YOUR HOME ON THE WEB

WITH A BACK­GROUND in real es­tate mar­ket­ing and sev­eral years in the busi­ness, Ste­fan Wil­liams from Cam­paign­track ex­plains the need for self-pro­mo­tion and the rise of the agent web­site.

Elite Agent - - CONTENTS -

Ste­fan Wil­liams

Real es­tate is an in­trigu­ing busi­ness, don’t you think? You get a job as an agent and, un­like most other jobs, your pro­gres­sion and pay rises are not a mat­ter of im­press­ing the boss so much as how you build your own small busi­ness within the agency you work for.

Sure, you may be given leads some­times and be in­cluded on other peo­ple’s listings, but to truly progress you need to have a more ac­tive role in bring­ing listings in the door. Spoiler alert: highly vis­i­ble agents get more listings.

There are many things that set the high achiev­ers apart from the less so, but self­pro­mo­tion seems to be front and cen­tre of ev­ery suc­cess story.

This, of course, is a good segue into the main point of my ar­ti­cle. If you ac­cept that you con­trol your own des­tiny and are your own brand as an agent (or team), then it makes sense that you have your own web­site.

It would be dis­hon­est not to dis­close the fact that Cam­paign­track, of which I am CEO, has in­vested heav­ily in cre­at­ing amaz­ing agent web­site so­lu­tions – but we aren’t alone. Whether you choose our prod­uct or some­one else’s, your own site is one of the cor­ner­stone pieces in your dig­i­tal self-pro­mo­tion, and it’s never been eas­ier to do.

WHY HAVE AN AGENT WEB­SITE AT ALL?

No doubt you have a page on your agency’s web­site, you have one on REA, on Do­main, per­haps RateMyA­gent and many oth­ers as well. What these pages have in com­mon is that they are on other peo­ple’s sites, and you have al­most no con­trol over most of the con­tent.

With the pro­lif­er­a­tion of lead sell­ers and now ma­jor por­tals muscling in on the lead­selling busi­ness, it makes sense that you might want to at­tract and nur­ture some leads of your own. Af­ter all, the main thing these lead sell­ers do that you don’t is to drive clicks to their re­spec­tive web­sites. Some of those web­site vis­i­tors will be gen­uine soon-to-be ven­dors; some of those will make en­quiries, click to call or re­quest ap­praisals. These are called leads.

You don’t need to be Ein­stein to fig­ure out that having a web­site is a pre­req­ui­site if you would like your own traf­fic, and con­trol over con­tent and data own­er­ship. As an on­line CV to im­press would-be ven­dors, a great web­site of your own earns you a gold star for cred­i­bil­ity too.

So whether it’s a web­site for you fea­tur­ing your own name in the URL, or for the team you’re work­ing on, a web­site is re­ally as im­por­tant as a busi­ness card for se­ri­ous agents.

OF COURSE ALL THIS WILL BE EX­PEN­SIVE, RIGHT?

Not so long ago an agent site would cost many thou­sands of dol­lars, be­cause ev­ery as­pect needed to be man­u­ally set up by a web de­signer. Thank­fully, that’s no longer uni­ver­sally true. Re­cent tech­nol­ogy ad­vance­ments mean you can be up and run­ning with an amaz­ing site for a few hun­dred dol­lars, in short time and with rel­a­tively lit­tle ef­fort.

Of course you can still spend 10 or 20 grand on an agent web­site, but to be hon­est there is likely very lit­tle added ben­e­fit to do­ing this – and of­ten such sites just don’t work as well with mo­bile and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. The mis­take most peo­ple make when con­sid­er­ing site de­signs is that they look at ev­ery­thing on a desk­top com­puter, of­ten with full-screen gor­geous and artis­tic pho­tos. The view that mat­ters most is mo­bile. Al­most all en­quiries, clicks and traf­fic will be from a mo­bile de­vice – and most sites on mo­bile look so much more alike than their desk­top coun­ter­parts.

So if you de­cide to spend 20k cus­tomis­ing a web­site, con­sider whether the in­vest­ment will ac­tu­ally make any dif­fer­ence to the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who will see it on a mo­bile.

On­go­ing mon­e­tary costs for your web­site host­ing should be rel­a­tively low, but you need to con­sider the ben­e­fits of spend­ing some money on pro­mot­ing the site on­line to drive traf­fic. (More on this later.) You also need to con­sider the cost or ef­fort re­quired to keep con­tent on your web­site up to date; the eas­ier this is, the more likely it will hap­pen and the less it will cost you.

BE SEEN, GET FOUND: BE­GIN­NERS

Step one, get a web­site. Step two - let’s get peo­ple look­ing at it. It’s sur­pris­ing how many web­sites there are in the world that get lit­tle or no traf­fic be­cause they are nowhere to be found. So how do you get peo­ple to your web­site? Let’s start with the free stuff, which al­most ev­ery­one over­looks. • Put your web­site URL on your busi­ness card • Use Face­book? Save your web­site URL on

You ei­ther own your dig­i­tal fu­ture or you’re owned. Which is it to be?

your per­sonal or page de­tails so peo­ple can click on it from your page or pro­file to find out more about you • If you’re on LinkedIn, save your web­site

URL on your pro­file • Ac­tive on In­sta­gram in a pro­fes­sional sense? Well, you can save your URL on your pro­file for free • Up­date your email sig­na­ture to in­clude your web­site URL. Not just your desk­top sig­na­ture ei­ther… why not make your fancy iPhone or An­droid phone in­clude this in­stead of the ‘Sent from my iPhone’ free plug for Ap­ple? You’d be sur­prised how many peo­ple would click on ‘More about me at www.yourURL.com’ • If you can, put it on your prop­erty sign

Sold stick­ers – why not?

BE SEEN, GET FOUND: TIME TO GET SE­RI­OUS

A well-de­signed agent or team web­site is built for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. This means us­ing Face­book and Google ad­ver­tis­ing, among other things, to ac­tively drive traf­fic to your site.

For less than the cost of a monthly let­ter­box drop, you can have tens of thou­sands of dig­i­tal ads de­liv­ered to your lo­cal area, with clever tar­get­ing en­sur­ing your ad is seen by more of the right kind of peo­ple too.

Peo­ple click­ing on your ads will land on your web­site, where they can find out a whole lot more about what makes you a great agent. Add into this re­tar­geted mar­ket­ing, which is at the heart of the best dig­i­tal dig ad tech­nol­ogy and means that any­one click­ing clic on your ads will likely see them again, again and the prop­er­ties you are sell­ing too. That’s mar­ket­ing gold.

When you yo con­sider the cost of a lead-seller lead is thou­sands, thou dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing that drives your own leads seems a bar­gain. Like any­thing worth­while, w you will need to be con­sis­tent and a also un­der­stand it of­ten takes a few months mont for your on­line cred­i­bil­ity and re­tar­get­ing data to build up. The phone isn’t go­ing to rin ring off the hook the first month you start dig­i­tal di mar­ket­ing, but you will be nur­tur­ing in­ter­est i and fol­low­ers ev­ery sin­gle month. Keep Kee it up – you’re worth it!

CAPTIVATE AND CON­NECT

A well-de­signed well-desi agent or team site will de­liver de on a num­ber of very im­por­tant im fronts. Firstly, it should load lo su­per-quick for mo­bile. If it doesn’t you will lose most of the click traf­fic you get, g es­pe­cially from dig­i­tal ads, be­cause mo­bile users are im­pa­tient.

Se­condly, it should have clear en­gage­ment and en­quiry op­tions on-screen as soon as it loads. This in­cludes things like click-to-call, en­quiry links and more. Peo­ple are im­pa­tient, and if they have to hunt for things they of­ten give up.

Thirdly, it should trig­ger Google and Face­book au­di­ence build­ing, so that peo­ple who visit your site can be re­tar­geted for ads about you or your listings if you do dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing.

Fourthly, it should have some great rel­e­vant con­tent that sells the idea of you. Ide­ally, this con­tent should be largely au­to­matic where pos­si­ble, sav­ing you time and en­sur­ing it ‘just hap­pens’. Where it’s not au­to­matic, it should be sim­ple to up­date or add con­tent, again im­prov­ing the chances that it will hap­pen.

What con­tent you should have on your site? Let me sug­gest the fol­low­ing. • Stylish and gen­uine hero pho­tog­ra­phy of you or your team. This is the ice-breaker im­age. It’s worth in­vest­ing in some new pho­tog­ra­phy if you don’t have some­thing like this that makes you look ap­proach­able, like­able and pro­fes­sional • About you: Words that sum you up as briefly as pos­si­ble, in­clud­ing a pull quote per­haps • A gallery of your re­cent

sales • A gallery of your cur­rent listings • Tes­ti­mo­ni­als – a se­lec­tion of your best

tes­ti­mo­ni­als from happy ven­dors • Awards and achieve­ments: Top price in the sub­urb? An agency award? If you have ’em, flaunt ’em! • En­quiry, ap­praisal-book­ing and lead

cap­ture forms and links • Con­tact de­tails, in­clud­ing other team

mem­bers if rel­e­vant • Blog: We get asked about this a lot and have in­te­grated Blog­ger into our sites. A blog is a good idea if you are pre­pared to in­vest in adding reg­u­lar con­tent, ei­ther per­son­ally or by em­ploy­ing some­one to do this for you. There is noth­ing sad­der than a blog with a one-year-old ar­ti­cle at the top – so be hon­est, if you won’t keep this up then keep it off.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, you’d be wrong. Set-up would nor­mally be han­dled by who­ever is pro­vid­ing your web­site, us­ing con­tent pro­vided by you. Depend­ing on the provider you se­lect, the on­go­ing ef­fort can be very low if you choose. Ex­cuses much? I don’t think so.

SHOULD AGENCY PRIN­CI­PALS BE WOR­RIED?

Short an­swer: no. If you’re a prin­ci­pal who is con­cerned it may en­cour­age suc­cess­ful agents to set up on their own, re­mem­ber that good agents will likely make more money list­ing and sell­ing than wor­ry­ing about ev­ery as­pect of run­ning an agency. Good agents, given more tools to get more listings and build more pro­file un­der your brand, will make you all more money.

Fi­nally, there is no stop­ping this. If an agent wants their own site so they can build their pro­file and leads, and you get in the way, I wouldn’t bet on such an agent stay­ing with your of­fice for long. The true op­por­tu­nity here is in­creas­ing dig­i­tal pres­ence away from the walled gar­dens of the por­tals and lead sell­ers. It’s the fu­ture and it should be em­braced.

As part of a holis­tic ap­proach, which in­cludes tak­ing Face­book se­ri­ously as well as dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing that drives your brand and data di­rectly, an agent web­site says you ex­ist dig­i­tally and you are part of the mod­ern busi­ness world. It’s a great way to start your dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, be­cause that’s the world nowa­days. You ei­ther own your dig­i­tal fu­ture or you’re owned. Which is it to be? Ste­fan Wil­liams is the co­founder of Cam­paign­track, the mar­ket­ing plat­form driv­ing prop­erty mar­ket­ing of agen­cies and agents na­tion­wide. For more in­for­ma­tion visit cam­paign­track.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.