Annapolis, MD (PRWEB) January 22, 2013
The National Association of Realtors announced recently that the majority of Real Estate agents are unable to break through the electronic blockade and generate any real traction via the internet. Thirty five percent of agents indicate that they have never generated any business via their website while the largest percentage of those surveyed, eight percent indicated that they are able to generate only fourteen percent of their business via their personal website.
The reason for the lack of success most real estate agents have online according to Qazzoo, an online community of home buyers and home sellers, is that even though nearly 100% of home shoppers begin their home buying experience online intermediaries have begun to monopolize local search terms usually associated with local Real Estate agents and brokers.
“There has been a gradual reduction of local businesses advertising on search engines in the past several years” says Qazzoo CEO, Michael Urbanski. “This decline in online advertising for local Real Estate businesses has been the outcome of the many companies you see advertising locally that are not in fact local. Rather they are national or many times international companies that have the muscle and technical skill to slowly squeeze out the real local merchants from the top search engines.” Urbanski continues. “Similar to Walmart coming to a small town and undercutting the prices of the local Mom and Pops, local Real Estate agents cannot compete with well- funded intermediaries that are syphoning off their business.” It appears local businesses are being squeezed out by these non-local companies that masquerade as if they were. In many cases these companies are actually overseas call centers that have their own technical staffs and deeper pockets than a local Real Estate agent or typical Broker.
According to Urbanski the most effective and popular way to advertise online is PPC or Pay-Per-Click. The cost of which has skyrocketed over the past five years as print media has shrunk at roughly the same pace. Search terms like Real Estate in San Diego or Homes in Miami used to cost between 50 cents and 65 cents per click. Today that cost can be anywhere from $ 3 to $ 5 dollars. We simply cant afford it says Frank Wilcox who owns a small brokerage company in Maryland. The price per click on Google, Bing or Yahoo is determined by advertisers competing for the same search terms and not by the search engine themselves. This means that prices can jump quickly depending on the number of competitors bidding for a search term at any given time.
The largest single factor driving the cost of Pay-Per-Click upward is the national competitors willingness to pay more for local search terms than local business can afford. As an example when Zillow.com and Trulia launched in 2007 they had a combined $ 116 million in Venture Capital so they were able to absorb a burn rate (lose money each day) that a local Real Estate professional simply cannot compete with. This has allowed these two companies to monopolize not only the pay per click advertising areas of Google, Bing and Yahoo but also the organic search results as they pay armies of bloggers to generate content daily. Something again that local Real Estate agents and Brokers cannot contend with.
A recent search in Seattle for Realtors provides multiple top advertising positions that pose as local businesses but are in fact national centers that then route the potential home buyers to multiple local Real Estate agents. The agents are then required to either split their commissions or pay a fee to be in the ad network. This is why according the National Association of Realtors 62% of all Real Estate agents report never having sold a home form their website.
Urbanski insists that cost is not the only reason local Real Estate agents and Brokers continue to be overwhelmed when it comes to online advertising. He indicates that the technical skills required to maintain an advertising campaign are also beyond the reach of most local Real Estate professionals. As search engines continue to add functions and features they also become more complicated and less user friendly. The complexity of maintaining an advertising campaign and the costs associated are combining to drive an increasing number of smaller brokers to suffer as their advertising footprint continues to shrink.
Qazzoo was created by several of the key executives of Heavy Hammer, developers of the patented MIMIAN software for geographically-focused network advertising. Based out of Annapolis, Maryland, Heavy Hammer holds an extensive portfolio of geo-targeted patents online and has a number of other patents relating to online software and business generation.