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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?
Here's an unpopular view I'd like you to consider. What if the branding on your website doesn't matter as much as you think? What I mean by this is that your logo and what your logo represents doesn't mean much to the average online consumer. Keller Williams, Berkshire Hathaway, Century 21, whichever brokerage -- it's all the same. To be fair, Gary Keller is an amazing salesman and marketer and his book The One Thing is one of my favorites, and Warren Buffet is a brilliant entrepreneur and investor plus who doesn't love Dairy Queen? But that doesn't really matter to the average online consumer. In this article, I will examine NAR's 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report and share information from the report that shows the branding on your real estate website doesn't really matter to the average online consumer. 1. What Matters to the Average Online Consumer? According to NAR's 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report, the top ten most popular website features that home buyers valued were: Photos: Very Useful (87%), Somewhat Useful (11%), Not Useful (1%), Did Not Use (1%). Detailed Information About Properties for Sale: Very Useful (85%), Somewhat Useful (14%), Not Useful (1%), Did Not Use (less than 1%). Floor Plans: Very Useful (52%), Somewhat Useful (32%), Not Useful (7%), Did Not Use (9%). Virtual Tours: Very Useful (46%), Somewhat Useful (34%), Not Useful (10%), Did Not Use (11%). Real Estate Agent Contact Information: Very Useful (42%), Somewhat Useful (31%), Not Useful (16%), Did Not Use (11%). Detailed Information About Recently Sold Homes: Very Useful (41%), Somewhat Useful (42%), Not Useful (9%), Did Not Use (7%). Neighborhood Information: Very Useful (39%), Somewhat Useful (44%), Not Useful (9%), Did Not Use (8%). Interactive Maps: Very Useful (37%), Somewhat Useful (33%), Not Useful (13%), Did Not Use (16%). Pending Sales/Contract Status: Very Useful (36%), Somewhat Useful (35%), Not Useful (15%), Did Not Use (13%). Videos: Very Useful (25%), Somewhat Useful (35%), Not Useful (16%), Did Not Use (24%). As you can see, photos, detailed information about properties for sale, and floor plans topped the charts while contact information ranked fifth. This tells me that the listings page is the by far the most important page on your website. If you're able to include and optimize these top website features on one listing page, you can compel more website traffic to want your contact information and convert them into a lead. 2. The Consumer Buying Process The statistics above paint a picture that is reflective of the consumer buying process. The consumer, for whatever reason, realizes it's time to buy a home, then they look for homes online (photos, property information, floor plans, virtual tours). Next, they look to see who they can contact to help them learn more about the home or see it in person (your contact information), then they look for relevant information about you (your past sales), and/or the home (its neighborhood). 3. Why Does Less Website Branding Matter? In digital marketing, the most successful websites focus on the consumer's experience and their needs. By focusing more on the consumer and less on your branding, you can provide the best experience possible. Making the most important features of your website clear and easy to access with minimal distractions will increase your conversion rates. How? When a consumer enjoys your website and finds it easy to use and navigate, they tend to spend more time on it, view more pages, and use more tools. They tend to trust the website if they find the information valid and valuable also. Do not forget to add lead capture forms to your most valuable content. The information should be valuable enough to make a consumer want to exchange their contact information for your content. Less branding doesn't mean no branding on your website. It just means it's not as important as you may think because it's not a priority for the consumer – the listing is. When a consumer wants to learn about you and your brand, they will, but it's not their primary focus. To view the original article, visit the TORCHx blog.
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You Need Customer Reviews on Your Site
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9 Reasons Why It's So Important to Have Your Own Domain
Not all websites are created equal. Just as no two real estate agents are the same, each agent's website highlights the differences between other agents vying for the marketplace. Though content is king, it's important to understand that even your website's domain name has a significant impact on your performance and perception. Here are nine benefits and advantages of having a custom domain name: 1. It's a No-Brainer Why should you have a custom domain name? Why not? It's simple, especially when you're trying to encourage clients to access it. Instead of asking clients to remember a confusing web address, simply adding a ".com" to your business name makes engagement effortless. It also makes it easier for clients to find you passively, for instance, when they search for you online. If they search "John Smith" and find "johnsmith.com," they'll know that they've found the correct address. 2. It Gives You a Leg-Up on the Competition Do you know how many of the other agents in your market have their own custom domain names? Chances are high there are many which simply use web addresses provided by a hosting site. By locking down your custom domain name, you have another leg-up on the competition by demonstrating your legitimacy. 3. It Demonstrates Legitimacy How does having a custom domain address demonstrate legitimacy? First, it shows that you're using the latest technologies. Though websites are nothing new, you'd be surprised how many agents still do not use custom domain names despite the relative ease of obtaining one. It also helps a user feel more comfortable following your link. "johnsmith.com" appears much more legitimate than "johnsmith.domainhosting.com." 4. It Increases Your SEO Ranking SEO. Three letters your small business needs to know regardless of which industry you serve. If you're online, Search Engine Optimization is essential to your success. With so many other agencies selling homes in your area, you need the best search ranking possible on Google. Having a custom domain is one way to increase your SEO ranking in the eyes of Google's algorithm. 5. It Enables Custom Email Addresses Similar to your web address itself, your email addresses are small yet important elements of how your business is perceived. Sure, an @gmail.com or @outlook.com address will work just the same, but having an @johnsmith.com address will once again enhance your legitimacy and reassure customers that you're the real deal. 6. It Elevates Your Brand The brand you've cultivated in the real world can be easily integrated into the digital world with a custom website address. It also helps your brand consistency to have a legitimate domain name that matches your other online profiles, like your social media accounts. 7. It Enhances Your Branding "Branding" is different from "brand." Your brand is the business; your branding is what your business does. For instance, you may be a luxury real estate agent, but the content you supply that highlights your listings is an act of branding. A custom domain name is an investment. When clients click that link, they're taken to your website to interact with you through your branding. If you're trying to wow your luxury home market, for example, your domain name is the doorway to these interactions. 8. It Opens Potential for New Leads You don't need an open house to generate new "walk-in" leads. As you strengthen your website's content with a custom domain, you increase the chances that new customers will organically visit your site when they find it through a search engine. With the right tools, you can convert these visits to potential leads by continuing to engage them after they've left your site. 9. It May Be the Future of Virtual Businesses Thousands of new websites are created each day, which means many domain names become unavailable every instant. It's clear that more and more agents are adopting custom domain names. Keep in mind other agents may also scoop up domain names that you're interested in. Delta Media Group's digital marketing platform will easily integrate your custom domain, ensuring you reap the maximum benefits from your online presence. If you lack a custom domain name, we encourage you to consider these advantages and discover how quickly a new website address can benefit your agency. RE Technology users can try DeltaNet 6 FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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The Essential Building Blocks for Your Business
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Common Misconceptions Agents Have About Real Estate Websites
When it comes to real estate websites, there are a few complaints that we hear more often than others. This is typically due to misconceptions or assumptions. We are here to clear all that up. Here are common misconceptions about real estate websites:
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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
In this article, you'll learn the elements of a successful, lead converting "About Me" web page that will increase the page's conversion rate. If you analyze the data on your website, there's a good chance your About Me page is one of the top five most visited pages on your website. I've visited so many poorly constructed About Me pages that I felt compelled to write a blog article about it. If your About Me page receives views but no clicks, form fills or any other engagement, it's time to revamp and optimize it for conversions.
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What Do the Best Real Estate Websites for Agents Have in Common?
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The Top 10 Ways to Drive New Traffic to Your Real Estate Website
As a real estate agent, one of your primary goals and constant challenge is driving consumers to your website. Your real estate website is like your online store, so it's vital to your success to explore strategies that increase traffic to your website. Real estate is a numbers game. More traffic to your website means more opportunities to convert a consumer into a lead. The more leads, the more opportunity for clients, and the more clients means more income and more referrals. When you brainstorm ways to drive more traffic to your website, think of ways your target audience consumes information and how you can intercept their attention. In this article, you'll discover 10 marketing tactics used to drive new website visitor traffic to your website.
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9 Ways to Use Social Media to Make Your Website a Better Lead Engine
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How to Get Search Engines to Come Crawling Back
In this article for Delta Media Group's real estate industry publication, Real Estate Marketing and Technology Magazine, Aaron Geh discusses how SEO helps your real estate website attract more traffic and better quality leads. Whether searching for a sales associate or going on a house hunt, most people start their search online. Search engine results are a huge potential source of traffic for your real estate website, which leads to fierce competition for the top positions in search rankings. That's where search engine optimization (SEO) enters the picture. SEO is one of the most powerful tools for growing your real estate firm online, but SEO's complexity means that not everyone understands it. Let's look at these SEO tips to help your business attract more traffic and better quality leads.
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7 Ways to Simplify Your Real Estate Website to Increase Lead Generation
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Website SEO Tips
Bondilyn Jolly, VP of Marketing at Elevate, interviews CJ Hays of Agent Reputation on his top tips for driving amazing SEO on Google. If you are looking for your website "to be found" on Google searches, tune into this discussion on tactical blogging, original content, IDX indelibility, reviews and more. CJ packs TONS of great tips into 14 minutes, so be ready to hit the "replay" button! Want MORE great website SEO tips? Download Elevate's FREE "Website SEO Guide" at: TryElevate.com/websiteseoguide/
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Website SEO Guide [FREE Download]
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Answering Your Questions About SEO and Your Real Estate Website
I have spent over 20 years helping a wide variety of companies grow their businesses on the Internet. Here are two of the most frequently asked questions I receive and their answers: What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Why does SEO need to be approached differently within the real estate industry? What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? First, let me define what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is from my perspective. SEO techniques are used on and off websites to make a site more appealing to search engines. The more search engines like a website, the more they visit to index its pages. The result of SEO work done correctly--search engines push your website higher in search results for specific key phrases associated with your products and/services. Traffic generated from SEO is called "organic traffic." SEO in the Early Days Over the years, SEO has evolved, but I'd argue the core fundamentals have not changed that much. Early on in the infancy stage of SEO, it was the Wild West (late 1990s). Many people resorted to keyword stuffing or paying link farms to create thousands of links back to a site. While this process resulted in short term gains for these companies, any advancement made was quickly replaced with penalties once search engines caught on to their spammy techniques. Even during these Wild West days, savvy developers and online marketers understood it was all about designing sites for the end user. Eventually, search engines started publishing best practices, many of which still apply today. SEO Best Practices You need to build a site that is easy to use and navigate. The website needs to be technically sound. It needs to perform well speed-wise. The website needs designing with the end-user in mind, not the search engines. It needs to have unique and engaging content. You need to research high authority 'complementary' sites and obtain links back to your site. It needs to be trustworthy Add on-page optimization and internal linking throughout your website to help search engines better understand what the site is about and to navigate it easier. This last point is evolving a bit as the search engines are becoming smarter and don't need as much assistance. There are different approaches to SEO if you are a B2B or B2C company, but at the end of the day, the goals for any SEO campaign should be to increase traffic and leads/sales. Why Is SEO for the Real Estate Industry Approached Differently? Within most other industries, whether you are B2B or B2C, you are dealing with information that does not change often. For example, if you are a carpet cleaning company, your services will not change much over time. Or if you have an online store, products are added or discontinued over time, but generally speaking, your offerings stay pretty consistent. The consistency in these two examples allows the marketer to focus more intently on specific products and/or services, building out valuable content and links over time around the core services or products. The most significant difference with a real estate website is the lack of consistency with the products: homes, buildings, land, etc. Each property has a unique SKU number, so to speak, so it makes things even more challenging; the properties are only online until they sell. In major markets, we are talking thousands of property listings turning over quickly. Instead of trying to optimize each listing individually, many marketers in the real estate industry will focus on areas--states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, school districts, subdivisions, etc. For example, if you are a real estate firm in Sarasota, Fla., you may create a landing page with listings for Sarasota. And from that page, you'll drill down and create additional pages for neighborhoods within Sarasota. Consequently, you would use SEO tactics on all of those pages. This process is a fairly common practice within the real estate industry. The downside to this approach is that you will be missing out on visitors searching for a specific home for sale. Surprisingly, we have found that single address property searches equate to a significant amount of monthly traffic. Some of our clients see nearly 50 percent of their traffic originating from single address property search--i.e., 123 Main Street, Sarasota. Moreover, when it comes to recruiting and retaining, a firm with real estate listings displayed on the first page of Google has a distinct advantage over local competitors who cannot. To stay ahead of the curve, you should review your current website from two different aspects. 1. Technical Aspect of SEO The technical aspects of SEO (the how and why behind search engines crawling and indexing a site) are even more important with real estate sites than other industries because of the sheer amount of data processed daily. Clear paths for search engines need to be created to crawl from page-to-page, gathering pertinent information throughout your site. I have found that many real estate websites struggle in this area. To determine if your site has technical issues, look at how many pages you have indexed in Google (example: type site: www.hpw.com into Google search). Based on the number of listings and other content throughout your site, if the number of indexed pages seems low, there may be underlying issues. 2. Content Aspect of SEO Within the real estate industry, content is essential given the industry's competitive nature and some of the previously mentioned challenges. Blogging is a popular way to grow your site's visibility in search engines. As a rule of thumb, blogs should support the site's overall SEO strategy. However, in many cases, blogs are the only area where SEO is leveraged. For example, if your website is not ranking for the markets you serve, a blog may be your only avenue to publish optimized content for better visibility. Unless you are willing to invest significantly in time and money to make an impact, this option may not be ideal for you. Some companies do it and are successful, but having a better understanding of the website's shortfalls and correcting them will save you time and money in the long run. Taking a Look at the Competition I also wanted to touch on the industry's competitive nature and attempt to set proper expectations if you are a local firm engaging in SEO. The real estate industry is competitive, REALLY competitive. You have portals led by Zillow, corporate franchises, and then all of the local firms all competing for the number one position within the search results. The more competitive the market is in general (e.g., Dallas or San Francisco), the bigger the hill is to climb because there are even more online competitors. Realistically speaking, most local firms are not going to outrank the portals or even corporate franchises for phrases like "Dallas real estate," for example. These sites have an enormous amount of content because they have a national presence and all of the listings and associated content to go along with it. That is a big deal and one that is tough to beat. It's not impossible to outrank bigger players because many of our clients do. The clients that do tend to be very large and have spent years investing in SEO and content strategies. A realistic approach is to focus on less competitive phrases and ensure that your listing shows up on the first page of results. Less competitive phrases revolve around neighborhoods, subdivisions, and school districts. If you are successful and climb to the top for these phrases, it generally produces better quality traffic and leads. Also, visitors using these types of search phrases have narrowed their focus and are a bit more qualified. With SEO, Patience Is a Virtue... Really! A word to the wise: SEO is a long-term play, meaning don't expect immediate results. My rule of thumb is that if you don't at least stick it out for a year, look to invest your marketing dollars elsewhere. We are fortunate that we can move the needle fairly quickly for most of our clients. However, we run into some cases where it takes a bit longer, and that requires patience. Many factors determine SEO success. Every market and every company is different even though we are all in the real estate industry. So be patient and look at it as a long term investment. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is Be cautious of companies making wild guarantees like: "We will get your site to the first position in Google for 'real estate.'" This sounds great to someone that is not too familiar with SEO, but realistically, most have no shot. When communicating with a potential partner, you need to feel like you can trust them, know what they are doing, and have your best interest at heart. If it doesn't seem logical or feel realistic, you should probably be concerned. Finally, just because a company claims "to do" SEO, be highly skeptical, especially in the real estate space. It's vital to understand precisely how these companies "do" SEO, and what success looks like based on data they have collected over time. Remember, SEO is about increasing traffic and leads. If they cannot provide you data on how they have helped other firms–run! It's also essential to understand the retention rate for the clients they currently serve. If they cannot retain clients, they are not providing value. So do your homework. Aaron Geh is a featured content contributor for Delta Media Group's industry magazine, Real Estate Marketing & Technology. Sign up today to receive your free subscription to Real Estate Marketing & Technology. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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How to Master Local SEO for Real Estate Success
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Social Media Ideas Certain to Bring Love to Your Website
Social media marketing is one of the leading ways to connect with your community as a sales associate. Studies have shown that experts in real estate are consistently among the most active professionals on most social media platforms. Used correctly, social media is an unbeatable tool for driving traffic to your website and turning those visitors into leads. It also helps you cultivate long-term relationships with current clients, past clients, and future referrals within their network. The right social media can show people to your website right when they need you.
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5 Things Every Real Estate Website Should Have
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The 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. Eighty-four 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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Top Real Estate Website Issues and How to Fix Them
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Real Estate Website Tips: Why Page Load Time Matters
Today, time is one of the most precious things. The world is moving forward, the technological revolution has made life easier and faster. Every website user expects to receive information as fast as possible. Google Research shows that 33% of smartphone users in each market have a negative view of a brand if mobile experience is slow. In this fast-paced world, you have to think to stay notable and discoverable. Having a good real estate website is a must in order to have a successful business. When talking about the website and its functionality, we take into consideration different things like what kind of design it has, if it's responsive or not, which tools it contains, add-ons that differentiate it from other websites and, of course, page load time. The time it takes for a page to load has a big influence on the bounce rate of your site.
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3 Things Every Agent Needs in Their 2020 Marketing Arsenal
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How to Promote Yourself and Stay Connected with Clients
The weather outside is cold, but that doesn't mean the market is! With more Americans planning to buy or sell their homes, it is critical to not only catch the client's attention, but to stay connected once you have it. Here are some helpful tricks and tips you can use to build long-lasting relationships and a positive reputation.
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9 Underutilized Websites that Can Help You Generate Real Estate Leads
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Who is Your Ideal Real Estate Customer and How Does Your Website Serve Them?
How much time have you spent identifying your ideal real estate customer? When it comes to real estate websites, the vast majority use a kind of shotgun approach to customer acquisition. The typical residential real estate agent wants to list homes and work with buyers too. When you can do both in one deal, it's a party.
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5 Components of the Best Agent Websites
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10 Things Google Loves About Your Website
There's no doubt about it: you don't just want Google to like your real estate website, you want Google to LOVE it. Why? When Google loves your website, you get a higher ranking in search results for real estate businesses and topics in your area. Most prospects don't look past the first few links on the first page of results, so a higher search ranking ultimately means more leads and more business. Fortunately, this love story doesn't have to be complicated.
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10 SEO Hacks for Your Real Estate Website
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Building Effective Real Estate Community Pages
Most real estate professionals are familiar with the concept of community pages on real estate websites. With a single click into one of these pages, visitors can start exploring listings in a given community. Links to the pages are typically provided in the site navigation menus and/or provided on the home page, often with photos of each community. Community pages are always a good idea because they provide the option for immediate access to listings without requiring the use of a property search form.
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Do You Need a Real Estate Website?
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How to Boost Your Real Estate Website Traffic 10x with Pinterest
Every single real estate agent should be obsessed with finding new ways to funnel traffic to their site. More traffic means more potential leads, which in the long term, means more clients. The question is, "What is the best way for a real estate professional to drive traffic to their website?" The Top Methods for Driving Real Estate Traffic If you are striving to become one of the top agents in your area, you need to funnel a large amount of the search engine traffic to your brand. Some of the typical ways agents accomplish this are: Real estate blogging Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc) Video Marketing (Vimeo or YouTube) Paid Advertising (i.e., Google Adwords and Facebook Ads) Email marketing These are all extremely effective ways to increase the amount of traffic you are receiving. So what else can you do? The Forgotten Platform that Homebuyers Are Using We know from our lessons in SEO that the forgotten areas of content are often the places where it is easiest to quickly stand out. There is a social media tool that most real estate agents have forgotten. Bypassing this platform is a big mistake if you are looking for new website traffic sources. The forgotten social media tool we are referring to is… Pinterest. When most people think of Pinterest, they conjure mental images of DIY crafts and delicious cupcake recipes. Pinterest is a great place for finding new craft ideas, but it can also be a powerful tool for real estate agents. Why Real Estate Agents Should Consider Pinterest If your go-to social media platform is Twitter, you may be surprised to learn that a "pin" is 100 times more spreadable than a tweet. What about Facebook? A pin has a half-life or is active 1,600X longer than your average Facebook post. What does this mean for you as an agent? A well-crafted piece of content on Pinterest may be highly visible online for a week whereas a Facebook post has about 90 minutes to gain traction. Pinterest Statistic for Agents to Consider Pinterest has about 175 million active users that use the social media platform at least once a month. 81% of all Pinterest users are females, with the median age of 40. We know what you are thinking, "But how much do they make?" Thirty percent of Pinterest users earn over $50,000 per year, while 10% of users have a household income of $125,000 or greater. That sounds like a large group of social media users who could easily qualify for a mortgage to us. First Things First: Sign Up for a Business Account If you are not active on Pinterest right now, simply signing up for a business account and regularly submitting content on the platform should give your traffic a massive bump. However, if you already have a personal account that you wish to use for your real estate business, be sure to switch to a business account. This will give you access to Pinterest analytics so you can see which pins are the most popular and who is viewing those pieces of content. Make Your Real Estate Pictures Pinterest Perfect There is an art to creating pictures and other forms of media for Pinterest. First of all, your image has to be the correct size. Pinterest is all about vertical imagery due to the fact that over 80% of Pinterest users browse their feed on their smartphone. Aim for an aspect ratio of 4:5 or 2:3. Example of Pinterest Image What does this mean in terms of height and width? Let's say you took a picture of a "dream home" to share with your followers. If the width of this picture is 500, the length should be 750 to achieve the 2:3 ratio. As a general rule of thumb on Pinterest, longer is better. Why? When a user is scrolling through their feed, a longer image will be on the screen longer, increasing the chances that they notice it. Pinterest Picture Tips for Agents If you are new to the platform, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind: Use the highest quality images you can find. If possible, work with a professional photographer or invest in a full-frame DSLR camera. Utilize text on your images. This attracts the user and helps them instantly understand what your pin is about. Not comfortable with Photoshop? Find a designer in your hometown! Don't show your face. Images without visible human faces tend to receive about 20% more repins. Make the background exciting. A pin of an object floating on a plain white background will receive less attention than the same object on an aged wood table. Regardless of your political opinions, red is better than blue. On average, images that utilize red tones get twice as many repins than those that use blue on Pinterest. Use Pinterest as a Funnel for Prospects As a real estate agent on Pinterest, you have two main objectives. First, you want to attract the attention of Pinterest users who are interested in buying or selling their homes. Your second objective is to take this attention and funnel it back to your website. There are many ways to achieve this, but the most common method is linking to your site in your pin descriptions. If you have created a valuable piece of content such as an infographic, offer further related content if a user decides to visit your site. For example, your infographic might be about the top five mistakes first time homebuyers make when selecting a home. At the bottom of your infographic, link to a blog post where you explain 10 further mistakes that a new homebuyer should avoid. Attention Is the Currency of Real Estate Pinterest is a valuable tool, but it is just as complex as the other social media platforms. Don't get discouraged if you don't have success immediately. Just like anything else, it will take time to learn the ins and outs of the platform, but if you stick with it, you will have a new source of valuable website traffic to enjoy. To view the original article, visit the Parkbench blog.
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Planning Your Real Estate Website Success
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How to Create the Perfect Neighborhood Guide for Your Real Estate Website
The top real estate agents in the industry offer so much more than basic buying and selling services. The agents that become leaders are those who provide a continuous stream of value for their core clientele. Bring Your Prospects Value If you want to increase your number of commission checks, start thinking of ways to educate and support your community. Of course, you can pass on tips relating to the core elements of real estate like everyone else. But maybe there are other areas that you could provide insights on as well?
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10 Reasons Real Estate Agents Need Their Own Websites
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17 Common Real Estate Website Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)
While WordPress is by far the best website platform available, mistakes are commonly made when setting it up. This guide will walk you through the most common mistakes made when setting up a real estate website using WordPress and how to fix them.
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Is Your Real Estate Seller Content Hitting the Mark?
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The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Keywords
There's no doubt that online search is one of the most important tools for helping prospects find your real estate business. According to the National Association of REALTORS, 50 percent of real estate customers find the home they eventually buy through online search, and plenty more use search to identify the real estate agent who helps them find the right home. So it's important to make your website as search engine-friendly as possible—which starts with using the right real estate keywords. Today, we're going to take a closer look at what real estate keywords are, how they work, and what you can do to leverage the power of keywords for your real estate website.
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5 Essential Strategies for Your Real Estate IDX Website
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Know Your Numbers to Get Analytics Working for You!
At a recent real estate event, a question was posed to the audience. What do you get paid for? The answers were varied. Negotiation, marketing skills, and value were words commonly mentioned. Then someone said "my experience" and the speaker's eyes lit up. "What does experience mean?" she asked. The room quieted for a moment as the attendees contemplated the answer. "Experience," she said, "means that you are bringing to the table all of the things that your customer doesn't have without you."
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Best Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Real Estate Website
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How to Spring Clean Your Real Estate Website
Even the best website is a work in progress. To be effective in real estate, a website needs to reflect the latest trends. Recent information on the market and how it may affect customers is essential. Leads will trust your expertise only if they see your website is helpful, informative, and up to date. However, even updating your site regularly won't do the job on its own.
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Real Estate Website Testimonials Done Right
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Google Flags Websites that Are Not HTTPS as Not Secure
It's for your clients. It's for your security. It's for Google. Our team heard "rumblings" as early as two years ago from Google strongly "advocating" website owners move to HTTPS encryption to make the Internet secure and protect the privacy of your users. If you have not yet acquired an SSL certificate, you may have already noticed Google has flagged your website as "Not Secure" in Chrome.
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Power of a High Functioning Website
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Consider a Lifestyle Section for Your Real Estate Website
A huge chunk of our business is locating homes and facilitating their sale, and our real estate websites are a big part of our marketing. People have a great many requirements for what they want in a home, from size and bedrooms to neighborhood and amenities. People want to enjoy their time in their homes, but they also spend a great deal of time away from home engaged in activities other than their jobs. Concentrating just on the four walls and the home's features leaves a lot of buyers doing their own research into what they like to do or enjoy near prospective homes.
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Win Quality Leads by Building Awareness and an Online Presence
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How to Do Keyword Research for Your Real Estate Website
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool for helping prospects find your real estate website and the content that you create. Many factors go into successful SEO, and keyword research certainly ranks near the top of the list. Understanding what types of keywords your audience likes, how to find new keywords, and how to integrate keywords into your real estate content will help you take your marketing to the next level. Let's take a closer look at how to do real estate keyword research, and put your new keywords to work for your business.
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Building a Real Estate Website? Start Here.
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Your Website: The Key to Real Estate Success
The real estate company you work for has a great website, great social media channels, and other great communications tools for reaching and engaging with customers. After all, it's one of the reasons you're an agent there. However, you still need to market yourself separately; real estate is still a very personal business defined largely by the individual agent. The most successful agents understand the need to continuously update and innovate their business so they can connect with new and existing clients. Today's agents have found that the best way to do that is to go where their customers spend their time—online. They are the ones who have learned how to seamlessly blend an online presence with an interpersonal connection. Without your own website, potential clients will simply overlook you, and move on to the next agent. Here are some compelling reasons why you need your own website as an individual agent.
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Real Estate Website Statistics Are Valuable if You Use Them
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The Destination Real Estate Website vs. the Billboard Site
What makes a real estate website effective as a business generator? Here's a hint: it isn't just making it pretty and pitching yourself. The best way to illustrate the point is to compare a real estate website that's a billboard to one that's a directional sign to a destination. What is the destination?
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How to Snag Your .realestate Website Domain Before Your Competition
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Effective Real Estate Website Calls-to-Action for Lead Generation
For real estate lead generation, you run ads in the newspaper, in the homes magazine, and highlight your website in all of your other marketing. You've done a good job with this marketing in calling people to take action and come to your website. Now what are you doing for calls-to-action on your website to get your visitors to tell you who they are? If you're asking for them to "sign up for my newsletter," or "register for my guestbook," you're probably not very happy with leads from those calls. It's not that a newsletter isn't valuable, and we'll talk about that, but just asking them to sign up for it isn't going to grab their interest. So what can you do for calls-to-action around your site for real estate lead generation? And where should you place them?
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3 Ways to Refresh Your Tired Real Estate Website
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How to Build Your Real Estate Company's Website Authority in 90 Days
There's no question that your real estate company has what it takes to flourish. Selling buyers the right home is certainly important, but it's pivotal to have a website that gains traction as well. Besides word of mouth, search engines are where people get their real estate leads and trusted sources from. Your website needs maximum visibility so you can get the clients you deserve. One of the best ways to gain a website's credibility is by building your website's authority score in search engines. It may seem like a daunting task initially, but within 90 days you can boost your authority score, and get more traffic towards your site. Here is how it's done:
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Neighborhood Profile Pages for More Real Estate Buyer Leads
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Does SEO Make Sense for the Average Agent's Website?
If you own a website, it's likely you have heard the term SEO or Search Engine Optimization. If you're a real estate agent with a website, it's also highly probable a firm offering SEO services have solicited you. The challenge with SEO today, for many agents, is that the largest real estate companies who focus on the internet invest millions of dollars in SEO. They often have outside firms, or internal teams, whose daily focus is on perfecting the SEO of their websites. As a result, they often dominate even local real estate search results. Also, these companies buy a lot of local real estate advertising keywords, so these sponsored search results are always on top of the unpaid ranked search results below.
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Five Website Features for Real Estate Agents and Brokers
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How to Get Free, Relevant Real Estate Website Content
The question is "How do we create good real estate website content?" NOT "Why do we need it?" As the Internet has become one of our most powerful marketing venues, the value of a comprehensive and relevant real estate website has become crucial. Even if you are out networking and marketing through print and other traditional media, once contacted, the vast majority of prospects will check you out on the web before making a decision. Another question is how to create or get good, relevant website content without having to create it all yourself or spend a lot of money. I'm sure you didn't miss the word "free" in the title, and I'll show you here how to get great and highly relevant content for your website for free, and in the process, you'll meet new people and build your networking effort.
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Why Should U.S. Agents and Brokers Care about GDPR?
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Is Your Real Estate Website Outdated?
In today's hyper-connected, digital landscape, everyone is using the internet to look up information, check references and find the tools, resources and services for just about everything in their lives—including real estate agents and brokers. Homebuyers and sellers work with real estate agents because they provide industry and market expertise. A real estate agent's website needs to portray that same industry and market expertise. Your website should be an invaluable tool for your clients and prospects, and it should be a source of quality leads. If your website is not up to date, you risk missing out on those clients and losing them to other agents. Attracting new clients starts with providing the best information and the easiest and most pleasant user experience online as possible. If it's been several years since you've made any updates to your site (or you simply don't have one), it's quite possible your site is outdated and needs some TLC to make it once again a powerful tool for you and your clients. Take a look at our recommendations below and ask yourself whether your site falls into any one (or more) of these categories.
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Turn Your Website into a Personal Promotion Power Tool
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10 Must-Haves to Include on Your Real Estate Website
When it comes to building a real estate website, remember the ABCs: Always. Be. Closing. While you may not sell a home online all the time, an effective website can drive more leads and convert more users into clients. To optimize your website, include these key features that will not only attract potential customers, but also establish you as a premier agent with tremendous skills, knowledge, and command of the industry:
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Four Best Practices for Real Estate Agent Websites (with Examples)
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You Down With O.O.P.? Yeah, You Should Be...
Owned-and-operated properties are important because they ensure that you are creating the best user experience on the destinations you can actually control. This is a concept that is vastly underutilized by Realtors and significantly important if you want to be in business for the long haul. So because there has been so much worry about the changes Facebook is making to their newsfeed and the way it will impact advertisers, I've been wandering down a rabbit hole of articles for the past couple of weeks. I came across a very interesting article on TechCrunch about the Facebook changes and what marketers can do to retool to accommodate those changes. As far as what to do, their feelings are pretty much in line with my feelings. One interesting thing they did cover in their article, however, is the idea of Owned and Operated Properties (OOP). What are these, you ask? Specifically, these are online destinations that the brand owns and controls. For a Realtor, an example of this would be your blog, your website, or maybe the video channel on your website. Owned-and-operated properties are important because they ensure that you are creating the best user experience on the destinations you can actually control. So what exactly does this mean, and why is this important?
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What's Your Real Estate Website Plan for Next Year?
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Use Your Real Estate Website to Boost Your Brand
There are ways agents can use their real estate website and online assets they already have to solidify their brand. Real estate PR is perhaps a lost art, but it doesn't need to be. With a little fine-tuning, your website and social profiles can boost your brand, improve social proof (your online reputation), and nurture leads right into your sales pipeline. Your brand shows the world that you are different from other agents and it inspires trust and whatever other emotion you hope to elicit from your potential clients. If done right, it also shows how you will solve their biggest frustrations and challenges.
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Why Making Your Website ADA Compliant Is a Double Win
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How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Real Estate Website
A personalized website is an important marketing asset for real estate agents. Even before selecting the perfect template, adding images, and hooking up an MLS feed, the process of creating a branded website will always begin with selecting the right domain names. Today, we'll learn what a domain name is and how to choose the best domain names for your website.
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8 Components of a Lead Generating Website
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How to Write a Neighborhood Guide
Home buyers may find the perfect dream home online, but they are unlikely to purchase that home until they understand the neighborhood it's built in. Therefore, as a real estate agent, providing a neighborhood profile can go a long way to giving your clients a better understanding of the surroundings. Neighborhood guides, or profiles, add rich content to your website, and you can use snippets on Facebook to drive that traffic. Furthermore, neighborhood guides provide a hyper-local aspect to your website which allows you to rank organically for neighborhood search terms. Just what content should a neighborhood profile have? Here are some items to consider to create a positive experience for your website visitors.
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An Easy Intro to SEO for Your Real Estate Website
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