Top 10 Questions About RealEstate.com Local Expert

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Suplari, Inc.

RealEstate.com HomeI wanted to circle back with the community and address the many questions that I have heard floating around about RealEstate.com and hopefully clear up some of the miscommunication or misunderstanding.  Based on my last blog post on the RealEstate.com Local Expert, here are the main questions or areas of confusion with RealEstate.com.  Leslie Ebersole and C. Lloyd McKenzie wrote great posts summarizing the questions that many in ActiveRain have about RealEstate.com.  Leslie and everyone else, I apologize for the delay.

1. What is RealEstate.com?  RealEstate.com is a real estate web site owned by Market Leader with very high domain authority and brand recognition in the real estate industry.  It was purchased in September 2011 from LendingTree left the real estate business to focus on mortgage and education.  It generates roughly 1 million visits per month and 7 million pageviews per month (as averaged over 2011).  RealEstate.com will be relaunched in March 2012.  Our goal with RealEstate.com is to have a clean, photo rich web site with MLS listings that prominently features real estate professionals.   Currently the web site is the same as it has been for the last three years.  That is why Leslie had initially seen the ads for the Gilt Group and other ads on the site.  

2. How is RealEstate.com different from Zillow or Trulia?  Are you an ad or an agent?  Zillow and Trulia have done a phenomenal job in driving traffic through search engine optimization.  Kudos to them.  But have you seen how many ads are on each page of Zillow or Trulia?  On every page, there are an average of 12-15 ads per page including national advertising and featured agents.  Add "featured listings" and the number of ads per page in dramatically higher.   Our goal with RealEstate.com is a clean, photo-rich real estate web site with MLS listings, featuring ONE real estate professional PER PAGE.   So rather than have four featured real estate agents on a page, we want one.  BUT there are different sponsorship categories on many pages including the Local Expert, Homes for Sale, Home Valuation, and others in the future.

3. What is the RealEstate.com Local Expert? The RealEstate.com Local Expert is a good branding and display advertising opportunity to consumers looking for neighborhood or local information.   According to the 2011 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, neighborhood information and quality is critical to home purchase.  US Real estate agents and brokers can buy an exclusive sponsorship of the local information pages of a city on RealEstate.com.  Unlike Zillow or Trulia, only one real estate agent will be featured per page.  The local information pages on RealEstate.com will contain local market information, school information, and local shopping information.  The city sponsor will also be able to post links to their local city page to feature the agent's local market and neighborhood expertise.   Here is a link to a presentation on the RealEstate.com Local Expert used by the sales team.

4. How much traffic will I get?  Similar to Zillow or Trulia, the RealEstate.com Local Expert does not have a traffic guarantee.  Some larger cities will get significantly more traffic.  Others will get nominal traffic based on the number of people living in the city and their Internet usage.  RealEstate.com Local Expert packages are priced from $79 to $499 for large metro areas.  The pricing is largely based on the number of people living in each city.  The lowest priced display advertising on Zillow or Trulia is priced at $125-$150 per month for a non-exlcusive banner ad.

5. Are there home listings or homes for sale information included in the RealEstate.com Local Expert?  No.  There will not be any home listings included in the sponsorship for the RealEstate.com Local Expert program.   The RealEstate.com Local Expert is only a sponsorship of the Local Information pages for a particular city.  Local information includes local market and neighborhood information, school information and shopping information.  The RealEstate.com Homes for Sale will be a separate advertising subscription.

6. When will the RealEstate.com Homes for Sale Subscription be available?  Our goal with RealEstate.com is to feature all the listings from the MLS.  Zillow and Trulia have roughly 60% of the listings depending on the market.  As anyone in real estate knows, every MLS has different rules in terms of who can show listings and how those listings can be shown.  So we need to have conversations with every MLS board in the country to make sure we are within MLS guidelines.  This is time consuming and unpredictable, so we do not have a hard & fast timeline when homes for sale sponsorships will be available on RealEstate.com  I wish it were simpler, but it is not.

7. What happens when consumers are searching for homes for sale on RealEstate.com?   It will depend on the city.  If MLS listings are available on RealEstate.com, then the consumer will stay on RealEstate.com.  If MLS listings are not available on RealEstate.com, the consumer will be directed to an MLS approved IDX web site where they can search for home listings.  I know this is not an ideal situation, but we want to make sure we deliver the experience that the consumer is expecting.  Hopefully, as our MLS coverage expands, no consumers being directed off site to see home listings. 

8. Will any content from ActiveRain be on RealEstate.com?  No content from ActiveRain will be auto-syndicated to RealEstate.com (unlike Localism can be with the hyper local posts).  Agents will be able to link to their ActiveRain blog from their local city page.  Why are we not syndicating content?  1) ActiveRain members control their content and we would not syndicate their content without explicit permission.  2) Duplicate content that shows up on both ActiveRain and RealEstate.com could hurt the domain authority of both sites. 3) Plagiarized content on ActiveRain or RealEstate.com will negatively affect both web sites.  We need to tidy up duplicated content and plagiarized content issues on ActiveRain in early 2012.

9. How is ActiveRain involved in RealEstate.com?   We have tried to keep ActiveRain.com and the ActiveRain community separate from RealEstate.com.  No points.  No content syndication. 

That being said, the staff at ActiveRain is involved with RealEstate.com.  As most of you know, the sales team is selling RealEstate.com  We are putting in place a CRM tool and now have an inventory management system, so things should work much smoother. 

ActiveRain is the hyper local blogging and social media authority in real estate.  ActiveRain has sold local sponsorships on Localism and ActiveRain for the past three years.  We will also be working on training and coaching for how real estate professionals can use RealEstate.com in their local advertising, blogging and social media campaigns. 

10.  Why is the staff at ActiveRain involved at all?  Great question.   What we have found is that only a small percentage of real estate professionals will really take the time and effort to blog or use social media.  It is new and can be time consuming.  Many real estate professionals are not willing to put in the work to blog and many real estate professionals are not good writers.   If an agent is willing and able to blog, he or she will be successful as proved by our Rich Real Estate Agent, Poor Real Estate Agent research and our piece on the best marketing practices of real estate professionals.  Yet, a large percentage of real estate professionals choose to advertise.  They can advertise in the local newspaper, in Homes & Land, pay per click marketing on Google, buying ads on Zillow, or being part of RealEstate.com  My sense is that only 15% of real estate professionals will blog actively.   

But, right now,  we did not want to launch another exclusive geography advertising product on ActiveRain.com, since we want to continue to foster a sharing community on ActiveRain.com

The staff at ActiveRain (and Market Leader) will continue supporting, promoting, and training on ActiveRain.com, SEO, blogging and social media.  We will also be supporting and developing advertising options for those agents who want to buy advertising (as we have done on ActiveRain Local Sponsorships and Localism).

If you are interested in RealEstate.com, please contact our VP of Sales Kate Yackley by sending her an email to kate@activerain.com  Kate, Kerrie and Bob will be monitoring comments on this post and responding.  (I am out of town next week, I will likely not respond until 2012 - everyone needs a break, right?)

Here is a link to the RealEstate.com Local Expert sales presentation again if you are interested.

If you do not want to be contacted by ActiveRain for new products, please contact Kate (kate@activerain.com) and Kerrie (kerrie@activerain.com) and they will add you to our Do Not Call List. 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year ActiveRain!

 

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Nikesh Parekh

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 12/25/2011 09:25 PM
  2. Mary Macy 01/01/2012 03:21 PM
  3. Lisa McEntyre 01/11/2012 06:12 AM
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Rainer
31,254
Effie Aultman
Coastal Realty Group - Cape San Blas, FL

Thanks for shareing, there are so meny of these advertising sites to muddle through. 

 

Dec 27, 2011 07:44 AM #63
Rainer
162,068
Dylan Taft
Dylan Taft Broker/Owner Taft Street Realty, Inc. - Woodstock, NY
Ulster County Area Consultant

I was called and given false info on Local Expert.  I was lead to believe that it was a lead gen opportunity.  I feel taken advantage of...Now I'm locked into 2 six month agreements that showcase me as the local expert. Not one person mentioned future offerings/products like Homes for Sale.

 I also am a little irritated that this post suggests that Homes for Sale is not yet a product being offered.  But in my case, when the same area for Local Expert was sold twice by mistake they offered Homes for Sale.  This is not really fair in my opinion.  I was being pressured to act on one or the other without knowing much, if anything, at all about either product.  I think AR dropped the ball on this launch...

Kate, we spoke about this.  The initial rep lead me to believe the Local Expert was a lead gen opp and now I would like to know what the process is to cancel my (2) six month agreements.  Please advise.

Dec 27, 2011 08:55 AM #64
Rainer
13,801
Karl Mengers
Main Edge Realty - Mustang, OK
Main Edge Realty

I spent about an hour and a half researching this today and my head is still spinning. Being a KW associate with Market Center access to Market Leader. I do wonder how this will play out for me. I'm glad they are kept separate though.

Dec 27, 2011 09:16 AM #65
Ambassador
876,946
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Nikki, thank you for posting this, since so many of us have had questions.

Dec 27, 2011 09:22 AM #66
Ambassador
2,079,919
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Nikki - Well, I already signed up for two cities in my area and with my four outside blogs, I would have to say that most of my eggs are in the ActiveRain basket. I just hope that after 6 months the prices on realestate.com don't increase.

Thanks for taking the time to clarify so much!

 

 

Dec 27, 2011 10:19 AM #67
Rainer
16,541
Kate Yackley
Seattle, WA

Dylan-please call me or email me 206 453 9667

Kate

Dec 27, 2011 12:03 PM #68
Rainmaker
399,501
Kerry Lucasse
eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group - Atlanta, GA
Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant

Thanks for the clarification, Nikki!  As for blogging at 3:27 am, you give new meaning to "Late Night - Early Morning at ActiveRain"  :-)

Dec 27, 2011 12:05 PM #69
Rainmaker
188,181
Monica Nunchuck
Florida Homes Realty & Mtg - Saint Augustine, FL
St. Augustine Buyer's Agent

Nikki thank you for the clarification and although you currently do not have our MLS available it is important to note~ here in Northeast Florida we have several boards~ so if I say I want St Augustine it needs to be the St Johns/St Augustine MLS  because it is the best for this area but let's stay you offer it to another Realtor that works St Augustine but belongs to NEFAR MLS what shall you offer? Even some real estate web providers can't offer both the NEFAR and St Augustine/St Johns MLS......I think you have a great idea and I hate to think I'm missing out on something amazing. Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia have all been a money pit for me.  Best of luck!  

Dec 27, 2011 01:12 PM #71
Rainmaker
810,011
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Niki:

Thanks for the additional information.  I read so many things about Market Leader on ActiveRain, it is hard for me to decide who is right.  Your information may help.

Dec 27, 2011 03:35 PM #72
Rainer
172,530
Luis Iniguez
Option One Real Estate - Fontana, CA
Search Inland Empire Homes For Sale - Short Sale Agent

Thanks for the clarification.  I can't wait to get on the train with this new adventure.

Dec 27, 2011 04:30 PM #73
Rainmaker
637,283
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

So, what I'm hearing you say is that Real Estate DOT com is now selling market shares in our areas by City. Then, at some point in the future, Market Leader will come back to us to sell us yet another thing in order to get the leads for the same area. Is that about right?

I did not see where consumers will be sent when they want to search for homes. Will that be to Realtor DOT com or to the local expert agent's choice?

Are you kidding me? $79 -- 500/month?  What do you think we're made of money?  I cannot be the only agent whose area includes multiple cities within a metropolitan area. Within most cities, there are areas that one listing would pay for most of the expense and areas where it would take 20 sales to pay for the expense. Paying for the expense of advertising on the new RE dot com is not enough. It's got to pay for my time, my other expenses, my taxes, health insurance - it's just not feasible, is it, Niki?

And in the meantime, Active Rain runs slower and slower. Color me disillusioned.

Dec 27, 2011 07:17 PM #74
Rainer
52,607
Linda Jamail Marshall
Linda Marshall,Houston Texas, Linda Marshall, Realtors® - Houston, TX
Broker, ABR,QSC,RECS,ACRE - Innerloop Houston, Tex

Really good post, but one comment they are only featuring one agent for a huge area like Houston Texas that is 40-50 miles across.  Needs to be broken down into regions.

Dec 28, 2011 01:58 AM #75
Rainer
32,595
Pike Porter
Castle Porter Real Estate - Burlington, VT

@Wallace

I am glad that NAR and the like have ignored the rental market and made craigslist.com the place to advertise rentals. I see no need for an organization like AR, NAR, or Trulia, to monetize rental listings.  As soon as they do, you'll be paying $250/mth to become the "local [your town here] rental real estate agent."

Dec 28, 2011 03:08 AM #76
Rainer
32,595
Pike Porter
Castle Porter Real Estate - Burlington, VT

@Linda

At $250 a pop per region, I'm pretty sure that realtestate.com will find a way to slice up Houston and other large cities as many ways as they can.

Dec 28, 2011 03:10 AM #77
Rainer
301,054
Lehel Szucs
All Seasons Real Estate, Inc. - Covina, CA
REALTOR of choice

will check it out ... but I found much of the internet leads are worthless no matter how much time is spent on trying to develop a relationship ...

Dec 28, 2011 04:14 AM #78
Rainmaker
482,047
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Thanks, Nikki. This is a great post & is very helpful. Hope you're all enjoying your time off and this project is a success!
Bruce

 

Dec 28, 2011 09:20 AM #79
Ambassador
1,709,615
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy and afternoon Niki

Niki, Welcome to the New Year of 2012! Hope y'all had a mighty fine and safe New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year to you and your family!

May each and everyday bring you and your family an abundant of blessings for the rest of 2011 and all the way though the New Year of 2012!

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Jan 01, 2012 09:23 AM #80
Anonymous
urvashi

Hi Snigdha, great blog shared above. Really very useful information shared regarding real estate listings.
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Oct 25, 2013 09:31 PM #81
Anonymous
suman

Hi Snigdha, great blog shared above. Really very useful information shared regarding real estate listings.
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Oct 25, 2013 09:38 PM #82
Anonymous
ankita

Good grab, other than the fact real estate, and especially condo prices have reach the end of a bubble.
http://lotusgreensexpressway.com/

Oct 25, 2013 09:44 PM #83
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