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A key to developing an effective marketing strategy is hearing first-hand what successful REALTORS® are doing to close more business from the Web. I recently spoke with real estate broker Shane White ( about how he has gone from 8% to over 25% in buyer-side closings and how he remains cutting-edge in a shifting market.

TA: Why is having a Web strategy that is tailored to your specializations important?
SW: In our marketing, we have decided to go after specific areas or niches instead of trying to cover the entire Austin, Texas area. My office is located in a small rural town, so we focus our efforts here and within the surrounding towns to generate leads. When we designed our website, we kept that in mind, and now buyers that are interested in our area can search by town, school district, or property type and they are able to get information very easily. I believe that today’s consumer wants to get the information they are looking for without having to spend a lot of time finding it. The more focused you are in your business plan, including your Web strategy, the better results you will get.

TA: How has your company’s search engine ranking affected your business?
SW: With our targeted marketing program, it is important to be found in the search engines since a vast majority of prospective buyers begin their home search online. We have worked on SEO so that we can be found organically within our areas of expertise. You can do pay-per-click, but the problem is once you stop paying, you drop off the first pages. If you work to get there organically, you can maintain your place much easier and are always able to be in front of the consumer.

TA: How has your Web strategy helped you take more listings?
SW: If you understand what it takes to sell property in today’s “tech world,” you understand the importance of a comprehensive Web strategy. If you have a clear plan regarding how you will get your listings maximum exposure in the marketplace online, you need to be able to show potential sellers how that benefits them. Many sellers today don’t realize that print marketing for specific listings doesn’t work. Buyers have access to all the information they need online, and if you aren’t there to be found, you miss the opportunity to have your listing sell—and you also miss the opportunity to capture a buyer lead. You must be able to articulate to your potential seller how your online strategy works to get your listings sold.

TA: What are the top elements that are crucial to include in your website?
SW: You must have a great IDX solution that allows you to break down searches by area, school district, price or a combination of parameters. Again, you want your site to be as user-friendly as possible. I also think you need to have useful content. Tell site visitors about your town or area and integrate blogging into your website in order to keep consumers up-to-date. Last but not least, it is important to take the layout of the site into consideration and make sure your contact information is easy to locate.

Tricia Andreassen is CEO/founder of Pro Step Marketing.

For more information, please visit or call 866-799-9888.