If you’re a real estate agent, you need to own your own website.
Sure, your brokerage has a site, and you might even have a good bio posted on that site, but it’s still not yours – and you’re still just one of many agents who are featured there. Getting business from the company website is about like sitting in the office on floor day – you can hope for a stroke of good luck, but it will ONLY be luck that brings you a client.
Disclaimer: If you’re getting as much business as you can handle from past clients and sphere of influence referrals, disregard this message. Until those sources run out, all you need to do is maintain contact with those people.
Now back to what is reality for most people…
Your domain name should belong to you and should not incorporate the name of the brokerage – unless you own the brokerage, of course.
Why? Because no matter how perfect your current brokerage may be, things can change. A year or five years from now you might want to move – or you might want to go independent and open your own company. A personally branded website will give you continuity, so the people who have come to know and love you will still be able to find you.
(I also believe your email address should be @ the domain you own, for the same reason.)
Next, while there are many who disagree, I believe your site needs to offer more than just a home search. And today, given the competition you have, it needs to offer plenty more.
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve visited agent sites where I had trouble finding the agent’s name and had to look at the search options to figure out their city and state.
So go look at your own site – if someone else built it for you, it just might suffer from anonymity.
What does your website need?
First, it needs a home page that invites your visitors to choose you when it’s time to do more than just look at pictures and descriptions on line. That may be because your bio is on the home page or because it showcases your knowledge of the local market. You might do it by differentiating yourself as an expert in a specific niche.
However you choose to do it, your home page should be the first step in promoting YOU, not just a franchise.
Next, it needs an “about” page that reveals your personality and way of doing business, so strangers can feel comfortable about trusting you to assist with what could be the largest financial transaction of their lives.
Then it needs content. Good, useful, informative content. (NO, not the fluffy say-nothing filler that appears on too many franchise sites.)
It needs advice for buyers and sellers, information about the communities you serve, and on top of that – “inside” information that can only be gained by living in the community, talking with buyers and sellers, and staying on top of local trends.
While you do need a home search function, it’s your exclusive content that will set you apart and draw clients to you and help you attract the search engines.
Images courtesy of cuteimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net and digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net