As I wander around the internet, following the thread of an interesting comment, I find myself in new spaces. I am fairly analytical, so I like reading about studies that have been conducted on various topics. Because I am considering how to develop my blog site, and what is the latest trend for SEO, I have been spending my time poking around the sites of many of the experts on this topic. After partaking in some discussions about Yahoo’s BOSS, I followed a thread back to a site, which may prove useful to Realtors.
Please read this post for yourself, but here is a quick summary. Marketers are researching how consumers find information on line, so they can better meet their needs. Many alt search engines have been filling this void, causing our clients to eschew Google and Yahoo for something more focused. Look around you, to see that there are many of these sites for the real estate industry. (A little definition as a precaution: “alt search engines” of course means alternative search engines, and these are sites that specialize in searching one specific topic; it is felt that they produce better results for searchers because they are so focused; for example, a search for home inspection can bring up results for nursing home inspections or for a real estate inspection).
Realtors will be aware that their firm has a main site that helps market homes that they are listing, so in a way they provide the same service as one of these search engines, but with a greater focus. Here is the rub of the study: your firm does not position well in search results. Independent websites are doing a better job at pushing homes than your brokerage firm. ReMax is doing best among these companies.
What does this mean for a Realtor? Maybe not much. From sites like Active Rain, we can see Realtors posting listings on their own, and they can come to position well in a specific market if they work on their SEO. However, if ReMax was at the top position for searches, a Realtor for Remax could gain quite a bit of authority in the search engines by associating with that site. Remember part of positioning on a page is based on the authority of other sites linked to you. Probably right now, it would be better for you to be associated with a site like Trulia or Zillow rather than your own firm’s site. You may consider holding your firm accountable, and have them start working on their marketing for the internet.
What does this mean for the consumer? I pose this question because internet marketing does take on more significance in our world. You may wish to be more knowledgeable about how your home is being marketed. Does your Realtor have a presence on a site like Trulia? Here I should clarify a fact. If you are trying to go the FSBO route, you will find that many of these alt search engines will only except listings from Realtors or sites that have information provided by Realtors, so in some fashion, you should go with a Realtor, or you have to pay a fee to a site like FSBO.com. When you compare the Realtor’s commission to the charges on that site, you may find that you are not really coming out ahead (I know because I did my own study of the costs vs. fees involved).
In the end, I encourage you to go to the source post. I just wish to give you something to think about, before you head over there.