The world of real estate is unique to many other industries in that it is commonly more about the individual realtor than the company or firm. For the most part, potential clients focus on your individual brand and reputation when deciding whether or not to do business with you, even if you are part of a larger company. With many realtors vying for clients, staying one step ahead of the competition can be a constant challenge.
Social Media photo from ShutterstockAs an experienced realtor, you probably already have a personal website – perhaps in addition to a profile on your company or firm’s main site (if you don’t have a website, free tools such as WordPress and snagging a good domain name will help get you started!) Your website is frequently your first impression to a potential client; it conveys who you are as a real estate professional and as a person.
Below are 8 steps you can take to maximize your website so you can better promote your personal brand, make a positive first impression and, ultimately, attract more clients.
1. Get Organized
When a potential client or buyer comes to your website, it’s important that the site is informative, accessible and easy to navigate. The last thing you want to do is drive them away with a website that’s difficult to use. Organize your website in a way that makes sense to the information you’re trying to convey with appropriate categories and landing pages. For instance, you may have individual pages in the site’s navigation for an ‘about me’ section, property listings, contact information, areas of service, etc. It’s important that you categorize this content onto different pages rather than trying to cram all the information onto the home page.
2. Don’t Forget any Info – The Devil’s in the Details
Make sure to provide all relevant information including areas you work in, accolades, expertise (commercial, residential, rentals, etc.) and contact info.
You wouldn’t want to inundate visitors with pages of block text, but make sure all the important details are there. For instance, not only put your contact info but also the best method and time to reach you.
Subsequently, make sure to harness the power of keywords. Don’t go overboard, but if you want people to find you in Google search results for residential realty, make sure to mention “residential realty” and other variations throughout your site.
TIP: 69% of home shoppers who take action on a real estate brand website begin their research with a local term. By listing what regions you work in by town/city name as well as zip code, your website will show up in Google results when people search for realtors in a specific area. i.e. “Houston homes for sale” or “real estate agents 77002”.
3. Get Visual
No matter how you look at it, real estate is a visual business, especially for the buyer. You can describe a property all you want, but unless potential buyers see and experience the property, they probably won’t be interested. Walkthrough-videos, photo slideshows and galleries engage visitors that come to your site and give interested buyers the next best thing to visiting the property in person (and could lead to scheduling a showing with them!) Also, post videos/images of popular neighborhood destinations and attractions to personalize the listings.
In addition to current listings, showcase properties you’ve already closed. This will give potential sellers a sense of the types of properties you’ve worked with. They’ll find comfort in seeing you’ve had success with properties similar to their own.
4. Use the Power of Search
When you’re dealing with multiple properties at one time, it can sometimes be difficult for potential buyers to sift through all of your options and find properties that fit the criteria they’re looking for. Therefore, it’s a good idea to utilize search functionality to allow people to filter through your various properties and find what they want. Many realtors use a third-party service (such as Google Maps) to put this feature on their websites.
5. Link to your Social Media Profiles
Link to all of your social media profiles from your website and vice versa to help them all show up higher in search engine results for your name. If you’re not already on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Zillow, Trulia, etc., start creating some profiles. It’s no question that social media is a valuable tool for networking and promotion as well as an opportunity to showcase your personality to potential customers.
6. Use Online Feedback (Good or Bad)
Online feedback and reviews can make or break a realtor’s reputation. Have an area on your website that allows clients and buyers to give feedback, whether it be a forum, comment section in a gallery, contact form or links to feedback on your social media sites (as per step #5). Positive testimonials and success stories can be used to build up your reputation and add to your credibility.
Worried about public negative feedback? Address any negative reviews in a professional and articulate way, without your emotions getting in the mix. Potential clients will appreciate your honesty and professionalism.
TIP: Set up the option to moderate any comment sections on your site to filter through spam comments.
7. Start Blogging (If you Aren’t Already)
And link your blog to your website. It will help to establish credibility and show that you’re knowledgeable and active in the industry. As with social media, it’s also a chance to let your personality shine through. People like to know they’re working with someone who can relate to them and understand their needs. Post about top tips for buyers and sellers, local events/destinations in the area you service, local real estate trends, tips for the moving process, etc.
8. Link From your Profile on your Company’s Website
If you’re part of a company who’s website features profiles of their agents and brokers, see if you can put a link to your personal site from your profile. This will give interested clients a more in-depth look as to your professional achievements, especially if your company profile is just a summary of your bio.
While the real estate market is highly competitive, following these simple steps for your website can help you maintain and grow your reputation as an established realtor and get a leg up on the competition.
Do you have any tips to help realtors leverage their website in order to build a positive personal brand? Sound off in the comments!
Author Bio: Sabrina Clark is a marketing professional specializing in startups in the technology and Internet space. Sabrina is the Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications at BrandYourself, helping people take control of Google search results for their own name and establish a positive online reputation.
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