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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Don't Waste Your Money on a Website - Without a Broader Vision

Written by Posted On Thursday, 11 October 2018 06:00

Agent Websites are “Billboards in the Middle of Nowhere." (some of you may remember this statement from the days of InternetCrusade and ePRO technology training, before the day of the portal giants such as Zillow and Trulia).

Billboards in the Middle of Nowhere

Over two decades after the advent of internet marketing, many real estate professionals continue to throw their money into a bottomless pit as they search for that magic website that will revolutionize their businesses and provide them with more leads than they have time to service.

Unfortunately, that magic site that always comes up in the top 10 of search engines does not exist.

Then came IDX and VOW, and to this day few REALTORS® understand data licensing and the difference between IDX, VOW, and Syndication.

A Question for REALTORS®

I have a question for the 250,000 or so REALTORS® who have a website with an IDX feed. What is the compelling reason a consumer would go to a REALTOR®S site to view listings, as opposed to Zillow, Trulia,, etc (Redfin is a "Horse of a different color")? Providing websites for agents has become a "cottage industry" since we (John, MB, and I at InternetCrusade) built the first agent templates in the mid-1990s. For those who have had IDX solutions, what did the addition of listings do to your website traffic? I believe that agent websites may become passed in the next few years (without a VOW Feed). Are you considering a VOW in your search to create a presence on the Web?

As Paine/Weber or Merrill Lynch used to say, "Invest your time, before you invest your money."

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Saul Klein

In 1948, doctors told my father that his life aboard submarines on war patrol in the South Pacific and the depth charging he experienced had rendered him sterile. Although controversial and not widely applied, he was treated with an Ayurvedic therapy called “shivambu.” If you are unfamiliar with this term, I recommend you Google it because against all odds, I came to exist.

That was a loony segue into my life but is a fitting precursor to a career that would be just as incredible.

Like my father, I joined the Navy. However, due to a medical inconvenience, I was honorably discharged after 6 years of commissioned service, all on Sea Duty. This was an opportune misfortune that led me down the path to a successful career in real estate. Both my father and grandfather flirted in real estate brokering and flipping part-time, and I followed suit but making a lifelong career out of it.

With over 40 years in real estate, it is impossible to talk about my experiences in this small window. But I can proudly say that I am well-recognized as an industry pioneer, especially in real estate syndication and education, and one of the few luminaries that paved the way for real estate’s transition to the online world.

Some highlights of my life’s work:
● Co-created ePRO, technology certification course that certified 70,000 students
● Created the first online communities for real estate professionals to network, learn, and sell
● Created "Opt Out" Listing Syndication, aggregating over 1.4 Million Listings in 18 months
● Built the #2 National Listing Syndication Service, Point2 Technologies, sold to Yardi in 2010
● Founder of the California Association of Buyer’s Agents
● Member of the first Team, pre-IPO, responsible for obtaining first 500,000 listings
● Helped Zillow and Trulia build up their MLS data inventory

Today I continue to lead efforts that bring new technologies to the real estate industry. Feel free to reach out and learn more.

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