MyHomeMatching.com A free tool for real estate agents
While not marketed as an alternative to the traditional multiple listings service (MLS), MyHomeMatching.com is touted as a free tool to help real estate agents match prospective buyers with sellers.
Mark W. Lampe, founder and chief executive officer of the Arizona-based company, said he spent 2.5 years developing the site with one goal in mind — offering a free service for agents that puts listing agents in touch with the public. He said MyHomeMatching isn’t an alternative to a traditional MLS because the focus is different — an MLS boasts agent-to-agent communications and data sharing, while MyHomeMatching is tailored to agent-to-public communications. Throw in an emphasis on social networking and free access and Lampe said he expects the site to evolve as a great tool for real estate agents.
Lampe said there are plenty of public sites that pull in MLS feeds, but that information is not typically controlled by agents. A number of sites, then, contain listings for homes that have already been sold, limited amounts of information and few photographs, Lampe said.
MyHomeMatching.com was built to address those problems, Lampe said. He said the site allows agents to control their listings in “real time” and upload unlimited properties complete with detailed descriptions and plenty of photographs. Users can include virtual tours of homes and direct visitors to the types of listings in which they are interested, while visitors can prioritize searches to pinpoint properties with their most and least desired features. There are separate sections on the site for farmland, acreage, single-family residences, green homes, adult communities, commercial real estate, vacation homes, etc.
Lampe said the site is driven by an abundance of information — buyers want as much data as they can when searching for properties, and the theory is that the agent who can provide that will have happy clients. He said most people start the buying process by utilizing the Internet and that fact is backed up by a 2010 report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showing that 74 percent of home buyers research houses on the Web. That being the case, Lampe argues that agents who steer clients to sites with outdated and incomplete information will have to deal with frustrated buyers, not to mention the sellers that expect those agents to list their homes where they are highly visible and will move quickly.
Furthermore, Lampe said the site allows sellers options in how the homes are listed. Perhaps a seller wants to list a home for either sale, rent or exchange — the site allows sellers to do all three if they want. Lampe said buyers can also select from a myriad of choices when searching for properties, meaning they can look for very specific features and reduce the time they spend slogging through pages of listings of properties that may or may not suit their needs.
Another component built into the site is integration with Facebook and Twitter. Agents signing up for the site are encouraged to link to their Twitter and Facebook accounts so that visitors can follow them and their various goings on — a process Lampe said is ideal for lead generation for agents. Also, agents are encouraged to post their listings to Facebook and Twitter so their followers can see them instantly.
While access to the site and most of its features are free, Lampe said he built the site in hopes of turning a profit. Revenue, he said, is primarily driven by money generated by banner ads and Lampe claims that Realtors wanting to advertise on the site will find favorable rates and targeted ad campaigns.
All in all, Lampe said he’s confident the site will develop into a large, national one that is viewed by potential shoppers in the United States and around the world (listings can be translated into 30 languages on the site — ideal for marketing properties to both neighbors and international buyers). He said the site was built with search engine optimization and other features in mind so that listings pop up in search engines and attract viewers. Lampe said the site has only been operating since late January but currently contains 1,000 listings and around 12,000 unique visitors per month.
That’s a good start, but Lampe said the site needs to expand in order to be that much more useful to consumers.
“In order to help provide you with a great free marketing tool in trying times, help me by inputting your listings.the expand in order to be that much more useful to consumers,” Lampe said, adding the site has made some inroads into Arkansas and is looking to expand in the Natural State. “Be ahead of the curve and post your property for free today.”
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.