online search

Trulia in the Zillow Era

by Victor Lund on June 25, 2015

As an analyst for many brokerages, franchises, and MLSs, WAV Group looks carefully at reports from publishers to understand dynamics that can be leveraged to enhance performance. Sometimes, we encourage firms to keep their strategy the same. At other times we encourage trying something new or redeploying investment. I like Trulia’s reporting. It is something that other publishers (including their parent company) could benefit from. Below I will provide a discussion about each. Leads – in their purest form, leads count. Even bad leads. If you are a broker and you are not producing leads for your agents, you may have another problem. Good leads are better. Have the office managers look at the leads every week. Lets face it. There are not that many to call it a huge job. Look at the ratio of leads to listings. Is that number going up or down. Generally speaking, most brokers see the most volume of leads per listing from Trulia and the highest quality of leads from MLS consumer sites or Realtor.com Visits – The whole idea of having a link to the broker website is to drive consumer traffic to your broker website. Hopefully your website will delight them and the consumer learns that they can get great service on top of great listing content there. Look at your lead conversion ratio by publisher. How many leads do you convert from traffic that comes from Trulia or other publishers? What is your bounce rate? If you do not know how to track this stuff, WAV Group can help. Listings – The key number here is accuracy. Are all of your listings on the site? Most brokers find that the number is off. Do an audit! Look at the data sheet to see which ones are missing or should be removed. Look at the listing price to make sure it is accurate. There are always problems with this because of overlapping data feed disorder and trumping rules. It is spaghetti that solid broker data management policy can repair. Views – We tend not to look at views very carefully, mostly because we do not know if the views are machines scraping data from Trulia or real consumers. It is more interesting to see analytics on property detail page views and I would love to see more granular information like time on page, photos viewed, and exits. Reading The Changes These […]

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It’s Time to Re-invent the Search

by Marilyn Wilson on September 10, 2013

There’s a fundamental problem in the real estate business today. Since time immemorial real estate ‘searches’ have utilized a property-centric approach that ignores the other 50 percent of the business: the buyers. In the real estate industry, we focus so much on displaying listings hoping to attract a buyer without spending nearly enough time and resources to analyze and understand the market segment that are the drivers of the purchase. This is also symptomatic of the industry’s fundamental focus on the needs of agents, not consumers. Doesn’t it make more sense to focus on the needs of the consumer? The marketplace has made a plethora of search tools available just about everywhere for consumers. In fact, 96 percent of buyers search multiple websites before contacting an agent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Fundamentally, this is why the process is called “house hunting”–buyers are forced to search, filter and pull properties “off the rack.” Property search provides a shotgun approach to exposure. It may sound good in a listing presentation to say, “I’m placing this on 300 websites,” but how does this process in any way help match agents with new, active and revised listings with “real” buyers that are Willing, Able and Ready (WAR)? This approach seems fundamentally wrong. Click here to download the complete white paper that fleshes out a whole new way to look at search. Drowning in a Tidal Wave of Internet Leads According to the public statements of leading consumer real estate portals, there are over 50 million consumers that simply like to search property sites each month to see what their next door neighbor’s house may be worth, dream about retirement or a move to a bigger home, or to simply look for home improvement ideas. These “voyeurs” have no intention of buying a home anytime soon, yet via lead management systems, they contact agents and soak up productive time best invested in working with “WAR” leads. All of this leads to a VERY unproductive Internet lead conversion rate. Numerous industry studies show that 95 percent to 99 percent of the “leads” generated online will never close. According to evaluations we have done on behalf of some of our clients, most homes are getting less than one click-through per month and even fewer legitimate property inquiries. Is property search, as we know it, dead? The 2009 Swanepoel Trends Report addressed this same question […]

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New iPad is here – more fun, more fast

by Marilyn Wilson on March 16, 2012

ipad image

I woke up at 3:42 am pacific time this morning, only to realize I was probably one of the first people on the West Coast to see the “official” launch of the latest version of the iPad. While there is no AMAZING new innovation that we’ve never seen before, they have taken the device to new levels in a few interesting ways.  First, there is a new high definition screen called a “Retinal” screen that delivers more pixels per square inch than anything we’ve seen to date including high definition televisions, according to the video promotions from Apple. Next, it includes a new 5 megapixel camera which turns the entire iPad into a viewfinder so you can be sure to get great shots which are framed properly. Coupled with the new camera is a new version of iLife media software which makes it even easier to create photo collages and “trailer”-type videos. The new version of Garage Band within the iLife suite allows up to 4 iPads to be networked together to play virtual music together. Pretty fun stuff for those that would have time to do such things. For real estate, the high res camera and viewing screen is going to make viewing homes a whole lot more fun, I would guess.  The new iLife suite will make it easier for agents to get creative with the ways they display images.  Who needs a virtual tour when you can create your own photo montage in minutes that can be shared easily with clients?   It could be a whole new way to break through the crowd in a listing presentation.  A savvy agent could be a photo collage while walking around the property with a homeowner.

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