And call a travel agent to book a flight. And look up a phone number in the Yellow Pages when I wanted to order pizza. Or call the restaurant for directions or to make a reservation. And when I got a new listing, I immediately called the local newspaper to make sure it got in next Sunday's edition. Fun to think that these were everyday realities only just a few years ago.
While there is still expense when it comes to marketing a home, today there are so many sites that offer listing exposure without getting your wallet out.
Here are a few of the sites to utilize in your marketing efforts (in alphabetical order). Please take special note of the aggregaters, or sites where you can upload the listing once and it goes out to numerous places:
Backpage.com- This is one of the latest Classified websites to emerge. It is similar to Craigslist where you can post in the real estate catagory for free. If you are interested in how they make money or want to learn more about them, click here. Not a major presence on the real estate scene yet, but worth noting.
Craigslist.org - When you go to this site, it is so visually unappealing and hard to navigate, you think, who uses this site? Let me tell you, a lot of people. In my job I meet with a lot of agents, and consistently I hear that this is one of their best sources of leads. Whoever posts last gets their listing on top, so be sure to repost occasionally. Don't even waste you time posting if you don't include photos. Listing with photos are tagged as such and with the site getting so populated with listings, homes without photos are easily overlooked.
Cyberhomes.com - This automated home-valuation site operated by Fidelity National Real Estate announced May 17th that they will now accept for-sale listing information from Agents. There wasn't much information about the process yet at the time of this post.
Google Base, base.google.com - More than 56% of all Internet searches on "real estate"and related terms are conducted on Google, so it is great that you now have an opportunity to leverage this traffic for free. Visit this page to see which upload method best suites your needs. http://base.google.com/base/help/realestate.html
Point2NLS.com - Become a member of this site (for free) and you you have access to many of the site's features, one of which is there Exposure EngineTM, which will pump your listing to all of Point2 NLS's syndication partners. Their syndication partners include sites like Point2Homes, Oodle, Edgeio, Yahoo Classifieds, Live Deal, and Propsmart. They make money by selling program enhancements.
Postlets.com- This is another aggregater website. Sign up for a free account. Choose your category and enter your ad information. You can upload up to 12 photos. Then the site automatically submits your ad to search engines like: Trulia, Google Base, Oodle, Backpage, Local.com, Lycos, Propsmart, Edgeio, Vast, and ByOwnerMLS.com.
Trulia.com - This is one of the fastest movers up the most trafficked real estate list as of late. They take feeds from a number of national brokerages, so if you are with one of those, there is a good chance your listing is already on the site. One of the things that makes this site different than others on the list is that they don't display the full listing detail on their site, but rather partial data and then the user have to click to the listing agent's site to see all of the details and photos.
vFlyer.com- The final aggregator on this list. VFlyer has single upload and bulk upload capabilities. Once you upload you listing, it is automatically sent to sites like: Google Base, Oodle, Vast, Trulia Edgeio and more. VFlyer is hoping to generate income by selling additional services, but the distribution system is free.
Zillow.com - (disclosure- I work for this company) Zillow is the top trafficked real estate website that allows for free postings. You can post unlimited photos, link to your website and display all of your contact information. All leads generated through the site go directly to you. You must go to the site to register, it is not partnered with any aggregater sites.
A few obscure free listing sites to note:http://www.smalltownhomes.com/
I am sure there are others out there people are using, please feel free to contribute below.
Photo courtesy of Sacramento Bee, Sunday, February 29, 1994