Many real estate professionals work under the false assumption that just having a website is going to assure them traffic, leads, and sales. Most brokerages provide a “user portal” and template for their agents, which gives them a web page and internet presence, but many agents stop at that when it comes to marketing online.
While it’s important to have a presence online (and I’m continually amazed at the amount of agents that DON’T even have a static web page in today’s technology-driven market), real estate agents need to understand the difference between a company-generated template and a site of their own.
When I started in real estate back in 1998, internet marketing was a new game. Rarely did you see real estate agents with web pages, let alone web sites. Even large companies had not yet realized the importance of online marketing.
Being a web designer before getting my real estate license, I was able to take advantage of my skills and was the first agent in my area with a full website. This gave me a competitive advantage over my competition, and in my first year I did over 1 Million in sales volume, and was Rookie of the Year.
The marketing game has changed drastically over the past 12 years, and if you aren’t online today, prospects wonder about and question your knowledge and professionalism.
That being said, it IS important to be online some way, somehow, but if you are serious about online marketing (and dominating your market) you need to understand why that template site you got through your Broker is NOT doing YOU any good!
Oh sure, that website might have lots of bells and whistles that you think your prospects are looking for, but what you need to understand is how search engines view those pages, and what information is being given that affects the way that consumers find your site.
Here’s an example of a template page that is created for agents to utilize:
On the surface, this site looks like it has the things tools that will bring people to your website, but from the “back end” that the search engines read (the html code written to produce your page), the information looks a lot different. You see, search engines look for relevant information about specific search terms that prospects are typing into their search bars. In order to get the attention of the search engines, which drive traffic to your site, you need to have relevant KEYWORDS on your site.
When we pull back the curtain and take a look at the terms that have been pre-programmed on these templates, you will see that they are not set up to be niche specific to the agent or even the area that the agent specializes in. Here are the search terms that are on the site I used as an example above (I’ve covered the broker name with astericks):
new orleans real estate, prudential *******, new orleans, Metairie, Super search, best mortgage, realestate, realestate, relocate, relocation, homes for sale, open house, orleans, jefferson, st tammany, st bernard, mandeville, covington, hammond, folsom, picayune, laplace, jefferson, ormond, kenner, prudential ******** realtors, *************, ***********, la, ms, mississippi, gulfcoast, gulf coast, bay st louis, gulfport, biloxi, long beach, condominium, condos, home, house, sell, buy, waterfront, townhouse, relocation parish, corporate relocation, property for sale, property management, realtor, residential, seller, real estate agent, real estate broker, mls, buyer, commercial, french quarter, Garden District, waterfront, listings
Here you see that there are a lot of mentions about the brokerage itself. There are also very generic terms that have something to do with real estate, but are not specific enough to tell the search engines exactly where this agent does business, or what this agent specializes in. This particular list of keywords even lists areas in at state that this particular agent is NOT licensed in! How in the world are the search engines going to know that this agent would be a perfect fit for what prospects are looking for?
The problem with these templates is that they were set up by the brokerage, through website designers, and NOT marketing specialists. The brokerages also want to make sure that these sites drive traffic back to THEIR main pages, because many of these companies work to generate leads that they can sell back to their agents for a “referral fee”.
So keep in mind that even though you have a website, your site may be doing you more harm than good. My suggestion is to get out there and start working on your OWN sites, separate from your company’s.
This information, and more, is covered in my free video “Top 10 Mistakes Realtors Make When Marketing Their Business”. Be sure to enter your email address to get instant access to this free video!