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A company’s success is often bolstered by its partnerships. In the following interview, Phyllis Brookshire, President of Allen Tate REALTORS®, talks about her company’s vital partnership with realtor.com®.

Brookshire_PhyllisPhyllis Brookshire
President
Allen Tate REALTORS®
Charlotte, N.C.

Your company not only has great marketshare, but is a well-known name in your area. I’m sure you have great traffic to your own website, and we know you pay attention to the impact of online marketing. This last year you expanded your presence to include realtor.com®. What are your goals with these two websites?
We need both a strong national online presence and a strong local online presence. While most of our clients are local, we need to make sure we’re getting our name out in front of anyone who may not be familiar with the local companies and agents. Working with realtor.com® is a great way to position Allen Tate REALTORS® in front of this audience.

Now that these things are up and running, are you getting good results?
We’re very pleased with the results we’re seeing through realtor.com®. Not only are we getting more exposure for our sellers, but the quality of leads has been very good. In addition, our client relations team has seen double the amount of leads each month, and our monthly number of closings from Internet leads has increased.

The National Association of REALTORS® recently asked some probing questions about where consumers found their agent, and it appears more consumers are finding their agent on realtor.com® than on the other big national sites. Do you think this is an effect of how the REALTOR® is positioned on realtor.com®?
We like the way realtor.com® positions REALTORS® on their site. The Find a REALTOR® page is consumer-friendly with good information, and on property pages, it’s easy for consumers to identify the listing agent.

The NAR study also showed that 93 percent of homebuyers thought having accurate listings was very important or extremely important in determining which site they used to search for properties. Is the accuracy of data important to you?
Accurate data is absolutely important, and it’s one of the reasons we chose to partner with realtor.com®. As REALTORS®, we’re responsible for presenting both buyers and sellers with the most accurate information possible. Taking this one step further, the commercials created by NAR go a long way toward informing the consumer about the importance of accurate data, in addition to explaining the connection to using a REALTOR®.

What makes for an ideal relationship between an online Web company and your company?
An online Web company is a vendor relationship for us. There are many tools, systems and marketing avenues available. There are differences between their features and benefits. But in the end, the ability to have a great working relationship with your vendor partner is critical to success. Not only do they need to be responsive, and willing to adapt to your market and your needs, they also need to be truthful and they need to care about your success. The team at realtor.com® has been terrific. With 1,400 agents, 40 offices and nine MLSs, our partnership is multi-layered. Realtor.com® asks good questions, understands our goals, and is always willing to find a solution.

Do you think realtor.com®’s decision to not include FSBOs helps support the viewpoint that data is best presented with the expertise of an agent?
Yes. As REALTORS®, we have the expertise and access to data that allows us to properly advise buyers and sellers on the price of a home.

How about estimated prices? On homes for sale, realtor.com® only shows the price established between the real estate broker and the seller. Is this an important policy to you?
As I says before, it’s our responsibility as REALTORS® to present accurate information. You could have two homes, built at the same time, by the same builder, in the same neighborhood, with the same floor plan and due to lot location, condition, and improvements, there could be a very different market price. First impressions are critical. If a house is tied to an estimate that’s either too high or too low, expectations have been set incorrectly before the house is even viewed. There’s no question that will impact how the transaction proceeds.

Are you getting help implementing your program from realtor.com®?
Absolutely. We have worked with more than 10 realtor.com® team members who are specialists in their area of expertise. Our account manager Stephanie and our regional director Brooks are both terrific.

Any other comments?
We chose to partner with realtor.com® because we philosophically align with their vision to present the most accurate data on properties for sale that are listed with REALTORS®. That philosophy ensures consumers have the best possible real estate experience. And that’s what matters most to Allen Tate Companies.

For more information, visit http://marketing.realtor.com/topbrokers.

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