Single Property Sites - Value or Void?
While searching for single property site resources I stumbled upon a blog that contained -by far- the most honest, worthwhile, singularly valuable analysis of a Real Estate tool I have seen on the internet. Insight from technical people, providers of the service, and users of the services.
Mary McCormick of RSSPieces wrote a blog about Single Property Sites titled "MYTH: single property websites drive traffic" and goes on to say, referring to Single property sites "Don't be swindled. This is simply a waste of money that alone will not drive traffic, leads or Internet visibility". Mary wrote the article over a year and a half ago. But an excellent discusssion over the value of this product continues today. Single site providers & Realtors have added to the conversation - both agreeing and disagreeing with Mary's comments.
Are these sites a valuable marketing tool? In and of themselves they are not the answer to your prayers. As a tool in a stable of marketing products - it is one more item you can use to market yourself and your listings. These may work well as part of a listing presentation for some agents, or a great way to showcase a high end property for other agents. To me, they seem to offer a great way to tap into the mobile consumer market by offering content on the phone - and start developing a relationship with a younger demographic early in their decision process (part of the vFlyer offering.
I see a process of change occuring in the product we call "Single Property Websites". RealTourVision now offers a single property website in conjuction with the virtual tour they provide. Z57 offers what that call an AE Showcase that they are offering for free (I think it's just so you can see a sample) and they offer this as an add on for agents who use their website service. They have included a single property website as part of the tools they offer agents with websites hosted at Z57. What we need to see is a development of this service to work in conjunction with agent websites, classified postings, domain purchasing and MLS's. They need to offer the depth of information included in some, but not all of the providers - school info, aerial maps, lead tracking, custom domains (at a reasonable price), agent website integration and more. Thankfully, I think this process is already naturally occuring.
The other thing we need to consider - how will I manage all these different domain names at the listing? Homeowners want to see their custom address promoted, agents want to promote a web adress that will attract consumers to THEIR site. And I'm sure brokers want to have the company address on the sign. I also use a custom rider for a neighborhood farm website. Reconciling all these different domain names on a sign or property remains a challenge. And you can only have so many riders! Maybe an answer to this solution is a re-vamping of how we use signs as Realtors. Perhaps the days of our photos and huge company logos on our signs are dead. And these signs in themselves need to become more of resource for buyers.
I never like to rehash a discussion that I've found somehwere else on the web, but I do like to highlight a few points and give you a resource for more information:
Single Site Pros
Gives the seller a tool they can use to promote their home - not the agent. They can proudly show off everyghing there is to know about their house. Gives quick access to everthing the potential buyer would want to know - the location, school info, photos,
Single Site Cons
May not be the "traffic" or "lead" generator you are hoping for. Will drive traffic to a website other than your main online presence. Costs range from $5.00 to $50.00 (even more for some higher end property websites).
VFlyer Discussion about Pros & Cons of Single Property sites