- an advertising model for realtors

Home sellers - this is how works. If your realtor advertises with, he/she (or their broker, who generally owns and manages the agency the realtor works for) may pay monthly fees to to get your listing to show up on top 10% of the time in a rotation. is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors, hence the great domain name. It sponsors Real Estate Marketing Expos around the country as a way to attract realtors into advertising on The expo I went to in San Ramon this morning filled the room of about 120 to standing room... critical crowd mass to generate that "I'll buy now" momentum.

Simply put,'s pitch to realtors makes the following points:
1) "86% of home buyers find realtor online" - realtors must realize they need to advertise online.
2) California Association of Realtor 2004 report (slide footnote) shows home buyers using internet buy a home within 2 weeks, as opposed to over 7 weeks for non-internet users. Internet makes realtors' job easier.
3) Consumers now more savvy due to the internet and are questioning realtors' commission structure (and thus more demanding of quid-pro-quo).
4) is largest aggregator of MLS systems (over 800), and thus positioned to draw more users than local MLS. Advertising on supplements the realtor local MLS listing and demonstrates value to the realtor client with greater marketing exposure.

Like most seminars, agents can buy advertising on the spot. The agent has various options to market their featured homes to more prominent positions or to advertise themselves in banner ads based on locality.

How does this impact you, the home seller? Would you choose to work with an agent who will market your property on Or would you choose an agent who will market on Craigslist?

Marketing is usually a non-transparent issue when choosing a listing agent (good topic for later discussion)...the home seller usually doesn't know exactly how much the agent will pay out of pocket to market their property. Generally agents don't explicitly present a marketing program with financials. So a agent is potentially better armed to close on the seller by implying he/she is paying for ads. provides the quid-pro-quo lubricating the close and it's inherent in the business model.

I met two realtor friends, both from San Francisco, an hour's drive away from San Ramon, so they really were checking out.  The first said "why should I advertise on when I already pay for my @#! MLS listing? I can get better leads from SEO". She's right... SEO works for her and her decision is based solely on advertising efficacy, which requires savvy and experience in working leads, both of which she has.

The second said "I'll advertise and distribute the costs of advertising by getting my affiliates - title, mortgage broker - to pitch in and co-market with me." She is also a leader in SF real estate and she has assessed as a good play... She also works with Coldwell Banker and apparently CB has a blanket deal with to promote listings by their agents ('s b2b model).

I don't know if doesn't lock realtors into one year contracts like some of the lead generation companies... may be the destination today, but Zillow or another forum may be the advertising choice tomorrow.

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  • 8/23/2006 4:53 AM Teresa Boardman wrote:
    Not a fan of It is not a consumer friendly site and is declining in use and popularity as home buyers find better local sites. Even though I don't pay for it all my listings show up on and I can tell my clients that their listing will be on I have honestly gotten better results from Craigs list. On some level I resent the fact that the national association has a web site that competes with my own home search and they want me to pay to have enhanced listings. There, I said it out loud . . .
    Reply to this
    1. 8/23/2006 7:29 AM Transparent RE wrote:
      Thanks Teresa, reviews like this are exactly what I want to hear... I will continue to explain business models to Transparent Real Estate's target readership - the home buyer and seller - and hope more realtors provide comments and reviews...
      Reply to this

    2. 8/23/2006 3:25 PM Jane Yurkevich wrote:
      I paid for for a year and got exactly 3 calls from my enhanced listings. It definitely helps to get listings but as far as finding buyers for those listings, Craigslist postings get so much more response. I think that consumers sence that is yet another middle man between them and the property.
      Reply to this

  • 8/23/2006 9:25 AM Bonnie Erickson wrote:
    I'm in agreement with Teresa (I assume this is the illustrious Teresa from my market area!). Whenever I place a listing on the MLS, it automatically goes into the database. It frustrates me that the big companies, i.e., Coldwell Banker, pay for extra privileges when my member dues are used to create and pay for the platform. For another member to be allowed better placement on a site that I am paying for aggravates me to no end. Because they are big does not mean they are better. The site is confusing to the consumer as it is a portal for the consumer, but also a portal for the trade organization members. I have to pay additional money to to include a virtual tour of my listing as well when the virtual tour is already part of the MLS listing from which they draw the info to place on their site. I had a separate web page on for 2 years because it was hyped as the number one source of leads. I did not get one contact from their site, not even for information.

    Secondly, I wonder what pool of suspects or guinea pigs, I mean participants, they use to determine their statistics that are quoted above. I sell houses to a lot of buyers that don't have computers. How would those clients participate in an online survey, for instance? Stats, they're good, but they can also be misleading! Plus they've been quoting those stats for quite some time now.

    Just a hint for future use. REALTOR is a registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS. It is their "mark". Members can be warned and/or fined for using it improperly, i.e., not capitalizing it as in your story, or using it in advertising like "Your REALTOR for life" or "Your Twin City REALTOR". REALTOR is not my career; it designates my membership in the trade organization of the National Association of REALTORS which highly regulates its members' use of the "mark". My career is sales or real estate agent. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS. (We're also supposed to use the registered trademark symbol but can capitalize all letters when the web does not provide the symbol!)
    Reply to this
    1. 8/24/2006 5:19 AM Teresa Boardman wrote:
      Yes this is the illustrious Teresa from my market area. (our market area) When I was with Coldwell Banker I got the free enhanced listings, I did get some leads but they were very low quality. - - - it did make me feel important and superior.
      Reply to this
      1. 8/24/2006 7:13 AM Bonnie Erickson wrote:
        Ooooh, you strut your stuff, girlfriend!
        Reply to this

    2. 8/24/2006 9:09 PM Transparent RE wrote:

      Thank you Bonnie. Your knowledge of and experience with's business methods, trademark tricks, and even the fact that their stats have not changed in two years (the source in Tuesday's presentation was CAR 2004... that "86% found agent over the internet" figure sounds very suspect for 2004) really validates some of the questions I had from the seminar this week.

      I searched " critics" and " criticism" and " reviews"... only saw reviews by customers, but no articles that shed light on the efficacy of their advertising. Is there any study available to realtors analyzing the various advertising and lead generation sources?


      Reply to this

  • 8/23/2006 3:17 PM Jane Yurkevich wrote:
    Just think about it - I don't think it is happening in any other industry: you pay the MLS for the listings to be included and then they get sold to and then YOU pay again for a couple of pictures to be added. Remember that company NetZero that wanted to provide free internet access to the public? Well, guess what - it is not free anymore!
    Reply to this

  • 6/9/2007 9:02 PM Terry Smith wrote:
    I just canceled my features package this year after 5 years, got some leads, no good leads, did get a low ball offer from a lawyer 3 years OK - that was no good.
    I just listed a home yesterday and it already showed up on, my client already told me about a typo, as long as it shows up it, it doesn't need all the bells and whistles. charges by how many listings you have a year and it is very expensive. Those banner skyscraper ads on the side are 8K! I hope they work.
    Reply to this

  • 12/30/2007 4:50 AM Alex wrote:
    As the market of construction now differs the predictability of demand favorable, the steady tendency in dynamics(changes) of the prices, and object - high competitiveness the majority to risk are shown to a minimum.
    Reply to this

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