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Marketing on the Web: A Buyer’s Perspective

Michael Saunders & Company - YouTube.com/SarasotaRE

Michael Saunders & Company - YouTube.com/SarasotaRE

When Michael Saunders & Company opened its first office nearly four decades ago, it was with the commitment to deliver an outstanding real estate experience to every customer who entered our front door. While times have certainly changed—with today’s “front door” often being the home page of michaelsaunders.com—our commitment to exceptional service, now firmly translated to the Web, is as passionate as ever.

It’s been 15 years since michaelsaunders.com first premiered on the Internet. Since then, a major revolution in how buyers shop for properties has quietly ensued. In 1995, the site was one of only a handful in the industry to empower buyers to search for properties on their own. Back then, only 2% of buyers had the desire (or online capability) to take advantage of the technology. By 2000, however, that number had mushroomed to 40%; and by 2005, to 71%. Today, 90% of buyers search for properties on the Web before ultimately contacting an agent.

Launching a basic website is neither complicated, nor all that expensive. Keeping its content rich, relevant and in step with today’s fast-changing market conditions and Web technology is an altogether different story. That’s why we’ve spared no expense to re-invent and refresh michaelsaunders.com five times since its original inception. The newest incarnation, introduced last August, renews our commitment to exceptional service regardless of which “front door” a customer comes through first.

From a buyer’s perspective, finding the right home is only part of a successful property search. First, they want to make sure they’ve chosen the right neighborhood. The site’s exclusive collection of community and lifestyle videos enables buyers from such far-flung cities as Toronto, London and Munich to visually stroll through scores of neighborhoods and sample every lifestyle possibility in our entire three county market area. This extensive compilation of neighborhood videos can also be found on our YouTube channel, at YouTube.com/SarasotaRE

In its 2010 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the National Association of Realtors lists the website qualities of greatest importance to buyers. They include—in order of importance—photos, detailed information about properties for sale, virtual tours, an agent’s contact information, interactive maps and neighborhood information.

A visit to the new michaelsaunders.com reveals each of these qualities in a logical, consumer-tested sequence. Buyers can also download an all-inclusive guide to relocating to Southwest Florida, complete with answers to all their important new concerns—including up-to-date information on schools, medical facilities, recreational opportunities, cultural attractions, shopping, restaurants, lifestyles—and much more. The website also offers pressure-free advice on how to obtain financing through MSC Mortgage, a longstanding partnership with Wells-Fargo Home Mortgage which recent events have shown to be one of the most responsible and respected lenders in the world.

Once buyers have narrowed their focus to one or more neighborhoods, they are then afforded one of the most advanced property search experiences in the real estate industry. They can specify property type, price range, and size requirements; then factor-in such lifestyle aspirations as living on (or near) gulf, bay, intracoastal or lakefront waters. Likewise, if living downtown or on a golf course are important considerations, they can filter their searches accordingly. Plus, in an age where value is king, they can specify the transaction types they’re most interested in pursuing—be it short sales, foreclosures or properties with large recent price reductions—and receive regular updates on the latest new listings in each category.

There are many ways to compare real estate companies. In an era when most buyers first get to know a company by its online service, one of the most revealing is by comparing websites. Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes who has never set foot in our region. Then ask yourself, which site provides the information you’d need to make the most accurate and informed decisions about where to buy. If you choose michaelsaunders.com you’ll be joining the more than 1.3 million buyers from around the world who in the past year have chosen the site 8-to-1 over its next closest competitor.*

(*Source: Google Analytics)

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