If you chose your domain name, signed up for the IDX feed from your MLS, and called your website done, you’re not alone. Most real estate agents know they need a website, but they mistakenly believe all they need is their name and a search function.
With over a million real estate agents across the country and hundreds, if not thousands, in your own backyard, you’re going to need a little bit more in order to stand out from the online crowd.
If a search function is all someone sees when they get to your site, how are you unique, and why should they stay on your website when they can go to one of the big guys: Realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia to search for homes? How do you expect a visitor to your site to remember you from the pages upon pages of real estate agents Google showed them?
Stand out from the crowd and go beyond just property search on your website. Blogs, market stats, videos, social media feeds, and more can be incorporated into your website.
The function of a blog on your website is more than just search engine optimization and making friends with Google in hopes of getting on the first page of search results. When you offer valuable content through a blog, you’re showing a potential buyer or seller that you’re knowledgeable about the process and your local market.
Your blog doesn’t have to be written content. Videos are also effective for sharing information.
You put up a website because it’s good for business. And by business, I mean leads. In this day and age of full email inboxes, spam, and someone always trying to sell something, you’re going to have to give people a good reason to share their email address with you so you can turn them into a loyal customer who refers all their friends to you.
Market stats, a monthly newsletter, good information about the buying and selling process, and more should all be part of your website in order to give visitors a reason to share their contact information with you.
The great thing about real content, like a blog or video, on your website is that it’s always working even when you’re not. As long as you’re updating your website with fresh content on a regular basis, you’ll keep the search engine gods happy. When a possible buyer decides to search “real estate in Boise, Idaho” at 3:00 a.m., they’ll have access to everything you’ve already included in your website. They get the information they want which makes them happy, and you may get their information and a potential buyer out of the deal – which is the point of having a website.
The quality of the content on your site is more important than the quantity. If one blog post a week is all you can manage, make it a good one with plenty of information. Over time, you’ll see search engine results.
It’s time to take your site a step further and have it work for you the way it’s supposed to. Don’t be afraid of the process. It’s not as painful as you may think, and the reward of people who actually visit your site, share the information, and choose you as their agent will be worth it.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.