RISMEDIA, April 26, 2007-In this day and Internet age almost every Realtor has a Web site. One wonders though if most Realtors really understand Internet marketing. For example, what is the nature of an Internet lead? NAR studies tell us an Internet lead is 1-3-6-9-12 months or longer away from a transaction when they fill out a form on a Realtor's Web site. Hence the concept of cultivating or incubating these leads, but how does a Realtor most successfully do that? How do you separate the "hot" leads from those consumers who are just beginning their process? Are you aggressive in the traditional ways with the Internet Empowered Consumer or is it best to give her/him "space?"
You might find it helpful to consider Internet marketing as a "three-part process." Part 2 of that process is having a Web site. But what kind of a Web site are Internet real estate consumers looking for? What kind of information should you provide? Once they have found your Web site what makes them keep coming back and establishing a relationship with you? We have all heard that Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers are all looking at the Internet from different points of view and want different things. A good Web site has lead capture tools on it, but it helps to look at the overall Web site as one big lead capture tool. And if you have a great Web site, we have all heard the saying, "What is the purpose of a Web site if no one can find it?"
That question leads to the consideration of Part 1 of the "three part process." How does a Realtor get eyeballs to his/her Web site? We are all familiar with SEO, search engine optimization, and PPC, pay per click. These can become very expensive ways to advertise a Web site, plus you are limiting your marketing to something in the end you really can't control. A newer way to market your Web site on the Internet is to blast your listings to the various listings portals, with link backs to your Web site. This is often referred to as vertical marketing.
Part 3 of the process is a good database management system or Internet farm. Your whole database is in realty a "mystery," a database of "Internet empowered" consumers most of whom you have no idea about where they are in their own process. How do you sustain a relationship with these leads and eventually convert them to closed transactions?
In Southern California Barbara Simmons has become one of the true masters of the Internet. You walk into her office and see the slogan, "Technology will not replace the agent, the agent with technology will!" Barbara does over 98% of her business (over $200 million in production) from the Net. She started over 9 years ago by having a friend design a Web site for her (part 2 of the 3 part process) She waited for weeks for her first lead as her "specially" designed site floated in cyberspace. Then she realized she needed Part 1, eyeballs to her site. She needed to actually advertise her Web site to consumers on the Internet. After a brief search she found a company that provided not only eyeballs but also a way to manage the leads that started coming in (Part 3). Since then Barbara now has 10 different Web sites in 10 different areas in California. How does she do it? Barbara will share her secrets on May 2 at a free online Webinar devoted to the success stories of some of real estate's top producing agents.
To register for the Webinar visit http://www.number1expert.com/profiles.