Your Real Estate Website
You may have a page on a company site, and that’s fine. But to really promote YOU, you need your own website.
And you need to have control of your own content. So please, for your sanity and peace of mind, follow this advice:Buy your own domain name and have it registered only to you. After seeing friends get into all kinds of long drawn out messes over this issue, I can tell you that this is absolutely vital.
Tie your domain name to YOU, not to the company you work for. You may be very happy where you are, but things can change.
When you choose a website provider:
- Make sure that you have the right to use any copywriter you choose – not just the copy they provide.
- Make sure that you will have easy access to make changes as you see fit, any time you want.
- Make sure your pages can be as long or short as YOU want them to be.
- Make sure that you’ll have the ability to add pages.
In other words, maintain control. It’s your site, you’re paying for it, and you should have the final word about its content.
Before you get pulled in to spending thousands of dollars on a website, do check a variety of vendors. And remember – studies are showing that consumers aren’t pleased with sites that have rotating banners, music, or videos that come on automatically.
Simple is better because it costs less and visitors like it more.
A good alternative to hiring a website provider is to create your own site using WordPress.
That may sound daunting, but believe me – if someone as non-techie as I am can do it, you probably can too. When I did it, it was trial and error, but you don’t have to take that route. Thanks to some good people who want to see real estate agents succeed, you can download a free report that will take you step-by-step through the process.
Before you decide whether to hire a website provider or create your own, read this report from First Site Guide.
What belongs in an agent website, and why?
Obviously, you need to reveal the city or area where you sell real estate. (Oddly, some sites do keep this a secret. You have to figure it out from the phone number.)
Next, you must come out of hiding and reveal your own name. Again, some agent websites try to keep it a secret.
You need a search function, so visitors on your page can learn what’s for sale.
And then… If you want to capture real estate buyers and sellers,in addition to your home search function, your web site must include:
- A home page that sets the tone and begins to show visitors why you are the agent to choose in your city.
- A real estate seller page to show homeowners that you’ll do far more than put up a sign and forget about them.
- A buyer page to show that you’ll work hard to find the house that “fits” your buyers.
- An “About me” page. This is the agent bio / profile that shows prospects you’re a real person and gives them reasons to identify with and trust you.
- A blog – to add content and give your prospects a reason to come back again and again
- Community pages.
- A means of “capturing” your visitors’ names and email addresses.
Your “About Me” Page / Profile / Agent Bio
This is the document that allows your prospective clients to see who you are and what you stand for. If there is one page on your website that deserves extra attention, I believe that it is this one, because in today’s world, people need a reason to trust.
Read more about why this is so important and see samples on my Better Bio page.
Your blog offers advice, tips, and hopefully some personal insight from you. Thus it helps your visitors get get to know you.
Unfortunately, sometimes writing for the blog is just one task too many. So you start, but can’t keep up. And that’s worse than not starting at all.
I believe you should write some “personal insight” posts and stories about local events and businesses when you can. But I know – sometimes you just can’t get it done. So here’s the next best thing: Pre-written blog posts, delivered to your inbox every 7 days.
Instead of trying to find an hour or more to write and post a message, you can spend 5 or 10 minutes adding a pre-written post to your blog. If you have time to add something of your own before the next post arrives, all the better. But the pre-written posts will save your blog from being seen as “abandoned.”
Learn more about this new real estate marketing service from Copy by Marte.
While buyers visiting your site probably already know that they want to purchase a home in your area, they may not know about the various neighborhoods or communities you serve.
Thus, some good information about each neighborhood or community will be useful to visitors, while also adding to your site’s search engine placement.
But please… write your own or have it written. Research is good, but after you’ve done the research, put it in your own words. When you cut and paste from Wikipedia you simply look like everyone else – and the reading is dry.
Here are community pages that I wrote for Seattle area agent, Marie Haydock. As you’ll see, they serve to differentiate the communities and give visitors from afar a good picture of life in each of them.
Your Means of Capturing Names
Some real estate websites capture visitor names before allowing them to view homes for sale. Some insist on taking names before revealing the information on their blogs.
My personal opinion is that this is a poor idea. Since that information is available elsewhere for free, why should visitors leave their names and take a chance on being bombarded with marketing emails?
Instead, use your autoresponder to offer something of more value. You can write (or purchase) a special report that addresses their particular concern. For instance, my expired listing letter set includes a report entitled “Why Didn’t it Sell?” and my FSBO letters offer a report that gives advice on getting started. The first letter in my short sale set outlines the choices available to distressed homeowners.
Think about what matters to your prospects…
If your City/ County / State offers help for buyers or sellers, you could write a report outlining the various programs available. You could also offer a current “state of the market” report. Whatever is of highest concern and interest to a specific set of buyers or sellers is a good topic for a special report.
One more thing… you’d be wise to make different offers on different pages. After all, buyers have different concerns from sellers. Sellers facing foreclosure have different concerns from sellers who own their homes outright.
Capturing names separately allows you to sort visitors, put them on the proper lists, and send relevant follow-up emails.
Have questions? Please feel free to contact me.
Yours for boundless prosperity,
– See more at: http://promotemyrealestatecareer.com
Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net