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Q & A: Getting Found by Buyers and Sellers

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By Lesley Geary

It doesn’t matter how great your website looks if no one ever stumbles on it. Read about how Rob Levy of Keller Williams Realty Professionals not only drives consumers to his website, but keeps them there.

Rob Levy
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
Years in real estate: 24
Region served: Portland, Ore.

What is the key to building new business in today’s market?
Technology in general and the Internet specifically. In fact, 54 percent of our new business came in through the Internet this year.

How have you evolved your strategies in this environment?
I am maximizing my website. In the past, when you put up a website, it was pretty much the same as waving your business card in the sky. But you have to drive people to the site. So I am having great success using stealth websites, such as Oregonbankowned.com. These sites then drive people back to my website. The individuals that I’m driving to my site are those that wouldn’t find or go to my website normally, such as people who are fine looking at houses on the Internet, but would rather not talk to a REALTOR®. The stealth sites send these types of prospects to me and then I, in turn, send them emails and educate them about different areas of the market. I keep my face in front of them so that when they are ready to buy, they come to me. I have over 4,000 prospects in the system today because of this strategy.

How do you keep people on your site once they find it?
You need to make your website stand out—this is incredibly important. If you have your own custom style site, you also have to have the right community pages. I was on a listing presentation recently with a client who Googled “top agents in Portland,” found me and called me.

Where do you get the biggest bang for your marketing dollars?
One hundred percent from the Internet.

What are you doing differently this year—if anything—to attract buyers?
I am doing my best to educate them to the very important fact that the market is starting to change. Also, I let them know right off the bat that they should be completely pre-approved before they ever start looking at houses, and that they should consider the affordability index. Getting a loan is tough these days, but I let them know that this is a fantastic time to buy a house.

What are your three top priorities for sellers when they first list their home?
You never get a second chance for a first impression, so I have my sellers go out in the middle of the street and pretend they are buyers. Once they are looking at the home through the eyes of a buyer, I ask them what they see. That gives them a very different perspective. Then I educate them on the benefit of de-cluttering and staging. Lastly, the house has to be priced correctly. In this market, what a house is worth and what it will sell for are two different things.

What is the key to a successful life in real estate?
Balance, especially these days. I am very lucky because I have good people on my team. So we each get a life…kind of!

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