Is your website magic?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with RE/Advantage

I think if I had a penny for every time someone asked me why their website is not getting 30 leads per month I would be rich.

"The build and they shall come" attitude of some web owners puts them at a very distinct disadvantage now a days. Today's websites need to be more than just a series of pages, they need to convey a distinct message. And that message is something you need to work on or pay someone to work do it.

I had someone last week ask me why his his website only got 50 listing leads in 9 months. That breaks down to about 6 leads per month. Upon first inspection you might say, "Well that is not much". But if you take into account this website had no real original content other than what was provided by the web designer, had no real marketing plan, had no money invested in any PPC or PPM advertising, and had no new content in a year, I would say the 6 leads per month is right where he should be.

Owning a website comes with some responsibility, if you want to achieve a certain amount of success. That responsibility comes by either you investing your time to write and develop quality content and keep that content fresh or have someone do it for you. With all the competition today your website needs to become the authority of your marketing area. Diverse content, blogging, and marketing all come with the territory.

The Internet or more specifically search engines look for diverse and frequently updated content. Besides optimizing your web pages for search engines and gaining link popularity (that is a topic for another post) you need to constantly battle the ever changing content world. So you might ask how can I get all this content? The answer is simple. You are the expert in your marketing area, so you need to write about what you know. If you primarily market real estate in the Fort Lee, NJ area than you need to talk about that. Discuss the real estate market, trends, home sales, schools, lifestyles, blog about it also. Write what make you excited or what you are the expert in. Discuss tips that relate to your area and to your profession. By building this content you are becoming an authoritative figure in your area, you are becoming a Content King! The "Magic" lies in your ability to get original and fresh content on your website. I keep on saying original because search engines spend quite a bit of money developing plagiarism detecting programs to weed out copied content. When Google sees a plagiarised site they will decrease your relevance and thus decrease where you land on a search. So in closing find the magic by writing good quality content and keep it fresh.

Spend some time each day or several times per month updating your website or adding new content. It will pay off in the long run.

Comments (20)

Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

It is all about time, time management (you have to have time to manege it), and the ability to write content.

We usually limp on one of those, ir not on all of those.

Dec 01, 2008 01:56 PM
Kathleen Buckley
STAR REALTY Hopkinton - Hopkinton, MA

Ugh, you mean I'd have to actually think and toil, focus and write?  No wonder I always find some other way to distract myself, like twitter (that's how I found this post) for example! 

Seriously, your point is valid and good:  there is no magic.  If one did take the time to create a content rich, original website and kept it updated, wouldn't a Google Ads campaign be worthwhile rather than relying on organic SEO results?

-Kathleen Buckley

Dec 01, 2008 02:01 PM
Mark Menzella
RE/Advantage - Fairfield, NJ
We build websites for REALTORS®

Kathleen;

LOL, yeah if it was that easy everyone would be rich.  Even if Google Adwords or good organic SEO placement were to bring you 100 leads per day, neither would be worth much without that great website.  That is actually a common problem.  You'll see some people pay for AdWords for example but they loose the visitor once they get to the website because of poor contant and organization.

Mark
Blog.readvantage.com
www.twitter.com/readvantage
Linkedin.readvantage.com

Dec 01, 2008 02:07 PM
June Piper-Brandon
Houwzer Inc - Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

Build it and they will come, creates the problem of what you need to do next and handle any of the leads that come as a result.  Most agents who are dissatisfied with their website results need to tweek the bait until it works, then have a method of dealing with the leads.  Just because you put a hook in the water doesn't mean you'll catch a fish.

Dec 01, 2008 02:16 PM
Anonymous
Brent Guest - Owner BHG Digital LLC www.bhgdigital.com

Mark,

I couldnt agree more with the comments you made in regards to developing your content and keeping it fresh.  I have come across more websites (pre-clients) saying well I have a website and it DOESN'T do any traffic at all. Hmmm Upon investigating We find a name, phone number and address.  Well that wouled work really well if everyone was searching you out by name.  We do a great deal of work in the real estate industry and the one thing I repeat over and over again into my clients ears...CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT!  and NO that does not mean going out and spitting back up something someone else wrote!  It didn't work in high school it wont work now!

There are so many resources out there to "promote" your business, your services, your dog on the couch....its insane.  Spend a little time, get it out there (hell hire some one... BHGDigital....to post the info for you) but they WILL come. 

 

You can capture a market faster then you can imagine....

 

Sincerely

Brent Guest
BHG Digital LLC

 

Dec 01, 2008 02:29 PM
#5
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate

Good advice Mark, you might also follow up and let agents know that if they buy a template, they will have little or no control over their website. 

Dec 01, 2008 02:31 PM
Marcy Moyer
eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales - Mountain View, CA
Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist

Sometimes this is all a little overwhelming!

Marcy Moyer Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto Ca.

Dec 01, 2008 02:33 PM
Fred Light
| Nashua Video Tours - Nashua, NH
Real Estate Video Tours for MA and NH

Please.... I just discoved today that I have a client who:

 

  1. Changed physical offices and phone numbers 3 months ago but never changed it on his site.
  2. Changed franchise affiliations 1 year ago and once again last month, but never changed it on his site - either time!
  3. Who has "VistualTours" on his site that date back 4+ years as "featured properties".  They're still there right now.

 

And you're suggesting people to actually write content?  

There's a very valid reason why most real estate websites are failures.....  

1) They don't rank at all - anywhere - on the #1 real estate website - GOOGLE.

2) If they do rank, there's nothing there of any value to a client once they get the viewer... so they leave and go elsewhere.

It's about traffic, but it's also about compelling and interesting and relevant CONTENT.

I've been telling that to realtors for 12 years, and 2% actually listen to what I say!

Most want magic and all they want to do is write a [small] check to get it!

 

 

 

 

Dec 01, 2008 03:16 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

You are right -- it takes time and effort to keep working on things all the time.

Dec 01, 2008 03:53 PM
Mark Menzella
RE/Advantage - Fairfield, NJ
We build websites for REALTORS®

Brian;

Absolutely, template site are the easy easy way out generally.

Dec 02, 2008 12:56 PM
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Yes, so many sites have no original content. And then no real reason to contact the agent either.  Have also seen some that have not been updated in months or longer!

Dec 04, 2008 04:47 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

It's a job alright, but it will pay off in the end.  Having an IDX search is very important.

Dec 07, 2008 05:56 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

It's just like anything - you have to put time and effort, and possibly some money into it if you want it to work for you.  A website needs to be something that is constantly fresh and updated, as well as needing to be current with new technology, etc.

Dec 15, 2008 04:25 AM
Virginia Thomson
John L Scott - Kent, WA

Would anyone share some companies/avenues they are using to build and maintain their websites? I have recently moved on from a team and need to build a new one. I used to do all the SEO for a website through Advanced Access but was not happy with their "template" format. Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Virginia

Dec 16, 2008 06:58 AM
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

With respect to a suggestion for a website company - I use Homestead's Site Builder. It was pretty easy to learn, and is easy to keep updated. Homestead hosts the site, but I kept my email hosted by GoDaddy, as the Homestead email was lacking in features. There is an excellent third party forum for the Homestead software as well, where you can get people to review your site and give tips on improving it.

Dec 16, 2008 07:23 AM
Mark Menzella
RE/Advantage - Fairfield, NJ
We build websites for REALTORS®

Virginia;

I was just reaching out to you on my post "Is Your Website Magic?". 

That is actually what my company does. We design websites for Realtors. These are custom designed websites and not template driven. Our website are marketing solutions and come packed with tools for the Agent. Please check us out at www.readvantage.com. I would love to work with you and I will take care of my fellow AR bloggers.

Mark

Dec 16, 2008 07:43 AM
Tucson Real Estate Experts Anne McKechnie
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Tucson, AZ
Previews Property Specialist

right now my site as been going up and down.... I thnks has a lot to do with the fact that I have not been blogging so extensively as I have in the past. I think that Blogging does help your website in the search engines. Making sure your info is current is also a must. amny pages however can be cached with past info.

Dec 20, 2008 12:12 AM
Marcy Moyer
eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales - Mountain View, CA
Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist

Points well taken. It is imperitive to comit to a certain amount of time per day to keep things updated.

Marcy Moyer Intero Real Estate Menlo Park Ca

Dec 20, 2008 10:17 AM
Myrick Tantiado
Alain Pinel Realtors - San Francisco, CA

Great advice!  Updated and specific relevant content keeps a website fresh and effective.  Thanks for sharing!

Dec 30, 2008 02:53 AM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

I find optimizing web pages to be a challenge, but agree with you 100%

Dec 30, 2008 03:00 PM