Archive for the ‘ Website Strategies ’ Category

Free Stuff to Help Your Real Estate Biz

 

I love free stuff and am always thankful when I learn about it. Here are some websites that I use very often and they have helped me save time and money.

Slideshare.net

This is a presentation sharing website. You can upload just about any document or presentation and share it with others. I like to embed the presentations on my website. You can track how many times your presentation has been downloaded. It is also fun when your presentations are marked as favorites.

Google Docs

I use Google docs to store my documents online. Documents can be uploaded, saved, printed, and shared. Documents can also be converted to pdf files making them easier to send as email attachments. I got tired of certain documents being on my home computer and I needed them when I was at the office. No worries, now I just go to Google.

Picassa

Another great Google product. Upload your pictures to create slideshows. You can add text and music or voiceover. Google will also send it to Youtube. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Heather Lawson on November 18th, 2008 under Online Marketing, Technology, Website Strategies

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To Force Registration or Not: My Decision

Let me start by saying that for the longest time, I was TOTALLY against “forced registration” (requiring visitors to provide their contact information before viewing the MLS). I not only did not force registration on our brokerage website, but I also wrote about why others should not do it either. In short, I was firmly planted in the “that’s a bad thing to do” camp.

Over time, I softened my position somewhat, when people would tell me that they were having success with it. I still would never do it, but I could not argue with their success.

First, Morgan Carey at RealEstateWebmasters.com told me that I needed to at least try it. Great. Nope. I still would not budge. In my heart, I thought that asking folks for their information

a) was unfriendly

b) it would drive traffic to competitor sites

c) would lower the quality of the lead

d) would result in more obscene emails from unhappy visitors

e) and any increase in # of registrations would be offset with an overall net loss in closings…well, you get the idea (grin).

As more and more people started reporting to me their successes (an example was Wayne Long, who was kind enough to share exactly what was happening on his site with me), I finally decided to TRY it. The folks that I visited with at the REW conference were helpful as well. Almost all of them had already made the transition.

How did it go?

Here are the results: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Eric Blackwell on November 16th, 2008 under Best Practices, Guest Bloggers, MLS, Online Marketing, Polls, Website Strategies

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Anatomy of a Great Real Estate Website

We are all pretty much in agreement now that people are looking for homes on the internet. So my question is: What is the make up of a great Real Estate website?

I have some ideas and maybe others in this community can help me expand on those ideas. I am thinking of reworking my site “Homes in Columbus GA” and would love to hear your thoughts. Here are a few things that I have been thinking.

  1. Search Capabilities. A great Realtor Website should first and foremost have great search capabilities as most potential clients want be able to search homes in your area. If you are worried about giving this information away – don’t be – because someone is going to provide the information and you want to be the one they turn to for info. a) Map Search
    b) Lots of ways to search: Subdivision, Areas, MLS #, City, etc.
    c) Pictures

  2. Visual Appeal. A great site should also be pleasing to the eyes.  a) Colors should be pleasant and indicative of your company and personality
    b) Uncluttered - just like staging a house

  3. Memorable. Check out my friend Cal Carter’s site for Gulf Shores Condos – Gotta love that Crab! Continue reading this post
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Posted by: Wayne Long on November 12th, 2008 under Website Strategies

9 Comments »

The Ever Evolving Real Estate Website

In today’s ever competitive Internet arena, we, as real estate professionals are drawn every direction for the perfect website solution.  With website companies offering multiple color schemes to integrated IDX search engines including all the bells and whistles, it’s easy to fall into information overload.  Finally, we make our best guess, choose the lucky winner and begin our journey.

 

Almost predictably there is a progression that the new agent takes until they find a website solution that works for them.

 

And, just how does it truly work for us?  Have we reaped the desired net return or do we ignore it and continue to pay the $35/month just so we have a website like everyone else?  Or, are we truly investing into our website, time, passion and money, so on the flipside it generates a positive ROI?

 

Late 2006, I began using HomeGain’s BuyerLink product.  Through trial and error I have learned to produce a positive cash flow through lead conversion.  Since then I have come to understand you can point BuyerLink traffic to just about any IDX search engine and generate some form of lead capture.

 

Quite literally you could point BuyerLink traffic to a brick with any flavor of lead capturing home search feature and make money at it. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Brian Kinkade on October 6th, 2008 under Website Strategies

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HomeGain Radio: Holistic Approach to SEO

Eric Blackwell who is the Director of Technology for RE/MAX Properties East in Louisville, Kentucky, spoke with me yesterday from British Columbia where he is speaking at the Real Estate Web Masters Conference to other real estate professionals about SEO.

Listen to our interview about SEO:

Highlights:

J: Eric, what’s the main message that you want to get across to other real estate professionals about SEO (search engine optimization)?

E: I think there is some mystery attached to the term SEO but what it really is creating a website that Google and other search engines would want it to be. It’s a lot of hard work to build a site that has both the reputation and authority that search engines are looking for. A lot of times people think you need to trick the search engines but that’s not necessarily true.

J: Have you found that there common threads between leads and traffic that come from HomeGain, and Pay per Click, and natural search engine traffic?

E: The common thread is that there are best practices that work to effectively “convert” them to clients and then to lifetime customers. Whether you get the lead from HomeGain or other source, the lead has to come into your site and you need to be able to get them to contact you or to be able to contact them – and be able to convert those clients. The more effective you are at that, the better off you’ll be and the more profitable things will be for you.

J: What are some common traps that Realtors might fall into when trying to do SEO marketing?
Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on September 17th, 2008 under HomeGain Radio, Website Strategies

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What is the purpose of a website?

I had a great conversation today with a past executive officer of FAR and now part of NAR. He came to my office to check out our 100MPH Marketing Software and System and our eHomes Realty Network. He will be signing up his Brokerage to take advantage of our tools. Anyway, after I did my demo, we started talking about the Internet and what NAR is doing with regards to the Internet. It was a great conversation and I really can’t talk about most of what was said as I don’t have permission to do that.

However, since I started my soft marketing of my software and membership company, I have talked with many major players in our industry. They all have one thing in common…they don’t know anything about the Internet.

Here is what they are thinking at the National level. They are hearing that the more information you have on your website, the more chance you have of getting a customer. Our conversation was a lot more detailed of course, but this interesting to me. They believe they should be gearing up on a national level to offer a ton of products for real estate agents to put on their websites.

Unfortunately it appears that they are hearing what they should be doing from the wrong people…in my opinion of course!

So I asked him what he thought the purpose of a Realtors website should be. He answered the same answer I hear from so many. He said, “to provide as much information as possible”. I told him, that is what most agents think, which is why 99% or more don’t make any money from their websites.

I told him that the real purpose of a website, like any marketing, is to get leads and turn them into customers.

He was a little shocked by my answer Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Mitch Ribak on July 29th, 2008 under Website Strategies

7 Comments »

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