Today, Boston's real estate community comes under scrutiny were digital branding is concerned. RealtyBizNews continues examining America's property businesses and their effort to engage clients via the Internet. Will "bean town" measure up? Let's take a look inside this famous Massachusetts city's realty community.
As real estate websites go, the graphically powered First Boston site is not a bad billboard for real estate sales. That is, if a decent pictorial were enough to truly be a commerce portal for property. Boston's Premier Real Estate Experience is a great look at Boston attractions, but under the hood? First off, First Boston's blog is up to date - every day new posts are added - this says a lot - but then, drilling down into the company's site, the best that can be said is; "its incomplete."
The CEO, Hugh Geiger, has no picture, the listing images are fuzzy and too small, there's no social media engagement, and the Alexa rank of the site is 2.5 million - essentially, no one even sees First Boston - those daily blog posts are for zilch. Rating: 3 of 10 (the landing alone)
Let's just get this "cookie cutter" out of the way. How can we encapsulate the mediocrity here? How about "Opt In Signup Demanding" - before I can look at the tiny pictures of this company's $23,000,000.00 featured property, I have to give them my email, so they can SPAM the heck out of me? No Facebook, no Twitter, no friendly faces of brokers, nada. I can contact REMAX at 263 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116 by phoning (617) 236-7100 - or fill in that "opt in" form. Rating: 1 of 10 (Google, oust this page, it's taking up Internet space)
Finally, at long last, someone in America, in real estate, that understands the "value proposition" of content online. Boston.com not only offers up cutting edge news, but some of the finest images, best facts, oh! Wait! Boston.com is part of the Boston Globe newspaper enterprise. Sorry, did not mean to get your hopes up. Well, since we are here. Boston.com does not have any people up front to greet us either. No Facebook to visit, only someone else's Twitter, and images that are nice, but still a bit small for selling millions in property. Rating: 5 of 10 (on the Boston Globe alone)
Or should I say, the Bushari Group? Either way, the fifth position on Google for the phrase "Boston real estate" delivers a decent site not many ever actually see. With a search percentage of just over 13 %, Bushari needs to hire someone to pump up visibility there. As for the site itself? This is actually one of the nicer real estate entries we have seen.
A nice design, decent Facebook and Twitter elements, a blog, the company has made some effort. However, small images, a site not SEO optimized - well, anyone in the know can rip this site to shreds. Try and find who owns Bushari. We tracked down Mara Bushari, Summa Cum Laude from Boston University’s College of Communication, one member of the Bushari team. The finally, Elad Bushari, owner and Broker at the company -only via his LinkedIn profile and some Googling. What? You're ashamed of the company? Oh wait! There's Elad and Mara on the main site, you just have to look them up alphabetically! Stupid me. Rating: 4 of 10
We woke up, turned on the PC, searched for Boston Real Estate, and ended up in the same quandary. Why do most real estate companies even bother? After Bushari Group, there's Trulia, Bostonrealestate.net (1 of 19), Ford Realty (2 of 10), the ever present Realtor.com, Hammond Residential (1 of 10), Fitkova Realty Group (3 of 10), Yahoo! Real Estate, and the Boston Real Estate Blog (a Ford Realty effort - scores 1 of 10)?
As you can see, Boston fares no better than wimpy Pittsburgh where professional Realtors' understanding and effort on the www is concerned. In this writer's humble (but qualified) opinion, if these Realtors had been involved in the Boston Tea Party, Americans would be singing "God Save the Queen." Pitiful, I hope someone comes forward with a decent effort not indexed in the top 10 of Google. Phil out, for now.