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What’s Most Important on Your Real Estate Website?
……In today’s real estate market, the tools available to the typical agent are constantly growing.
Agents can choose among audio tours, software for sales prospecting and contact management, fax on demand, etc.
Yet in the din something has been passed over. Disregarded. Omitted…
… not really on purpose, but because it is considered too hard to implement, yet, it is the essence of internet marketing……
The truth is, if you, as a self employed vendor in today’s world, disregard the website niche, you have failed to comprehend the power of the internet.
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The “essence” of the Internet…
…Let’s start with an internet term, cookie cutter site. It’s commonly referred to as a site which uses a very basic template in the construction of the site, and yet, it’s not the simplicity of construction alone which makes this form of real estate marketing tool ineffective.
It is the fact that there may be thousands of sites exactly like this in existence, with just a few differences which identify it as your site.
This makes the site anathema to SEARCH ENGINES. Search engine spiders have been programmed to detect this type of site and disregard it as irrelevant. The only way a site of this type is found is if an agent gives the potential client the address the old fashioned way, with a sign, letter, card etc.
Some agents understand the ineffectiveness of this type of site, so they go a small step further and create or have created a sometimes very expensive site with fancy, one of a kind graphics and detail. This is a step forward, but still not the essence of the Information Age.
At the essence is a site that actually goes out there into the ether and grabs cyber surfers that are looking for real estate.
And mind you, it is only being done by a relative few.
Now, not all is lost, because you can link your preexisting site which displays local weather, details about the local schools, your beautiful picture, etc. with the type of site which I describe.
The best news is that it is available to the complete, non computer-literate user who can then create a way to pull in targeted traffic.
….A full 87% of home buyers viewed real estate internet marketing in their search, according to a survey taken in July 2008 by the National Association Of Realtors.
This was up from 71% in 2003.
For all practical purposes a real estate agent has to assume that the point of total immersion is near, i.e., every potential client you contact has access to and utilizes the internet for information relevant to their search.
Take a quick tour on how you can start dominating your real estate internet marketing niche.
As a group, realtors readily set up a site, but rarely put in the time or have the time to make the site effective. However, a way to improve your site MUST be found, as, over time, a stronger web presence will pay huge dividends.
Research what homebuyers are looking for in a website of your type and area. Assume that many are going to mine your site for data and information and then move on. Learn to welcome that concept. The more data and RELEVANT information you have to offer, the longer they will stay. The longer they stay, the more likely that a small portion of them will contact you on their own accord. But in addition, in 2008, a majority of real estate internet marketing websites still have no proactive way to capture addresses of visitors.
To greatly increase your odds of a contact, an effective strategy is to create a gateway through which visitors must leave their contact information. This is called the forced opt-in.
Basically, you are forcing the visitor to leave contact information in exchange for “the REAL honey”…..your absolutely must-have:
Special Report E-book Real Estate Newsletter
In addition, you have now also gotten permission to contact the potential client again with a pertinent e-mail, phone call, etc.
BTW, the forced real estate internet marketing opt-in mechanism also leverages you, the site builder, to upgrade the quality of your site.
You must always follow the mantra of pre-selling with content
Also, remember that your site is not to be designed to attracteveryone.
Consider closely whom you want to attract anddrill down to that group.
Work the NICHE, this is the secret of the internet marketing world…
FOCUS YOUR SITE ON THAT CUSTOMER. What the customer is searching for, and what the customer wants.
When it comes to the content of your site, you must realize that, simply put, listings are not enough. One path to follow in “bulking up” your site is to utilize articles, from local news to national trends, short reports and in-depth reports.
Articles offer added value to you, in that they establish credibility to you and your site as the expert on a certain slice of the market. Articles also have a “viral” quality, which means that over time you will begin to build a site that others will want to link to.
Search engine spiders always look for content, and articles help provide the substance by which your pages will rank higher on the search engine results
….Not to be overlooked, as both a “quick way out of the gate” and as an overall alternate strategy, is Pay Per Click advertising.
The premier example is Google Adwords, where a site owner can “buy” visitors on a per-visit basis. The value lies both in the ability to start attracting traffic within minutes of setting up your account, and rifle-shot targeting for only the words or phrases that you want. You have probably seen the Adwords advertisements when you search Google and see separate advertisements in the right hand column of the page.
Free high value information that educates is the first part of the real estate marketing online success puzzle.
Step two is an offer for something of further value in exchange for permission. Education is great, but only as a prelude to generating leads that turn into real-time business.
Take a quick tour on how you can start dominating yourvery own website niche.