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Are you giving consumers the online experience they want?

Sept 2015 | By Cary Porter


People often ask me, “What’s your business strategy?” In a nutshell: If you build it, they will come. By “they,” I mean everyone—sellers, buyers, brokers, and agents. And by “it,” I mean an online experience that gives consumers exactly what they’re looking for.


Let me back up a bit. I’m the broker/ co-owner of The Cascade Team Real Estate. We’ve been fortunate to experience growth through one of the worst real estate markets in U.S. history, and on to now where most markets are in full rebound with shortages of inventory. We went from $20 million in sales in 2006 to over $900 million in 2015, and today we have nearly 300 brokers and salespeople in 16 offices throughout Washington State, Colorado, San Diego, Arizona and Oregon.


But we didn’t start out with our strategy fully formed. The Cascade Team Real Estate began as a small brokerage of just 3 people. We all lived and worked in one master-planned community about 30 minutes outside of Seattle and worked for much larger brokerages. Then one day we thought; “I can do this better myself!”


Simple, right? Well, not really.


When we started, the three of us were in a 150-square-foot office on the second floor of a building in Issaquah, Washington. Our office was so out of the way and lacking in signage that when people wandered in, we’d ask in surprise, “How’d you find us?” Invariably, the answer was online.


That got us thinking seriously about the direction of our online strategy.


What we discovered early on was that if you give consumers a better online search experience, preferably one that’s local and authentic, filled with listings they can browse with ease, they will come—and stay. If you muddy that experience with a real estate professional’s large, airbrushed face or huge corporate banner ads, they bounce.


When we decided to grow brokerage in 2007 and start hiring, we insisted that marketing listings be the fundamental reason for our existence. We set out to build the best real estate marketing platform available. And we’re still on that journey. So what does “the best real estate marketing platform” really mean?


It starts with technology.


Consider this: The typical REALTOR®/Broker today is in their mid-50s. A majority of real estate professionals were already working adults before Internet usage became mainstream. If you’re like most practitioners, you remember (and, in some cases, yearn for) the days when the only access to listings was via the MLS book. But today, consumers have access to the virtual equivalent of the MLS book. And practically every real estate professional has to be in the online publishing business.


However, even though everyone’s a publisher, we’re all putting out the same—or at least similar—stuff. In this case, that content is listing content. So how do you compete? Simple: Focus on the experience and give consumers exactly what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. What do they want? What we know for sure is that they want to search listings. Not just your listings. All the listings! And they want the easiest, most user-friendly experience possible.


What we did was deliver on that desire. For, we built a search tool that shows every listing in Washington State, Colorado, San Diego, Arizona and Oregon.. We also created a blog where our agents can share their opinions about the communities they work in and the current market. Then we coupled in deep data such as school information and the ability to see and compare school class sizes and test scores. For the listings we included real information like price per sq. ft., days on market, and the actual sold price of listings.



We spent a lot of time asking questions and seeing how our Web site performed. How long were our customers spending on it? How could we use it to promote the listings we were hired to sell without alienating the visitors?


Once we built up our Web presence, we were able to lure some of the top salespeople in the states where we do business. They understood what we could provide: exposure. They seek to promote their listings and themselves. For the most part, we didn’t even have to “recruit” them. They joined our company because the benefits were obvious.


Real estate is a fascinating hybrid of relationships and meritocracy. When you get results, people notice. And success breeds success. That’s been the case for us, and it can be for you.


See our full Marketing Details HERE:

Posted by Cary W Porter on
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Hi Cary,
Internet is one of the best solutions that can provide several detailed information about real estate market and their marketing strategy. :)

Posted by Dakwerken on Friday, September 25th, 2015 at 8:05am

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