In today’s information and digital age, real estate agents need to keep up with the times. In days past you could get by with some yard signs and some pretty business cards. Now, however, having your own web presence is vital to your business.
Before You Get Started
Before you spend time and money on a website, be sure you know the rules. Your state will have regulations about agent advertising, including things like how prominent your name can be in relation to the broker’s name and how much you can do yourself.
In addition, your broker may also have regulations as to what you can and can’t do to promote yourself. Be sure to check your agency agreement and discuss your plans with them before you design your website.
Why You Need to Be Online
According to the National Association of Realtors, 97 percent of home buyers use the internet in searching for homes. In addition to finding homes, buyers and sellers use the internet to find agents and brokers they want to work with. If you don’t have an online presence, you are missing out on potential customers.
Where You Need to Be Online
You will find plenty of sites that let you get your name out there. Social media is vital, so be sure you know your target audience and then establish connections on places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Professional listing sites like the MLS, as well as private ones like Zillow and Trulia, are also popular options.
Your broker will also likely have a website, and you should definitely take advantage of all they have to offer. However, you should consider having your own website, separate from that of the broker. This will allow you more flexibility in terms of content and style.
What Your Website Needs
Websites have evolved immensely over the years and will continue to do so. You need to be sure to keep up since nothing says mediocrity like an outdated website design. A modern and classy look is a requirement when selecting the design and color scheme, but you also have to have good, solid content.
Potential buyers and sellers are looking to make a personal connection with their agent, so be sure to give them something to build that connection with. In addition to your name and contact information, have a section where you can introduce yourself. This area should include your real estate education information and any accolades you may have earned. Be sure to tell readers something about who you are as a person. Are you married? Do you have kids? Do you belong to a church or social organization? These are the things people want to know about you.
You should also include information on current and past transactions. Make sure these are visually represented and use actual photos, not stock images. Each image you use has to have a valuable impact.
Content is King for a reason. Not only will a blog drive traffic to your website, but if you do it right, it will also give people another way to get to know you. By writing a blog section and having content on your site other than listings and service offerings, you personalize yourself. Readers will make a connection with you as more than an “agent,” making them feel as if they know you and that you’re a trusted friend who just happens to be a Realtor.
It will help if you add new content often, so be sure to write, or hire someone to write, articles on a regular basis, at least weekly. Write posts that explain the real estate process or that provide a fun read so people are engaged.
Other things to add to your website include links to:
- Your social media sites
- The local MLS
- A mortgage calculator
- Other professionals like appraisers, home inspectors lawyers, warranty and title companies
As a newly licensed agent, you need all the exposure you can get. So, get out the yard signs and business cards, but don’t forget the importance of a quality online presence