(Summary from the Washington Times):
"With so much information at buyers' fingertips, Realtors and homeowners are not only competing for buyers with the folks selling the house down the street, but also with hundreds of other sellers with similar homes. The process of narrowing the list of prospective homes used to consist of endless drive-bys but now can be accomplished with the click of a computer mouse.
...Kelly McLaughlan, chief executive of KME Internet Marketing in Northern Virginia, says, "It is absolutely essential for Realtors to maintain an active, integrated, multimedia online presence in order to attract new customers, engage current or potential clients, and establish themselves as reputable community leaders and local real estate experts."
She says it's all about professionally engaging clients in the online context with which they're comfortable, whether it's through their own Web sites, third-party Web sites or advertising venues or using social media.
"Maintaining your brand and reputation across all these channels is as important as distributing effective and appropriate listing advertising," she says.
Ms. McLaughlan adds that online buyers and sellers typically will review an agent's profile, community presence, knowledge and their listing inventory in less than 10 minutes and suggests that Realtors be "findable" across all outlets. She offers real estate agents and others a checklist on getting started promoting their business online (www.kmeinternetmarketing.com/internetchecklist.html). "
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