Real estate websites owned by brokerages or agencies that utilize blogs have a potential key asset: the potential for a team of real estate agents creating blog content. With this asset comes the need for the agency to adopt a content strategy. How can a content strategy add to the professionalism of your real estate website?
First, the strategy provides an overall plan that all writers use to promote your online real estate marketing objectives. This can include the keywords you are targeting, how you present the business, potentially a quality control system for how articles are added to the website, and target areas to cover or promote to fulfill the sale lead generation goals.
In order to make your real estate website blog‘s strategy a reality, next implement an achievable plan. By “achievable”, this takes into account the real estate agents’ time constraints, priority articles needed and adaptability of the staff to the web content creation technology. A simple schedule and list of article topics helps to both insure the timeliness of articles as well as getting the creative juices flowing. Of course, time and capital are both assets to invest wisely and some real estate agencies conserve their Realtors for selling and contract with professional copywriters to fill their real estate website content creation needs. With external writers, a defined content criteria becomes all the more critical.
With the ability of blogs to track web visitors reading habits, your real estate website blog can provide the invaluable feedback of what topics and market niches are hot in your neighborhoods. By adapting content to customer driven demand, your website becomes a greater asset to your potential customers and a more profitable sales lead generation center.
With the benefits of high level of search engine optimization, ease of adding content – both graphic and text, and the notification of search engines and subscribers when new content is posted, real estate website blogs has proven their worth in driving traffic. If your agency is ready to make a greater impact in your area’s online property market scene, contact IMCD Web Design for a professional real estate website with integrated blog. We have the custom or semi-custom web design that can meet your business needs.
Real estate agents increased their website usage according to the National Association of Realtors 2009 Technology Report. In fact the Internet had moved into the third most important position for generating leads after referrals and repeat business.
The top four uses are to post listings, communicate with clients, provide maps to properties and generate sales leads. 58% of agents update their personal websites, with 25% using their real estate blogs to increase business. Podcasts and YouTube videos are not as highly used, partly due to the technical learning curve needed to create the audio and video files. The technology barrier does not stop 36% of the Realtors and brokers polled from downloading and listening to podcasts for business purposes.
With real estate websites able to send emails automatically alerting agents that a lead has been submitted on the website, it is no wonder that the top mobile device agents use are Blackberries (32%), Palm Treos (14%) and iPhones (10%). These smartphones have keyboards and wireless Internet capacity that allows for reading and sending emails as well as the much used functions of phoning and texting. 42% of the real estate agents were planning on buying or replacing their smartphones in 2010 (compared to 9% who were planning on obtaining or replacing a basic cell phone with no texting or Internet capacity).
Overall, real estate agents are going more portable with digital cameras, smartphones and laptops far and away the most popular hardware agents are looking to purchase or upgrade. Over 50% of Realtors and brokers use a web-based email service like Yahoo or Google, allowing them great latitude in where they can check their email – at the office, at home or at an Internet cafe.
Brokers and Realtors both are increasingly using their brokerage and personal real estate websites to post listings. From 2007 to 2008 brokers increased usage from 72% to 83% and Realtors increased using their personal agent websites for listings from 53% in 2007 to 59% in 2008. Overall, 81% of the survey respondents have listing search capabilities on their real estate websites
When it comes to custom websites versus template real estate websites, over 50% of the brokers and a third of the agents invest in more customized websites with increased branding, personalized content and added options like article managers, integrated blogs and list managers. If you are looking to increase your real estate website’s return on investment, contact IMCD to see how quickly we can improve your online lead generation!
Real estate agents positioning their real estate websites for the expected influx of troops from Fort Hood in the coming months can use this information to attract potential clients. By utilizing a real estate blog to inform newcomers to the Colorado Springs market of both real estate news and home mortgage and first-time homebuyer benefits, agents position themselves on the Internet as experts in the Colorado Springs market. Building “creditworthiness” is key to moving your real estate website visitors to becoming warm sales leads.
Colorado Springs real estate market, with its large military housing market, is benefiting from the recent extension of the $8000 First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit. For most markets the extension ends in 2010, however real estate markets, such as Colorado Springs with several bases in the area. Benefit from the military first-time homebuyer’s extension that runs until April of 2011.
Since many of the military getting assigned to Fort Carson are newcomers to Colorado Springs, their referral network relies to a greater extent on Internet real estate searches. Internet Marketing Consultants (IMC) clients have used their IMC semi-custom real estate template websites to target this growing market. By utilizing a real estate blog integrated into their website, they can quickly write about changes in mortgage and tax laws affecting military personnel as well as new homes coming on the market.
Though on-base housing can accommodate some military families, housing forecasts expect 75% of the troops will require off-base housing due to shortages of available housing real estate.
Colorado Springs is also the second most popular place for military retirees to call home after San Antonio Texas. With close proximity to Denver and Southwest Airlines inexpensive travel routes, retirees have the ease of transportation of a large city while comfortably enjoying the benefits of living in the Colorado Springs real estate market.
Whether your Colorado Springs real estate website needs to target the military market, growing high tech sector or the commercial real estate area, IMC has the real estate template website or custom package to meet your online marketing investment needs.
Ironically, real estate marketing companies have found the last real estate agents to aggressively pursue Internet marketing of their services are the successful agents. Assuming the reasoning is why change something that is working successfully, the answer is there is a major sea change in the way home buyers and sellers use real estate websites to search the real estate market. The move can be seen as a move from paper to electronic media. Let’s look at how successful agents can parlay their past success into greater future success.
Post cards are a way to contact a large audience with color photos and interest generating news. One problem is there is no way of knowing whether the recipient even looked at the card unless they call you. Today agents can send out HTML emails that contain photos of new properties on the market as well as have the print in the color and font they want. A benefit of the email postcard is two-fold, you can set it to alert you to who is opening the email and you can include links within the email to pages on your website. Of course, the best link to have is to your home page, but you can also connect them directly to recent entries in your real estate blog or Article Manager.
Newspaper advertising, though still capturing most of real estate marketing dollars, is only used by less than 15% of home buyers. Real estate websites provide the same information as newspaper ads, only the information is offered to the other 85% of the home buyers and sellers actively searching the market.
Agents feel safe with newspaper advertising since they know their ad will be seen by all of the 15% of the market checking the real estate ads. In the competitive online marketplace, how can they make sure their real estate website is seen by the other 85% of their market? IMCD has years of experience using their search engine optimization, online marketing and graphic design expertise to place real estate agents and brokers on the first page of Google for their markets.
Phone calls are a great way to touch base and keep your market alive. By adding a real estate blog to your IMC website, real estate agents can parlay their conversational tone into weekly entries that can be sent to their client list by RSS feed. This keeps your clients aware of your services and knowledge as well as the current housing market. Beneficially also is that your blog entries notify all the main search engines of new content, helping your online visibility.
Contact IMC today to match your successful professional real estate career to one of our successful professional online real estate marketing web design. Your public is waiting.
Real estate blogs continue to grow in the search engine results for all the different real estate website keywords, improving the Internet marketing ROI for agents targeting the 80-plus percent of home buyers using the web to find property. It is a market that is still wide open with early adopters and agents with the discipline to add at least an article a week gaining most of the limelight.
Real estate agents with blogs incorporated into their real estate websites have positioned themselves to keep their clients informed on the latest market news, tax incentives, local housing inventory levels, pricing direction as well as their latest featured listings. Internet Marketing Consultant’s real estate web design integrates real estate blogs in your IMC website so your blog carries your brand – not the brand of a national blog site. It also drives traffic and search engines to your website to view your properties – which is the desired result of your Internet marketing investment.
IMC is sometimes asked, “How important is it to have a blog?”
Blogs serve the two-fold purpose of increasing the SEO clout of a website. First by contacting the search engines when you post an entry. Second, by building up a list of clients getting an RSS feed from your site, you have your own real estate magazine with a ready audience. By building your RSS audience, you add to your website’s traffic – something the search engine’s notice also.
“How hard is it to use a blog?”
No harder than writing a Microsoft Word document. Today’s blogging software has text editing tools that make it intuitive and easy to add pictures, links and text enhancements such as adding bold or italics. Logging in is a similar experience to logging in to get Gmail or any online service that needs a user name and password. Part of the reason blogging took off so fast is that novice Internet users could quickly populate their blog with information and pictures that made it interesting for others.
“How hard is it to get a blog?”
Contact IMCD to get your professional blog website that is customized to your personal and business brand. You don’t need to learn any HTML, CSS or PHP coding language – we take care of all the groundwork and getting your blog online on your website. We can show you how quickly and easily you can be updating your website with real estate news – keeping your clients in the know!
RSS, when used with your real estate blog, is beneficial way to leverage the visibility and profitability of your Internet marketing website. RSS (stands for Really Simple Syndication) is a way to distribute your web content to a base of home buyer and seller subscribers. IMCD paves the way for their real estate web design clients to use RSS by setting up their real estate blogs with RSS capability. All the client needs to do is encourage clients to subscribe, so every time a real estate news entry is posted to the blog all the subscribers are notified.
RSS feeds benefit real estate agents in several ways. Since the RSS feed is subscriber based, agents have automatically complied with all legislation, spam rules and privacy policies. When subscribers receive an RSS notification, they click on the link to jump over to your blog and check out the latest entry. Historically, RSS feeds have a high click-through rate.
Having subscribers regularly click to go to your website leverages your Internet marketing presence since the search engines track your incoming web traffic and factor that in the popularity or relevance of your site. With increased traffic, your search engine rankings are positively impacted. The link back to your site from your subscriber also helps your rankings.
Best of all, your RSS feed is high impact marketing – it doesn’t get caught in spam filters. Your delivery rate is one hundred percent.
As your subscriber base grows, it becomes a larger asset for your real estate company. The ease of maintaining the mailing list is derived from the RSS software – real estate agents don’t have to remove bad email addresses, clean the list for non-interested people or check headlines and content for spam checking software triggers words or phrases. The RSS software takes care of all list cleaning – your subscribers keep your distribution list up-to-date.
Finally, by having a base of subscribing clients, you know your real estate news is getting out, building your brand, and reinforcing your “creditworthiness factor” as an active and knowledgeable local real estate agent.
Contact the real estate web design sales team at IMCD to add maximum exposure to your website with real estate blog with its RSS feed. Add both content, greater search engine optimization and subscribers with one move!
A step up from creating real estate website marketing podcasts is to add video to your multimedia blogging. “Vodcasting” or “Vlogging” is web-speak for video posts or blogs that use simple digital video technology to create short online videos for their real estate website. Real estate agents can easily create short video presentations of a new property listing or a short video guides for potential clients who are buying or selling a home. These video-on-demand real estate productions add to the 24/7 information content of your Realtor website.
For educational purposes, vlogging is a way to reach the MTV generation and people who learn better by hearing than by reading. With a little practice, agents can learn to ignore the camera and just chat as if they were face to face with a client. A good vodcast contributes to building your “expert” standing in the viewers’ mind and you website’s credibility.
For marketing purposes, the ability to create short videos expands your marketing reach into highly visited sites like YouTube. By also posting your listings’ virtual home tour videos on YouTube with a links back to your real estate website, you both add an incoming link and promote your property to an audience with a proven affinity for video presentations.
IMCD Web Design offers real estate agents an easy-to-use blogging platform with the capacity to host vodcasts. By allowing real estate web visitors the ability to download a vodcast, they can view it later. The Featured Listings option allows real estate agents to promote their properties both with static photos, slide shows and video virtual tours.
In the Internet’s technology driven marketplace, vodcasts are a cutting edge tool for gaining a competitive advantage for your real estate website. Call IMC’s sale team about improving your real estate online marketing campaign with a real estate blog with vodcast capability. Meeting customers with the information that helps them narrow their property search benefits both real estate agents and their online clients.