Posts Tagged as Websites

4 Key Features of Effective Real Estate Sites

There are 4 key features of effective real estate sites that every agent should start with.

Creating a real estate site is an important step in establishing yourself as a savvy, experienced real estate professional that can add lots of value to their clients. But not all real estate sites are created equal. There are 4 key features of effective real estate sites that every agent should start with.

To be truly effective, a real estate site should include the following features:

1. An effective agent site should be optimized for Search Engines
To make the most of search engine traffic, you need to have control over your meta tags. Ideally, the company who hosts your website should submit it to major search engines to make sure it is indexed quickly and properly.

2. An effective real estate website should include built-in social networking tools
These tools enable you, and your website visitors, to easily add your website to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. The best websites also enable you to build widgets that get automatically updated whenever you add or remove a listing. These widgets can be posted to social media outlets including a blog if you have one.

3. An effective agent site should include real-time lead alerts
Immediate follow up on website visits is extremely important. The best agent websites include tools that send your website leads, in real time, to your text enabled cell phone.

4. An effective real estate site gives you easy access to the website’s statistics
Websites are live creatures that require constant tweaking and monitoring. But the only way you can improve your website’s performance and its appeal to prospects is by having access to statistics that show you how people behave on your site. Quality agent sites include live stats that allow you to track where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing on your site. This enables you to tell if a marketing campaign is working.

In addition, your agent site should have a built-in Google Analytics tool that enables you to easily install Google Analytics on your website. This is an invaluable tool that can provide you with lots of info on your site’s performance.

Remember: it’s not enough to have an agent website. Make sure you sign up with a company that provides high quality, professional looking, effective websites.

How to Establish Yourself as a Real Estate Expert

Here are some quick tips on how to establish yourself as a real estate expert.

These days, competition in the real estate space is so fierce, that it’s not enough to BE an expert in your field – you have to show prospects that you are indeed knowledgeable and can give them added value, beyond what others can give them. Making your mark as a successful real estate professional means you have to be the real estate expert you’d want to hire. Here are some quick tips on how to establish yourself as a real estate expert.

“While there was once some fear that the rise of the Internet would eventually replace real estate agents, the opposite has shown to be true – buying and selling a home are such important, complex transactions that people will always feel better doing them with the help of a real estate professional. And the Internet has proven to be a incredible tool in helping agents establish themselves as experts,” says Amanda Cornelius, co-founder and CEO of Properties Online. And she couldn’t be more right.

The Internet is not going to replace real estate agents. But it is going to separate the real estate experts from the amateurs, and it’s doing it already.

First and foremost, establish yourself as a real estate expert by setting up a professional agent website. You want an amazing looking website that is easy to navigate, user friendly and that includes all of the information buyers and sellers are looking for in an attractive format. A well designed real estate site will immediately set you apart from the crowd.

Once your agent site is live, you should turn your attention to social media. Social media allows you to cross market your listings and your brand, and to throw your net wider at a much lower cost to business than every before.

“Post lots of info and interesting links to those accounts, and – again – focus on providing value and on showing that you are very knowledgeable. Active social media accounts are of course a great way to stay in touch with clients, but they also demonstrate to prospects that you are a savvy real estate professional that knows how to use the latest tools,” recommends Cornelius.

You’ll also want to create high-quality single property websites for each of your listings, including demo sites for prospects. These simple but effective tech tools will also show your sellers and buyers that you know what you’re doing and that you are familiar with the latest real estate marketing tools.

The best way to establish yourself as a real estate expert is to showcase your knowledge and your experience. Brochures and flyers are not entirely unnecessary – people still look for them – but there’s no doubt that real estate marketing, whether of a property or of you, has largely moved online.

Ensure your expertise is moving in the right direction, by setting up shop on the Internet. Your customers are there. You – and your listings – should be too.

Leverage the Internet as a Real Estate Marketing Tool

Do you have an agent website? Do you create single property websites for each of your listings? Are you active on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter? It’s things like these that allow you to leverage the Internet as a real estate marketing tool.

So if you answered “yes” to at least one of the above questions, you’re doing well! Your ultimate goal is definitely to be able to give a positive answer to all three of them. Having a solid online presence means that you are leveraging the power of the Internet to sell properties, to cultivate professional connections and to establish yourself as a real estate agent who’s current and on top of their game.

But more than establishing an image, the Internet has a real power to help you sell your properties. In fact, research shows that the home buying process – at least the initial stages of searching for properties – is rapidly moving online. These days, being a real estate professional without a strong online presence is just like any other business that doesn’t use the Internet – you are going to be perceived as old fashioned and outdated. No one wants to be left behind!

An Agent Website

Having an agent website is not a luxury these days. It’s a necessity. An agent website is essentially your virtual business card, and in many ways, it’s more important than a business card. Your website should tell prospects about you – your qualifications, what you can do for them, houses you’ve sold, and any areas you specialize in such as luxury homes, specific neighborhoods etc.

Your agent website is your opportunity to turn leads into clients. Make the most of it by making it as appealing as possible. Look for a real estate website service that offers features such as enhancing your site with audio and video, social media widgets and market reports. Fill the website with interesting content and with articles that showcase your knowledge and your expertise. Competition in the real estate space is fierce – use your website to stand out!

Property Websites

Single property websites, which focus on a single property, are always a big hit with both sellers and buyers. They are easy to set up, very affordable, and the best of them include built-in, easy to use tools for sharing properties on a wide range of social networks. Single property websites help agents win listings, attract buyers, and make search engine optimization effortless.

Social Networking

The idea behind any type of social networking, including in the real estate space, is to develop connections and conversations with prospects in your target market and to establish yourself as an expert by sharing knowledge, giving tips and answering questions. While social networking results are not immediate and take time to become apparent, it is a wonderful tool for strengthening your brand and for building a network of devoted supporters.

Social media works organically and naturally to promote you, because when you have a happy client, they will tell their friends about you, and those friends will tell their friends. It’s essentially word of mouth marketing, but it’s done online and so can reach many more prospects than traditional word of mouth marketing.

2014 Goal: Build your Online Presence

If you’ve answered “yes” to the three questions above, GREAT. Otherwise, make it your goal for the year to establish a strong online presence. Don’t allow yourself to be left behind!

How Single Property Websites Work in Your Favor

Real estate websites that focus on a single property offer huge benefits – both to the real estate agent and to the home seller. Understanding how single property websites work in your favor is important.

“One of the most useful features of individual listing websites is the ability to quickly and easily add listings to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter,” says Amanda Cornelius, real estate web marketing expert, and co-founder/CEO of Properties Online.

“Social networking is a new and exciting form of online marketing. It utilizes viral methods of marketing to create a natural buzz around a property. Essentially, social media marketing is a lot like old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing, but it is done on a much larger scale thanks to the wide reach of the Internet.

“For example, if an agent has been active on Facebook and has a couple hundred friends there, they can post each single property website to their Facebook profile to let people know about it. A percentage of these people will like what they see and spread the word, either in person to their friends and family, or online, on their own social networks.”

With individual listing sites, the connection between the website and social media sites is easy and automatic. Simply adding listings through a Facebook app will ensure that Facebook dynamically updates the agent’s profile as properties and homes are added, edited or removed.

Using a comprehensive, leading single property website service like Listing Domains takes all the hassle out of linking across your important web locations. What’s more, it saves you time by automating what could otherwise be time intensive processes.

Marketing your listings online can truly be easy, if you have the right tools.

The Benefits of Video for Real Estate Sites

Video is fast becoming one of the most important aspects of a good real estate site – particularly when it comes to single property websites. Nothing quite exposes a home to potential buyers the way a good video can. The benefits of video for real estate sites are vast – it’s said to be 53 times more effective than text alone!

Online marketing and a solid web-base are critical for today’s real estate agent to remain relevant and successful. They can also provide much more cost effective options when it comes to growing your real estate business or driving new leads.

You can add video to your single property websites, for instance, for no additional cost, and yet Consumers are more likely to select a video result in a Google search compared to text. Furthermore, while the average visitor spends just 48 seconds on website, that time increases dramatically to 5 minutes, 50 seconds when the website includes relevant video. The longer a visitor is on your website, the better chance you have of converting them into a lead, a client or a sale. It’s as simple as that.

The great thing about video and real estate is that it is SO easy to make it relevant and useful – we’re not grasping at straws here. Your site visitors WANT video. Give it to them.

We’ve talked about NAR’s statistic that 73% of sellers would choose a real estate agent who could market their property with video. And yet fewer than 5% of agents actually do this. YouTube is now the second largest search engine, behind Google. If your website is properly optimized and includes video, you’re 57% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google search results.

If you’re not ready to get in front of the camera yourself, you can start by providing quality video of the properties you’re selling. Photos are great, but they won’t take you all the way. There’s nothing quite like a video tour – unlike photographs, video engages multiple senses and is more believable. It’s easier to imagine yourself in a home after watching a video than having only looked at still pictures.