RealEstate.com Local Sponsorships - An Evolution

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Suplari, Inc.
https://activerain.com/droplet/p7b

On ActiveRain, you have the ability to purchase exclusive local branding and community sponsorship of a neighborhood.  Simply go to the "States" link in the top blue bar, click a state, click on city, and then click on a neighborhood.  From here you can buy the exclusive local sponsorship of this neighborhood for $19/mo.  You are branded in the upper right of the page and other members of the community are ranked below your picture.  The majority of the traffic comes from local search targeting Ardmore in Bellevue, WA.   See below picture of the Ardmore neighborhood of Bellevue.

ActiveRain Local Sponsorships

Local sponsorships work well as long as there is new content on these pages and there is search traffic for the neighborhood.  

ActiveRain local sponsorships look like this when consumer searches on Google:

Ardmore Bellevue Wa

ActiveRain has a lot of brand recognition in the real estate industry, but ActiveRain does not have massive consumer brand recognition (at least not yet.)

Market Leader bought a web site called RealEstate.com from LendingTree over the summer.  RealEstate.com is a pretty interesting web site receiving roughly 1 million visitors per month and 7 million pageviews per month.  Most of the traffic is driven by search, but a surprisingly large % is driven by people typing in real estate or realestate.com into their browser.  RealEstate.com has very high domain authority of 79 similar to Trulia, Zillow and Homes.com. 

Have you noticed the number of ads on real estate web sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com?  

Real estate web sites have become overly cluttered with ads, "featured agents" and featured homes.  I live in Bellevue, WA.  When I look across the top real estate web sites, 10 ads on Zillow, 4 ads on Trulia, and 7 ads on Realtor.com, not including "featured homes".  

And when do featured listings or properties stop being featured?  If all the properties are featured on the web site, are none of them featured?

RealEstate.com is re-launching in March 2011.  With RealEstate.com there is a great opportunity to build a CLEAN consumer and real estate professional friendly and focused web site, given the strong consumer recognition and consumer brand of RealEstate.com  Given ActiveRain's expertise in hyperlocal blogging and social media, ActiveRain has a great opportunity to build a great service from RealEstate.com's local content. 

So what is the Local Expert Program on RealEstate.com?

  • One Agent Per Page: A real estate agent or broker can receive exclusive branding on a local CITY page on RealEstate.com (not neighborhood or community), with the simple premise - One Agent per Page.  Only one real estate agent will be featured on that page (not 10 agents like other sites).
  • Local Data: The RealEstate.com local city pages will be data and photo rich containing homes sold information, demographic information, school information, and shopping information that is search engine optimized.
  • Social Media: We are building out a social media area where the Local Expert real estatet agent will be able to post information on local events or other local features on that city (blogs, videos, microblogs).   There will be-built in social sharing for the content on the page to FaceBook, Trulia, Google Plus and Youtube.
  • Back Link Opportunity: Unlike other sites, we will allow real estate agents and brokers to backlink to their personal web site or IDX web site from RealEstate.com.  A back link from RealEstate.com should help your personal blog or web site rank higher in the search engines
  • Sold on a City by City Basis: We want ONLY one agent to represent each city (not neighborhood).  So rather than selling local sponsorship for 10 neighborhoods in Bellevue, WA, we have one.  The pricing varies based on the number of people that live in that city.  So a real estate agent or real estate broker could purchase both the entitre city of Seattle, just the city of Bellevue, or the city of Monroe (a smaller city in Washington State ).  The pricing ranges from $499 per month for all of Seattle to $79 per month for a smaller city. 
Below is screen shot of the current design of the Local Expert page of RealEstate.com:
 
 RealEstate Local Exoert
 
 
ActiveRain is playing a key role in both managing the development of RealEstate.com and selling RealEstate.com.  If you do have any concerns, please feel free to contact me or Kate directly.  
 
If you do not want to be contacted with regards to RealEstate.com, please contact Kerrie who will be working closely with Kate and managing a "do not call list" as we move forward.  
 
Finally, if you are interested in learning more about the Local Expert on RealEstate.com in your area, please contact Kate.
 
We hope you are as excited as we are about this unique opportunity.
 
Niki
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Nikesh Parekh

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Ambassador
559,434
Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

Hi Niki,

Thanks for this, we will have to check into this for our cities, thanks again, I will touch base with Kate.

Dec 08, 2011 01:41 PM #90
Rainmaker
508,962
C. Lloyd McKenzie
Albuquerque, NM
Living Albuquerque

First of all Niki you are doing a great job responding to the concerns of members.  I am still committed to AR...but not sure about the marriage with Market Leader though. 

I do see the synergy that exist between Market Leader and Active Rain, but like Cindy Jones said in her comment, #14, we are "gun shy."  With over 200K membership base, the AR community has the potential to be a great generator of revenue for Market Leader.

This relationship is like a dance.  Market Leader has not mastered the moves as yet.  It requires a lot of finesse.  They have not proven themselves to us. 

My most pressing questions are as follow:  1. Will the local expert program renders AR format useless? 2.  How different from Localism is this new program? 

 

Dec 10, 2011 08:38 AM #91
Rainmaker
810,011
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Niki:

Thanks for clarifying what AR and RealEstate.com are offering.  I was not one of those Rainers who was called by RealEstate.com, so I didn't have any idea what was being offered. 

Dec 10, 2011 10:27 AM #92
Rainmaker
145,350
Barbara Carter
C21 Alliance Realty Group - New Paltz, NY
Serving Your Real Estate Needs in the Hudson Valle

The whole thing is a mess- I was one of the ones who got dooped by ActiveRain- I got the sales pitch, read the email, watched the video and the power point- within an hour I had signed a contract was called and congratulated on the exclusive right to all the leads in my area and here is less then 24 hours later I get an email from Kate Yackley, Vice President of Sales and Marketing services stating

"With regard to our conversation, we cannot honor the contract you  signed on 12/12/2011 for the reasons discussed in our phone call today.

The purpose of this email is to notify you that your contract with Marketleader/Realestate.com via ActiveRain  is null and void. We are exercising our right to terminate the contract within 30 days of signature.

Your completed contract was signed on 12/12/2011 and we are providing notice today 12/13/2011 of termination of the aforementioned contract."

The area that they exclusively to me was supposedly sold to someone else a week prior. So what Kate is saying is that they are breaching the contract in a protect our butts sort of way. NICE!

Dec 13, 2011 12:40 PM #93
Rainer
95,198
Linda Holloway
Keller Williams Realty Tampa Central - Tampa, FL
REALTOR®, Your Next Home in Tampa Bay Starts Here!

Wow!  I'm a new member of Active Rain and have just learned SO MUCH from reading one post!

Nikesh, I am quite impressed with how you address each member's comments.  Not to be redundant but am I understanding correctly that only one agent will be given the opportunity to sponsor a large city?  What will be the role of other agents or will there be a role for other agents on RealEstate.com?

I am intrigued by this topic since I was recruited by RealEstate.com as an agent earlier this year.  I was an agent with them for a short period of time before they closed the doors of the real estate company.  It was interesting to learn that the website hadn't been managed since 2008 while reading your responses to comments on the blog but that would explain why my clients and I didn't have much success with it!

I am looking forward to your post addressing Leslie's comments.  I hope you will include more information on how ML plans to use the RealEstate.com domain name and the website.  Thanks!

 

Dec 13, 2011 01:33 PM #94
Rainer
18,826
Cherry Temple
Real Living At The Beach - Myrtle Beach, SC

I was an agent with New Homes Realty when they were sold to Realestate.com.  They destroyed a great company with a unique concept for home buyers.

The kicker - before Realestate.com bought the company I was receiving quality leads; after the leads were junk.  I found out later my broker was selling the good leads to subscribers and giving her agents the scraps.

Unless someone can assure me they have cleaned house, I'm not sure I want anything to do with them.

Linda, I noticed after I left they still were using many of the graphics set up by New Homes with little or no updates in content.

Dec 21, 2011 02:18 AM #95
Anonymous
Justin Robins

Hi,

Maybe this has been discussed already and I apologize if it has. My question is this: When a potential lead is searching a city for homes on zillow it has "Contact Buyers Agent" in the top left corner. The way it is written and situated makes it a natural assumption that the person listed as the buyers agent is the one to contact for that listing. I advertise on zillow and with great success due to how they have it setup like I metioned above. Is that how RealEstate.com will be setup? If not, how will it show the paying agent of that city when the lead is searching homes?

Look forward to your response!

 

Dec 21, 2011 01:25 PM #96
Rainmaker
187,007
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Hi Lynn, That is a great suggestion and great thoughts.  We will do so next time we launch a new product.

Hi Lloyd, RealEstate.com does not affect or impact the usefulness of ActiveRain in any way.  ActiveRain is a great platform for real estate professionals that are able and willing to blog and use social media.  RealEstate.com is an advertising platform.  We have seen that there is a group of agents that don't like to advertise, but are willing to put in the work.  Another group would much rather advertise.  Localism is a great all purpose local platform.  RealEstate.com Local Expert will have local market information, school information, demographic information and shopping information as well as allow the real estate agent the ability to post links to their page.  RealEstate.com also sees about 7-8x the traffic of Localism.  In terms of Market Leader, for some, it may make sense to wait until the product launches if you have concerns. 

Hi Barbara, we have spoken multiple times and our team has spoken 4 additional times with you.  As we explained, our sales person made a mistake for selling you New Paltz after it had been sold the prior week.  You were never charged for anything.  I personally offered you 15 other cities in your county in addition to Highland which is your home market.  We have tried multiple times to find a way to work with you, but we were unable to do so.   I apologize for the bad experience.   We now have better systems in place to make sure this doesn't happen again. 

Hi Linda, there will be multiple subscriptions (Local Expert, Homes for Sale, Home Valuations) on RealEstate.com with the guiding premise of having one real estate agent per page vs other sites with many many agents on every page.  I am in the process of writing a blog to address Leslie's questions. 

Cherry, I would love to chat with you about NewHomes.com  That was a pretty clever web site.

Hi Justin, there will be multiple subscription types on RealEstate.com - the Local Expert, Homes for Sale, Home Valuations and Mortgage.  On each page for each city, there will be one agent and the consumer will be prompted to contact that agent for information.  That being said, there are no home listings on the Local Expert pages.  The agent who owns the Local Expert subscription will not show up on the Homes for Sale page.  The agent who owns the Homes for Sale page will not show up on the Local Expert page.

 

Dec 22, 2011 05:09 PM #97
Rainer
18,826
Cherry Temple
Real Living At The Beach - Myrtle Beach, SC

Nikesh, The folks in the back room did an amazing job of keeping us on the front pages of searches.  The agents were reponsible for content at the local level, but it was the use of SEO that kept us relevant.  Whoever hired all those guys after the company was sold really got some great IT staff.

Dec 24, 2011 02:08 AM #98
Rainmaker
187,007
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Hi Cherry,

I spoke with NewHomes back in 2004 or 2005.  I think a large percentage of their tech team was actually in Thailand or Vietnam when NewHomes was getting off the ground.

We now own newhomes.com as well.  I would love to figure out something cool and useful for real estate professionals to do with the site.

Niki

Dec 24, 2011 04:00 AM #99
Rainmaker
187,007
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

FYI - I am not going to be online as much between Christmas and New Year!  It's my wife's Xmas gift!

Dec 24, 2011 04:02 AM #100
Rainer
92,994
Joseph Ray Diosana
Keller Williams Realty [Harris County] - Houston, TX
Diosana ~ Houston Area ~ 713-965-4338

Nikesh,

I got a call and several messages.  I am SORRY I didn't respond because I am conditioned to ignore because I received several give-me-money-for-ineffective-ways of marketing.  

Now you have my attention.  Here are the things I really like

  • ActiveRain support (your site is known for its depth of SEO/blogging knowledge and large population of realtors and unique content)
  • Market/trend knowledge. I'd like to reduce my marketing costs.. been using altosresearch and like not to use it as much.
My concerns are 
  • agent selection large agent team who does not blog (e.g. spend the time to do localized content) will get the top city spot just because they pay.  I really believe that if AR is about localized evergreen content you should wait until some of the active bloggers get a personal opportunity/invitation to pay for the top spot.
  • best practices provide a best practices on how to integrate leads easily with an incubating process so that the heavy lifting is done by a system
  • packaging offer AR members who have tenure an alternative package
  • requirements expect subscribers to blog content regularly or lose their position.
Okay thanks for listening
Jan 13, 2012 10:51 PM #101
Rainmaker
196,383
Yvonne Burdette-Van Camp
To Buy and Sell Real Estate, see me at Southwest Missouri Realty - Springfield, MO
"Home"work, I have the Answers!

Muelling this all over.    Do I want to be on the front page where no one probably clicks or on neighborhoods where buyers are specifically looking.   Nothing to really see to know what to do.   Gee, wish it was different.

Jan 20, 2012 02:17 PM #102
Rainmaker
187,007
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Hi Joseph, thanks for your comment.  Let me think about this.  We are trying to keep ActiveRain and RealEstate.com reasonably separate right now.

Yvonne, good questions.  We hope to release in Early March.

Niki

Jan 20, 2012 03:14 PM #103
Rainmaker
99,466
Eric Slifkin
Keller Williams Realty of the Treasure Coast - Palm City, FL
PA

 am usingader (eEdge). It looks identicle. Why should I pay for the same thing twice?

Jan 26, 2012 08:27 AM #104
Rainmaker
99,466
Eric Slifkin
Keller Williams Realty of the Treasure Coast - Palm City, FL
PA

Oops- I meant to say I am I am using the KW version of MarketLeader (eEdge), which looks like the same product.

Jan 26, 2012 08:30 AM #105
Rainmaker
187,007
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Hi Eric,

This will be a completely different product from eEdge.  Would would not be paying for the same product.  

eEdge is a complete marketing system for KW with IDX web sites, lead management, and a marketing suite.  

RealEstate.com is a consumer facing real estate web site.  

Some of the data will be similar between Market Insider and RealEstate.com for local information.  

Niki

Jan 26, 2012 03:00 PM #106
Rainer
297,018
Wayne Goss
Keller Williams - Punta Gorda, FL
THE MYSTERY MAN

Nili,

     I know things are not supposed to jell on this until March, but do you have any updates at all regarding the progress of this venture? Please and thanks...Wayne

Feb 22, 2012 09:48 AM #107
Rainmaker
74,986
Stefan West
West Realty - Murrieta, CA
Temecula-Murrieta-Menifee CA Real Estate

This has been an interesting post to read through as I did sign up for Local Expert because it was Active Rain that was calling.  However, there has been significant confusion over what that actually is.  The way it was marketed to me was different than the reality is going to be.  So I am frustrated.

However, this post has helped a little and both Kate and Niki have also taken time to try to clear this up.  I really recommend following up on Joseph's point about a best practices and packaging for AR tenured members.  I think that would be a very smart strategic marketing move frankly.

I would like to know more about the CRM aspects.

Niki, I am also impressed with the SEO info for the new Google update.  I have bookmarked that and will go though it.  If you have a specific tutorial of generating and maximizing original blogging content for SEO purposes, I would love a pointer in that direction.

I will get back to you on the situation with the Local Expert shortly.

 

Thanks, Stefan

Mar 01, 2012 12:43 AM #108
Rainer
135,632
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL
www.professionalinvestorsguild.com

I signed up as my local expert on RealEstate.com, and it has generated a ton of leads...some of which have been VERY good, and have led to quite a few showing appointment.  No contracts yet, but it's still very early on, and overall I think it's worth the investment. 

Jun 15, 2012 03:01 AM #109
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Nikesh Parekh

Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor
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