Is Your Web Site Bringing You Business?
There is no doubt that web sites have become an informational source and form of lead generation. The majority of REALTORS® are not capitalizing on this opportunity. A web site is like a billboard out in the middle of nowhere. You must drive people to it, or it is considered marketing that is not contributing to your bottom line. E-mail, blogging, and print are acceptable ways of doing this. But, the typical small business owner must learn from scratch the right way to do this the first time which can be an overwhelming task. The e-PRO certification program of the National Assn. of REALTORS teaches this philosophy and helps agents get the edge they need to compete in an ever changing real estate market. Here are a few tips that will help get you started and/or maximize your existing web site.
Steps to creating the perfect web site:
- Choose a domain name such as www.YourName.com or www.YourCompanyName.com. Remember the Internet is not case sensitive so be sure to capitalize the first name in every word. This will help with branding your name as the source for St. Louis Real Estate.
- Pick a web host and web designer that comes recommended by other agents and uses a template format. This will allow you the user to change the text, pictures and links without paying additional money to the designer to add more content.
- Start small and work to add additional content every month. Creating a web site is not an overnight process. It does take time and effort to create a site that will bring you business in the future. The average selling thinks about selling 11 months in advance and buyer thinks 9 months in advance so don’t give up too soon or you will miss someone when they are ready to buy or sell.
Steps to Enhancing Your Web Site
- Focus on the consumer. Most REALTOR® web sites that I have seen have a large picture of them on front. I admit I used to have one too. The problem is that consumers want information on properties, community information, and the selling/buying process, not your family dog or a picture of you on your motorcycle. This tendency remains prevalent in our industry because traditional marketing has taught us to do this. A consumer will choose to remain on your site provided that they retrieve the content they are looking for.
- Property search. This is the number one reason why people visit agent web sites according to the National Association of REALTORS®. This search must contain multiple photos with high quality digital images. Pictures that are not current with the weather or updated features will be overlooked and potential showings will be lost.
- Virtual tours. Most online visitors love virtual tours. This allows them to relax and view the show of additional pictures without making additional clicks.
- Create forms. You may have dozens of visitors each day on your web site. How many serious people are actually interested in the information you are providing? How many are contacting you for help? Irresistible offers for guides, searches or content that is considered valuable to the consumer will be helpful in obtaining personal information from online visitors. You can be the first to contact them and be their primary contact to serve their needs as long ask you ask appropriately and commit to keeping their data private.
- Make it stand out from the rest. If a consumer saw ten real estate sites in one day, which one will they remember and why? The fact remains that differentiation is crucial. The easiest way to make yours different from the pack is to incorporate online video on your web site. A breakthrough technology named OverWeb3D allows someone to film on “green-screen” to where they can post themselves over their web site and the opportunity to solicit information about a product or service. The goal is to “WOW” your clients and this will get them talking.