We all know that everyone goes to websites when they are checking out a new business. Unfortunately, a lot of agents don’t really have a strong online presence, or they rely on their broker’s website. The problem with relying solely on your broker’s website is that their site is not going to help you reach your sphere or stand out from the crowd. If you really want to up your online game, you should have multiple websites. Keep your broker’s site, of course, and also have a site for your existing sphere to get your personalized message. Take it a step further and add sites for prospecting. Fortunately, you don’t have to be tech savvy these days to set up great looking websites or to keep them active. Use this guide to help you along.
Find a service to help you. There are a ton of services that offer website design and hosting at very reasonable prices. Search for website design and hosting or check out well-known services like SquareSpace, Wix, Bluehost, or Weebly. They offer simple tools to get you started.
Be mobile. No matter how many sites you have, the one critical factor must be that it looks good and works well on every device. This is called having a responsive website. That means that no matter if your client is looking online through a computer, phone, or tablet, the site is easy to use and makes sense. You want to make sure that anyone who goes to your site has a good experience and is left with a positive impression. First impressions matter. They won’t be back if the website is clunky.
Make it easy to get in touch. Put your contact info on every page of your website. Include a clear Contact Us page. Be consistent and friendly.
Be easy to find. Include content in your website that make it easy for search engines like Google and Bing to find you. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It sounds tricky, but it’s really not to add keywords to your site if you keep your target market in mind. Think of terms that would be attractive to them, including the name of your town, school district, popular neighborhoods or attractions near you, or popular features that are found in your listings.
Be useful. Make sure you update listing information and add new content at least once every week. Offer online calculators that help figure out monthly payments. Offer a local calendar of events and invite your clients to participate. Include maps of local features like school zones, parks, restaurants or bike trails.
Blog. Create a blog to answer common questions and offer advice. Use it to present a local monthly market report (note: if you don’t have the data, call us and we’ll be happy to send it to you.) Ask local businesses or your entrepreneur clients if they want to offer a guest blog. It helps them get the word out about their business and gives you fresh content. Not all of the content you post must be your own. You can publish other’s blogs as long as you give the author credit and include a link. Make sure to share your blog on social media and in email campaigns so you know it is being seen and read by your sphere.
Create online guides or ebooks for prospecting. Create a short ebook that offers tips for buyers, sellers, and homeowners. For instance, think about topics like “Top Fall Maintenance Tips” or “Secrets of Successful Staging.” Create a separate website that hosts these guides and make sure to require prospects to provide an email address to access the full content.
Make it visually appealing. Include pictures from around your town, including landmarks, familiar sites, festivals, or annual events. Include original art to make your brand stand out. Not the creative type? Sites like Canva and BeFunky offer user-friendly graphic design tools to create interesting icons and images with ease.
Use Video. Marketing with video can go way beyond property tours. Showcase your local knowledge, tell prospects about your company, and yes, show off listings. But you can also create short, funny videos that riff on popular culture. Some agents have been known to make parody videos out of popular songs, or offer a light-hearted look at current events or review a new local restaurant. Keep them short and shareable.
Include an e-mail opt-in. Offer to send market updates, newsletters, or monthly tips for homeowners, for example, and ask people to opt-in. This will help you build your base for your drip campaigns (we’ll get to drip campaigns in an upcoming blog).
Add sharing. Most website builders will let you add the ability to share your site or blog to Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social sites and by e-mail. Make sure to use them. Sharing content is critical for generating traffic and building online recognition.
Include reviews. You earned a great review from a client, so show it off! Solicit testimonials from happy customers and include them on your site. They matter.
Remember, a successful website will be mobile, relevant and updated. Start small by incorporating a few of these tips and build up to a full site as you get more comfortable with your online presence. Block out a little time every week to make certain your site is refreshed and visually appealing. You’ll be amazed at how much difference a great website makes.