Amid Boom in Online Real Estate Ad Spending, ReachLocal Provides Real Estate Professionals with Turnkey Internet Marketing Solution
ENCINO, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- May 24, 2005 -- Gives Agents Prominent Placement on Multiple Search Engines without Complexities of Managing Online Advertising Campaigns
ReachLocal (www.reachlocal.com) announced today that it has refined its successful new Internet marketing solution to help real estate agents nationwide gain unprecedented placement on the most popular local search engines -- without lifting a finger.
Using patent-pending technology, the ReachLocal platform creates and manages turnkey ad campaigns for local businesses. When a search matches the selected geographic areas and any one of up to 5,000 keywords per campaign, ReachLocal places that ad at the top of the search results.
ReachLocal's announcement coincides with a new report from Borrell Associates, which places online real estate ad spending on a pace to grow by 55 percent this year, to an estimated $1.8 billion. The Borrell report also predicts that total ad spending on real estate will increase to just $11.3 billion during 2005, from $11.2 billion in 2004, noting that the online share of real estate ads will grow to nearly 16 percent this year, from about 10 percent last year.
"The latest trend data confirms it: consumers often go to the major search engines first when looking for something online -- especially real estate," said Zorik Gordon, president and CEO, ReachLocal. "They'll start by typing in keywords and a location and see what they get. ReachLocal gives real estate agents placement at the top of these search results when the keywords match, putting them ahead of competing agents who aren't listed there. Simply maintaining a website with listings is just not enough anymore -- agents must actively drive traffic to their sites and, by extension, their listings. Search engines and other online advertising vehicles provide excellent local search targeting capabilities, and the most progressive agents are taking advantage of those."
Currently ReachLocal is working with the Internet's leading pay-per-click search engine providers (Google, Yahoo Sponsored Search), Internet Yellow Pages companies (SuperPages.com), paid inclusion providers (Yahoo Site Submit) and geo-targeted banner networks (Advertising.com). With the "pay-per-click" model, advertisers pay only when users click on their ads to visit specific sites.
According to the California Association of Realtors, nearly one in four real estate transactions is generated online, and 56 percent of all buyers use the Internet as a significant part of their home-buying process. Most real estate agents market themselves and their listings using websites and online listing services. But buyers and sellers increasingly turn to search vehicles to find what they're looking for online. Kelsey-Bizrate estimates that 25 percent of Internet searches are local in nature -- meaning local consumers are actively looking for local merchants. The local search technology that ReachLocal taps into allows real estate agents to put their listings where the buyers and sellers are, rather than asking buyers and sellers to come to them.
The ReachLocal solution is already helping real estate agents more effectively use the Internet to market themselves and their listings. Kevin Godley, an agent with Re/Max Olson & Associates in Thousand Oaks, California, worked with ReachLocal to target people buying or selling equestrian properties. His campaign put his ads at the top of search results on popular sites like Google and Yahoo when the keyword phrases "equestrian property los angeles" or "horse home los angeles," and it turned out to be a double blessing. A seller was so impressed with how she found Godley -- because it proved that her property would be just as easily found online -- that she listed with him. The buyer of that property then found him the same way.
"Not only did I attract a prospect through ReachLocal, but the process itself convinced the seller of the value of what I offer," said Godley. "There's really no other good way to market specifically to the equestrian community. ReachLocal is so targeted, it's a direct way to reach specific audiences."
Simplifying Search Engine Marketing
Many agents have stayed away from the pay-per-click advertising model that online search vehicles offer because keyword management can be complex and time-consuming. The ReachLocal solution makes the process dramatically easier. After an initial 15-minute set-up process, the campaigns are virtually hands-off for agents, freeing them up to concentrate on their businesses.
The ReachLocal system manages the entire campaign -- it sets up accounts with each online publisher, handles all search engine keyword selection and bidding, and continually optimizes the campaigns to ensure that the highest possible number of leads are generated. Agents receive detailed reporting to track their return on investment, including daily summaries of website visits, and phone and email tracking.
ReMax Olson's Godley now is working with ReachLocal to structure a campaign that sends seekers directly to his property listings, rather than to his own website. In essence, Godley is passing along the benefits of ReachLocal to his customers by putting their property listings at the top of the search results on Google, Yahoo and other popular search engines. "None of my competitors can say they're doing this," he said.
ReachLocal is bringing its platform to market by developing a network of independent sales agents around the country, working with them to incorporate the ReachLocal solution into their existing campaigns to help drive online customers to their clients.
ReachLocal (www.ReachLocal.com) uses local search to bring Internet marketing within reach of every business, dramatically easing the process of finding customers online. Its proprietary, patent-pending advertising platform gives local businesses prominent placement on leading search engines, including Google and Yahoo!/Overture, along with online Yellow Pages companies and other popular commercial listings -- while limiting the display of the ads to only those people who live within specific geographic areas. Based in Encino, Calif., ReachLocal utilizes a nationwide network of independent sales agents to serve a diverse client base that includes auto dealers, dentists, home improvement companies, real estate agents, attorneys, travel agents and more.