For years, real estate agents have relied on direct mail marketing to generate business. Direct mail for real estate is still a hugely valuable tool, but the internet has become an equally critical tool that can supplement direct mail marketing.
As a real estate agent, the internet can become one of your most powerful tools. In this digital age, having an online presence is all but a must for anyone who runs their own business or who relies on word-of-mouth for customers. An effective website can instantly connect you to potential buyers and sellers, but it can also serve as a central location for all your current listings.
While many business owners shudder at the thought of website costs, the good news is creating and hosting your own website is easier and cheaper than ever.
Here’s why having a website is so valuable for a real estate agent, and how to create one that will drive your business.
Creates a Center Hub for all Marketing
In the past, direct mail for real estate agents meant that potential clients had to call during business hours just to get information about what services the agent can offer. Now, a direct mail piece can direct prospective clients to a website where they can learn more about a real estate agent, what sort of listings are available, and whether the agent is the best person for their needs.
Potential clients are much more likely to act if they know they can get information immediately, rather than putting a mail piece to the side and waiting until business hours to make a phone call. Potential clients can message you directly from their website. This streamlines the process and minimizes the number of phone calls your office fields, freeing you up to concentrate on other duties.
For real estate agents, name recognition can be key to a successful business. A website can help build your name and brand by ensuring that you have a constant presence. Potential clients can log on any time of the day or night and get a sense of who you are and what you offer.
You can host not just current listings, but also a portfolio of the homes you’ve already helped buy and sell. And don’t forget about the power of a good review. A website can feature reviews that will allow past clients to share their experiences.
Of course, it’s more than just getting your name and experience out there. A website can showcase your industry expertise to potential clients. One great way to do this is to host a blog on your website which you can regularly update with your thoughts and insights on topics relevant to real estate. Homebuyers and sellers are looking for someone who knows the industry, and a blog demonstrating that you’re on the pulse of current trends in the housing market can give you a leg up over competitors.
Supplements Social Media
Similarly, a website can be a great supplement to any social media presence you have. After all, a Facebook page will only tell potential customers half the story. Being able to direct clients to a website increases your credibility and offers a better sense of what you can offer. Tools like Adwords can also easily drive traffic to your website.
Above all, your website should tell prospective customers who you are and what you’re all about. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and even have some fun with it. An “About Me” page can be a great way for people to get to know you. You can show off how much you know about the area you serve by listing your favorite local restaurants or places to hang out. Ultimately, it’s all about deciding how you want to present yourself and then building your brand.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you have a website, you can also harness the power of SEO, or search engine optimization. Quite simply, SEO helps drive traffic to your website by enhancing its visibility in search results. An effective search engine optimization strategy can drive local customers straight to you. A blog can also be a powerful SEO tool. By hosting articles and posts with keywords relevant to your area, clients can easily find you online.
A recent study found that 96% of people turn to the internet to buy their house. This means that, quite simply, potential clients expect a real estate agent to have an online presence. We’re living in a digital age, and not having a website can pose a significant disadvantage to real estate agents. After all, why would a client spend time trying to find out how to contact you if another real estate agent is easily accessible online? A website tells people that you’re open for business and available whenever, wherever.
When you decide to build your website, the best place to start is to determine what you what the site to accomplish. Decide what your goals are for your website and build a strategy that will help you accomplish them. At the beginning of your career, it may be that you want your site to focus on getting your name out and building a brand. As you become more experienced, you can showcase your experience and specific expertise.
As a real estate agent, you are very much your own brand, and a good brand relies on a solid online presence. There are dozens of real estate agents a person could turn to when they decide to buy or sell a home. A website is the quickest and easiest way to make sure that the person they’re turning to is you.