Huffington Post Surpasses The New York Times as Top News Website

In an article written for on June 14th, Roy Greenslade reveals that per Comscore, The Huffington Post beat The New York Times as the most viewed news website in the US in May 2011. With 35.6 Million unique visitors vs. the’s 33.6 Million visitors, the six year old web-site founded by Arianna Huffington has broken a new benchmark. While the NYTimes site saw an 11% drop in visitors after it erected a pay wall in March, limiting visitors to the site to 20 free articles a month, that does not explain the increase of visitors to the Huffington Post by 14%. Acquired by AOL, it has recently benefitted from re-directed traffic to it from AOLNews.

I found this article interesting because I think it reveals the changes that have been evolving in all industries over the last ten years, due to the emergence of online business technology and mobile media devices and portals. On-line presence has become not only an adjunct to a business model, but as shown by this example, it is the business model.

How does that translate to the Real Estate business? Today consumers want and are getting access to real estate information in a manner which was unheard of just seven years ago. Personally I think it’s great. The question is, what do they do with all of that information? While easily accessed, without a level of insight or context someone new to the real estate process may find themselves overwhelmed or mis-interpreting the data.

I’ve always applauded the emergence of sites like the real estate section and as well as the introduction of Virtual Office Web-sites which have leveled the playing field in New York real estate and made the business more consumer friendly. Yet access to information alone does not make a deal happen.

As the business has grown and evolved, I have found that in the end, it’s my face time with my clients and prospects that really transforms the ideas of sellling or buying into a reality. It is strategic marketing delivered by a firm, the questions the individual broker asks of his or her clients, the market knowledge and leveraging of co-broker relationships that a broker brings to a client which provides insight and guidance and the ability to create a path to a successful negotiation that delivers the sale. Without that personal touch, a web-site alone while delivering information does not close the deal.

The lesson here with the Huffington Post and The New York Times, I believe, is that it is always critical to make sure that as a company and professional learning and growing is never halted. Consumer demands evolve and what worked two years ago may not work today, not in news, music or real estate. Is your broker on top of their game? Is their firm? The world has changed, and so has the business of real estate. The bar has been raised for innovation. Step up to it.

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