Thursday
October 23, 2014

Real Estate Agents Rebrand Themselves Online

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Real Estate Agents Rebrand Themselves Online

Real estate agents are recasting themselves online as not just the person who helps you find or sell a home but as “neighborhood specialists,” The New York Times reports. 

Instead of just spotlighting homes for sale, real estate professionals and companies are also spotlighting tours of neighborhoods and articles that provide helpful buying and selling tips, like on timing the sale of a home or deciding whether it’s better to buy or rent. Some sites are including how locals rate the suburbs or lists of community activities. 

The Corocoran Group’s recently redesigned web site streamlines searches so they uncover a smaller, more relevant number of listings. When you click on a listing, full-screen photos appear along with a neighborhood map that shows restaurants, grocery stores, shopping, and schools. It’s also turned its agent search feature on the site into “something of a matchmaking service,” The New York Times notes. Customers can look up agents not just by properties they list, but also search for agents based on languages they speak, hobbies, other interests, or even link to agents who may be friends with your friends on Facebook or LinkedIn. 

Another brokerage site—HoulihanLawrence.com—includes more information on neighborhoods, such as “community videos” of local historians, residents and small-business owners offering up their favorite aspects of various sections of a community. 

“When looking for a home on a real estate Web site, very often people are shopping for a community more than an individual home,” Chris Meyers, the chief operating officer of Houlihan Lawrence, told The New York Times. “Where do I want to live that feels right for me? How do I understand that, in a market I haven’t been in before?”

Source: “Making Web Sites Completely Addictive,” The New York Times (Jan. 31, 2013)

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