My passion is for Agents to take control of their website. Yes I do profit from this when an Agent uses my services, but it is the single most important issue facing real estate agents today.
Who are the losers?
Quite simply any Agent that relies on one of the major portals for their websites existence. Why would you spend 10s of 1000s of dollars per year marketing your website only to have it re-directed to another portal and only for them to benefit from those visitors?
How does this work?
Companies like www.realestate.com.au do a website design for an agent like Whitehouse Realty. This agent ( only as an example) then markets their domain name but as soon as someone searches that site they are re-directed back to realestate.com.au. Not only does it benefit the other company but it is impossible to track user behaviour through their statistics page. Type in “white house realty Tasmania” in Google and whose website appears? You guessed it realestate.com.au!
Lazy and pocketing
I consider this a cheap and lazy way to approach the Internet. Tell me what company has more value? A company that has built a website that owns their data, has hundreds (thousands) of people subscribing to their weekly property lists, appraoches their brand online with the same venom as they do their traditional marketing or a company that simply saves a few dollars, gets a website designed for them that is the same as hundreds of other ones and re -directs their visitors to a company that charges them fees each month to promote someone else! Do the math! It only costs a bit more up front to take control.
These are the real estate companies that will be left behind.
Why the Portals do this?
Quite simply to get more visitors and agents pay for the privilege of giving them more visitors. Every time these agents advertise they give the Portal more visitors. There are thousands of agents doing this every day across Australia. It absolutely astounds me.
This is not an evil thing that realestate.com.au are doing, it is just very smart business.
Why is this so important?
The Internet is the last advertising medium that does not need to be completely controlled by the big media companies, they will always control the big portals as they have the mediums and the marketing muscle to make sure your vendors ask to be listed on them. However if you invested just $5000.00 per annum in your websites development and promotion online – the need for these portals becomes less relevant as time goes by. You only have to see what happens when a big media player has a monopoly in your region, prices rise and you do not have a choice but to pay the costs. This is what they do, this is why they are successful.
Fortunately more agents are moving away from this old model everyday and I am happy to be a person that is championing the cause for agents to take control of their Internet marketing!