In the world of Real Estate websites you may have some pre-conceived notions on what can and cannot be done. These myths can really hurt your online presence and lose you potential leads in the process. To help break down these walls, We've pulled some topics on what common myths we find and what the actual reality is.
Myth: Its ok to settle with the Free Website your brokerage provides.
Just because it's a free website, does not mean it's the best fit for you or your company. Most free websites that a brokerage provides is just a shell of what even the greenest Realtor will need. Three things that you will be missing from a free Real Estate website is dedicated Customization, Customer Service and Lead Management.
Customization may sound like a scary topic when looking to quickly and easily build a website but you need to stand out from the rest of the realtors in your area. Not only will having a website that stands out make an impression on your visitors but it helps your SEO search rankings as well.
Odds are you are not a Website Developer (though we know a few of you are and doing great in the Real Estate Business). For those of you who don't know how to code, Customer Service is going to be your best friend. Especially at first when they can help you build the skills you need to make changes to your website. Spending a little time to make your site stand out is key. However, if the tools your website provides are from 2003 no matter how much time you put into it, its still going to look like a site from 2003!
Very few free websites come with the tools needed to turn your visitors into a viable option for lead generation. Having registration tools with your Real Estate website can make all the difference in the world. In our internal studies we have found that REALTORS who put registration on their listing search get 7 times the leads of those who don't. Using what is sometimes called "teaser registration" they were even able to get 14 times the leads per month! Try getting that many leads with your free website.
Myth: You are stuck with the Home Search your MLS provides
The home search that comes with a basic real estate website may hurt your business the most. These basic home searches that your MLS provides are usually pretty ugly and have no lead generation like basic registration! There are major differences between IDX tools designed to get you leads versus those just meant to show homes. The perfect home search is the one that is directly integrated into your Real Estate Website. Try to avoid linking to an outside IDX Page or "framing it in". The words you are looking for are: integrated IDX, IDX Built-in, or embedded. Also, integrated IDX usually means having the ability to track all of your leads in one place. Do you want to be logging into multiple website to keep track of clients when you start getting 30 leads a month?
Myth: Managing your website takes up too much time and won't see results.
Yes, you can leave your website there sitting collecting dust, but you are going to get zero use out of it. Without updating your website your listings will not get added and the most important thing, your Search Rankings won't go up! However, some paid services will allow your website to receive updates automatically, including pulling new listings directly from your MLS and even syndicating those listings to websites like Turlia, Zillow and more!
Managing a website doesn't have to take up a majority of your time, but I do recommend at least spending 1 hour a week updating or adding a new blog post to your site. Just doing this one hour a week will help your search rankings by leaps and bounds. Some things that agents seem to skip over when updating their websites are adding testimonials, updating your designations and writing about your own reasons to love where the towns you sell in. Your focus should be to position yourself as a local expert in Real Estate.
A recommendation for a Real Estate website service to look at is www.ihouseweb.com . iHOUSE Websites offers you a website service with customer service to help you setup your Real Estate website and get you rolling with your brand new website. Along with great customer service, your featured listings will automatically update on a daily basis and get a full IDX Search with built in lead management tools. Click Here for more information.