Do You Need a Real Estate Website?

WebsitesMainImageAs a real estate professional, you know searching for real estate-related information on the Internet has become an important part of the home buying process. Whether it’s to find an agent, view listings or educate themselves about real estate, home buyers are exploring online content more frequently to find what they need. According to the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, as shared by the National Association of REALTORS®:

  • 92% of home buyers used the internet at some point during the home buying process.
  • 50% used a mobile website or app during the home buying process.
  • 43% of home buyers chose to look at homes online as the first step in the home buying process.
  • 12% of home buyers looked online first to learn more about the home buying process.

Having a real estate agent website makes it possible to supply these potential clients with information they are searching for and establish a connection in doing so; however, if that is not enough, here are four specific reasons why all agents should have a personal real estate website:

1. Agent Websites Are a Resource for First-Time Buyers

As previously stated, 12 percent of home buyers start their journeys with an online search to learn about the overall home buying process. A personal agentwebsite is a great channel to attract and educate potential clients who are new to real estate. Specifically, agentsshould try to include a blog on their site. A blog is an ideal platform for sharing helpful content, and it can also help you generate top of mind awareness with your website visitors.

For example, first-time home buyers might conduct searches based on the following questions:

  • What are the benefits of buying as opposed to renting?
  • Why should I consider using a real estate agent?
  • What costs do I need to consider when buying a home?
  • What are some considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a home loan?
  • Which type of mortgage makes the most sense for me?

Providing thoughtful answers and advice in these areas can help establish your credibility, which is crucial to building relationships with potential home buyers. While those who are in education-mode may not be prepared to commit to a agentor a property just yet, your shared expertise will help keep you ‘top of mind’ with potential clients, once they are ready to move forward in the home buying process.

Your IXACT Contact agent website comes pre-loaded with 16 pages of professionally written content.  The included material is valuable to all your website visitors, including first-time- home buyers.

2. Agent Websites Help Leverage Local Searches

One major advantage of the Internet in relation to real estate is that it allows home buyers to quickly and easily seek out agents and/or properties by location. Having a personalized website enables you to optimize for any local searches home buyers choose to conduct. For example, a person looking to buy a home in Orlando, Florida might opt to narrow down their results by doing a search for “real estate agents in Orlando” instead of just “real estate agent”.

By making sure your website content includes the city and state in which you work, you will be better able to attract clients looking to purchase a home in your area.

3. Agent Websites Help Establish Your Personal Brand

While it is important to share your industry expertise, it is equally as important to share your personality, or, personal brand. This is a great way to differentiate yourself from competing real estate professionals and connect with prospective clients on a deeper level. For example, home buyers with children are likely to relate to agents who have families of their own. Individuals looking to downsize may gravitate toward agents who express their passion for working with “empty-nesters.”

A real estate website offers a great platform for sharing who you are, what you value, and anything else that makes you unique or relatable. Develop an “About” section to display:

  • Personal information you would like prospects to know.
  • How many years of experience you have in real estate.
  • What your core values are.
  • What makes you passionate about real estate.
  • Who your ideal home buyers are (i.e. first-timers, families, singles, empty-nesters).
  • A photo of yourself.

In addition to the above information, you can also post testimonials from past clients to help verify your reputation, as well as links to your social media channels.

Your IXACT Contact agent website can be customized to match your personal brand.  Choose from attractive templates and color themes, add your logo and headshot, and your website will be an accurate portrayal of you!

4. Agent Websites Can Support Automatic Lead Capture

In addition to attracting prospects, a real estate agent website is ideal for efficiently capturing high-quality leads. This is made possible by incorporating online contact forms for buyers or even sellers who come to your site and are interested in learning more about your services. Each time a form is completed, you will receive an email notification so that no lead goes unnoticed.

Capturing leads through an integrated website also enables you to automatically add new contacts to your real estate CRM, like IXACT Contact, or assign them to a relevant email nurturing campaign.

Takeaway Points:

From connecting with first-time home buyers, to showing off your personality, to CRM and email marketing integration, it is clear that having a personalized agent website holds many advantages. In fact, not having one is likely to put you at a great disadvantage as you run the risk of losing business to competitors who have an established digital presence.

By having your personal website you will:

  • Provide important resources for home-buyers  that will make them more likely to trust you and work with you.
  • Be able to better optimize searches and improve your SEO rankings.
  • Establish your personal brand.
  • Effectively capture digital leads.

Learn more about the benefits of having a website and learn how to easily set up a customized, mobile-friendly agent website. Start your FREE 60-Day free trial of IXACT Contact now.

Posted on March 2, 2017

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How to Get Leads from Your Real Estate Website

best realtor websiteThe numbers are in, and they’ve proven that real estate websites are crucial for agents who want to close more sales and make more commissions. In fact, last year over 240 million unique users visited real estate websites (RealTrends). With a search volume like that, savvy real estate professionals are recognizing the importance of a solid web presence.

Creating your own real estate website is the first step towards boosting your business, but it doesn’t stop there. For your website to be worthwhile, it needs to be generating quality leads for your business. Here are some of the best ways to ensure your real estate website is driving leads:

Get real estate leads by being mobile friendly.

Studies have shown that 40% of the 240 million visitors who visit real estate websites come using a mobile device; that’s a huge portion! Perhaps your website is a masterpiece on a destop computer, but have you checked how it looks on a iPhone or tablet? To get more real estate leads, your website should display properly on any device, making you more accessible and removing any roadblocks for your website visitor. A mobile friendly website should be a priority.  If your site isn’t mobile optimized now, it’s time to make a change.

Get more leads with quality website content.

Not every real estate agent has a knack for writing online copy – and that’s ok! Text written for real estate websites needs to be engaging, clear, brief and professional.  If writing isn’t your strong suit, your website may be turning visitors off as soon as they start to read it. Opt for the help of a professional writer or a website provider that includes quality, professionally written content to engage your website visitors.

Get real estate leads by blogging regularly.

Have you ever visited a blog online in hopes of finding interesting tips, and instead been greeted by an outdated post from 2009?  An inactive blog gives website visitors the impression that you’re an inactive real estate professional. By blogging regularly, you’ll prove yourself to be in touch, on top of trends, and entice more visitors to share and re-visit your site!  Don’t have the time to update your blog regularly? Check out a real estate website provider that comes with pre-written blog content on a regular basis.

Get more leads by presenting consistent branding.

Some real estate agents are satisfied by having a generic page within their broker’s website.  These pages usually include a tiny headshot and vague contact information. The buried pages are not very eye-catching for prospects – that is if your prospects can find it at all! Your real estate website is an extension of who you are as a agent, and it should reflect you!  Make sure your website is customized with the images, logos, colors, and videos that align with your personal brand.  This will help your prospects recognize and trust you thanks to your cohesive, professional marketing presence.

Capture the leads you’ve generated effectively.

The scary truth is that many agents don’t have a lead generation problem, they have a lead capturing problem! Is it possible that you’re already generating leads with your real estate website, but fail to capture those leads and convert them into clients? Some agents use websites that notify them by email when a lead comes in, but in the midst of daily tasks, it’s all too easy for that lead to be forgotten or lost in an email inbox.  A surefire solution to this problem is to use a real estate website that automatically captures your leads and populates them in your real estate CRM for you.  You can begin nurturing your new leads by email automatically by assigning them to a targeted lead nurture campaign.  A good CRM will include campaigns specific for buyers, sellers, renters, and more! For more long-term nurturing, you can even assign your leads to receive your Monthly eNewsletter. Getting in touch ASAP is crucial, and by capturing leads effectively you’ll be in touch and avoid misplacing leads.

Takeaway

A good Realtor website can drive online leads for your business. Remember to ensure your website is mobile friendly, well-written, regularly updated and displays your listings.

Ready for a solution that will help you accomplish all of these things? Try IXACT Contact FREE for 60 Days, including your own Realtor website!

Posted on January 17, 2017 by Candace Green

Blogging Bloopers for Real Estate Agents to Avoid

real-estate-blog

There are a lot of good reasons to have a real estate blog. It helps establish you as an active member of the real estate community, can boost your search engine ranking, and helps you stay top of mind with your real estate leads and past clients.

Since many real estate professionals recognize the importance of a blog, they set out with good intentions. Unfortunately blogging mistakes are all too common.

You don’t have a real estate blog.

Let’s cover this one right off the bat. The first blogging blooper is to not have a blog at all. Posting to your real estate blog is an effective way to increase your network and offer value to your prospects and past clients. If you don’t have a blog yet, it’s time to start!

Solution:

The clear solution is to start a real estate blog. The question that follows is, “how?” It’s easier than you may think! It starts with choosing a blogging platform that meets your specific needs, reflects your brand, and is easy to use. Beware of blogging solutions that are cumbersome or difficult to post to. You don’t need the roadblock of a difficult platform to discourage you from writing and posting to your blog.

IXACT Contact’s agent websites come with a beautiful blog section built right into your site. It’s incredibly easy to post the blogs that you write, and you can even choose to use the professionally pre-written content that comes included with the platform.

You post inconsistently.

For those of us who do blog, the biggest mistake that we make is posting inconsistently. Some people believe they should write a blog when they have “something to say.” But unless you establish a blogging schedule, it becomes alarmingly easy to convince yourself you don’t have anything to say, or you’ll do it “tomorrow.”

The most successful blogs post because of routine, not necessarily inspiration. Consistency and frequency are two different concepts. You don’t have to post to your real estate blog daily… or even weekly! Just be sure to set out guidelines and stick to them.

Solution:

Come up with a blog posting schedule that is realistic and appropriate. For some of us that’s weekly, for others it’s monthly. If you’re drafting blog posts yourself, schedule time in your calendar for writing and editing and treat it like you would any other appointment.

Try using IXACT Contact agent websites to help you stick to your blog posting schedule by utilizing the prewritten bi-weekly blog posts. Whether you’re using all prewritten content, or combining it with your own content, IXACT Contact’s professionally written blogs are a fool-proof way to ensure you’re posting blogs consistently.

You neglect promoting your blog on social media.

There are several different ways readers will find your blog online, through Google search results, by coming across it naturally, or by seeing it shared by someone else.

Sharing is key for your content to get seen, and one of the best places to share is on social media. It pains me to see real estate agents go through the work of writing and posting a blog, and then just let it sit there. Neglecting to post your blogs on Facebook, Twitter, and any of your other favorite sites is a big blogging blooper.

Solution:

Make social sharing a regular part of your blog-writing process. Once your blog post is live, write a Facebook post and some Tweets to encourage your friends and followers to check it out and share. And don’t stop there! There’s nothing wrong with promoting past content if it is still relevant and helpful.

Wondering how to get more of your friends and followers to share your blog posts? Reciprocity is key! Try sharing some of their content (granted it’s something you agree with and like) and they are more likely to return the favor.

You’re a slave to word count.

Blogs are about quality, not necessarily quantity. Unlike the papers you wrote in high school, there is no word count applied to your blog posts. In fact, online readers tend to embrace shorter, more conversational paragraphs over long blocks of text.

Do you put off writing a blog post because it feels like sitting down to write the great American novel? It doesn’t have to! The best real estate blogs are a combination of different posts, some shorter, some longer. Don’t pressure yourself to post thousands of words, strive for 400-1000 words per post.

Solution:

Focus on posting quality, readable blog posts that will appeal to your audience. Try breaking up your post into numbered lists, or using subheadings to make it easy for your reader to take in.

Of course, if you’re using a solution like IXACT Contact, you don’t have to worry about crafting posts since the agent website comes with pre-written bi-weekly blog posts!

You’re all words, no image.

Landing on a webpage that is a solid wall of text isn’t very inviting. Even if the post is expertly written, not many visitors can make it through solid blocks of text without a visual.

If you’ve worked hard on drafting a real estate blog post, you might just forget to add an image, or perhaps you don’t know where to get an image to use. But visuals are very important in our digital world. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting to add an image.

Solution:

There are some terrific options for free stock photography on the web. Check out some of my favorites here and here. These are images that you can use on your blog without purchasing the rights to them. Check out what is available and add some visuals to your blog!

IXACT Contact agent websites pre-written blogs already have images added, so you can rest easy that your readers are seeing a visually pleasing page.

The ultimate solution

Have you made any of these common real estate blogging bloopers? You’re not alone. And it’s not too late to start a blog that is professional, findable, and easy to use!

Start your 60 days free trial of IXACT Contact real estate CRM and create your agent website, complete with a real estate blog.

Your new blog will reflect your personal brand, and you can even choose to have professional, pre-written content posted on your blog bi-weekly for no extra charge!

Posted on December 19, 2016