Thursday, March 16, 2006

Using Online Ads to Market Your Home

These days it’s essential to market a listing online, but because it’s still a new kind of advertising, many agents aren’t sure how to do it. Several agents have gained online marketing know-how and are sharing it with other agents to increase success.

Every agent has heard the statistic: 79% of buyers used the Internet to search for homes, according to the 2005 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. It’s essential to reach them both off- and on-line.

Mark Norman of Ridgefield, Conn., works in his day-to-day activities to drive potential buyers he meets to his Web site for more information. “I’m now showcasing literature about HomePages at my open houses. I even had my own Web site redesigned to promote HomePages.” Mark is featuring 25 listings on his HomePages Web site.

As a result of differentiating himself and his business through HomePages, people have visited Mark’s Web site and have seen his Featured Home listings. “Within five weeks, I received nine leads that include six buyers and three sellers. These are just from individuals seeing my HomePages Web site and Featured Homes.”

The key to winning more listings with your online marketing is proving to the sellers the value that it offers. As Donna Richey-Harris of Richardson, Tex., puts it: “HomePages is there so your featured listings can have a big, fat *STAR* on the map so you can show your sellers and win more listings!”

Don Allard of Fridley, Minn., finds that online features coupled with the ads help him stand out from other agents. “I just returned from a listing presentation. HomePages was my close,” Don said. “[The sellers] loved the thought of folks being able to view the amenities of neighborhood with the aerial maps and also how I could highlight their listing with a Featured Home ad.”

What’s the best way to show off your online marketing in a listing presentation? Debbie Noama of Riverside, Calif., advises showing a seller exactly how their home would look in an online ad. “I took my first listing based on what my HomePages will look like. I entered their data as a Featured Home and used a picture of a home similar to theirs and showed them how their home will look featured on the site.”

Online marketing isn’t complicated—it’s just new. With some practice and tools, you’ll quickly become an online marketing pro!