Internet Marketing in Real Estate

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9780130115478: Internet Marketing in Real Estate

Provides all of the techniques, strategies, and tactics necessary for real estate professionals and students to begin conducting effective webmarketing. Softcover. DLC: Real estate business--Marketing.

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface It's Here To Stay!

The numbers are staggering. We count adult Internet users by the tens of millions now. Near the end of 1999, more than 112 million people in the U.S. and Canada had Internet access. Internet commerce quickly grew into hundreds of millions of sales dollars, and U.S. online sales are projected to exceed $1.2 trillion by 2002. E-mail messages number in the trillions each year, and in December, 1999, 270 million e-mail boxes had been set up in the U.S.roughly 2.5 e-mail boxes per user.

In an average 30-day period in the Fall of 1999, approximately 74 million U.S. adults (age 18 and older), or 37 percent of the adult U.S. population, used the Internet at home or at work. This represents an increase of nearly 70 percent, up from the 43.7 million users reported by Media Mark in the Spring of 1998.

Approximately 98 million American adults had access to the Internet by late 1999, according to the same report, up 54 percent from the previous reporting period. Media Mark also reported that 50.8 percent of these users are men, 49.2 percent women.

Reports vary, however. The Nielsen Corporation, known best for its TV-ratings reports, calculated that in November of 1999 the universe of U.S. Web surfers over the age of two reached 118 million, with 74 million active during that month. These users spent 11.1 million hours on line.

Nielsen also reported that U.S. Web users logged six sessions per week, visited six unique sites, spent just over 2 hours and 46 minutes online per week, and viewed a page for an average of 56 seconds. To keep track of statistics such as these, visit the Nua Ltd.Time magazine (March 22, 1999) reported that approximately 21 million U.S. households had more than one personal computer and predicted that by 2003 that number will jump to 31 million. Home offices will grow from 37 million to 50 million by then, and the most frequent use for all those millions of PCs is, as you no doubt have already guessed, the Internet.

America Online now has over 22.2 million users—and that's only one access provider, although it is the largest single source used for connecting people to the Internet.users will spend $56 billion for access. The Internet already penetrates one-fourth of U.S. homes, and that figure is expected to rise to one-third by the end of 1999 and to two-thirds by 2003. Yankee Group says it found that "the Internet is now the No. 1 use for home computers."

Internet usage is also growing outside the U.S. Nua Ltd. estimated that as of September 1999, 201 million users were connected to the Internet worldwide. Of these, 47.15 million were in Europe and 33.61 million in Asia and the Pacific Rim.Access for What?

How are these millions of users putting the Internet to work? What do they use it for? At one time, casual observers expected the Web to be a playground dedicated to games and entertainment. Some generously noted its potential as a general information resource. But the Internet has far surpassed such notions. Fast and inexpensive communication via e-mail has become a major use, as has the buying and selling of goods and services, or "e-commerce.This equates to 9.4 billion messages exchanged every day of the year in the U.S. alone. In 1998, 81 million Americans used email. The average American sends or receives 26.4 e-mail messages every day. This, according to eMarketer, equates to 9.4 billion messages exchanged every day of the year in America alone.

Consumers have grown to trust—and expect—online commercial resources. eMarketer estimates U.S. online sales for 1999 as high as $18.6 billion and predicts that worldwide e-commerce revenues will grow from $98.4 billion in 1999 to $1.2 trillion by 2003.In November 1999, Prodigy reported that approximately one-third of small businesses in the U.S. were online.

The December, 1999, eAdvertising Report from Advertising Age reported estimated that U.S. Web advertising spending will grow from $3.1 billion in 1999 to $4.82 billion in 2000 and to $13.3 billion by 2003. While that sounds like a lot, eMarketer says that this amount will only represent 4.7 percent of the total advertising media spending for the respective years.

A January, 2000, ABCNEWS.com poll found that 44 percent of Americans plan to buy online during year 2000. That's three times the number who did so in 1999. Furthermore, these online shoppers fit a real estate agent's dream: They tend to be better educated and earn higher incomes. Among people who earn more than $75,000 in household income, for example, 72 percent say they'll buy online in the future. How much do they buy? Ernst & Young's Third Annual Online Retailing Report, December, 1999, predicted 1999 holiday-time shopping revenues of $12 to $15 billion, a figure representing nearly half of the online retail revenues for the entire year. This puts 1999 online spending at $24 to $30 billion—and the year 2000 projection at $72 to $90 billion.

What does Internet use have to do with real estate professionals? Plenty. These Internet users are potential homebuyers or sellers in your marketing area. Never before could you reach so many prospects so easily and inexpensively. Consumers Use the Web for Real Estate

That homebuyers and sellers are using Internet resources to aid them in their transactions has become abundantly clear.Furthermore, the study found that even potential homebuyers who do not currently use online services expect their Realtor® to be Internet-savvy and have clear opinions on what they expect from online real estate services.

A 1999 study conducted by Weston Edwards & Associates, Laguna Beach, CA, concluded, among other things, the following: "By 2000, half of all homebuyers will use the Internet to help them find a home and the money to finance it, compared to 40 percent last year: Realtors®, lenders, and title insurance companies are struggling to catch up with the demand for Internet services."

In some areas of the Northwest, according to a 1999 survey by John L.Three years previous to this report, only 6 percent of these executives used the Web for such purposes. The increase was steady: .19 percent of this group used the Web in 1997 for relocation assistance; 48 percent did so in 1998.

Why are homebuyers and sellers using the Web? How do they find the Internet useful? Users of the home-search site, Realtor.com, appear to be "performing the early stage of their home search on line. Yet, once they find a set of homes in which they are interested and/or they become more serious in their home search, users of online services contact a Realtor" to assist them in the home search."

In its May 1999 study, "A Profile of the Internet Buyer," the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) found that Internet-using homebuyers spend far less time on the home buying process. In fact, the study said that "Internet buyers spend half as much time (two and a half months) as do traditional buyers (five months) on the buying process—starting from the point of considering buying a home, to the time spent looking for the home with a Realtor(r), to the decision to purchase."

The study also indicated that online buyers spend half as much time looking with an agent for a home (a median of 4 weeks). Furthermore, an online buyer previews and visits only four homes, compared to eight homes viewed by a traditional buyer.

The same study reported that 71 percent of Internet buyers surveyed strongly agreed that the Internet gave them better understanding of the homebuying' process; 52 percent said the Internet helped them shop for the best deal; 76 percent claimed the Internet put them in better control of the home buying process; and 56 percent claimed the Internet helped them locate the best possible neighborhood.

The CAR study also concluded that "89% of Internet buyers used the Internet to locate real estate firms, 87% to find a specific real estate agent, 82% to preview homes, 77% to learn about rights and obligations and 75% to identify specific homes to view. Almost all (93%) of the buyers are `very likely' to use the Internet in the purchase of their next home. The remaining 7 % stated that they were `likely' to use the Internet in the future.

e's profile of users is correct, these are the Internet users whom you need to attract to your site and make happy when they get there. (See Preface Figure 1.) Tomorrow's Successful Agents Will Be Web-Proficient Agents

Most top-selling agents still rely on traditional, time-proven forms of promoting themselves—mailings to neighborhood "farms," print ads, cold calls, door hangers, etc. They devote little time or budget to Internet promotion, except perhaps to purchase a page on Realtor.com or to get a "template" Web site and put its address and that of their e-mail on their business cards.

In a handful of years, however, very few agents will fall into the top-producer category unless they have learned effective marketing on the World Wide Web. Web marketing will soon be an absolu

From the Back Cover:

Offering new marketing approaches and challenges for today's realtor, this progressive guide taps into the power of the Internet as profitable marketing tool, with complete and authoritative coverage on all of the techniques, strategies, and tactics necessary to begin conducting effective web marketing. Stresses the importance of devising a carefully planned and budgeted marketing approach, then details how to lay plans for optimum Internet marketing results. Offers a powerful, unifying theme throughout that relates all concepts and course elements to an agent's need to properly position him/herself on the Internet. Discusses the keys to establishing your presence and getting “found” on the Internet, examines myriad tactics that can collectively lead consumers to an agent's web site, and covers the importance of effective e-mail. Directs users to many related web sites containing online examples that show actual execution of the methods and approaches covered in each chapter. Contains high-quality, state-of-the-art, real-world graphics and web page examples throughout. Appendices include a glossary; sites for your advertising; estimating website and MLS-search site costs; selecting a website designer, developer, and host, and more.

For real estate professionals.

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