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The best guide to Real Estate Marketing for Realtors websites worldwide 

Archive for February, 2006

Firefox – catching Internet Explorer

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Internet Explorer used to be the dominant browser on the internet. It had about 97% market share. This is changing rapidly. Here are some recent stats:

Browser Used

Internet Explorer – 71.7%
Firefox – 22.0%
Safari – 2.8%
Opera – 1.2%
Netscape – 1.1%
Mozilla – 1.1%

IE and Firefox continue to dominate the market with Firefox gaining ground.

We suggest that you download Firefox and use it as your web browser – www.getfirefox.com

firefox real estate

Bosa Properties

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Bosa Properties has launched a new project in Burnaby called West at Highgate Village. The tower is set for completion in the sping of 2008 and will include 213 homes. Bosa Properties has other new building projects on the move. You can find more information about Bosa at www.bosaproperties.com

See, I told you it was easy to find things to blog about. :)

BCIT Best / Venture Programs

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

I just finished a workshop at BCIT. They held a total of four workshops that ran concurrently with a networking opportunity afterwards. I was invited to speak about ‘Sales’. The workshop was called “How to Sell to Businesses from Cold Calling to Closing and Beyond”.

It was a very interesting morning. I started off by telling the group that I was not a professional sales trainer and that I planned on telling them how we sell and some of the good and bad techniques we use or have tried.

The topics covered were:
Reverse Sales – about my days as a debt collector
Cold Calling- how we do it, what works, and does not work (for us)
Follow up – what to do after the cold call
In the meeting – we discussed how we meet, the processes we follow
The art of NO – how to say no to a lead without loosing the deal
Asking for the sale – problems/successes we have when asking for the deal
Follow up – what comes after the sale

All in all it was a great morning. The class seemed to like the discussion. It is funny, the questions at the end of these sessions usually are the same. Everyone want to know how it is having a business partner and what kind of hours do we put in. It seems that entrepreneurs starting businesses or thinking about starting businesses always have the same questions/comments about those 2 subjects. My simple answer is, communication is the key to any relationship and the hours are long.

2 Web Sites Push Further Into Services Real Estate Agents Offer

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Saw this article… interesting services that these sites provide…..

2 Web Sites Push Further Into Services Real Estate Agents Offer
By DAMON DARLIN

Two real estate Web sites are starting to offer services that could change the way real estate is bought and sold online.

One site, Zillow.com, which will be introduced today, will help consumers obtain more accurate real estate sales information — to the consternation of some real estate agents.

A smaller site, Redfin.com, introduced an unusual new service last week that might be even more disruptive to the real estate industry: the feature automates the process of bidding on a house online.

Zillow is attracting a lot of attention because it obtained $32 million in venture capital financing and its chief executive, Rich Barton, was a creator of Expedia, the online travel agency.

The new site provides data like previous sales prices and the prices of similar properties on 60 million residential properties, information that real estate agents do not display in the public multiple listing service. The site also includes price appreciation (or depreciation) data in a form that resembles stock charts. “It’s a lot of data to make you smarter,” Mr. Barton said.

In addition, Zillow uses software to offer a free home-value estimator. The “Zestimate” service tries to do what has been a primary function of the real estate agent. And in contrast to many other real estate Web sites, like Realtor.com, run by the National Association of Realtors, or Home Pages.com, owned by Housevalues Inc., Zillow does not try to connect its users with agents.

Many real estate agents worry that Zillow could be a first step in an online evolution that could threaten their $60 billion commission-based business, just as Expedia, Travelocity and other online sites disrupted the business of travel agents.

Mr. Barton said it was not his intent to take part of the agent’s commission, which averages slightly less than 6 percent and is split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. Instead, Zillow is an advertising-supported site.

Mr. Barton said he expected to sell advertising on the site because the information there will create in nearly every American city a community of people interested in real estate. New York City will be the notable exclusion, because of the complexity of mapping multistory multiowner condominiums.

Zillow’s sizable capitalization is already causing anxiety among online companies that match real estate listings with interactive maps and other data. PropertyShark.com, a site that began with New York City listings and has since expanded to 15 other cities, for instance, is wary of Zillow because of its venture backing.

PropertyShark has no outside financing. “It is scary, and frustrating and nerve-racking,” said Matthew Haines, the site’s founder. “It made it quite clear that we are underfunded.”

Redfin, though less well financed than Zillow, is perhaps even more ambitious in its aim to take on the work of agents. The site, which maps listings with other sources of real estate data for Seattle, added a feature last week that allows a visitor to buy a property online.

A real estate agent is not cut out of the process; in fact, Redfin is itself a real estate brokerage company. But the site automates the paperwork of making a bid and then rebates to the buyer two-thirds of the buyer’s agent’s commission, which is usually 3 percent. Redfin, as the buyer’s agent, takes only a 1 percent commission.

Redfin shows the potential savings on every listing. For instance, the “direct savings” on a $699,000 house currently for sale in the Queen Anne district in Seattle is $13,980. The buyer gets the money at closing so it can be used for the down payment or to pass to the seller if it was used to sweeten an offer.

Right below the description of that property are two buttons, one to “see it” and the other to “buy it.” A click on the see button helps the potential buyer arrange a tour of the property. Clicking on the buy button leads the visitor through online forms that generate the paperwork for an offer.

“We won’t replace the agent,” said Glenn Kelman, Redfin’s chief executive. “We let people who are self-reliant do the legwork and gain 2 percent.” Redfin has been financed with $1.25 million, with most of that coming from the Madrona Venture Group of Seattle. The company said it was seeking additional financing to expand to other cities.

All of these real estate sites are chipping away at the agent’s business of matching clients with a property and then negotiating a deal. The Web is already displacing the initial contact that agents have with customers. A recent National Association of Realtors survey found that 77 percent of home buyers use the Internet to search for a home. About 24 percent said they first learned of a home from the Internet, up from 15 percent in a 2004 survey.

Mr. Barton does not exclude the possibility that the role of the agent, and his site, may change.

“People want Realtors,” he said. “But is it rational to pay Realtors what they are paid?” He says he thinks they are overpaid because customers are doing more of the work themselves.

Zillow, for instance, has a number of other features that do the work of the agent. Someone wanting to compare properties can use pull-down menus to estimate the value of remodeling projects that are not reflected in the price. Because of the Internet, agents are spending less time with clients, Mr. Barton said. “Agents have to ask, What kind of value am I adding?”

Still, Mr. Barton said, “it is not our intent to dislocate the agent.”

Mr. Kelman of Redfin said he recognized that change might be difficult. “We are like the penguins on the edge of an iceberg when no one wants to jump in first. Redfin is going in first,” he said. “Maybe that isn’t such a good analogy. The first penguin in usually gets eaten by sharks or something.”

Zillow goes live!!

Friday, February 10th, 2006

zillow

What is Zillow.com?

Zillow.com is an online real estate service dedicated to helping you get an edge in real estate by providing you with valuable tools and information.

Check it out, it is a very interesting site.

Self Updating Blog

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

There is a lot of talk on the internet these days about how blogging can really help your website do better within the search engines.

There is also a lot of talk about how there are many abandoned blogs on the internet.

The new buzz is automated (or self updating) blogs.

Well the good news is, our Ubertor system is one step ahead again.

If you are an Ubertor Agent and you are blogging, every time you add a listing to your website, move a listings to sold or add an open house the Ubertor system will automatically blog about it.

Here is an example of one of the automated blog posts:

I just finished uploading this House, 4870 Caulfeild Court, West Vancouver BC

This is the best of both worlds! A detached home originally built for the subdivision developer in a townhome style setting. Just steps away from Caulfeild Village with three generous sized bedrooms upstairs. The master ensuite contains a soaker Jacuzzi tub, skylight, glass shower and the best view in the house. Very well laid out main floor plan featuring kitchen with newer Bosch dishwasher, JennAir Oven & Sub Zero fridge. The bright south facing dining room opens onto a large private patio looking out to the ocean. Other features include a gracious entertainment sized living room, newer hot water tank & hot water furnace, and a Beam built-in vacuum. This is a great townhome alternative in a very convenient location!
www.johnjennings.com

Ubertor Sales Team Travel Itinerary – February

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

Our sales team is doing some traveling right now. If you are in any of the following areas and would like to setup a personal meeting or an office presentation please feel free to contact us.

Las Vegas, Nevada – February 1st – 3rd
Grand Canyon, Nevada – February 3rd – 4th
Monument Valley, Arizona – February 5th – 6th
Tombstone, Arizona – February 7th
Las Cruces, New Mexico – February 8th
(specific location not decided) Mexico – February 11th – 12th
Toronto, Ontario – February 12th – 15th
Memphis, Tennessee – February 13th – 14th
Southern Kentucky – February 15th
Washington DC – February 17th and 18th
New York, New York – February 19th – 22nd
Las Vegas, Nevada – February 23rd – 26th

We also have sales team members currently in:

Vancouver, British Columbia
Victoria, British Columbia
Whistler, British Columbia
Squamish, British Columbia
Calgary, Alberta
Bellingham, Washington