Amongst the many qualities of a successful real estate agent is their ability to have a rock solid and comprehensive listing strategy to present to their prospective sellers. In recent years, the push to follow the web 2.0 revolution and feed your listings to every real estate website has been the on forefront of brokerage’s agendas, and rightly so with an ever increasing share of buyers going online to search for real estate and a more diverse offering of real estate sites growing by the day.
But as large brokerages like Prudential, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA and others sign on to feed to Zillow, Trulia and the other major players in online real estate search, smaller boutiques and individual agents are already ahead of the game and have syndicated their listings to all these sites using vehicles like Postlets, vFlyer (which just got upgraded), etc. So, as the playing field is “virtually” being leveled in regards to online exposure, agents and brokers must respond in offering an “added value” by beefing up their online media strategies and begin paying for featured ads to stay that one step above their competition.
It feels like only yesterday when the only outlet you could use in your online arsenal was a showcase listing or featured home on Realtor.com, then came their banner ads and eventually the web 2.0 players who broke the mold and answered to consumer’s demands of offering more valuable information on command are getting into the ring and offering up their own version of featured ads. Case in point, both Trulia.com and Zillow have recently launched similar featured ad placement programs as additional channels for agents to promote their listings. Zillow’s Showcase Ads are a great tool to use in the promotion of your listings while also incorporating your own personal branding — especially when according to the company, “Listed homes on Zillow get 240 times more page views than non-listed homes.”
As the market continues to dwindle, so will the number of real estate practitioners. This will not make waging the war against your competition any easier because what was once out of reach is becoming easily accessible to any broker or agent that’s got enough savvy to find it. Remaining innovative and not getting left behind are pivotal to an agent’s continued success. By consistently utilizing these new tools, you will ultimately continue to differentiate yourself from the rest of the herd.