In a bold move, MyHouseDeals.com makes its property listings available for free to all real estate investors; previously, listings were only available for a monthly fee
HOUSTON, Jan. 13, 2010 — MyHouseDeals.com went live with a radically different website and business model in early January. There were dozens of changes, but visitors will most likely notice that the listings are now free to view instead of $39.80 per month as they had been.
When asked why MyHouseDeals.com moved from a paid access to a free access model, Doug Smith, president of MyHouseDeals.com, responded, "Our primary goal is to maximize the number of investors who view – and profit from – our listings."
Mr. Smith continued, "While hundreds of investors have profited from our site in the past, thousands have missed out. The main reason is that they were unwilling to submit their billing information to an unfamiliar website. This huge barrier has been removed, and we now gladly welcome the skeptics.
"We also think now is the perfect time to remove that barrier. 2010 provides an ideal buying opportunity for real estate investors. Homes are highly undervalued and interest rates are at historical lows. So we want to equip as many investors as possible with the listings they need to buy now."
But Mr. Smith doesn't see investors as the only ones who benefit from this change. "Most of the sellers on our site are motivated to sell quickly due to financial problems caused by the recession. Serious buyers are harder to come by these days, so they need all the exposure they can get. Making the listings free should double or even triple that exposure."
If things go as planned, MyHouseDeals.com also stands to gain. "We believe that the free listings will generate an enormous buzz amongst real estate investors. And this buzz should dramatically increase traffic." And according to Mr. Smith, that increased traffic can lead to substantial revenues.
"Once investors are involved on the site and profiting from our free listings, we're confident that a substantial number will upgrade to our Premium service, which gives them unrestricted access to all deals. Plus, they'll gain access to the deals fourteen days early, which gives them a huge leg up."
Just a few days after going live with the free listings, MyHouseDeals.com is already seeing a positive impact. Prior to the change, their data showed that only 36% of visitors remained on the site for an extended period of time. Based on data from the new site, an average of 65% of visitors are staying, an 81% improvement over prior performance. These figures bode well for visitors returning to the new site on a regular basis and generating the desired buzz.
When asked if he had any concerns about granting free access to the listings, Mr. Smith responded, "I think it's normal to have concerns or to second-guess oneself. But at the end of the day, it can't hurt to be in alignment with the mantra of Internet pioneers: 'Information wants to be free.'"
To gain free access to the listings, just go to MyHouseDeals.com, click into your city, and create a free account.
MyHouseDeals.com provides a listing of discounted investment property in fifteen of the nation's largest metro areas. Residential real estate investors use the site to purchase properties at up to 50% off fair market value. Since its inception in 2005, MyHouseDeals.com has provided information on 42,700 bargain-priced properties containing $2.7 billion in total equity.
Alex Soares, business manager
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