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Part 13 Start Your Own Online Real Estate Company

Part 13

Start Your Own Online Real Estate Company

Since April of 1999, EscapeHomes has used information technology to match second home buyers and sellers with real estate professionals and affiliated segments of the second home industry. EscapeHomes has enjoyed a conversion rate of site visitors-to-agent leads that has soared 100 percent from 2000 to 2001. Real estate agent registrations increased 35 percent in 2002.

Thompson began his start-up with $100,000 from his personal savings and the company hasn't looked back since. Including vacation, resort or retirement homes, the second home market enjoyed a 10 percent jump in sales in 2000, after rising 9.3 percent from 1997 to 1999, according to the National Association of Realtors latest figures. That's largely because of the nation's 82 million so-called "baby boomers." 43 percent of boomers plan to move when they retire and 39 percent plan to move out of state.

As the first online operation with full-fledged services devoted to the second-home market, EscapeHomes is a natural vehicle for second home buyers. The Web site features listings of vacation and resort homes, retirement homes in active adult and continuing care communities, timeshares and fractionals, both for sale and for rent in 275 cities nationwide and 20 countries worldwide.

Visitors can search for properties by city, by town type -- beach, ski, golf, island, lake or world town -- or by category -- timeshare, resort or adult communities. The Web site also showcases destinations by describing the unique flavor of each of the more than 300 communities, the climate, local attractions, amenities and events for each.

People once traveled to cities where they thought they might buy a second home. As they walked down the street they'd walk into a real estate office. Our generation is no longer driving to San Diego or Phoenix or Miami. They are going to do it online, but they are going to do it with those same, once obscure, small real estate companies and agents who know the community.

Thompson who owns vacation homes in Palm Springs, CA, is taking EscapeHomes to the next level with co-branding, affiliate programs and distribution partnerships as he opens the doors to the first round of investors. EscapeHomes also plans to broaden the market niche into further recreational and vacation living, including vacation rentals and more retirement communities as the Web site continues to exhibit how a small niche isn't necessarily a small market.

Other Online Real Estate Niches

Take a look at the next chapter to get some great ideas for using your Real Estate knowledge to your advantage via the Internet. Some ideas include:

  • Create a Real Estate Investment Coaching Program
     
  • Create a Real Estate Seminar and market it via the Web
     
  • Create a newsletter for Real Estate Agents
     
  • Find affiliate products to sell to Real Estate agents, homebuyers, and/or home sellers
     
  • Create a Real Estate marketing book or ebook

Bibliography:

Cox, Barbara G. and William Koelzer. Internet Marketing in Real Estate. (Prentice Hall, 2000)

Evans, Blanche. Homesurfing.Net: The Insider's Guide to Buying and Selling Your Home Using the Internet. (Dearborn Trade, 1999)

Irwin, Robert and Doug Galen. Buying a Home on the Internet. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998)

Johnson, Randy. How to Find a Home and Get a Mortgage on the Internet. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2000)

Koelzer, Bill, Barbara G. Cox and William Koelzer. Web Marketing for the Real Estate Professional. (South-Western College/West, 2000)

Leshin, Cynthia B. Internet Investigations in Real Estate.

Murphy, Terri. Terri Murphy's E-Listing and E-Selling Secrets for the Technologically Clueless, 2nd Edition. (Real Estate Education Co., 2000)

Robertson, Lorie and Brian C. Wadell. Virtual Realty: A Guide to the Internet for Real Estate and Ancillary Professionals. (Hollis Publishing, 1996)

Robertston-Stout, Lorie. Agent Guru. (World Leisure Corp, 2000)

Robbins, Kurt. One Day Course: Real Estate Internet Skills. (DDC Publishing, 1999)

Segner, Jack and Darren Ullman. Sams Teach Yourself e-Real Estate Today, Buying, Selling and Financing a Home Online. (SAMS, 1999)

Sindell, Kathleen. The Unofficial Guide to Buying a Home Online. (Hungry Minds, 2000)

Swanepoel, Stephan. Real Estate Confronts the e-Consumer. (RealSure, Inc. 2000)

Tucillo, John A. The Eight New Rules of Real Estate: Doing Business in a Consumer-Centric, Techno-Savvy World. (Real Estate Education Company, 1999)

Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Buying and Selling a Home, by Matthew O'Brien and Marty Rodriguez

Conclusion

Real-Estate is a great way to build wealth, residual income and increase your positive cash flow. And is a great way to get away from the linear-income lack of freedom.

Remember, what makes residual income so great is the fact that you only have to work once to set it up and then keep receiving it for a long period of time - sure beats working a 50 hour week right?

When you have residual income, you will have the freedom you need to do what you love - it could be work, volunteering or perhaps simply enjoying time with your family and hobbies.

That is something called financial freedom, and for those who achieve it it's a beautiful thing!

So here's to fanatical freedom, residual income and real-estate investing!

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