The Real Estate Encyclopedia
Can You Afford to Loose a Buyer by Thomas Mitchell
Category - Real Estate Information Sources - Real Estate Articles

In today’s highly competitive marketplace … that may very well be the most foolish question of all.  Yet many websites today are doing just that.

In the push for the latest, fastest, cheapest and biggest website we seem to have lost sight of some of the basics that make it a website that really works.  Your web presence should be your electronic marketing partner but more often than not it only functions as a confusing dead end street.  Your seller is counting on you to not only locate today’s elusive buyers but to usher them through the front door.  Frequently, however, they never get past your homepage.

In doing some research last week I found an article written by a top iSucceed Mentor, Rand Smith of Monterey, California.  Rand’s comments reminded me just how important that first electronic impression is – just like the prospective buyers’ first impression of the house itself. 

With buyers now almost exclusively using the Internet to view homes prior to contacting the agent it is more critical than ever to: 1) position yourself so they can find you and 2) capture them once they arrive.  As usual the answer involves going back to basics:

1.  Have an effective email service program - Your e-mail program should have the capability to send out automated responses and record those e-mail addresses into your address book.  It should incorporate an automated email drip system that sends out a series of pre-written, carefully crafted relationship-building modules or messages that go out at intervals and develop the relationship.

2.      Provide valuable information – This may seem obvious but many websites provide just about everything but what the buyers want - information on a lot of homes.  You need to give them access to as many homes as you can gain access to or they are going to quickly move on … that means more than just your listings.

3.        Make access to the date easy – Don’t waste a site visitor's time by withholding access until they've given their phone number, home address, e-mail, etc. You have to make the data easily accessible or they'll go somewhere else.  There are lots of places that will provide this advanced access so there is no reason to put up roadblocks.


4.        Create auto-responses to inquiries – Use auto-responders to offer site visitors a service, while acquiring their e-mail addresses.  The purpose of the auto responders, of course, is to get information out 24/7 but don’t underestimate the value of a “valid” email address.  It gives you permission to market to them until they tell you to stop and as long as you're sending them value and acquiring e-mail addresses you're building your future business.

5.      Promote your services, not yourself – Your website has to provide valuable information, yet a lot of agents make mistakes in this area, promoting themselves and forgetting what draws visitors to real estate sites - property, service and value. We've got to separate ourselves from everyone else on the Internet and if you aren’t providing great value you are going to be quickly “clicked” off.

6.      Provide quality content – The consumer has become so bright, intelligent and knowledgeable because there's so much information available and they now have access to all of it – which we used to hold the key to.  Today you have to give them that information freely.  We are now the conduit.  We are their connection and we better make sure it is working.

7.      Have a completely integrated marketing system – Your  Web site needs to be more than just a Web site; it needs to be a completely integrated marketing system - a 24/7 productivity center.  The system needs to deliver a predictable, consistent outcome that is measurable so that you know, based on your current data, that you are giving people what they want and need. 

Basic information?  Certainly, but the number of websites out there attempting to capture today’s elusive buyer that have forgotten it is astounding.  Many have never lost the “build it and they will come” mentality.  If your website is not incorporating these basic elements you’re not the only one suffering.  Don’t forget, your sellers are counting on you to have them “in front of everyone.”



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