Have you put your real estate website to work for you? Is it promoting you as the expert in your neighborhood or niche?
If not, isn’t it time for it to quit sitting there and get to work?
Yes, I know. Before it can work for you, you have to work for it. Too bad it can’t do it all on its own, but that’s just how it is.
Buyers and sellers can find home search functions all over the Internet…
So if that’s all you offer, you aren’t giving them any reason to stop by – or to stay if they get there by accident.
How can you put your real estate website to work for you?
- First, by making sure it includes your up-to-date, interesting bio. Your bio should show how you serve your clients while being a friendly, approachable person. Skip that part about a home probably being their largest financial investment – they already know that!
- Second, by demonstrating your knowledge with either a community page for your geographical area or a page focused on your niche.
- Third, by backing your community or niche page with an abundance of informative blog posts, optimized for search.
You can’t compete for generic traffic with just your city name and a search function.
The big sites, including your franchise site, have that pretty well locked up. And if you opt for paid traffic and have nothing but search to offer when visitors arrive, they have no reason to stay or to choose you as their agent.
The same is true if you invite people to your site with prospecting letters, newspaper ads, or flyers. If they don’t find interesting information, they’ll leave and won’t come back.
You CAN compete with area specific information that they don’t offer.
Let’s begin with communities.
People thinking of moving to your area will naturally look for information. Wikipedia has much of what they want – like population, demographics, the year founded, etc. As a bonus, it may include links to more information, such as the Chamber of Commerce, schools, or community organizations. It’s usually dull, but it is (hopefully) factual.
Your community page can bring the community to life by offering more. When I write a community page, I include things such as:
- Notable aspects (ie: affluence; greening; golfing; school sports; waterfront)
- Real Estate market
- Today – what the community is known for, events that changed the community
- Recreation and activities – places to go, things to see and do
- Annual events
When I’m researching for interesting information about communities, I often visit agent websites, and am often disappointed. What I find is information cut and pasted from Wikipedia. I suppose if they have invited people to their sites it is better than nothing, but it’s sure no help with SEO.
Once you’ve put your real estate website to work with a community page, start blogging.
While your community page will have mentioned parks, activities, restaurants, shopping venues, dog parks, schools, etc. your blog can go into more details.
It can also be interesting and even entertaining, if you tell stories about the events, critique the fantastic new restaurant you discovered, and give people a heads-up about future happenings.
Think about what newcomers might want to know about your community. Then write about it.
A page about your niche can take a slightly different approach.
Focus on things that are important to people who own (or want to own) those homes.
Who are those people?
- What do they care about with regard to their homes?
- What regulations do they have to follow?
- What do they need to know before they buy?
People with historic homes might want to know the rules for being listed on the Historic Register. They might also like to know where to find authentic materials if they have to replace a broken window or a piece of crown molding.
Seniors who are relocating and selling might want to know about cleaning services, people to help with yard sales, or tips on making a cross-country move. If they’re relocating into your community, they might want to know about services available – especially services for seniors.
If you sell horse properties, those folks will want to know about riding trails, horse shows, boarding facilities, and equestrian-wear shops.
Whatever niche you’ve chosen, those homeowners have specific things they either want to know or need to know.
Put your website to work with a “Niche Page” that outlines the basics, then expand on it with your blog posts.
If you have more than one niche, create a page for each.
While you’re at it, why not add a capture box to each of those pages? You could offer a special report, an update on market conditions, or an invitation to ask a question.
What if you don’t have a territory or a niche?
My first bit of advice would be to choose one (here’s why), but if you really don’t want to, then go all out with your buyer and/or seller advice pages. Then keep adding more with your blog posts.
You do have a general area where you work, so fill your blog with information abut a wider area than you would if you focused on a smaller geographic territory. You might even do a mini-community page on the overall area, then one on each of the smaller communities in your area.
Whatever you do, put your website to work for you. Don’t let it sit there with nothing but a home search function.
How can you start putting your website to work for you today?
First, check that agent bio. Is it interesting? Does it convey your dedication to helping your clients? Does it demonstrate your expertise? Does it show that you’re a real person, with interests and a life outside of real estate?
If not, re-write it or hire someone to re-write it for you.
Next, check the content on your site. Really read what you’re offering to your visitors. If you don’t already have any of the pages discussed above, get to work on writing one, or having it written. If you have one or two, see if they could be improved upon. Then see if you should add more.
Then, today, get started on the blog posts that will interest your visitors while helping search engines find you. I can write your bio and your community or niche pages, but you should write most of your own blog posts.
Why? Because you’ll be writing about things you’ve seen, events you’ve attended, causes you believe in, and experiences you’ve had. Someone else can write advice posts, such as those about getting pre-approved for a loan or getting a house ready to show, but the bulk of your blog posts should let your own personality shine through.
real estate news Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Jumping horse head Image courtesy of membio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net