One of the first – and most important – things you need as a real estate agent is a website. In fact, for most Realtors, web sites should be their #1 lead generation and marketing tool. After all, over 90% of all home transactions started with an online search in Google or Bing.
To get one, the vast majority of Realtors choose one of the following four ways:
- Pay a local or national web hosting or marketing company
- Pay one of the hundreds of real estate hosting/IDX companies
- Let their brokerage add their info to an agent page off the main brokerage site
- Create an agent profile on Zillow, www.homes.com, www.realtor.com, etc.
Prices can range from free (in the case of most brokerage site add-on pages), to $30-$40 bucks a month and all the way to $10K a year or more for website packages that have some sort of marketing features like IDX listings, robust forms or email campaigns. In fact, more than a few real estate pros pay $20K-$40K a year or more for well-designed and maintained websites.
It may sound expensive, but websites that drive lots of leads more than pay for themselves in just a few closes – that is, if they’re good. If not, they not only don’t justify the money you’re spending on them, they’re actually doing your business harm.
Do you know where your website is right now?
You see, if your site can’t “check the box” on all the items below, it’s actually lulling you into a false sense that, because your site is “out there” and “on the web,” it’s doing a good job getting you buyer and seller clients:
- Has a high number of monthly clicks from Google or Bing search for terms buyers and sellers would use to find you (e.g. “homes for sale in Glendale,” “homes under $300,000 in Peoria,” or “what’s my home worth in Orlando, FL”)
- Has consistent and healthy local web traffic for the area you service with a low “bounce rate,” or number of users that come to your site then leave without clicking anything else
- Has a high percentage of users visiting the site that click more than 1 or 2 pages and that spend more than a few seconds on your site before leaving
- Has a high (and growing) number of other websites linking to it (called “Backlinks”)
- Has simple and attractive “call to action” forms and buttons that get used consistently by web viewers to send you messages, request showings or register to search listings
If you can’t simply and easily measure all the above and track these things to the number of leads you’re getting, well, why waste the money? It’s kinda like paying for an expensive billboard and putting nothing on it.
If you can’t measure your site, does it even exist?
Sadly, most Realtors simply pay for their site and forget it assuming that because they’re out there, they’ll get seen. Nothing could be further from the truth.
No matter which one of the ways you’re building and hosting your site, here’s a list of 3 things – at a minimum – you should make sure you’re getting for your money from the folks who do your site:
- Details on how your site is built as far as relevant page titles, headings and other content (i.e. choosing good keywords and phrases such as “Homes for sale in Orlando, FL” and more)
- Monthly reports showing how many visitors you’re getting and where you rank for important keywords that lead buyers to your door from search (how many people each month arrive at your site and how?)
- Monthly reports on key metrics about how you stack up versus other local competitors.
Why? The web is a very dynamic place. Doing something right one day doesn’t mean it will be the same tomorrow. Customer interests change, technology changes, markets change and more. If you’re not getting these kinds of stats from your provider, chances are you don’t even know if your page is stale, not performing well and needs fixing.
Think about it this way: there are trillions of stars in the universe, but we only see a small handful of the brightest. The web is exactly the same thing. Your site is one of billions. You must always work to make it shine or no one will see it.
What does that mean for your real estate business if you don’t? Well, you get no leads. And your “brighter” competition gets more.
Learn More in this Video
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