Making Real Estate Portals Work For You (Without paying them)

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Real estate portal websites like Zillow and Trulia have been a polarizing subject lately. Some agents feel their listings are being held hostage by these rogue websites that purchase data from the MLS (that agents are paying to be a part of). It may seem unfair that these websites operate by taking your listings and then selling leads to other agents. Even if you pony up for the (expensive) fees, you’re not guaranteed to get all of the leads from your listing on their site. Well, today I’m going to show you how to get the most out of the portal websites so that you can take advantage of their huge marketing budget without paying them a dime.

Take Back Control of Your Listing

Step 1: Make sure that all of your profiles are completely filled out. You can’t beat them, so you might as well be sure that your profiles are complete and enticing. Add your photo and write a compelling paragraph or two explaining how you go above and beyond to help your clients.

Step 2: Add your past sales. By adding your past sales on Zillow, your marketing map will show pins to the properties you have sold. Take a screenshot of the map and add it to your advertising materials such as door hangers, brochures and flyers. Use a headline like “I Sell Homes in YOUR Area.” Also, the past sales that you’ve claimed become backlinks to your profile. When buyers or sellers want to know what homes are selling for in your market, they will see your sold homes all over the map and that gives you the best chance at winning their trust. Who do you think they’ll contact first?
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Step 3: Be sure that the very first sentence on all portal sites (Zillow, Trulia, Homes, etc.) tells buyers to contact you for details about the listing. Say something like, “ Call John Doe at 555-555-5555, for all of the details on this home. You can also reach me at (add your email). I’d be happy to answer any questions you have on this property.” You will need to log on to your account at each portal site in order for the changes to the descriptions to stick or it will most likely revert back to the MLS description/broker feed. Buyers want information as soon as possible. The homeowner and listing agent are the only two people that know everything about the house.

Step 4: (optional but very effective). Add a branded video tour to each portal site. Most of the MLSs only allow you to upload unbranded video tours. If you’re working with a company like Realetise, you can include a link to a virtual tour, or better yet, a single property website your listings. Our branded virtual tours are actually landing pages with your contact info front and center. We can even add a a popup that will collect their email while they are on the page. They can call you right from the page or send you an email requesting an in person tour. Here are some links on how to add virtual tours to portal sites.

How to add a virtual tour to
How to add a virtual tour to

There you have it. In just 4 simple steps, you can take back control of your business from portal sites without being forced to pay them for leads to your own listing. If you’re in the Pittsburgh, New Castle, Erie, Youngstown, Akron, or Cleveland areas we can help you get set up with HD virtual tours and single property websites to your listings. You’ll get more leads from Zillow, Trulia, etc. and impress sellers with the very best in real estate marketing tools. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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