Making Your Website a Shiny North Star

Recently, while on vacation at Lake Powell on a clear night, I looked up and started noticing all the stars you normally don’t see in the city. As I pointed out the North Star to my kids, this thought hit me: having a website in real estate is like having a star in the galaxy – just one of billions. Big deal, right?

Do you have a website? Probably. But do you have a web strategy? If you’re like most agents I’ve met, I bet you’re saying ‘nope.’

What’s the difference?

A website is just one star in the galaxy; everyone has one, and you’re lost in the cosmos. But a web strategy actually makes your site stand out like the North Star – giving you more leads, business and online success.

Here are some basic principles:

1. Realize no one cares about who you are. This is tough to swallow, but consumers only want to know “what’s in it for me?” Chances are, if they visit an agent’s site, they’ll see a photo, a bio, the agent’s four listings that sold a year ago and a bunch of fluff that has nothing to do with them. Yawn. And poof, they’re gone to something more relevant, useful and certainly more interesting. Instead, use your home page to make a large, clear, concise and strong statement of benefit directly to a buyer or seller. And don’t dilute it with a bunch of other stuff. Example: “Search All Michigan Listings Free” or “Get an Automatic E-Mail of New Homes as They Hit the Market!” Use simple phrases that share exactly what consumers want — information.

2. Make it easy for prospects to share. After a consumer clicks to receive your offer, about 70 percent will tell you who they are — if you offer a customized experience and better customer service. Strategically placing your request for prospects’ contact information is a must to generate leads. Don’t ask for too much, a name and e-mail address is all you need. The less you ask for the more likely they’ll share.

3. Follow up with the 44 percent. It sounds so simple, but many agents immediately drop prospects who aren’t ready to buy or sell. This is a huge mistake! Statistics show that only four percent of Internet leads are ready to buy now, while another 44 percent are in the initial stages. So who are these 44 percent? They’re prospects who are typically less than six months away from being ready to buy or sell. They use the Internet to see what’s out there and narrow down their search. Successful web strategists target this segment by including follow-up campaigns that drip relevant information to keep the agent’s name and information top of mind until prospects are ready. This is called lead incubation. Begin with e-mail correspondence and work subtly toward a phone conversation. Once the client responds with a specific question about a property or wants to see a home the system has sent, you win.

4. Position your marketing to drive traffic to your site. How do you get people to your site? Here are a couple of proven strategies: 1. Personal promotion is still one of the most effective ways to drive business to your site. All of your offline ads, business cards, flyers, signs and mailers should clearly state a benefit the consumer gets when they visit your site. 2. Pay-per-click advertising such as Google Ad Words where you pay the search engines to drive business to your site.

Online success is all about the marketing. With a good web strategy, you’ll be like the North Star gleaming brightly in the night sky among all the other unknown stars.

Let me hear from you. Isn’t it your time to shine? What’s your website missing? Do you have a strategy to make it work for you? What can you start doing today to make it a better tool for you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *