What marketing strategies are you using to succeed in this environment? Is online a big factor?
Taking advantage of the World Wide Web is a critical part of our strategy. As much as we live our lives and raise our children in our homes, housing is still a commodity. When you don’t have the supply and demand ratio in your favor, you won’t get market value if you don’t expose your commodity to the market across a wide range of websites, such as realtor.com®.
I understand you signed on for the realtor.com® Company™ Showcase program? What led to this decision?
This is the third year we’ve been working with the program. We did a number of small-group studies where we asked participants to pretend they were searching for a home to buy in St. Louis Park. The vast majority went to Google. About 5 percent went to branded sites within the Twin City area and about 10–20 percent went to realtor.com®. Even the people who searched on Google chose the search results with realtor.com® in the URL. They trusted the realtor.com® link over Trulia and Zillow as a real branded link that would give them the straight dope. Obviously, people are seeking out realtor.com® for a reason, so we said, let’s invest in this. We have had phenomenal success and phenomenal buy-in from our agents.
With inventory at such low levels, how does realtor.com® help your agents compete to secure listings?
Simply put, if you’re going to get the market value for a home, you have to expose it as widely as possible to the market. Realtor.com® has that type of viewership and has that many impressions.
How do your sales associates promote the advantages of your online marketing to potential sellers?
Placing the listing on realtor.com® is a central piece of how we market ourselves via our listing presentation. We mention our company website, then we mention remax.com, then we mention realtor.com®. We explain how it’s the number-one research site in America. Even though Zillow and Trulia have pulled down some big numbers that claim they have more impressions, the best and highest quality leads come from realtor.com®.