More home buyers and sellers are finding homes and agents from real estate websites. The latest figures from the California Association of Realtors (CAR) found 84 percent of buyers did serious shopping on websites, both to find homes and agents.
Looking into the statistics, online marketing of real estate services with a website is building your future client base today. Many Realtors report to the national Realtor survey that most of their clients come from referrals, which may lead people to believe working on referrals is the highest priority. It is a high priority, of course. However, looking at referrals from the consumer side, CAR found that only 18% of traditional buyers used agents from referral and only 2% of Internet-using homebuyers used referrals.
85% of Internet buyers found their agents online, either through a real estate broker website or the agent’s personal online real estate marketing site.
In fact, over 50% reported going online to find a brokerage firm and 67% to find an agent. This works out to somewhere between 67 to 72% of Internet buyers are not just looking for homes online – they are looking for a real estate agent.
Another difference between Internet and traditional buyers: None of the Internet buyers picked their agent from previous transactions versus 27% of traditional buyers. Given the large difference in these two figures, it is more likely that most Internet buyers are first-time home buyers, not that they are in a area or mood that called for a different agent.
This means three things for your real estate website:
IMCD Web Design has been creating top-selling real estate websites for agents across the US – websites that have a high ROI due to their ability to rank high in the search engines, provide home selling and home buying guides, multiple contact points and the ability to integrate blogs, article managers, list managers and IDX listings into the site. Contact us to make sure you are reaching the real estate market where it is looking – online!
Improve your real estate website with case studies – reinforce your expert professional public image and increase the trustworthiness or your site. A well written case study defines who you are as a real estate agent by showing in story form your perceptiveness of your client’s problem, your ability to show your client the solution that is in their best interest and cap it off with a testimonial from that client.
As a start, outline all the categories of case studies you can create, defining them by each of your main real estate markets, such as the home seller, home buyer, investor, commercial real estate and renter markets. For each of these markets, list the problems you have helped your real estate clients overcome. Prioritize writing the case studies giving highest priority to the most popular stumbling blocks and those for which you have great testimonials.
The simple outline for your real estate case study is define the problem as stated by your clients, then go through your problem-solving process in general terms (not to give away your trade secrets). Finally, give a level of co-measurement to the results of using your real estate services by giving a benchmark to your successes. A benchmark may be simply showing your listings’ average days on the market versus the FSBO or your area’s real estate market’s average days on the market.
Case studies help bridge the gap between selling your real estate services on what your client thinks you do to sell their home or find their next home versus educating them to all the hard work and marketing services you do perform so they think they are getting a steal of a deal working with you.
Case studies are part of your online real estate marketing strategy that answers your website visitors’ primary question, “Can this Realtor help me?” Even though writing content for your real estate website lacks the immediacy and feedback of talking to a client, it draws on all your conversations to answer questions you know from experience home buyers and home sellers have. Realtors who successfully put the desired information into their case studies build an invaluable online resource for their clients – and a body of content that improves their standing in search engine rankings.
If your online marketing needs a real estate website that allows you the freedom to add case studies and real estate marketing information easily and quickly, contact the real estate website experts at IMCD Web Design. Our semi-custom template real estate websites are created to give online market advantage to Realtors pursuing the 80% of the real estate market that starts their shopping online.
Real estate websites can respond to home buyer demands and adapt to the changing needs of the market.
Most home buyers reported getting financing as the hardest part of buying their homes and offered real estate agents key ways to improve their marketing. In general, improved speed of communication was suggested.
For the real estate website improvement the top suggestions were:
With areas like California, Las Vegas and Phoenix reporting over half of home sales are distressed property sales coupled with the tight credit markets, these website additions are timely niche areas to your target with your online real estate marketing.
There are several ways to adapt real estate websites to changing market conditions – the most user-friendly for real estate agents is an Article Manager or a blog. Both provide Microsoft Word-type interfaces for adding content. This means you do not need software for creating web pages or learning HTML commands.
An additional benefit to Article Managers and blogs are hosted on your real estate website’s server, any computer connected to the Internet can be used to upload your article or blog entries. You can add information from the road – which, if you are attending a seminar on mortgages or REO sales, allows you to add information when it is hot and fresh in your mind.
Just as in building in the social network arena, expanding your website to include a network of home loan specialists with track records of getting your home sales to close with a minimum of obstacles (there is always something) improves your clients’ home buying experience. This also follows the old marketing axiom “If you can take any steps your client has to take in order to purchase your product or benefit from using your services, take it. You’re most likely going into the area your competition does not think to go.”
Contact IMCD Web Design’s award-winning real estate web design experts to obtain your Realtor website with and integrated blog or Article Manager and improve your customer service as well as your sales 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.
Florida Realtors with their large markets of out-of-state home buyers find that their real estate website – both in terms of search engine visibility and marketing positioning – becoming a more critical marketing element in their continuing business success.
The setback in Florida property values can be used in a real estate website marketing strategy tailored to attract American retirees who experienced depreciation in their retirement accounts and investments. Finding the keywords, adding the web content retirees are looking for, as well as maintaining an active real estate blog on current market conditions are critical steps to getting visible to an out-of-state market.
Four factors help contribute to shaping Florida’s current real estate market:
With these factors in mind, refining keywords and search engine optimization to reach retiring Baby Boomers and the wealthy may well play a part of a successful online marketing campaign. Two of the biggest target states for the Florida wealth migration are New York and California. Tom Golisano, the Buffalo Sabres owner gave tax savings as his primary reason for his Florida home buying move.
Besides targeting out-of-state wealthy and retiree migrations, Florida real estate websites also are targeting the Hispanic migration moving from South and Central America. As the Hispanic population grows, bi-lingual real estate websites position themselves to reach the largest inward bound market – Miami alone draws over half of its foreign home buyers from Latin America. Along with bi-lingual real estate websites, Realtors are traveling major cities of South America to hold property investment seminars extolling the benefit of Florida’s home values and the weak dollar favoring South American currencies. Most Latin American investors are buying for the long-term – short-term speculation buying is not a part of the new buying wave.
IMCD’s search engine optimization, online Internet marketing and graphic design expertise have helped Florida Realtors position their real estate websites to hone in on Florida’s current market mix. Contact us if your real estate agency needs a real estate website that is effective in generating new sales leads.
Granted, a real estate website is a key element of a real estate marketing campaign, however every Realtor knows building relationships is also key to finding new and referral homebuyers. Combining relationship building with your online presence is key to creating an effective real estate website.
For over a decade, IMCD has developed real estate websites the meet both needs – high search engine results and a platform for a natural “conversation” between the agent and their web visitors.
The architecture, search engine optimization and wealth of content start agents and brokers off on the right foot for establishing a visible web presence. A standard, customized “About Us” web page gives real estate agents the freedom to reinforce their personal brand. In addition, IMC has found that agents using optional “Meet Our Agents” web page, integrated blog or Article Manager have the most effective real estate websites. These brokers and agents have a greater capacity to easily add up-to-date content to their website that helps build relationships as well as improve their standing in search engine results.
In marketing their home buying and selling services, real estate agents face an apparent dichotomy in marketing: on the one hand, they need to constantly reinforce their personal brand, which in website terms would mean their name is a specific and personal keyword to their brand. On the other hand, the keywords for their market are impersonal and heavily used by their competition. In building a personal brand agents face the marketing situation that personal keywords are not heavily searched and impersonal keywords are highly used.
IMC’s Agent Select real estate websites effectively join search engine optimization for the impersonal, highly used keywords with the use of the “long tail” personal keywords so agents can establish and maintain a visible web presence along with marketing that reinforces their brand on every web page.
In a random sampling of real estate websites built by agents using simple real estate website templates, the common mistake agents make is putting most of their marketing emphasis on their name as the key selling point. If they are only looking for home buyers or sellers who have heard of them, this may be sufficient marketing strategy. However, as an online real estate marketing strategy to gain new customers, it is a recipe for a poor return on their web investment.
For your effective real estate website, contact the online marketing experts at IMC, we know your market and how to position your branding message online to reach that market!
The almost $40 billion dollar international real estate buyer market decreased only 10% than last year, one of the least affected market niches in the current economy. Real estate web sites targeting international customers and their market preferences are still one of the best property marketing tools. With economic uncertainty around the world, real estate in the major American markets still is drawing international investors and buyers – usually wealthy buyers.
The median property price in the international buyer market was close to a quarter million dollars, almost $50,000 higher than the average domestic residential home sale. The most popular real estate was single-family homes, almost 70% of the property sold to foreigners. Almost 20%, the next highest market niche, purchased condominiums.
Following last year’s trend, Canada and the UK topped the list though with smaller numbers than last year. Mexico and India are the growing market of international buyers. Indian home buyers and property investors create a unique market niche, due to their ability to get mortgages in India for property purchased in other nations.
Real estate agents best positioned to benefit by the international real estate market have real estate web sites in the Florida, California, Texas or Arizona markets. These states have two attractive qualities for foreign buyers, they have international airports with direct flights to China, Oceania, Europe and India or they are easily entered by land, air or sea from Mexico.
Possibly using real estate to capture and retain economic gains in other areas, almost half of the foreign buyers paid cash and by-passed the mortgage process. One third of the buyers purchased the homes for vacation purposes, while more than 42% purchased with investment in mind.
IMCD has created real estate web designs for real estate agents in the four major target markets of international buyers: Texas, Florida, California and Arizona. Each real estate web site creates an appealing and well-rounded feel for the area with a Flash slide show of homes and the region’s attractive features.
Each IMCD web design has the ability to super-charge your site by adding your own real estate blog the keeps your clients and potential home sellers up-to-date on the opportunities and news in your market. Contact our helpful web design experts to see how quickly you can move your real estate marketing into high gear with an IMC real estate web site!