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Homes.com launches marketing platform Homes Connect – what took so long?

New real estate marketing platform

After much anticipation, Homes.com, a division of Dominion Homes Media, has launched their new real estate marketing platform Homes Connect as demonstrated in the video above. Because the company is no longer selling Advanced Access (AA) sites, the company says they have folded AA sales staff into the Homes Connect team.

The goal of the new real estate marketing platform HomesConnect.com is to “log in once [to] access everything” and is powered by Homes.com which claims 6.5 million homebuyers visit their site monthly.

Along with expected features like customizing flyers, syndicating listings, email campaigns and customizable websites, the platform allows users to import their Facebook and LinkedIn contacts into their prospect manager, and users can even view their friends’ connections. Homes Connect says they offer “nationwide IDX coverage” and that over 650 MLS systems load data every 30 minutes in many cases.

As part of the platform, they offer virtual office websites (VOWs) in 50 markets and they claim they will soon cover 150 markets. The VOWs are aimed to serve brokers and agents which is uncommon in real estate marketing platform VOW offerings.

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Homes Connect says a major benefit is that MLS reports (like CMAs) can be generated directly from the Lead Manager and sent to clients rather than using separate systems for both. The dashboard has the look and feel of iGoogle with gadgets users can customize so they only see information at a glance that they’ve chosen which is a trend agents will see other companies follow in the next year, as customization is a hot trend in the user experience design world.

So what took so long?

We’ve been hearing rumors about this major rollout for some time now and asked the company what took so long, given that sometimes moves like these happen very quickly in the tech industry.

Dominion Homes Media (Homes.com parent company) Vice President and General Manager, Andy Woolley told AGBeat, “While other companies are quick to consolidate to bolster their bottom line, we chose not to do so immediately to ensure the best outcome for our customers. We have a large customer base relying on us, in fact larger than anyone in the industry, and while consolidating quickly might have saved us money, it would have risked the stability of the products all of our customers rely on. When we finally chose to consolidate, we did so slowly and carefully to benefit our customers. Homes Connect is the end result of this move, and I’m confident our customers will find tremendous value in using it to improve their real estate businesses.”

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Malcom King

    August 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

    To tell you the truth, homes.com sucks and its sinking faster than the titanic…

    this is another attempt to milk money out of their customers..

  2. Riverside Home Source

    August 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Look forward to seeing what's special about their platform, should at least be interesting.

  3. sfvrealestate

    August 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I attended the webinar yesterday. It sounds great, but are all the features really up and running? That's a lot of stuff to roll out at once. Although I've asked to be called by a "marketing specialist," I may wait for other Realtors to field-test it before I shell out.

  4. Patty McNease

    August 26, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Hi Malcom, The goal of Homes.com is not to “milk money out of customers”, but provide useful tools to real estate professionals and consumers that create connections which turn into leads. Homes.com continues to see dramatic growth in consumer traffic — as a matter of fact, our largest day for page views was just last Sunday. With our wide variety of mobile apps and the recent addition of Home Values, we are providing even more opportunity for consumers to connect with real estate professionals on Homes.com. There are several FREE features on Homes.com for you to take advantage of. We encourage you to investigate them by signing up free of charge at myhomes.com.

    Riverside Home Source, the Homes Connect platform consolidates most of the marketing tools agents use every day. If you missed the launch webinar, a recording of it is posted at s3.amazonaws.com/HomesMediaSolutions/HC_webinar.wmv.

    Thanks for the feedback, Sfvrealestate. Yes, the features demoed are up and running, but could be dependent on your specific MLS area. The Marketing Specialist in your local market can review the specific details and assist you with whatever you need.

  5. MyAtlantaHomes.net

    August 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I watched the webinar, but most of what was covered was listing syndication. That is not my primary focus. Does the platform have a CRM with a link to email. Can it manage Buyer Leads obtained from multiple sources?

  6. Justin Baker

    October 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    To Whom it May Concern:

    Effective immediately, I want to cancel my Homes.com account. Reasons for cancellation: #1) My e-mail and template are not set up after ONE MONTH. #2) Without a VOW, many of the features 'sold' to me as a benefit are not effective for my business. #3) No increase in traffic nor lead generation from extra expense of the 'banner' and neighborhood sponsors. #4) The amount of MANUAL work has INCREASED instead of decrease with integration of data, web-site, campaigns, listings, lead generation, etc. #5) Lack of expertise and knowledge of my account executive to fulfill my needs as a top producing agent transition from a NUMBER 1 EXPERT site.

    I would assume that 'purchasing' the highest 'tier' for my area would have resulted in the best customer service and product. Unfortunately, I believe you OVER PROMISED and UNDER DELIVERED. MAJORLY! I am fairly pissed off at the time being. At this point in time, my NUMBER 1 EXPERT site is still superior in form and function. The product I was sold is not integrated properly and I have not even USED THIS ACCOUNT in the last month due to the above mentioned.

    With that said, effective immediately, I want to cancel my Homes.com account. This experience has been an extreme waste of TIME and ENERGY that has taken me away from productivity.

    • Patty McNease

      October 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      Justin,

      Thank you for posting your recent experiences with our new marketing platform Homes Connect. This type of feedback is vital to improving services for Homes Connect and based on the issues reported we have resolved several of these concerns. While we’re disappointed to lose you as one of the first Homes Connect customers, we are glad to hear that you decided to transition back to your previous, NUMBER1EXPERT product. We are also providing a credit for the Homes Connect hosting fees paid to date.

      Thanks again for taking time to outline your recent experiences and for continuing to subscribe to the Homes Media Solutions family of products.

      Patty

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