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Edina Realty’s Community Pages: Web Marketing Done Right

By Colin Ryan

Industry News

Last month I wrote a story about Edina Realty’s decision to pull their listings from third-party websites like Realtor.com and Trulia. It seems Edina has made another big move in the marketing department recently, unveiling individual community pages for every city they have listings for. Here’s their press release:

Edina, Minn. – Dec. 15, 2011 – Consumers who are searching for homes for sale in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and Fargo, N.D. will now find a unique page on Edina Realty’s website for nearly every city with real estate listings for sale. These pages offer community information as well as listings of virtually every home for sale in those cities.

The new community web pages enable consumers to search for homes for sale in 817 Minnesota cities as well as 379 cities in western Wisconsin cities and 57 cities in the Fargo, N.D. area. Consumers could always find these property listings using Edina Realty’s property search on edinarealty.com, but now they can go to a specific page focused solely on that community and the properties for sale in that area. Each page also offers the latest market information, including the median sales prices of a home and the number of active listings, as well as the percent change in median sales price from the previous quarter.

Visitors to the site can search by region, then refine their search from a list of towns in that region. Each community page includes not only listings, but also information on median home value and appreciation, demographics, schools, and overall quality of life, intended to give clients “a sense of what it would be like to live in that community,” according to Edina CEO Bob Peltier.

Edina’s decision to stop syndicating their properties was the first step in Edina’s marketing strategy to compete with huge, national property aggregators and the agents who use them to find leads. The thinking was that by removing their listings from third party sites, Edina would that they can’t simply be sold to the highest bidder. That move struck some as a noble crusade and others as a major blunder. In any case, Edina’s latest move is a brilliant piece of real estate marketing. By creating dozens of landing pages about the communities people are searching for their new homes, they’re providing dozens of new channels for leads to reach them on the web. Now, people searching for a new home in Minnesota can search by town, by region, by school, or dozens of other parameters and reach an Edina Realty page. This is what inbound marketing is all about: providing leads with as many paths, as many opportunities to discover you and your properties as possible.

Perhaps more importantly, by creating community pages, Edina is capitalizing on an important fact about real estate–namely, that it’s a local business. Third party sites will always have more exposure on a national level, but their strength is also their weakness: they lack a close connection to any specific community, which means they’ll never replace local agents when it comes to making the actual deal. Community pages allow Edina to achieve more visibility on the web while emphasizing their personal connection to the properties they buy and sell districts they serve. I, for one, wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see Edina’s strategy adopted by a lot more agencies in the new year.

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