Got your own agent website? Good! But now you need to make your website interesting to users. People these days expect much more from their Internet experience than they used to expect just a few years ago. These days, a website needs to be fresh, fun, interesting, and – above all – interactive. Here are a few free tools you can use to provide Internet users with what they’re looking for. They will reward you by staying longer on your site, and – hopefully – by referring friends and by becoming your clients.
ActiveRain.com is a large real estate network that allows agents to blog. A blog is a wonderful way to establish yourself as an expert, so whether you blog on ActiveRain or or any other blogging platform, make sure to blog regularly (once a week is good) and to share your thoughts and observations with clients.
Photosynth.net takes your photos, mashes them together and recreates a 3D scene out of them that anyone can view and move around in. It’s a wonderful tool for real estate agents and a great way to showcase an area, a neighborhood or a home.
Twitter.com enables you to send out short messages with updates. It’s fun and interactive, and you can update it as often or as seldom as you’d like. One of the best things about Twitter is that you can reach out to people in your area and follow them. You can also set up regular searches for your local area and respond to questions of people who are looking for a home. Being helpful is always a good idea and will help you establish yourself as an expert.
Facebook.com is a much richer social platform than Twitter. It enables you to post longer messages, notes, pictures, videos and more. You can create a personal profile on Facebook, or you can create a page for your business.
Flickr.com lets you upload photos and share them. Needless to say, it’s an ideal tool for an agent. You can add comments for each photo, and others can make comments on them too.
AgentWidgets.com offers free Web widgets for the real estate professional. Adding widgets to your site or blog is a great way to keep users engaged and to make the site more fun and interactive.
Unlike the previous tools which are interactive, this tool is meant for your own internal use and is a great way to monitor your website traffic, see which pages and keywords are getting the most traffic, and fine-tune your online efforts accordingly.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be! Start with just one of these tools, focus on it, and after a few weeks, once you’re comfortable using it, move on to the next.