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Raising your profile with realestate.com.au

with Aimee Gleeson, realestate.com.au

It may come as a surprise, but you really can make a big marketing splash by utilising the agent profile features on realestate.com.au. Research shows that potential vendors want to use online listing sites to help them choose who they are going to list with. Are you missing out?

Recent consumer research conducted by realestate.com.au found that a substantial pool of property owners intended to use the buy and sold sections of online sites to help decide who to list with. The research further revealed that selecting an agent was the most stressful step of the selling process nominated by property owners who had recently sold their property.

As a consequence of these findings, realestate.com.au decided to ramp up its agent profiles offer to benefit both agents and consumers. Aimee Gleeson, the project leader, says that it was, “a very clear sign that we had a bit of a gap in our offering and we could really do something to help make selecting an agent simple, efficient and stress free.”

Aimee and her team conducted cocreation sessions with the different groups that they serve - customers on the one hand ie the real estate agents, both for leasing and selling and principals; and consumers of the website on the other hand ie the property owners, potential vendors, buyers and investors. Aimee says, “We brought them together in co-creation sessions to really start flushing out what the ideal profile would be for an agent from an agent or agency perspective, and what the ideal profile would be from the perspective of a potential vendor wanting to start shortlisting an agent.”

Aimee says, “We heard strongly from vendors, or our consumer groups, that an agent profile wouldn't be the ‘be-all and end-all’ in their decision of who to list with. The profile would enable them to really start shortlisting a handful of agents who they would then go on to communicate with, have contact with, sit down in their lounge room with. But it really made it easier to come up with that handful that they would like to meet in person.”

Further, they learned that, “Testimonials and reviews was an element that we heard from both our customers - being agents - and our consumers - being property owners or vendors - as something they would like in an agent profile.”

Research also revealed that the number one reason why a vendor selects an agent is their experience in a local area, closely followed by how an agent markets properties. Aimee says, “They're using our site in the buy and sold section to see how agents are presenting properties like theirs, and making an assessment that way. A great way of using that video element in a profile would be to show how you've marketed other properties in your local area, even a video that you've used to market a property.”

Finally the research revealed that vendors and potential vendors have very different mentalities. Aimee says, “Those that were experienced in property, were telling us they wanted statistics, and they wanted to really be able to see an agent's track record in their local area. So, still very much a focus on local area. Then we heard from those who are less experienced in property that they're wanting to know more about the person as an individual. What sets them apart? Are they trustworthy? What's their reputation? So that they can get a sense of the agency they work for. That sort of thing.”

So taking all that information on board, Aimee and her team set about meeting some of the expectations and building a profile on every single agent in Australia.

Aimee explains, “We developed agent profiles to be valuable, even without the agent needing to do anything. They've been developed in a way that enables them to still be really valuable to property owners who are viewing these profiles, without an agent adding any extra information. We've built the profiles to be quite low maintenance. It takes a couple of minutes to populate your profile. You can definitely re-use content that may already exist on your agency's website about you, on your Facebook page. After setting up the profile in terms of your skills and expertise, the element at the bottom of the profile that really showcases your recent sales for the last 12 months and also your current listings - either for lease or for sale - is all selfmanaged by us. That will take over and continue to be updated every time a listing either moves to sold or is listed in our buy section.”

She says, “We've developed a profile on behalf of every leasing and selling agent nationally. We launched those that first week of December. They've been built in a way that they can still provide value to a property owner wanting to learn more about an agent. They're built in a way that allows real enhancement to start differentiating yourself as an agent. Michael Clarke's profile was probably one of the first that I saw 100% populated after launch. Michael's profile includes a really fantastic video that introduces his business as well as himself; it really puts him and his agency in the spotlight.”

Aimee says that since they launched their bigger and better agent profiles in December 2014, the results have exceeded their expectations. They have been amazed with how the market has responded. She says, “We've exceeded even my wildest dreams in terms of visits to individual agent profiles. Profiles are accessible via search engines. We've optimized them really heavily for Google. We're seeing great results of indirect traffic to profiles on our site. We've also enabled them to be accessible via our listing page. For a property listed by one or two agents, profiles are then accessible via those agents’ information on a listing page. It was bit of a soft approach, but we've already had two million visits to individual agents profiles in that first 13 weeks.”

She adds, “We're also driving a huge amount of enquiries to agents, or leads to agents, via agent profiles. In the first 13 weeks, we've had 330,000 phone number reveals from an individual agent profile. This again is a property owner seeking to get in contact with the agent after reviewing their information on a profile. We've also had 48,000 email leads to agents. For a lot of those, we're already hearing feedback of listings eventuating from those leads.”

Are you making the most of your profile?

 

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