I am just getting into real estate and am working/planning my entry into the market here. How much time/effort/money are you putting in your websites if you have one at all?
I spent some time today scrolling through many of the local agents info pages looking to see what they are doing. Many don't have a website at all, most just have a very basic website with no real content and just a handful are miles above the rest with high quality sites.
I know some agents are still doing very well without a site but all of the agents with high quality sites seem to be killing it.
As a newbie I would love to know what more experienced agents here are doing?
Thanks you any info!
@Skip Gilliam Your website is one of the first places where prospects will go to check you out, so yes, you need a decent website.
At a minimum it should have an IDX feed with robust search capability, an "About Me", "Contact Me", client testimonials and some blog posts.
I use Agent Marketing. In the past, I used BoomTown, which had a GREAT website but was hyper expensive. WebsiteBox is very inexpensive but I thought the website itself was just OK.
Hopefully you have enough reserves set aside to start your business.
Many start on a shoestring budget.
It takes money commercial or residential to reinvest and keep up with changes in the industry and stay on the forefront of technology. Those seen as leaders or (in the know) tend to get more business. It's a perceived reality thing with consumers whether commercial or residential.
A website is often a (first look) for consumers. I own my website but also have spent money on it year after year. I do not like websites where you pay a monthly fee. They give you basic box stuff and sell to the masses. You can choose to be different out there and to do that you need a custom design.
Brokers and agents tend to get the (shiny object syndrome) and switch from website company to website company paying monthly fees.
Real Estate is a very referral and relationship based business. So most agents who are not actively marketing with web and social media are probably only living off their sphere of influence.
Almost every seller (not buyers so much) will want to make sure that they are going into business with someone who is established and professional. Most first impressions happen by someone visiting your website. Personally I think your website and Branding should be your highest priority to ensure that a potential seller doesn’t write you off as an unprofessional agent.
Thanks for the replies
Joel I assum
Joel and Charlie
In your experience how are your sites doing capturing leads? Are people contacting you as they visit your websites from a google search of local realtors, or is it still mainly referral business and then they look you up after?
I am fortunate to be in a good financial position starting out and will be able to spend a little $ upfront, hoping that will give me a boost starting out.
What ever you start with, will change. Except perhaps your Domain name and Brand.
You can add a lead capture function later. As well as maps, Blog feed, ...
I think Joel has the right idea. and keeping it fresh year to year is just smart.
@Joel Owens I have not poked at internet marketing in over 8 years. Do you, or anyone have some pointers on what skills a web designer should bring to a real-estate website? I mean SEO for any site is a must. nut what else?
If you are affiliated with a name brokerage. You post your photo added a little content and that is all you need. However, you want to stand out then you need to have a customized site, SEO expert. It is the content listings that matters. In RE it is still human contact not virtual content that gets the business. Having said that if you are in a resort, vacation, or remote rural neighborhood that a virtual presence is important.
My advice may be different than others, but here it is. When you're first starting out, most of your business will come from your "sphere of influence" (friends and family). Work this set of leads hard. But, for the most part, they won't care what your website looks like or if you even have one. The rest of that story is that leads that come in from a website (even a good one) are harder to convert if you have no other warm connection to them. Those people are also on the websites from 12 other Realtors in town.
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