You think you have a great website, and you do. You think you have a wonderful IDX, and you do.
So what is the Problem? What's Missing?
*firstname*. You are Missing.
Picture this: A visitor goes to your site. Obviously they already know something about you or want to learn more about YOU. Your website is supposed to be ABOUT YOU.
What do 99% of Agents sites communicate about that Agent?
A Name, a Photo and a generic Bio. that's it. Where's the humanity? Where is your uniqueness? What makes you special? What markets do you specialize in?
Is it interesting to visit such a site? NO!
How do you fix it? Let me show you how.
The two key areas you need to concentrate on to personalize your website are:
- Agent Personalization
- Market Targeting
- Agent Bio: Take the time to tell them about you. Add your experience, your qualifications, certifications, education. Then add your hobbies, interests, causes, charities. This will allow the visitors to connect with you on a personal level.
- Video: Consider doing short informational videos about you as a person. You like baseball, dogs, your church, whatever you can talk about to let them know how special your area is to you.
- Community Info: Add local info that you know someone in your marketplace would like to see such as school info, libraries, parks, great restaurants, etc.
- Your Marketing Plan: Add a page about how you would market their home. Tell them what you would do, how you focus your efforts and your success.
- Testimonials: A good testimonial is like gold for you. Try to get as many as you can. A video testimonial, or audio is even better than a written one.
This is my personal favorite. These days buyers and sellers see many real estate websites. 99% have an IDX that covers the entire MLS and beyond. Be a specialist and get more respect and visitors online.
- Create Local pages for your website. Add at least three pages for areas/cities/communities that you specialize, farm or just like to work it. Write about each area and why you are the expert in that area. Include an instant search or gallery of homes from the IDX in that area too. Add community info too. Make that area yours and your visitors will see you as the area’s expert.
- Add Thumbnails to different areas on the home page. Mention the areas in several ways on the homepage.
- SEO for Local Marketing; Add the keywords and metatags needed for Google to rank you highly for your areas, sending more traffic to your website.
So there you have it, a short description on how to raise your website game and your traffic and leads by being more personal on your website.
It always pays to brand yourself as a professional. Buyers and Sellers all want to work with a professional, not an amateur. You can make a great first impression by having a unified image or brand across all your marketing and advertising. Here’s how:
1. Website Domain Name
The first domain name you should always own is SallySmith.com, that is, your actual name. In many ways your name IS your brand in real estate. If your actual name is not available, try using something like Sally4Homes.com or SallySellsEncino.com. If you market exclusively to one market area try to get a name with the market area stated, such as: EncinoProperties.com
In today’s hyper-connected marketplace, it’s important that realtors distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. Focusing on localization and strengthening your local SEO, or search engine optimization, will increase the likelihood you will be noticed and chosen to work with.
Focus on SEO and Localization
As a realtor, it’s all about “location, location, location,” you are wasting your time, energy, and resources if you are not being seen by consumers in your territory.
If you market and optimize yourself correctly and effectively, you will have far more online exposure and presence online.
Tips To Increase Your Localization
Tags and Meta-Tags
Understanding how SEO works is crucial to increasing the likelihood people will see and visit your site. Looking at and adjusting tags and meta-tags, as well as your site’s title and snippet, to contain keywords
relevant for your territory will make it easier for online users to see your site in searches relevant for homes in your areas.
A Website As Fresh As the Other Side of the Pillow
It’s 2016 and business has been booming. You upgraded to a larger office across town. You’ve worked on several high profile real estate transactions. And, you’ve even hired several agents to work under your roof.
But, when was the last time you bothered to update your website? What about just basic information?
Have trouble remembering? That’s way too long! We live in a society where information is constantly being updated and disseminated. Your website needs to keep up with the demands of your consumers. And more importantly, your website needs to stay fresh to rank higher in search engines and draw more traffic to your site.
Here are 5 things to update immediately on your website:
1. Update Your Contact Information
Providing your contact information is the most fundamental purpose of your website (and really any of your online marketing tools) and if it’s not up-to-date, you are missing out on potential clients. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, people are not going to jump through hoops to work with you – they’ll just move on to another easier to reach agent.
Check that your phone and fax numbers, email, address, and links to your social media sites are all up-to-date and working. You should do this for any social media sites you are on as well. Having outdated information on any of your sites is just a waste of your time and energy.
Get 55% more real estate leads by blogging on your website!
Blogging is crucial to drawing and keeping incoming traffic on your real estate website. Learn 5 tips to build a better blog that will get you more clients.
Real estate blogs use to be a nice way of building trust and maintaining credibility and visibility with current and potential buyers. Now, they are a requirement to draw traffic and leads to your website.
Having a website does not distinguish you from the herd of other real estate agents in your area. And God forbid your website is even slightly outdated or slow to load. Both of these can turn your potential clients off from your website, never to return.
Why Blogs Work
Blogging allows you to create a dialog between you and your clients, and acts as a consistent reminder that you are a knowledgeable and professional real estate agent available to your clients.
Even better: Google loves blogs because content is updated frequently and you can tailor blogs to have a more diverse, and larger range of SEO, drawing more traffic to you and your site than you would normally have gotten with just your website.
Blogs enable potential clients to subscribe so they can receive updates whenever you publish a new post which acts as free advertising for you and your company.
How to Build A Better Blog
Be honest with me…
Is your real estate website stuck in the early 2000s? How dated does your site look and feel? Does the page format correctly on a phone? Can people find you with a quick Google search?
Simply having a web presence in 2016 is not enough – you have to engage your visitors, providing them with detail and clarity, in the interest of shaping a conversation that drives the colossal decision to buy or sell. You’re a real estate agent, not a web developer, so how do you cut through the noise and make your site work for you? Let RealtyTech share some secrets with you…
Content is King
Want a strong online presence? Then you need content. Pictures, videos, blog features, galleries, interactive maps – all absolutely imperative to flesh out your site, improving your organic rank on search engines. Feature your breath-taking exteriors and stunning interiors; flaunt the type of properties you are proud to represent. Consumers would rather see the quality of your brand instead of reading verbose descriptions…so here’s your chance to visually humble brag as an agent.
#1 Add Reviews
You're great at your job! Let everyone know it. Add your reviews and testimonials to your website. Reviews and testimonials will enhance your professional credibility
#2 Domain Longevity
Purchase your domain for longer than one year at a time. This boosts your credibility with search engines because it shows that your website/business plans on being around longer than one year. Register your domain for a minimum of 3 to 5 years at a time.
#3 Update Weekly
Do not let your website become stale. Update your website by adding a blog post or new images. Give visitors a reason to visit your website on a frequent basis.Read more
A visitor to your website is more likely to watch a video than to read your content. This video can be linked back to your YouTube Channel as well. You will even get higher rankings for your website from the owner of YouTube: Google! Add a video to your website!
Polygon IDX Search Links
The saved search links on your website should be specialized to reflect your EXACT territory. Custom links for specific neighborhoods are a must in many markets! This can convey that you are truly the expert in their neighborhood! They can also be used to layout exact school district boundaries, a great tool for perspective families looking for the right home in a specific school district.
Your Marketing Plan
You have a marketing plan for Sellers, right? Why not be one of the less than 5% of agents that take the time to describe how they will market their Client's homes? It imbues a heightened sense of commitment and professionalism.Read more
Image quality can make or break your website. The images are the first element of a site that visitors notice. Make a good first impression!
#1 Use the RIGHT Images!
Use images to tell your story. The imagery on your site should match your personality and the services that you offer.
#2 Image Size Does Matter!
Make sure your images are in the correct format for your website and create the optimal balance between image quality and file size.
- If the resolution of an image is too high, it will take longer to load. It does not matter how high quality an image is on your site if visitors won’t wait long enough to view it.
- If the image resolution is too low, the images will distort and make your site look less professional overall.
#3 Name Your Images for Power!
Label your image files with names pertaining to the image subject matter. Fill out all of the fields that are prompted when uploading an image on your website. This will be three minutes of your time well spent. Proper descriptions will help search engines identify images on your website.
In this article we will go over the basics to win market share by targeting a specific geo-targeted market!
You Will Need the Followings:
A ‘Customized’Agent Website
Yes, you must actually open up your website and edit it. It needs to be able to accept standard Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. It’s OK; we’ll get through this together.
Creating geo targeted pages is one of the most important updates you can make to your website. A geo targeted page goes into detail about a geographical area, this could be a valley, city, zip code, tract or a neighborhood. For optimization purposes you want to write original content that is useful, knowledgeable and educational to your clients who are interested in finding a home in the specific area.
The second step is to update your meta tags (keywords, titles and description) with words and phrases that are relatable to the content that is on the page. If you are writing a page about Woodland Hills then you will want to have “Search Thousands of Woodland Hills Homes for Sale” or “Best Woodland Hills Real Estate Agent Sally Realtor for All Your Real Estate Needs.” or something similar to for the page title.
To keep people on pages for longer you want to have something for people to see visually, this is best done by a few pictures or a short video of the neighborhood. Images will give your clients a better feel of what the area really looks like where as videos on average will increase the duration people spend on that page by 800%.
The only thing you are missing now is how to get them to become a lead, the best way to do this is to have a custom IDX link that they can use either at the bottom of the page or linked somewhere within the information. If you tell them about how wonderful this neighborhood is they are going to want to see the homes that are available within that area. With RealtyTech’s IDX123 you have the ability to create links to your exact specification, by either city, zip code, tract codes or drawing on a map with our polygon tool!Read more
New Google Rules for Real Estate Agent Website Ranking: Panda 4.0
Recently Google launched their latest rules for website ranking, this one called Panda 4.0. As with Panda algorithms in the past, Panda 4.0 relies on unique content as a major reason your website will rank well.
With all else being equal, Agent websites with unique content do better than those that don’t have unique content. Panda 4.0 takes it further with an even greater emphasis on:
What is localization? It is the process of making your website focus on a niche market: A neighborhood, Housing tract, or even a small town, or part of a larger town or city.
Sites that generalize their expertise, such as tout they cover ‘All of Southern California’ will tend to be dropped lower in the search results, while sites that specialize in a smaller niche market or online farming area, if they contain unique content for that area, will do much better.
The first step is to put a stake in the sand with your ‘farm’ or best area you know the most about and win there. Create unique content for your area; add multiple articles on the area, on its benefits, its schools, its lifestyle, and its real estate market. Do that and your site will start to perform well? Yes!
So what is a Real Estate Agent or Real Estate Office to do it they have multiple areas of expertise? Do nothing? No. Start with the first real estate website, get results, then, and build more sites. That’s right, have multiple sites, each one concentrates on one of your key markets.
At RealtyTech Inc. we have many agents doing just that. More than one of our Clients have over 5 sites with us, each designed to win in a niche market, and it is working. Think about it, if you do the work yourself to update the sites, you are only paying between $39 and $59/month per site. If those targeted sites each bring in a, extra two deals per month, the return on your time and investment is awesome.
The key here is to start today to localize your first site, make it have a purpose, see the results and take it from there.Read more
This is RealtyTech’s short series of blogs on the absolute need for Realtors to market their websites LOCALLY and not generally.
In the past Realtors and Real Estate Companies could get one website, put their name, company logo and an IDX on it and it would actually show up high on search engines over a wide geographic area. There are even old legacy websites that rank well over multiple areas to this day simply because they are such old sites and Google has given them extra ranking just for being around so long. New sites do not fare so well.
Most people turn to the internet when looking for new homes in today’s real estate world. Real Estate Agents need to stay in the game with building their web presence.
From the National Association of Realtors, 96% of Americans are looking to buy their house on the internet. As realtors we need to understand the power of internet in generating the sales we need. The internet makes it easier for potential clients to find you and your properties. Having internet presence will allow all current and potential clients to get in touch with you and the information you have at anytime.
Here at RealtyTech, we’d like to imagine that the possibilities with your real estate business are endless. Part of making those dreams a reality reality is having a good solid marketing plan in place for your listings. Breaking it down even further, let’s concentrate on marketing your listings, and even further, PHOTOS!
While Sr. Director or Realtor.com I was given the task of going to to AOL Testing Centers in Dulles Virginia outside of Washington DC, (Back with AOL actually mattered), to test one thing and one thing only: How to get a Consumer to contact a Realtor based on that Realtors online presence only. AOL set up a six week study in Dulles and I got to see most of it. We had qualified home buyers sit in a room with one-way mirrors and had them look up real estate online.
Tracking and watching
We tracked and watched their actions to search online, what sites they found, what they did once they found a site, then watched the entire process of them finding a home and then actually contacting a Realtor. The study cost $260,000 back in 2002, but to me, it was priceless.
Need to get inspired with your next real estate blog topic? It can be challenging to come up with new and fresh ideas for your blog posts. Here are some ideas to get inspired:
50 Topics you could write about on your Real Estate Blog
1. Energy Saving Strategies
2. Avoiding Real Estate Scams- What to watch out for to ensure an authentic sale.
3. How to Close a Deal
4. Fun Local Facts/History
5. How to Avoid Electrical Fires
After discussing the top 10 things not to do on your website
last week, it is time to move onto these steps that will definitely give you a leg up on the competition. Most agents don’t put the time and effort into their website and therefore yield less than desirable results. By honing your skills and putting your focus here, you are going to make a better impression.
Things to do to create a successful website
1. Take Time for the Tagline
Think of creative taglines to make your site catchy but also relevant.
2. Use a Current Photo
One of the first things visitors look at when they visit your profile is your picture. Make sure it is an accurate representation of what you look like in order to give your customers an honest impression.
With all of the different options available to customize your Agent123 website you want to make sure that you present yourself the best way you can.
Often times, agents can fall into these traps thinking that they are making a good impression on potential customers. Don’t let yourself fall into these traps…
Most common mistakes agents are making on their websites
1) Outdated photos
It is best to use the most authentic photos possible. This means no high school photos or photos from ten years ago. Buyers are looking for an agent that they can trust when they make important purchase decisions. Updated photos are an extension of this honesty.
With all of the options available to marketing real estate, it is no surprise that some things could be getting overlooked. As the market sees uncertain times, it is becoming increasingly important to utilize marketing strategies to their fullest potential.
Getting leads and keeping them is the most important way to maintain a substantial client base.
Our IDX solution offers a free service called Listing Alerts that helps you stay in the clients’ eye every day. Essentially, when clients visit your page to view properties they will be prompted or required to sign up for the Listing Alerts.
According to studies, Real Estate Agents are increasing their spending on technology to gain business.
While we’re on the topic of online sharing, it’s becoming more apparent that the old school ways of offline real estate marketing is on its way out. A recent survey of over 2,000 real estate professionals
reveals that spending on technology and technology based marketing is growing among the most successful agents.
With the age of social networking
upon us, sharing internet content has become a staple of our lives. An interesting infographic here, a must-read article there… “sharing” really has become an incredible part of our current social culture. And while the internet is home to a seemingly endless supply of content, it’s become extremely important to know how you can use it correctly (read: without getting fined).