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A Secret about REALTOR.com

April 09 2012

hush manREALTOR.com has been a member of the REALTOR® family for a long time. The National Association of REALTORS® provides REALTOR.com as a member benefit. Every MLS and Association in the nation provides REALTOR.com with an update of your listings every day. It is the most comprehensive and accurate database of real estate listings in the world. That is the stuff you already know. Now let me tell you a secret that you probably do not know.

When the National Association of REALTORS® set plans to launch the site, property listings was not the core focus. The core focus of the site is to connect REALTORS® with consumers. On the surface, this may sound like a shallow differentiation, but it is not. The Find REALTORS® directory is a key component to REALTOR.com. The website offers the most robust and comprehensive directory of REALTORS® in the world too!

Until recently, the agent pages on REALTOR.com were okay. They were commonplace, much like the agent pages that you might see on the typical broker website. There was the agent image, a useless and outdated bio, phone numbers and email addresses. Social media arrived on the scene years ago in real estate, and REALTOR.com had not selected a plan to connect REALTORS® and consumers through those platforms. Today, that has all changed. Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles can now be added to your profile page on REALTOR.com.

In May of 2011, Melissa McHone (RE Technology) and I met with Ernie Graham, CEO of a start up called SocialBios.comSocialBios.com. It was one of those magical meetings for a technologist like me. With one look, it was obvious that SocialBios had nailed the future design of the agent detail page. The tagline for the company was crystal clear: “Turn Your Stale About Us Page Into A Fresh SocialBio page.”

But there was a problem.

The problem with SocialBios was that it represented a piece of online excellence, but not the whole pie of online excellence. In order for SocialBios to be successful, they would need to partner with broker and agent website developers. Ernie must have agreed, because by July 2011, he sold his company to MOVE, Inc – operators of REALTOR.com. Today – and this is the big secret – agents can now enhance their pages on REALTOR.com to make a profound and lasting impact on the millions of consumers that visit that site each month. And, unlike what you are accustomed to on REALTOR.com, it is completely free!

Below are some relevant links: If you are an Association of REALTORS®, an MLS, or a Broker – your duty is to make sure that every agent in your flock takes advantage of this. It will help your agents sell more real estate.

Here's a video about Social Bios: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnKLYKmreOAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnKLYKmreOA

Here is how to get started building your Social Bios page: http://socialbios.com/create/http://socialbios.com/create/

It took me less than five minutes to create my page, but I have a lot of my social media names memorized, along with the agent ID from the MLS. It may take you longer to sort out your profile if you have to look that stuff up. Once your page is set up, the information will also be published to REALTOR.com.

Here is my page: http://socialbios.com/victorlund/http://socialbios.com/victorlund/

In truth, I am one of the first consultants in real estate to tell the world when a publisher like REALTOR.com, or any other publisher, does something that I feel is not in the best interest of agents or brokers. In balance, I also endeavor to serve my clients by pointing out ways to leverage publisher websites to improve their online effectiveness. This is one of those times. Agents should take advantage of this program.

(Disclaimer: WAV Group has performed research for MOVE and the National Association of REALTORS®)