Real Estate Online Platforms 101

real estate online platforms

Realtor Online Platform Overview

In the last episode, we covered the basics of Real Estate Online Reputation Management. In this episode, we do an overview Real Estate Online Platforms. In today’s real estate market, agents need to be more than just sellers of properties; they need to be sellers of dreams and aspirations. To achieve this, having an effective online presence is crucial. In this chapter, we will discuss how you can leverage the major online platforms for listings and sales, and how to maximize your presence on these platforms.

The Big Three

Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia are three of the most dominant platforms in online real estate. They have revolutionized the way we search for homes, offering a variety of digital tools and services that have made property searching a task that can be done from the comfort of your own home. Let’s take a closer look at these platforms:

  • Zillow with over 60 million monthly visitors, it is the leading real estate marketplace that connects millions of buyers and sellers. It offers features like the ‘Zestimate’, a proprietary home valuation model, and various filter options to aid in property search. Understanding how Zillow works can help you create more attractive listings that reach your target audience.
  • Realtor, powered by the official database of the National Association of Realtors has over 40 million monthly visitors. It offers accurate and up-to-date listings. Familiarizing yourself with the features of Realtor can help you leverage its extensive data network to gain visibility and leads.
  • Trulia with over 20 million monthly visitors, is known for its intuitive user interface and neighborhood-specific data, offering a more comprehensive property view. Understanding Trulia’s focus on localized information can guide you in creating listings that highlight not just the property, but also the community it’s a part of.

Best Practices

Maximizing your presence on these platforms involves more than just posting your listings. It requires optimizing your profile and listings to attract potential buyers and expedite the sales process. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Use Professional Photographs: High-quality, professional photos can make your listings more appealing and give potential buyers a realistic feel for the property.
  • Write Compelling Descriptions: Your listing description is your chance to tell the property’s story. Craft engaging, detailed descriptions that capture a property’s unique features and selling points.
  • Respond Promptly to Inquiries: In the digital world, potential buyers expect quick responses. Manage and respond to inquiries effectively to avoid losing potential sales.

Other Online Tools

While Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia have become dominant forces in the online real estate world, they’re not the only options available to you. You have a host of other online tools and resources at your disposal to help you succeed in the real estate market. Here’s a closer look at some of the most valuable options available to you.

  • MLS (Multiple Listing Services): Often regarded as the foundation of the real estate industry, MLS is a network where real estate brokers share detailed information about properties they represent. Mastering MLS can greatly improve your reach and influence within the real estate market.
  • Redfin: Known for its pioneering approach, Redfin combines technology and service to transform the real estate transaction process. Understanding Redfin’s unique business model can give you fresh ideas for connecting buyers and sellers.
  • Local Real Estate Websites: These are specialized sites, often targeting specific cities or regions, offering unique insights into local markets and additional listing opportunities. They can be a highly valuable source of targeted marketing opportunities.
  • Virtual Tour Tools: Technological advancements mean that physical presence is becoming less necessary for initial property viewings. Virtual tours are now a standard part of the home buying process, saving both agents and buyers time. Tools such as Matterport, Zillow 3D Home, and EyeSpy360 allow you to create immersive 3D tours, offering potential buyers a realistic view of the property from the comfort of their own home.
  • Scheduling Tools: Tools like Calendly, Doodle, or ShowingTime can help streamline the process of scheduling property viewings, making it a seamless experience for both you and your clients.
  • CRM Systems: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, including HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zoho, help manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. A robust CRM system can improve business relationships, aid in customer retention, and drive sales growth.

It’s important to take some time to research these tools and find the ones that best suit your process. These digital platforms and resources can be highly beneficial for any real estate professional.

Finally, navigating online reviews and ratings is essential in the digital age. Solicit positive reviews from satisfied clients, respond constructively to negative feedback, maintain a strong online reputation, and boost review visibility to establish credibility and trust with potential clients (see our episode on reputation management). As we continue to embrace the digital realm, staying updated on the latest tools and trends in online real estate marketing is crucial for success. In the next episode, we’ll discuss digital marketing analytics. For more information on digital marketing, see the episode Real Estate Digital Marketing 101.

About the Author

Larry Hales is a seasoned and multi-faceted technology professional. His passion all-things tech began with his first computer in 1984 and it has stayed with him ever since.  Larry is the CEO and Co-Founder of MarketingHero.   Previously, he served as the Marketing Technology Director at West, Williston Financial Group Company, where he coaches and guides Real Estate Agents on how to better leverage technology in their business. His 25 years of photography, design and printing, combined with his knowledge of digital advertising and brand building, gives him a unique perspective of marketing from different angles. When he isn’t busy being a proud computer geek, Larry enjoys trail running, hiking, mountaineering, rock and ice climbing, and anything else that gets him outside.

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