Even the more informed home seller or home buyer in 2011 seems convinced that the most recognized real estate websites on the web are the most important real estate websites on the web. I disagree.
Realtor.com gets millions of unique visitors each month (12.4m in June 2011.) Sounds awesome doesn't it? The only thing left out of that statement is the fact that Realtor.com is the public side of the website for the entire National Association of Realtors. The significance is in the fact that the National Association of Realtors has 1,022,413 members (as of June 2011.) These members frequent the sight nearly daily, meaning the huge majority of the traffic is from members and not consumers.
Zillow.com used to be a funny word and is today nearly synonymous with real estate online. The single most popular feature on Zillow is their zestimate tool which offers an estimate of a home's current market value. The glaring issue here is that not all states allow or require that accurate property information be recorded to the public record. Texas, for example, is a non disclosure state. Zillow's tool basically collects any and all random bits of pricing data and averages it to create an estimate of value. The long story short is that in states like Texas, the zestimates are almost always wrong and quite often not even in the same ballpark as an accurate market evaluation. This does not serve the consumer well.
I can go on and on about different sites, and my goal is not to claim that these sites are worthless. The point to be made is that real estate is local. Local websites with actual property information and contact information for the local expert offering them is where housing information is usually and more appropriately found.
When was the last time you typed a random site name into the address bar on your computer's web browser in hopes that it would return a relevant result? My inference is that you haven't done that since the last time you used an AOL cd you got in the mail for free minutes on your dial up connection.
Search engines rule the web for now and when you search for real estate information, I encourage you to evaluate which sites you visit by the following criteria:
Is it local?
Is it offering what I'm actually looking for?
Is there an individual person or small group of live human beings running the site with contact information for me to reach them?
Now that you know how to identify a real estate website that will actually offer value, try out ours and comment below on how we can add even more value here at DallasHomeRealty.com.
The Todd Tramonte Home Selling Team