October 2007

WAV Group 2007 Mid-Year Technology Report

by THE WAV GROUP on October 16, 2007

Mid Year Technology Overview It is our pleasure to present the annual WAV Group Mid-Year Technology Review. The information included was gathered from meetings at NAR’s Mid-Year Conference in Washington, DC as well as on-going technology reviews we conduct throughout the year. While not intended as a detailed product comparison, we hope this overview serves as auseful resource for you. Please feel free to contact us if you require a more detailed vendor/product review or help with any technology decisions for your organization.

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The Consumer is driving change in the MLS   2006 WAV Group MLS Technology Study Consumers are driving the need for change in the role of the MLS and ultimately the REALTOR® members, according to respondents of the 2006 WAV Group Technology Study. The study, completed by 2600 MLS Executives, brokers and agents probed MLS technology trends and vendor satisfaction as well as the future of the MLS and challenges facing the real estate industry.

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This morning, Dave Marron, CEO of SphereBuilder, talked to Inman News Editor Jessica Swesey about the evolving role of lead generators, and understanding the math involved in strategizing conversion points. It is a short piece, but it triggers the imagination about how much business is lost these days, despite the efforts of Real Estate Brokers. Key Point – 50% of online leads are not responded to! Everyday, the online and offline marketing quest to generate clients for the brokerage gets more and more competitive.  The saddest part is that the Return on Investment is reduced not by the amount of advertising, but by the ability for today’s broker organization to train agents on how to handle online and offline leads.  If the lead management part could improve, then the cost of marketing would go down dramatically as the lead funnel becomes more and more efficient.

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The good and the bad of realtor.com

by THE WAV GROUP on October 16, 2007

I consult with a broker client who pays $20,000 to Realtor.com for listing enhancements. We have tracked the value of these over a period of 4 weeks to view the relative value. There is a comon misconception in online advertising that I would like to unveil.

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Online Advertising for Real Estate

by THE WAV GROUP on October 16, 2007

I will carefully not mention the many fast growing companies of the early 2000s that swiped millions of dollars from the real estate industry.  But there were plenty and some of them are sitll around thanks for the way they entended thier theftdom to the public stock market. I find it interesting that these same individuals are still respected around industry events – you would think that the calvary would have run them out of town or held a public hanging (metaphorically, of course). Ok, so having said that… here is my wisdom of the day for online advertising. Impressions – forget about it – who cares who sees you online – you only care about who sees you online and buys something. Replace with CPTM – now we are getting somewhere – “cost per thousand targeted” – ad impressions implying that the audience you’re selling is targeted to particular demographics. Pay Per Click – forget about this too.  You need traffic with conversion. Replace with CPA – cost per action – pay when you convert a visitor by getting them to register to your site, inquire about a listing, or request a showing.  The extreme version of this is CPS or Cost Per Sale and the popular version is CPL – cost per lead.

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real estate blog power

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

They have the power to send stock prices plummeting, and consumers count them as more credible than advertising and e-mail marketing. But odds are you have no idea who they are. Marketers, meet the bloggers. They have the power to send stock prices plummeting, and consumers count them as more credible than advertising and e-mail marketing. But odds are you have no idea who they are.

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There is a great deal of elegance in real estate when property values are increasing and there are more buyers than sellers. Ritzy Realtors listing homes, and dancing among the luxury cars, are courted and pampered by title reps and mortgage reps in what seems like eternal bliss.  Every home is re-landscaped and staged for the upcoming bonanza which will result in no open houses, and immediate offers as soon as the listing hits the MLS.  Sold in 4 days!

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Real Estate Broker and Agent Advertising is Backwards

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

I have spent a 4 years looking at the advertising trends of real estate agents and brokers through some very interesting real estate cycles. What amazed me was that they are backwards. Real Estate Agents and Brokers advertise more when the market is good and less when the market is bad. This is inverted with what I will refer to as “professional” advertising.  In professional advertising – mass market retail and other, advertising is used to drive business and increase market share to improve slow sales, or launch new products.  This is true of all of the worlds largest advertisers.

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Several of us have been involved in a lot of discussion about why the same search produces different results between Google Maps and Google.com. The recent expansion of the Google Maps One box on Google.com makes local search optimization much more important than it was before this new display was implemented widely on Google.com. Now, whether you have a web site or not, a business that Google ranks highly in Google Maps can get dramatic exposure thanks to last month’s change. How dramatic? Well, according to Bill Tancer’s Hitwise data, Google.com gets about 100x more traffic than Google Maps. So, yeah, this can be huge for some small businesses. The inevitable question, then — and the one several of us have been discussing — is what makes the Google Maps algorithm different from Google.com? Google Maps has a unique set of data to draw from. Here’s a semi-educated guess — but a guess, at best — at some of the factors that might make up the Google Maps algorithm. (These are not necessarily listed in order of importance.)

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Real Estate Blog on Search engine results

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

20% of traffic to blogs from search engines are directed to the home page 95 are delivered to the topic cloud 8% of the traffic to real estate blogs are directed to listings 8% of the traffic to real estate blogs are directed to real estate news 5% of the traffic comes to Web news feeds 2% of the traffic comes to News feeds from other blogs. All of the sites in the study are getting more than 100 visitors a day.  All blogs in the study were supplied by real estate blog sites, and all visitor statistical analytic tools were provided by VisiStat contact me for more inforamtion about this study or for Blog strategies for your brokerage today.

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Search Engine Optimization and Alexa Rankings

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

Recently I was asked by a client about their Alexa rankings. it seems that few people understand that Alexa gets its rankings data from browsers that have the Alexa toolbar installed.  That’s a fairly small sampling, as well as a skewed one, as many savy individuals believe that having that tool installed in thier browser is like having spyware on your computer. alexa does measure the popularity of your site – but only for that minority focus group. The reality today is that 90% of the traffic to agent and broker websites come from people typing in the URL (look at your stats pages for this number…..it is real for everyone).

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Loading Photos to your blog TinyPic and Photobucket

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

Try using these great free services to load images to your blog. TinyPic will give you the code to paste into the text of your blog. Photobucket will allow you to store your photo collection online and also allow you to build slide shows on the fly.

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Real Estate Website Mistakes

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

Thank you to Broker Agent news for this thoughtful list.

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real estate keywords for search engine optimization

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

HomesMagazine.com launched a blog a few months ago.  Yesterday there were 150 click throughs from google alone. Here are the keywords that worked and the traffic associated with it.  Incidentially, 89% of all search engine traffic to the blog came from Google.

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Communitainment

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

I spoke to a top-producing agent today who has consistently sold over $50 Million in residential real estate over the past 10 years and did $75 Million last year (a down market eh?) As her marketing consultant, I share ideas with her and keep her up to speed with marketing trends in Real Estate.  I covered the concept of Communitainment with her today. After a few tries at various pronunciations, we turned to definitions and I explained that Communitainment is a new buzzword, created by Piper Jaffary, to explain all of the fuss created by sites like myspace, youtube, and blogging whereby people and companies self publish information about whatever they want – so it wraps Community, Entertainment and Communication all together. “So, what does that have to do with Real Estate?” she asked.

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Real Estate Search Engine Optimization

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

Ever wanted to be on top of search engines for keywords in your market. Sounds exciting eh? Up until about a year ago, the best strategy I knew of was to go to websites that were already there, copy their content and meta data, then launch a site that contained more information than the top 5 sites already at the top. Ergo – you win. NOT SO FAST!  Aside from plagerism, and copywrite infringemnet, the real crime is what search engines call Content Spamming

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Real Estate Broker Culture, Part 2

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

The worst thing a broker has ever heard. “Can I get a floor agent to pick up the client holding on lines 2, 3 and 5, please.?” I had an interesting conversation with a broker in San Francisco this morning that first had us laughing, then had him crying. This broker floats between number 3,4, and 5 in San Francisco – which is a highly competitive market. We were doing a marketing piece for the brokerage to launch a new program for buyers and sellers and I asked him what phone number I we should use. “Phone?” he replied.  “We don’t want people to call.  Who would talk to them?”  Hence the laughter.

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YouTube for Real Estate

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

Brokers are beginning to use video more and more in offering content to consumers for real estate. With desktop video editing emerging as an easy to use application, brokers no longer need to pay a fortune for property video.  But if you want to, Inman will be happy to send a professional videographer to capture an increadible video story of your listing and the community.

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Sonic Eagle Agent Achieve Marketlinx

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

Agent Achieve is only offered to brokers – sorry agents But the good news is that it is likely to be among the best agent tools available for brokers to extend to their agents today. Leading brokers whose agents get access to Agent Achieve include Intero Real Estate and Coldwell Banker Northern California. In essence, what sets this apart are the integrated features that allow agents to convert leads into business.

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Real Estate on a Mac

by THE WAV GROUP on October 15, 2007

In evaulating the web statistics at WAV Group.com, HomesMagazine.com and many significant broker websites, I recognized that for the first time more than 20% of users visiting the site are using MacIntosh Computers. MacIntosh is having a resurgance in popularity among consumers due to the ipod Helo effect and the introduction of the pentium processor and software like parallels. The Ipod helo effect is that people love their ipod so much, they are spending time in Apple Stores and on ITunes and other Apple websites.  Their brand and products are excellent. Business users have log avoided Apple computers becasue popular Microsoft software applications do not play nicely on a Mac.  Those days are over – business users can now run microsoft software on Apple computers equiped with the Intel processor.

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