RealtyBizNews' continued series about Realtors and digital engagement continues with this weeks target city Orlando. With so many real estate presences lacking in their online branding and true interaction, will the sunshine state's superstar Orlando fare any better than many others? Let's take a look at the top few agencies via Google.
Of all the cities we have spotlighted previously, certainly anyone would think Orlando has to be the most wired real estate market in America. But, one click and anyone looking for a house or even office space in Orlando will realize - the best SEO in the city leads to Web 1.0 and the stone age. Here are the top real estate listings online for the key phrase Orlando Real Estate.
Orlando Realty Experts may be the finest property movers and shakers in all Florida, but if they are they got there pounding the pavement like in the old days. Their website looks like a 90's get rich quick pitch (deadly pop-up and all) - and social media engagement to this company has to mean a double at the Orlando Country Club or Maitland bowling alley. I won't waste the reader's time our ours here. Even the company's blog is lame - two month old posts indicated a ghost town, not a company in the conversation. The passer by cannot even see or read about the people behind this company. Rating: 1 of 10 points - at the bottom of the digital barrel
In second position (actually under Trulia) Greater Orlando Homes is not much more than a Keeler Williams placeholder. Slightly more aesthetically "ok" and useful than the "experts" above, visitors can actually see a picture of Ernst Urbainczyck, the broker. Though broken links prevent anyone really finding out about him? What looks like a family brokerage, also appears to have been coded and built by Uncle Fester. The agents here would appear to be affiliated with some decent real estate sites and efforts, but the user will have to remember the urls and type them? At least this is true for Opera. Hunting like a hound dog for Facebook connect, I found it one layer deep, unfortunately it led to nowhere? Need I go on? Rating: 2 out of 10 - Google should de-index all sites this useless
Moving down the list of Google results in Orlando, Your Orlando dot com is a slightly less scary digital insertion than the previous two, but just so. At least someone went to the trouble to create a decent logo here. Aside this, Phil Coffaro's site has the look of 2003, and an actual Facebook and Twitter aspect too, if the user can find it. The 10 peeps (including me now) who like the Remax FB pages, are no doubt grippingly engaged. This is getting to be painful for me actually. The text below from YourOrlando pretty much says it all:
"Our mission is to be the number one real estate resource in the Orlando Florida area. Whether you’re buying or selling a home or investing property in the Orlando area, we promise to combine good old-fashioned service with cutting-edge technology."
97 Twitter followers here are destined to be shown a website my 16 year old could build better, and probably for less money. The bottom line here is, "If you are not using cutting edge technology to assist buyers and sellers, take that BS down from your website," it sends a very negative message about your company. Rating: 2 of 10 - The site would rate slightly higher if the dogma wasn't misleading
A beacon of hope, Get Orlando Real Estate dot com, shines when compared to the previous Google results. Even though broker Karen Arbutine is not apparently hard wired into the web, the good information and decent graphics of her site reflect much better than her competitors. And no, Karen is not paying us - the other agencies are just that bad online. Pictures, emails, phone numbers, basically showing an identity, says a lot for a company. The lack thereof on some sites seems a bit like saying; "Just send money, no conversation needed."
The only negatives here for Karen and her husband Rick are; no Facebook or Twitter, no YouTube for videos, old website design, and Rick's dentist made his smile far too white for his complexion, you cannot even see the man's eyes for the gleam. In all seriousness, it's easy to see this company is very well branded, if a bit cheap on the web engagement. Bottom line? Karen is lucky her competitors are so terrible and online branding. Rating: 4 of 10 (The rating would be far greater with actual engagement)
Last, and it looks like least amongst this report's online real estate gurus, Exec Realtor dot com proudly displays Jeffrey G. Funk's name on an equally funky website. The landing, chock full of contact points, was probably cutting edge around the time the dot com's failed, but today? The image below tells most of the story for Jeffrey's online presence. Listing a $600,000 Bay Hill home like this is a form of sacrilege, or it should be. No Facebook, no Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, not even a hint the agent cares a wit about online marketing or outreach. Rating: 2 of 10 - and only this high because Jeffrey has his picture and contacts listed.
I should mention the Orlando Sentinel being listed among Google's results for these search terms, along with Realtor dot com, Homes dot com, and other national conglomerates. For my money, the Central Florida newspaper's real estate section is superior to any of the aforementioned agent's offerings online. And as for Trulia and the other national entities? In my view, real estate is a local industry. Nuf said there.
I know most of these real estate brokers will read the rather scathing review of their sites here and wonder, "who the h__ does he think he is?" I won't go into my own digital repertoire, the fact is one does not have to be a rocket scientist to recognize a successful missile launch. Orlando's realtors' idea of hi-tech real estate is obviously about as high as the Swiss Family Robinson tree house at Disney. Compared to whoever advised these Realtors about the web, I am Wernher Von Braun.
Of all the cities we have looked at along these lines, I thought Tallahassee, Florida had to be the worst, but I was wrong. Given the popularity of Orlando, the property industry has performed pitifully for both potential buyers and sellers. The video below is a UK central heating commercial from the 60's. One a bit more advanced than Orlando's real estate tycoons' web presence. Phil out for now.
Jeffrey Funk is still around... doing well, so i don't think he cares about redoing his website really
@Orlando biz, Ahh, thanks for the heads up. So Jeffrey would not start using for sale signs for his clients as long as his bull horn brought in some dough? Am I correct?