Building An Effective Realtor Website

THE LEADERS POST - Issue #50 - October 5, 2000

By: Doug Towes, Editor

About the Leaders Post

The Leaders Post is the newsletter for professionals committed
to Net Success - from, an online community of
professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to their
clients. If you prefer the online version, the current issue as
well as previous issues can be viewed by clicking
Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

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


- Building an effective web site revisited
- "Why does this system work where others may fail?"
- Happenings
- Tip Of The Day

Net Success

Two years ago, in October 1998, the first issue of this
newsletter identified what this newsletter was all about, which
is that a productive Internet site, and knowing how to service
clients from the internet, are now necessities for any real
estate professional who is serious about becoming successful -
or for maintaining the success they currently enjoy. This has
not changed and is probably more imperative today!

That first issue featured a piece about "Building an Effective
Web Site" which is available online (as are all previous issues)

I thought it would be a good time to revisit that subject as
fall is typically the time when agents are reviewing their past
business and planning for the coming year.

The article identified some fundamental points which two years
ago had already been proven to be the path to success on what
was then a relatively new medium to most agents. These points
still hold true today!

1) Content is king. Let content and goodwill lead the public to
seek you and your services out.

2) On the Internet, you have to give to get. (Probably includes
giving out information and listings without giving the visitor
the third degree.)

3) Soft sell is the key. Your site should not be "in your face"

4) Answer all of your e mail promptly. This should probably be
number one.

5)Promote, promote, promote! Put your URL everywhere on and off
the 'net.

Over the years there have been a flood of web page design
companies come on the scene and as they go about aggressively
marketing their services - one tends to copy the other's
structure, style, and marketing message whether it works
particularly well for agents or not.

The shear numbers of designers all doing the same thing can
make it seem that doing the same as everyone else is the correct
way to go. Opposing views are quickly and loudly shouted down by
the largest designers as they vigorously protect their turf.

The House and Home Real Estate Page program on
(Websites for Realtors)was already in existence and
had been built adhering to the above fundamentals long before
the first issue of this newsletter. Since the web sites produced
for this program are very different from what is now considered
to be a typical real estate agent's site, the questions always
arises as to "Why does this system work where others may fail?"

The content below is taken from the web site, and although many
may be thinking about skipping the following section because it
contains a marketing message - there is some very valuable
information contained that all can apply to enhance their own
internet success.

It all begins with the approach! The typical web design company
is usually started and staffed by people with technical
knowledge who think "We have all this nifty computer
know-how and technology - how can we sell it?"

The result? Web sites that showcase technology and the real
estate agent but lack the structure and components to generate
meaningful business.

RNC Internet Services took the completely opposite approach. In
1995 we started with proven sales and marketing know-how
acquired during a decade in the real estate business and then
thought " How can we apply these proven concepts to make an
effective web site and what technology and knowledge do we need
to successfully implement this?"

The result? Web sites that work!

Agents found out about our system mainly by word of mouth. We
kept the focus on ensuring that the web sites were successful
for the member agents and employed no mass marketing techniques
so that the system could develop slowly to ensure that success
for all was sustainable.

Different web site formats were tested over the years and once
proven successful they were made available to member agents.
Strangely enough, many members do not want to update to the
newer formats because they are enjoying success with the old
formats! So, if you are browsing through some of our member
sites you will see formats other than those currently available.
We no longer offer these old formats to new members
simply because no new member has chosen an old format for the
past year - our successful new format is highly flexible and can
be customized so that it will match any agents needs!

What are some of the reasons the web sites work?

1.In creating the web sites we recognize that the internet is a
communications medium and not an advertising medium. That means
that there is an opportunity and an expectation for the visitors
to a web site to be engaged and for a relationship to be built.

2.On the internet, people find web sites by searching in the
major search engines. When they do, it is a similar experience
to visiting an open house being held by a real estate agent they
have never heard of before.

Imagine yourself hosting an open house as a new agent - and
think about how you would greet a visitor. When they walk in the
door would you immediately start talking about how wonderful you
and your company are? Or would you greet them, ask a couple of
qualifying questions, let them view the home, and then respond
to any questions they may have and start building a relationship?

Sales "101" says that "They don't care who you are until they
know how you can benefit them." To be successful on the
internet you have to give information in order to get future
business. One of the reasons our web sites work is because we
showcase the fact that visitors are at the right place to find
the information they are looking for and the agent's information
may be initially a little more "low key" than many
other sites.

Prospective clients are led into the sites because the
information they are looking for is easily accessible and they
do not get the feeling that the agent's first interest is in
talking about themselves.

3.Once a prospective client is exploring the site they are
encouraged to ask the agent for more personalized real estate
information. This is the "bread and butter" for members!
Agents now have the opportunity to build a relationship with the
prospect and to turn the prospect into a client.

4.We place a high priority and not just lip service to search
engine positioning. We understand that on the internet that is
the way prospective clients will find you. A site will not place
well in search engines unless it has been designed to do so -
and our sites are!

5.We are constantly adding new features and making structural
modifications to existing sites to compensate for changes in
search engine algorithms - at no additional cost to our members.

6.Before we accept an agent into the House and Home Real Estate
Page Program we do research to ensure that the area the agent
wishes to cover is actually searched for in the major search
engines and determine which keywords are used during these
searches. If traffic warrants we will produce a site covering
that market area.

7.We will accept just one agent for each market area to ensure
that agent will be successful! The site is unique in the market
area it covers and that is apparent to those browsing the
search engine listings. This encourages prospective clients to
visit the House and Home Real Estate Page Site instead of one of
the dozens of competing sites which all appear similar in the
search engine listings.


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.)


Happenings At

You can promote yourself very well by participating in the
Agents Online Real Estate Forum,
which are visited by hundreds people who are each viewing
several messages a day now looking for real estate information,
agents, and property listings! Participating in the discussion
and sharing your insights is great FREE advertising!

Tip Of The Day

" Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved."
                            - Unknown
================================================================ is an online community of professionals
dedicated to providing excellent service to their clients.

This newsletter is Copyright (c) RNC Internet Services, 2000


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