I don’t hide my admiration for Louis Cammarosano. We “met” first on Active Rain, last winter. Louis noticed a comment I made about how third-party lead generation companies weren’t inherently evil and invited me to be the inaugural “expert blogger” on the HomeGain Blog. I thought Louis would transform Home Gain from a Web 1.0 leads aggregator to a Web 2.0 platform, with a suite of online marketing tools for agents.
Louis hasn’t disappointed me.
HomeGain releases it’s “Agent View” service tomorrow morning. From the press release:
AgentView connects HomeGain visitors with its real estate agent members by showcasing useful real estate content alongside prominently featured local real estate professionals. Visitors can view agent listings, agent profiles, agent blogs and local information. Visitors can also get an instant home valuation estimate from HomeGain’s home valuation tool or use Home Sale Maximizer™ to determine which home improvements will best help increase the resale value of their homes.
In short, Home Gain is allowing its agents to add featured listings to their “blog homes” and providing useful valuation tools for the consumer…that keep the consumer on the agent’s page. What’s this mean to you, the agent who may be on the far right-hand side of the learning curve? Probably nothing…for now.
What is DOES mean is that HomeGain is unleashing a RE 2.0 platform to its customers. As some 5000 customers connect with consumers , from the powerful HomeGain site, their listings, blog posts, and profiles will get some legs in the SERPs for their particular keyword search terms. We’ve seen Trulia, Zillow, et al dominate the SERPs and challenge the individual practitioner’s RE2.0 efforts. Now, the 800 lb gorilla could be an army of HomeGainers throwing content off of a Google PageRank 7 site.
At $40-$50/month, the tool is affordable enough for the novice to “get engaged” in the interactive web evolution. Why would anyone pay for a blog when WordPress or ActiveRain gives it away for free? Results. HomeGain is, in my opinion, a traffic wholesaler. Through SEO, SEM, and affiliate marketing they drive a heckuva lot of TARGETED traffic to its site. The average visitor to HomeGain is NOT a voyeur, like you might see at RE.bots. The average HomeGain visitor is much farther along in the transaction decision.
I love watching HomeGain evolve into a different animal. Will this new product cannibalize revenues from its original product? Probably but if that product is in danger of extinction, evolution is mandatory.
As fascinated as I am with HomeGain’s evolution, I care less about their profitability than yours. The HG crew has a 2.0 platform, that will get a steady stream of targeted traffic. If they do this right, their agent customers will be firing a rifle rather than a shotgun. THAT is worthy of a second look.31 comments