It’s surprising how often this happens and not just in the real estate business either. Websites get abandoned of all time – you probably run into some of those yourself.
By setting some regular time with your website, however, you’ll find it will begin and continue to work for you.
Carve out an hour a week
Grab your calendar right now. When could you spend a full 60 minutes on your site once a week? Perhaps it’s Tuesday before you go with the MLS to look at listings. Or maybe it’s Thursday mornings when you spend a two hour lunch at home in order to get certain kinds work done. Some people find that staying an extra hour at the office without answering the phones works like a charm. Pick the hour each week you think will work now make an appointment with yourself for that hour put it on your calendar. And if you can’t find an hour, find at least 30 minutes to start.
If, after a week or two, you find you’re not keeping that appointment, try to figure out why. If you’re really unwilling to spend an hour a week with your website, that’s okay as long as you admit to it. You can, after all, hire a virtual assistant to help you with it. But experts agree, you need a website for your real estate business, so figure out what you need to do to keep it fresh.
Or you may find that you simply picked the wrong hours. Find a time you think will work better and make another appointment with yourself. Keep working at this until you’ve got a regular schedule of an hour a week working on your website.
Your first hour
Spent the first hour looking at your website from both the customer’s point of view, and from your administrative point of view. Make a list of what you think you need to do.
Your list might look something like this:
- Get help logging on. You wouldn’t be the first to have lost track of these details.
- Learn how to get a list of clients from your site.
- Learn how to upload pictures.
- Make sure your IDX or multiple listing feed is working properly.
- Get a better picture of you for your About Me page.
- Write or rewrite your about me page.
Most of these activities will take less than an hour – some will take more. It’s okay if something you want to get done spreads out over days. Baby steps are just fine.
Consider a blog
Keeping a website fresh is key, and a blog does just that. An effective real estate blog can be a great attraction of potential clients. Your website is already set up to so you can do a blog but before you even learn how, make a list of 25 blog topics.
A blog posts should probably be at least 500 words long and doesn’t need to be any longer than 700. Some people love to write thousand word blogs never thinking of who will take time to read them. If you have a particularly lengthy story want to tell at some point that’s fine, but 500 – 550 words or so is fine.
Topics can include news from your farm area, financial news affecting real estate, home buying tips, and home selling tips. When you get a new listing it’s great to do a blog post with pictures right away. Sure it will show up on MLS but you have a few days to feature it as your blog entry before everyone else gets a shot at it. Besides telling people you’ll blog about their property is a good way to firm up a listing.
If you write one of your topics every other week your 25 titles takes you almost through a whole year. It’s far better to start writing a blog post every other week and discover you can keep it up weekly than to go the other direction.
You can either write the post the day you want to publish it or you can write them in advance. Some of this will depend on how quickly you can write 500 or 600 words. Most people can learn to write a blog post in about an hour but many others take more time to do it the way they want. That’s one reason to start posting every other week – that gives you enough time to write.
Add photos to your blog
If you’re going to blog you should plan on adding some sort of graphics or photos. If you’re good with the camera you can take these yourself, but there are plenty of places to get free photos that are also legal to use.
Free Photos for Your Site is an article I wrote a while back that gives you good information about finding photos you can use.
There are other articles here about photos. Just put “photos” in the search box and you’ll find more than enough.
You don’t have to write a blog. You do have to keep your website up to date and it only makes sense to learn to use it well. If you spend this year doing one hour a week on your site, 12 months from now you’ll be almost an expert and can probably spend less time at it to good effect.
How do you work with your website? What questions you have? Ask them in comments and I’ll get an answer for you.