With somewhere around 90% of buyers researching homes online before even calling an agent, many agents think that spending a lot of time and money on a fancy website is going to make an enormous difference in their business. I believe that those agents might be better off investing that time and money somewhere else. Not everyone, but most.
I believe that perspective and strategy are the key to your web presence.
Here’s the deal: most agents believe that by having a website they are all of a sudden going to be the most visible agent in their area online. The truth, unfortunately, is that it takes a lot of time, effort, expertise, and, in some cases, money to get to the top of the search results on Google. As a word of warning, anyone promising to put you on the front page of Google for a fee is full of crap.
Search your name on Google and see what happens. If you have a common name, add real estate afterwards. You might have to add your location. What comes up?
Chances are, not your website. More than likely it comes up with your LinkedIn, Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Realtor.com, local association, and maybe state association profiles. Here in Houston, without question, it is going to come up with your HAR.com profile. So, the question comes back to perspective and strategy.
What happens if you Google your town and “homes for sale”? How many pages do you have to go through to get to your website? Will a client do that?
If clients or potential clients are Googling you, wouldn’t it be smarter to step back and take a big picture look at your overall strategy online?
Side Note: Did you know that LinkedIn is the third highest weighted site on the Internet for search engine optimization?
I would submit to you that instead of thinking that a single website is going to change your business, why not go where the clients are going? Make sure your profiles on the top ten (or more) places that show up online are complete, that they have consistent branding (headline, picture, etc.), and, most importantly, that they drive traffic to your agent website. That’s how you’ll capitalize on and make the most of your agent site.
Of course, once they get there, they need something of value. Alas, that’s an entirely different blog post. Until then, let’s take a week or so to examine our online presence, make it consistent across all sites, and put our best (digital) foot forward.