Use of the Internet for home searching continues to increase each year. The National Association of Realtors claims that over 33% of home shoppers begin their home search on the Internet. What does that mean for the average Realtor?
The Internet has some distinct advantages and disadvantages as part of your marketing plan. And remember, the internet is only one of the seven areas of marketing you should be focused on.
What are the advantages of using the internet for promoting your business?
1. Properly designed, your website can give you a means to connect with a potential buyer and seller with lots of valuable information. This feature helps fulfill one of your “marketing musts” – client education.
2. Having the availability for a user to search listings throughout the market gives your site features that shoppers want – infromation on homes for sale. And the web can provide users with the ability to search the market in numerrous and very easy ways.
3. A website can be a powerful way to capture valuable prospect information.
But, some distinct disadvantages remain:
1. How is anyone going to find your website? This is solved through advertising – online and print and aggressive linking or promotion on other sites that acquire visitors. But this must be addressed.
2. Consider the Internet as one large electronic Yellow Pages. When you want information on a particular item, you search for it specifically. You don’t browse random pages any more than you casually read the Yellow Pages for fun. So you must determine effective ways to promote your site.
3. Because it serves the consumer this way, the Internet is limited in the amount of personal branding and self-promotion you can accomplish.
4. For now the Internet is not easily portable or “scanable” or provides the “reading fun” like print products.
These are just some ideas on the internet. It is a very powerful tool and must be part of an effective marketing plan. But, don’t put all your eggs in the Internet basket and think it’s the sole key to business growth.