I wrote a blog post recently on my experience at a seminar put on by realtor.com. That post struck a nerve with quite a few agents and received over 300 comments! I was asked by someone in the comments whether I was going to renew my enhanced listing package with realtor.com when my current hitch expires in July.
For me it's really a no brainer. I have never been asked by a client if I use realtor.com in my marketing and I have NEVER had a sale I can attribute to realtor.com, so no, I am not going to renew. Instead, I am going to put that money toward SEO and improving my two blogs and website.
I have been talking with different professionals in the field and settled on working with Active Rains very own Marti Garaughty, the moderator of, "The Art of Marketing You," group. I have long been a member and contributor to this group, subscribed to Marti's posts and been a fan.
My blogs and website do not do as well in my preferred search criteria as I would like and I finally decided that although I probably could learn to do what it takes on my own, I don't want to. Just learning to set-up my website and blog took me over one year of working 2-3 hours a night, so believe me, I'm over it. I'm doing well enough in real estate to know when it's time to call in the professional.
Marti gave me an analysis of both blogs and my website for a very affordable price and gave me several options of how to proceed, one of which was for me to make the necessary changes... yuk to that one. I chose option 2 and 3, which is Marti doing all the work and me do nothing, for again, a very affordable price.
My internet presence and blogging are paying off in spades, in fact, a local website designer, Dave Rhodes, just gave a presentation to our local board of REALTORs and said very positive remarks about my internet presence and blogging efforts (I hope I'm not misquoting you Dave; let me know if I am and thanks by the way). Dave mentioned that every agent should be blogging. I see two problems with that suggestion and they are, not everyone likes to write and not everyone can. Some people would rather eat peanuts our of poop than write; I know this because they tell me that when they find out I blog, so kudos to those of us that are frustrated novelists and are getting our writing fix with blogging, but it's not going to be everyones bag, that's for sure.
However, EVERY agent should have a good internet presence, should do a virtual tour for every listing, should have every listing on the basic websites and should take good pictures. This just seems to be a no brainer anymore.
So, no I am not going to renew with realtor.com, I am going to put my marketing dollars in what I think is a more productive direction FOR ME (please, no realtor.com hate mail). If I notice my bottom line is adversely affected, I will write a post stating the error of my ways in dropping realtor.com enhancements and pay for enhancements once again. After all, it's nothing personal, it's all about selling my clients home, nothing more.
If you do not keep track of what generates sales, oh my gosh you need to, otherwise you have no way of knowing if your marketing efforts are effective. Spend more in the areas that work and discontinue what doesn't prove productive. You'll be glad you did.