As I’m out in the field meeting with Real Estate Agents and Mortgage Lenders, they all are starting to realize that the center of their business universe is their website. When you need to solve a problem or answer a question…where do you go? Have a Real Estate or Mortgage dilemma or concern…where do you go? Google, Yahoo, Bing, and YouTube right? This is also where over 90% of consumers go start their home buying or selling search. Yes, they may call you to list their home or sell them a home but BEFORE they do that…they go to the Internet. As Realtors who have been in the business or Realtors new to the business get up to speed on how business is done they want to know…”what should I use for my Real Estate website?” Good question:
To say that not all websites are the same is a massive understatement. The issue is that Realtors who are new to the business or are catching up to technology are not in the website game. They don’t know what website to get or what they should do…and that’s not their fault. Your job is to help people buy and sell homes not learn all about SEO and everything there is to know about the Internet. Hence, why they go with the free company given website or something from another company where they pay $200 a month to essentially “rent space” on the Internet. The problem you ask? Well, the company site though it has value is not yours. You don’t own the site so if your entire online business is located here and you decide to move companies, your site and your online business is gone, vanished…poof! Also, many sites are built on a “Template.” Think of it as a “copy of a copy.” Google has no way of seeing your site aesthetically. It can only see it as code, content, keywords, video, and meta descriptions. What that means is how “nice it looks” doesn’t matter…its the content that is inside. “Content” is how people find me on this site…think about this…how do they find you?
My suggestion is you get a self hosted wordpress website. WordPress is quickly becoming the industry standard in Real Estate websites. They are easy to use and have ability to get you “found online” easy and allow you to add content such as blogs, videos, and other things at your own will…and you also own these websites. This allows your business to trancend should anything ever happen and you move Real Estate brokerages. It puts you in control of the ship that is your Real Estate website…not someone else who is far away not returning your calls or emails. Here are some quick pro’s and con’s to WordPress vs other website platforms:
Pro: Free Site–Little Upkeep–Easy to use–did I mention free?
Cons: You don’t own it–Google can’t find it–template site–you don’t control your own destiny
Pro: Easy to use–Found easily by search engines–supports video–you OWN IT–you control everything–no monthly fee–plugins–SEO friendly
Cons: Learning curve–take time to do things yourself–initial upfront cost.
What it Does Best
VIDEO!! I hope that a goal of yours in 2013 is to start using video in your Real Estate business. Video is the fastest way to shorten your sales cycle and de-commoditize you in a sea of “Real Estate Vanilla.” Imagine…this video was a listing you currently have, or any other value added message you wanted to convey to your audience.
Do you think this video helped this agent sell his home faster? I’m sure it did. See how WordPress supports video well and it took me 20 seconds to pull that video off YouTube and insert it into this blog. What a powerful way to convey a message and do what other agents AREN’T doing.
Need a new Real Estate website or you have a WordPress site but don’t know how to get the most out of it? That is where I come in. I will sit down and walk you through a blog post just like this one, and show you HOW to write the conent, insert pictures and videos, and keyword your blog so that it can be found online by the search engines.
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