Portal Marketing and FREE portals!

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It seems real estate portal marketing to agents these days is all about ……..well I really don’t know what is going on. Whilst REA continue to talk about visitor numbers (at 3.7+ million and growing, why wouldn’t you?) Domain talk about how much better they are or how much faster they are growing than their competitors (easy of a lower base) and MyHome seem to be in fairyland just making stuff up.

So who can you trust? Trust your own results. If a real estate portal (small and large) wants you to give them a try, then ask for a 6 month FREE trial, if they are confident that they will bring you business then this is what you should do. New portals such as MyHome might seem cheap but if you are paying $700 per month on REA or $400 per month on Domain and you are getting plenty of enquiries then $165.00 a month for MyHome or any other portal that brings little to no results will end up being more expensive. Portal marketing will be all about their strengths, be sure to check out their weaknesses.

1. Ask for a minimum 6 month free trial with a 2 year subscription at the end of a trial if you get the results you set out.
2. Sit down and set some result benchmarks (email enquiries are the only accurate measurement) per property.

If these portals are so confident of what they can produce then they should have no problem giving you a free trial. In my opinion 3 months is not enough time to truly gauge results, so try and push for more. Remember the sales person more than likely gets paid for results, so he/she may well be a little flighty with the whole truth.

Get all agreements in writing or take a screen-shot of their terms and conditions page.

Should you export to FREE portals?
In one word yes! But there has to be some rules in place. Make sure that they have systems in place to detailed reports back to you on what listings have been added, sold, withdrawn, under offer or leased. Make sure that these reports come back to you each day and that they give you all of the details of the listing that you need without having to go to their website and check. You want to spend your time answering calls NOT checking listings or calling portals asking them to remove properties that were sold months ago. FREE portals will spring up everywhere over the next 12-18 months but do not expect to see results in the short term, often these sites take a lot longer to become successful not only for them but also for yourself. Be sure to check:

1. What is their policy on future subscriptions? Is it free for now or forever?
2. Will they ever have different types of packages, such as premium, platinum or any of that kind of rubbish?
3. Do they report back to you on each upload?

Finally, get all agreements in writing or take a screen-shot of their terms and conditions page. Oh and if they call themselves the ‘Google of Real Estate’, show them the door!

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  • Phil
    Posted October 28, 2007 at 10:49 pm 0Likes

    Great post. I agree with you Peter. Just a few points if you could please clarify. Thanks.

    “3. Do they report back to you on each upload?”
    – What do you mean by this??

    “…or calling portals asking them to remove properties that were sold months ago. ”
    – also what do you mean by this? If you’re registered on a portal you should already be able to delete a listing? Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Peter
    Posted October 28, 2007 at 11:21 pm 0Likes

    Do they report back to you on each upload?
    It is no good feeding data to a portal if the portal does not send data back to you letting you know what properties are successful and which ones were not. Companies like mine and agents should not have to check every upload making sure data was sent and processed correctly, all of the major portals send data back n on the success or otherwise of each upload.

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