First, consider your personal real estate website as the base of your marketing efforts.
Your agent website is the cornerstone - the foundation upon which to build your marketing platform. It gives you a place to showcase your knowledge, expertise, and professionalism. Done well, it also leads people to get to know and trust you.
Because it’s so valuable, you do need to own your own site, with a URL that does not mention the name of your current brokerage. Your professional email should also be tied to that URL – not the company site.
You may be content where you are, but things do change. If you decide to move, you’ll want your website and your email to keep right on working for you as if nothing had changed.
What if you can’t afford to own your own website just yet?
Use your Active Rain account to full advantage. Post a good bio/profile. Add your testimonials. Then blog with the same kind of good information that you’ll eventually want on your website - and invite people the same way you'd invite them to your own website.
Rule #1 regarding your website is “Make your location visible on every page.”
I am constantly amazed by the agent websites that don’t reveal their City or State. How would anyone visiting there know that they work in the community where that visitor wants to buy or sell?
Further, how would the search engines find them?
Rule #2 – give your visitors a reason to stay once they get there.
Yes, you do need a “search for homes” function, but that isn’t enough. Add unique content to your buyer and seller pages – and make sure it says something useful.
Include a community page – or more than one if you serve a few communities – and make it a true picture of the community for those who have not yet been there. Then blog about it to add even more useful information.
Discover more about the value of community pages here: https://copybymarte.com/real-estate-community-pages/
If you have a niche, such as probate, divorce, short sales, or a specific kind of property, your site should include good information for the prospects who fit that niche. Show them that you really “know your stuff.”
Don’t panic. You don’t need to do it all at once, and you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars for a “fancy” site. In fact, Orbitmedia.com reported that in a survey, 70% of Internet users said ease of finding their way around on a website was more important than a pretty design.
Rule #3 – Remember that every bit of marketing you present must be about the reader – your future clients.
It’s not about you. Even your agent bio should focus on benefits to your clients.
Now -Push, pull, and invite visitors to that site…
Use your URL on every piece of marketing you do – on line or off line.
And, when relevant, direct people to specific pages on your site. For instance, if you respond to an inquiry about a house in a gated community and you’ve written a community page or blog post about that community, include a link to that information in your reply. Make it easy for a prospect to see that you’re the expert.
If you use Facebook and the other social sites, make it a habit to share the interesting pages on your site.
Push your blog posts as well as your static pages out to the social media sites. And do blog on Active Rain as well as on your own site. Be sure each of those posts has a link back to your site.
Many members recommend posting first on your site, then on Active Rain. This will give you attention from an authority site, but alert the search engines to index the content on your site first.
Include an invitation to your site in your email signature.
Off-line, include your URL and your invitation to visit on every printed piece.
This includes your business cards, your personal brochure, your fliers, your newspaper or magazine ads, your give-away items, and of course your prospecting letters.
When relevant, include both your home page URL and the full URL for specific pages. If you’ve said you offer information on a topic, take them straight to that information. Don’t make them search for it.
Now – how do you gather and keep leads from those web visitors?
“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.” Craig Davis
First, set up an autoresponder to reply to people who opt in, then buy or create a special report to entice your site visitors to give you their names and contact information.
Your autoresponder will offer a tool for creating a “Capture box” on your website. Just follow the instructions – or hire someone to do it for you. Make sure the header on that box is an invitation that clearly shows what they’ll get in return for giving you their information.
Make it something people want to know. For instance, on a seller page you could have a report entitled “7 Seller mistakes that keep homes from selling.” For buyers it could be “5 decisions to make as you begin your home search.” (And no, I don't have those written and offered for sale, but I'm thinking about writing them.)
As long as you have something valuable to send to those who opt in, you can include a capture box on any of your niche pages as well.
If you write a newsletter or a monthly market report, you can offer them on any of your pages. Just be sure to give visitors a reason why they want them.
Be sure each of your autoresponders is set to send the proper message to the proper person. You don’t want to send first time buyer information to probate seller leads!
You may also have a “Contact me” box on your site. If so – respond immediately!
Use an autoresponder to let them know their message was delivered, then call or send a personal email as quickly as possible. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve filled out a contact form and NEVER gotten a reply. What a way to make a negative impression! (And what a waste of time and energy to have that contact form.)
NOTE: I recently wrote to one of my favorite Active Rainers through a contact box. When she didn’t reply, I was puzzled. I didn’t believe she’d ignore an email. She hadn’t – it had gone into her junk folder and she hadn’t seen it. So if you use a contact box – even the one here on Active Rain – check your junk mail regularly.
Once you have those names …
Consider the kind of lead and their urgency to determine how often you should be in touch. Obviously, someone who needs to short sell has more urgency than someone who has just been curious about what their home might be worth or someone who is just beginning a home search.
In general, I think you should get in touch (for the second time) in about a week (sooner if it’s a short sale lead), then taper off to perhaps a week for the next letter, then to 10 days or two weeks for the rest. For past clients and your sphere, monthly should be enough to keep you on their minds.
Remember that you can set each of your autoresponders to send your letters at specific intervals – take advantage of that convenience!
More good advice: Smart Zip Analytics shared the results of a top agent panel in a blog post entitled “How to Get Your Foot in the Door Without Knocking.” Read it and you may discover a method that’s new to you.
If you aren’t sure what to send…
I have a variety of letters available on my website, some for specific niches and some for maintaining contact with buyers and sellers. To stay top of mind with web leads while they decide whether or not to buy or sell, I’d use:
For buyers: https://copybymarte.com/nurturing-buyer-leads/
You can fill in between those letters with your market reports, your newsletters, and your just listed, under contract, and just sold cards.
“You can’t convince anyone of anything. You can only give them the right information, so that they convince themselves.”
If you want to write your own letters, here’s what to keep in mind:
- Always make it about the prospect, not about you or how wonderful you are.
- Never, ever, begin a message with “I want…” or even “I.”
- “We” is the same as “I.”
- Give them some information they can use. Think “how,” “what,” and “why.”
- Avoid saying “All of you” or “You guys.” Aim to make each person feel as if the letter was written just for them.
- Write in a conversational tone – they won’t read it if it sounds like an encyclopedia entry or a lecture.
- Use short paragraphs and use bullet points where they’ll fit.
- Leave white space.
- Don’t ramble – stick to one point per letter. You can make other points in other letters.
- Remember to add a call to action.
When you write, envision just one person who is a member of your target market and write as if you were speaking only to that person. Describe that person in your mind, including age, marital status, children, income, etc. Some copywriters actually tape a photo of someone who fits their target group to their monitor to glance at as they write.
Last but absolutely not least: Proofread 3 times – and get someone else to proofread if possible.
Internet marketing book, signpost, and key Images courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Pulling success Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net