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Establishing Digital Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT)
Before the evolution of real estate websites, smartphone apps, and multimedia messaging services, agents and brokers were the keepers and gatekeepers of listing data. Today, Realtors use real estate websites to share this information, generate leads, and communicate other useful information about their local communities and the home buying and selling processes. But how do you beat the competition when it comes to a Google search? It turns out, the experience you offer your clients can be easily transferred to your digital marketing strategy. As cliché as it may sound, remember the acronym EAT any time you add new information or make updates to your website or social media messaging. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust and strategy built out over time. Expertise Expertise is evaluated at the content-level. Google SEO rewards subject matter experts who write authentic, original content in their subject matter areas. You know the ins and outs of the real estate industry. Write about what you know. Authority Authority is reputation based. When people leave online reviews on sites like Google Business, G2, Capterra, you grow your authority. Authority can also be given in the form of inbound links from news stories and other high-authority sites within the same (or complementary) industry. Trust As in real life, trust is about legitimacy, transparency, and accuracy. Trusted sites are ones that strive to have up-to-date and accurate content, use SSL (secure) certificates, and provide contact information and disclosures when using affiliate links and cookies used for tracking user behavior. SEO The next step in the EAT strategy is to monitor your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to monitor who is coming to your site, how long they are staying for, what they are reading, and how they are accessing the information (desktop, tablet, smartphone). You can review demographics such as age, gender, and location to better adjust your content and know what might be important to them. Match your content with the selling season and write ahead of time (so the information is there when the searching begins). And, of course, we recommend using a CRM to manage leads, keep-in-touch and stay organized to the needs and preferences of your customer base. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Checklist: Is Your Website ADA Accessible?
President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA in July 1990. The law forbids discrimination against people with different forms of disabilities and provides equal opportunities and access that covers all aspects of life. But ADA did not specifically cover online accommodations because the law was created before the widespread use of the internet. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) emerged to provide guidance, relating solely to providing online accessibility, as an accumulation of case law asserts that it is a business's obligation to include website accessibility. In 2021, more than 2,895 ADA website accessibility-related lawsuits were filed in federal court, an increase of 14% over 2020. New York, Florida and California are the busiest states. Major real estate brokerages have been sued, as have individual real estate agents. While some cases have been dismissed, these lawsuits generate negative publicity and take significant legal resources to defend. Individuals with disabilities are suing to gain access to information online that a non-accessible site can give them. For example, blind or other visually impaired people use screen reading software to describe pictures. But if the website doesn't have "alt-text" for every image, the user won't know what the photo is. One lawsuit noted the plaintiff could not find the hours of operations on the brokerage's website, and that prevented them from visiting their physical offices. Making sure your website meets ADA requirements can do more than protect you from potential liability. An ADA accessible website also offers agents and brokerages market advantages that we detailed in the past ("Why Making Your Website ADA Compliant Is a Double Win"). With one in four American adults living with a disability, providing website access is smart business. As a group, they spend $15 billion online annually. Avoiding penalties that can run in the tens of thousands of dollars is another huge benefit when websites are ADA accessible. The good news is there is plenty of online help to guide agents, brokers, and the folks they contract with for their website technology to become ADA accessible. Online tools AccessiBe and Monsido offer a free analysis of your website's ADA compliance, breaking down the areas where you are accessible and providing a list of areas that need improvement to become accessible. Staying up to date is also important because as recently as March, the Department of Justice provided additional guidance on website accessibility. Fortunately, because ADA compliance for websites can be confusing, even for the most tech-savvy real estate agents, the National Association of Realtors created a short video for members: Window to the Law: ADA and Website Accessibility Update The NAR recommends that members should identify and address accessibility deficiencies on their websites. Other tools available online that can help include ADA website compliance checklists. While these are not intended to be legal advice or guidance – always consult a professional for these services – these lists can help you better understand what is required for a website to achieve ADA compliance. Here are summary checklists that help highlight what you need to know about websites and ADA compliance, according to internet developer, WishDesk: Level A compliance (lowest level): Alt text for images Alternatives for pre-recorded audio/video No auto-playing audio Use of color and other indicators Instructions for search boxes, web forms, captchas, and other input fields Add input error explanations Navigation fully accessible via a keyboard Allow users to extend the time for time-limited content Give users the option to control blinking, moving, or scrolling content Add "Skip to" to allow users to bypass repetitive content Level AA compliance (sufficient level): Add captions for live audio/video Provide audio descriptions for pre-recorded video Set your contrast ratio to at least 4.5:1 (stronger contrast makes text more readable) Allow text to be resizable up to 200% Avoid using text over images (can be misinterpreted by screen readers) Use clear headings and labels Provide users with instructions on how to correct an input error Offer sensitive data input error prevention, allowing users to review/edit errors on a submitted form Use consistent menus and buttons Identify the same elements the same way Use clearly visible keyboard focus indicators to assist with navigation For multilingual websites, languages should be identified in code to assist screen reader technology. Level AAA compliance (highest level): Offer sign language for pre-recorded audio/video Set your contrast ratio to at least 7:1 (stronger contrast makes text more readable) Eliminate or dramatically reduce (20dB or lower) background sounds in an audio recording Remove time-limited content, except for live streams or online auctions No interruptions – no popups or other intrusive content except for safety warnings Restore user data after re-authentication so users can pick up where they left off Avoid any flashing content Provide explanations of abbreviations, idioms, or business jargon Add explanations for hard to produce words and use a phonetic transcription or audio recording. As you can see from these checklists, many of ADA's compliance guidelines can make the user experience for everyone better. You can learn more about ADA website compliance at ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm. You also may be interested in: Why Making Your Website ADA Compliant Is a Double Win, October 26, 2017 5 Things Every Agent Needs to Know About 5G, August 18, 2022 Do you know these 10 real estate and tech acronyms? Test your knowledge, August 8, 2022 Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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ADA and Its Implications for Real Estate Websites
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Why IDX Sites Are Better than Non-IDX Sites for Real Estate Websites
We understand it may be overwhelming having so many different companies pitching you their real estate website services. We get it. As an agent, you want a website that will bring you results. Something to consider when choosing a website host is if you want a website with or without IDX. There are pros and cons of using any website service. Normally with IDX sites, you will have to work with the template they give you. With certain website providers such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, you can create beautiful non-IDX websites, but need to find a third-party home search service. The aesthetics of a site aren't always equivalent to their results. Here is why we recommend an IDX website: Website Hosts Are Informed About Real Estate If your website host has built-in IDX solutions, they have invested money and resources into building relationships with your local multiple listing service and integrating the data. This will mean that your website is more likely to be MLS-compliant. If you choose a website host that focuses on real estate branding, you are already in better hands than if you choose your college friend that designs websites. Better for SEO Website hosts that don't offer IDX solutions require you to "frame in" an IDX home search. This workaround will allow visitors to search for homes on your website. However, it will take more work to get visitors to your website in the first place, because they will not be finding it on their own. Frameable IDX solutions are websites hosted by a third party that can be embedded into your website (a website within a website). People will be able to go to your site, and see the home search—but the home search is a separate entity from your website, and not indexed by search engines. Your site is less likely to show up in the search results of a user typing in "Homes for Sale in Birmingham" because the search engines do not index foreign aspects of your site. They will only index native content. Built-in IDX solutions will have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pages on your site for Google to index. Each search result will have its own page, and each listing will have its own page. This strengthens the search engine optimization of your website. Easier Customer Experience With built-in IDX solutions, customers will only need to sign up once. For many IDX sites, the lead capture can track the user's IP address to determine if they have been there before and allow them to do a few searches before prompting a capture form. Non-IDX sites that frame in their home search are not able to track if the visitor has already done a home search or not, because it is not tied to your website. Most importantly, framing a third-party home search into your non-IDX site is not always mobile friendly. Easier Agent Experience Would you rather ask a lead searching for homes what they are searching for OR have your website tell you what they are searching for, so leads can continue to research? Automated Lead Nurturing With IDX websites, they'll help you maintain a database of leads. The best IDX web hosting services will track what your leads are searching, send them listings, and nurture them with emails to get them to continue searching on your website. This effectively babysits leads that are at the top of the sales funnel, while you can personally cater to leads that are ready to transact. It is possible to be successful with a non-IDX website, but why would you put yourself at a disadvantage? To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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9 Web Content Ideas for Real Estate Agents
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3 SEO Real Estate Website Strategies
If you're a real estate agent, broker, or technology company, you know that having a website is essential for your business. It gives you a place to showcase your listings and services and allows potential clients to learn more about you and get in touch with you quickly. However, simply having a website isn't enough – you need to ensure that your site is optimized for search engines to attract more visitors. Yes, search engine optimization is still alive and continues to grow as it evolves in providing answers to people's questions. In this blog post, we will discuss three SEO strategies to help improve your website's positioning in search engines and generate more readers and leads! The first is that the search engine's artificial intelligence will play a prominent role in SEO rankings, especially Google's. Most SEO experts focus on Google because of their search and Chrome web browser market shares. In the United States, Google maintains a 92% market share in search and averages around 63% market share of people using Chrome as a web browser. The other major search engines are Bing and Yahoo, which hold a combined market share of around 10%. A search engine's AI focuses on capturing consumer behavior metrics for ranking factors. This means that click-through rate, time people spend on a page, and other overall website metrics influence how the AI prioritizes content. Therefore, when reevaluating SEO strategy, crafting well-organized and quality, engaging content is critical to success. What is essential to the readers of your content is also crucial to the search engine's AI for ranking. This is where custom content on the property search result pages for neighborhoods and listing detail pages can improve SEO. Guidelines for content creation are included in the E-A-T principle. Google defines E-A-T for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. An approach that is excellent to use in evaluating the quality of content. A few guidelines to use when developing content with E-A-T in mind are: Does the content contain authentic information, reporting, research, or analysis? Is the content written by an expert demonstrating their knowledge about the subject? Is the content written very well, or is it sloppy? Are the facts in the content easily verifiable? Content writers who follow these simple guidelines achieve the desired results to improve search engine rankings. Additionally, as AI continues to drive rankings, it impacts search results. As a result, it is possible that when submitting a search, a page may be #2, and when performing a subsequent search, the same page may be #5. Therefore, AI will adjust its page ranking based on the events at the time of a search. The second SEO strategy is to focus on optimizing your website with structured data. Most people are familiar with the concept of structured data, even if they don't realize it. Structured data is simply information that is organized in a predefined way. This can include things like open houses, homes for sale, and site structure. By adding structured data to your site, you are essentially providing a map for search engines to follow. This makes it easier for them to index your content and display it in search results. In addition, structured data can also help you improve your click-through rate by making your listings more relevant and user-friendly. However, there is a catch. Don't overuse structured data or resort to black-hat methods. Google just takes advantage of specific structured data, which must be implemented correctly for the content's trustworthiness to be confirmed. As you can see, structured data is an integral part of SEO. If you want your site to be successful, make sure you take advantage of this powerful tool. Lastly, one of the benefits of SEO is that it can help improve the accessibility of a site. Optimizing the website for Google search can also help make it more accessible for people with disabilities who use screen readers and other assistive technologies. According to WCAG 2.1, one of the success criteria for accessibility is that "webpages can be parsed unambiguously by software." This means that screen readers and other assistive technologies should be able to interpret the content on a webpage without any ambiguity. However, many websites are not well-optimized for SEO, so it can be difficult or impossible for these technologies to parse. Therefore, improving the SEO of a website can also help to enhance its accessibility. If you implement these three SEO strategies, you will be well on your way to improving your website's ranking in search engines and generating more leads! The last thing you want to do is to ignore or think SEO is not a practical part of a marketing strategy. What other SEO strategies have you used to improve your website's ranking? Please share your tips with us in the comments below! And if you're looking for more help, contact the WAV Group. WAV Group explicitly focuses its SEO strategies on the real estate industry. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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4 Tips to Increase SEO for Real Estate Agents
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How You Can Protect Your Business with an Effective Cybersecurity Strategy
Even though the influence of a growing number of remote employees on real estate markets has been widely discussed, there is little information available about the impact that remote workers have on real estate firms themselves, although this impact has been significant. Like with other sectors, most of the influence has been good. However, there have also been some negative consequences. It is known as cybercrime, and if you are not vigilant, it will find its way into your real estate business. Cybercrime may be highly damaging to real estate agents and their clients. In recent years, real estate investment trusts (REIT), brokerages, and other real estate businesses have experienced increased cyber attacks, ranging from phishing to email-compromised cyberattacks to data breaches. While cyberattacks are becoming more advanced, you can still apply measures to safeguard your real estate business, and the process begins with developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Taking the threats that cybersecurity poses to the real estate sector, it is clear that a solid investment in cybersecurity is the only way to ensure data protection and consumer safety. Read on to get information about a basic cybersecurity strategy you can use for your real estate business. Why Do Real Estate Practitioners Need Cybersecurity? Real Estate Transactions Routinely Involve Large Sums of Money Since the real estate sector frequently deals with and transfers enormous amounts of money, real estate companies are on the radar of every cybercriminal. Thus, it is not just real estate experts and investors that profit from the real estate market. Cybercriminals can also profit from the real estate market. It has been estimated that one-third of small businesses, including real estate companies, have been a cyberattack target in the past two years, according to CNBC. Personally Identifiable and Financially Sensitive Data Real estate companies also make attractive targets for hackers due to the large volumes of financially sensitive and personally identifiable data they manage, such as social security numbers and bank credentials. Cybercriminals and Hackers Use Advanced Tools and Techniques To launch their attacks, cybercriminals and hackers have access to all of the tools, skills, and tactics they have. Business email compromises (BECs), for example, are one of the most common attack methods used today. A business email compromise occurs when an attacker impersonates a firm to persuade another business to move cash to a fake account. It is common for the hacker to send the email using a fictitious account that appears to be associated with a legit company. Compromised landing pages, ransomware, malicious attachments, trojans, and attacks on cloud-based services are all significant threats to real estate firms. Cybersecurity Tips: 5 Ways for Real Estate Agents to Avoid Getting Hacked Mobile Data Encryption More people are using smartphones and laptops today than ever before. Cybersecurity solutions can prevent hackers from gaining access to your communication networks. Data encryption software is an effective solution when it comes to protecting your data from hackers. It makes your data secure and protects sensitive data. Effective Email and Password Hygiene Resisting assaults and keeping organizations secure are very easy yet have strong effects. Here are a few tips from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to prevent being hacked. Use two-factor authentication. Avoid using public or unsecured WIFI. Use a different password for multiple accounts. It is recommended that you use a password manager. Long passwords with combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols should be used. Never open files received from unknown sources. These may contain malware. Secure access to email and confidential information used in transactions. To communicate sensitive information, use a transaction management platform, encrypted email, or file-sharing software. Clean your email account regularly and save copies of essential correspondence in a safe place for future reference. Make Use of Reliable Antivirus Protection A built-in antivirus protection system is included in most PCs. Because it takes a short time for updates to be applied, some consumers may ignore the process of upgrading their antivirus system. However, when it comes to cybersecurity, the most common solutions are antivirus software and protection. A paid antivirus system guards your system against cybercriminals and hackers more effectively. The paid versions involve the updating of antivirus software on a regular or basis. Every operating system is vulnerable to attack from hackers. So do not ignore the antivirus updating your software. Always Check URLs Usually, real estate professionals will submit all of their legal paperwork over the internet rather than in person. The submission of information over the internet is only a small portion of the rapid processing method. However, before uploading the papers, double-check that the URL is authentic. If you come across a website that begins with simply HTTP, avoid visiting that website. If the final "S" is not there, then the website is highly unsafe. Antivirus software prevents these websites from opening or displaying high-risk websites. Insurance Considerations, Law, and Policy Working with your attorney, establish a written disclosure alerting clients of the risk of cybercrime. The NAR has prepared a wire fraud email notice template that your counsel may use and customize. Keep track of the state legislation linked to personal information, creating and maintaining data security policies, and other security-related company practices. Final Words In recent years, cybersecurity has become a major headache, and real estate pros are increasingly confronted with cybersecurity-related challenges in their businesses. Like you would encourage clients not to relocate to unsafe districts, you must follow the same advice regarding your own business and ensure that your business operates in a secure digital area. A smart strategy that complies with the cybersecurity procedures outlined above is one of the most beneficial real estate investments you can make today. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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You Have an Online Reputation (In Case You Didn't Know)
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How to Choose the Right Domain Name For Your Real Estate Business
The domain name you choose for your real estate business's website is a crucial yet challenging decision for any agent to make. Your domain name goes on all of your marketing materials, business cards, email signatures, and more. The name you choose will give an impression of your brand's professionalism and personality, so it is crucial to get it right. However, beyond how it looks and sounds, the real challenge can come from choosing between domains that aren't in use. With thousands of single-agent and brokerage websites out there, it can be discouraging to stand out and settle on a name that feels just right. Before rushing into a decision that will heavily affect your real estate business, consider the following best practices when it comes to choosing your domain name: Keep It Short A short URL will always perform better for your real estate brand than a longer one. For starters, short URLs are easy to remember, meaning that even when not physically written out, your customers will be able to recall them. Having a domain that is easy to repeat in conversation can be especially useful when giving information over the phone or in person. Real estate is the business of relationships, after all! Second, a short URL will always look better on your real estate brand's marketing. Long URLs can hamper design elements on business cards, email signatures, social media, and more. Additionally, having a long URL can put you in the unfortunate position of leaving off important information due to character limits on these mediums. Consider that you may also be hosting your email address under this domain name, meaning your email address will get longer and more challenging to remember as well. To get a shorter URL that is still descriptive, try using abbreviations or acronyms that people searching for your business may use. For example, instead of www.SouthCaliforniaHomes.com you can try www.SoCalHomes.com. Go for Clarity While it's best to keep your domain name short, it's also important not to shorten it to the point where it doesn't make sense. For example, swapping out a number for a word like SoCalHomes4sale.com may be more confusing to clients trying to type in your URL, and they may end up on a competitor's website or at a 404 error page, which can be a detriment to their experience and ultimately result in a lack of trust. The same can happen if you choose a domain name with words that have common misspellings or include many hyphens between words. It's best to keep your domain name as simple, short, and straightforward as possible. An easy way to keep your real estate domain name simple and memorable is to opt for a .com extension rather than a .net or .realestate. People tend to remember .com much more than the other extensions and will try that first when remembering your URL, so don't work against them. Another element to consider is how descriptive your domain name is to those looking for your real estate service. By choosing your first and last name as your real estate domain name, you're not making it clear what services you offer. However, by choosing a more descriptive name, you can be more precise on your brand's objective and capture the market on a specific audience you cater to. Including these descriptive keywords will help with clarity and your website's SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Think about it; people don't search for specific Realtor names when starting their home search. Instead, they search keywords like "homes for sale in (city name)" or "best realtor in (city name)." The domain name you choose can help you rank for these common searches to get the most traffic. Think of the Long Term Thinking ahead to the future of your business and your brand can save you hassle and time later down the road and inform your decision today. Since your domain name is a part of your brand identity and online identity, it is crucial to pick a name that can age with your brand. For example, you may not always stay with the same brokerage or even take on a partner or expand your business. It's essential to ensure that the domain name will withstand the test of time and changes that will inevitably come. Plus, if you decide to pass your business along to another person, this will be difficult if your name ties into every aspect. Do Your Research Similar to how you may warn your clients not to fall in love with a property before inspection, don't fall in love with a domain name before you've gone through your assessment. One important thing to look out for is a domain name that has had previous use by someone before you. If the domain previously hosted spammy content or something completely unrelated to your business, it could negatively affect your SEO. Another thing to look out for is the use of trademarks in your domain. The most famous example is the use of the word "realtor." "Realtor" is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors. There are rules for how real estate professionals can use it in a domain name, and when not followed, it could result in legal action against you. Make sure that you aren't using any possible trademarks in your domain before committing to it. The last factor to look into that may sway your real estate domain name decision is social media. If the social media handles for one domain are not available, it may be easier to consider others for the sake of consistency in your brand. Social media handles may not be much of a factor to some, but still worth looking into in today's dominant social media age. To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent blog.
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Where Most Leads Come From -- and How You Can Cover Your Bases
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How Your Website Can Be a Resource
How much value does your real estate website add to your practice? Everyone knows "you have to have a website." And for real estate agents and brokerages, that's even more true. Some of the most successful real estate professionals, in the United States and throughout the world, generate a substantial portion of their leads through their own site — as much as 50%. These days, future customers are far more likely to hear of you online than through an in-person event or non-digital advertising. That's because Millennials and the fast-emerging Gen Z homebuyers almost universally start their search for a new home online. Understandably, most real estate experts aren't masters of real estate website design. They tend to launch a basic website and then hope for the best. There are lots of DIY website builders out there and cut-rate services that promise something "good enough." Unfortunately, this can undermine your efforts to develop a branded, high-impact website that makes a difference. How Your Website Can Serve as a Resource for Current and Future Customers Your website acts as your digital "first impression." When someone is thinking about entering the housing market, they will usually spend a lot of time looking at properties before they ever consider reaching out to a real estate agent. They might start seeking inspiration on sites like Pinterest or Instagram before they begin looking at live listings. Once their interest is piqued, only then do they look for a local real estate professional to help them. But in the process, they usually check out a half-dozen local agents and brokerages — or even more. So, your website needs to achieve two things right off the bat: It must be visually compelling, inviting, and easy to navigate It must provide meaningful value before they schedule a call That value comes in the form of custom content. "Content" is anything helpful and informative you post on your site to help visitors make an informed decision. In other words, it answers a question or solves a problem they have. Blogs are the backbone of most content, but video is increasingly popular. Content is especially helpful because it can inspire your guests to join your email marketing list and get future updates they may find useful. It raises your visibility in online search and improves results you get from search engine optimization. However, it's not the only way to make your website work harder. When you focus on turning your website into a resource, you are putting what you have to offer on the table from the very beginning. People will see the difference between you and other real estate agents, and begin to regard you as a trusted expert — so you're far more likely to be chosen in the end. Let's look at some of the other ways you can build your website into a resource for customers: Integrate Your Listings within Your WebsiteThe MLS does an incredible job keeping listings organized and searchable. However, you can also use this marvel of modern technology right within your own website, helping visitors zero in on the best local properties that might meet their needs while maintaining your own branding throughout. Provide Neighborhood-Level Local InsightYour local savvy is one of the most important things setting you apart from your peers. Make it count by showing people not only the homes they might buy, but the community they'll be joining. Highlight the best amenities and small businesses – other business owners may even send you referrals. Answer Common Questions ClearlyMany first-time buyers and sellers will have very little existing knowledge about the process. Look for the best ways to answer their common questions simply. That may mean a library of blogs or videos, a centralized Frequently Asked Questions page or a chatbot that they can pose questions to. Make It Easy to Contact YouAfter you start working with a client, it's crucial to set appropriate boundaries — no answering the phone at two in the morning. On a first call, however, seconds count. Be sure your website is set up to send you a text alert if someone sends you an email or message so you can respond right away. Introduce YourselfOne of the most vital things you can do on your website is start building a relationship. The best way to begin is with a video introduction to yourself. What do you do and for whom? What attracted you to real estate and what makes you different? Video is the next best thing to being there. The best real estate websites operate as a "one-stop-shop" for everything potential customers might need — before they even reach out for the first time. Try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days to learn more or get started with your own website. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Landing Pages: Your Secret Lead Conversion Weapon
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7 Tips for Delivering an Amazing Website Experience
Whether you are an agent, team or broker, having a compelling online presence is crucial to your real estate business success. This means a user-friendly, value-driven website experience, a strong social media presence, and plenty of good content and opportunities to capture leads and initiate conversations. The ideal marketing strategy is focused on delivering a combined, comprehensive experience across multiple channels that all link and support each other in the lead capture, nurture and conversion life cycle. Many real estate professionals feel frustrated with their online website because, many times, it fails to deliver a thoughtful experience for the end-user, resulting in little to no lead capture and engagement. Sound familiar? No worries, we've developed a great checklist of considerations and elements that your website should include in order to increase awareness, provide better service, and capture more leads. Tip #1: Incorporate IDX Whether you are new to real estate or a seasoned pro, you have likely heard the term "IDX." In simple terms, IDX (Internet Data Exchange) is what allows your website visitors to search for MLS properties on your website. Trust us when we say, you WANT and NEED this on your website, otherwise your site visitors will be off searching for properties on Zillow, realtor.com and Homes.com, providing valuable user information and leads to those services instead of you! Tip #2: Work with the Pros Incorporating IDX into your website is tied to rules and regulations overseen by your MLS and can prove challenging for a DIYer, not to mention addressing visitor privacy, DMCA, and other required terms. We recommend working with a tried and true website development company that can ensure your website is 100% compliant and offers the highest level of engagement and entertainment for your visitors. Tip #3: Deliver Consistent Content Let's face it, a static website will NOT rank well in the search engines. It's important that your website is regularly updated with fresh content featuring lots of keyword-rich material. We love a built-in blog that features listing updates (pulled automatically from your IDX feed), relevant lifestyle content, and hyper-local information. If you don't have the time to create all of this content yourself, a solution like Elevate will do a lot of the "heavy lifting" for you, providing you the SEO-friendly content you need and keeping your audience engaged. Tip #4: Connect to Social Media All of that great content that's being posted to your website in tip #3 above? Make sure that it's being syndicated across your social media channels. The average American spends over two hours PER DAY on social media, so linking your website and social media together makes it even easier for prospective clients to find you on whatever online platform they may be using. And, make sure that whenever you post content to your social media channels, that you are linking back to your website (and not a third party) to keep your audience engaged with YOU. Tip #5: Build in Lead Capture Make sure that your website features LOTS of easy opportunities for capturing leads. Every listing should allow people to "raise their hand" for more information, as should your blog posts. We also LOVE websites that feature value-added downloads, calculators and other helpful tools and resources that not only provide stellar service to your site visitors, but also capture the lead for easy follow-up. Tip #6: Make It Easy and Obvious In order to deliver an amazing web experience, it's important to make sure that your site visitors are able to quickly and easily find the information that they are looking for. Statistically, website visitors will spend a total of seven seconds attempting to search your site before they click away for another option. Keep your home page simple with the most important information easily accessible. Think simple navigation, obvious call-to-actions, and easy search functions. Tip #7: Be Personable People want to work with people they like and feel a connection to. Make sure your website reflects your personality and showcases your strengths, specialities and expertise. Let your audience know how you can help them and provide information that establishes credibility and builds rapport. Your website is important for supporting that "first impression," establishing your professionalism, and serving as a resource for your online audience. Take the time and effort to invest in delivering an exceptional experience and your audience will come back again and again. Here are a few of our favorite resources to help you along the way: Need a good website partner?Start with the team at Elevate. They offer affordable websites with customizable packages including online lead generation, social media automation, CRM, email campaigns and more to help you streamline and automate your day-to-day marketing. Looking for a truly custom website experience?Connect with the Creative Team at 3sixtyfive.agency to explore a uniquely, one-of-a-kind web experience designed to engage and entertain your audience. "Rocking Website SEO" free guideWant more great SEO-friendly tips, tricks and strategies for your website? Download this FREE guide and learn the secrets to getting found on Google! About Elm Street Elm Street Technology offers a growing portfolio of real estate technology and marketing services with the goal of providing one vendor and one point of contact, fully fused into one singular platform – Elevate – to capture and nurture more leads into closed business. Elm Street's portfolio of products and services allow busy real estate professionals the ability to streamline and automate their marketing and day-to-day business objectives by offering high-end IDX websites, lead generation tools, a powerful CRM, email, social, text and blog marketing automation, recruiting and retention tools, and more. To learn more, please visit ElmStreet.com.
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Do You Need a Real Estate Website?
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Google for Real Estate: Leveraging Google Analytics
You can't know what works and what doesn't on your website if you don't have a way to track your results. Google Analytics is a fairly comprehensive tool you can connect to your website to monitor traffic and other important metrics.
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How to Capture Leads with Your Real Estate Website
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Don't Make These 5 Website Design Mistakes
For real estate agents, having a website is not negotiable. It is a core part of building an online presence and serves as a destination where prospects can learn more about you and your services. You have full control over your website, which is what makes it such a powerful brand-building tool. With proper execution, your site will help you project expertise, reinforce your value, and build trust with prospective clients. The only problem is that it's quite easy to make website design mistakes that will produce the opposite of your intended effect. That is, a poorly designed website will cause potential leads to leave as quickly as they arrived, and you'll miss out on the opportunity to convert them into clients. Don't worry, though — you don't need to know a complicated coding language to avoid the most common website design mistakes. Most website builders and third-party hosts make it easy to create a clean, easy-to-navigate site. You do, however, need to know what to look for to ensure you don't flip a switch or do something that jeopardizes the strength of your site. Avoid the following five mistakes and you'll be on your way to creating a beautiful website that helps you grow your business. Mistake 1: Difficult navigation This seems like a no-brainer, but what does it actually mean? What is difficult navigation? Simply put, your website shouldn't have too many destinations for buyers and sellers to get lost in. Think of it as the difference between a fork in the road with two paths to take, or a fork in the road with a dozen paths to take — the latter is overwhelming and confusing, so it's best to keep it simple. The navigation bar that sits at the top of every page should have just a handful of options and each destination should be worded clearly and concisely. For example, you can use "Buyers" or "Search for Homes" as one of the link options. Since these are terms that users easily understand, they know that when they click the link, they will be taken to a page that is relevant to their needs. That page would host, for example, an interactive tool where buyers can search for homes through an IDX integration. Difficult navigation can also mean an experience that users aren't expecting, and if they get frustrated, they're likely to make a quick exit. Stick with the experiences that users are comfortable and familiar with, so they can assume you'll be as easy to work with as your website. Mistake 2: Busy/too much text A text-heavy site is the web equivalent of an in-your-face car dealership commercial. It's overwhelming, off-putting, and delivers too much information at once. Strive to keep your website clean, not cluttered. Leave white space around text, images, and forms. Use eye-catching photos to provide a visual break from blocks of text. Offer interactive elements to take the place of text. For example, instead of explaining how a homeowner can determine the market value of their home, use a lead capture form to offer your own expert evaluation. Mistake 3: Not mobile responsive In website lingo, responsive means that a site is built to work well on a desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone — it adapts its look to fit the device, so users have a seamless experience no matter where they view it. Essentially, the website that loads on a desktop computer will be its complete self, with a fully visible navigation at the top and each section of every page laid out in the way the website designer intended. Once you need to condense the website for tablet and mobile, those elements condense, too. The navigation menu is typically collapsed behind what's called a hamburger menu (which is three stacked horizontal lines). Components, like text and images, will be aligned vertically instead of side-by-side since the width of a mobile screen can no longer support that arrangement. If your website isn't responsive, it means that someone viewing it on their tablet or phone might have trouble navigating, and is more likely to leave out of frustration. Mistake 4: Lack of branding A generic website should be avoided if you want to stand out from your competitors and differentiate yourself in the crowded real estate space. It doesn't capture who you are, establish your expertise and unique value proposition, or reinforce your brand in any way. One of the reasons real estate agents should have a website is to build and strengthen brand awareness, and you can't do that if your generic site can be confused for any competitor's site. An easy way to incorporate your branding is to apply your logo or name, slogan (if applicable), and brand colors throughout the site. If you add those components to your header and footer, they will automatically appear on every page. You should also find relevant spots for your headshot, phone number, and email address. Mistake 5: Missing lead capture Lead capture forms encourage your website visitors to take action and are therefore important tools to help convert window shoppers into leads. Not having them placed around your site is one of the biggest web design mistakes out there. It seems obvious, but it's easy to overlook. Just pairing your email address and phone number with, "Looking to buy or sell? Contact me!" won't be persuasive enough to convince some people to get in touch. A true lead capture (also called a lead magnet) form offers buyers and sellers an irresistible reason to submit their contact details. Here are a few examples of topics that you can use to create lead magnets on your real estate website: E-newsletter signup Free home valuation Market trends/update reports Gated content (e.g., a buyer guide that will be sent out once the lead submits their email address) Free consultation session Webinar registration These are just general topics. Your lead magnet needs to persuade buyers and sellers that it's in their best interest to sign up. You wouldn't want to just write, "Submit your email address to receive my e-newsletter." Instead, you could write: "Looking to buy or sell in the Atlanta area? My weekly e-newsletter is packed with dos and don'ts specific to this area, the latest ATL market trends, and what you need to do before starting your real estate journey. Sign up to be in the know!" If you aren't familiar with building or maintaining websites, it's easier than you think to make website design mistakes that can cost you leads. More than 60,000 real estate agents around the country trust Homesnap Pro+ to handle it all for them. Take a peek at what your real estate website could look like! To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Is Your Website's Branding THAT Important to Home Buyers?
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You Need Customer Reviews on Your Site
Seventy-nine percent of customers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. In younger demographics, the figure can be even higher -- up to 91% for consumers aged 18-35. Regardless of age, most people read online reviews, and many customers won't buy until they've read a review. Don't think online reviews only matter for eCommerce stores: 87% of consumers used them to compare local businesses in 2020, up from 81% in 2019. Only a meager 48% of all respondents would even consider using a business with fewer than four stars. What does it all mean? If you don't have online reviews, you don't exist! When your neighbors go online to get help buying or selling a home, odds are they type in "real estate agents near me." On Google, that provides a list of agents along with their average star rating — and easy access to their reviews. Sites like Yelp also centralize reviews, serving as a proxy of a company's reputation. In effect, your future customers use the same methods to compare real estate agents as they do to compare pizza places or burger joints. Say what you will about whether that's fair or not: to excel in a fast-paced real estate market, you need to find ways to use it to your advantage. The best way to do that is to make sure you have customer reviews right on your website. Customer Reviews on Your Website Build Trust and Motivate Leads You can't stop people from looking on Google, Yelp, or wherever else they might search around — and most big review platforms also penalize you if you incentivize reviews in any way. But you are always entitled to ask for reviews, and all of your best online reviews should be displayed prominently on your website. Some great places to showcase reviews include: The footer that appears on each page of your site Your website's "Contact" and "About Me" pages Your calendar or scheduling app, if you use one Your social media accounts and YouTube channel When you give online reviews pride of place, you are doing more than just encouraging more business for yourself. You are adding value by creating ways for leads to make an informed decision. That's something everyone can appreciate, even though not everybody who sees your website will ultimately work with you. Let's consider some of the benefits of using online reviews on your website: 1. Reviews Foster Trust Your website is a terrific way to introduce yourself. It helps people understand who you are and what you can do for them. But that doesn't mean they want to take your word for it! Reviews function as social proof, giving greater weight to everything you say. When leads see that others "just like them" have had great experiences with you, they feel more comfortable reaching out. That helps you build rapport and work together. 2. Reviews Help People Avoid Scams On the flip side, remember that many of your clients will be first-time buyers or sellers. They may have limited or no experience working with a real estate agent. Being unfamiliar with the industry and its credentials, they are on guard for foul play. Reviews on your website are among the most important trust signals you can send. Your site may help guide others so they know what to look for in a reputable expert. 3. Reviews Draw More Website Traffic Online reviews have a major role in driving more traffic. Yes, reviews posted on Google or Yelp may inspire more people to check your site, but it goes beyond this. The reviews you post and promote help search engines to recognize you as an established and trusted local authority. Over time, posting reviews can help your website become more visible when prospects search for topics related to your business. 4. Reviews Act as "Tiebreakers" When two businesses seem similar from the outside, which one gets the sale? Usually, it's the one with a bigger roster of positive, credible reviews. This goes back to the idea that many future clients won't know the ins and outs of real estate — they depend on their agent to keep them informed. Your reviews highlight your successes, skills, customer service, and other points of comparison that could be harder to spot otherwise! Whether you're new to real estate or an old hand, it's valuable to make customer reviews an ongoing part of your practice. That means recognizing the right time to ask for reviews, following up, and cultivating reviews on your own website, as well as responding to the reviews you collect on other platforms. With its state-of-the-art real estate CRM, social media, and email marketing automation, DeltaNET is the AI-driven premier pro-tech solution to energize your promotional efforts. Try it FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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9 Reasons Why It's So Important to Have Your Own Domain
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The Essential Building Blocks for Your Business
The start of a new year is a time when many of us set goals and outline our aspirations for the next 365 days. Sometimes, however, we bite off more than we can chew! With that in mind, we are introducing a new series focused on the foundational elements of building a successful real estate business. To dream big and aim high, it is important to have the right pieces in place as you set out to achieve the very biggest goals. So, let's take it back to the nuts and bolts.
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Common Misconceptions Agents Have About Real Estate Websites
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How to Create a Custom Short URL for Your Real Estate Website and Brand
Some real estate companies use short URLs on Twitter and other social media. Have you noticed them? Realtor.com uses rltor.cm. Zillow uses zlw.re. Inman uses inmn.io. Short URLs can be a fun, creative way to further integrate your real estate brand into your content. And they are not that complicated to set up. In this article, we will show you how to create a custom short URL for your real estate website and brand.
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How to Optimize Your 'About Me' Page for Conversions
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What Do the Best Real Estate Websites for Agents Have in Common?
Competition is fierce in the real estate industry. Naturally, agents focus on doing things that make themselves and their brand stand out, like clever marketing, creating flashy ads and handing out branded freebies. But your real estate website is just as important, if not more so. Anyone who searches for you will land on Google and then continue to your website. It only takes a single impression to hold their attention or lose their business. Getting it right is essential in preventing consumers from leaving your site too quickly. If they're engaged, they'll gain value from your content, have more confidence in your brand and ultimately convert into a lead. There are six common traits that the best real estate websites for agents have in common. These include usability and content features that meet consumer expectations, as well as specific tools that help real estate agents capture leads' contact information. Get these right and your website will be ready for prime time.
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The Top 10 Ways to Drive New Traffic to Your Real Estate Website
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9 Ways to Use Social Media to Make Your Website a Better Lead Engine
Social media is a powerful marketing tool for all types of businesses--the real estate industry is certainly no exception. Studies show that sales associates are consistently among the most active on most social media platforms. The National Association of REALTORS® reports 77% of real estate professionals use social media marketing in some form for their businesses. Over 80% of online users are active on Facebook. As a sales associate, you understand the significant impact social media has on building trust with your clients and generating leads for your business. Social media is unbeatable when it comes to driving traffic to your website and turning those visitors into leads. You can use social media channels to promote your brand and your listings. It's an essential part of your marketing strategy that helps you connect with your targeted audience, where they spend a good deal of their time. It also enables you to cultivate long-term relationships with current clients, past clients, and future referrals. When you incorporate social media channels into your marketing strategy, you're inviting people to your website right when they need you. Many people find it tough to uncover the best ways to use social media for growing their business. This can lead to their social efforts falling by the wayside after an initial burst of enthusiasm. Here's how to make social media an asset for your real estate website: 1. Choose the Best Social Channels for Your Brand Each social media website has advantages. For example, Twitter is terrific for connecting with people in your community because anyone can see your posts. Facebook tends to be effective for cultivating connections with your past and current clients. Instagram is ideal for real estate photos, and LinkedIn can be superb for those specializing in luxury and commercial properties. 2. Share Plenty of Amazing Photographs and Videos Real estate is visual: People need to imagine living in a home before they will truly be enticed by it. Facebook and Instagram, in particular, offer lots of opportunities to share your best real estate photography. 3. Introduce Virtual Tours and Open Houses for Your Active Properties With buyers and sellers looking for alternatives to in-person showing, social media has a chance to shine. A virtual showing can come in the form of a guided video tour of a property or even an interactive, panoramic experience using still photos of each room. Sharing this compelling multimedia content gets prospective buyers off the fence and onto your website. 4. Make Your Blog the Cornerstone of Your Social Strategy Most of your future clients will find you online. Not only that, but going online to check out local listings is often a buyer's first step. Your blog can help. By sharing helpful, informative articles on real estate trends, you guide leads through the whole process. Since they recognize your expertise, they are more likely to choose you when they enter the market. 5. Use Automation to Your Advantage for Better Consistency Some business owners sink hours a day into social media when they first get started. Automation helps you stay focused on high-value tasks. The right automation tools will allow you to pre-write your social media updates and post them when your audience is active. You can also instantly share your listings, reviews, testimonials, blog posts, and videos. 6. Promote Your Best Reviews and Testimonials on Social Media Social proof is one of the most potent ways to get attention from future buyers and sellers. 7. Create Opportunities for Interactive Conversations Social media isn't just for brands to talk "at" their customers. Two-way conversations are key to building relationships. Monitor mentions of your brand, relevant hashtags like #RealEstate, and news about your community being shared on social media. This helps you find others who can benefit from your expertise. And, of course, always respond to any replies to your social posts! 8. Use Industry Hashtags to Make Your Content Discoverable Social media is a wide world, and you want your content to be discoverable. Hashtags make it happen, clarifying the subject of your posts, so they show up in search. Always include 1-3 hashtags like #JustListed, #DreamHome, #ForSale or #PropertyWatch. 9. Absorb the Lessons of Analytics to Use Your Time Wisely Analytics software gives you information about your social media following, how people find you, and what content they're interacting with. Virtually all social platforms now have their own analytics, though they may only be available to active advertisers. By checking your analytics weekly, you can learn which posts are popular and tailor your content accordingly. Many sales associates jump into social media with both feet, only to be disappointed by their results. Early setbacks can conceal social media's power, but marketing automation unlocks it. Social media marketing done correctly helps you zero in on your community members ready to buy or sell, then earn their trust. You can reach great results and have the work-life balance you deserve. Not getting your copy of Delta Media Group's magazine, Real Estate Marketing & Technology? Sign up today. Your subscription is FREE. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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How to Get Search Engines to Come Crawling Back
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7 Ways to Simplify Your Real Estate Website to Increase Lead Generation
Marketing and psychology go hand in hand. As a real estate professional/marketer, you've probably asked yourself why consumers behave a certain way or why someone does the things they do. For example, a lead that doesn't do research because they rely on you, an inspector that misses the attic because it's probably good, or an agent that doesn't persistently follow up with a lead because it isn't good. Many of these behaviors are caused by human's natural tendency to choose the path of least resistance. People want to take the easiest route that uses the least amount of thinking and energy.
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Website SEO Tips
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Website SEO Guide [FREE Download]
Want to increase your website rankings on Google? Download this FREE GUIDE for tips, tricks and strategies sourced from website experts across the industry. Did you know that 93% of home buyers run online searches for listings, agents and information during their home buying journey? This is why it's so imperative for real estate agents to have a strong web presence, so that when someone Googles "Real Estate Agents Near Me," there are options in the top search results other than the big portals. We know, we know...this is easier said than done. SEO is NOT like it was 10 years ago. National companies own 80% of the front page in searches, which leaves real estate agents fighting for a first page position with only 2-3 available spots. So...what's the secret to building a website presence that's going to help drive good search engine placement? The experts at Elevate have created a fantastic FREE Website SEO Guide to help you take your web presence to the next level. Enjoy 13 pages of tips, tricks and strategies such as: the types of content you should blog about, optimizing your website, using meaningful and relevant URLs, embracing Google reviews, and much more. > DOWNLOAD GUIDE NOW The Website SEO Guide also features some special offers for real estate professionals, including a FREE website audit of your existing website so you can see what's working well and what can be improved, a FREE gap analysis for brokers looking to better understand the website offerings for their agents, and FREE daily marketing tips direct to your inbox.
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Answering Your Questions About SEO and Your Real Estate Website
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How to Master Local SEO for Real Estate Success
Local SEO has long been a key ingredient of a successful online marketing mix for real estate agents, and it has only become more important with COVID-19 precautions changing the way that the industry does business. When someone is interested in buying or selling a home in your market areas, they will typically trust their favorite search engine. They might be looking for an agent, searching for listings, or seeking virtual open houses to tour properties from a distance. No matter what local real estate topic they're searching for, local SEO helps your personal brand stand out from the pack.
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Social Media Ideas Certain to Bring Love to Your Website
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5 Things Every Real Estate Website Should Have
There are a lot of elements that must be in place for your real estate website to generate leads. Your SEO needs to be on point. Your site should be easy to use, but above all else, you need to have the right content.
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The Power of a High Functioning Website
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Top Real Estate Website Issues and How to Fix Them
Creating a real estate website nowadays can be easy, if you have the right set of tools. A specialized platform for real estate with IDX features helps pave the path toward a converting website. But once we have our website up and running, we might face some issues down the road. These issues can affect our marketing and lead generation. Some of these hurdles are very technical and can take some time to cope with on your own. Technical SEO issues can be outsourced, so the website admin can focus on the actual business of generating and converting leads to clients. Most common issues, however, can be taken care of on your own without the need to be tech savvy. Here are five common issues with real estate estate websites and how to fix them:
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Real Estate Website Tips: Why Page Load Time Matters
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3 Things Every Agent Needs in Their 2020 Marketing Arsenal
It's amazing how many companies are vying for the real estate agent's dollar. From trying to sell you leads to showing off the latest shiny object guaranteed to boost your marketing power, it seems like everyone wants to stick their fingers into your pocketbook. What good do these wonder tools do, though, if you lack the systems to put them to work? What is the benefit of marketing to attract new clients if the chances are really good that they'll fall through a crack in your system? If you don't have the basics of your arsenal in place, it's time to concentrate on doing so. 1. A cleaned-up, organized CRM New agents often ask what tools they'll need when they first hit the ground in the real estate world. Aside from a smart phone and a mentor, a robust customer relationship management system (CRM) is a must. Established agents understand the value of a CRM but many allow theirs to become cluttered, disorganized and, very often, ineffective. "Garbage in, garbage out" is what they end up with. Take the time to thoroughly clean up your CRM. This includes: Categorizing the entries in a way that makes sense to you. This may be something as simple as categorizing each entry by their location within the sales funnel (lead, prospect or client) and whether the lead or prospect is cold, warm or hot. Sellers and buyers should be segmented as well. Checking for duplicate entries and then merging or deleting them. Removing contacts that are impossible to contact. These are the ones who submitted a phony email address or phone number, have been in your database for some time and there is no hope of ever contacting them. Ensuring that every contact is on an appropriate touch campaign. 2. A powerful, lead-generating website While the NAR doesn't tell us how many of their members own a website, they do let on that 51 percent have had a website for at least five years. That's a rather paltry number, considering that a website should be one of the main tools in an agent's marketing arsenal. A real estate website can be a giant lead magnet, if done right. By blogging consistently and promoting your posts on social media, you drive traffic back to your site where you can employ additional magnets to capture those leads. But there are other bonuses offered by an agent website: A website offers a place to showcase your testimonials. It helps build awareness of your brand. A website provides a place for potential clients to get to know and trust you. It offers a spot for you to demonstrate authority. Agent websites offer value by providing information that real estate consumers are seeking. Your website can be a tool to help build a targeted mailing list to stay in touch with your sphere of influence. 3. In-depth knowledge of your target market If your target market is "likely buyers and sellers," we feel for you. "Everyone" isn't a target audience and appealing to "everyone" is almost impossible. For marketing to be successful, you simply must know who you are trying to reach. And this determination must be the result of a carefully thought-out process. There are many ways to choose a target market. The easiest is to target the type of client you've most enjoyed working with over the past year or two. Are they members of the military or landlords looking to sell? Maybe they were the first-time homebuyers or downsizing baby boomers. Add to your knowledge of this group of real estate consumers. What is the market like for them right now? Look for pain points that you can address and solve. Where do they hang out online? These are advertising mediums that present an ideal way to reach your audience. Even if you choose only one of the three aforementioned tips, you'll be ahead of your marketing game in 2020.
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How to Promote Yourself and Stay Connected with Clients
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9 Underutilized Websites that Can Help You Generate Real Estate Leads
Online real estate lead generation can be a grind. Everyone knows the main strategies: Google and Facebook ads, Instagram posts, etc. It can be difficult to get an edge because the competition is fierce, not to mention the cost. But not everyone needs to market on oversaturated social networks and platforms. In fact, there are plenty of underutilized websites that can help you generate real estate leads. Here are nine examples that are ready for a savvy real estate agent to exploit.
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Who is Your Ideal Real Estate Customer and How Does Your Website Serve Them?
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5 Components of the Best Agent Websites
A real estate agent's website says a lot. It can either be helpful to its audience of prospects, or not. It can either contribute to an agent's goals of building an online brand and generating leads, or not. The best agent websites have the boxes checked in both of these categories. Now the question is, what do the best agent websites look like? What components do they have that set them apart? And most importantly, how do you get the best real estate website that will benefit your business? Let's examine the features that make an agent website stand out from the crowd, and how you can get it:
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10 Things Google Loves About Your Website
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10 SEO Hacks for Your Real Estate Website
No matter where you're based or what your specialty is, most of your future real estate clients will find you online. Search Engine Optimization – usually called SEO – makes the difference in whether they discover you or a competitor with comparable offerings. SEO is a series of techniques combining best practices in digital marketing and website design. It has two main purposes:
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Building Effective Real Estate Community Pages
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Do You Need a Real Estate Website?
As a real estate professional, you know searching for real estate-related information on the Internet has become an important part of the home buying process. Whether it's to find an agent, view listings or educate themselves about real estate, home buyers are exploring online content more frequently to find what they need. According to the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, as shared by the National Association of Realtors®: 44% of prospective buyers looked online at properties for sale as their first step in the home buying process 88% of prospects that used the internet considered their agent's online website as the most useful source of information 87% of buyers that used the internet found photos to be useful and 85% found detailed information about listings to be very useful Having a real estate agent website makes it possible to supply these potential clients with information they are searching for and establish a connection in doing so. However, if that is not enough. Here are four specific reasons why all agents should have a personal real estate website:
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How to Boost Your Real Estate Website Traffic 10x with Pinterest
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Planning Your Real Estate Website Success
Most agents and brokers count on their real estate website to support their business growth and close a certain number of transactions per year. It would be nice if you could just set up a real estate website with IDX property search to make this happen, but that's not enough. That would be similar to launching a successful retail store without a business plan.
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How to Create the Perfect Neighborhood Guide for Your Real Estate Website
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10 Reasons Real Estate Agents Need Their Own Websites
Every modern real estate business needs its own website, from the smallest brokerages to the biggest brands. Your website is the face of your business online, and the place where customers come to learn what you have to offer. But it's also so much more. Check out our ten reasons why real estate agents need their own website.
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17 Common Real Estate Website Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)
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Is Your Real Estate Seller Content Hitting the Mark?
The real estate seller is a prime prospect, as listings are known to be the best business building tool for real estate professionals. They also can feel like they're the targets of tons of marketing, emails, and repetitive advice. When you're pursued by a throng of real estate agents, it feels like a pack, and your attention is mostly in getting away; nobody stands out.
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The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Keywords
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5 Essential Strategies for Your Real Estate IDX Website
The ability to stand out in an increasingly competitive market is a challenge. What can you do to compete online? Our new content series will be focusing on the unique value that a real estate website gives you and how to get the most out of it. Just having a local real estate website isn't going to get you too far. It's like having a car but not putting gas in it. If you don't invest even a little bit of time and money, you'll probably not get the most of it. It's very easy to mis-spend, and just because you spend a lot of money on a fancy website, it doesn't necessarily mean you are guaranteed success.
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Know Your Numbers to Get Analytics Working for You!
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Best Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Real Estate Website
Creating your real estate website is an exciting process. You carefully choose the look and craft the content. Following this, you send your beautiful new website out into the World Wide Web. But then what? If you're not driving traffic to your real estate website, what good is its elegant design and terrific listings? Setting up your website is the first step to building a valuable online presence. This will create more leads for you as an agent. But driving traffic to your website is just as important! As a result, we will discuss the best ways to drive traffic to your real estate website.
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How to Spring Clean Your Real Estate Website
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Real Estate Website Testimonials Done Right
Do you have client testimonials on your real estate website? If so, where are they on the site? This is the top navigation bar from a real estate website, and many sites are much the same. You get solicited and unsolicited testimonials from past customers and place them all on the Testimonials page for interested site visitors to read through them. You're getting very little value from the good ones in this way.
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Google Flags Websites that Are Not HTTPS as Not Secure
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Power of a High Functioning Website
This is a digital age, where the minute a prospective buyer learns of your name, they rush to Google to plug your name in – and what comes up will ultimately determine their next steps. Ninety-two percent of homebuyers use the Internet as part of their home search, and you only get one chance at a digital first impression. So if your website is representing you around the clock – are you making it count? Here are essential items to consider for an agent website that converts on its clicks.
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Consider a Lifestyle Section for Your Real Estate Website
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Win Quality Leads by Building Awareness and an Online Presence
In today's market, it's about becoming the resource for your clients while creating your personal brand. The internet has become an important resource in the home search process. Real estate agents who do not have a website will miss great opportunities. In the 2018 Properties Online Real Estate Tech Trends, almost 95 percent of home buyers search for homes online. There is a huge shift to a mobile internet; agents need to stay in the game by increasing their web presence. It's important to establish name recognition and brand awareness through your website. Having your own real estate website is the best way to generate quality leads and maximize the growth of your business.
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How to Do Keyword Research for Your Real Estate Website
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Building a Real Estate Website? Start Here.
A staggering 95 percent of people looking for homes used online websites during their search. Yet, while buyers are using websites to find homes, nearly half of all real estate firms say keeping up with technology is one of their biggest challenges. It doesn't have to be. Here are several do's and don'ts to make sure your website attracts clients and generates leads.
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Your Website: The Key to Real Estate Success
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Real Estate Website Statistics Are Valuable if You Use Them
What value is there in the analysis of real estate website statistics? If you want to see eyes glaze over, mention website statistics or analytics when Realtors are talking about online marketing. Most of them spend their days dealing with numbers related to transactions and client deals. Spending their nights dealing with statistics and numbers on their website traffic isn't something that gets them excited. It's interesting listening to these conversations, as many real estate agents and brokerages are very interested in creating content for their sites and working for better search engine positioning. "Keywords," "Key Phrases," and other SEO-related terms are the topics, and content that works is desired. So, what can you learn from your site's analytics or onboard statistics that will help?
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The Destination Real Estate Website vs. the Billboard Site
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How to Snag Your .realestate Website Domain Before Your Competition
A new website domain extension is set to debut next week, and Realtors looking for a memorable web address with plenty of SEO potential should take notice. Website names with a .realestate domain extension go on pre-sale Tuesday, Sept. 18. That means Realtors will be able to purchase domains like Chattanooga.RealEstate or SmithandBrooks.RealEstate.
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Effective Real Estate Website Calls-to-Action for Lead Generation
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3 Ways to Refresh Your Tired Real Estate Website
How long has the anchor content on your website been up on the web? Take a trip through your real estate website with an eye on how many images and how much text could be updated for a fresh new look and better usability. As you look through the site, keep one question top-of-mind: If I am a regular visitor, would I be bored having seen this content over and over? Here are some tips and ideas for refreshing your site that will make it more interesting, especially for repeat visitors. You could also generate more leads.
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How to Build Your Real Estate Company's Website Authority in 90 Days
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Neighborhood Profile Pages for More Real Estate Buyer Leads
What can you do to get more real estate buyer leads? Listings are wonderful, but the more business the better, so buyer leads are important as well. Take a trip through your website to see if you're providing the assets that buyers, and particularly first-time buyers, want. With younger buyers re-entering the homebuying market due to better job prospects in a growing economy, providing them the information they want when they want it will lead to more buyer leads.
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Does SEO Make Sense for the Average Agent's Website?
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Five Website Features for Real Estate Agents and Brokers
Did you know that only 5 percent of real estate firms do not have a website? This means you need a website to showcase your real estate knowledge and persuade them you are the best agent to work with. These five website features are must haves designed for individual agents, new agents, experienced agents, agent teams and small brokerages.
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How to Get Free, Relevant Real Estate Website Content
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Why Should U.S. Agents and Brokers Care about GDPR?
General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is finally getting the most buzz among U.S. businesses. More so than just about anything that's happened in Europe since the European Union went after Microsoft for antitrust concerns. GDPR takes effect May 25, 2018 and covers how European residents' information can be collected and stored online, as well as EU residents' ability to access and restrict that data. It covers what is known in the U.S. as Personally Identifiable Information, see here. This new law also requires companies to notify its European users of any data breach swiftly. So why all the U.S. interest? Here's why: This law applies to every U.S. real estate website, blog or app if at any point it collects personal information from a European resident. The resident only needs to be in Europe when the data is collected. A financial transaction does not have to take place.
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Is Your Real Estate Website Outdated?
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Turn Your Website into a Personal Promotion Power Tool
Chances are, you already have a website. The National Association of Realtors reports that more than 90 percent of real estate firms do. But does your current website do a good job of selling you to potential customers? In a service-based business, YOU are the product, and many agents are uncomfortable (or simply don't know how) to promote themselves online. In this blog post, we will explore: Why "looks matter" when it comes to websites The crucial jobs every agent needs their website to perform The three most important elements for personal promotion According to the National Association of Realtors, the majority of buyers begin their home search online. Even clients who were referred by a friend or relative are probably going to visit your website before they call you. Your website is often your first chance to make a good impression, so don't waste it.
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10 Must-Haves to Include on Your Real Estate Website
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Four Best Practices for Real Estate Agent Websites (with Examples)
Whether you have a real estate agent website or are looking to get one, take a few minutes to understand these important best practices and take a look at some examples provided. An agent website that ticks all four of these boxes – answers questions, captures leads, features listings and works well on all devices – can help you build your online brand, stand out from your competition and generate a significant amount of sales.
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You Down With O.O.P.? Yeah, You Should Be...
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What's Your Real Estate Website Plan for Next Year?
Website age is one component of Google SEO placement, but what about old real estate website content? No matter how much work, time and money you put into your website when you built it, letting it age doesn't make it better like fine wine. Coming to the end of a calendar year, usually when real estate business slows down, is a great time to take a trip through your website to see what you can do to update content, improve navigation, and in general improve the value of the site through a new revised real estate website plan.
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Use Your Real Estate Website to Boost Your Brand
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Why Making Your Website ADA Compliant Is a Double Win
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, became law in 1990, and added web access guidelines in 1999. Recently, there's been a rapid growth in ADA Title III lawsuits over websites. As a result, today, many real estate agents and brokerages are exposed to hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, as well as penalties. Because of the increased legal activity, there's a buzz in the industry to get your website fixed. If you attended a recent workshop or webinar on making your website ADA complaint, you probably heard a lot about this "stick" being used to motivate folks to update their websites to meet the requirements. But what about the "carrot" – the extremely valuable business reason you should update your website to be ADA compliant? Did you know that one in five Americans (22 percent), or almost 57 million people, and one in four women, have a disability? What real estate agents can appreciate from these stats is the business opportunities that emerge by investing in making one's website ADA compliant. So let's look at what it takes to become what's called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) compliant, and what makes this a double win for an agent's and brokerage's business. What's required? The purpose of the ADA guidelines is to simply make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. The word "content" generally means information on a web page or in a web application. This included images, text, sounds, but it can also mean the code that defines the structure of the web page or app because of what is presented on the page to the user. To break it down more simply, the guidelines focus on these primary elements: Text alternatives for images Captions for videos or other multimedia Presenting content in different ways Making content easier to see and hear Making it easier for everyone to use and navigate Website use from a keyboard Giving users enough time to read and use the content Making sure the content you present doesn't cause seizures Having text that's readable and understandable Consistency of content and navigation throughout the site Use of error messages and ways to get back to where one started Content is compatible with various web browsers Now if you looked at these guidelines and didn't know they were related to an ADA compliance requirement, wouldn't you want your website to meet these guidelines anyway? That's the irony about so many of these guidelines: many of them are already website best practices! The penalties So what could happen if you don't have a website or web app that meets WCAG 2.0? According to the legal firm Porter Wright, publishers of Employer Law Report, the U.S. Justice Department has delayed implementation of the rulemaking for the guidelines until sometime next year in 2018. But, they note, that has not stopped legal aggression. They point out that law firms have targeted retailers about web accessibility, writing, "A typical approach involves a letter from a law firm asserting that the retailer's website is not accessible and offering to discuss an 'agreed plan' for bringing the website into compliance. The threat typically also insists on payment of significant attorney's fees and sometimes alleged damages as terms to settle." While many initial lawsuits have been dismissed because of the Justice Department's delay, in June, the first Federal Court, a Florida District Court, ruled against grocery chain Winn-Dixie that having an inaccessible website violates Title III Of The ADA. The Judge issued a 13-page Verdict and Order finding that grocer Winn-Dixie violated Title III of the ADA by having a website that was not useable by a blind plaintiff to download coupons, order prescriptions, and find store locations. The growing concern among experts is a flurry of lawsuits. Litigators will sue when companies and people are exposed and they see a financial opportunity. It's certainly not just real estate that has websites that are not ADA complaint – nearly every major industry, from retail to financial services is scrambling to be prepared. The challenge for real estate is that 93 percent of all brokerages and nearly every real estate agent has a website. Overlay the fact that 88 percent of buyers use websites to find a home. The importance of a website is paramount in a path to purchase, says the data from the NAR. A market opportunity The bigger win comes from the carrot, not the stick: you are creating a huge market opportunity for your business by making your website ADA complaint. Just think about the numbers, and not just those who are legally disabled, but those who also have limitations: Nearly 10 million Americans are blind or visually impaired, 37.2 million Americans adults are hearing impaired, and in terms of physical disabilities: 77 million Americas have at least one basic actions difficulty or complex activity limitation. When you look at the aging Baby Boomer generation and the growing trend of longevity in America – we are living longer and more likely as a country to deal with more limitations and more disabilities in the future – there is a huge and compelling marketing opportunity to become ADA compliant! Making sure your website reaches the largest number of buyers is often what real estate agents tell sellers they work hard to do. Making one's website ADA compliant helps deliver on that promise. It's a wise business investment that supports your ability to extend your market reach. It's a double win When a business website becomes ADA compliant, it's a double win: a business is protected and so is one's pocketbook from potential lawsuits. The time and money that can be wasted from a lawsuit is avoided. That's a win. But more importantly, the bigger win comes from the terrific market opportunity that comes from reaching more people. Being ADA compliant reaches people in a way that personally connects them to one's business and shows them a business that is not only up-to-date but cares about its customer. And that's the kind of message most real estate agents and brokerages want to share with their marketplace. Tricia Stamper is director of technology with Florida REALTORS®, which owns Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Real Estate Website
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8 Components of a Lead Generating Website
One of the most underutilized resources in real estate is the agent and/or broker website. Many agents see their website as a place to send buyers to search for listings after the lead has been captured. However, websites can be used to generate leads as well. Top agents generate hundreds of buyer and seller leads from their websites. To start making money with your real estate website, take time to add the following tips, tools, and techniques to your website strategy.
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How to Write a Neighborhood Guide
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An Easy Intro to SEO for Your Real Estate Website
Buzzwords abound in the world of web design and digital marketing. And, chances are, if you’ve talked to even one person who has anything to do with “digital,” you’ve heard the acronym “SEO.” SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a pretty integral part of any digital marketing strategy, particularly for real estate agents. Because it’s one thing to build a website and it’s quite another to make sure the right people find it at the right time.
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