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Market Leader for Sale & Real Estate Websites/CRMs: What You Should Know

By Inside Real Estate Filed in:
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If you haven’t heard, the acquisition baby of Trulia-then-Zillow, Market Leader, is for sale.

But what does this really mean for real estate professionals, and especially Market Leader’s customers?

Well, for a lot of people in the industry, this is an interesting development around the acquisition of Market Leader, followed by the acquisition of Trulia by Zillow.  There are also a lot of people in the industry that are not overly surprised that Market Leader may not be the most profitable business segment for Zillow now, since many feel that Market Leader’s technology is ancient (see some of the comments on the above-mentioned article).

I can’t claim to be un-biased in my view on the technology, but there are some clear, facts that are important for Market Leader customers and others around the industry to know.

 

1. Market Leader will continue to see some big changes

The fact that this is all a bunch of noise right now, and will likely quiet down a bit more over the coming weeks does not mean that this is the end of some pretty big shifts.

Market Leader is known as a big company in the industry, but has also been viewed by many as a non-flexible, behind-the-times solution.  They have had some big deals with some brands that have helped keep them going.  It is likely some of that traction may be lost, and they could see an exodus of customers.

It could be that they end up feeling a need to trim the organizational size and structure and try to get more competitive quickly.  That being said, changing a big technology solution with customers to support on legacy products is hard.  Real hard.

And finally, there is talk of a deal to sell Market Leader to another technology company that may be able to make use of it.  Not sure which brands or solutions feel that the off-cast company is a good branding, recruiting and selling option, but that may be in the cards.

In the end, there is a lot of speculation still, but by many best estimates, there will be more news to come as this moves along.

 

2. Real Estate CRM & Website VS. Branding, Smart Automation & Closed Deals

One of the things most companies are thinking about is how this echoes the shift in the industry from Brokers and Agents are looking for website and CRM solutions that are different from the templated website and the clunky CRM that have used in the past.  It is really a move from thinking about the actual costs of just comparing “Features” vs the costs of driving a bottom-line result. Very cheap features can drive very expensive results and vice-versa.

For most, they realize that their clients expect fast, mobile-responsive sites that easily communicate their market differentiation.  They also need automation far beyond a simple drip-email campaign.

The data behind Text Message Response and Call Analysis are astounding.  With 9X higher response rates from text and the ability to analyze and tweak the First Call to a Client, teams and brokerages are seeing huge jumps in productivity and close rates.  What has been dreamed of for years, is now a technology reality.

The reason Inside Real Estate works so hard to integrated these core, advanced technologies into a single solution is played out in our Marketing Mix & Close Rate Calculators, where we can see our customers literally see 5-10X the bottom-line results by moving to Smart Technology Solutions.

 

 

3. Leads CAN be Inexpensive & High Quality

In a similar trend, many industry pros have long felt that the only way for them to get consistency in lead-generation was to “pay the man” and buy leads or visibility from portals.  And if they could buy a package where they got some “Features” to help handle their portal subscription, then it seemed to make some sense.

The reality these days, is with intelligent Social Media campaigns and other sources, Brokers and Agents are driving consistent and high quality Real Estate Leads that are targeted to specific markets and demographics.  The other big advantages of these kinds of leads, is that they tend to be more qualified and are not “shared” leads passed over from a portal.

We will talk with brokers and teams who think that consistent leads at around $5/lead is something they will never see, and their only options are their $20/lead, 1% close rate models.

These days, you can do better.  Part of Inside Real Estate’s model is around keeping the right sources in front of our customers so they can drive high returns now, even while they build equity and value into their brand.

 

4. SEO isn’t necessarily a Unicorn

Right next to the ideas of real estate lead-generation, are ideas of real estate SEO or the value of online branding.  Brokerages are right to be a bit wary of the “SEO Packages” that are sometimes sold around the industry.  There are a lot of those that really are based on past ideas of what works or even still a good bit of “Grey Hat” or “Black Hat” SEO – though those strategies are quickly becoming non-effective.

The truth for a brokerage is that they need to be considering that everything they embark on from lead-generation to listing marketing, should all have an element that helps drive their core brand and SEO strategies.  Real Estate SEO is largely driven by content, as all SEO is.  It is about making sure that you have real value built into your presence for specific, local markets as well as very indexable, high-value listing presentation on the website.

Some of the things that Inside Real Estate does to ensure brokerages have the ability to drive great SEO returns are:

  • Ensure Neighborhood, Community or even Subdivision pages are content-rich and of high-value.  Our customers can build an unlimited number of these pages to cover the areas they are the true experts in.  They can also have Content generated by our writers to help them drive more visibility and value, even with a small team.
  • Indexable, optimizable MLS/IDX Feeds are essential to having a site that can gain a lot of visibility on search engines, and help you show up for listings and neighborhoods in specific geographies.
  • Combined MLS Feeds are powerful because they inherently provide more content and listings on the sites, and make team or brokerage websites structured more like some of the large portals.  Brokerages, Regions and Companies can have especially interesting options here, as they look at how to generate lots of leads and visibility without having to pay for each click.

 

Overall, the news about Market Leader may be fairly alarming for some of their customers, but change is not a bad thing.  Often it is an opportunity to re-evaluate and make transitions that are overdue anyway.  Inside Real Estate specializes in bringing the right integrated Real Estate Website, CRM, Automation and Lead-Generation solutions to Brokers, Teams and Companies in order to maximize closed deals and profit.

 

 

 

 

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