By Ryan Gervais
Do you suffer from ugly website syndrome? Does your website have a twin?
If you answered yes to either question, it is time to “get real,” as Dr. Phil would say, and develop a better brand image for your website. In my last article, I gave a bold statement: to try and help every reader get one more sale this year. Here is the first step in that process.
First, load up your current website. Now count the number of unique articles or stories you personally have written. If the answer is zero, that is probably the same amount of traffic you are getting from Google. If you are getting zero traffic from the largest search engine in the world, you are probably not converting too many online leads to clients.
Now, count how many calls to action you have on your website. A call to action is asking the visitor to do something specific on your site, such as sign up for a newsletter, give their personal information to receive listings, etc. If you do not give the visitor several different options to give up their personal information, you will not get many leads. Website users need to see variations, such as text links, banners, buttons, etc. If you are lacking calls to action, you will need to think about ways of adding them in so you can direct traffic to your conversion page.
Do you have a conversion page? This is the page that makes you money. If you do not have a conversion page, you should drop everything you are doing and create one. A conversion page is where buyers or sellers give you there personal information and allow you to call or email them.
If you have made yourself look like an expert by writing articles, you will be surprised at how many people will make an initial contact through your website. The main conversion page that most agents use is a “sign up for MLS listings to be emailed to you” page. Every person who signs up for this service should immediately be put into your contact system to start receiving emailed listings. These are the cream of the crop for leads, and it need to be harvested carefully (I will speak more about that in a future article).
Now that you know a few of the main things to look out for on your website, I will address how to create a unique website using a content management system in my next article, so stay tuned!
Ryan Gervais is a sales representative in Sarnia, Ontario with RE/MAX Sarnia. Connect with Ryan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SarniaRealEstate LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/ryan-gervais/a/222/3b or on the Web at www.sarnialistings.com.
By Stefanie Hahn
Not an avid Apple user? You can still make the iPad work for you! Here are a few apps, cloud computing services, and workflow ideas that can help you make the most of your iPad experience — especially helpful for those hardcore Google users. Sneak peek: SugarSync.
Watch my tutorial to learn more.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Collegeville, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.
By Stefanie Hahn
You have your Google profile, right? Well now it’s time to start using Google +1. Haven’t heard of it? Think of it as the Facebook “like” button for the Internet. Watch this tutorial video to see how Google +1 works and consider adding the function to your website and/or blog to vamp up your SEO.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Malvern, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
Many times agents are quick to use the “client” title for someone they are working with or representing in a real estate transaction. There are so many people out there nowadays trying to scam others, and it happens every day in our industry. My friendly advice to real estate professionals: Get to know the person you are representing before you call them your client.
A practitioner sends me an email one Friday, letting me know that her client from Waco, Texas is interested in viewing a $3.5 million listing I have in Plano, a suburb outside of Dallas. She said that this client owns a sports merchandising company and that he was only in town for the weekend. She wanted to bring him in that next morning, on Saturday. As any luxury home owner would, my client requested that I make sure that any potential buyers were qualified to purchase a home within this price range. So I simply asked the agent for a pre-approval letter, or some document to show that this buyer was well qualified. I would hate for my client to have to leave their home for a few hours on a Saturday morning for someone who has no real interest in purchasing their home.
The agent soon called me back and said that her “client” does not wish to share any of his information, and that if we wanted to “sell” the house, we would let him view it. A thought came to mind when she said that: “What if this is a high profile celebrity, professional athlete, CEO or such, I cannot let this buyer slip away. ” So I quickly asked her for her clients name, and she hesitantly gave it to me. For confidentiality purposes- we’re going to call him ” Mr. Joe Blow.”
Not knowing where to start, I simply Google searched “Joe Blow Waco Texas.” Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
Let me start with this: I don’t work and am not receiving any money for this post – unless Google offers it. And to be honest, I have labored against the “mighty one” for years. But here we sit in 2010 and my mind has started to wonder about where the “G” will take the world next.
There have been hushed whispers – and some not so hushed – about Google’s plans and how they are going to impact the real estate market.
The world-wide mega-mart one-stop super MLS? Huh? What? Sorry, I wasn’t going there.
The evolution of social media is in the location-based technologies. Foursquare is supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread in 2010. Then why is it that when I’m sitting in Columbus, Ohio, there are only a handful of updates coming through my stream? Ahh, they’re on Yelp right? Hmm … no.
So where are they doing their location based searches. That’s right. Google Maps.
On June 21, I created a Google Map for my DelawareOH365.com travel site for all that happens in Delaware County. As I write this early in the morning on July 17, that single Google Map has recorded more than 8,000 map views. And I’m the only one posting information – and sporadically, I’ll admit – to the site. What if I opened this up to all residents – or fans – of Delaware County to share their favorite points throughout the county? Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
I recently blogged about this and I think it was very necessary to share with YPN. Yes, it’s kind of lame to Google yourself. Yes some people look at it as being egotistical. But there are several reasons to do it.
If you are anything like me, you occasionally Google yourself. I really have no reason to do it but for some reason it makes me feel cool. I like reading all the info on the Internet and also I like to make sure it’s accurate.
When I first got my license, I was so excited to see my name listed as “Brooke Wolford”, REALTOR(R). So I decided to Google myself. Low and behold, there is another Brooke Wolford. She’s an actress… I guess if that’s what you call a porn star. I was horrified. I also found out that there is a “Wolford” lingerie line. Besides that, there were pages upon pages about the porn star and this lingerie line and not too much info about me.
Since then I have done a lot of research and managed to get my name planted on to every possible real estate Web site, every social networking site, and I try to update my blogs every day. I have also had the opportunity to make sure that the information listed on Web sites is accurate. One Web site had me listed as a commercial agent working out of the Duluth, Minn. area… it was a little off considering I mainly deal with residential and the city of Duluth is four hours away from me. Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
Has anyone else started having the “Google” question pop up during their listing presentations? Not your website, nor your blog, or your Facebook page inquiry – the “can you make our home show up in Google?” question. It may be just that my clients tend to be a little more tech-savvy than your average buyer or seller, but it’s beginning to freak me out.
It didn’t help that I saw a report from my own company saying GoogleBase was the number three Web referrer to my company’s website. (After Facebook, if you’re wondering.) Fortunately, my brokerage has been forthright and progressive thinking enough to start feeding GBase our listings, but how many brokerages haven’t? Do you use these tools to market your listings?
Google Base, Maps, Real Estate (the closest thing to a national MLS), the forthcoming mobile ads and augmented reality features; what freaks me out isn’t that Google is getting into the real estate game — it was inevitable… hello, revenue stream! — it’s the fact that our clients will utilize these tools before many of us will. Check out http://maps.google.com/realestate, in the area immediately surrounding my home, roughly half were the “Big Three” brokerages in my market, the others were FSBOs, knowledgeable sellers using Craigslist (which uploads to GBase) and the like. What’s yours look like? Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
When you work with new agents (or any agents for that matter) one of the constants seems to be that they are looking for ways to get the best of everything, and are trying to get it for free. If I shared with you some of the MacGyver strategies I have seen over the years you would … but you already know.
So when I sit with these agents there are a few constants – the first of which is to get on board with Google. Not the search engine Google (we can discuss the joys of that later) but the super-cool-productivity-tool-creating Google. That’s right; the team at Google is creating all sorts of wonderful stuff to make your business more productive; and best of all they’re giving it all away for free!
Here is a rundown of some of my must-haves from the Google toolkit. There are so many more, but this is a good starter package for you to consider before stepping into the big time:
1. Google Profile – http://www.google.com/profiles
I know I said I wasn’t talking about search, but who honestly doesn’t want to come up on that first page when their name is Googled? We all do – and setting up a Google Profile should be the key to getting you on that coveted first page of results. How? Your name, a small thumbnail photo and a link to your Google Profile will appear at the bottom of the first page of results. As a bonus, you can tie in all of your other sites, social and otherwise, as well as your photos. If you don’t have a Google Profile yet, stop reading this and go set it up … then come back (please)! Continue reading »
By Amy Steele
I have been remiss. I readily admit it. I used to blog about the Crestline and Lake Arrowhead area in California on the ActiveRain platform regularly. The best part about ActiveRain is that you get to learn from other real estate professionals from all across the country, reading their stories and experiences, and what to do and what not to do in today’s real estate market.
I am also a chosen YPN Lounge blogger, and my duties to my colleagues for being chosen as such should definitely take precedence.
I am on ActiveRain daily, reading what others post, but lately I haven’t been posting my own content. Why? I suppose it’s because I end up reading a lot of other blogs, and by the time I should write my own, I end up doing paperwork, going through the nearly 400 e-mails I get daily, cleaning my desk, watering my plant, or watching a movie on Netflix (gasp! For the record, that only happened once on a Sunday doing floor time in the spring on a REALLY foggy day).
Once you get into this mode of self-defeatism, it is hard to break back out of it.