Ask An Ambassador: You CAN Beat The Competition

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

You can't beat Zillow.

You can't beat Trulia.

You can't beat

You can't beat the big brokerages.


But you can beat them when you pick the playing field.


There ARE opportunities out there if you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competition and where YOU hold the advantage.


First, NONE of the 800 lb gorillas have the same access to your sphere of influence that you do.  Past clients, friends, family, coworkers (for those of us with more than one full time job) are people you have direct access to and you already have a level of trust established.  For these people, ranking on the internet isn't critical, and you don't have to pay to play.  So bottom line, keep in touch with your sphere using whatever methods work best (blogging, phone calls, hand written notes, etc.).


Second, YOU are the boots on the ground and you SHOULD know stuff, stuff that gives you the edge over anything national. 

You know about the new construction that isn't in MLS.

You know which communities have a nice amenities package.

You know the side of the street with the lake view sells for more than the other side of the street.

You know how competitive YOUR local market is and what it takes to get an offer accepted.

You can exploit this local information to be the source of pertinent local information and that is what consumers want.


Third, my experience is the big portals are generally poor at getting REALLY detailed.  They're set up for broad national coverage and don't get the nuances of local markets and local search terms.

E.g. if I want to search for Cincinnati patio homes on Zillow, there's not a category for them.  And if I do search for them, what I get is "homes with patios", not "patio homes".  There is a LOT of difference and it doesn't take long for consumers to figure out false information doesn't help them.

Provide relevant detailed information on your blog, IDX pages, etc. and you CAN rank Page 1 and might even claim the top spot.


Fourth, you can establish a LOCAL web presence and rank on the "near me" type searches.  Google maps have been a great tool for us.  Claim your Google My Business spot.  Make sure you use basic SEO in your blogs to grab some geography.  Spread the digital breadcrumbs that lead back to you, your websites, etc.


None of these activities are very costly, mostly just "costing" you time.  Time to stay on top of your market.

Time to broadcast what you see.

Time to give consumers what they want.

You have the edge on this playing field if you just take advantage of the opportunities.


Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill and Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


Search Homes:  Https://

Our Website:

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Comments (19)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill(and Liz too) - it's a strategy and one when it is well-planned and accurately executed can work.  Likely not a slam dunk but in the long term, the rewards can become treasures and treasured.   

Jul 13, 2021 06:32 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's definitely a long term play.  If I look back at my blog posts with the most views, they are mostly pushing a decade in age and almost all long tail subdivision type posts.  And for most of those, I can point to at least one specific closing as a result of each post.  They don't all do that for me, but enough do.

Jul 13, 2021 06:42 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Good morning and thank you for all of your tips.  Local is the way to go.

Jul 13, 2021 06:43 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

Jul 13, 2021 01:42 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Bill and Liz,

You have outlined the best strategies, and we tell our clients also to be the google of their marketplace!  And that increases visibility!

Jul 13, 2021 08:00 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Blogging + My Business + some other things has created a much bigger digital footprint for us, both for agents looking for referral partners and from area home buyers/sellers.

Jul 13, 2021 01:43 PM
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

HI Bill,  

I remember doing the maps with you, but I can't remember if I'm still using them.  Is there such a thing as seo and tech overload?!   Is there a way I can check?

Jul 13, 2021 12:26 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

If you set them up, they stay up and running for you.  I've never seen Google kill one of my maps.

Jul 13, 2021 01:44 PM
Elyse Berman, PA

I have to look.  I don't remember. :-(

Jul 13, 2021 03:23 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Bill, you have nailed this once again! I am a huge believer in the power of building a referral business and being 'the one' in the local know - know stuff that is critical to our buyers and sellers.

Jul 13, 2021 03:16 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

i know our long tail pages work.  Now a lot of the calls are mistakenly thinking we're the HOA management company, but we point them in the right direction for those, and the other calls are legit chances to convert people into clients. 

Jul 13, 2021 03:59 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

I think your information is well placed and informed.  The core being consistancy.  mark

Jul 13, 2021 07:11 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Agreed.  E.g. blogging isn't a write 10 posts and rake in the results.  It takes some sustained effort, but over time it does pay off, and continue to pay off if you do it right.

Jul 13, 2021 08:39 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This is something I tell agents all the time. When you blog about things the big guys ignore, you become the expert - and even get found in generic search.

Jul 13, 2021 08:31 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

And while the pie slice might be smaller than the big boys chase, they're spending millions to get the bigger slices.  I can do pretty well off what the big guys ignore, or don't have the local expertise to pursue.

Jul 13, 2021 08:40 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Yeah, authenticity will always resonate with someone deeply no matter how long it takes.

Jul 13, 2021 11:18 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

And algorithms have no personality (at least not yet!).

Jul 14, 2021 05:45 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Liz and Bill Spear 
Thanks for the continued good advice. 
Pewrsonal service is the big difference and your methods make it easier for people to receive that personal attention. All the best - Lynn

Jul 14, 2021 12:20 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We can get granular and be subdivision specific, type of house specific, etc.  We can parse out in so many different ways that the portals don't accurately do.

Jul 14, 2021 05:45 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

Nothing beats customer service, knowledge and experience... the big sites are tools ... useful tools ... but in the end- relationships win

Jul 14, 2021 03:07 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

True!  I personally use Z to track our new location for homes for sale, but when I needed help, it was a local Rainer I reached out to.  I trusted him from our time here.

Jul 14, 2021 05:46 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, we can work on being found for our specific niche. And it is possible to come up first in google search (before all the biggies) for certain keywords.


Enjoy your day!


Jul 14, 2021 05:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It is nice to find those Page 1 search results.  There are certain posts/pages we've created that consistently bring us calls.

Jul 14, 2021 05:48 AM
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Bill and Liz  - I recently discovered you can use a link back to your blog post, or whatever,  with the Learn More button on your Google Business Page.  There's a character limit for the Google Business Post, but it's not too short.  It's FREE. You're right, all it costs is a little time.

Jul 14, 2021 06:44 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Google loves it's own products, so leveraging them is worthwhile.  New posts, driving traffic, etc., all as we can fit in the time.

Jul 14, 2021 08:18 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Yes, good old-fashioned hard work forging lasting relationships is the key to success.

Jul 14, 2021 07:33 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

One of the negatives about our niche is limited repeat business since most of our buyers are buying what they intend to be their final home.

Jul 14, 2021 08:19 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I love your blog today, it is a strategy i take advantage of and follow. It keeps me busy and flourishing.  

Jul 14, 2021 02:59 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

There are definitely opportunities out there to build our business.

Jul 14, 2021 05:22 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Bill- once again, excellent information. And in this week's Zoom meeting Point #2 was reiterated by Tait from Realtyna. 

Jul 14, 2021 04:18 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

IMO if we can't know more about our local market than a national site, should we be in the business we're in?

Jul 14, 2021 05:23 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


So much good advice here...can't argue with a single point you've made. It's not just about being #1 on Google that brings the business!


Jul 14, 2021 08:09 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

There are so many different business models that can work in this business, just a matter of determining what works best for a particular agent.

Jul 15, 2021 02:39 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Great advice Bill & Liz. I've been saying this too. We are boots on the ground and it is more important than ever that we give care to our clients and our community. There's more of us and more opportunities.

Jul 17, 2021 05:52 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We all have the capability if we choose to put what we know to work.

Jul 18, 2021 05:49 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Being your authentic self is always the best way to go about this, in my experience. ;

Jul 18, 2021 09:48 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Be authentic and you don't have to remember who you're pretending to be :)

Jul 19, 2021 07:32 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing Bill & Liz!

Past clients, friends, family, coworkers (for those of us with more than one full time job) are people you have direct access to and you already have a level of trust established.  For these people, ranking on the internet isn't critical, and you don't have to pay to play.  

Jul 24, 2021 10:03 AM