Website Choices

Internet Marketing for Real Estate

When choosing which website to use for your real estate business, many things can enter the picture. Many agents think having a site custom built is the direction to go. It can be a great choice if you have $10,000 to spend on a design and several hundred dollars per month on maintenance. If as an agent, you are not marketing online or don’t have a real estate website then you are missing out on 90% of the market. The time to have gotten a website for your business was five years ago, if that. In other words, if you are an agent without a website by choice, you are probably in the wrong business.

Homes.com (AgentAdvantage) vs. Z57

There are several companies that provide ready-made, easy to use websites for real estate agents. The list is long, so I am going to narrow it down to two that I have much experience working with: Homes.com (also known as AgentAdvantage) and Z57. Both companies coincidentally are located in San Diego, California. Compared to most real estate agent website companies, these two have the most experience in providing this kind of product.

Why Homes.com or Z57? It’s easy: Lead Capture

The answer here is simple. As an agent, you want to make money with your website, right? These two platforms have one thing in common that they excel in: Lead Capture. When a prospect comes to your site, you need a way to motivate the visitor to share their information with you. If the website you have does not do that, the consumer will either use your site indefinitely without telling you their needs, or they will just simply leave if they don’t find what they are looking for. Your website could be getting hundreds of visitors per day, but if it isn’t getting anyone to tell you who they are, what good is that website? Homes.com and Z57 are two companies realize this and make lead capture a top priority in the inherent design of their sites.

The Optimization Factor

Now you have your new, really cool website. How do you get visitors to your real estate website? The easy answer is Traffic from Search Engines. The not so easy answer is how to get the traffic. As an agent, whether you list or help buyers, the key to a paycheck is new business. Referrals are great, but unless you have a niche market, a big family (and you are the only one in real estate), have a pipeline from a corporation, or some other gift-from-God scenario, referrals cannot keep you afloat 365 days a year.

The only way to get traffic to your site without spamming people via emails is to optimize the site for organic search visibility. This is still the main key to getting traffic to your site, and new business to you. For those that don’t agree with the NAR about 90% of people begin their search online before they contact an agent, keep your head buried in the sand. And for those that don’t care, it might be a good idea to find another line of work.

So many agents refuse to optimize the website they pay up to $100 per month to have. Why do you think that is? After doing this for almost eight years, the reason simply appears to be a combination of fear and ignorance. You have to spend money to make money. No one is going to bring you business. Unless you have a year or longer to give up real estate and learn basic SEO, why wouldn’t you pay someone who really knows how to do it and get it done? When something goes wrong with your car, do you try to fix it yourself, or do you hire a mechanic? Some will fix it themselves, if they have all the tools left over from their career as a mechanic, but that is a small percentage.

Homes.com and Z57 Sites are Both Optimizable

When those two companies built their respective real estate agent website products, they knew that the inherent design had to be customizable. In regards to customization, no company worth their weight in gold would put together something unless it had all the tools. Both z57 and Homes.com website products come with most tools a real estate agent would come to expect in the “back end”, or control panel.

Each page throughout the site will come with default settings. What this means is the keywords, titles, and descriptions of each page will be auto-generated at the time the site is launched with generic settings based on that agent’s region. So consider that each of these companies is selling websites to many agents in the same area, especially if it is a large city. So what you have are dozens upon dozens of real estate websites with auto-generated pages, all saying the same thing.

When search engines crawl sites, they are looking to index that site, and give it some place in their database so it can be found by people searching. If the site found, by let’s say Google, appears to be the same site as another already indexed by Google, that site will be deemed as having redundant content. This is bad.

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