by Brett Miller
In 2005, I wrote an article detailing back then what I considered the top 9 “Must Haves” that any Realtor should have in their website. That seems like a lifetime ago. It was during a period known as the “Real Estate Boom.” (Look it up. It really happened.)
At that time in 2005, the hottest idea going was this new thing called “Blogging” which I could see as a very powerful platform for Realtors to share their expertise, as I described as being like “personal emails to the world.”
That year, YouTube had just launched and was relatively unknown still. The following year, MySpace would become bigger than Google. Facebook would not overtake MySpace for another 3 years. The Blackberry was the state of the art in Smartphones with the iPhone and its copycats not becoming the standard for another few years.
Who could have imagined all these innovations?
Now, eight years later, it’s a whole new world and that original idea of “Blogging” has really morphed into something profoundly important to the promotion and survival of your business in the form of Social Networking.
It really is about you understanding the importance of engaging with your “friends” out there and being “present” – and not too busy doing your busy work to continue this important “relationship.” Expecting your website to be a “Field of Dreams” where if you launch it, leads will just pop out of cyberspace is not going to get you there anymore.
Your website is by far the cornerstone of all your marketing efforts. The place where every post you submit should be directed to your online storefront.
Imagine you were opening a McDonald’s or a Subway franchise and you had to lease the land, build-out the interior, stock up on the raw supplies, hire and train employees, advertise using local direct mail or in expensive newspapers… Easily hundreds of thousands of dollars of startup and tens of thousands per month in upkeep, often not turning a profit for 3 years or more.
It is remarkable to me that so many Agents do not see the value of creating a Great Real Estate Agent Website for themselves, and who complain of having to pay a monthly maintenance fee of less than $200 per month for something so crucial to their ongoing success.
Those who think that the corporate template set up for them or the discount generic site is “good enough” are unfortunately going to watch to savvy Agents move ahead of them and eat their lunch. Is it easy for these Agents to engage and do the daily tasks needed to rock their market? Heck no, it’s not easy. If it were, everyone would buy that “pill.”
On the other hand, for thousands of Agents just like you, it actually has become a simple daily routine where you login and share your thoughts on a regular basis using easy tools built into a professional fully integrated website. Let’s cover what you should have in 2013 to have a Winning Website:
9 Must Haves For Your Real Estate Website (2013)
- Custom Designed with your Personal Brand
- Full MLS Search Capabilities with SEO Listing Pages Residing Under Your Domain or SubDomain
- Internal Blogs that Automatically Post to All Your Social Networks
- Search Engine Optimized Pages for Each Community in Your Market
- 100% Cross-Platform for All Browsers, Tablets and Smartphones with No Flash
- Every Page on Your Site Should be Easily Editable By You 24/7
- Interactive Mapping Throughout
- Contact Info and Direct Response Hooks on Every Page with Word Verification
- Client Testimonials, and Lot of ‘Em
1. Custom Designed with your Personal Brand
Are you seriously going to put up another website like hundreds of thousands of other Agents with a bunch of generic photos of houses and a little spot for your headshot? I can’t even look at these anymore.
Your site should have a color scheme that is unique to you, using your logo or type treatment, phone number, local photos of what makes your area beautiful, and a great photo of you that actually shows your arms (not a headshot!)
Not every part of the country has beautiful mountains or trees in it, but surely there are parks and greenbelts and places that promote the best of your area. A busy gray asphalt street is not what we are looking for here.
This kind of professional look and feel will speak volumes about you. Remember, if you don’t care about yourself and your (website’s) appearance, why should anyone else care about you?
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