Do You Drink the Google Juice?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792

GoogleAre you one of Google's best supporters? Do you supply Google with loads of information?

Do you pay Google for Pay per Clicks?

Are you placing your listings in Google?

Do you think Google is sending you loads of business with all your SEO tags and Google search words?

Google just loves the fact that you are doing exactly what Google has asked each Realtor to provide. Remember, when...

  • You MUST have a website
  • You MUST have SEO provide good search engine optimization
  • You MUST put your listings on the Internet
  • You MUST pay for Pay for Clicks

Do you remember any of this? Google knew what they were doing...there was a plan.

Want to have a little enlightening? Go to Google and type in Church of Google. Read through it completely and be sure to click on the nine proofs and check out Proof #8.

Now, for a little bit more to think about...

All the listings of homes that each Realtor or Real Estate office puts in to MLS and check marks the box that stipulates, "put listing on the Internet," not only allows the listing to be put into everyone's IDX all over the world but more importantly it gives Yahoo and Google exactly what they have wanted for a long time that they have worked diligently to get from you, the Realtor...your homes for sale.

Now, what does Google and Yahoo do? They grab those listings and because they are in charge of the algorithms on the Internet they have placed themselves first along with Lending Tree to grab the Internet Home Buyers. There is no way that you will be first in line over Google, Yahoo and Lending Tree.

Think of a river full of fish (clients) and you, the Realtor (fisher) have your fishing pole in the river trying to catch all these multitude of fish in the river but find there are very few in the river. First, you might think that you are not using the right bait...so you blog more, use more key words and more and more

BUT, alas...where are the fish?

Well, I'll tell you where the fish are...they are upstream in the algorithm being plucked out by Google, Yahoo and Lending Tree long before they ever reach you on the banks of your SEO. Yes, a few stragglers may come your way for now but before long the net of the algorithm will be wider and there will be nothing you can do about it.

Right now, Yahoo grabs home buyers and sellers under the Prudential umbrella that Prudential pays Yahoo for and then turns around and sells those leads to the agents in their offices at 35%.

I know, you say but Gena, "I don't care who sells the house as long as the house is sold." You need to think outside of the box at what's to come because not only are you missing out on those referrals but on the referrals that would come from that original referral. It's a trickle down effect. And if you are out of business and there is only one place to go to buy a house or sell a house, the consumer loses and so do you.

What can we do as Realtors to stop the Google, Yahoo and Lending Tree grabbers that have the juice that we've been drinking?

Fred Miller has a website, called National Real Estate Pages where you can list your houses for sale for FREE, if you want you can pay for a banner ad or not...you don't have to. Fred is a forward thinker and is not only doing this just for Real Estate but many other areas of sales, with the hope to bring back the little entrepreneur and squelch the big conglomerates who want to put the little guy out of business and control every aspect of what the consumer buys.

My hope is, that with enough Realtors listing their homes for sale on his website that the day will come across this country when Realtors finally stand up and stop check-marking that little box for Internet advertising and stop drinking the Google juice.

We need to help save our industry while there is an industry to save.

This is a difficult subject to write about and explain thoroughly, those that can see past their noses will understand and will join other professionals who get it and want to save our industry.

  • What say you?
  • Are you goint to keep drinking the Google juice?
  • Will you just continue to fish in the stream?
  • Do you think this is hogposh?
  • Do you have an opinion?
  • Do you care?

 

*Interesting point to check out - try to Google the top 5 Realtors in the Country and see if you can find them in Google...you can't. They know the secret and it's time each of us figured it out, as well.

If you don't know who the 5 top Realtors in the nation are...here are their names from the Wall Street Journal.  When you type where they do real estate (using terms like real estate and homes) in the search engines they don't come up.

  1. I.Dolly Lenz, $748,319,000.00 volume sales
  2. Ralph Oliva, $181,882,138.00 volume sales
  3. Roger Erickson, $177.758,820.00 volume sales
  4. Paula Del Nunizio, $172,895,000.00 volume sales
  5. Kathy Iverson, $156,819,000.00 volume sales
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Rainer
40,769
Karin Elliott
IBA Realty Group - Big Canoe, GA

Hey fashionhause,

Do you have one of those faux leather wallets that attaches to my pants with a chain?  I have been searching high and low for one.

 

Dec 11, 2007 12:08 AM #68
Ambassador
1,972,189
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
International Properties and Investments LLC - Wellington, FL
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
Gena- How true this is but it goes even beyond real estate and beyond money, it is the desire for power as well. Google has plans to have every single book ever written scanned and in google. It is a dangerous premise to believe that all is well in google and to think like ostriches with our heads in the sand that there are no conspiracies going on. Look at Wikipedia, how many people think that is an encyclopedia when it is editable. Someone wrote the truth about Coca Cola and they went in and deleted that info. When all the world has only one place to come as a place of reference that is very dangerous to open thinking. The other thing is when this all happens, is google going to edit what those books say? Google was allowed in China only if they put filters in their search engines and access to free information to the people of China. China only wants their people to see what they want them to see. So if Google obliged to their demands there, what can they do here without us knowing. It goes beyond money and greed. It goes to control. The only way that evil can succeed is if a few good men do nothing. ( from Bruce Willis movie Tears of the Sun.) Katerina
Dec 11, 2007 09:37 AM #69
Rainer
16,999
Nick Ruta
Whitehall, PA

As an I.T. Director for a 9 office Coldwell Banker franchise utilizing THREE different MLS systems, I for one welcome the thought of a single national mls system.  Personally, I believe it really is only a matter of time.  Many have mentioned Google Base. Any of you ever take notice that Google Base is still tagged as "BETA"?

Hmm...so what happens when the "BETA" is over with?  My money is on "realestate.google.com" or something similar. 

For one second take your mindset out of being an agent and put yourself in the consumers shoes.  Real estate consumers want detailed information FAST, QUICK, FAST...QUICK...and most importantly EASY.  Oh yeah, did I say FAST?  The bottom line these days is that if you can't provide good solid and detailed information to the consumer, guess what....they will simply go somewhere else to get it.  Coldwell Banker (and other Realogy franchises) is partnered with Google, Trulia, Land And Farm, Lake Homes USA, and will very soon be in bed with Yahoo! classifieds.  CB is definitely engaging in a monstrous listing distribution strategy. 

Why?  Simple...get the listing out there in as many places as possible in the hopes to drive traffic back to the parent company site.  Isn't that nice? Even if you uncheck some box in an MLS system, don't count on your listing NOT being distributed.

Here's a good one for ya too.  All of you who don't have a Realtor.com presence.....how do you answer a client who calls you and says "Why doesn't my listing have more than 1 photo on Realtor.COM"?   I've been seeing that come up CONSTANTLY with many of our agents. Unless you want a pissed off client..what do you do?  That's right...it's time to sign up with Realtor.com.  They got ya by the "you-know-whats" and every agent should realize that the consumer is becoming more and more aware as each day passes.

I'm telling ya, if Google pulls off what I think is coming at some point, I truly believe you may see the slow downfall of the local MLS system and quite possibly other monster websites.   Imagine for one second if Google or even a slick site like Trulia could mirror and IMPROVE upon what you have with your local MLS system? Except on a NATIONAL level?  I know people, including myself who would bail from my MLS in a heartbeart if such a toy birthed itself into the world of Real Estate.

Google is without a doubt the # 1 search engine traffic driver to our website and I don't see any future change coming in that department.  My advice to all of you on the fence with Google, is start drinking the juice.

Dec 11, 2007 12:13 PM #70
Rainer
63,403
Greg Fox
Realty World Wichita - Wichita, KS
Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas

Google Base isn't just for real estate, I think it's to compete with Craigslist.  Here is the Google Base menu:

Examples of popular item types:  
 

They have other searches as well.  That we use it for Real Estate is just another venue.  I suppose they could package cars, recipes, vacation rentals to sell as well....

Dec 11, 2007 12:37 PM #71
Rainer
29,237
Fred Jaeger
High Lakes Realty and Property Management - La Pine, OR
Real Estate Connection - Central Oregon
Congrats on the Featured Post.  Well deserved on an interesting discussion of an important topic.
Dec 11, 2007 04:19 PM #72
Rainer
35,210
Rob Baldwin
US ECO-GREEN REAL ESTATE INC. - Santa Clarita, CA
REALTOR, Santa Clarita
Wow Gena, that was very enlightening. I am going to have to spend some time looking into this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!
Dec 11, 2007 04:26 PM #73
Anonymous
Fred Miller

Hello All, thanks for the lively comments to Gena's post.  I read a few articles today in the New York Times that are of great interest and very relative to this discussion.  The first has to do with privacy.  Do you know how long some of these companies keep personal data on your search activities?  Do you care that they know what, when, how, and how many times you use your system and what you search for?  Check out what IAC ( aka Lending Tree, Real Estate.com ) is doing now

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/11/technology/11ask.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

And this one about Facebook and their little debacle

http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=122463

Please read these both, so you stay on top of what is happening in the industry daily. 

Nestor makes a great point.  Instead of sticking our heads in the sand, why not face these problems ourselves by education ourselves and taking action to correct the problems. 

Many people put their faith in Enron and trusted them to do the right thing.  Do you want to put your trust in another very large corporate giant, or do you want to put your trust in yourselves?  This is really the million $ question. 

I have provided the vehicle, you must decide whether you want to take the trip.  Our auto site is complete and we are moving into that vertical next week, so auto buyers will be able to search for homes as well next week in your local area too.  We are going to invite the auto dealers to list their cars for free and the general public as well.  This might drive more traffic to you as well.  Check the auto tab for the next roll out. 

Thanks to all who have commented.  I will do the best I can to respond while Gena takes a much needed rest. 

 

 

Dec 11, 2007 08:57 PM #74
Rainmaker
28,871
Ginny Warsaw
Rand Referrals LLC - Murrells Inlet, SC
When you drink the Google juice, you're supposed to sip and pass!
Dec 12, 2007 12:52 PM #75
Rainmaker
1,441,551
Andrew Mooers
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker
Google...wonder how they selected the name and what the runner up two or three names were? Barney Google was a cartoon character, and you were always warned not to google the girls with your eyes.  But other than that, what does google mean besides expensive stock?  I read it was a misspelling of the word Googol in wikipedia which has a sea of information about the giant! 
Dec 15, 2007 03:15 PM #76
Rainmaker
246,193
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

Looks like quite a few of you are thinking outside the box which is what is what is needed if you want to stay in our profession. I appreciate each of your comments and thoughts as I drink the mai tai and sunrise google bomb juice here in Hawaii. Hope you understand that I am not answering each of you individually as I am busy relaxing and enjoying my stay here on the island.

Hope each of you have had a chance to check out Fred's website, got your listings on, filled out your agent information and spread the word to get more realtors on over there while you are drinking google juice or as Brad would say, the google lemonade.

I wish you and yours a very happy holiday and hope this has enlightened or at least given you pause for thought.

Mele Kalikimaka!Mele Kalikimaka

Dec 17, 2007 09:29 AM #77
Rainmaker
219,364
Chris and Maria Jeantet
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties - Redding, CA
Redding CA Real Estate Couple
Scary stuff Gena - we read those 9 "proofs" and was somewhat releived that at the very bottom of the page it read "We are not affiliated with Google Inc." Hmmm.
Dec 23, 2007 12:53 AM #78
Rainmaker
246,193
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

It is all kind of sary...it does give one pause for thought and concern...

I think that we all need to be aware and strategize

Wish I had all the answers but I don't ... just loads of concern and questions.

Dec 23, 2007 11:04 AM #79
Rainmaker
247,950
Mike Klijanowicz
Baltimore & Harford County Maryland - RE/MAX AMERICAN DREAM - Perry Hall, MD
#1 Baltimore & Harford County Maryland REMAX Agent
I don't necessarilly agree with the whole pay per click thing, but then again I haven't tried it out yet either.  I have had a ton of success with my google juice and a large part of it is right here from AR!
Dec 27, 2007 06:47 AM #80
Rainmaker
246,193
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699
Michael, good for you. No need to pay when all you need to do is blog and get to know other Realtors right here on Active Rain.  Be sure to check out Fred's website and help set-up the data base of good Realtors for now and for the future.
Dec 27, 2007 12:56 PM #81
Rainmaker
1,004,245
Donald Bradbury
Bradbury Team Prudential Patt, White Real Estate - Quakertown, PA
e-PRO, Realtor - Bucks County PA - 610-952-3578

THis  is very well written and also very informative.  I will check back to read more comments on this.  Very interesting.

Don

Dec 27, 2007 01:28 PM #82
Rainmaker
246,193
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699
Don, always good to think ahead and prepare. Be sure to check out Fred's website and get yourself on there for free.  If you have any listings, you can also enter them in for free. 
Dec 28, 2007 12:38 PM #83
Anonymous
Fred Miller

Hi Gena,

Well, what a couple of weeks I have had.  I have spent the past few weeks up to me ears in my new promotion of the site.  We are now featuring the #1 and the #2 top producing Realtors in the nation on our site.  Theresa Griffin, 894 transaction sides and Robert Picciariello with a close second of 364 transaction sides. 

I also would like to report that Google and Yahoo are now in the real estate business.  No need to fret about it any more.  It is happening now! 

Give me a call when you get back and I can go over the details with you.  I hope you had a great Christmas and enjoyed your time off. 

 

Dec 28, 2007 09:00 PM #84
Rainmaker
246,193
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

Fred,well that means there will be less for us...YUCK. Still in Hawaii and will return in 2008. Talk to you later.

I'll be checking out the links that you provided upon my return.

Hopefully, the Realtors have gone over to your site and signed up. Good luck with the auto taking off!!

Happy New Year!

Dec 28, 2007 11:44 PM #85
Rainer
13,312
Fred Miller
National Real Estate Pages - Roseville, CA

Hi Gena,

Have a happy New Year with your new found friend. 

Warm Regards,

Fred

 

Dec 30, 2007 09:16 AM #86
Rainmaker
171,911
June Lewis
Northwood Realty Services - New Castle, PA
Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571

I so agree with you.  Why race to the top when the top has been taken and you will not break through the barrier.  I agree and am sick of companies taking my leads and selling them back to me.  You hit it right on the head with your post.

Jul 14, 2008 10:34 PM #87
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Rainmaker
246,193

Gena Riede

Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699
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