Do this for me: think of your website not as a piece of technology or a fancy, digital brochure, but as an actual employee. Something that can be productive, that can deliver results just like a real person.
The beauty, of course, is that you don’t have to pay it overtime or make sure it’s coming into the office on time. And another attractive part of this scenario is this: your website really can produce for you – if you know how to make it.
I’ve recruited a top national expert on websites and technology to do exactly that: Brad Carroll. As the owner of Dakno Marketing, Brad couples his expertise in online marketing technology with a keen understanding of real estate to turn websites into productive tools for Realtors.
I asked Brad a few questions about how Realtors can make their websites more fruitful.
Bob: How can Realtors make their websites work for them – to generate leads and sales?
Brad: Every agent would love to rank No. 1 in Google for real estate in their city. The reality is that few agents can compete with big brokerages and national brands. So instead of competing, change the rules. Instead of working towards being No. 1 for the major city keywords, focus on the hyper local. Identify the top neighborhoods or condos in your area and become the expert on those neighborhoods or condos. It’s much easier to rank for hyper local keywords. This will soon give you lots of quality traffic to your site. Not only is there less competition for these localized keywords, but the visitors are more qualified. After all, someone searching for a specific neighborhood is a more qualified buyer than someone just starting their search using generic keywords. The final step is to create specific calls to action related to these neighborhoods and condos. This can be as simple as a button that says, ‘Be Instantly Notified of New Listings in Neighborhood Name – Sign Up Now!’ This is just one example of a proven lead generating technique.
Bob: What do Realtors need to understand about their websites today as opposed to, say, 10 years ago?
Brad: Today, simply having a website isn’t good enough. It’s only one part in your entire online marketing strategy. By focusing on your overall online marketing, you can use social media, search engine optimization, pay-per-click and, of course, your website to generate more leads and help ensure past clients think of you first when it comes time to buy or sell a home. Unfortunately, navigating the online waters alone can be tricky. So just like I would never suggest a homeowner buy or sell a home without a knowledgeable real estate professional, it’s also critical to find a strategic marketing partner who understands online marketing techniques and how those techniques relate to real estate.
Bob: What mistakes are Realtors making with their websites now?
Brad: Not giving site visitors what they want. Most agents’ websites are typically overrun with lots of low quality offers and generic content. Now look at national real estate sites such as Trulia, Zillow, RE/MAX and realtor.com. What do they have in common? Search is front and center. They know the primary reason people visit real estate websites is to search for homes. Build a website that gives visitors exactly what they want. For buyers, it’s typically a home search. For sellers, they want to know how much their home is worth. Putting this front and center on your website not only meets the needs of the site visitors, but gives you two strong lead generating calls to action. A win-win for everyone!
How’s your website working for you? Is it outdated? Is it living up to its potential? What can you do today to make it work more for you? Please send any comments or questions you have to [email protected] or
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential broker or agent’s existing practice.