Almost every real estate market in the US is grasping at straws to find their feet. And for little Little Rock, whose local KATV station has resorted to dredging up meager search statistics to prop up the city's mediocre market, while signs are not good that anyone even knows anything about online engagement.
Realtor.com listed the most searched cities for 2010 not long ago, revealing simply that a great many people are looking online at those places, no matter how feeble the markets there. If you think about it, what does "search" have to do with sales in an economic situation like the one we are faced with? Look at the list, and do your own deducing, the top ten are, in descending order; Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Antonio, Phoenix, Miami, San Diego, Tampa, Chicago, and Fort Worth. Notice anything?
The most searched real estate markets are also the most distressed (20 percent of Florida homes are now empty). People are searching to hear of impending disaster, or to find houses so cheap a child's piggy bank content could snap on up, or in a more logical search query - there is more news about these markets out there. And Little Rock is ranked number 87 in the US - reason for KATV to jump up and down I guess. Or... Let's take a look at the most searched Little Rock, Arkansas agencies as a true indicator of what's going in there.
Janet Jones Realty sits just underneath the national chains of Realtors (whose metrics would not apply). The Compete graphic below shows that Jones only get roughly 50 visits a day to what is essentially a Web 1.0 website with no digital heartbeat - a DOA web branding exercise. I will not get into this for now, let's just say the 50 visits were likely Jones employees. The screenshot below shows the Internet world what Little Rock has to offer, and how.
Roddy McCaskill Real Estate? Well, I do not know exactly what to say about this Google result. Roddy's site is all but unreachable for some reason. Maybe my Opera and IE browsers see something I cannot and won't let me go there? The Compete numbers indicate a website that about 9 people a day somehow go and see. Maybe Roddy can come and explain what is up with his brokerage's digital engagement? I did get ambitious and tracked down Roddy at Facebook. His Roddy McCaskill Team- Keller Williams Realty Little Rock does have one fan.
Rector Phillips Morse is actually on the second page of Google results, Zillow and the rest have either SEO'd or bought the results for agents basically. Interestingly, this company's website actually gets a few more visitors than Jone's online brand? But 60 or 70 peeps dropping in by accident, or because they work at an office? We should all be glad RPM is not more Internet savvy, the landing page will single your eyeballs it is so red/orange. The company does have faces down deep though, Ronald L.Goss leads a team any Wall Street law firm would be proud to show off.
Arkansas Home Store may as well not exist. Another page two Google position is indicative of the overall weak online presence of Realtors in Arkansas period. Danny Been and Alison Chambers wasted the $50 they spent building this site (sorry this sucks). Okay, all you brokers reading this that have sites resembling this one, TAKE THEM DOWN NOW! Before I get to review them.
I decided to try and find an independent agent someplace in all Arkansas that online house hunters might turn to. And I did, finally. McDowell Properties is only on a par traffic wise with the best of the rest up there, but website aesthetic wise, and for their effort at connecting via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other networks, regardless of how well they are doing their digital conversation - they at least try.
And there you are, Little Rock is the 87th most searched real estate market in the United States. But what is more significant for you the reader is, anyone who wants to take over Arkansas's online property industry can do so with minimal cost. Contact me if you want to know how (half kidding).
I recall back when Ross Perot ran for President, a commercial he made about Bill Clinton and Arkansas. I know everyone in the state cringed when they saw it. Well, this real estate online story pretty much galvanizes what Perot was saying back when. Is Arkansas dead last in real estate brokers online?