The World Wide Web is huge, and it continues to grow with myriads of new web sites appearing every day. There are web sites on every topic under the sun and in every language spoken by the human race.
With such a bewildering assortment of web sites, how can you possibly stay current with the most important ones? And how would you decide which ones are important enough to land in a top ten list?
That was the question that I pondered as I sat down to write this, but on reflection, I realized that the following list had to be the top ones. See what you think, and as ever, please feel free to comment on what you would have included, or what you wouldn’t have included.
The list is randomly ordered.
1. www.Realtor.com – This is the grand-daddy of them all. If you believe their claims, this is where most people start their search for property. Even if you discount the hype, this is still a web site that you should be familiar with. You should always check your listings on R.com to make sure that they are displayed properly, and it is a great idea to purchase the enhanced features as they help to keep consumers on your listings for a longer period of time than non-enhanced listings. If you work at Pacific Union, relax, we’ve got you covered!
2. www.Realtor.org – This is R.com’s cousin, but it’s just for you! This site has a wealth of information on law, marketing, technology, how to do something, scripts, publications, discounts and the list just goes on. You will need to know your NRDS number to log in.
3. www.CAR.org – This is the California version of realtor.org. The site is hosted by the California Association of Realtors® and serves much the same function as Realtor.org, but with a California slant. Be sure to check out the ClientDirect™ newsletter, a free monthly email newsletter. Also, the legal Q&As are MUST reading for every California Realtor®. If you are not a California Realtor®, check your own state’s association web site.
4. www.dre.ca.gov – This is the web site of the California Department of Real Estate. You can learn everything you need to know about obtaining a California Real Estate license, renewing your license, checking the license status of other licensees in the state and also bone up on the latest in the laws regarding real estate.
5. www.ActiveRain.com – This web site says that they are a free online community for real estate professionals designed to help them promote and grow their business. I say that it is an excellent place to meet other Realtors® from around the country (and globe) and learn new ways to do the things that we must do every day. You can also engage in conversation with the buying and selling public by setting up your blog on this site, for free!
6. www.InternetCrusade.com – The Crusaders are the sponsors of NAR’s ePro Designation, and they are also the providers of an excellent real estate focused blogging tool called RealTownBlogs. Did I mention that their blogging tool is free? They have many other technology related tools for Realtors®, so this site is well worth your time to visit.
7. www.Trulia.com – Trulia bills itself as a real estate search site. Their ambition is to have ALL real estate listings on their site for the public to search. They allow you to place your listings on the site for free, but perhaps their best feature is that you can register on the site so that you can be available to answer real estate questions from the public. You can choose what kind of questions you want to answer, and how often you want to be notified of new questions. This is a great way for you to create new relationships with people who are interested in buying and selling real estate.
8. www.Zillow.com – OK, ok, I can hear you now saying that I have gone off of the deep end by recommending this site. After all, we “know” that Zillow’s zestimates® are not accurate. But is that always true? No, it’s not, and Zillow has gone to some lengths to improve the accuracy of its data by allowing you to go in to the site and “claim” your listing and improve the data. You also NEED to know what Zillow says about a particular property before you get asked about it by a prospective buyer or seller. Go look now!
9. www.InmanNews.com – InmanNews says that they are “The First Word in Real Estate”. I don’t know whether or not that is true, but I can tell you that I read it twice a day! They always seem to have a good handle on what is going on in the business of real estate as well as plenty of articles and advice on how to do the real estate business. A subscription here is worth the price many times over.
10. www.PacUnion.com – You didn’t think that I’d leave out my own company’s web site did you? This site is the search site of choice for many Northern California consumers because of it’s excellent search capabilities, email listing notification, links to school scores, insurance quotes, information on loans, the ability to search for homes on ANY web enabled cell phone and much more. If you are not a Pacific Union agent, then plug in your own company’s web site, but feel free to use ours if you are in Northern California.
So, these are my Top 10 picks, what are yours?