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Posts Tagged ‘agent website tips’

As a REALTOR®,  much of your time is spent marketing your services to home buyers and sellers. Many real estate agents and brokers spend thousands of dollars each year to attract potential clients including social media, pay-per-click advertising, revamping your Web site and print media. Behind all of your marketing efforts stands your domain name.

Your domain name is your ultimate Internet brand. That being said, I frequently get calls from agents and brokers with issues of their domain name expiring and they have no idea where it is registered or do not know what their username and passwords are.  Recently, a broker phoned me to tell me that someone took her domain name and was unaware that it had expired nearly 6 months ago. She recently spent $2,500 on a marketing campaign that revolved around her name and was deeply upset that her name is no longer hers.

Another agent contacted me to tell me that they had another party register their domain name and learned that the company is no longer in business.

Here are some basic helpful tips:

  1. When registering your domain name make sure that you keep all records including where it is registered and also your username and password so that you.
  2. Make sure that you are the administrative contact so that you can renew and modify your name.
  3. Make sure your contact information is up-do-date with your registrar including your email address, home or business address, and phone number as most registrars will send you a renewal notice prior to domain expiration.
  4. To obtain information about your domain name and registrar please visit http://www.internic.net

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Even with the popularity of Social Media as a way to get noticed by home-buyers and sellers, many real estate agents still overlook some simple, yet effective ways to drive traffic to their Web site and Social Media Sites.

  • Your Voice Mail  – I call many agents only to get a voice mail message with no mention of visiting their Web site for additional information. By announcing your Web address, it encourages potential clients to visit your site for up-to-date listings information as well as other valuable resources.
  • Sign Riders  – Be sure to include your Web address on all sign riders. Quite often potential buyers will take a weekend drive to see what is available. Placing your Web address on the sign is an easy way to for the potential buyer to visit your site for more information.
  • Marketing Materials  – Your Web Address must be placed on all property brochures.
  • Email Signatures – This is my favorite. Be sure to include your social media icons and Web address in your email signature. I have found that adding LinkedIn to your signature is a plus as it shows your experience and also any testimonials you have received. By placing these icons to your signature it also invites potential clients, past clients, friends and colleagues to connect with you.

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HouseLogic, NAR’s new consumer based site, gives consumers a wealth a valuable information for home owners to increase or maintain the value of their home. Consumers get can gain insight on many home improvement ideas as well as financial information such as taxes and insurance information.

The National Association of  REALTORS® created HouseLogic to help Real Estate consumers be more informed as it will help to stabilize and possibly increase the value of the housing market.

How can HouseLogic help an agent or broker?  HouseLogic allows REALTORS®  to use its content on your site. This will add more value to your site as you are able to keep in contact with your clients and customers. To use the content simply go to  REALTOR® Content Resource. You can easily integrate this content to your agent or broker Web site as well as your blog site or even your newsletters. Using the content also has another benefit as it will show your clients you are a housing expert.

Every REALTOR’S® Web Site should not only provide consumers the ability to search listings, it should also provide  rich content to educate potential home buyers and home sellers and attract new potential clients.  Remember, your Web site is a tool for consumers. Adding HouseLogic content to your Web site  is another great way to assist you in your branding efforts.

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Many homeowners are crying for help as they have seen their American dream decline in value coupled with the fact that many people have lost their jobs and are having trouble meeting their monthly mortgage payments. What choices do these homeowners have?  Where can they find a real estate agent who can explain the many options available to them to either stay in their home or to engage in a short sale rather than foreclose. Better yet, where can they find invaluable information relating to the many programs available to them? The answer is your Website.

Your Website is the key to providing important information that can educate homeowners. In your site you can talk about short sales and the benefits of engaging in a short sale rather than foreclosing. Talk about all the pros and cons and the steps necessary to do this.  As a service your Website can also talk about the many programs has to offer, such as the” Making Your Home Affordable Program”.

Being that many homeowners are not up to speed on the definitions of certain words relating to foreclosure or short sales, you can provide a glossary of terms like  Deed in lieu. Also give examples of how a deed in lieu is better than foreclosing.

I have seen so many homeowners looking for this type information. People will generally use Google as a means of finding resources. For these homeowners to find you and your site, you need to make sure that you have provided this content.

Try to keep you content constantly updated with new programs and resources that are available. By doing this you will find that not only are you branding yourself as source of information, you will also possibly see better search engine rankings.

RE/Advantage’s flag-ship product, “Agent Central Max” offers real estate agents and brokers with the tools necessary to maintain and update their Website.

When you log in to Agent Central Max, you can use the content editor to frequently update your services.  Again, keeping your information updated frequently, is important as it will also keep existing visitors  coming back to your Website. Agent Central Max also has a Document Manager that will allow to upload any related articles that may be useful to the consumer. If you want to add updated news and events you can enter this information in the News Manager of Agent Central Max . There are so many useful tools available in Agent Central Max that can help you achieve success as an Real Estate Agent or Broker. To learn more about Agent Central Max please contact us at 877-791-4825.

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A lot of REALTORS® carry many email addresses. Most of the time, they normally use an address that is given to them or an address that they have used from an account such as AOL.

Having the proper email address for your real estate career is vital to your branding efforts. Your email address should define your business. Surprisingly, many REALTORS® don’t manage their address properly and perhaps you should re-think what address suits your marketing efforts.

I am not a REALTOR®, but in my own business as a marketing professional to REALTORS®, I also have many addresses. Many of these addresses are not used properly in my field of business.

I have listed some of the below:

  • Bennie.henderson@gmail.com
  • bhenderson@njaccess.com
  • bhenderson@njaccess.net
  • bhenderson33@aol.com
  • bhenderson@gsmicro.com
  • bhenderson@readvantage.com

I have learned a lot about what email addresses work best for my branding efforts. My goal is that you can control help you learn which email address will define your business.

A while ago, I used an email address was provided by an ISP years ago bhenderson@outofbusiness.com. YEP, you got it…Out of business! So, I lost my email service and also had to rebuild my contact list through another provider.

Another pitfall was that I used an address that I obtained years ago through a company that I worked at. It looked great as I had this big company name behind my email address. But when I left my company to pursue other companies… Guess what happened? YEP… You got it; I again had to rebuild my contact list.  As a REALTOR®, you may have a RE/MAX address then decide your going to move to CENTURY 21 or better yet, you may work for a Broker that sells and changes their name.

Another problem might be when you obtain an email address from one of your vendors. For example, myname@topproducer.com.  Sounds great, correct? Because even though the name is not your company name it still makes you look like a top Real Estate Producer. The pitfall is when you decide to cancel your service and now you are back to square one.

I do have 2 great email accounts that I use and have been with me since. I created a Gmail account for all my personal emails that I share with friends and family. I really like their services as well. As for my business, I found that it was best to register my own domain name so that I have total control over my business email, rather than using another email provider. In this case, bhenderson@readvantage.com was the best solution. It also defines the business that I service. If you are a new agent or even a seasoned one, I recommend using a real estate nickname.

If you are looking to register a domain name, I have had the best success with godaddy.com. As your real estate career grows you can add email addresses to the domain name that you have registered. For example:

  • sales@readvantage.com
  • info@readvantage.com

If you need assistance in finding the right domain name and setting up email for your business, please call us as we can suggest what may work best for you.

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Many real estate agents always ask me for some basic Dos and Don’t s when they want to initially build their real estate web presence. I have compiled some of my basics and am sharing them with you. Remember, in today’s competitive real estate market, its important to stand out.

Again, these are some basic helpful tips:

  • Do make your agent website home page simple with links to your important informational pages prominently marked and positioned so they appear on the very first screen.
  • Do Integrate IDX to your web site, as you will showcase thousands of listings branding your site as a source for all real estate in your area.
  • Do use pictures to create warmth and emotion, but don’t overdo it and be sure that the pictures are formatted so they do not take a long time to download.  They should not be more than 10 to 15K at the most. Don’t use too many of them on any one page.
  • Do make sure that you and your web site developer understand the trouble you can get into if neither of you is aware of the basic necessity to protect yourself with all the disclosures required by your broker, your professional organizations (such as your state and local associations of REALTORS®).
  • Do develop an individual look for your site that is consistent throughout.  Have a simple consistent navigation scheme. Contrary to belief most prospects are not highly sophisticated on the Internet
  • Do learn more about blogging as it will provide another way of communicating with potential buyers and sellers
  • Do establish your very own Facebook profile and invite your friends and groups to see your Web site.
  • Don’t ‘borrow’ material from other sites even if they are public domain because it will be obvious that you have done so and, trust us, you don’t want to mess with copyright law.
  • Don’t use very small text.  If text is formatted smaller than 10 point (this is 10 point) it may appear miniscule
  • Don’t make the first page your ‘resume’ page.  Make the resume a secondary page that your prospect can choose to examine or ignore. Remember that the object of your site is to sell a prospect the idea of contacting you for more information –not to impress the world with your accomplishments.
  • Don’t put a site on the Internet unless you plan to do it very well. Having a plain vanilla, flyer type page that really doesn’t offer much of value, will actually diminish your prestige as a real estate professional.
  • Don’t build a site unless you plan on marketing it!!!!!!!!!
  • Don’t Have a ‘build it and they will come’ approach. Just because you paid to have a real estate agent website designed by a ‘professional’ company does not mean you will make any money from your site.
  • Don’t The site design has too many links. Many agents try to put a zillion links on their site in hopes of giving the customer a choice to click on something that might interest them. This is a HUGE mistake
  • Don’t have a ‘flyer’ type page with slogans, mission statements and repeated exclamation points.  They tell the prospect you are offering nothing but hype.
  • Don’t load your Home Page up with pictures and animations that don’t contribute to advancing your prospect’s interest.  You have about 10 seconds to capture the browser’s attention before they click on their ‘back’ button and try the next site on their list.  All of these elements slow down the download process of your home page

Our team at RE/Advantage can guide you when developing your Web presence. It is very confusing to most agents when they begin as they have no idea where to start or who to turn to when getting a Web site.  Give us a call or contact us if you need some good advise.

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