Real estate websites have a huge impact on the Boston real estate industry. Nearly every American real estate buyers spends some time on one real estate website or another, looking for homes for sale, researching home prices, and staying in touch with the real estate market. NAR, the National Association of Realtors, reports that 95% of all home buyers will search for their next home online. This report specifically focuses on websites buyers are using to search for homes.

The top National Real Estate Websites.

It is obvious where real estate buyers are, and its important to watch the search data. Because most Boston condo sales are in some way realated to internet marketing. As a Boston real estate broker, I’m intriged on how Boston condo buyers are engaging online to real estate websites and how to make our listings show show up higher on Google results or pop with additional branding. 

Did you know…..

The Top 5 Real Estate Websites Get More Traffic Than All Others Combined.

Data provided by SimilarWeb.

Real Estate Website Traffic Monthly Averages Nov. through Jan. 2020:

Website

  1. Zillow.com
  2. Realtor.com
  3. Trulia.com
  4. Redfin.com
  5. Movoto.com

Monthly Visitors

  • 173 Million
  • 82 Million
  • 51 Million
  • 42 Million
  • 13 Million

Visit Duration

  • 7:22
  • 6:39
  • 5:15
  • 4:57
  • 4:08

For every winning national website there’s also some losers

Biggest Losers from 2019 Traffic Report

  1. Homes.com dropped to a third of their traffic from last year. Lost millions of active users. Massive drop. Something is very wrong at Homes.com. They had a site rebuild recently, must have gone terribly for them. They dropped out of the top 5, and if they are not careful will drop out of the top 10 shortly. Or, if they fix their problems, they might just pop right back up to where they were before.
  2. Century21.com dropped out of the top ten, after ranking 9th in 2019 and 8th in 2018.
  3. KW.com, Keller Williams’ website, fell to the 10th spot after climbing the last few years. In 2018 they were ranked 9th and in 2019 they were ranked 8th.

Up and Coming – Top Real Estate Websites to Watch

Homesnap.com is growing at a fast pace due to its progress in partnering with local MLS services (multiple listing services) to display front-end public search listings instead of the MLS’ own public site. If that all sounds confusing to you, don’t worry. Just know that Homesnap.com is expected to grow in home buyer traffic by leaps and bounds in the next few years.

Compass.com is the home search website for Compass Realty, one of the fastest growing Realty companies in the U.S. They are dumping millions of dollars into their tech products, so we’ll watch and see if it pans out.

Exprealty.com is the 4th largest Realty company in the U.S. and the fastest growing Realty company in the world and already has a huge presence in all 50 states and internationally. Their home search website is poised for incredible growth and the user duration, over 7 minutes per buyer, is very impressive.

Recommended Local Home Search Terms

Real Estate brokers typically will not recommend the top 10 websites by traffic. Why not? Well, there are data problems. Zillow in particular is notorious for this, but it is somewhat understandable. They are trying to display every home for sale in entire country, taking data from hundreds, even thousands of different sources – which creates errors, overlaps, and omissions. All of the national portals above have significant data challenges, both in how fast they can update, and also how they are able to translate the data from so many different sources. This often means some local MLS data is cut out. Realtors often recommend websites that are direct feeds from local MLS sources – so the updates are near instant and there is one source of official local data for each home for sale. 

As a Boston real estate broker for over 20 years, I believe to obtain the best search results you should use what they term in marketing as the “longtail approach.” If you’re looking for real estate in Boston and you know which neighborhood don’t type in Boston real estate because the top results will all be national companies which stated above lack the most updated data. Be more specific, searching for Boston Midtown or downtown high rise condo? Type into the Google Search bar specifally what you want, for example:

By doing so, Google will direct you to sites that have direct local feeds from an MLS in Boston, you get fast, uncluttered, robust, and accurate data. 

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