Commentary by Peyman Aleagha
RISMEDIA, April 24, 2008-To be successful in today’s market, the real estate professional has to do a lot more than they did previously. Today’s market is fast-moving and it’s electronic. Either take your place or find a way to be content sitting on the sidelines watching the market pass you by.
If you want to take your place, there are few essentials that you must do. These include the following:
1. Start with a website. 78% of new home buyers start their search on the Web. If you’re not there, you’re already behind. Make sure your website represents you and your area of specialty thoroughly.
2. Optimize and focus. Make sure your website is search-engine optimized – this is important. Remember that search-engine optimization is more than throwing a few keywords onto the site. Optimum keywords must be reflected in your content (text) as well. Also make a point of swapping links with other sites — consider doing this with other agents or brokers, lawyers, home inspectors, mortgage brokers, etc. Increasing the number of links to your site will improve your search-engine rankings dramatically!
3. Take your desk with you. You’re on the run and the market is moving quickly. You must be able to access your basic tools – calendar, contacts, key forms, listings, messages – from wherever you are. Wireless access is available everywhere so there’s little reason for a smart real estate agent or real estate broker to be out of touch with key tools.
4. Incorporate IDX listings to your site. By taking advantage of IDX technology you can make all your local MLS listings available right from your site. This means that prospective buyers don’t need to go anywhere else but your site.
5. Syndicate your listings. Putting your listings up on your site is one thing, but syndicating them with Google Base, Trulia, Oodle, LiveDeal, Propsmart, RealEstate.com, and others is a great way to expand the reach of your listings.
6. Automate your contact handling. Time is money. The easier and quicker you can capture, respond, and manage your prospective home buyers or sellers, the better off you will be. Automate these processes. Let your website capture leads automatically and use auto-responders to quickly acknowledge new leads or e-mail questions.
If you’re not doing any of these things, it’s time to start doing them now. The Internet and World Wide Web are fast-moving environments. Whether you like it or not they’re going to require that your marketing and sales move that much faster, also. If you’re not prepared, you lose. If you are prepared, your sales will be moving at Internet speed.
Peyman Aleagha is the founder and President of http://www.RealtySoft.com. RealtySoft provides Web-based marketing solutions including agent and broker websites, IDX, contact management, listing management, and syndication to real estate professionals.