When it comes to web marketing, there are a few common mistakes many real estate agents repeatedly make. More often than not, real estate agents who invest in a professional web site and search engine marketing automatically assume leads will start pouring in the second your site goes live.
But just like anything in business, web marketing takes time, a lot of hard work, and even more patience. And along with that, agents who genuinely take web marketing seriously should also take notice of three simple tips:
Focus your web site on buyer needs
Yes, visitors to your real estate web site care about whom you are, your specific expertise in real estate, and your past success with real estate in your market; but not right away. It’s fair to say most visitors coming to your real estate web site are searching for a home or condo, right?
So focus your web site on including unique search features, quality content about your area, and great blog posts about the local market, upcoming events, etc. Nine times out of ten, visitors will call you only after they’ve found what they’re looking for—not before. Give prospective home buyers what they want, rather than a biography about who you are.
Remember, it’s not all about lead generation
For most agents, a real estate web site is all about one thing: leads, leads, leads. And rightfully so; what’s the point to having a web site if you’re not using it to generate business? But once you’re getting leads, make sure to follow up on each inquiry in a timely fashion.
Lead management is equally as important as lead generation. On one hand, if you’re too busy to follow up with every single lead, the upside is that you’re likely making money. But failing to follow up with every lead coming into your site can have negative consequences long-term. If a serious buyer inquired about a property they saw on your web site and you never initiate contact, do you really think they’ll come back to you for future real estate needs?
Your strategy should be a combination of social media, content, and blogging; not just one or the other
One question we often get from real estate agents is whether to focus more on social media, frequent blog posting, or quality content on their site. And the simple answer is that you should be spending an equal amount of time on each. In actuality, each of these items should be intertwined. Sharing web content and blog posts on your social media accounts should build up your social following, but users are much more likely to follow you if they see your web site has quality content, photos, and has a great user-friendly feel.
Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to web marketing, but following these guidelines is certainly a good start. Once you have this down, then it’s time to start thinking about more advanced issues such as how to get a better ranking for various search terms with all the major search engines. But that's another topic for another day.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working in the market research sector and authoring published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and co-owns Real Estate Web Creation with his partner, Ted Guarnero, a 25+ year real estate veteran.