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Best of 2013: 6 Web Properties You Need to Own Now

December 23 2013

We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down the most popular articles of the year. This article was posted back in January and is #7 in our countdown. See #8 here.

stoplight mirrorYou know all about real estate, but what do you know about digital property? When it comes to building an effective internet presence, there are a handful of online "places" that you must leverage.

Your "web properties" are online points of contact, like websites, blogs, and social media profiles. In our overview below, we list the different types of property you need, according to their importance.

CRITICAL

The following web properties are absolutely crucial to your online success. If you don't have them, you could seriously be hurting your business.

  • Website - Don't have an agent website? Stop. Red light. Without one, you're making yourself invisible to the 90% of homebuyers who use the internet during their home buying search. At minimum, your site should have IDX property search capabilities, neighborhood information, contact info, your listings, and links to your other digital properties. Explore real estate website providers here.
  • Facebook - Surprised to see Facebook on the "Critical" list? Don't be. With over 500 million active Facebook users, if you're not on this social network, you're invisible to potential clients. Agents with a weak (or no) website can use a strong Facebook presence to fill the gap by adding listing information, photos, open house announcements, and posting updates on local events.

IMPORTANT

While not having the web properties below won't break your business, their absence can seriously slow it down.

  • Single Property WebsitesSingle property websites work wonders for SEO. Not only do they bolster your agent website by providing crucial backlinks, they are the number one way to capture potential leads searching for homes by address. By being all about a specific property and its selling points, they're a great way to win sellers' trust, too. Learn more about Single Property Website solutions here.
  • YouTube Channel - A recent study from NAR and Google shows how important video has become for consumers during the home research process. YouTube is the top place for video research (51% of users conduct research here), topping even broker websites (41%). According to the study, consumers are searching videos for community information, to tour the inside of homes, and to learn how to find a real estate agent. Even if you're only posting videos of still photographs, you need to establish a YouTube presence with links back to your website.

RECOMMENDED

If you want your business to flow as smoothly as possible, establish a presence on the following online properties in addition to those above.

  • BlogBlogging is another wonderful way to build great SEO for your agent website. By posting on a consistent basis, you bolster your reputation as a local expert among readers and Google. Blogging is a great way to educate your visitors, too. Get a lot of questions on, say, mortgages and down payments from first time buyers? Write a post about it and refer clients to your blog to learn more. Blogging also provides you with another opportunity to highlight your listings and fill consumer hunger for local information.
  • Twitter - It's true. Not everyone is on Twitter. Those who are, however, love it for its networking possibilities and the ability to find hyperlocal information. Follow area businesses and media outlets and retweet updates on news and upcoming events for an easy way to create a local stream of information.

Linking Your Real and Virtual Properties

Now that you've established your online presence, it's time to connect your real and virtual properties. This can be as easy as including your website URL on business cards and flyers.

However, to really amp up the connection between your online and offline real estate, consider using QR codes or text message marketing on your sign riders, posters, and beyond. This is a simple way to capture the ever important mobile consumer and connect them to your digital properties from anywhere.

Other articles of interest: Understanding the Millennials Part I | MLSFinder.com