How's your Internet Marketing Foundation…

I think the Internet is simply passing Realtors by.

Realtors seem to fixate on shiny objects, they trip over dollars to pick up dimes, they love to think of themselves as tech savvy, which in Realtor speak  means “yeah, I have heard of xyz and have used it…some.  Unfortunately, the shiniest objects in the Internet marketing world are (at this very moment) social media apps, and they are absolutely NOT the best thing a realtor can do to create revenue on the Internet.

In fact, if not handled properly, (like a sharp knife) they are more likely to cut into your productivity, than increase it.

The current darlings of Realtor time-suck are Twitter, and Facebook… but there are dozens of other social media sites that can waste away your professional career as well. Now before you reach down to pick up that stone, or cry out “But I found YOU on twitter,” I am NOT saying that either one of these Social Media tools are not plausible forms of Internet Marketing. In fact, I believe that just like the proverbial sharp knife, they can be very useful tool, however,  most Realtors simply just don’t understand enough about Social Media Strategy to reap a decent  return on investment with Twitter or Facebook.  (Shameless plug for future social media strategy for Realtors post)

And  frankly, investing valuable time on social media before you have built an internet foundation, is silly.

To gain true results with Internet Marketing, a Realtor most build a solid Internet foundation.  This short post is dedicated to the 3 CORNERSTONES of any Realtors successful Internet Marketing campaign. Please be advised.  The following is NEITHER sparkly nor shiny and IS for the faint of heart.

1) A website that works-I constantly see Realtors investing huge amounts of time to the latest greatest Internet app to increase their Internet exposure or traffic.  But where are you driving that traffic. Realtors need as their base of operation a well written, properly executed website.  Notice I didn’t say pretty…effective is the key word.  Most web designers are just that… designers.  Ready to redesign your site?  Check this post for 11 items that every effective Real Estate website must have. Does your site contain them all?  It really should.
2)  A Prospect Database-How long have you been selling Real Estate?  How many people have you spoken to over the years you have served your community?  How many friends of friends have called you to ask a question about the market?  How many Internet leads have you just stopped working because they got cold… How many leads just didnt get worked to the level you would of liked when the market was just so busy..

Each and every contact you make from the very first day of your career should be in database.

Once you start creaeting this database, you will be shocked at how fast it grows, and more shockedhow many buyers and sellers it produces, when watered, nutured and PROPERLY tickled.   Don’t think Web Leads are good Leads?  Read this article to learn how to make them great.
3) Listing Syndication-What are you doing to post your listings all over the web…  Do you know that there are hundreds of sites that will host your listings with links back to your (properly written, effective) website?

Listing syndication is possibly the most effective and under utilized Internet Marketing tool to drive traffic and real leads to your website.

Take a look here for a list of 60 sites and their URLS that will post your listings and give you and your properties valuable exposure…
So , whether you are an Internet neophyte or a social media god or goddess, you must first ask yourself… Have I properly built my Internet foundation?  Do I have my cornerstones properly in place?  And can I maximize my efforts to build traffic and revenue through other avenues, by driving prospects to a sticky website…

11 steps to building a Real Estate Website that WORKS!

1) Properties for sale, Properties for sale, Properties for sale

A quick trip to adwords will prove to you that searchers are NOT searching for Realtors on the web, they are looking for property.  So if we KNOW that searchers are searching for property, why would be host a REALTOR web site, instead of a Real Estate Website…  Answer?  We Wouldn’t…  would we.

2) Not a good IDX, but a Great IDX

Your IDX is the most useful tool on your site. This tool allows your reader to search every property on the MLS, and then contact YOU to learn about it…  Great IDXs have super easy to use interfaces, with cool ways to sort porperties and terrain style maps…  My fave?  Diverse Solutions Why settle for a poor IDX, when the price difference between a poor IDX and a best of breed IDX is $20/month…

3)  Up to date VALUABLE market info

As a Realtor that most common question you get asked is most likely “Hows the Market Doing?”  How do you answer?  Here’s the proper answer..” Well currently it is ….., but this is a unique and exciting market and it turns on a dime.  Tell you what, if you want weekly, up-to-date market information emailed right to you, here’s my card, go to my website and subscribe. I send valuable info, weekly for no cost and no obligation…” Need the info to provide?  There is NO ONE better than Altos Research.

4) Custom Neighborhood Content

No, not cut and pasted, regurgitated drip.  Your personal opinions, and impressions describing what YOU love about each neighborhood.  If you give YOUR honest opinions of a neighborhood, and one of your readers feels a bond with your opinion, could they really NOT choose you as their Realtor?

5) Micro Searches

If one of your readers already know which neighborhood they would like to buy in, and you give them a link to only search and receive updates on that neighborhood, then you have offered a service that very few, if any, other web sites will offer them…

6) Interesting Dynamic Lists

Your readers love lists.  Create a list for the 5 least expensive properties in your area, 5 most expensive, 5 best values, (you can actually blog by phone from your weekly caravan and update a “This weeks breaking values” list.) Give your readers a reason to come back and check these lists, over, and over.

7) Your Voice

As a Realtor, your most important value is KNOWLEDGE.  Use your website as a tool to show your Realtors that you are the Defacto authority regarding Real Estate in your market.  Take quick notes of daily questions your clients are asking you, and post them to your web, with the answers you gave.  You own the knowledge your prospects need.  Give it away.

8 ) Subscription Button (RSS)

Give your readers the ability to subscribe to your pearls of wisdom.  Once they subscribe, they will get all your updated info, when you update it.

9) Video…

Add video to your website, Tips for first time homebuyers, Neighborhood walk arounds, Community events, etc. Video give your readers a chance to see your personality.

10) Contact Info, Contact Info, Contact Info…

Make your contact info SUPER Visable on your HOMEPAGE, (not a contact page) Make sure you list multiple ways to contact you. Phone, email, chat,etc.  When web readers want to speak to you, don’t make them wait.  Make sure they can fine the info easily, and make your self available by THEIR favorite method of Communication.

11) CALL TO ACTION

Tell you reader what YOU expect their next action to be. Sunscribe here!, For more detail call (XXX) XXX-XXXX, To receive weekly market reports, enter your email HERE!!  Tell them specifically what you want them to do and give them the opportunity to do it easily, and immediatly!!