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7 Real Estate Website Trends to Watch
Real estate websites are a lead-generating staple, and give your brokerage a place to make an impact online. And just like every other first impression you make, it's important to have the right tools to make a good one! Here are some of the trends that have made an impact so far this year—and ones to watch as we head into the second half and 2020!
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Does Your Website Work for the Visually Impaired?
Zillow is getting sued for being inaccessible to the visually impaired. A lawsuit was filed against Compass, too. Are you next? Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is a real thing, sort of. In truth, the only websites required to comply with the ADA are government websites, or key related companies that support government services to Americans.
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Crye-Leike Website Continues to Garner Top of the Line Industry Awards
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The Top 5 Must-Have Website Features for Lead Generation
A real estate website shouldn't just be a necessary evil. It should deliver prospects that go to the closing table. Unfortunately, too many real estate websites are more like billboards, attracting passing interest but not delivering closings. Does your real estate website have these necessary lead generation features covered?
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Landing Pages for Real Estate Buyer Lead Generation
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Real Estate Website Navigation with Summary Excerpt Pages
You and your real estate website visitors are familiar with the side and top navigation structures, many having dropdown menu items for sub-navigation. It works well, as most everyone knows how to use it. However, knowing how to use it and actually doing so is another matter. How can you add user-friendly functionality for your site visitors to help them locate the specific information they want?
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Website Redesign Realities
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A New Year Real Estate Website Makeover
The real estate business slows down a lot during the holidays, and this provides an opportunity to think about your business and the coming year. In between trees, lights, lots of food and relatives, there is time to think about your real estate website and how you can improve your online marketing. Business will probably be slow for at least a month or more, so why not take an in-depth look at your real estate website, lead generation activities, website traffic, and how much business you can directly attribute to your website. If everything is just as you like it, and improvement isn't necessary, congratulations. For most of us, we would like more closings from our website, so why not use the slow time to work on it?
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Using Domain Names for Real Estate Website Navigation
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REAL Trends Launches 2018 Real Estate Website Rankings
REAL Trends, Inc. released today the top residential real estate brokerage, team and association/MLS websites in its 2018 REAL Trends Website Rankings. If you're looking to redesign or revamp your website, these are the best of the best and worth emulating!
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3 Ways to Refresh Your Tired Real Estate Website
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AveryHess, Realtors Agent Website Design Wins 2018 Communicator Award
AveryHess, Realtors' agent website design has been named winner of a 2018 Communicator Award of Distinction. AveryHess has long provided its agents with a free, custom website tailored to his/her personal profile and professional services. However, "This past year, we redesigned the agent websites to give our agents an updated look, a more user-friendly interface, and professional, informative content and features consistent with the overall company brand and our corporate website," says Scott Avery, AveryHess President. "We are truly committed to providing our agents with leading edge tools and solutions to help them build their business and stay competitive in today's market."
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How Computer Vision Helps Portals Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act
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Top 10 Website Features Real Estate Agents and Brokers Need to Have
Here are the top 10 features that real estate agents and brokers need to have on their websites. How many on this list does your website offer? 1. Lead capture and lead convertibles If you're investing time and money into driving traffic to your website, then it's important that you have the means in place to turn those visitors into leads. Be sure to add lead capture popups to any page on your site, giving visitors an easy opportunity to sign up for your newsletter on helpful real estate tips or any helpful content piece. Unforced registration is usually the preference of the potential client, but you need multiple ways to grow your database organically. Add "calls to action" throughout your site that give clients easy-to-read messages urging a specific action: download your mobile app, search your custom IDX, read your biography, fill out a contact form — again, the possibilities are endless!
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Is Your Real Estate Website ADA Compliant?
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5 Ways to Build a More Convenient User Experience
We all know about the importance of a good user experience and user interface, but what about user convenience? As an internet user, think about your most satisfying online experiences. Most likely it was tied in with how easy it was for you to find the information you were looking for. User convenience appears in various forms: Machine learning bubbles up similar products or posts to the top of your feed Voice recognition allows you to have a conversation with your device to find what you are looking for Recommendation engines log your behavior and make suggestions on everything from movies to romantic partners These tools make the experience more convenient. "I live and breathe the art of business, and if there's one thing I see emerging, it's that convenience is king," said Gary Vaynerchuk, a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia. He goes on to apply this theory to the success of Amazon's Prime Now and its ability to simplify buying and selling. If convenience is king, then we must learn how to create products with convenience in mind. Here are five simple ways to do that:
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5 Warning Signs that You Need a New Real Estate Website
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Why a Mobile Responsive Website Will Improve Your Real Estate Business
Ever go online to learn more about a business you're interested in, only to find nothing but tumbleweeds and broken links? Or perhaps you have visited a really nice, well-produced business website... that doesn't seem to work at all on your mobile device. That is a frustrating moment as a consumer, and it's something you want to avoid when people visit your real estate website. Building a responsive, mobile-friendly website is absolutely essential for earning new business online. Here are some reasons why that's the case:
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A/B Testing to Optimize Your Real Estate Website
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8 Tips and Tricks for Creating Calls-to-Action that Work on Your Real Estate Website
Creating great content is the best way to get the attention of your real estate audience online, but what do you do once you have their attention? Motivate them to action, of course! The call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most important elements of all marketing content. Creating effective calls-to-action should always be a top priority when you're creating new content for your real estate website, blog, and social media accounts. Today, we're going to take a closer look at what goes into creating a call-to-action, and share eight tips for creating effective, eye-catching CTAs of your own.
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25 Ways to Up Your SEO Game and Drive Traffic to Your Real Estate Brokerage's Website
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How REMAX Results Boosted Website Search Traffic by 25 Percent
RE/MAX Results is one of the crown jewels in the RE/MAX franchise group, with more 1100 agents across Minnesota and Wisconsin. RE/MAX Results is among the largest franchises RE/MAX has in the world. The company recently switched website vendors and launched a new custom site developed by TRIBUS. This represents the largest broker to deploy a custom TRIBUS website. Growth in Search Engine Traffic
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Real Trends Reveals 2017 Brokerage and Team Website Rankings
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5 Tips to Finding Images for Your Website
Images communicate, draw attention and create interest. Images can keep people on your website if chosen correctly or lead people to leave your website. When choosing images for your website, it is important to choose images that are high quality, relevant, aligned with your brand, aesthetically pleasing and attention grabbing. So where can you get great images? Here are five ways we get images for our own site.
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5 Things Learned from Launching a New Website
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How to Create Custom IDX Searches for More Targeted Web Leads
Chances are good that the real estate technology products you use offer neat features that you don't even know about. Today, we're launching an article series in support of our newly released 2017-18 Technology Guide that highlights unique tricks and productivity hacks that you can accomplish with the tools you already use. We're kicking off our series with step-by-step instructions for creating custom IDX search URLs on WolfNet's Reponsive IDX Platform. Brokers can use this feature to create links to property searches with predetermined search criteria, such as condos under $200k, or homes with pools. You can use this to create detailed neighborhood pages on your brokerage's website, as we'll see in a moment.
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Friday Freebie: 'Sticky' TV-quality Video for Your Real Estate Website
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What are the Touchpoints of a Brokerage's Front Office?
How do you make money? If you're not bringing in leads, you're not bringing in clients. If your agents aren't communicating with clients, they're not winning referrals or nurturing long-term business. These interactions define your face to the consumer and define how you interact with them across the board. Simply put, how you deal with people and what they think of you is how you make money. This is also known as your brand. With the right technology, your brand can be one of the most powerful tools for generating business. But how do you tell the difference between 'shiny pennies' and the right technology? Here are the most important touchpoints a brokerage's technology must have: Website Having a mobile-first website is necessity for every single real estate brokerage alive today. No ifs, ands or buts. Without this initial touchpoint, your brokerage loses leads before they even exist. And with a non-responsive site, you might as well give your viewers a trampoline—because they'll bounce right off your page.
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Why Every Real Estate Website Needs SEO
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How to Integrate Social Media and Your Real Estate Website
A dynamic social media presence is a must-have when it comes to online marketing. It's a fun, effective way to grow your business once you learn the ropes. Integrating your social media with your real estate website is one of the most important steps in the process, and a necessity for getting maximum value from your social investment. There is plenty of work to be done, and no time like the present to get started! Building a Social Hub: How to Integrate Social Media for Real Estate Websites Ideally, the relationship between your social media pages and your website should be symbiotic with each channel guiding traffic to the other. You want people who find you first via social to have an easy way to reach your website, research your listings, and consume your content. When a prospect finds your business through your website, you want to make it as easy as possible to connect and share your content on their social pages. Add Social Share Buttons to Website Content Social sharing buttons are exactly what they sound like—allowing website visitors to share your content to social media with one click. These buttons resemble the familiar logos of the major social media sites, and are typically positioned at the top or bottom of content so that readers have an easy way to share your insights. When people want to share your stuff, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
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Storytelling in Design, Part II: Storytelling for Brokerages
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What Do People FEEL When They See Your Real Estate Website?
When we design a new site for a client, one of the questions that catches them off guard is "What do you want people to feel when they first arrive at your website?" Website Curb Appeal When you have lots of competition, the first impression is so important. This is why curb appeal is so important in real estate; it gets them interested. If your website is failing to grab your audience by the shirt collar hand and tell them, "You've come to the right place," then you are failing the first step of engagement. One or more of these four words should be your goal when it comes to making an impression on your audience: Delight Connection Captivation Love Look at your website from the perspective of the visitor. Do you think it satisfies one of the above?
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Landing Pages Are More Important than Your Actual Real Estate Website
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The Results of Digital Engagement Part I: The Business Challenges Addressed through Better Engagement
Welcome to the first part in our series: The Results of Digital Engagement. Through this series, we will feature real estate and relocation companies using digital engagement to better their business. But first, let's explore this idea of engagement. Engagement helps your agents convert more leads at every phase of the sales process. To keep visitors, leads, and real estate prospects engaged, consider infusing data into how you generate new business. Connecting each person to content they care about creates a more personalized experience at every phase. View our exclusive white paper on the power of digital engagement here. Business Challenge: Visitors don't stay on my website Adding helpful information to your site like property reports, an AVM tool or a mortgage calculator is a great way to keep people engaged so they stay on your site longer. The longer they stay, the more likely they are to return and provide their contact information. Business Challenge: Visitors leave my website before leaving their contact information Offer easy ways to capture more online visitors wherever they are in the real estate process. Put lead forms in front of your online tools to capture the information of more visitors and give you insight to where they are in the buying and selling process.
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The Power of Storytelling in Design, Part I: An Intro
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Capture Forms that Capture Leads
Are your capture forms working for you? Try to recall a recent encounter you had with online capture forms. Was the overall experience positive or negative? Far too often, sites phone it in with very poor UX on pages where they know you must complete a form to get what you need. Would you be willing to abandon an item in your cart because the checkout process was a pain? I actually did just a few moments ago. I ended up purchasing a similar item, which I liked less, from a competing site solely because I preferred their online experience. For real estate websites, forms are arguably the most important feature within the website or app. Without lead registrations, unknown visitors could browse hundreds of properties on your site, only to ultimately call someone else about a listing they originally found on your site. Are you doing everything you can to maximize your traffic and convert it into registrations? A step in the right direction is to have great capture forms that are prompted at exactly the right times so that visitors are happy to give you their info. What makes a great form? Provide Value First Sometimes we forget that this online relationship is an exchange. Visitors become willing to provide you with their contact information because your site has (hopefully) provided them a service first. Before you begin down the path of better capture forms, make sure your site offers plenty of solid content. Even if you've got a great blog and static content pages, listings are the real conversion engine for a real estate website. If you use forced registration, only prompt the form after a handful of properties have been viewed first.
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So You’ve Got a Broker Website--Now What?!
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Brokers and MLSs Get Paid to Display This Old House Content
In a press release today, Prem Luthra of Elm Street Technology unveiled his latest venture, a partnership with This Old House. You may know Prem from his work in marketing at MOVE, Cyberhomes, Real Estate Digital, Xome, and the like. One of his primary and lasting impacts on the real estate industry was the innovation around helping brokers and MLSs monetize consumer traffic on their website. Real estate content around listings has been pretty lackluster from the perspective of the consumer on most broker, agent, and MLS consumer facing websites. Simply stated, firms have lacked the internal resources to develop content that consumers love. This Old House has been a category leader in this area, dominating television ratings for decades. The national underwriting for the content has been powered by advertising sponsorships from GMAC, The Home Depot, State Farm Insurance, Lumber Liquidators, and many others. "The simple premise of advertisers trying to reach homebuyers has not waned," says Luthra. Advertisers understand that the consumer most likely to be an active purchaser of home improvement products is the home buyer and home seller. Many brokerage and MLS sites have enjoyed significant revenue from advertising partnerships. The industry has learned that belly fat ads from networks like Google do not pay much and diminish the consumer experience on their site. Advertising through the This Old House program are contextual and valuable to the consumer.
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Digital Conversion Rates in Real Estate: What’s Considered 'Good'?
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Website Usability Tip: Eliminate Excess Steps
Have you ever visited a website where you feel like it takes you five clicks when the action could have taken only one or two? That means there are excess steps present. Congrats, you've just identified an area for improvement! If it's an action you complete only once, this is only slightly irritating. It may not be something that you even notice, depending on where you fall on the UX obsession spectrum. Even if you don't think you noticed, I'd be willing to bet that you don't walk away with a completely positive outlook on that site. Let's say instead that the excess steps are required on a website that you use frequently, or every day. This can cause an immense amount of frustration, to the point where users find a different site that serves their needs. Little annoyances add up to large frustrations over time, often without the user being able to pinpoint what went so wrong. We're very familiar with this psychological principal as it relates to relationships, but seem to overlook how it applies to our experiences on the web. Email unsubscribe pages tend to violate good UX practices all the time. Think about it – this is a page you don't want your users on in the first place (you'd rather keep them on your mailing list), and the page isn't indexed on search engines, so it gets far less traffic than other pages on your site. It's these often-forgotten pages that can cost you more users than you think.
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The New, Tech-Savvy Real Estate Pro
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What Does Your Real Estate Website Say About You?
Websites are the public faces of real estate firms. No other single marketing tool comes close to equalling the importance of a website. They deliver the first images and words about a brokerage that prospective clients and customers see. If a site doesn't connect with consumers in a matter of seconds, that first impression could be a real estate professional's last chance to win a new client. Sites that consistently fail to be compelling can do serious damage to a perfectly competent real estate practice. Yet hundreds brokers publish sites that miss the mark by miles. After spending thousands to build and host a site, they spend even more for canned content that can do more harm than good. News you can't use Some use services that carry national or regional economic news feeds that provide "national" or "regional" information on market trends. Other sites use "how to" content written for the broadest possible audience in terms of geography, price tier, age group. The chances are good that much, if not most, canned content misses the mark for three reasons: It's so generic that it doesn't convey that the site's owner has any particular expertise or focus; Competing agents and brokers in the same market may carry the same canned content, which creates confusion and defeats the purpose of the site; and It occupies space on your site that could be put to much better use.
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Typography and Your Real Estate Website Design
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The Real Estate Website Sales Conversion Funnel
Simply having a website does not mean that leads will follow. Your website is a tool for organizing information and, if you've got a well thought out conversion strategy, will give you the ability to convert traffic to your site into leads. The real estate website sales and conversion process is significantly different from traditional sales funnels. Understanding how leads are generated online is the first step to building effective systems that will produce qualified leads. What prevents most real estate and mortgage professionals from having a successful online maketing strategy is a fundamental lack of understanding of how the online sales process works. Let's take a closer look at marketing to, and converting leads from, your real estate website. Creating Website Traffic Generating traffic means motivating empowered, online consumers to visit your website for the purposes of delivering a product, service or information that the consumer was already looking for. It is basically impossible to sell something to an online consumer that they are not interested in buying, especially when it comes to real estate. The very best you can hope for is that when a consumer IS interested in your products or services, they can find your website. For specific methods and strategies for generating site traffic to your real estate website, read this article: Real Estate Website Sales Funnel Step 1: Building Traffic
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When Is It Time to Redesign Your Real Estate Website?
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The Hub and Spoke Model of Online Marketing
As a real estate agent or broker, you're always looking for ways to increase the number of eyeballs and traffic to your website. I know this process can sometimes be slow and tedious with very little payoff in the early stages. In this new series of articles, I'll be taking a deep dive into the Hub and Spoke model; what it is exactly and how it's relevant to real estate technology. Having this knowledge in your back pocket will better help you understand the world of web traffic and how to increase it. Understanding to the Hub and Spoke Model So what exactly is the Hub and Spoke model, you're asking? Let's look at it this way: your website is the center hub that houses everything. You've got your property search, blog content, video streams, virtual tours, listing information, etc. – it's the brains of your operation! Now you add the "spokes" that branch out from the brain or hub. The spokes reach out to everywhere else you have an online presence to help bring people in and drive them back to your main site. They play an important role in lead capture and development. Make sense now? I've added a helpful image below for those of you that are visual learners!
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Mobile Apps vs. Responsive Websites
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Time for Brokers to Clean Up Online Profiles
Online real estate agent and brokerage profiles are a mess. Specifically, agent and broker profiles on broker websites, Zillow, Realtor.com, and Homes.com are naturally in disarray at this time of year. With transaction volume low during December, it is a very good time to clean everything up. Most brokerages audited by WAV Group consulting average 10 percent inaccuracy, which reduces lead generation and undermines a firm's online reputation. Start With Data Collection It is a relatively easy task to collect the data necessary to update profiles. Start with your offices. "Offices have identities," says Marilyn Wilson, partner with WAV Group. "When we audit brokerage firms, we find that companies who have moved offices rarely put forth the effort to remove the old offices from association databases, MLS databases, brokerage websites, and syndication websites." There are services that can do this for you. WAV Group has resources that can automate the process on major search sites like Yelp, Google, and others. But the syndication sites require more effort, typically requiring the broker to log into the publisher site to make corrections. Agent profiles are the heavy lifting. It is vital that you collect the profile image of all of your agents, detail their contact information, and help them curate a reasonable bio of at least 250 words. Here is a quick guide for 5 Best Tips to Create a Powerful Bio (Sherry McCormick).
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[Infographic] Mobile Use in the Real Estate Industry
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Real Estate Companies Should Address Website Accessibility to Avoid Lawsuits
The business of real estate has become increasingly digital, and agents and consumers rely on websites to share and find real estate information, market homes and conduct property searches. In fact, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors®, 95 percent of all recent buyers used the internet at some point during the home search process. For that reason, it's important that all consumers, including those with disabilities, have equal access to real estate agent and company websites. That's according to panelists at a session Sunday about website accessibility best practices during the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. Alisa Carr, partner at Leech Tishman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a litigator and a real estate transaction lawyer and said that while the Americans with Disabilities Act predates widespread use of the internet and courts have been split on the issue, recent court cases have found that a business's accessibility obligations do extend to its website and mobile applications. Carr recommended companies familiarize themselves with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AA posted at www.w3.org, which is a technical standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium to help make sites more accessible. "It's a very user-friendly website and a great resource to educate you on how to start to make your sites compliant," she said. "Make sure your vendors are using these standards and understand that your site needs to be accessible, and not just navigable and pretty. Also, hold your designer to these standards to ensure that the site continues to remain in compliance as content evolves."
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5 Signs Your Real Estate Website is Out of Date
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Using UX for Good, Not Evil
User Experience that Avoids Dark Patterns As User Experience designers become more and more in tune with cognitive psychology, they incorporate this into their designs and a heavy amount of user direction begins to occur. It's really important for businesses with an online presence to stay morally grounded and align its own goals with what's best for the end user, otherwise the business will cross over into the realm of negative user manipulation. User experience is essentially the act of designing interfaces that allow a user to complete a desired action quickly and easily. Most importantly, you need to identify who is desiring the action – the business or the consumer? Here are three simple ways to tell whether or not you've been relying on manipulative tactics for conversion: Is the outcome beneficial for the end user only? Then you need to reconsider your business strategy, because you're providing value to consumers with no gain to your business. Is the outcome beneficial for the business only? This means that there is little to no value add for the consumer, and manipulation is most likely occurring if the action is taking place. Is the outcome beneficial for both the business and the end user? Bingo, we have a winner!
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BHHS Homesale Realty Hits Bullseye with Technology
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Using Google Analytics to Evaluate Your Online Business
Do you use Google Analytics to measure traffic to your real estate company's website? How do you measure traffic to your real estate company's website? One of the biggest benefits of online marketing is that you'll always have the data you need to understand how your website is performing--if you know where to look. Google Analytics (GA) is a great place to start. Google Analytics is a FREE (yep, you read that right—FREE!) analytics tool offered by Google that allows you to measure your website's traffic, improve your site, deliver better results and convert more leads. To really understand the benefits of Google Analytics, it's best to start from the beginning. Do you have GA installed on your website? If you do, good job! If not, get it installed and discover how beneficial GA can be to really understanding your website business. Next, familiarize yourself with the basic reports Google offers. To give you real life examples of Google Analytics reporting capabilities, let's start with a few of the basic reports Delta Media Group uses to convey results to our digital marketing customers. 1.  Audience Overview This report provides the basics on user sessions, page views, session duration and bounce rate in addition to valuable information as to how visitors are engaging on your website. It answers the questions like: Is my site getting traffic? How long are visitors sticking around and how many pages are they looking at? How to Run this Report: Select Date Range and compare to same time period in the previous year. Click on Audience > Overview
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Mobile Real Estate Websites Trending for September 2016
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It's Time to Up Your Game. Are You Ready?
William Gibson once said, "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." I can't help but think of that quote when I look at statistics on real estate marketing – particularly what buyers and sellers want and how many real estate professionals are able or willing to meet that demand. Home buyers and sellers are consumers. They, like all consumers, want accurate information immediately, in ways convenient and flexible to their ever-changing needs. Did you know that, according to NAR: 92% of homebuyers use the Internet as an information source 73% of homeowners say they're more likely to list with a realtor who offers video Only 4% of agents actually offer video as part of their marketing package to home sellers 75% of Internet homebuyers drove by or viewed a home they saw online 43% of buyers first found their home on the Internet 56% of home buyer prospects expect to be contacted within 30 minutes of expressing interest in a property According to Forrester Research it is 50 times easier to achieve a page one ranking on Google with a video. And NPD tells us that mobile and tablet shoppers are three times as likely to view a video as laptop or desktop users.
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Creating the Perfect Real Estate Lead Capture Page
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Is a Business Website Deductible?
Gone are the days when brokers could rely on a brick-and-mortar business alone to grow their companies. Business websites are a necessity rather than a nice-to-have feature now. But between website design, development and maintenance, business owners incur numerous expenses, raising the question, "Is a business website deductible?" Like with home office deductions, business website expenses have specific allowances and limitations that apply. When Is a Business Website Deductible? Despite the ubiquitous presence of business websites in the digital era, the tax code lacks clear-cut verbiage surrounding the deduction of website costs. Instead, it addresses the subject more broadly through established guidelines for deducting business-related software expenses. Website costs that fall under the "software" umbrella are generally those incurred for features or functions implemented using higher-level programming languages. As these efforts often require technical expertise outside of the expertise of the business launching the website, the business may purchase the website design or development from a third-party web designer or developer who undertakes a degree of risk should the website fail to operate. These third-party software costs can often be amortized, or deducted ratably, by the business, incurring the costs over a three-year useful life period. Of course, not all third-party-designed websites are treated as software. Those that weren't produced out of sophisticated programming languages are often regarded as "Section 179" property, a special category of depreciable property that qualifies for the Section 179 deduction. This deduction is in itself limited by certain dollar thresholds. After exceeding the thresholds, you are required to revert to deducting and amortizing the costs of non-software website components over the period of their useful life in your business. This could be three years or even less for a simple website that you expect to undergo a re-design in the near future.
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10 Things Your Brokerage Website Should Do
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The Death of Desktop
Last year, we entered a new era--the era of mobile internet. 2015 was the year that searches on mobile devices overtook searches on desktop or laptop computers, according to Google. ComScore also reported that the share of digital time that consumers spend on their computers dropped from 47 percent in 2013 to 35 percent in 2015. While internet access via computer will not completely fade away anytime soon, changing consumer web habits means that agents and brokers need to adapt or risk missing out on sales opportunities. A Closer Look at Mobile Use in Real Estate To better understand what's happening within the real estate sphere when it comes to web usage, we spoke with Delta Media Group, a website and marketing solutions provider for the real estate industry. They host hundreds of broker websites, and they analyzed the traffic to their network of sites in order to offer us a clearer picture of how consumers are using real estate websites today. Here are a few key findings, taken from a sample of 10 different websites hosted by Delta that vary in size and market: In July, mobile website visitors grew from 28 percent at the low end to a whopping 70 percent in a year-over-year analysis. According to Delta, the sites that experienced the most growth were more active on social media and in advertising through social channels--which are primarily mobile in nature. Mobile and tablet web visitors now represent at least 58 percent of traffic to Delta Media Group websites. Real estate professionals who switched to a mobile first website strategy saw a 20-50 percent increase in total traffic and a 20-30 percent increase in leads.
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Tips for Improving Your Real Estate Website Conversion Rate
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Brokers Find Gem of Seller Lead Generation and Conversion
For many years, WAV Group has studied the effectiveness of broker websites. This research has included understanding where broker website traffic comes from, the effectiveness of listing syndication, the strategies of search engine optimization and marketing, lead conversion by lead source, and broker website rankings in their competitive market. Through this research and discovery process, we impart many best practices that brokers and their vendors can use to develop strategies and roadmaps for ongoing success. For the most part, the strategies have been around active listings for most brokers, but a few firms have long known that off market data can develop a trove of opportunity for firms. We began to notice the impact of off market data by studying online share of voice using comScore, Hitwise, and Nielsen. There are pretty significant differences between these companies in terms of methodology. For the most part, only Hitwise was able to detect regional broker websites. Nielsen and comScore do a very good job of covering the national audience, but they miss local websites that do not have enough traffic to be scored nationally. One thing that we recognized is that ZipRealty, Redfin, and sometimes Movoto performed very well against the national portals and with few exceptions; they were the top broker websites in the top demographic market areas (largest cities) of America. What do portals and brokerages like ZipRealty and Redfin do differently that allows them to be online marketing champions? Traffic to broker websites comes from a few discrete sources like typing in the URL, organic search results, paid search results, social media, listing syndication, etc. Generally, the more data you have on your website, the more landing pages you have for consumers to find information, and the more traffic you get.
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It's the Details That Get You More Leads in Real Estate
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Accelerate Your Income with Simple Conversion Strategies (7/14)
Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Conversion is the biggest battleground in real estate, and agents are spending big money for coaches who promise to take them to the next level. In this webinar, Virtual Results president Jim Marks will give you those tips for FREE. The key to better conversion? Don't overthink it. Systemize your follow-up so you don't second guess yourself or waste time on unproven tactics. In just one hour, you'll: Get tips on small changes you can (and should) make to your website Learn how to convert from traffic to lead, and lead to client See how to identify the value of a lead now and over the long-term, and follow up accordingly Learn about automated tools you can use to nurture leads naturally Register now!
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Turning Your Real Estate Business from Good to Great
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[Infographic] Blueprint for Creating Real Estate Content
If you want to achieve online success with your real estate website, then creating engaging and well-optimized content is a key consideration. Otherwise, the chances of your real estate website or blog being found by potential customers via search engines is next to none. Search Engine Optimization helps you to improve your brand's visibility thereby, making it easier for both search engines and potential customers to find you online, helping to bring more traffic and leads to your site. Follow these simple steps, and you're on the way to creating content better than your competitors.
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5 Real Estate Websites that Are Crushing It
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Large Images Are Killing Your Real Estate Website
Creating a strong "first impression emotion" in your audience is a great strategy to keep visitors on your site. But when that first impression emotion is annoyance your bounce rate will skyrocket. The current trend is to use large, full-width, high-impact images to create emotion in your visitor. But improper us of these images are killing your website. I see it everywhere. Click to visit... wait, and wait for the top of a site to load. Expect that 7 seconds is the very longest your new visitors will wait for a page to load. For repeat visitors, it is a little longer at 10 seconds. But both of these load speeds are unacceptable; you should be impressing your audience in the first 3 seconds, no excuse. Google states that it takes load speeds into account with their SERPs Ranking. Granted, there are many factors that can slow your site (server speed, coding, plugins, redirects, etc.), but as a casual website owner, it is the improper use of larger images that you can quickly overcome and avoid.
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Home Search on Mobile Devices Continues to Grow
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How Are You Helping Agents to Monetize Their Contacts?
Whether you are a builder/developer trying to move more product or a broker or marketing company looking to do the same on behalf of a client, bottom line is you are trying to get more consumers to buy new homes. There are many familiar ways to do this: Build a website, pay to drive traffic, and hope that someone sees it; Build an expensive sales center and hope a consumer comes in the front door; Hold open houses for agents and hope that they do something with all those brochures you printed up for them; Create a direct marketing print or digital marketing campaign and hope consumers/agents don't unsubscribe; and, depending on your market, Translate all your materials (print and online) into multiple languages in the hopes of catching the eye of one of those many foreign buyers. Do any or all of these resonate with you? One additional area you might consider is beefing up your effort to incent external agents to market your projects. Why? Because, unlike the other methods described above, real estate agents have a reason to respond to your efforts—they get paid a commission if something happens.
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Consumer Questions a Broker Website Must Answer
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Broker Identity Crisis
Many brokers who have chosen not to provide agents with co-branded websites are beginning to suffer an identity crisis online. Consumers are easily confused when one broker's agent has a website, another does not, and none of the websites really look or work the same. I understand why it happens. Websites are expensive and agents are independent contractors. Brokers who want to overcome the identity crisis have only a few choices: buy a website for each agent, share the cost with the agent, or somehow compel the agent to buy the co-branded site. None of those are really fun choices, but more and more, I think that brokers need to make a decision to deliver a co-branded solution to unite the broker's brand. We always believed that the broker website and the agent cobranded websites need to be from the same vendor. That truly is the best option, but the second best option is to have the broker website from one vendor and the agent websites from another. The benefits to broker co-branded agents websites are clear: Brand consistency User consistency Agent recruiting Agent retention Cost reduction
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3 Metrics for Identifying Quality Website Leads
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Guide to Buying a Broker Website
I am not sure why the word "wolf" plays such an important role in broker websites, but both Lone Wolf and WolfNet are two of the leading providers on a national scale. Many times, people confuse the two. However, in terms of their products, they are very different. First, let's talk about the similarities. Both companies have been around a long time—more than two decades. This makes them highly credible in terms of their ability to serve their customers for a long time. This is really important when a brokerage is considering a partnership with a technology company. You do not want to trust one of your most vital marketing tools to a start-up firm that may be here today, looking fancy, but gone tomorrow. Both of these firms understand the business. Moreover, they have long relationships with MLSs that are vital to the capability and reliability of managing the data from the MLS and onto your website. Both firms manage over 90% of the listings in America today, so it is quite likely that they are ready to build and launch your website right away. You can also be assured that your solution will be compliant with MLS rules and regulations for IDX and VOW display. Each of these firms develops an excellent property search solution that is fast and elegant for the consumer. They also have lots of flexibility to support your broker branding with logos, colors, fonts, and other attributes that are important in maintaining your brand identity.
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Northwood Realty Launches Training Website for Their Agents
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Why Brokers Provide Agent Websites
Many firms continue to let agents have whatever website they want. This is a big mistake on so many levels. Here are a few reasons that pop into mind: The broker is responsible for the website even though they do not control it. Those responsibilities include legal and MLS. For enterprise firms with anything more than 50 websites, compliance can be a full-time affair. Broker branding can become muddled on websites that are not provided by the firm. Real estate branding is confusing enough with the issue of franchise and non-franchise brands. Extending that even further to broker branding vs. agent branding only germinates more confusion to the consumer. Consistent service is very difficult to manage when agents have websites that are not integrated into the brokerage website. Some applications like lead management would need to be handled in both places – back office publishing tools don't allow content to reach the agent websites. Consumers wind up missing out on valued information because the agent website is not connected.
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Your Brokerage Website is Your Best Employee and Top Lead-Gen Source
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Fox and Roach Broker Site Sets Bar Above Portals
Love them or hate them, property search sites like Zillow® have set the bar very high in terms of the information that is made available to the consumer. I choose Zillow because they have hung their hat on the Automated Valuation Model (AVM) that they call the Zestimate™. Real estate brokers have built their websites off of IDX data. That started to change with the launch of Zip Realty and Redfin that display web pages for every parcel in America. In this way, they are like the portals. Recently, websites like Howard Hanna have begun to do the same. Joining them is Fox and Roach. The key feature here is that every property has information to satisfy the consumer, and it helps with search engine optimization, too. With public record data, Fox and Roach has caught the portals. But there is more! Fox and Roach pushes past the portals with some key features on off market properties. They call it the Home Valuation System™. Rather than a simple of display of the Zestimate®, fraught with its issues of accuracy, Fox and Roach includes three AVMs. You gotta check this out. Visit http://www.foxroach.com Select the What Is Your Home Worth tab Search ‘231 Chamoun’ (I intentionally did not complete the address because I want you to experience the smart search auto-fill)
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User Registration Wars
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Beat the Crowd: 6 Must-Have Features of a Winning Real Estate Website
Most brokers have a real estate website; however, many are little more than a static page that is buried under the millions of of other sites out there. It sits there online, no one sees it, and the result is little or no leads. It is easier than ever for homebuyers to find the information they need online, but the competition is also fiercer than ever. Your website should be working for you 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and act as your lead generating machine. The goal of your website should be to establish a presence in your market and make it easy for home buyers and sellers to find the information that they are looking for. According to a RealTrends study on the market's interaction with real estate websites, there were 204 million unique visitors to real estate websites in 2014. How would you rate your online presence? Is your website worthy of attracting visitors and, more importantly, does it provide them with what they need? If you want to be taken seriously, you need to remove the invisible cape and establish a sound online presence. Here is a list of six must-haves for your real estate website to capture and engage home buyers who are ready to find you and your properties. Customized Branding The layout of your real estate website speaks volumes about your firm. With all of the widgets available, it's easy to overcomplicate things. Provide your users with a clean, visually appealing experience that is representative of you and your unique value proposition. Themes should include mobile best practices and the ability to tailor images, design, colors and more. Focus on your specialized market niche and design your website around that market segment's exacting desires to ensure your potential clients find what they're looking for.
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Does Your IDX Website Give Consumers What They Want?
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A Look Inside Google’s Page Quality Rating
Google recently released the guidelines for manually reviewing a website to determine its page quality rating. This document provides an insight into the traits Google thinks is important for each website/webpage to demonstrate. You can review the entire document here. The actual page quality rating stored within Google's search index is computed systematically. However, Google uses these manual reviews as a reference point to make improvements to their algorithm. Here are the top 5 takeaways of Google's page quality rating guidelines: 1. Purpose – Each webpage should have a specific purpose. Websites and pages should be created to help users. The reviewer will rate the page on its purpose and how well it achieves that. 2. Content Main Content (MC) – Any part of the page that directly helps the page achieve its purpose. Webmasters directly create and/or control the main content of the page. Supplementary Content (SC) – Contributes to a good user experience on the page, but does not directly help the page achieve its purpose. Supplementary Content is created by webmasters and is an important part of the user experience.
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Five Ways to use Local Data to Drive Traffic to your Website
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3 Reasons Brokers Should Offer Agents Co-branded Websites
Every real estate agent should have a website. It's a crucial part of building their online presence and serves as the "hub" that all of their social media and other online accounts link back to. However, to protect your company's brand, brokers should provide agents with that website, co-branded to both the agent and the brokerage. A co-branded agent website typically sports the brokerage's logo and brand colors while also displaying the agent's headshot and contact information. While the agent and their services are the focus of the site, the shared design elements and site structure reinforce that the agent is one part of a larger whole--your brokerage. Besides brand reinforcement, here are three other ways co-branded websites benefit brokers: 1. You'll keep leads within your brokerage. Co-branded websites lets you ensure that all links on all websites direct only to places controlled by your brokerage. Typically, leads that come in from the broker site can be assigned to any agent in your firm. Leads from an individual agent's site go to that agent. However, thanks to a having a shared back end, brokers can see if that agent has responded to the lead. If not, the broker can assign it to another agent. Depending on the solution you use, leads that come in either off the brokerage website or an agent website can automatically be funneled into your company's CRM. From there, you can assign that lead to a drip email campaign to nurture them until they're ready to buy.
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5 Tips to Capture More Leads from Your Site
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What to Expect from WolfNet's Upgraded IDX Platform
Agents and mid-sized brokers looking to compete with larger firms need look no further that WolfNet's upgraded IDX solution. Dubbed WolfNet Responsive IDX, the update marries high-end design to an IDX property search (with optional VOW data!) that would easily be at home on expensive enterprise-level websites. As any modern web solution should, the updated platform displays beautifully on screens and devices of all sizes (see the image below). But beyond the aesthetic improvements, WolfNet has designed Responsive IDX to boost your website's engagement levels and lead capture rates. Let's take a closer look to learn how. Zeroing in on the Front-End Responsive IDX plugs into your existing website and is easy to integrate into your site's design, thanks to easy wrapper creation tools available in the solution's admin panel. The solution also adapts to your website's CSS stylesheet, letting you control font and photos sizes to further refine how it displays. Let's take a look at the results page, for an example. Consumers have the option to view results either on a map, in gallery view, or in list view. In the gallery view pictured on the next page, users can hover over a property's thumbnail to scroll through more listing photos without having to click into the property details page.
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Partners Trust Joins The Enterprise Network
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Does Your Online Presence Convey Trust?
Think about the last time you decided to make a purchase. Perhaps it was something small like a new face wash, or maybe it was a larger purchase like a home. Whatever the purchase was, chances are that you went with a provider that you trust. As a business owner or service provider, it is important to understand that your potential clients are also going to make purchases with companies and people that they trust. If a consumer doesn't trust you, they won't pick you over the competition. Trust is especially important when making larger purchase decisions, as it is likely that the larger the purchase, the greater the impact it will have on the consumer's life or business. So how do you ensure that your clients trust you and view you as a credible source? Well, you should start where most buying decisions begin: the Internet. According to a study done by GE Capital Retail bank, 81% of shoppers begin their journey online. That means that your online presence has the potential to either attract or repel 81% of your potential clients. You might wonder how you can build trust without spending time with someone or speaking to them face-to-face, but, when used properly, your online presence is enough to do the trick. Sometimes your channels just need a facelift. Here are five areas to focus on when creating a website to convey trust.
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More Than Listings: Your Broker Website’s User Experience Matters
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Content Marketing: Turning Presence Into Prospects
Previously, we discussed setting up a multi-level, business-only Facebook page for yourself and/or your company as part of your social media marketing strategy. Now let's discuss content management and creating a plan to distribute the kind of news and information your clients want and turning that "value proposition" into leads. Running a Facebook page is like climbing a mountain. You have to keep moving, one step at a time, gaining altitude and building momentum on the climb to the top. But once you get started, with a little guidance, you can build a solid following and a homegrown list of possible clients to add to your CRM. The key is to provide your "fans" with good, local information on the topics they will have interest in. Not just a casual interest, but the kind of interest that will generate leads. However, you have a ready-made supply of the kind of information consumers want most: LISTINGS. Publishing a steady flow of attractive properties is a must. Other suggestions would include: Homeowner info – Providing regular posts of interest for existing homeowners is a must. First, it allows you to invite all of those in your past client and sphere of influence databases to come "Like" your site, building your fan base. It also provides value to and generates interest from those looking to make improvements with the intent of selling later. A great resource for this is NAR and its various blogs and newsletters. Check out this blog just for staging a home.
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Better Information is the Key to Competing with Portals
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[INFOGRAPHIC] The Busiest Season of Real Estate is Upon Us: Is Your Website Ready?
One of the most important steps to ensure that your website is sending business your way is optimizing it for mobile. In fact, a National Association of Realtors study uncovered that 89% of home shoppers use a mobile search engine at the onset and throughout their research. Google's new mobile algorithm was released in April, so it's past time to take action and have your website up and running on mobile devices. Make sure you know the requirements of Google's new algorithm to get a better idea of what steps still need to be taken. Since you're already working on your website to get it ready for "Mobilegeddon," why not use this time to ensure it includes the tools your audience will be looking for during their search for a home? NAR'S annual Profile of Buyers and Sellers Report provides an overview of what your industry looked like in 2014 and breaks down the overall consumer experience during a real estate transaction. From the most sought after features of a home to uncovering where consumers found the real estate professional they decided to do business with, this survey is your ticket for a ride through the minds of your audience. Homes.com dug through this report in order to create the infographic below. From interactive maps to neighborhood descriptions, this is your guide to creating a website that includes all the tools your audience is looking for during their search for a home. There's no question that a quality website is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal. Make sure you check off all the features on this infographic today to ensure that when someone lands on your website, they won't have a reason to go anywhere else! To view the full image, click through to the next page.
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How to Build a Great Brokerage with Technology
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Can Mystery Shoppers Improve Your Website?
There's a whole industry out there based on paying shoppers to rate stores, vendors and websites. The "mystery shopper" business is booming for good reason. For brick and mortar businesses, the shopper reports on their experiences, from store layout and finding things to customer service, product availability and prices. In the Internet world, it's big business too. Here's a quote from a mystery shopper website that connects businesses with online shoppers: Become a Web Mystery Shopper & earn money from home! More people are shopping online every year and this shows no sign of slowing down. Smart companies know that they need to understand what customers think and feel when visiting their website. That is where you come in. By becoming a Web Mystery Shopper, you will interact with websites as if you were a customer. Your thoughts, feeling and suggestions will then be recorded and taken into account when it comes to improving those sites. This site page is recruiting online mystery shoppers who want to make money from home. You don't have to hire a site like this, but let's consider how you can use the concept to improve your real estate website and generate many more leads and commissions. We all think that we know what a real estate website visitor wants and needs to find on the site, but do we REALLY know? And, it's not just about what they want to find, but can they find it easily and quickly?
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Creating Content for the Web and Social Media
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Having a Technologically Integrated Brokerage is Crucial to Recruiting Top Agents
Top performing agents have certain qualities in common. They are extremely organized and efficient with their time. Successful, proactive agents rely on maximizing their time in order to accomplish as many tasks as possible and to stay organized along the way. Like top performing agents, top performing brokerages also have certain commonalities. They use an attractive office environment to recruit and empower top performing agents. Attractive, in this case, means offering agents the tools they need to succeed. Being technologically integrated benefits your brokerage in a number of ways and can take on a number of forms. Here are some examples: Website and Multimedia Support: Having a cohesive online presence across all brokerage and agent sites will make your brand appear organized and trustworthy. Your customer-facing digital presence is an essential component of your lead generation strategy. Your beautifully designed brokerage website loses credibility if it is being referenced by agent sites that are ugly and disorganized. Find a website solution provider who can support your entire brokerage so that your agent websites will follow similar styles and formats, and agents will have access to the same support resources. The same goes for social media support. Keep a bank of branding resources such as high resolution logos, testimonials, videos, etc. that agents can use online. Form contractual agreements with media producers such as photographers, graphic designers and videographers. Offer their services to your agents as needed.  
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The Millennial House Hunt: Finding the Right Website
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You've Attracted a Web Visitor, Now What?
So you've done a lot of things right, a new visitor arrives on your site, they find what they wanted, and then what? If you think one of those "Sign Our Register" forms is going to get much action, you're wrong. A site visitor can become your biggest fan, returning many times over many months to get more information that they find valuable. This is of little or no value to you if they continue to do so as an anonymous visitor. The goal is to convert them from a "suspect" visitor to a "prospect." Premium Content for Lead Generation As you're planning and creating content for your website, you're considering what will be of value to your visitors and publishing it. In this process, place different value levels on content, or decide on higher levels of content information about each topic. In other words, if an article on easements and title insurance is of value, then perhaps of more value to some visitors would be a special report on actual unusual or interesting easement situations in your market. Think about it, and if there are some interesting easement situations you've run into on title binders, gather that information and create a special report. It's not going onto your site for everyone to see. You're going to take this report and set it up for automated email delivery to the "suspect" when they request it. Once they do, they're a "prospect." Another example might be a report titled something like "Negotiation Tips for Buyers in the YourTown Real Estate Market." You write a report outlining examples of negotiation techniques that create advantages for buyers in your market. This is a very valuable report to a buyer who is getting ready to get serious about a purchase; precisely when you want to be introduced. Then do one for sellers as well.
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Now more than ever, it’s critical that you have outstanding mobile presence
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How to Stay Relevant on Your Website and Social Media Pages
Many real estate professionals have an online presence through their website and 91% use social media to some extent. You probably post to Facebook and Twitter at least once a day but don't generate your own content--which is understandable! It's hard to keep up with producing fresh, relevant posts on social media. It's great that you know how important social media is for your business, but now you have to work on standing out from the competition. Here's how: 1. Use social media to stay relevant and connected with clients during and after the transaction. You know referrals are important for business, and you're doing everything you can to provide clients with superior service. Use social media as a reminder of your excellent service, so that clients may send their family and friends who are looking to buy or sell your way. 2. Engage followers by personalizing the content that you post. Think about what homeowners and buyers want to read to get them interested in what you have to say. It's important for your content to be informative and personalized, so do not write a post that sounds like a robot. We suggest reading the status aloud before you post it.
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