How many consumers visit agent and broker websites?

by Victor Lund on September 28, 2011

WIn ReportI had an email question come in from with Kevin McQueen of Focus Forward Consulting this morning. Kevin asked “If Move, Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo, and Homes a couple of others each pick-up about 5% of the unique visitors to RE sites, who makes up the other 80%?”

The presumptive answer might be Agent, Broker and MLS websites, right? Unfortunately, presumptions lead to bad decisions and strategies in business today. In this case, the presumptive answer is very far from the truth.

WAV Group WIN Reports uses Experian Hitwise to measure web traffic to real estate websites – all real estate websites with more than 500 visits a month. If you are only getting 16 visits a day to your website, you are really not being counted as “player” in online real estate search, although in aggregate the cumulative data may be significant. In truth, this group may be a groundswell source of traffic, but the tools we use cannot effectively measure them.

The answer to McQueen’s question is twofold. The top 5 websites in real estate make up 29% of all traffic to real estate websites. But digging deeper, we find some more interesting data points – 70% of consumer traffic is on non-agent and broker websites. Here is some more data.

The top 13 websites in real estate are all third party websites, equating to 40.66% of all consumer real estate traffic.

The top Franchise website in terms of real estate traffic is RE/MAX – ranked 14th in traffic, representing 1.02% of consumer audience. The top franchises in aggregate equate to 3.75% of all real estate traffic. Here is the ranking: RE/MAX, Weichert, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams.

70% of all consumer traffic does not include any visits to agent or broker websites.

The first broker website is HowardHanna.com. HowardHanna.com is ranked as the 88th most visited website in America according to Experian Hitwise. 89th is John L. Scott – close enough to call it a tie.

There are many ways to read the data. Someone once told me that Liars figure and Figures Lie. There is some truth to this.

Three interpretations of the data result in coaching tips for Third Party Website, Broker, MLS

If I was coaching a third party website, I would use the data to point out to brokers and agents that they are wasting their money on fancy websites. They should invest that money at generating leads from the top third party websites. They would target a larger audience and generate more consumer leads.

If I was coaching a broker, I would tell them to turn off syndication and hope that your competitors do the same. If the listings are not available on the websites upstream from you, the consumer will trickle your way (shout out to Shorewest in Wisconsin who has the top site in his market by following this strategy). This is the theory of scarcity.

If I was coaching an MLS, I would tell them to follow the HAR.com strategy and help your members gain 50% share of voice for consumer search in your area (We are members of the HAR.com fan club). This is the single pond strategy. If the water is only in one pond, the villagers will gather there.

WAV Group specializes in monitoring traffic to all types of real estate websites. We are able to provide success strategies that help Brokers, MLS, and portals.

Disclosure: Companies mentioned in this post are WAV Group clients and some are subscribers to our WIN Report service.

 

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