As a former employee of a national real estate service, I've spoken with hundreds of real estate agents regarding their methods of following up with their real estate leads and marketing of themselves...
As a former employee of a national real estate service, I've spoken with hundreds of real estate agents regarding their methods of following up with their real estate leads and marketing of themselves and their services in general. I was shocked at the amount of agents I spoke with who did not have a personal website and even worse, didn't see the point of having one! Don't they realize how many real estate leads they're missing out on by NOT having a website? Oh, and for the record, having a contact page on RE/MAX's site doesn't count. When I say personal website, I'm talking about a fully loaded, information packed site – the kind that can generate it's own real estate leads, has all your listing information, as well as valuable resources and information for any visitors to the site.
Why should every agent have a website? Well the number one reason is always real estate leads – a website is yet another avenue from which to gather real estate leads. You can put up a contact form, a comments page and even offer a free home value estimate and have people fill out contact information to get one - all three of those will result in real estate leads. The second reason you need a website is because over 75% of people looking to buy or sell a home are going online to do their research first – and as an agent, you want to be sure they're finding YOU as opposed to the competition. If they look at 5 different agents' websites, you definitely want to make sure you've got the best looking site in the biz. To be honest, any agent worth their salt won't need any other reason to start a site other than the fact that websites = REAL ESTATE LEADS!
As GetMyHomesValue co-founder Dave Conklin says, “It used to be just having a website made you credible. It's not like that anymore, now you have to take it to the next level.”
So what is the next level? You've already got a website with tons of useful information, tons of contact pages – it even lists all the homes for sale in your area, not just your own listings! What more can you do to get people to visit your site again and again, and turn a good portion of those visitors into real estate leads? According to Conklin, blogs are a smart addition to any agent's site.
“If you're a real estate professional and don't have a blog, start one NOW,” says Conklin. “It's all about your first virtual impression and building on that by engaging in dialogue with your real estate leads and prospects.”
Conklin goes on to compare the success of blogs on the Internet with reality TV. According to him, reality TV is so huge because people like to look at the inner workings of other people's lives. A blog enables you to show that you're an expert in your field by answering questions people have have, interacting with them and by building a more personal relationship with prospects by sharing your opinions, thoughts and experiences on all kinds of things, not just real estate. “It helps for people to look at you as being 'real' and not just a face on a business card.”
And that is the heart of the matter, when it comes to turning real estate leads into clients. Most people don't want a stuffy, cold agent who acts “professional” all the time – they want a personable agent, someone who is as human as them and who has shared similar experiences and so can relate to them. Real estate leads are EVERYWHERE for agents – it's just a matter of having the right tools to ensure the real estate leads are coming your way, rather than someone else's.
“It seems that most agents either have a blog and don't take it seriously by updating it regularly or they don't bother with blogs at all. That's a huge mistake,” warns Conklin. “The internet is getting more personal. Smart agents will recognize this and maintain a blog.”
Although some people may still look down their noses at blogs, they are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with on the Internet (just look up the term blogosphere). As a real estate agent, having a website AND a blog is one of the best things you can do to produce your own real estate leads. Combine that with subscribing to one or more lead generation service, and your pipeline of real estate leads will never be empty.
Get more information on real estate leads by visiting GetMyHomesValue.com.
Ashley Lichty is a webmaster and the resident SEO of Web Xtreme, Inc. She has a background in real estate and marketing with an emphasis in writing.