The first important point to understand is that having a website requires work! Many real estate agents think that you can just launch a website and it will work its “magic” and bring in the business. This is not how the internet works. Having a website is just like having a storefront. It takes work to make it work. (there are ways to get the work done without you doing it… see below)
Think of your favourite website… look at it today and then think, would this still be your favourite website in 6 months if it was exactly the same?
Lets say your favourite website is the clothing company Banana Republic. If you look at their website today (screen shot here) you will see their Christmas specials and some widgets that are pushing certain products and promotions. How would you feel if you went there in July and the site was still pushing their Christmas sale.
Or how about WhistlerBlackcomb.com? What if you went to their website and you saw the snow report from 2005… or if you came across their big new announcement is a new lift that was launched 8 months ago. Would you keep going to their website? or would you find your Whistler news somewhere else?
Make your website relevant! Make your website matter!
Here are 5 tasks you can do in 2007 to help your website gain the exposure and return visitors that it deserves:
1. Seriously.. Get Blogging
INMAN News named blogging as one of the top real estate stories of 2006. They reported that the “Real estate blogoshere comes to life. Real estate blogs really took off this year, with more solo agents getting into the mix and more blogging on collaborative sites.” Zillow‘s CFO & VP of Marketing Spencer Rascoff says that one of the top online real estate stories for 2006 was that blogs went mainstream.
2. Expose your Listing in a new way
Get the massive exposure that your listings deserve. Flyers, Open Houses, local Newspapers are all good ways to attract attention to your listings but services like craigslist.org, zillow.com, oodle.com, edgeio.com, base.google.com, hotpads.com and trulia.com are all excellent ways to gain massive exposure to your listings. Adding your listing to these sites should be standard practice when advertising your new listing.
3. Expose yourself to new ideas
2006 will be remembered in online real estate as the year that more information than ever became accessible to consumers, for free. The creation of Zillow.com, Redfin.com, and Trulia.com are a few among a rapidly growing group of companies that are pushing the envelope. Are you up to speed with what is going on? Do you know what a blog is? how about RSS? craigslist? Make 2007 the year of learning new things. Plan to attend a conference that you have never attended before. There are lots out there. Here are a few places to start looking www.realestateconnect.com or www.realtor.org.
4. Track Everything
Take the time to track what you do so that you can replicate what works and stop doing what is not working. Here are a few ideas to help you get tracking your results:
a. Ensure that you are using Google Analytics to track the stats of your website
b. Use multiple email addresses to track what is working.
– On your open house flyers use firstname.lastname@example.org
– On your busines cards use email@example.com
– On your just listed flyers use firstname.lastname@example.org
You get the idea. Doing this will allow you to track which inbound emails are coming from which marketing effort.
c. Multiple domain names is a great way to track (yourdomain.com, yourdomain.ca, yourdomain.info)
d. Your Open Houses can even be tracked… ask everyone how they heard of the open house. Even tell them that your testing to see which of your marketing is pulling its weight. Run a survey to track the results. Do this for all of your open houses. I bet the results will surprise you.
5. Learn the complete capabilities of your website.
Even if your website is not an Ubertor website (it should be) you should take the time to learn the complete capabilities of what your website can do for you and what technologies are available to help take you to the next level. Take some time to learn about Feedburner, RSS, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, WordTracker, Blogs, PageRank, Link Baiting, etc.
With all of these new tasks you will need to Systematize your business. A good book to read about systematizing your business is Michael Gerbers E-Myth. His book talks about small business owners and the need to operate like a franchise. Definitely worth a read.
Need help with any or all of these tasks… Ubertor Support can help with some, Ubertor Training is another option, RET Meetups will bring you together with like minded agents, services like realtysupport.ca can do the work for you, or even a real estate coach might be the answer.
Keep in mind the California Association of REALTORSÂ® survey found that “The typical buyer is now an Internet buyer“
Any questions… feel free to contact me directly.