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Your Listings Go To How Many Websites? Maximizing Your Online Advertising

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.

About Vincent Socci

Vincent Socci is the director of eMarketing and Business Development at William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty with a proven track record of accomplishment in developing and executing comprehensive marketing strategies; effectively handling of public relations; support and implementation of business goals and objectives.

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  • Nice post Vincent 🙂 I agree that the playing field is being leveled on the online marketing with all agents having access to the sites you mentioned. Agents are going to have to find new ways to bring value to set them apart from the herd.

  • Glad to have you onboard Vincent. Are there certain agents in your office that are well ahead of the game in terms of differentiating themselves? Are there any experiences/learnings that you can share regarding the ad products you mentioned in this post?

  • I’ve been using vflyer for years now and love the syndication that I get from it. I recently just created my own personal feed to Google Base, Yahoo, Trulia, and Zillow (very easy with the use of the Great Real Estate Plugin), which may be duplicating, but I usually get a listing on my site faster than I get it into vflyer. Is there anything else out there that submits to other high traffic sites? Have you come across any list of good pay sites that you’d like to share?

  • Vincent,
    Welcome to GEB. I wonder if you could share how you discuss this issue in a listing presentation to clients. Are your clients usually familiar with syndication standards, things like RSS or podcasting?

  • Pingback: Internet Marketing Strategies for Real Estate: Listing Syndication | Real Estate Internet Marketing by Union Street Media()

  • Heather McCroan

    Our MLS is quite behind the rest of the world–they just adopted IDX less than six (6) months ago. Yes, six. While talking with the director, I mentioned using listing syndication that was free. He said, “Why would I use that when I can get Trulia and Zillow to pay me to syndicate my listings?” Is this true Zillow?

    I’m in the process of setting up a website for my brokerage and pull the MLS through RETS. Part of the reason we’re doing this is so that the agents or staff do not have to enter the listings twice, once in the MLS and the other on the broker site. If the director does not syndicate as he says he can above, how to I syndicate the listings without having to enter the data again on the syndicator or on each site?

  • Heather: Glad to see you’re starting to syndicate your listings. Your director can have your listings syndicated to sites like Zillow, Trulia and a vast array of other real estate search portals, however, I do not think he is correct in saying that Zillow and Trulia will pay him/her. Many MLS’ use products like ListHub to reach a huge syndicated audience and that may be a good strategy for your MLS to take – you can also offer direct feeds to sites like zillow and trulia but you won’t get the same reach as you would by syndicating through a product like listhub.

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