Posts Tagged as Statistics (page 2)

Understanding Traffic to Your Property Website

Getting traffic to your property websites is step one. Understanding where that traffic comes from is a VERY important step two.

Getting traffic to your property websites is step one. Understanding where that traffic comes from is a VERY important step two. Traffic = visitors. Visitors = potential leads and clients. Understanding traffic to your property website is crucial.

Analyzing your website traffic is about more than counting your weekly or monthly visitor numbers. You should also review live statistics that tell you where your visitors are coming from. How are these visitors finding your property website, and where are they coming from? How can you maximize these visits and convert them into home buyer or home seller clients?

 property-website-traffic-report

[CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION]

The most recent statistical data from Properties Online [see graphic] tells us some very interesting and important things. We have compiled the traffic statistics from ALL Listings Unlimited and Listing Domains single property sites and found that:

  • 44% of traffic is direct traffic, meaning these visitors have gone directly to your site by typing in the URL. This includes both sign rider and word-of-mouth traffic.
  • 28% of traffic is referral traffic, and this is an important one to watch. Facebook currently refers HALF of all referral traffic to single property websites. Social media should be an important part of your real estate marketing plan.
  • Most visitors (56.8%) view your single property websites on their desktop computer, but growing numbers (28.7% and 14.5%, respectively) use their mobile phones or tablets.
  • It’s easy to increase your traffic. Property websites with Top Level Domain (555AnySt.com) AND sign rider drive 5 TIMES more traffic than those without.

It’s in your best interest to:

1. Promote all your listings through single property websites

2. Make sure your websites are optimized for mobile (here’s a hint and some reassurance: if you’re using Listings Unlimited, they are

3. Use Top Level Domains AND custom sign riders

4. Be involved in social media – start with a Facebook Business Page

5. Make use of the automated Facebook App, free with every Listings Unlimited site

Questions to ask:

  • Who are my visitors?
  • Where do they come from?
  • Where do they land?
  • How long do they stay?
  • Which referring sites send the most traffic my way?
  • How to custom sign riders and top level domain names affect my traffic?
  • What are the most popular pages on my site?
  • How many repeat visitors does my site receive?
  • How often are pages on my site shared (this can be viewed at a glance with social sharing buttons installed)?\

Once you start to do a little digging and applying, you’ll probably find your websites statistics fascinating. You’ll be able to compare your stats to the compiled stats we found, and look at ways to improve your individual site’s traffic. We’re good at that, so feel free to ask for help.

Simple Analytics for Small Business Agents

Analyzing web traffic is a lot different for a small business than a national or multinational corporation. As a real estate agent, you may be working for you and you alone. That means that the responsibility for generating new leads – home buyers and sellers – falls squarely on your shoulders. Making effective marketing choices and attracting more clients has a lot to do with knowing where your customers and leads actually come from. Here are some simple analytics for small business agents.

In the real estate industry, referrals are king. Sellers and buyers alike are more likely to trust an agent who they’ve found via a referral, and more likely to go from a lead to an actual client. But what about those potential customers who don’t have a referral to fall back on? Well, statistics show that the #1 place they go to look for a real estate agent is online.

Online searches can provide you with a wealth of information, if you take the time to track and analyze the results. For a small business, understanding simple web analytics can be incredibly helpful. In addition to helping you understand your customer base, you’ll be able to see if and how your website is contributing to your bottom line.

The number of visitors your website receives is a great place to start. This number grows more relevant over time, as you begin to track patterns in its rise and fall and correlate them to any marketing efforts.

Knowing where – geographically – your visitors come from is CRUCIAL for small businesses and real estate professionals specifically. You’re not selling a commoditized product that can be shipped to buyers anywhere. You need local traffic, specific to the area you serve. You may get thousands of visitors to your website every day, but if they’re not living or wanting to live where you’re selling homes, they’ll do you no good when it comes to leads and conversions.

The next step is knowing where your visitors come from – as in, how did they end up on your website? Did they type your actual web address? Find you after using a search engine? Were they referred by your blog or one of the social media sites on which you have a presence? Did they get to your site after scanning a QR code they found on a yard sign or flyer? Knowing what works and how people find you helps you fine tune your access points.

Where do they go? Knowing the bounce rate of your visitors (visitors who leave your site without clicking through to a second page) can be incredibly helpful. If your bounce rate is high, you can assume with some certainty that people aren’t finding what they’re looking for when they land there. This can be for simple reasons, such a geographic discrepancy, in which case you can update the text on your site to be more specific.

Real Estate Agents: Make the Most of Video

73% of homeowners say they’re more likely to list with a real estate agent who offers to market their home or property using video, yet only 4% of realtors put their listings on YouTube (source: NAR). Real estate agents – it’s time to make the most of video.

Photographs are worth the proverbial thousand words. And they are proven to pique the interest of both buyers and sellers when it comes to real estate, and keep them interested for longer. Now video is having its day in the sun – videos are now one of the fastest growing marketing trends for real estate professionals. They are easy to make, easy to add to your property websites, and they can make all the difference when attracting new clients or prompting a sale.

Video is perfect for a social media and for an internet savvy generation,” explains Amanda Cornelius, cofounder and CEO of Properties Online. “Real estate videos provide buyers with a rich experience, they beautifully capture and highlight each listing, and—when included in a single property website—they deeply impress sellers and help you win listings.”

Creating a video for your listings is easy with the right tools. If you have an agent or broker site from RealEstateSites.com, for instance, you can create stunning videos for each listing, using still images, music and special effects. You select the genre and the soundtrack that best fits the property, and the program does the rest. Several property website providers like ListingDomains.com  and ListingsUnlimited.com include an easy to use video builder for each property website.

Cornelius lists 5 “Must Dos” for creating a great real estate video:

ONE: Keep it short. Attention spans on the internet are SHORT. People are busy and don’t have time to watch anything that’s longer than a couple of minutes. The ideal real estate video is about one minute long.

TWO: Add a soundtrack. The right soundtrack gets people in the right mood and will help them enjoy the visuals included in the video.

THREE: Add captions. While you shouldn’t include too much text in a real estate video (after all, this is about visuals), it’s important to include a few captions that highlight the most important information you would like to share about the property.

FOUR: Upload it to YouTube. To get the most out of your video, you really need to take advantage of the SEO benefits that you get by uploading it to YouTube. After all, YouTube is owned by Google, and Google reserves special space in their search results for YouTube videos. In fact, according to one Forrester Research study, you are 50 times more likely to get a page one search result on Google by uploading a video to YouTube.

FIVE: Have fun. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! Creating a real estate video is a wonderfully creative process, and one of the best ways to truly showcase a property. The final outcome is always so exciting to watch. Play with your options, have fun, write short descriptive captions, and the end result will be fun to watch and to share online.

Update Your Real Estate Technology

There are some 2.8 million real estate agents in the United States, and arguably most of them are using outdated equipment and technology. Agents, by nature, cannot work chained to a desk. Software designed for desktop computers is passé and not effective. But most agents haven’t made the switch. Is it time for you to update your real estate technology?

We’ve explored some related statistics before. The average agent, according to NAR and other research firms, is between the ages of 54-58 – not exactly the demographic known for its early adoption of real estate technology or technology in general. But technology is making huge inroads, as portable and mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones grow ever popular, helping to meet the need of buyers who are doing property searches in real time from their mobile phones, every day. Apple’s influence, with the iPhone and iPad, has practically revolutionized parts of the real estate industry.

Today, there is a firm niche for real estate software designed and developed specifically for mobile devices. These location aware apps and systems are available at a much lower price point than their desktop-based predecessors and cost a fraction of the money. Real estate agents now have the capability to work in real time, with all their business productivity software, no matter where they are.

Real estate agents can manage their businesses, from contracts to documents, listings, transactions, and more using mobile solutions, such as:

SmarterAgent. Suite of mobile MLS apps.

Cartavi. Simple document management and eSign designed for real estate agents.

PropertyCapsule. Property portfolio management software for iPad.

Open House Manager. Streamlines, synchronizes, exports, integrates and reports – for a complete mobile open house management solution for iPhone and iPad.

Skyslope. Mobile transaction management software for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry.

Mobile Lead Capture. Automated, real time SMS lead capture.

TouchCMA. Mobile presentation tool for real estate agents.

Reesio. Mobile workflow and transaction management software for agents, brokers and transaction coordinators.

Dotloop. Links people, paperwork and tasks seamlessly, for real time collaboration from anywhere.

What’s your favorite real estate mobile app?

Has NAR Betrayed Agents With AgentMatch?

AgentMatch, the new offering from realtor.com, has agents in a tailspin thanks to realtor.com’s close ties to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In a beta testing phase now, and only available to limited markets, the system uses data, not word-of-mouth, to recommend agents to home sellers. The product is decidedly for the customer, and agents are in an outcry that the service will hurt, more than help, their real estate businesses. Has NAR betrayed agents with AgentMatch?

NAR owns the realtor.com website and “Realtor” trademark, and licenses both exclusively to Move Inc. (a company in which NAR is a minority stakeholder), under the terms of a 17-year old operating agreement. Many agents are now questioning why NAR would support this move by realtor.com when the end result is not in their best interests. NAR’s official mission is to “help its members become more profitable and successful,” after all. Giving certain agents a potentially unfair advantage does not fit that mission.

AgentMatch is a consumer focused website that allows home sellers to search for creditable agents in their area, based on MLS data. The system begins by asking the user to enter their home address. Using this address, it compiles a list of all real estate agents in the area.

It then analyzes the number of homes currently for sale, each agent’s average sold to list price, the number of homes each agent has sold, and each agent’s average days on market for the past six months. Using these statistics, AgentMatch presents the active selling agents in a home seller’s area, providing a view into the details and past recommendations, which realtor.com says will “help you choose the agent that’s right for you.”

NAR’s stakeholder relationship and close ties with Move have left many agents with a bad taste in their mouths, and the belief NAR is condoning a service that will negatively impact their ability to do business and attract sellers. Real estate, after all, has long been a business about relationships, not statistics. And the qualitative data provided by AgentMatch is said to be restrictive and unable to provide the full picture of an agent or account for high quality agents who are new to an area or the field of real estate. What’s more, the system favors agents who work as teams.

“Ranking purely by production alone doesn’t come close to reflecting the professionalism and level of customer service an agent provides. Our agents are in a customer service business. No other service industry is rated on numbers alone,” says Keller Williams President Mary Tennant, who has been vocal in her opposition of the experimental agent ranking platform.

This isn’t the first time an MLS-powered agent ranking system has been launched. Redfin, a Seattle-based brokerage firm, put the brakes on its attempt in 2011, citing inaccuracies in MLS data and concerns that rating agents solely on MLS data created an incomplete picture. The Houston Association of Realtors met with the same result a year earlier, after experiencing agent backlash and outrage.

Launched first in Boulder and Las Vegas, realtor.com President Errol Samuelson expects the service to expand, at least, to an additional five or six markets, and has told media that people’s fears will go away as they “start to understand what we’re doing.” AgentMatch, he says, is realtor.com’s bold step toward maintaining relevance and attracting customers from away from sites such as Zillow and Trulia.

Former attempts to modernize service to consumers have also been met with negative agent feedback, but Samuelson quoted NAR statistics that show 89% of homebuyers used the Internet to search for a home, but only 9% find their agent online, and said, “That discrepancy will not hold.”

Not so, say agents across the United States who now see NAR as a competitor, even though they are forced to maintain paid NAR membership as part of their state licensing requirements.

One Virginia-based agent has gone so far as to launch a petition on Change.org urging NAR and Move to disallow the syndication of agent statistics.

Realtor.com has responded to criticism in an official statement that “everything from the algorithm to the data to the presentation all the way to the copy are being tested and then redeveloped — based on response from consumers and feedback from local board memberships.”

What are your thoughts on AgentMatch? We’d love to hear from you.