How real estate websites work

Top 3 Questions We Get From Clients About How Real Estate Websites Work

 

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.

–Douglas Adams

 

In just the last 5 years, we’ve seen an evolution in how real estate websites work…and in the way your potential real estate clients find, research and decide to invest in your product or service.

 

The smart business plan for all real estate professionals is to have a strong online presence…at least it should be! Your website and social media platforms are two of the most revolutionary ways real estate professionals can get in front of more people…be accessible to more potential clients…and easily find a greater overall marketing reach than with any other form of advertising available today!

 

What does all this mean to you? Why can’t this all be simple(r)? AND…what does my real estate website really need to get me the business I really want?

 

Today’s marketing requires a good working knowledge on how real estate websites Really work.

 

It wasn’t too long ago that most real estate professionals relied heavily on farm mailers, newspaper advertisements and heck, even good ole fashioned door knocking! Seemed a simpler time with virtually everyone having a firm grasp on how to market themselves.

Now a days, we are told to learn the what and why of things like SEO, IDX, CRM, SEM and PPC! It’s all about inbound and outbound marketing, Content Syndication, Email Marketing, Drip Campaigns and Integrating all this into a Real Estate Website and Social Media Platform…easy squeezy!

So, let’s boil this down to a more digestible form of online marketing and what is manageable and realistic…and most importantly, what you should and should not expect from all your efforts!

 


— LEADS

 

>>  MYTH: You’ll Instantly get leads off or from your real estate website.

>>  FACT: Very few real estate agents want the low quality internet lead that some technology companies offer by simply charging you hundreds to thousands of dollars a month to run Google, Bing, and Craigslist Ads to your site.

 

This is the primary question we hear from virtually every real estate professional when it comes to understanding how real estate websites work.

 

“Online lead generation is no different than offline lead generation… It is about the Relationships!”

Meaning: You will get out of your Real Estate Website what you put in.

Any offline marketing campaign such as:

  • post cards
  • mailers
  • newspaper ads
  • door knocking
  • and cold calling

are all effective lead generation tools and widely proclaimed as the way you get clients…because it is!

The only difference between online lead generation and offline lead generation is your keyboard and monitor are the doors you knock on and the phone you use to make your cold calls…EVERYTHING ELSE IS THE SAME!

Anyone who has been in this business before the internet came and messed things up will gladly puff their chest and tell you, “The way we used to get leads was the phone book and door knocking our farm!” They may even recite the old adage they heard when they first started, “Here’s your desk, here’s your phone…good luck, you’re on your own.”

 

You still need to have credibility!

You still need to establish your authority and legitimacy!

You need to know what to say, how to say it and who to say it to!

You still need to invest time and money in the process.

You still need to Build Relationships.

There is no internet fairy that will magically sprinkle your website with “magic lead dust” and produce a smiling person holding a bag filled with hundred dollar bills ready to buy a home from you…sorry!

 

If You Want Your Real Estate Website To Generate High Quality Leads

That is what this blog is all about.  We try to lead by example.

Yesterday (12/2/14) our website / blog generated:

  • 4 contact us forms that were inquiring about purchasing a real estate website
  • 2 direct phone calls inquiring about purchasing a real estate website
  • 8 email subscribers that were interested in Real Estate Marketing of some kind
  • 856 people that visited the website

Are you interested in getting results like this?

The Simple Guide to Real Estate Blogging

Download Free Guide

We do not run Ads!  That is all from Content Marketing or Blogging and Social Media.  Building Relationships.  Not just selling.

 


— SEO

 

>>  MYTH: I need to be on page 1 of the Search Engines for the keyword “My City Real Estate”

>>  FACT: There are many different ways to get people to visit your website and ranking on page 1 for the word Real Estate is not realistic.

 

“You can be your own Google and drive your own traffic”

 

Suppose you are on page one of Google or any of the gobs of search engines out there, then what? You still need to be the authority and have the right scripts. The key is getting the appointment…not to be on page 1 of anything!

The greatest single search engine optimization (SEO) tool available is content syndication! In laymen’s terms, you need to BLOG!

On our site here, we have been adding:

At least 1 content rich, Keyword focused Blog post On a weekly basis Consistently for years.

We track how our traffic comes into our site, where it comes in from and how much traffic we get.

Without any shadow of a doubt, our business and the amount of unique page views increases a minimum of 55% within 24 to 48 hours after we post.

Add to that the cumulative increase in traffic as we measure week over week and year over year and we can easily account for all our traffic and how they got here. At last count, we can attribute 98.2% of all our real estate website design inquiries come directly from our website and online content syndication.

Are we saying that SEO does not matter?  No.  We get Gobs of Traffic from the search engines.

  • But getting organic traffic from the search engines is not going to happen overnight.
  • And most of the “techniques” that the “Experts” talk about are old school and do not work.
  • Just because a website is SEO optimized does not mean that it will rank… it is just 1 of a million different ranking factors.
  • Content Marketing or Blogging about your city and your listings consistently is the best “Technique” for getting organic search traffic.
  • You may never rank for the word “Your City Real Estate”
    • There are only 10 spots on the first page
    • The first 3 are taken by Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com
    • Then there is Redfin, Yelp, and Major Brokerages
    • There is usually 1 or 2 spots for you

All this said, do we rely on Google to place us on page 1…NO!   We are in control of our own traffic and best of all…this traffic is all organic meaning we didn’t pay to get in front of them and they already have a need for our services so we aren’t necessarily needing to convert them!

 


— IDX

 

>>  MYTH: I don’t need a home search on my site…folks will just go to one of those Megasites anyway!

>>  FACT: IDX or Internet Data Exchange allows your site to have the same info as those Megasites…on your site!

 

“The playing field is level when it comes to having the same amount of homes to search…it’s how you let the consumer see those homes that makes the difference!”

There is little doubt in our minds that your site is a far better business building platform with the integration of a powerful IDX home search. And, because there so many out there to choose from, one might think that one is as good as the rest. Let’s try to breakdown what you get…and what you don’t get with some of the IDX providers out there.

How is one IDX provider different from another?

 

The main difference we find early is how they allow homes to be displayed on your site.

The idea is to allow every single property that is currently for sale in your MLS to be displayed on your site for all to see. What’s key is working with an IDX provider that allow each of those properties to be display as a single page that is indexed by the search engines. Additional features are each property gets its own landing page filled with information about the home as well as access points for the consumer to learn about the community, schools, market trends, mortgage calculators, walk scores and most importantly, easy contact info to request a showing or to get more information from you about the property.

 

Don’t all IDX providers allow properties to be displayed on your site?

 

Yes and no.

There are a few out there that will use iframe technology that simply allows a home search to be displayed on your site through their site. Iframing is hard for the search engines to see and in some cases, search engines can’t see the page at all and thusly will not index it.

If I make people register their email address and name after only seeing a few homes, I can ‘capture more leads!’

 

This is not always true.

Sure, you may see an increase in registrations but that doesn’t mean these folks are by any means a lead. Often times, these folks will simply go to one of the those megasites that do not require you to register to look at houses.

We do not recommend that you rely on your IDX to capture your leads.

“An increase in registrations does not mean an increase in leads”

Having a forced registration component on your home search might get more folks to give you their name and email…but, how much time do you want to spend calling and calling and calling these folks?

There are literally thousands of real estate websites at the consumers finger tips and you can bet they’re going to find the one that does not force them to register their valuable information just for the luxury of searching for a home on your site.

The idea and the value of a home search on your real estate website is to get them to the information they want and at the same time offering them information they didn’t know they needed. Offering additional home buying and selling info is how you can best convey your legitimacy, credibility and authority…

 

How We Recommend You Collect Your Leads?

  • Ebooks –
  • FREE Home Valuation –
  • First Time Home Buyers Package –
  • CD’s/DVD’s on the Home Selling Process –
  • Link to your Lenders Online Loan Application –
  • Neighborhood and Community Pages –
  • Links to Local Resources –
  • Email Listing Alerts –
  • Great Articles and Blog Content –
  • FREE Homebuyer Workshops –
  • Blog Subscriptions
  • Contact Us Page

The idea here is to get your real estate website to become less about you and more about them. Turn it into a “White Board” of information and educational pieces that allows the visitor to build a relationship with you and a reason to stick around and most importantly…a reason to come back.

 

Guest Post By:

Patrick Flynn

Business Development Manager – Jason

p: 206.228.1900

e: mywebguypat@gmail.com

Bio: Patrick Flynn is a Certified Real Estate Instructor, a licensed Broker since 1997 and an author of 5 separate CE Clock Hour classes on the fundamentals of Social Media and Online Marketing!

By |2014-12-03T14:30:43+00:00December 3rd, 2014|

About the Author:

Long time Real Estate Broker, Certified Real Estate Instructor and Social Media Junkie! BUSINESS: Chief Relationship Builder, Real Estate Website Designer & Certified Real Estate Instructor specializing in Social Media and Online Marketing Classroom instruction for Real Estate Brokers, small business owners and anyone looking to learn the power of Social Media, Online and Inbound Marketing. SOCIAL: #HawksFan, #MarinersFan and all things #Seattle. CONTACT: Direct line 206-228-1900 | Contact Me

2 Comments

  1. Eddie Yan December 8, 2014 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Great post, Patrick. The amount of work that a Realtor needs to do remains the same, it’s just the focus if that work shifts, when you have your own website. I couldn’t imagine promoting my properties without the picture and video capabilities I have with online marketing, but you still have to connect to your own prospect communities, whether you are marketing on or offline.

    • Patrick Flynn December 9, 2014 at 7:14 am - Reply

      Appreciate that Eddie and great point on you still needing to do the work. Expecting your website to automatically generate leads without doing the work is the biggest myth out there!

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