sharing links and checking out the public-facing marketing for listings.

Developed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and operated by Move, Inc., the platform has seen record-setting online traffic in recent years, ushering in a period of unprecedented growth.

We published our first Inman Handbook on Realtor.com just months into the pandemic, and now, we’re bringing you both an update, based on Realtor.com’s current consumer and agent-focused initiatives, and the tried-and-true tips and how-to’s you need to set up and optimize your no-cost Realtor.com profile — and get the most out of the portal’s consumer engagement.

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Realtor.com growth and brand initiatives

Lexie Puckett Holbert

According to Lexie Puckett Holbert, director of communications for Realtor.com, the platform’s traffic analytics during fiscal year 2022 includes:

  • Realtor.com is one of the most-visited real estate sites in the U.S.
  • During Q2, an average of 93 million people per month visited Realtor.com.
  • Realtor.com grew faster than its closest competitors’ comparable business in all of 2021.

Holbert attributes much of this success to what she calls the portal’s “turbocharged” marketing approach, including new initiatives focusing on first-time homebuyers, one of the pandemic’s most active market segments. This, coupled with the higher rates of savings and active housing markets across the country, drove record levels of growth.

Realtor.Com’s agent and broker solutions

Realtor.com’s latest initiatives emphasize its desire to break down barriers, help consumers make connections and create confidence through expert guidance. For professionals, the platform emphasizes its role as a trusted partner for business growth, consumer connections and branding solutions.

The primary way that Realtor.com seeks to differentiate its product offering is by emphasizing its focus on “the value Realtors bring to the transaction.” To this end, they offer both the ReadyConnectConcierge network on the buy-side of the transaction and the Seller Marketplace on the sell-side.

Realtor.com is also championing new marketing innovations in direct support of agents and brokers to build, grow and sustain their businesses. Agents looking for tips and resources to grow their businesses can visit the Resource Center to find educational content, free marketing resources, webinars and training resources.

Plugging into buyer-side consumer initiatives

Will Greene

According to Will Greene, Realtor.com’s director of product management, one of the portal’s most valuable yet underutilized capabilities is its concierge network, ReadyConnect Concierge. Here, agents can use the Referral Manager to connect, communicate and collaborate with prospective clients and other stakeholders throughout the buying or selling process.

After prescreening interested leads, the referral manager conducts an introductory phone call to familiarize the agent and potential client with each other and with the client’s search parameters.

In addition, agents can schedule tours, send messages and track leads in the app, allowing them to be more responsive even on the go. In exchange, agents pay a referral fee only on closed transactions. 

“Our referral model has quietly become an area of significant competitive advantage for the 190,000+ agents and 20,000+ brokers who participate,” Greene said. The service also has digital lending options and title providers to provide value to consumers from search through closing.

Over the past four years, ReadyConnect Concierge has helped hundreds of thousands of families buy and sell homes. Agents can succeed with this model regardless of previous experience and marketing/lead-gen budget. Unlike other success-based models, it is open to all brokers and their agents who wish to join — as market conditions allow — and requires no upfront expenses. 

Realtor.com lead generation content and programs

Realtor.com has developed a variety of content and initiatives to help real estate professionals make homeownership possible for more potential clients:

  • Through a partnership with Home Partners of America, Realtor.com offers access to a rent-to-own program. Home Partners of America approves a consumer for the program, who can then work with an agent of their choice to find a home for sale that is within their budget. The company purchases the home and then rents it to the consumer who has the option to purchase it within the next three to five years.
  • Realtor.com offers a downpayment assistance guide to help buyers understand which programs are available to them. People can also search for downpayment assistance programs across the U.S. at Realtor.com’s website.
  • They have also invested in Own Up — a lender-matching service that helps homebuyers compare mortgage offers — and are integrating the service into the site. The integration will allow homebuyers to gather detailed information about their home financing options as they search listings and find real estate agents on the site.

Plugging into seller-side consumer initiatives

To provide added value to sellers, the Seller’s Marketplace includes brokers with iOffer programs, providing solutions that help agents and brokers offer more choices to their listing clients. “Rent-back and purchase options allow homeowners to sell their current home before they buy a new one,” Greene said.

In addition, the portal’s My Home experience builds on the Seller’s Marketplace, allowing homeowners to learn more about their homes’ current market value and request offers from participating providers. This takes them to the Marketplace where they can learn more about iOffers and connect with listing agents.

The unique offering within the Seller’s Marketplace gives homeowners a destination to compare options for selling their homes, including cash offers, leveraging their existing equity and listing with an agent. Seller’s Marketplace now includes 10 providers in total, including Opendoor, EasyKnock, Flyhomes, HomeGo, Knock, Orchard, RoofStock, Swift Homes and WeBuyHouses.com.

In June, Realtor.com completed an acquisition of UpNest, a marketplace that connects homesellers and buyers with three to five highly qualified local agents who compete for their business. It is currently integrating UpNest into Realtor.com’s agent referral business and has launched its consumer experience to homeowners who are considering selling.

According to Greene, “Moving forward, we will continue to listen to listing agents as we explore tools and resources that will help these professionals showcase their value to sellers, market their clients’ homes more effectively, and share their sales success with potential clients.”

 

Additional resources:

Optimizing your Realtor.com presence

If you are an MLS member, you have a default profile at Realtor.com that’s searchable through Google. If you are a member of NAR, you have a default profile that is searchable through Realtor.com’s “Find a Realtor” search. These profiles are auto-populated and waiting for you to claim and optimize.

To claim your profile, go to dashboard.realtor.com and select “Don’t have an account? Sign up.” At this point, you will be asked for the following information:

  • The state where your MLS is located.
  • Your MLS name.
  • Your MLS agent ID, public ID, agent number or member number.
  • Your name as you would like for it to display.

You will then click on “Verify MLS Information” if everything is correct, at which point you will be redirected to a “Welcome” page. Here, you’ll click “Sign into the dashboard.” This will allow you to begin to optimize your profile.

You can also create a profile for your team as a whole. According to Greene, all agents can subsequently use either the website or the Realtor.com Pro mobile app to:

  • Update their profile.
  • Edit their listings on the go.
  • Add a unique header image to their profile.
  • Add links to their website and social media profiles.

In addition, for those agents to upgrade to the portal’s lead-gen products, the app provides a way to:

  • Communicate with leads and clients via call, text or email.
  • Receive push notifications whenever a lead comes in.
  • Keep leads and contacts organized by updating their status in the app.

Agents also have access to on-demand training sessions and other resources through the platform’s virtual training center, according to Greene. Here, you’ll find both practical information about the portal and tips for optimizing your marketing efforts there, including profile development, improving SEO and creating winning listings on the platform.

Agents can register in advance for virtual training sessions hosted by realtor.com success coaches or take advantage of a library of on-demand sessions. This is a robust resource for everything from basic tips and tricks to more advanced topics related to the platform’s lead gen options.

Another level of platform utilization is provided by the Local Expert product, which offers targeting to in-market buyers within the platform, with retargeting across the Facebook network, including Instagram. Initial targeting can be by ZIP code for hyperlocal focus or by city to broaden your outreach.

How to get more reviews on Realtor.com

Within the Realtor.com dashboard, you can request reviews from your clients for recent transactions. You will provide information about the recent transaction, and the client will receive a fillable form to submit their review.

To ensure that your clients are ready and willing to provide reviews for your Realtor.com profile, consider the following strategies:

  • Begin early in the process, and let clients know you will be reaching out for a review.
  • Gather feedback throughout the process to ensure the review will be a good one.
  • Request a review, both from the platform and through follow-up by email or phone.
  • Follow up, and thank clients for their reviews, perhaps with a handwritten note.

 

Additional resources:

Optimizing your listing on Realtor.com

Greene says that much of the platform’s growth is attributable to its focus on a comprehensive approach that solves fundamental problems for buyers, sellers and agents. This involves “building consumer confidence with an open marketplace where people can learn about their options, trust in the transparency of information provided to them, and get services and resources that are personalized to their needs.”

At the same time, Realtor.com “wants to be the preferred industry partner,” Greene said, with a focus on a consumer experience that “reinforces agent value.”

To that end, the Advantage Brand marketing product enables agents to “prominently brand themselves on their listing for both the local search results pages and their listing detail pages on the portal,” including a link to the agent’s website along with their contact information.

In addition, the platform offers agents the opportunity to do all of the following:

  • View activity, including how many times a listing has appeared in search results.
  • View inquiries, leads received, response performance and profile visits.
  • Send homeseller reports to clients.
  • Fully customize and optimize listings within the realtor.com website, including adding, editing and removing photos and open house information.

The listing support section of the Realtor.com site provides a variety of articles and videos offering guidance for creating 3D tours and adding them to the listing, livestreaming open houses and adding virtual content to the listing within the platform.

Initiatives for new agents at Realtor.com

With the influx of new real estate agents to the industry, Realtor.com has launched #ThrivePastFive. The stated goal is “to help new agents overcome early-career sales and marketing challenges and find business growth and success in those critical early years.”

The initiative asks both veteran and newbie agents to share what’s hard about being a new agent and to share what they wished they had known when it comes to sales and marketing. In addition, they offer best practices for lead gen and other key marketing tactics. Realtor.com is gathering this data and  translating it into insights specifically for new agents, with the top tips, tools and best practices they need to succeed in a shifting market and beyond.”

The #ThrivePastFive initiative will be a multi-year strategy to share education and resources and is part of the platform’s commitment to ally with the industry.

Additional resources:

Realtor.com offers agents and brokers unprecedented access to a growing number of marketing services on both the buy and sell side while putting their information and expertise in front of a massive online audience. With both a robust website and mobile app, the portal offers almost unlimited potential alongside industry-leading options for optimization and outreach.

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