Increase Business From Your Real Estate Website

THE LEADERS POST - Issue #14 - April 22, 1999

By: Doug Towes, Editor

About the Leaders Post

The Leaders Post is the newsletter for real estate professionals
committed to Net Success - from, an online
community of real estate professionals dedicated to providing
excellent service to their clients. If you prefer the online
version, the current issue as well as previous issues be viewed

You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent
in it's entirety.


- Increase the business from your web site
- The truth about Meta Tags
- Not all sites search-engine-friendly
- Happenings at
- Internet Statistics
- Tip of the day

Net Success

Not very long ago, real estate success on the internet could be
enjoyed even if one was quite passive in the follow up
department. One only had to respond to the initial internet
inquiry quickly and with the information requested, and the
prospect would most likely contact you once again if serious.

This was possible because most agents with web sites were not
responding to the requests they received through email, so there
was very little competition out there!

In most areas this has now changed. With the numbers of agents
now online, more and more are responding to their email on a
regular basis AND following up afterward. As in conventional real
estate, the agent that follows up will most likely get the

To increase the business you do from your web site, It is
important to ensure that after the initial response by
email, a follow up note or telephone call (if you have the phone
number) is made. This will greatly increase your chances for

This is equally important for both out of town and in town
prospects. With in town prospects you may want to follow up a
little quicker as they are likely also using sources other than
the internet for their searches - so the odds of another agent
picking them up first are greater.

Out of town prospects are usually at the very beginning of their
relocation process and working with a longer time frame, so they
are usually not searching as intently as a motivated local buyer.
Quick follow up is not as critical but can help to build the
relationship to ensure they contact you again when they are ready
to begin the search in earnest!


Contrary to popular belief, Meta Tags are not the key to good
search engine positioning. Good content and
search-engine-friendly design are!

Meta Tags are not the "be all and end all". Having the keywords
in Meta Tags only give your ranking a boost in HotBot and
Infoseek, and these search engines use many other criteria for
determining ranking in addition to the Meta Tags.

Repetitions of keywords in Meta Tags are usually ignored or cause
you to rank lower. Other search engines could care less if you
have Meta Tags, although the "description" tag is used to control
how your site is described in the search engine. If there is no
description tag you cannot control how your site is described in
the search engine.

Many believe that AltaVista uses Meta Tags in ranking as well,
but this is not the case. Pages without Meta Tags rank just as
well and in some cases better - better because even though
AltaVista doesn't give your ranking a boost if you use Meta Tags,
they penalize if they notice heavy repetition of keywords (spam)
in the tags.

So remember, the way to good search engine ranking is with good
content and search-engine-friendly design, which includes Meta
Tags but doesn't rely on them for more than what they actually


Speaking about search-engine-friendly design, I have recently
seen a few sites that are being offered by designers to real
estate agents that are definitely not search engine friendly!

Here is something in particular to watch out for:

Web sites are being offered that allow the agent to personally
make changes to their web site pages even though they may have
limited knowledge of the workings of the site.

In most cases, there are trade - offs with such a system - and in
this case the trade off is: "I can edit and make changes to my
site whenever I want" - reigns over "search-engine-friendly".

The system employed to allow an agent personally to make changes
to the site generates the pages from a program which generates
those pages with the character "?" in the url. When attempting to
index, search engines can not interpret that character in the url
and therefore can not access the page to index.

The designers of such sites say that the site is designed with
Meta Tags to allow search engines to list the site.

Closer scrutiny reveals that because of the design of the sites,
search engines can only access one page, and cannot spider any of
the other pages. That one page consists of just a title and Meta
Tags - no content - for the search engines to use for their
listing purposes. The actual content of the site cannot be
accessed by the search engines.

Since only HotBot and Infoseek use keywords in meta tags,and only
in a limited way, the site being in search engines is pretty much
wishful thinking - which is the trade off for being able to make
changes to your site yourself.

So make sure you check these things out carefully before
committing to a new web site! Good content and a design that is
search-engine-friendly are two of the guiding principals, and
reasons, for the success of the High Performance Home Page
program! If you are looking for an effective new web site at a
reasonable cost, check it out at Websites For Realtors

The High Performance Home Page sites are fully personalized and
come with compelling real estate content already provided on over
30 web pages, plus several fill in forms, and links to local
community information. New content is added on a regular basis at
no charge. There are FOUR formats to choose from, but only ONE
site is produced per market area, so order the site for your area
before someone else does!


What works for you? Your suggestions and submissions are
gratefully accepted, and if used you will receive credit along
with a link to your web site or (e mail address if you don't have
a web site yet.) Send submissions to -
suggestions may also be left at the Agents Online Real Estate Forums

Happenings At

Members of the High Performance Home Page program are reminded to
check their private forum for information, search engine
strategies, and add-ons to their site. The forum is located
within the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center at and can be found at the bottom of the
list of public forums. Once registered at the Idea Center, send
me an email and I will "authorize" you so you can access the
private forum.


The Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center
has been recently upgraded! One of
the new additions is the ability to subscribe to a forum digest
of any or all forums.

If you subscribe to a forum digest, you will receive periodic
emails detailing posts to that forum over a given period of time.
It is a great way to keep up with what is happening without
having to actually visit to check for new posts!

Contributing by posting messages in the Agents Online Real Estate
Idea Center is a great way to increase your exposure - and your
business! Join us at at - it's free!

One of the most popular forums there is the Mortgage Lending forum. There are
always lots of interesting and informative discussions going on with a minimum
of spam and solicitations to wade through - check it out!

We still need moderators for a couple of the forums, so if you
are interested let me know at and I
will set it up.

Moderators have the ability to post announcements, edit and
remove messages, send out digests, and are notified by email each
time someone posts to their forum. They are often viewed as a
leader and/or expert, and the moderators name appears on every
page in their forum. Moderators also have the ability to schedule
the digests for their own forums, and the frequency will be
determined by the traffic in the particular forum.

There is now a colorful new logo suitable for members to place on
their web sites and linking to the Idea Center. The logo is just
6kb, and a transparent gif, so it will work whatever your page
background. Have a look at
, where you can see the logo and cut and paste the code for

This And That

I am not sure who compiled these - I received them in a
newsletter I subscribe to, and thought they may be of interest.

* Internet Statistics *

1. MSIE 4.x........49.79%....49.59%.....+0.20%
2. Netscape 4.x....26.07%....26.06%.....+0.01%
3. MSIE 5.x........10.65%....10.70%.....-0.05%
4. MSIE 3.x.........5.83%.....5.85%.....-0.02%
5. Netscape 3.x.....4.94%.....5.08%.....-0.14%
6. WebTV............1.69%.....1.74%.....-0.05%
7. MSIE 0.x.........0.73%.....0.68%.....+0.05%
8. Netscape 5.x.....0.18%.....0.17%.....+0.01%
9. AT 3.x...........0.03%.....0.03%......0.00%
10.Netscape 2.x.....0.01%.....0.01%......0.00%

Operating Systems....4/16/99....3/16/99
1. Windows 95.........46.58%.....46.79%
2. Windows 98.........41.02%.....40.70%
3. Windows NT..........5.45%......5.48%
4. Macintosh...........2.73%......2.78%
5. WebTV...............1.72%......1.76%
6. Windows 3.x.........1.29%......1.28%
7. Other...............0.56%......0.55%
8. Linux...............0.22%......0.21%
9. SunOS...............0.19%......0.19%

Search Engines.......4/16/99....Change
1. Yahoo..............44.11%.....-
2. Excite.............22.84%.....+
3. AltaVista...........9.13%.....-
4. Infoseek............5.32%.....+
5. WebCrawler..........3.80%.....+
6. MSN.................3.13%.....-
7. HotBot..............3.04%.....+
8. Snap................2.77%.....+
9. Lycos...............1.81%.....-
10. Goto...............1.13%.....-

Tip Of The Day

These were sent to me by Carolyne Lederer of Brampton Ontario
who received them from a friend.

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true
friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it's his fault;
if he betrays you twice, it's your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

God gives every bird it's food,
But He does not throw it into it's nest.

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses more;
He who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are acts of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
The tongue weighs practically nothing,
But so few people can hold it.

================================================================ is an online community of real estate
professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to
their clients.

This newsletter is Copyright (c) RNC Internet Services, 1999


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