Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do You Know WHERE You Are Advertising?

Have you googled any of your listings? Seriously, put 123 Main Street, Anywhere, NY in the search box. In preparing this article I googled one of my client's listings. The results yielded an amazing 131 search results! Have you tried this with one of your listings? As a real estate agent you should be well aware how important the internet is to your business. In the recent 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers released by NAR it was revealed that an astonishing 90% of all buyers used the internet to search for their next home.

  • Do you represent your listings well on the internet?
  • Are your sellers happy with your internet advertising of their home?
  • Are your sellers aware of where their home is advertised on the internet?

If not then you are failing to provide them with a vital part of your overall marketing plan for their property. Are you taking advantage of all of the internet marketing opportunities available to you? It couldn't be easier to saturate the internet with your listings. Let me give you a few examples:

If you use Postlets then your listings are automatically syndicated to FrontDoor, Google Base, HotPads, Oodle, Trulia, Vast, Zillow, BackPage, DotHomes, Enormo, and Lycos. You also get the links and code for posting to Facebook, Twitter, CraigsList, FriendFeed and other. Best of all, you can do all of this for FREE....YES, no cost to you!

A second, equally excellent option is ListingsToLeads. This innovative online program syndicates your listings to the same partners as Postlets but also gives you syndication on Google Maps, Yahoo Real Estate, AOL Real Estate, CyberHomes, HotPads, LakeHomesUSA, CLRSearch, PropBot, Vast, eRealInvestor, LandWatch, ResortScape, Oodel, Walmart, MyRealty, Overstock, InvestorLoft,, OpenHouse,, TweetLister, HomeAway Real Estate, Property Pursuit, HomeWinks,, RealtyTrac, My Home Renter, Homes & Land, Home Search, Keller Williams Listing System, Showing Suite, Pulse Mailing, Austin Home, Scripps, Northern Nevada Regional MLS,, Maine, Homes Database, Property Shark, Sierra Nevada Media Group Real Estate, Smart Zip, Suburban Real Estate News, Open Houses Inc., Homes, and Spotlight Preview. A few of these partners are regional and not applicible to everyone. You will find the majority of these partners are included in your ListingsToLeads subscription.There is a subscription charge for the use of the ListingToLeads service and at this time I do not have a price breakdown of those charges. If you contact Scott Pierce at L2L he will be happy to assist you with that. I'm sure you are asking why go with a subscription-based service when Postlets is free. The way I see it is you actually generate income with L2L because you will attraction more leads due to their fully branded, website and social media integrated listing advertisements. Each ad has a call to action but the big cost saving comes with the one click CraigsList post tool. It is also extremely easy to post to Facebook as well.

A third, and widely used system, is vFlyer. One of the most unique features of vFlyer is the ability to generate printable PDF versions of your flyers, as well as create embeddable widgets for your website or blog, and much more. vFlyer doesn't miss a beat in syndicating your listings either. You'll find they will add your listings to Trulia, Oodle, Google Base, Vast, Yahoo! Real Estate, Zillow, Geebo, OLX, HotPads, DotHomes, Lycos (via Oodle), Cyberhomes/AOL, FrontDoor, Backpage (Business Subscribers only) and Kijiji (Business Subscribers only). You can also post vFlyer listings to CraigsList and Facebook. vFlyer offers a free, ad-supported service as well as a number of subscription options.

Many MLS systems syndicate your listings. It is important that you maximize your photos and write a creative and narrative description in order for your listing to "put its best foot forward." I know many times you need to get your listing into MLS fast with the intention of making it look better later. Later may be too late because many times your listing is syndicated right away.

If you have a website based on a template system, such as Point 2 Agent, Agent Image, Z57, Advanced Access, Best Image, or any of the many other excellent systems available, you will have automatic syndication. As with your MLS, create the listing to the best of your ability when you first post it.

As you can see, there are many advertising possibilities available to you for virtually no cost, or very little. With 90% of buyers shopping the internet for their next home they are certainly the most educated buyer a real estate agent has ever worked with. Don't take this too lightly or you will find your premium listing inventory growing smaller and smaller.

One of the best options you have is to consult with a real estate virtual assistant on how to maximize your internet presence.  The benefits will be greater than you can imagine!

Jeri Winkler, The Secret Assistant, has been working in real estate since 1996. Her expertise includes listing coordination, including advertising. Does your advertising need a boost? Contact Jeri today.

~~NOTE~~ Jeri does not work for, nor represent, any of the companies mentioned above.

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