Does Streeteasy’s “Featured Listing” program hurt your marketing efforts?
The Featured listing, or F.L., campaign has been part of Streeteasy’s marketing package for years. What it is, is a short term promotional campaign to feature one property over others for a short period of time. The featured property will be pushed to the top of the results list on a page after the consumer or agent does a basic search. The idea is that being on the top of the page will result in more consumers seeing and having interest in the property. You can pay for this campaign on a weekly basis. The cost is $100 for one weeks’ time as a featured property. You can buy packages of longer times for slightly less money.
But does it work?
I have bought this feature 100’s of times on many different property types. I personal feel that not only does it not help, it does damage to your properties promotion.
Lately I have been doing research into basic marketing programs which I have been using for years. I wanted to see what was working and what I could make better. I also wanted to see if any basic campaigns were showing great results in which I could expand on. So I tested the F.L. program. I took several properties that had not been featured and then featured them for one week. On eight test runs the properties faired differently. I saw increased traffic in three and diminished traffic in five. But when I added up all the listing visits I had a 1.3% decrease in traffic on these now featured listings. This test was not done all at once, so I can’t say that a particular week was to blame.
But why would there be less hits, the property being a F.L. is now at the top of the page. I talked with several agents who work primarily with buyers to get their thoughts. I learned that many of these agents skip the F.L. properties at first over other listings. There were two different lines of thought to that reasoning. Firstly, it is thought that brokers will only promote troubled properties or ones overpriced, and one might as well avoid them. Secondly, these properties may have better traffic then more hidden listings and those non-featured may be of a better value to the buyer.
That led me to another data point I didn’t really test directly. But my observation is clear. I not only received slightly less traffic to listings I promoted with the F.L feature, I received far fewer emails and calls on those properties over those weeks of the program.
I now feel very confident that the F.L. program is a waste of time and money. It not only will not increase your online traffic it may also demote agents interest in showing the property.
I personally do not have a large enough portfolio to run a full analysis and show accurate data. I hope larger agency would run tests on this assumption and can promote the true findings to the market.