As a real estate broker, perhaps you have a website already (not to be confused with your brokerage site which your brokerage hosts) or perhaps you do not have a website yet.
Most brokerage websites limit your ability to perform any advertising or digital marketing. Brokerage websites mainly showcase you as one of their real estate agents (your bio), show off your current and sold listings, and have some contact information. Not much else to work with, right? A great bio doesn’t give you any momentum in digital marketing.
Now, you tell yourself: I want to make my online marketing FANTASTIC – MORE BUYERS, MORE SELLERS! But you don’t have a website. ☹
How are you going to showcase your listings? Make your blog attractive to the search engines? Send out email marketing and digital marketing pieces? Sell your properties through ads on Facebook or Google AdWords? Attract new buyers and sellers? Sell your listings and then get more listings to sell??
Maybe you’re happy with promoting your brokerage and your competition, other real estate agents? No. Of course not (my 4-year-old always says that, “Of course not!”).
You aren’t going to spend your money pushing traffic back to the brokerage website, right?! Your brokerage could have 50-2,000 other real estate agents on the same website. Are you paying for your marketing or your competition’s marketing?
This is why all successful real estate agents host and control their own websites and blogs.
In order to get any leverage online you must have your own website.
Now. I know what you’re thinking. Websites are expensive to hire someone to build. I could build one myself, but I don’t have the skill/time (well, you probably have the skill, but ask yourself, do you know how to turn a phone number or address into a link on mobile?) And, it just won’t be as good of a website built by someone who’s been doing it for 14 years [should I mention myself again here?].
Most people don’t realize that when building a website, even with the easy plug and play platforms like SquareSpace or Weebly, you still need to know basic coding, ACS and graphic design. What’s ACS? If you don’t know what ACS is then, I’m sincerely sorry. Maybe you should call me? 😊
(It’s Adobe Creative Suite.)
Let’s take my last project for example. (I haven't asked for permission as of this writing, so I can’t tell you the URL unless we chat mano a mano (or woman to woman, what·evs.) Off track again… What I mean is he is my nicest client (even though he was a tanker in WW2) and is super chill.
He said, “Charity, just do what you think is best.”
I said, “Yes!” So, I made him a new logo, I photoshopped his images, I rewrote the copy (that I sourced from his social media pages), and added fun stuff all over that website visitors will follow as they navigate through the site. What I mean is, I made his website so that people who visit – visitors - move through the site from page to page in the way that I want them to move. I charged him $500 for a 5-page website on Squarespace. (I didn’t charge for the logo creation or all the graphics I had to manipulate, the copy, just the 5-page website.)
Did he pay a fortune? No. Can he take that site over at any time? Yes. Can he add an IDX later? Yes.
Why SquareSpace? Because I said so. No! Really! It’s a great platform for easy website builds and allows you the compatibility to add IDX later on if you choose not to pay to $100+/mo. price for it now (that $100+ doesn’t go to me, btw – it goes to the IDX provider, I just implement it).
You’ve gotten some hints, so now, let’s dig deeper…
You don’t have a website. You need one. You don’t want to pay someone a fortune.
Here’s my suggestion to real estate agents looking to build a website:
If you don’t want to build your website yourself, hire someone [like me] to build it for you on the lower price range. If you want fancy stuff, go ahead and pay $10k. Just call me when they neglect you later when you want changes or help (yes, I can do programming).
If you’re not sure if you’d like an IDX on your website or not yet, let’s wait to make that decision. But don’t start building your website yet!
I always ask my clients, are you looking for a website that performs your basic needs, that – if you choose – you can add an IDX on later (the service is more expensive than the website itself – a website is about $40 a month including hosting, while IDX basics alone are minimal $99/mo.), but also a website so simple that you can take it over if by some act of faith that the person [me] who built it gets ran over by a bus one day. Please prey for me. Oops! I mean pray. 😊
What I can do is build you a website that is practical, functional, does everything it’s supposed to do (plus, we can add the IDX later if you don’t want me to input your listings manually – agents with 23 houses on the market, let’s get an IDX!), and if you choose to, you can add and IDX and say aloha to my services and run the site yourself. (One of my clients asked if I’m trying to put myself out of business. I said, “I just don’t want to be one of those website development companies that keep clients glued to me.” Scoundrels!)
Reputation is key in real estate, right?
So, this has been quite a handful of information. Let’s summarize.
You need a website built to get any of your digital marketing done right. Five pages with a blog (yes, you have to have a blog). Start with SquareSpace, build it yourself or hire me to do it for you for $500 (5-pages). Like I mentioned (if you read the full article), I often have to create designs, logos, photoshop images, etc. There is a benefit of knowing some basic HMTL and CSS.
You could build the site yourself, hire a graphic designer, a logo creator, a copywriter… oops! These folks don’t speak to one another, so guess what? Your website theme is dark so your logo disappears. Or, oops! Your website theme is white and your logo is white and it is “POOF” gone. Your copywriter hasn’t looked at the website, so guess what? The copy doesn’t match the theme or your brand. What a waste of money!! That’s the convenience of hiring one person to do the job of three. (or 4, 5, 6, 7…)
Okay. Let’s stop the chit-chat. I build websites for real estate agents (5-pages, like my tanker friend) for $500. I’ll do the photos, the logos, the meta des., Twitter cards, etc. I’m loyal to my loyal clients so, if you’d like to me to walk you through a digital marketing campaign or online advertising, I can do that. You want me to do it for you? I can do that. You want me to train a member of your team? I can do that.
If you want me to handle it all: your email marketing, your digital advertising, your digital marketing, advertising... I can do that. AND, it’s not nonsense. I manage the digital marketing for real estate agents who are regularly featured on local news outlets, have nothing but multi-million-dollar mansions in their portfolio (so sad, right?), and agents who are so green that they don’t have even a website to start with. (But we got the houses sold, didn’t we!?)
Or, sometimes this happens, not often, I can train your secretary or team member on how to run the digital marketing. This should be ongoing training as marketing evolves and you want to stay ahead of the keywords, stay at the top of search engines, and viral market your brand.
What? You don’t believe in viral marketing? It takes videos, pictures, content that you pay marketers a million dollars to produce? Nope. Marketers have a secret…shhhh…. We don’t have to make anything. I’ll show you how to perform viral marketing for you brand, your industry, your blog, your sellers/buyers… you won’t write a thing. Crazy, right? Well, no. Search for my name or website right now on Google. Exactly. What do you see? Nothing? No website (Google My Business doesn't count.) Yet, I’ve driven over 500 people a day to my site through viral marketing. (I’ve blocked my site from search engines to test my own viral marketing.)
I know you have a lot of questions. Here’s how to ask: CLICK HERE.
Full-stack marketing director & website developer who now works as a marketing consultant for small businesses and real estate agents.