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Add Membership Features to Your Website to Attract More Visitors

December 04 2012

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The best thing that ever happened for the consumer that wanted information about the real estate market was the internet. Information is free and available EVERYWHERE.

But one of the worst things that happened (in my not so humble opinion) for the real estate professional was that their information was now everywhere, for free, putting them in a weaker position than they originally were before the dawn of the internet.

I do not necessarily look at this as a killer, but rather a challenge. A challenge to rise above, create content that the Zillows, Trulias and public MLS websites cannot compete with, while at the same time offering the jaded consumer something that they will not only want, but will be willing to sign up for. What is this you ask? It's quite simple.

ALL agents need to have a members only section on their real estate website.

Members only sections on websites build an air of importance. Having one will make people want to engage with you, while also giving you some personal information about themselves (e.g. name, email, phone, etc.) that you can use for future marketing endeavors. The trick becomes trying to figure out what is compelling enough to put in those members only sections of websites. You're in luck though, as I have some tips for you to craft your own members only section into one that everyone will want to sign up to be a part of.

First though, a "do not" that you should consider:

Do not make someone sign up to search the MLS, and do not make them sign up after a certain number of home searches.

Look, I get it. You want people to put some skin in the game. This though, is the worst possible place to ask for said skin. If there are dozens, if not hundreds, of sites in your local marketplace that offer this information for free, what will keep a website visitor from thinking, "Jerk!" and then just move on to the next site? You do not want this.

Things to consider putting in a members section of your site:

1) Exclusive and off-market listings

Almost every successful agent I know of has exclusive or off-market listings that are either currently available or coming up. In fact, many of the super agents we do marketing for use their database and social circles to regularly sell property, at top dollar, before it ever actually hits the market.

If you keep such a portfolio of properties, this is a perfect place to put them. If you don't have such a cache of properties, but someone in your office might, ask them if you might be able to utilize those listings. They most likely will agree, given that they are not publicly accessible, and at the end of the day, you would be helping them.

2) Put up a Pre-Listing Presentation video

One thing I think many agents overlook is what I call a "pre-listing" presentation. If you have a listing presentation scheduled with a homeowner, why not build their anticipation of meeting you? Give them a short, compelling video about all the reasons you are different than other agents in their marketplace and how that will benefit them.

Obviously, this isn't something you want available to anyone, as you wouldn't want your competition to learn your tricks of the trade, but it certainly is some compelling content to make a members only section of your site even more valuable.

3) Listing Alert is no longer special. Getting advance notice of properties you learn about from colleagues, though, is true insider info

Every real estate website does (or should) have the ability for visitors to sign up for a listing alert. Those are properties that are already on the market that everyone will know about. What if you had a special set of postings on your blog that talked about properties you know of (investment or otherwise) that will be coming on the market? You could give people advance notice and allow them to be the first to jump at these opportunities with you.

As they say with many things in life, "It's who you know." In this case, this is also true.

Those are just a few ideas that will help you get your members section of your website going. The truth is, though, that there are many, many ways you can set up a section like this.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blogLeading Agent blog.