Almost every week I am contacted by email, text or phone about real estate websites. I swear if I gave up selling homes and running my own show, I could easily transition into building real estate websites as a full blown business. Not that there aren't enough choices out there but I find there is something lacking.
If you want to move into the world of selling any kind of real estate and making best use of the internet, there's not a doubt in my mind you need at least one website. But before any of you start doling out the money to have someone provide you with one, you need to educate yourself. This post is written because of a phone call I had yesterday with an AR member who was in quite the predicament. I feel she is not alone. Let's start with some basic education.
- Do not start any website project without a plan. What is your part of the business in your area and what do you want it to be, same, expanded, niche, add an extra niche.
- What is the goal of the website? Connect the answer to your plan.
- Providers of websites. Do you want someone to build it for you or do you want to learn how and do it yourself?
- If you invest your funds into a fancy looking website, no matter who the provider is, without food (new regular content), no-one is going to come.
- Who is going to provide that food? You, an assistant, a VA?
- Set it and forget it? You just blew likely thousands of dollars!
- General websites for geo areas are going to find it really hard and I mean really hard to compete with ZTR and other major real estate web portals.
The rule here is go small. You simply cannot compete with ZTR. Also look at your local area and find your local competition. Start using Google search as a way of finding your competition.
If you find a succesful agent in your market who keeps popping up, do NOT use this as a guide to how easy it's going to be. Some of our websites have been around for 10+ years. Our sites have hundreds of pages and posts of content.
Don't invest in a prodect that you have no idea how to drive. Most of us have driving licenses and we can drive cars. But if I put a tank in front of you, could you drive it? It's actually not hard to learn how to drive web products, use the providers training, or learn Wordpress yourself, just don't skip it.
YouTube is full of how to information! Wordpress itself has many videos on how to do things.
There are many many types of web site products out there. Most will work quite well if you select a specific part of the market, know how to drive what you have, how to feed it, and are committed to doing just that.
Lastly, please don't follow lambs to the slaughter. (I am witnessing death all around with web presences). Start your own research before laying a dime on the table. A website may not be what YOU need at all!
P.S. I recommend a contract, so both you and the provider understand what you are buying and what they are selling. Without it you have no recourse. I mean gee folks we sell real estate via contracts for a reason!