Corporate Stupidity Still Reigns Supreme in the Real Estate Website
Industry As Dominion Unveils New Product and Kills the Agent Advantage Website
I am first going to say that this blog is my opinion and my opinion only
and I am getting ready to cuss out a bunch of people in suit and ties
in board rooms who think they are smart but in fact are some of the
dumbest people running large companies so if that offends you leave now.
The word "DISCONNECT" has many meanings but in the world of corporate
America the biggest "disconnect" is between the sales people in the trenches
and the "corporate board" who make decisions and look over spread sheets.
More times than not the CORPORATE BOARD MEMBERS are nothing more
than over paid goons in suits with titles on their cards but the FACT IS
THESE IDIOTS HAVE NEVER SOLD THE PRODUCT (A REAL ESTATE WEBSITE
in this case) AND WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO EVEN IF IT DROPPED OUT OF THE
SKY AND HIT THEM ON THE HEAD. Boardroom members may be able to read a
spreadsheet but 9O% cannot sell the product or market the product OR REALLY
KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRODUCT AND WHAT MAKES THEIRS UNIQUE.
They make decisions on how companies should be run even though they
could never do it themselves in the trenches and they have no idea on how to market
or use the product themselves.
January 1st marked the blackest day in the real estate website world for me as
Dominion unveiled their new real estate "website" product and successfully
shut down and killed off their best performing WEBSITE product
"The Agent Advantage Website".
My opinion of the new product can only be summed up with cussing so I will skip
that BUT the Agent Advantage website was the "Packard or even Studebaker" of the
early design of real estate website technology.
Many moons ago (late 1990's) Homes.com wanted to do an IPO and invested millions
into the development of the Homes.com website (formerly Real Estate Village) and
they developed what was and still is the BEST real estate website ever made.
There are a lot of reasons why the Agent Advantage website reigned supreme
(and still does in many categories) but one reason is that they created their
OWN INTERNAL HOME SEARCH which always kept clients within the Homes.com
website and not sending them out to an "IDX feed", which is what ever other
company's had to do because they did not have the technology that Homes.com
paid millions to develop.
THE NUMBER ONE THING YOU MUST HAVE ON A WEBSITE TO BE SUCCESSFUL
IS CONVERSION - IF THE SITE CANNOT CONVERT TRAFFIC INTO LEADS
IT IS USELESS - PERIOD
Since none of the idiots running any of these real estate website companies
market their own products in real time it did not surprise me that the new
"UPDATED AND IMPROVED PRODUCT" that replaced the Agent Advantage site
is COMPLETELY USELESS FOR CONVERTING TRAFFIC INTO LEADS and like
almost all real estate website companies these people are more focused
on THE GRAPHIC DESIGN RATHER THAN THE FUNCTIONALITY OF THE PRODUCT.
Many of the large real estate website company's sell JUNK PRODUCTS that are
focused 100% on LOOKS and 0% on CONVERTING TRAFFIC INTO LEADS.
THIS IS TRUE FOR ALMOST ALL REAL ESTATE WEBSITE COMPANIES -
The problem is when "graphic designers" take over the Internet marketing
of a product it looks good and performs poorly and no one is happy since
the client gets little or nothing in return and THE WEBSITE PROVIDER
LOSES A HOSTED CUSTOMER - many big companies just sell enough
to MAINTAIN their database and NEVER GROW.
There are a host of breakdowns for this but this is a RAMPANT PROBLEM
AMONG A LARGE NUMBER OF REAL ESTATE WEBSITE PRODUCTS AND
THAT IS THEY DO A HORRIBLE JOB CONVERTING TRAFFIC.
They stand behind the looks of a site and push banner ads, "premium
placement", auto responders and everything else to sell the product
and DO NOT FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE AND FUNCTIONALITY.
MOST REAL ESTATE WEBSITE COMPANIES STILL DO NOT PRODUCE
A WORKING PRODUCT OUT OF THE BOX - 90% PLUS RELY ON THE
REAL ESTATE AGENT TO FIGURE IT OUT AND THAT FAILURE BUSINESS
MODEL NEEDS TO BE FIXED ASAP.
Homes,com / Agent Advantage had a HUGE ADVANTAGE OVER ALMOST
EVERY REAL ESTATE WEBSITE MADE BECAUSE THEY CONVERT THE HIGHEST
PERCENTAGE OF VISITORS INTO LEADS.
The Agent Advantage website has shown to convert about 10% of the Google
traffic coming into the site and blows away almost every other real estate
website ever made and available today.
10% IS AWESOME - However the company was not smart enough to see the
advantage they had in technology and no one in their marketing dept.
could get the back end to focus ON LEADS AND NOT LOOKS.
I worked for the company and soon realized after leaving the company and
marketing my own websites that the sites could be formatted to be extremely
powerful BUT it took hundreds if not thousands of hours working on about
a dozen websites to figure WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOES NOT.
NONE OF THESE COMPANIES TEST MARKET THEIR OWN JUNK PRODUCTS
IE - ALMOST EVERY WEBSITE COMPANY - HOW MUCH MONEY DID DOMINION
SPEND ON MARKETING THIS NEW PRODUCT IN GOOGLE ADWORDS TO
SEE HOW WELL IT PERFORMS??????????????????????
WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PERFORMANCE AND LEAD CONVERSION???
(PS NOT BANNER ADS ON THE PORTAL OR POSTING LISTINGS ON FACEBOOK)
I am not very smart per se BUT when you spend thousands of hours in the
field working in Pay Per Click where CONVERSION IS KEY you find out
what works and what does not fast.
Websites for me are like cars and since I shoot classic cars for a hobby
on my www.socalbeachmag.net site let me sum up Internet marketing
and real estate sites like this - EACH ONE HAS IT'S OWN STRENGTH.
The Homes.com / Agent Advantage website was the SURE THING
POWERHOUSE that could launch a pay per click campaign and
get leads coming in while other technologies like "Dynamic Page Solutions"
could come in on organic SEO and wipe out hundreds of keywords in Google.
Basically each website had it's own specialty - much like some jobs are
good for a truck and sometimes you want to drive a sports car.
FUNCTIONALITY AND CONVERSION HOWEVER IS THE #1 THING YOU MUST
HAVE OTHERWISE YOU ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR DISAPPOINTMENT
MUCH LIKE MINE WHEN I SAW THE NEW PRODUCT REPLACING THE
AGENT ADVANTAGE WEBSITE. The new product for me is completely useless
for lead capture and from the design of the templates and complete
scrapping of the technology that separated AGENT ADVANTAGE from 99%
of their competitors I can see that this is MORE OF THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND
IE: CLUELESS PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PEOPLE CONVINCING EVEN MORE
CLUELESS IDIOTS IN BOARDROOMS WE ARE MAKING IMPROVEMENT AND
THIS IS "BETTER".
Yes posting listings on Facebook is nice and some of the "frills and spills"
are nice but that is like offering a starving man potato chips and
not giving him a meal.
The NEW PRODUCT SHOULD BE AN "ADD ON" and DOMINION NEEDS TO
GET CLUED IN AND GET THE AGENT ADVANTAGE SITES BACK ON ASAP
Because I can tell you what direction this is going to go if that does not happen
real fast -
ALSO PLEASE FIRE ALL YOUR MARKETING IDIOTS SINCE THIS IS ANOTHER
BLATANT FAILURE ALONG WITH DOING "FIX UPS" THAT ARE FOCUSED ON
LOOKS RATHER THAN CONVERTING TRAFFIC- YOU HAVE HAD THE BEST
CONVERTING WEBSITE ON THE PLANET AND YOU COULD NOT FIGURE
OUT HOW TO 1. USE IT and 2. EXPLOIT THE ADVANTAGE AND WIPE OUT
THE COMPETITION SINCE THIS SITE OUTPERFORMS MOST SITES
RUNNING EXTERNAL IDX FEEDS IE: 80% of real estate websites EASILY.
I ran a 100% Lead guarantee program on this product and you still
can't figure how to do that in a way that benefits BOTH YOU AND THE CLIENT
and not some lopsided business model that is in-effective and NO ONE RENEWS??
Yes we have gone "back and forth" on this for about 8 years now
and I know that there have been "feathers ruffled" BUT THIS IS
ABOUT DELIVERING A PRODUCT THAT DELIVERS RESULTS 100%
OF THE TIME WHICH YOURS CAN DO AND TAKING ADVANTAGE
OF A PRODUCT THAT PRODUCES LEADS 2 to 1 compared to most products
out there. YOU ARE STILL NOT DOING IT AND NOW YOU KILLED IT FOR
BEING A REALITY FOR PEOPLE IN THE FUTURE.
I am glad I have moved a huge chunk of my business into the medical
industry because right now I cannot find one real estate website product
that comes out of the box I would recommend to anyone and that
is a SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS FOR ALL REAL ESTATE WEBSITE COMPANIES.
START SELLING YOUR PRODUCT BASED ON HOW WELL IT CONVERTS
TRAFFIC INTO LEADS AND NOT ON USELESS SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
AND BANNER ADS THAT DELIVER HAP HAZARD RESULTS AT BEST.
ALL REAL ESTATE WEBSITE COMPANIES CAN TAKE NOTICE ON THIS
SINCE CONVERSION IS the #1 Thing A Site Must Have and NOT ONE
real estate website company makes any note of that OR TO MY KNOWLEDGE
SPENDS ANY MONEY TEST MARKETING THEIR OWN PRODUCTS IN
PAY PER CLICK AND THEN SELLS THE PRODUCTS BASED ON TEST RESULTS
RATHER THAN USELESS BACK END TOOLS THAT ARE SECONDARY TO LEAD
* These again are just my "personal opinions" from marketing
thousands of real estate websites in Pay per Click for the last 10+