Help!! ... with the ever asked question … To own or not to own your own website!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Scates Realty & Investment Properties

There are so many options out there - with or without all the extras and up sales.

What do you do?  Where do you go?  Do you really need your own website now days if your company has all the accessibility for the World Wide Web, IDX, Agent webpage, etc.   Clients have so many options out there.

Even if you're a tech-savvy agent and pay for advertising on specialty websites like Realtor.com.  Is it worth just advertising listings that way versus a website?  How effective are the websites on lead generations and client capture?  What about all the promise to have the most current information on your website only to find that its "specialty-generic" info instead.  Where's the customer service once you purchase your site.  I have heard so many differnt positives and negatives on teh way agents are treated.

What should you do - buy a website and hope you can get it up the search engine ladder where potential clients not only find your website but continue to use it as their source of info and listings?  What's a good website builder - why? Are you happy with them?  Is it worth it?

Or advertise your listings in all the other different avenues of internet activity.

I appreciate your honest opinions! Thanks for your help!!

Comments (2)

Paul Silver
Tiverton, RI
Rhode Island full service real estate firm

Well, I for one would say yes, you should have your own website... firstly, it will travel with you if you choose to leave your current brokerage. Secondly, it can deliver clients to you directly, without filtering by your company, which can cut down on response time, and so result in more clients for you.

Get your own domain name, use your own email address, and keep these going.

Then use a qualified Search Engine Optimizer to help get you rankings. Get recommendations from successful site owners.

And DO NOT STOP promoting your site once it gets to a decent ranking for the keywords you want... it will slowly drop if you do that...

Answer contacts ASAP...

A good starter site is the Free Point2 sites... the paid versions have additional tools to use. The only issue with these types of sites is that all the content they provide must be changed or your site will NEVER rank well in the search engines... but at least they give you some content... unfortunately many folks just dont change the content, so the sites never do well, and then they think that websites are not useful... 

 

We get hundreds of leads each week from 7 sites we run... of these, perhaps 5% turn into business... but that can mean many closings each year JUST FROM THE WEB...  our agents average 16 closings per year each for the web based leads... not including any referral business they get from previous clients, or any leads that come from other than the web... of course, they are very active in managing their websites...

Oct 02, 2007 09:22 AM
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

Eileen, I agree with Paul and I'd add that there is a credibility issue as well.  I think most consumers expect a competent agent to have a presence on the Web.  It is more than just pointing to your Company site and saying that they have all these resources.  NAR has published statistics that consumers don't pick their agent by the company they work for.  Company affiliation is way down the list in terms of factors that induce customers to deal with an agent.

Realtor.com ads generally offer the feature of being able to link to your website, as do most other Web resources.  But without a website, you lose that advantage.  Do the other agents at your company have agent sites?  My guess is that they do.  An agent site/agent page is your portal to the world.  Without it, you're missing out on a valuable resource.

Again, as Paul said, you need to own your own domain name and branded email address.  These are a key element in you marketing efforts.  Put your web URL and your branded email on all your printed material, including business cards, brochures and flyers.  That way, you will be driving visitors to your website.  Visitors will bookmark your website and go back to it again and again.  I'm sure you get the picture here.  This is a part of a carefully-planned marketing campaign that is about YOU, not just about your company.

You can't rely on a third party or a company to "have the most current information on your website".  You'll have to make the effort to see that there is valuable content available to visitors on your site.  The same thing is true with your profile here on Active Rain.   

Companies that sell leads are a poor substitute for an agent website.  The leads that you generate on your own are vastly more valuable than any lead you can purchase, because they have found you and they take ownership of the fact that they found you. 

Good luck and I hope you achieve the results you're hoping for!

Oct 02, 2007 09:37 AM