Monday, October 30, 2006

White Paper Part VIII - Conclusion

Predictive Modeling

We’ve noted that the most important factor to increasing response is publishing better listing content. The most important factor in increasing conversion of inquiries into leads and sales is simply the quality, relevance and timelines of the response. The last piece of the lead generation/conversion story is a focus on generating deeper pipelines.

Let me explain.

Not all leads are created equal. Many generated directly from listings tend to be of hot prospects active in the home search process. Many others are of consumers who are further out in the home buying cycle. A study conducted by HouseValues, Inc. in 2005 indicates that the average consumer spends up to 16 months in the home search cycle. Leads created that are further out in the cycle represent future business for the brokerage, but if they are handled correctly. Brokerages that pay attention to these leads can create long term sales pipelines that before long turn into a regular stream of mature opportunities to route on to their sales force.

Reaching further upstream to consumers early in the home search process can also establish the brokerage as the go to source for research information, a reputation that can boost the company’s position and competitiveness in its market.

The lead incubation process begins with a solid lead capture solution. Your software needs to be able to establish lead criteria such as first visit, last visit, location, home search areas, home search price ranges, repeat view patterns, contact information, financial qualification information, contact history notes and other relevant website or portal activity. This information is extremely valuable in pursuing and communicating with those leads.

Typical lead incubation systems on the market today allow real estate companies to place leads into automated drip marketing systems. Leading solutions however have the ability to operate different campaigns based on a trigger system that places the lead on a relevant drip campaign based on the prospect’s activity on the site. Some of those systems may also allow brokerages to develop their own company specific drip campaigns. A state of the art system such as Point2 goes one more step. It identifies prospects that have been on a drip campaign and have now matured (i.e. they have turned into a hot prospect), as their home search activity increases or specific request for contact or information is registered. Hot prospects are then marked, and notification is sent to the brokerage or agent indicating contact must be made.A state of the art system such as Point2 goes one more step. It identifies prospects that have been on a drip campaign and have now matured (i.e. they have turned into a hot prospect), as their home search activity increases or specific request for contact or information is registered. Hot prospects are then marked, and notification is sent to the brokerage or agent indicating contact must be made.

Future lead management and incubation capabilities under development today will focus on predictive modeling. While current drip systems tend to provide home search notification and static drip campaigns, predictive modeling will take lead profile information and send ultra relevant static and dynamic content to the lead. The goal is to make the brokerage the source of research information right up until the lead is ready to engage a real estate agent to help narrow or close their home search.


With the vast majority of consumers using the Internet in their home search, brokerages need to advertise their inventory in as many ways possible to maximize exposure and leads. Today, this includes focusing on both natural and vertical search marketing. Listings are the most valuable marketing assets brokerages and their agents possess. Better listings (rich data) generates more buyer leads, which increases the chance a company’s listing is sold in-house. The most important step in converting those inquiries is to focus on responding immediately. Because agents are mobile and not sitting at their desk all the time, lead notification needs to become mobile, with text messaging.

Brokerages that focus on developing longer term lead pipelines will maximize the total number and percentage of leads that will eventually transact with someone within their organization.

These strategies are not simply nice to have. They are essential for the survival of traditional brokerage business model during this time of rapid change. Real estate companies that do not develop a complete online marketing and operating strategy will risk losing market share and will squander the opportunity to lead, as new waves of innovation enable better, more efficient and more cost effective marketing and lead conversion strategies.


White Paper Part VII - Responsiveness

The verdict has been out on this one for a while. The fastest Realtor® to respond to an inquiry, whether it came by e-mail or through the phone, is likely to win the business.

Consumers rate responsiveness as the most important factor in choosing an agent, ahead of qualification, knowledge or commission, according to a CAR (California Association of Realtors) survey published in 2005. Yet, independent industry research published that same year suggests 45 percent of all online inquiries still went unanswered!

Considering that 45 percent of consumers also said they expect agents to get back to them within 30 minutes, there is significant room for brokerages to take advantage of the statistics.

For one, agents are on the road a lot of the time. It’s just part of the business. Many don’t get to their e-mail until the end of the day. Others don’t read their e-mail except once or twice a week. By then, the lead would be long gone. While the computer is a great tool at the office, your team must be able to connect with serious leads as quickly as possible.

While e-mail is not always accessible, unless your agents all carry a Blackberry, they do all carry cell phones. By routing online leads to your agent mobile phones, responsiveness is dramatically increased. And revenue growth follows.

Text messaging works best. It is non intrusive and keeps the agents in control of when and how they respond. They may be with a client at that particular moment, or they may prefer, depending on the opportunity, to respond either by text, e-mail or via telephone. A regular phone call or voice message does not offer the same flexibility.

There are a number of proven wireless lead routing systems on the market today. Considering the importance of responsiveness in the real estate business, the benefits of adopting this technology sooner than later are obvious. What it takes to win is to get to a lead first, and lead routing is an easy way to make this happen. While some brokerages have formal lead response and routing teams, others send inquiries directly to agents, but regardless of the model, brokerages need to ensure inquiries are responded to quickly and, preferably, immediately.

Lastly, brokerages need to recognize that inquiries generated from their listings originate from more sources than just their own website. Vertical search sites and classified websites that listings are syndicated to need to be integrated into their system, to enable text message notification for inquiries, irrespective of the source. This is the only true solution to consolidating the lead management process and optimizing conversion from all the diverse online advertising efforts.

Advanced systems such as the Point2 platform have been able to achieve integration with a number of syndication advertising partners and deliver leads right to the Realtor® cell phones. The initial inquiry is not only sent through email and SMS (text messaging), but the lead information is also added to the Point2 lead capture and profiling part of the platform, for long term incubation and follow through.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

White Paper Part VI

Rich Data

There are a number of appropriate places in this paper to start the discussion on rich data. It drives exposure, lead generation, increases conversion and, better results for home sellers. For our purposes, rich data refers to the publishing of detailed, professional listing information.


Rich data is critical for maximizing traffic as a result of online search. The more descriptive a listing is, the better chance someone will find it online, especially when doing long tail searches. That is, when consumers type detailed search queries into search engines. The better a property is described both in the main copy and the document meta content, the better chance the property will be returned in a search engine result set.


Rich data also increases the number of inquiries an online listing generates. In 2005, Alex Perellio of Realogy(formerly Cendant), was quoted at a broker conference saying, “Realtors® are being out marketed today by 10 year old kids selling baseball cards on Ebay.” I may be paraphrasing what Mr. Perellio said, but the essence of the remark remains. You can’t maximize the potential of the Internet as a powerful marketing medium by placing a short paragraph and one shoddy photo of a property worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Yet, the number of such listings, some even without a single photo, on and other real estate search sites is still astounding.

Part of the problem stems from Realtors® using MLS® data for marketing. The MLS® was never designed for marketing.

The MLS® was first established to facilitate cooperation and to ensure compensation between cooperating brokerages. With the emergence and growth of the Internet in the 90s, MLS content became the de facto standard for online listings display. Today still, it is rarely readable by search crawlers, and online listings documents are rarely descriptive enough to make any significant contribution. Further, the content is insufficient to effectively market properties as ‘homes’ and expect to maximize consumer inquiries and response for the listing Realtor®.

Internal research conducted by Point2 in September of 2006 shows a dramatic increase in page views detailed listings generated and the number of inquiries they yield.

Over 110,000 listings in the Point2 database were examined over a 30 day time frame. The listings were broken down by the number of photos per listing. The results were dramatically consistent. As the number of photos provided for the listing increased, the number of times that listing was viewed also increased, as did the number of leads generated from that listing.

Recent research conducted by reinforces the findings generated in the Point2 study. LiveDeal, a consumer real estate search site noticed the listing feeds from Point2 contained far more photos than other feeds. Upon further analysis, Point2 member listings were found to generate almost 300 percent more leads on than listings provided by other feed partners.

The message is clear. To maximize Internet leads, Realtors® must start adding a lot of information and photos to their listings.

A highly effective approach to generating sales leads is to provide detailed listing information and useful tools website visitors can access without registration. Consumers today want to remain anonymous, until they are ready to make personal contact with the Realtor®. Once they’ve identified your site as a valuable and helpful destination, they’ll become more receptive to providing personal information. Free home valuations, or unique neighborhood information and statistics can be of interest to thousands of prospects in your area. That’s the value add. Consumers appreciate it, and it works.

Independent market research identifies the top reasons why consumers go to real estate sites. Armed with this knowledge, brokers and agents can easily position themselves to win in their markets.

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2005 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report, 95 percent of visitors to real estate websites go there to look for listings.

Within listings, 86 percent of consumers said the most valuable content was photos and descriptions.

Independent research also lists photos as the top reason why consumers go to a real estate website, at 89 percent. The second most important reason is property search, which comes in at a close 81 percent. Mapping takes third place at 77 percent, followed by financing and locating an agent, at 31 percent and 26 percent respectively.

Why is it then that Realtors® often fail to leverage such findings on their websites? Why do many listings often feature a single photo, and often none?

Holding back information is a strategy that no longer works. If consumers can’t get the information they need, on your website, they’ll move on. The strategy of placing a registration on a real estate website to gain IDX access is slowly dying. Sure there will still be some business around for you, but you’ll never know of the opportunities you lost. There are simply too many real estate search sites popping up that provide open access to listings, including major franchise portals like RE/

Listings featured on, a website that aggregates listings from tens of thousands of real estate agents indicates that more and more Realtors® are investing time to post a number of photos with their listings and offer to the consumer details that go far beyond the basics of square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Comments contributed by home sellers about their listings have also started to grow in popularity on the site, further reinforcing the fact that consumers today, be it buyers or sellers want to be more informed and more involved.

Over and above direct access to compelling and useful information, do provide access to one or more important tools, in exchange for an e-mail address. It’s non-threatening. It’s also a very important element of the lead conversion process.


White Paper - Part V

Lead Generation & Conversion

There is universal consensus that exposure is by and large useless if you can’t convert leads to revenue. Today and in the future, methods of lead generation and conversion will have to change for real estate companies to improve the ROI on both online and offline advertising. New online services such as Zillow seek to empower the consumer with more information. Companies that turn themselves into knowledge destinations and leading sources for information will win the consumer over – and their business.

This next section focuses on 3 issues with lead generation and conversion: rich data, responsiveness and predictive modeling.


White Paper Part IV - Online Branding


Traditionally, the best source of advertising for a real estate brokerage is the ‘for sale’ yard sign. It brands the agent and the brokerage in the specific neighborhood. Search sites are now providing a new and similar branding opportunity online through the broker’s listings. Sites like, Trulia and Point2 Homes provide different branding options for displaying listings. In short, the more sites your listings are posted on, and the more sites they are branded on, the stronger your brand will be online. Considering the shear volume of consumers researching real estate online, branding on the Internet should be just as important to brokerages as offline branding.

Unfortunately, few brokerages are taking full advantage of the different ways they can today brand themselves on the Internet. Service providers offering syndication tools should facilitate the different branding options as well.

Effective online branding can be optimized further by enhancing online exposure for the brokerage website as well as its affiliated agent sites.

There are several common brokerage models in as far as agent websites are concerned:

Centralized Model - Some brokerages choose to operate one website and focus all their marketing efforts on it. Agents affiliated with the company are not permitted to have their own websites. Brokerages that provide their agents with a web page, directory, or 3rd level domain name derived from the main brokerage site fall under this category. The main benefits of this model include the brokerage’s ability to protect and control its online branding, control lead generation and management, and effectively manage its responsiveness in the marketplace.

But these benefits come at a price. The major draw back is that the brokerage ends up losing important search engine visibility advantages. A number of well marketed, interlinked websites that connect the brokerage’s main site with all of its affiliate agent sites is easy to set up and maximizes visibility and exposure on search engines. Such a system optimizes search engine rankings for both the broker site as well its agents’, turning the network into a highly competitive online exposure and lead generation engine that delivers significant, incremental benefits to the entire organization.

In-House Service Provider Model - Some franchises and real estate companies offer agent website solutions that are free standing, and typically not directly linked to the brokerage site. The benefits of this model is that the website solution can be a revenue source for the company, provided development and support costs are manageable. The obvious downside is that few companies invest enough into these technologies to keep their agent solutions on the leading edge. They suffer in their visibility, flexibility and lead handling capabilities.

De-Centralized Model - Other brokerages choose to operate a website of their own but give their agents the option to have their own separate website irrespective of whether they use the same service provider or not. This is the more common model, especially for smaller brokerages. Companies like RE/MAX where agents largely operate as independent contractors also use this model. The main draw back from this model, which is a source of pain for many brokerages we have spoken with is that it does not allow the brokerage to control how its brand is represented online.

On the other hand, some of the benefits this approach delivers is more personal marketing freedom for agents, and linkage between sites, which is valuable for enhancing search engine rankings and exposure for everyone involved.

With this approach being the most popular, many brokerages who deploy this model face more challenges over and above controlling the consistency of their branding online, namely:

1) How to maximize online exposure by leveraging website linkage;
2) How to streamline and manage the lead management process between the brokerage and its affiliate agent sites; and,
3) How to ensure the solution remains ahead of the innovation curve to benefit from its technological advantages as well as its value as a recruitment and retention tool

A proven model is to provide agents with a quality template website solution that gives them personal marketing and positioning flexibility, yet reflects the brokerage’s branding accurately and professionally. When distributed to agents, the sites would link to the brokerage site, right out of the box. The benefits are far reaching and go beyond brand control and natural search optimization. Distributing a strong agent solution is also empowering for the brokerage, as it can be a valuable top talent recruitment and retention tool.

An important footnote is in check at this point. Although providing strong template solutions can be a very sound strategy, there are no easy ways around work that must be done in order for it to be effective. Agents cannot all be provided with websites that feature the same canned content. Each agent must customize their site and add unique, timely and relevant content, in order to optimize search engine positioning for the entire organization. An innovative way to help achieve this goal is to provide agents with websites that incorporate blogging functionality.

Where a template solution may have a few canned pages such as an ‘About the Company’ page, home valuation and home search forms, the focus of the sites should be the agent listings, which are all different and, ideally, blog content.

Blogging not only promotes unique content but also benefits the site from the long tail of search (Broad Search terms) and the linking benefits blogs inherently bring to the mix.


Monday, October 23, 2006

White Paper - Part III

Vertical Search

Vertical Search in real estate refers to websites that are solely dedicated to real estate property search. More and more consumers are today choosing to go directly to such sites for their search, rather than through natural search engines. Examples of vertical search sites include, and

Growing Search Options

Over the past year, with the Web 2.0 craze, we’ve seen new real estate vertical search engines pop up everywhere. Trulia, Propsmart, Extate, RealEstateAdvisor and others launched within relatively short periods from each other. We’ve seen many of these new companies innovate the search experience to levels unseen before. Still, many generate content from scraping other real estate websites. In an effort to improve their accuracy and to operate more cooperatively with real estate companies, the majority quickly started to accept structured data feeds as a preferred way to generate their content.

For the purpose of this paper, we will include classified search sites as part of the vertical search discussion. Classified ad sites include Craigslist, LiveDeal, Oodle, Yahoo! Classifieds and perhaps Google Base. Again, over the past year we’ve seen rapid growth in free classified ad sites. Founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark, Craigslist was one of the first free classified ad sites out. Today, the site generates billions of page views each month. While Craig and his team have not aggressively monetized the site, most of the other classified ad sites will move towards generating revenue from selling enhanced advertising placements. In addition to classified ads, Yahoo! and Google allow users to place structured data into their systems. Google Base now provides users with a structured way to search for real estate listings that have been added to its database.

Because most vertical search sites do not charge any fees for uploading listings, they have created new advertising opportunities for real estate companies. For Realtors® who have been accustomed to paying high fees to advertise listings on sites like, this is welcome news.

Numerous real estate search sites have also brought on new challenges. They have dispersed consumers, making it increasingly difficult for brokerages to effectively target their advertising, optimize their online marketing efforts and focus their resources and efforts. Widening the net, beyond exposure on search engines, the MLS® and, has become critical.

Another issue we must examine in the context of online listing exposure is the practice of data scraping by vertical search sites in addition to the use of different listing publishing sources to generate content. Open access to listings comes at the expense of, whom else, the listing broker or agent. It is crucial as such to control listings, for a number of reasons, the least of which is the fact that they are the most valuable marketing asset a Realtor® possesses. Another good reason is to leverage the data to generate analytics and reports that can enhance Internet lead conversion, as well as secure and benefit from a full menu of advertising options available to the real estate professional, on the Internet.

Point2 Technologies was one of the first companies to offer syndication solutions for real estate companies to manage and drive listing feeds to vertical search sites. Over the past year, we have worked closely with the Google Base Team, the Yahoo! Classifieds team, LiveDeal, Trulia, Oodle and other, new startups. In the process, we’ve gained significant insight on syndication:

- Many of the vertical search sites and classified sites have their own feed formats. This means that to send listings to these sites, a separate feed will have to be provisioned for that partner. In their quest to maintain a positive quality of search experience for their consumers, many maintain their feed specifications such that real estate companies must maintain their feeds up to date.

- Real estate vertical search is relatively new. In 2005 and 2006, new companies in this space focused mainly on securing content. What lacks right now, almost across the board, is the ability to provide listing publishing reports to the listing provider. Wide exposure through these new sites can be a powerful addition to listing presentations, but when included, consumers will invariably want to check for their listings. If they are not found, the Realtor® would likely receive a call from the customer, and syndication becomes more of a hassle than a valuable tool. When listings are sent to a search site as part of a structured feed, a real estate company will want a report confirming its listings have been successfully uploaded, along with a URL directing right to each of those listings. Should the upload fail, the report would provide an explanation that can help to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. To allow better integrations with 3rd parties, vertical search sites that consumer listing feeds need to provide machine readable XML documents - something that is not yet commonly done.

These types of services have been the focus of recent work Point2 has undertaken with its syndication partners, and are proving extremely valuable to real estate companies in incorporating vertical search as part of their marketing.

- The next step is receive analytics back from publishing sites on views and clicks that can be shown to home sellers, to demonstrate the added value a real estate company is bringing on the marketing side. Very few vertical search sites today provide these statistics, but they will soon need to in order to effectively sell enhanced advertising placement products. Once more sites begin to provide useful statistics and reports, real estate companies will gain the added confidence they need to spend advertising dollars on those sites. They will also need an integrated dashboard to efficiently help measure ROI.

The reality is that listings have to show up where consumers are looking online, but the task is daunting and costly. Automating the process is critical, and the collective effort can be a substantial technical investment even to brokerages with strong IT (Information Technology) departments.

Real estate companies will be working with more educated consumers in the future. Companies will need to syndicate their listings to as wide an audience as possible, and they will want to provide their clients with ways to view that exposure and understand its reach, coverage and impact.

The best and easiest solution for leveraging vertical search is to syndicate your listing content. Send structured feeds to listing sites and ensure your company’s website is not being scraped. Your listings get distributed automatically to specialty websites across your markets, and as more of these sites emerge, your service provider is likely to expand their partner network to cover them. Seek one point of data entry, a single menu of syndication sites with the option to opt in or opt out, and an integrated reporting interface with analytics to help you figure where your leads are coming from, for better decision making.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Exposure - Natural Search

Market Fragmentation & Exposure

According to the 2006 Internet vs. Traditional Buyers Survey published by the California Association of Realtors (CAR), 9 out of 10 Internet buyers found their agent through a real estate search site. As of 2006, Internet buyers represented 71 percent of total buyers, a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

With numbers this high, increasing online exposure should become a major goal for any real estate brokerage. This section explores four strategies successful brokerages must adopt to win in this area:

· Natural Search optimization;
· Vertical search optimization;
· Offline advertising; and,
· Combined online and offline branding.

As we examine each of the four categories, it is worthwhile to note key differences between natural and vertical search. It’s also important to highlight that both are critical.

Natural search refers to optimizing online content for inclusion in traditional search engines indexes, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN Search and Ask. Vertical search on the other hand involves getting listing content submitted to real estate specific search sites. This generally involves feeding structured data to these sources, wherein natural search involves allowing content to be automatically crawled and indexed by machines.

Natural Search

For years, relevance has been one of the primary goals of major search engines. By most accounts, search engines such as Google have improved the relevance of their search results and their ability to programmatically identify the most appropriate documents for specific search terms. Leading local real estate brokerages are in the best position to take advantage of improvements in search, yet few do. Most brokerages lack the basic search engine optimization knowledge on their team, but more problematic is the abundance of choices of online service providers they can work with, many of whom also lack this basic knowledge.

According to the CAR survey mentioned earlier, of all Internet buyers who found their agent through a real estate search site, 60 percent started their search on an Internet search engine. But, unfortunately, many real estate brokerages have made natural search optimization a non goal. While a company’s position on a search engine is by and large not controllable, there are some fundamental strategies companies should follow to optimize their ranking. This is critical, as it directly relates to lead generation. 63% of Internet buyers started their search on an Internet search engine
- CAR 2006 Internet vs. Traditional Home Buyers Survey

Following are three fundamental strategies real estate companies need to think about with respect to visibility through natural search.

I- Popularity - Search engines quantify a website’s popularity by measuring the number of links it has pointing to it. There are many key algorithmic factors that play into the ultimate placement of a site, but in general, the key is to have as many online articles and blogs point to your website as you possibly can. The better quality these websites and blogs are, the more beneficial and relevant their links become to the search engine. A real estate company can start a program focused on seeking links, but the best long term strategy is to incorporate the company’s URL in all offline and online marketing so anyone seeing it can easily access the site and, in the case of blogs, comment on it. The latter is especially important, given the increasing popularity of blogs.

Blogs are an entire topic to themselves, but for the purpose of this paper, I will briefly go over what they are and why they matter.

Blogs are simple websites or website sections that generally display content in reverse chronological order. Content posted by a blog author is typically open for comments by readers, usually leading to discussion about the content by interested parties. The content can be syndicated to third party blogs and websites through a feed (RSS, Atom, XML). Blogging commands time commitment because in order to be engaging and generate an audience, blog content has to be timely, relevant, and valuable to the readers it targets. The benefits however can be significant. Because of their conversational nature, blogs naturally link to each other, helping to multiply the number of links back to your website, a key part of your ‘‘popularity strategy’ with search engines. An excellent source for a more comprehensive discussion on blogs is the book Naked Conversations, by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.

II- Content - It is critical for search engine optimization to ensure that your most valuable online content can be easily found and indexed by machines. This refers to property listings. Commonly, real estate companies have websites that display listings via a feed or link from the MLS, and place the listing content inside frames. The most important thing to remember from this section is that content in framesets can not be readily seen and indexed by search engine crawlers. Some framesets launch a listing search in a new window with JavaScript, and some hide the majority of listing content behind a registration. These implementations prevent listing content from being properly crawled.

Let’s consider the example of a brokerage that has over 100 property listings. Each listing represents a minimum of one page of valuable content. Since a website’s position in search engines is enhanced by increasing the amount of content it offers, you can effectively leverage each of your listings by giving each its own web address (URL). And to maximize the value of that page to search engine crawlers, that URL should be descriptive.

III- Web Page Description - The third major strategy for search engine optimization is to accurately describe online documents (pages). Real estate is a local business. Therefore, terms consumer use to search for real estate include local information, such as the general location and neighborhood name. Of course, descriptions need to consider listing types, styles and features. As such, online documents or web pages must accurately describe the content on the page, both in the title and meta information. But they also need to describe the content using commonly used search terms and phrases. Doing both will maximize traffic from common searches as well as from the long tail of search. More on that in a moment.

While identifying popular search terms to apply to your listing descriptions on your site, it is important to be deeply descriptive in order to take advantage of the long tail of search.

The long tail refers to deeper or narrower searches conducted by consumers using search engines to find what they are looking for. As search engines have improved at returning relevant content, many people have become more efficient at using them and are conducting more exact searches to help find exactly what they are looking for, faster.

For comparison, following are some examples of Broad Search and Exact Search terms.

Broad Search:

- San Francisco real estate
- San Francisco homes for sale
- Denver real estate
- Denver homes for sale

Exact Search (typically considered the long tail):

- Nob Hill San Francisco homes for sale
- Homes for sale in Nob Hill San Francisco
- Lakeview Denver homes for sale
- Condos for sale in Lakeview Denver, Colorado

It is important to realize that the long tail of search (Exact Search) has today become extremely relevant, as more consumers are now refining their real estate search queries down to the neighborhood name level, rather than by larger city names. Recent analysis conducted by Point2 Technologies using Google Analytics, on traffic generated to the company’s real estate portal, showed that some of the busiest market centers are getting anywhere from 15 to 40 percent of their direct traffic from narrow neighborhood searches, such as the examples listed above. Below is a chart of direct traffic to a content section on Over the specified time period that covered a total of 420 searches, 126 or 30 percent of the keyword searches were local neighborhood level search, or, search from the long tail.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, it is. But solutions such as Point2 Agent, Point2 Broker and Point2 Builder are designed to address these requirements, automatically optimizing listings pages for major search engines. The real estate professional needs to merely input listing data on simple web forms, and select structured feature sets. In other words, simply enter your listings and allow the underlying technology to manage search engine optimization for you. Further, the Point2 system gives each listing its own optimized URL, so it can be more easily crawled and indexed by search engines.


White Paper Overview

Overview – Brokerage Online Marketing Strategies

The real estate industry is changing rapidly. The source of much of that change is the Internet, which itself is undergoing rapid and constant change. The Web is becoming a richer medium with innovations in video that are raising user expectations to new heights. Online service companies are turning themselves inside out, creating open and interoperable systems that are driving innovation at blinding speed. Internet adoption as part of daily life across all segments of the population has made it near universal. Search has evolved, allowing consumers to more quickly and easily find what they are looking for. For the real estate industry, this means that an extremely high percentage of consumers today research real estate online, demand more access to data, and expect a better user experience. This also means that innovation in real estate and related businesses is happening at a faster pace than ever before.

Story after story suggests that more brokerages are drawing significant benefits from new consumer trends online. This is the consumer who goes first to the Internet to research real estate.

Be it to research their next home, the value of their property, or merely to gauge how much of a home they can afford, more consumers are now going online.

Specifically, over 80 percent of them and increasing, according to numerous surveys published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), regional Realtor® associations, franchises and other industry sources.

We’ve all become very familiar with the numbers. But how to exactly take advantage of these trends and the massive technology advances in the industry remains elusive to many real estate organizations.

With the majority of consumers now using the Internet to research real estate, brokerages must first and foremost focus on increasing Internet exposure, brand awareness, lead generation, conversion and lastly, better inter-brokerage cooperation.

Real estate companies that do not develop a comprehensive online strategy will risk losing their competitiveness and will see enormous, constantly evolving opportunities pass them by. Moreover, it is the responsibility of all real estate firms today to participate in a strategy that can ensure the new consumer continues to turn to organized real estate despite the constant barrage of innovation that incessantly encourages them to consider or seek alternatives.

This paper looks at specific, actionable strategies and technologies real estate brokerages can embrace today to help enhance their competitiveness online.


Brokerage White Paper

Again, it's been a while since I've posted. I'm going to post chucks of a white paper we've been working on that discusses Brokerage marketing and adressing the needs of the new consumer. I'll try to get all the images up properly.