Jumped into a conversation on Twitter on Sunday with Notorious R.O.B - like many things on Twitter I didn’t have the full context of the conversation around me – but that’s not really what’s important. Turns out the central question was this:
With co’s like roost, trulia, zillow innovating search, should brokers even try to compete with search based sites?
Well since I run an agent site- not even a broker site this is a question that needs to be considered. Of course the industry types and the big gun sites Zillow, Trulia, etc. point to the increase in their traffic as signs that they are winning the vertical and that all other players should just go home now. My argument is that local agents focused on local issues should be able to outplay the big industry sites all day long.
- Know the area – can create neighborhood searches based on how acutal buyers look at neighborhoods
- Can respond in more detail to buyers specific questions about neighborhoods
- If focused on internet marketing – can put more energy into individaul terms to draw specific traffic that converts into clients.
Notorious R.O.B writing about the Future of Broker Websites noted while real estate is local the internet is not. The majority of people searching for real estate are no longer typing in a small range of keywords – longtail searches account for the majority of my traffic – and probably always will. Local agents adding local content to their own web property can and should compete with the national sites – even for the more competitive “money” keywords. The missing link in my opinion on most local sites is a way to hook the consumer into the site beyond the IDX search – find and build community and that will also outperform the national sites.
Individual broker or agents sites may not have the “ultimate” in search capabilities – but with a decent search and compelling content then I see no reason why agents or brokerages should just give in and let the big industry sites take over.
Should brokers/agents compete with Zillow, Trulia, Roost, etc.? Definitely yes.