Real Estate Vertical Offers Simplified Search Marketing
Following in the footsteps of other “small business aggregators,” (e.g., Yellow Pages publishers, Web hosts, Newspapers) real estate vertical HomeGain.com has launched a simplified search-engine marketing program for local brokers and agents.
Dubbed “SearchMaximizer,” it will encompass Google, Yahoo!, MSN and AOL, among other sites. HomeGain currently has a wide variety marketing and lead-generation programs and SeachMaximizer is a recognition of the increasing role that search engines are playing in the home-buying process.
According to HomeGain, roughly 77 percent of home buyers begin their search on the Internet. The California Association of Realtors conducted a consumer survey in early 2004 in which it found the following:
* 56 percent used Internet as a “significant part” of their home buying process
* 70 percent used Internet to preview property
* 81 percent used Internet to locate/investigate a specific property
* 85 percent used Internet to locate a specific agent
Real estate has been a leading indicator of the Internet’s probable impact on SME marketing.
But for the widespread usage of the Internet to find and preview homes, local brokers and agents would not be as compelled to be online in front of those potential homebuyers. Accordingly, real estate is reflective of the direct connection between consumer and SME advertiser behavior.
Greg Sterling is managing editor of The Kelsey Group. He also leads The Kelsey Group’s the Interactive Local Media program, focusing on local search. Greg came to The Kelsey Group from TechTV’s “Working the Web,” the first national television show dedicated to e-business and the Internet.