Can they even find you on the internet?

With dramatic growth in the number of people beginning their search for a home on the Internet, it’s certainly important for anyone desiring to grow their real estate business to maintain an Internet presence.

But that presence can take many forms and cost thousands of dollars and still result in very little traffic to your personal site, few leads and a wasted investment.

So, if you have a personal website there are definitely some things to consider. First, how is a potential customer going to find your website? And once they get there, is there any reason for them to share personal contact information with you?

I’ve recently been evaluating traffic patterns on our own websites and have found some interesting patterns. This may seem obvious but here goes: Advertising your web address builds traffic to your website!

We find that over 75% of our 11,000 per month unique visitors directly type our web address into the browser to visit our site. This occurs even though we maintain top 4 placement on Google and other search engines.

Why? Because real estate is LOCAL! We have very interested local buyers and sellers picking up our publications and wanting to learn more – so they go online.

What does this mean for you and promotion of your website? Marry targeted print and your branding/listing ad with your website for the very best exposure. Track your exact response rate by using unique domain names in different locations.

We can work with you to prove that print advertising will build your real estate business. Give us a call.

Real estate industry specific publications attract the most active home shoppers

With any advertising the key is getting the information in the hands and into the conscious mind of the most likely prospect for what you offer.

When you are ready to buy something, particularly something of great value (like a home or car) what do you? You actively seek out the information you need in as many sources and from as many people as possible.

And what sources provide the most information? Those sources that exclusively provide that information. This includes anything specific to what you are looking for. Real estate websites, real estate publications, real estate specific information of any kind is what the active home shopper wants.

National Association of Realtors surveys tell us the average home shopper searches for 9 weeks before finding the home they want. What are they doing to gather information before and during this short period of time? They’re seeking easy to use, comprehensive information from the most specific information sources.

So, when you choose to place advertising in publications or media that deliver or broadcast your message to a wide group of uninterested prospects, what do you accomplish? You might gain from some company or personal branding, you might satisfy the demands of your listing for advertising but you are sending your message to a lot of uninterested people who are not in the market for what you offer – and you’re paying for it.

A “broad” reach rather than a “targeted” reach can be a part of an advertising campaign for a Realtor but it should be at the bottom of the advertising priority list.

Always target first with both product (listing) promotion and personal branding for the greatest effectiveness.

Print & Internet Working Together

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.