Sunday, May 20, 2012

Real Estate Advertising Online

The Facebook IPO got me thinking about their future, and how it will affect Google and online advertising as a whole.

I don't get Facebook mania.  In my opinion, there's a lot better things to do in life.  GM recently cancelled plans to spend $10 million to advertise on Facebook because they got disappointing results.  I can't see Facebook users clicking on ads when they are chatting with friends or playing games.

Does anyone feel like social marketing is being shoved down our throats?  Advertising on Facebook and Twitter has yet to produce impressive results for most companies.  However, social media does play a meaningful role, in my opinion, in driving traffic to a website.

Here is a fascinating graphic comparison of advertising on Facebook versus Google, which you can read here:  http://bit.ly/JHJ5LR

So why am I blogging about this?

As much as many in the real estate industry in Sarasota want to deny it, the days of Open Houses, magazine ads, and newspaper classifieds to sell a home, are history.  I made a decision a long time ago to reach customers online.  I discontinued all the traditional forms of real estate marketing, and instead focused advertising www.davidbarrhomes.com on Google in 2003, most specifically on Google Adwords.

Mastering Google advertising is a constantly evolving process.  Visits to my site are up 10x over last year.  Read more about my marketing philosophy:  www.davidbarrhomes.com/marketing.

I do not believe in hiring an SEO management company, because it leads to a site that is stiff, repetitive, and counter-intuitive.  Not only that, it is unreasonably expensive, especially in light of the recent updates Google has made that negated a lot of what SEO companies have been doing in the past.

Today, it's not just enough to know real estate trends and the local area.  Agents have to be marketing experts as well.  Google, along with its properties YouTube and Blogger, have been the backbone of my real estate marketing and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.  There's no better way to specifically target prospective buyers searching for Sarasota real estate and showcase Sarasota real estate for sale.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Bienvenue aux Francais!

The election of Francois Hollande, a Socialist, as President of France is sparking an anticipated exodus of the richest French residents.

Hollande plans on taxing the wealth-makers of his country at a 75% rate. I wonder who will be left among the poor to provide jobs to the rest of the poor, but, I digress.

I welcome the French to Sarasota, where you will find our warm waters, white beaches, and the highest number of Zagat 4-star rated and above independent restaurants in FL.  Not to mention some outstanding real estate deals.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Updated: Sarasota Real Estate Best Deals

I just updated my best deals page on davidbarrhomes.com and there's one in particular that has been languishing on the market for over a year.

Check out the property on Hawk's Harbor Drive in Bradenton.  This is a waterfront home located just north of SRQ Airport and west of the Trail.  Many homes in this area are on small lots and do not have a pool, but this one does, along with a dock and a boat lift.

Do you have a lot of toys?  This home has a 9-car garage.  Need room to spread out?  It has over 5700 of air conditioned living space.

The last sale price was over $1.5 million in 2005 and it's listed as a short sale at $725,000.  What a great deal for so much house in such a great location.

Interested buyers, contact me with any questions.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Unique Content on davidbarrhomes.com

A lot of visitors to my website have been commenting favorably on the unique Sarasota FL real estate content I provide on my website, www.davidbarrhomes.com.

The real estate industry is not particularly innovative when it comes to marketing, and those real estate website templates so many agents use do not convey much local knowledge or individual agent expertise to potential buyers or sellers.  I continually tweak, expand, and improve davidbarrhomes.com on a daily basis to give visitors the best possible experience.

I personally review each profiled neighborhood, town, and popular areas on my website with a personal neighborhood review.  I grade each on a 1-5 star basis for the most asked-about neighborhood characteristics.  This is not a generic website plug-in like Yelp, but my own personal observations based on my local knowledge.

The most common question I get is "how far is the beach?".  Along with my personal neighborhood review, I have now added my exclusive Beach Meter for each profiled area.  The Beach Meter indicates walk/bike/drive distance to the nearest beach to the particular neighborhood, and gives a distance or time estimate.  No other Sarasota real estate website has this unique and useful feature for home buyers.

Not only do you have access to neighborhood reviews and beach distance, I also provide blank copies of the most common real estate documents, closing costs and calculator, and a page for Sarasota real estate investors with specific recommendations for the best rental condos, with prices and estimated lease prices.

Constant improvements, clean and unique graphics, and unique content has contributed to a ten-fold increase in visitors over April 2011.  I invite you to see what so many are discovering about Sarasota FL real estate on davidbarrhomes.com, and I look forward to being your full service, trusted Sarasota Realtor.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trulia Posts Bogus Price Increase Blog

I just got an email from Trulia's "chief economist" for a blog post about rising real estate prices.

The problem with Trulia's blog is that they are basing their assumption that prices are increasing on "asking price".  Yes, according to Trulia, listing prices are up so market prices are up. 

What's even more galling are the real estate agent sheep that respond to Trulia's post with comments like "good news!" and "great blog!".  When was the last time these real estate professionals declared an improving market to their buyers or sellers by pointing only to list price?

So many factors can contribute to "asking prices" increasing, even something as simple as more luxury homes coming on the market.  You also have to wonder where Trulia is getting their "asking price" data.  Unsurprisingly, their data is not sourced.

The only thing that matters in determining real estate trends are actual sold property prices.  Asking price is irrelevant.




Saturday, May 5, 2012

Another Broker Opts out of Trulia

Today I read a short post on another brokerage in Austin, TX who is pulling their real estate listings off of Trulia's website.   You can read the short article here:  http://bit.ly/JmUw8A

Congratulations to Good Life Realty in Austin!  It seems we share the belief that misleading customers is not a good business model.

In the past few days I have canceled my Trulia Pro membership, but I can still answer questions from confused consumers who are getting misinformation on their site, just as I do with Zillow.

As you can tell from previous blog posts, I am not a fan of Zillow and am rapidly becoming outspoken against Trulia as well.  Like Good Life Realty, I choose not to tarnish my reputation by associating my name with misleading data on websites more interested in selling advertising.