Sunday, July 29, 2007

How are you at taking a compliment?

They say "Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery", so I guess we can say that our web site should have a big head. A huge head, really.

We've slowly noticed a constant increase in other websites popping up that are named very similar to our own When we started there wasn't a single site named anything like it. Most real estate sites were named for the agent who owned and operated it as a personal web site, or for whichever Brokerage they operated out of. We thought long and hard about a name that would represent us, and our philosophy regarding Real Estate. We truly feel that every single buyer and seller deserves a higher level of service, and that luxury is not a dollar amount.

A home is a huge investment, whether $100,000.00 or $1,000,000.00, and hence we developed our name, and in turn how we treat EVERY single one of our customers. After starting up our site, and striving hard to advertise it, tie it in closely with Josh himself, establish our brand, and make it a true resource for a buyer looking for the best homes Hernando County has to offer, we have to has worked. We have people nationwide who use our site on a daily basis to preview and search for homes in Hernando County.

In turn, as Josh has worked hard, and succeeded in this very difficult career, and at one of the worst times in it's recent history, we've had the many variations on our name begin to pop up. A few local web sites are now using the terms Hernando Luxury Homes to represent entire pages on their own sites, national web sites where every other county on the site says, for example, Pasco Luxury "Properties", Broward Luxury "Properties" , etc., have just Hernando County's page as Hernando Luxury "Homes". Even a few that are titling their photos (in the sourcing where it's not visible) as Hernando Luxury Homes in order to get picked up by the search engine's crawlers without making it obvious they're trying to, sneaky sneaky! But we take it all in stride, and find it a bit flattering.

Unfortunately, we've also had someone go as far as to flat out copy our URL, and they purchased .info, rather than the .com we own. We had thought about snatching up all those versions way back when, when first choosing our name, and what our business philosophy would be. We felt that as we would work hard to develop a strong "brand", really tying ourselves in with, it would be pretty creepy for anyone else to copy it, with a .net, .info, .whatever they've come up with now. It's unbelievable, but someone has. I should say it's unbelievably sad, to see that someone would take what we have worked so hard to create, copy it (although a lesser version, I guess), and in turn offer it up for "rent" to other agents, or whoever else. I can't imagine their motivation...or actually, I guess I can.

Can you imagine taking the time to do something like that...who has the time, really? Much less the motivation? I would guess that the time and money would've been better spent else where. If that person were my Realtor, I can assure you that I'd much prefer that the time and money have gone towards selling MY home, not holding another agent's Brand out for ransom.

This sincerest of "compliments" is one which is hard to accept, I guess.

As we own Hernando Luxury Homes, LLC, I guess we'll have to wait and see what time will hold for said site.

Now, as for compliments, do I look fat in these jeans?

Don't answer that.