How Does Your Realtor Website Compare?

THE LEADERS POST - Issue #18 - June 17, 1999

By: Doug Towes, Editor

About the Leaders Post

The Leaders Post is the newsletter for real estate
professionals committed to Net Success - from, an
online community of real estate professionals dedicated to
providing excellent service to their clients. If you prefer the
online version, the current issue as well as previous issues can be viewed by clicking
Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent
in it's entirety.

- How does your web site compare?
- Popularity Engine™
- It's a "no brainer"!
- New doorway page
- New Buyer-Broker Representation Forum
- Exclusive links to your site
- What is up with AltaVista?
- Tip of the day

Net Success

Alright, so you spent countless hours and $1,000 to $2,000
working with your web designer to design the perfect real estate
web site, pouring all your creative juices into the project. Your
site has been up for about a year now, and you have actually
received a few leads from it. Ever wonder how your site really
compares to the competition?

You have spent many more hours and dollars tinkering with your
site during the past year to achieve some top 10 rankings in the
major search engines, but is the site effective? How do you know
for sure?

Direct Hit has the answers! Direct Hit's Popularity Engine™
tracks the amount of time spent at sites that people actually
select from the search results list of the major search engines.
By analyzing the activity of millions of previous Internet
searchers, Direct Hit determines the most popular and relevant
sites for a given search request.

If your site is clicked on more frequently than your competitor's
when a searcher is presented with a list of results when
performing a search in the major search engines for "your city
real estate" for example, AND if the searcher remains on your
site for a longer length of time than on your competitor's -
your site will rank in the Top Ten with Direct Hit!

Having a top ranking is some of the major search engines is not
enough to ensure searchers actually visit and stay to browse your

Have you achieved your top ranking with the search engines by
employing spam techniques such as flooding the search engines
with multiple pages of endless repetition of keywords? Do you
think that when a searcher is confronted with this in a list of
search engine results, that the first thought is "Oh, boy! This
site must have what I am looking for!"?

O.K., you haven't employed any spam techniques and the
description sounds attractive enough to entice the searcher to
choose your site from the list. You haven't any compelling
content? No valuable free information for the visitor to view
online? Then why would the visitor stay?

If your site is guilty of either of the above, then your site
will not rank with Direct Hit even if you have the number one
position on all the search engines!

Direct Hit only lists the Top Ten or less web sites for any given
search term out of hundreds and sometimes thousands of sites that
match the search terms, so to be listed in Direct Hit is a real
accomplishment. It is proof that your web site fills the needs
of your target audience in addition to being well designed and
search engine friendly.

Even more importantly, Direct Hit is now a major player in the
search engine business. Originally Direct Hit results were only
available on HotBot - ("Get the Top Ten Sites for your search"),
but now Direct Hit is being used by or in the process of being
implemented by AOL, ICQ, Apple, ZDNet, Looksmart, Lycos, Infoseek
Express, Link Exchange, and the list is growing!

Being listed in Direct Hit is not only like receiving a gold
medal in Web Site Design, but will multiply the visitors to your
site at the expense of your competitors.

Would you like to increase your chances of ranking with Direct
Hit? I am pleased to say that of the House and Home Page Real
Estate sites (only one is produced per market area - your area
may still be available!) that have been online long enough to
have been considered by Direct Hit (longer that six months) - 85%
of the sites rank in the Top Ten for the keywords "city real
estate" and 80% of those are in the Top 5%!

The House and Home Page Real Estate sites have proven effective
and the design and content that real estate buyers and sellers
are looking for! So why spend countless hours and thousands of
dollars trying to reinvent the wheel? Why not have the #1 real
estate web site for your market area?! Only one House and Home
Real Estate Page is produced for each market area, so hurry
before someone else beats you to it! The attractive cost and
proven results makes it a "no brainer". Visit
Realtor Website Promotion for more information.


What works for you? Your suggestions and submissions are
gratefully accepted, and if used you will receive credit along
with a link to your web site or (e mail address if you don't have
a web site yet.)


Happenings At

Because we consider your success to be our business, members
of the House and Home Real Estate Page program are being
provided, at
no charge, an additional doorway page to their site. The new page
resides in the domain, and is
designed to be search engine friendly. For sites that have had
the installation completed, the page already ranks in the top 10
with Infoseek and HotBot, and it is expected to do equally well
in the other major search engines once listed!

This new page acts like having a second web site that is as
equally as effective as the first. In addition to helping to
increase web visitors, it acts as insurance against the times
when the original site has been dropped from certain search
engines, as happens periodically.

This will help ensure a steady stream of real estate leads!

If you are interested in having the #1 real estate web site for
your market area, visit for more
details today! Only one House and Home Real Estate Page is
produced for each market area, so hurry before someone else
beats you to it!

As mentioned in previous issues, the Agents Online Real Estate
Idea Center at has been rated "Best"
- three stars, the highest award given, by the Infoseek Directory
in the categories "real estate agents" and "property listings",
and shows at the top of the list when searching Infoseek's

The Idea Center now also appears at the top of the list in some
categories in the Open Directory, which is used by Netscape,
Lycos, and other major search Engines. The Idea Center also
receives traffic from many keyword searches in other major search
engines and from links places on dozens of web sites.

One of the most popular forums there is the Rental Properties forum. There are
always lots of interesting and informative discussions going on with a minimum
of spam and solicitations to wade through - check it out!

Now, you can be the one and only agent for your market area
listed in the pull down menus at the top of each and every page!
Anyone searching for an agent or property listings in your area
will click on the city or town and automatically be directed to
your site!

Since receiving the award, a check of the server logs for the
Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center shows that there are now
many additional visitors to the site that have come looking for
real estate agents and property listings. Those pull down menus
at the top of each page offers visitors the links to what they
are looking for!

How can you be the exclusive agent listed for your area? There
are three ways to be listed.

1) You can be listed by paying the fee of $10 month per city or
town to be listed exclusively in each pull down menu. (Listings
are to be prepaid for six months in advance.)

2) You can join the House and Home Page program
( being listed in
those menus is included for FREE.

3)You can become a moderator of one of the forums - being listed
in the menus is one of the perks! (more on becoming a moderator

To be listed in the Real Estate Agents Menu, you must have a
web site. To be listed also in the Property Listings Menu, you
must have a page set up on your web site that directs visitors to
listings - yours, your company's, or the multiple listings.

If you are interested in being the one and only agent listed
for your area, first check the pull down menus at to see if your city or town is
already listed directly on those menus. If you click on a city
name and are transported directly to an agent's web site, that
area is already taken.

Menu listings on a first come first served basis, but you can
be "bumped" in the future if there is a new House and Home Page
that covers your area, if a moderator covers your area, or if
payment is not received. Until then, the exclusive menu listings
will be yours!


Contributing by posting messages in the Agents Online Real Estate
Idea Center is a great way to increase your exposure - and your
business! Join us at at - it's free!


We still need moderators for a couple of the forums, so if you
are interested let me know at and I
will set it up.

Moderators have the ability to post announcements, edit and
remove messages, send out digests, and are notified by email each
time someone posts to their forum. They are often viewed as a
leader and/or expert, and the moderators name appears on every
page in their forum. Moderators also have the ability to schedule
the digests for their own forums, and the frequency will be
determined by the traffic in the particular forum.


There is now a colorful new logo suitable for members to place on
their web sites and linking to the Idea Center. The logo is just
6kb, and a transparent gif, so it will work whatever your page
background. Have a look at
where you can see the logo and cut and paste the code for


Members of the High Performance Home Page program are reminded to
check their private forum for information, search engine
strategies, and add-ons to their site. The forum is located
within the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center at and can be found at the bottom of the
list of public forums. Once registered at the Idea Center, send
me an email and I will "authorize" you so you can access the
private forum.

This And That

AltaVista has been experiencing major problems with it's
database for several months now. It is especially noticeable
when searching for real estate - which directly impacts readers
of this newsletter! For quite a while a search for "your city
real estate" turned up no matches in many instances. Now a
search is more likely to turn up few results, irrelevant results
- or results that would not ordinarily be near the top.

On Tuesday of this week, a search for "seattle real estate"
turned up 111 web pages (Seattle's population is 2.2 million)
while a search for "grand forks real estate" turned up 72,696
web pages (Grand Forks' population is 50,000).

Last night a search for "vancouver real estate" turned up no
matches once again, which suggests there may have been a relapse
that wiped out any of the recent gain AltaVista had made towards
fixing their database.

It appears AltaVista has a long way to go in fixing their problem!
If you are having trouble getting a good ranking in AltaVista - or
if you have a good ranking in AltaVista - your situation likely has
more to do with luck and will not be permanent.

In addition, AltaVista has been employing a rotating algorithm
in which web pages rise and fall in the index - everyone seems
to get a turn in the basement and at the top regardless of page
design or content. New web pages that are submitted start at the
bottom and work their way up. Pages that are found by
AltaVista's spider without being submitted usually rank higher
initially than submitted pages. Recently, many submitted pages
have shot right up to a top 5 position only to disappear or drop
to the basement a day or two later.

Hopefully AltaVista will settle down soon, but until then, stop
pulling your hair out! It is not just your site that is
suffering - everyone is in the same boat. If you do have a good
ranking with AltaVista, enjoy it while it lasts!

Tip Of The Day

Success is a journey, not a destination. - Unknown

If you see a turtle on a fence post, he has had some help. -

================================================================ is an online community of real estate
professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to
their clients.

This newsletter is Copyright (c) RNC Internet Services, 1999


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