12 Website Tips


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12 Website Tips

  1. 1. 12 Website Tips That Will Pull You Way Ahead of Your Competitors……and How iHOUSE ELITE Can Help! Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied or redistributed in any form without the prior written consent of iHOUSEweb, Inc.
  2. 2. ContentsIntroduction 3Lead Generation 4 MLS Search 4 Homepage Search 5 Don’t Be Shy 5 Custom Search Links 6 Original Content 7 Widgets 7 Unique Pages 9 Video 11 Custom Forms 12Lead Conversion 13 Relationship Management & Tracking 14 Listing Emails 15 Following Up 16 Brokers & Multi-Agent Offices 16Conclusion 18Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 2
  3. 3. IntroductionYou are a real estate professional in the 21st century, which means a website is a marketing necessity. But,if you’re like most agents, the thought of creating and maintaining your own website is very daunting.Where should you begin? What skills are required? How large will the time investment be? What’s thedifference between a mediocre website and a great website? These are just a few of the many questionsthat will run through an agent’s mind when considering a website. We are going to try to answer asmany of these questions as we can.First of all, let’s get one thing straight. A GOOD website is NOT an online business card. A basic websitewith virtually no content other than your contact information will not generate business, and isessentially wasted marketing dollars. A GOOD WEBSITE is a destination for homebuyers. It provides theresources they want and need during their home buying and selling experiences and it creates returnvisitors. It then converts these visitors into leads, aids in converting leads to clients, and gives clients thetools they need to complete their transaction. A destination website creates business and pays for itselfmany times over.This article is all about how to create a powerful destination real estate website. We explain bestpractices, offer ideas, and for iHOUSE ELITE Website customers we’ll even give step-by-step instructionson implementing these strategies. All of the concepts have been divided into 2 critical categories – LeadGeneration and Lead Conversion, because even a destination website is pointless if it fails to achievethese two objectives.Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 3
  4. 4. Lead GenerationLead generation is the absolute most important reason for existence of any website. What’s the pointof a website that doesn’t create more business for you? There is none! As with any marketing strategy, awebsite needs to provide a solid return on your investment.The key to lead generation is providing your websitevisitors with something that they are actuallyinterested in. First, identify who your website istargeted to. Homebuyers? Sellers? Homeowners?All of the above? This will vary somewhat due toyour specific business plan, but for many of you, allof the above is probably the most correct answer. Sonow you need to ask yourself, “What are my visitorsinterested in?” Once you’ve answered that question,you can start coming up with content that will address those issues. If you have content that reachesout to your visitors, they will be more willing to reach out to you by registering or contacting you, thusbecoming LEADS.Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s actually a lot more difficult than it sounds. There are a lot of real estatewebsites on the Internet and you need to distinguish yours from the rest. You need to give your visitorssomething unique, something they can’t get from any of your competitors. Sounds a little more difficultnow, right?Here are some ideas that will get you started.MLS SearchWe just can’t emphasize enough the importance of having aquality MLS Search on your website. Your website visitors are Did You Know?predominantly homebuyers and sellers, and the #1 thing they IDX Stands for Internet Datawant to see is LISTINGS. By including an MLS Search tool on eXchange, but can also be called Broker Reciprocity. IDX enablesyour website, you’re providing your visitors with every listing REALTORS® to display propertyin the area. By using an IDX Search tool, you’re providing those listings from their Multiple Listinglistings in a format that’s easy to use and provides additional Service (MLS) online.lead conversion tools like the option for searchers to savetheir favorite listings.As much as you’d like to think that including an MLS Search on your website guarantees that the leadswill start streaming in, that’s not always the case. (Though sometimes it is!) To get the most from yourMLS Search, you need to show people where to go, and what’s in it for them. Here’s a few smart waysto do this.Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 4
  5. 5. Homepage SearchIntegrating your IDX MLS Search onto your websitehomepage is a great way to funnel visitors to thecontent they’re searching for – listings! By includinga homepage search, you prevent people from quicklybouncing off your site because they didn’t see whatthey were looking for. You’re also demonstratinghow useful and easy-to-use your website is – 2 veryimportant qualities for Internet users.The difficulty of incorporating an MLS Searchmodule on your website will vary depending on yourindividual site. With most template website providers,this is not an option. For custom web developers, it ispossible as long as you can acquire the listing datafrom your MLS board. ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that if you have iHOUSE Tip! a Pro package, meaning you have integrated IDXPro, The colored icons to the left of each you can easily add a Quick Search module to your ELITE Websites tip indicate the diffi- homepage? culty level of implementing an idea. Red is hardest, orange is intermedi-To add a Quick MLS Search module to your homepage: ate, and green is easiest. 1. Login to your Admin Menu. 2. Click on Edit Website. 3. Click the Edit This Page link on your homepage. 4. Click Add new content in the module where you want your search. (The Quick Search module may not appear in some columns due to width restrictions.) 5. Select the Quick Search module. 6. Save!We recommend you add your Quick Search “above the fold” – which means the higher up the better!Don’t Be Shy!Your website visitors are interested in real estate, which is why they’re on your website to begin with.So don’t be shy with your MLS Search page. Don’t just hide it somewhere in your navigation. Adding asearch module to your homepage is important, but for those of you who want to go the extra mile, dosomething else on your homepage that points out your search even more. Guiding visitors through yoursite will improve their experience and show them that you understand their needs. Plus, by channelingvisitors to your IDX search page, you will convert more of those visitors into leads! ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that you can create an image, similar to the one pictured here, that will attract more attention to your lead generating IDXPro Search?Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 5
  6. 6. To create your own MLS Search banner: 1. Take a screenshot of your IDX MLS Search page. 2. Using any simple photo editing software, add text or other graphics to it. 3. Save your new custom image. 4. Login to your Admin Menu. 5. Click on Edit Website. 6. Click the Edit This Page link on your homepage. 7. Click Add new content. 8. Add a new custom content module. 9. Upload your image to the file library. 10. Add it to your new module. 11. Save it……and voila! – you now have your own custom graphic that channels visitors to the listings they’relooking for!Custom Search LinksIf you use an IDX search tool, another great way tocatch visitors’ attention is to have links that take themdirectly to the exact listings they would be searchingfor, without them actually having to do the search.How is that possible? Custom Search Links, which arebasically links to saved searches. Let’s say you noticethat 7 out of 10 of your homebuyers search for a homethat’s 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and under $300,000. Whynot feature those listings up front? ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that adding custom search links like these to your Elite Pro Website is easy?To add a new custom search link: 1. Login to your Admin Menu. 2. Click on Edit Website. 3. Go to one of your IDX MLS Search Pages (Quick, Map, or Advanced Search). 4. Perform a search, and Save it. 5. Click the Pages tab on the Edit Mode bar at the top of the page. 6. Click Add a saved search page. 7. Enter a page name. 8. Select your search from the dropdown menu. 9. Save!Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 6
  7. 7. Now just go to the Navigation tab to reorder it. Or, try adding a new content module on your homepagewith popular searches (or try creating searches with fun results that people might just enjoy looking at,such as beach properties or other high-end listings!)Remember, these tips for directing visitors to your MLS Searchpage work best when you have a lead generating IDX system. iHOUSE Tip!IDX tools like IDXPro keep YOUR visitors on YOUR website, The New ELITE Pro Websites come withbrand the MLS to you, and have numerous ways of converting fully integrated IDX MLS Search!traffic to leads. If you do not use IDX and instead are linkingto REALTOR.com or using a free search link provided by yourMLS, you may want to think twice about funneling visitors to those pages. Instead of taking them tothe best lead conversion section of your website, you would be guiding them OFF your website, tosomeone else!Original ContentOne of the best ways to distinguish yourself from other REALTORS® in your area is to offer unique, originalcontent. If every other agent in your area has a simple website with no unique content, not only willthey not be rewarded with high search engine ranking, but their websites will also be indistinguishableto homebuyers.By offering information and opinions that are thoughtful, knowledgeable, and relevant your serviceswill stand out. This type of unique content can be found in many forms, from blog posts, original videos,links to other relevant resources, and the list goes on.WidgetsFirst of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “widget”,since the word means a lot of different thingsto different people. According to economists,it’s an abstract unit of production. According tovideo game players, it’s a 1990 Nintendo videogame. It’s also a Marvel character, that thing incans of Guinness that manages the beer’s foam,and myriad other things. But in this context,widget means “a small, portable applicationor piece of dynamic content that can easily beplaced into a Web page”.1Online widgets can be found for almost anything these days and there are a lot of great widgets thatcater specifically to real estate agents. Adding these widgets to your website can enhance your contentoffering in a dynamic and interactive manner.1 http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/mashupswiki.nsf/dx/glossaryCopyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 7
  8. 8. Let’s explore some of the most popular widgets and their functions. Social Media widgets include Facebook and Twitter tools. 84% of REALTORS® use social media to some extent2, which makes Facebook and Twitter widgets extremely applicable to a real estate website. If you are already utilizing social media as a marketing strategy, you should get the most out of it. Facebook and Twitter apps can help you do this by connecting web visitors to your social media presence as well as connecting social media users to your website. Both Facebook and Twitter offer various widget options and customization. To learn more about these widgets, visit the links provided below. http://www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets/index.php http://twitter.com/goodies/widget_searchListing Display and Search widgets are available from a variety of sources, butthe most prominent are Trulia and Zillow. These two websites have becomewildly popular among homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionalsnationwide. Not only do they offer their own listing database search, but theyhave their own forums and communities and dozens of widgets to choosefrom. If your listings can be found on Zillow or Trulia, you can use theirwidgets to add slideshows, quick listing search boxes, lists of recently soldhomes, and much more. To learn more about these widgets, visit the linksprovided below.http://www.trulia.com/tools/http://www.zillow.com/webtools/widgets/Market Conditions & Other types of widgets can also be used to enhance your website content offering.For example, you can also use a Zillow widget to provide home values, interactive polls and quizzes,and fun things like a list of expensive homes that will attract homebuyers and sellers to your site. Ifyou are a member of the ActiveRain online real estate community, you can share your profile on yourwebsite. Another site to check out if you’re looking for the perfect widget is Widgetbox, which has a tonof widgets to choose from.http://activerain.com/blogsview/455028/activerain-associates-widget-promote-your-ar-friends-on-your-website-and-bloghttp://www.widgetbox.com/tag/real+estate2 http://www.realtor.org/library/library/fg006Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 8
  9. 9. Widget Wielders Beware! Keep the following in mind when adding external widgets to your website.Always have a plan! Never add widgets to your website just for the sole sake of having widgets. Thinkabout what you’re trying to achieve with the widget and how it will help you reach that goal. Examinethe widget carefully before implementing it to ensure that it functions as you want it to. Many widgetswill link back to their source website and may “steal” your website visitors out from under you! ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that adding widgets to your Elite website is a snap? iHOUSE Tip! iHOUSE Customer Support is available 7 days a week to help withOnce you’ve found the right widget for you: things like this! 1. Copy the code that is provided. It will usually tell you exactly what to copy and paste onto your site. 2. Login to your Elite Website and enter Edit Mode. 3. Navigate to the page you want your widget. 4. Using the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, click the Source button. This will show your content in HTML mode. Don’t panic! 5. Look for the area where you want the widget and paste the code there. 6. Click Save and you’re done!If you want to add your widget to your homepage, you will probably need to create a new customwidget first to place your widget in.Unique PagesOver the years, the algorithms that search engines use to rankweb pages have drastically evolved. Now, one of the best Did You Know?ways to get top search engine rankings is to have relevant www.seomoz.org is one of the bestAND unique content. Why do search engines love unique SEO resources on the web. Watchcontent so much? It basically comes down to the fact that their video on generating uniqueInternet searchers love unique content. When we perform content. It’s easy to understanda search in a search engine, we don’t want to find the same (mostly!) and will help you develop a plan for your site!content over and over again. We want unique and relevantresults. And since the search engines exist to give us the bestresults possible, they filter for original content.As the SEOmoz video explains, unique content generally falls into one of three categories: editorial,machine-generated, or user generated. For most real estate professionals, the focus of your websitecontent strategy will be unique editorial content, meaning you will be creating and writing the contentyourself. Sound intimidating? It probably does, but it doesn’t actually have to be all that difficult. Let’scover how to get started.First of all, you need to have ideas about what you want to cover. Do a quick brainstorm on topics andstar your favorite ideas. Remember to always keep your content relevant to your website topic (realCopyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 9
  10. 10. estate), but also bear in mind that you have a lot of flexibility within that topic. Content that focuseson your specialties, local area, and expert knowledge are a good place to start. We’ve compiled a list ofbroad topics that should help guide your thinking, but don’t hesitate to get creative! Category Advantage Examples Neighborhoods Activities Specifically targeted to homebuyers and sellers in your Events Local Information area, or those planning on moving to your area. Less Schools competition for this content because it it local. Weather Market Reports Staging Real estate specific content that is useful to your target Financing Tips & Tricks audience. Can easily integrate keywords. Maintenance Open Houses Mortgage Brokers Inspectors Build reciprocal links with other members of the real Maintenance Companies Referrals estate industry. Very good for SEO purposes. Out of the Area Agents Landscapers Contractors Foreclosures Keywords related to specialties tend to have less Short Sales Specialties competition in the search engine results page, meaning Vacation Homes it’s easier to get better placement for these terms. Retirement CommunitiesNow that you’ve decided what to cover, it’s time to start writing. As you write, think about your targetaudience. (And no, your target audience is not search engines! It’s your prospective clients – peopleinterested in buying or selling a home in your area.) How does the content you are writing help themwith their home buying or selling experience? Be specific.Though your editorial content is targeted to your human visitors, try to slip in some content that yourmechanical visitors (search engine spiders) will appreciate too. For example, use your keywords inthe content you are writing. This will help you get better ranking for those keywords. But do not oversaturate your copy with keywords, making it difficult for human readers to comprehend. And if you’readding images to your pages, always add descriptive, keyword rich alt tags if possible. ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that you have an unlimited number of pages available to you? That means you can create as much original content as you want!To create a new blank page to work your magic on: 1. Login to your account and enter Edit Mode. 2. Click the Pages tab in the Edit bar at the top of the page. 3. Click Add a custom content page.Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 10
  11. 11. 4. Enter a brief yet descriptive page title, and start creating your content! 5. Use the add image button to upload graphics to your file manager and add them to your page. 6. Publish the page when you’re ready for the world to see it!Hint: It may be easiest to write your content in Word and then just copy and paste it into the Elite contentmanager (a.k.a. WYSIWYG editor).VideoThis entire online video section could be summed up in twowords: DO IT! Since that alone is probably not very helpful, Did You Know?let’s talk about five broad reasons to include video on your More searches are performed onreal estate website. YouTube than on Google?35 Reasons You Should Be Doing Online Video: 1. Online Video creates a personal touch. When visitors feel like they know you and like you, you’ll have an easier time getting them to work with you. 2. Online Video is exciting! Stand out from the crowd with an interesting and interactive website. 3. Online Video indicates expert knowledge of both real estate and the Internet that will extend to helping the visitor buy or sell a home. 4. Online Video increases visitor traffic to your website. It’s a simple truth: video is a great way to get more visitors from the search engines. 5. Online Video is just HOT! Internet users just can’t get enough video. YouTube alone has over 300 million users.Now that we know why adding video to a website is good for generating new business, let’s talk aboutsome content strategies that will allow you to get the most from your video.Common Real Estate Video Content Strategies: 1. Listing tours. Buyers love listing tours and there’s no better way to present a tour than with video. Some agents record themselves in front of the listing, introducing the property, and then narrate while the video goes through the home. Or, if you’re not comfortable being on camera, you can just show off the property!3 http://www.clickz.com/3639696Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 11
  12. 12. 2. Introduction to yourself and your services. This is a great strategy if you want your visitors to get to know you. Set yourself apart by talking about your background, your specialties, services you provide, and even your local area. Create that personal connection that will make your name memorable. 3. Guide visitors through your website. Another common video strategy for real estate agents is to be a tour guide of sorts. Show people around your website, explain what you have to offer, why a visitor should register on your page, where to find listings, and more.These are just a few topic ideas for your new video, but there areendless opportunities! Create a video tour of a neighborhood,showing off local parks and other amenities. Or, create a “commercial”for your city, including shopping, resident demographics, activitiessuch as annual fairs or weekly farmers markets or hiking trails. Becreative and be true to you, your specialties, and your local area. ELITE Website Clients: Did you know you can add YouTube videos to any custom content page or module?To add video to your website: 1. Upload your video to YouTube. For help uploading your video to YouTube, we recommend that you watch this tutorial. 2. Copy the Embed Code. This is found to the right of the video, where you can also adjust your border, colors, and other settings. 3. Login to your Elite Admin Menu. 4. Enter Edit Mode and go to the page you want to add video to. 5. Click the ‘edit this page’ link and you will see the edit screen with the content editor. 6. Click the Source button on the right side of the content editor menu. 7. Paste the code you got from YouTube in the spot you where want your video. 8. Save your changes. You’re now ready to watch your YouTube video without leaving your website!Note: Your video does not need to be on YouTube in order to add it to your website. It simply needs to behosted on any video site, such as Yahoo Video, Vimeo, etc.Custom FormsCustomizable contact forms are not new to the real estate website industry, but it’s surprising howmany agents do not utilize them. 99% of your website visitors will not fill out a “Contact Me” form justbecause it’s on your site. You need to offer visitors something that they value and custom forms arean easy to implement strategy that offers visitors something of value while obtaining leads. And it’simportant to remember that you’re not only getting leads, you’re getting information; information thatyou can use when you follow up with these prospective clients.Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 12
  13. 13. So how do you create a customizable form that givesyou information you can leverage for convertingmore leads into clients? Forms such as a Dream HomeFinder for buyers or a CMA (Comparative MarketAnalysis) for sellers are pretty standard in real estatethese days. These are good examples of quality formsbecause they give visitors an enticing reason to fillthem out. Plus, they also give you information youcan use to provide resources that your visitor willtruly appreciate. These are just two examples of howto utilize forms on your website.Additional ideas for utilizing custom forms on your website: 1. Local market performance statistics 2. Offer to send visitors a relocation package, including local information and moving tips 3. Give visitors the option to signup for your newsletter (Don’t have a newsletter? Start one! Offer staging tips, market information, Local business gems, events, real estate news, and more!)Take these basic principles and think about other ways to use forms to get more visitors to contact you!Just remember to always make it easy for visitors to reach you – for any reason. If you don’t make it easy,you won’t be contacted. ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that Elite makes it easy to create an unlimited number of custom forms on your website? To create a custom form: 1. Login to your Admin Menu. 2. Click on Edit Mode. 3. Click on the Pages tab. 4. Click the Add a new custom form link. 5. Start creating your own questions. Choose from multiple choice, free response, and many more options. 6. Save and publish your page and you’re ready to go!Lead ConversionLead generation is critically important on any agent’s website and the prospecting methods mentionedin the previous section will definitely help. However, it’s also important to not get too focused on leadgeneration to the exclusion of all else. Getting tons leads will do NOTHING for you if you do not convertthose leads into clients (and consequently commissions!). This is why creating and implementing acomprehensive LEAD CONVERSION STRATEGY is just as vital as lead generation.Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 13
  14. 14. Relationship Management & TrackingIn 1597, Sir Francis Bacon wrote “Knowledge is power”. That statement is just as true today as it was then.When working with clients, knowledge of what a homebuyer is looking for is invaluable. Knowing whatfeatures they want, what area they’re looking in, and what their price range is gives you an impressionof what’s important to them and allows you to focus your energy on the listings that they are most likelyto want.It used to be the case that you would have totalk to a homebuyer first in order to discoverthat valuable information. However, nowtechnology allows you to immediately knowwhat a homebuyer is searching for in theMLS, meaning you can have that informationready before you actually have a conversationwith them. What does that mean? It meansyou are more efficient when dealing with new leads AND you make a better impression when you talkto them.Common situations where this information is helpful: 1. You can’t reach a homebuyer. Whenever you call, they aren’t available. Well, when you know the time of day that a homebuyer is usually searching for homes, you can customize your strategy to reach the homebuyer at a time you KNOW they are available. 2. A homebuyer has viewed the same listing repeatedly. You notice that a homebuyer has returned to your MLS Search page to view the same listing they saved a week ago. Well, you know that they are obviously interested in that specific home so you can contact them offering to setup a viewing. 3. A homebuyer is searching for very specific features. The more focused the homebuyer is, the closer they tend to be to purchasing. Offer to setup showings or send other listings that you know of that match their search criteria. That service is invaluable to a homebuyer!Several high-end IDX MLS Search tools now offer tracking information similar to what is mentionedabove. These tools are also beneficial in that they can help you track your communication with leads.The best IDX search tools offer some amount of CRM (Client Relationship Management) functionality,such as email, flagging, and custom notes. If your IDX search tool includes these features, it will morethan pay for itself due to the increase in the number of leads you can convert into commissions. ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that the ELITE Website with built-in IDXPro (ELITE Agent Pro or Office Pro packages) provide this type of tracking information?Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 14
  15. 15. To view the MLS activity of your leads: 1. Login to your Admin Menu. 2. Click the LeadTracker button. 3. To view all of your leads, click the Client Database link. Or, to view all of the activity on your MLS Search, click the Client Activity Report link.You can even email a lead directly from your Admin Menu by clicking the Email Client button on theirdetail page. Also, make sure you visit the Settings-> Email Notifications page in your Admin Menu,which is where you can control all of your notifications on when a lead registers, saves a search, etc. WithELITE’s LeadTracker™ information, you’ll always know what’s happening on your website and be able tocontact leads right away – when they’re still hot!Listing Emails9 out of 10 of your website visitors are there for one reason: to search for their new home. As wediscussed earlier, you need to provide a comprehensive MLS Search on your website and make it easyfor visitors to find it. If you don’t, they will go to a competitor’s website that does provide the listingsthey are looking for.Since we’ve already discussed the importance of a quality IDXMLS Search, let’s assume you have successfully incorporated apowerful lead generating MLS Search on your website. That’sgreat, but you can’t stop there. Now you need to convertthose leads into sales. How do you do that? Well, start withsomething that you know works… listings! After all, it’s howyou got the lead, so why wouldn’t it work? Follow-up withleads by providing them with listing update emails. Searchthe MLS and send your leads periodic emails about newlistings, updated listings, and hot buys that the homebuyermay be interested in. ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that your ELITE Website with built-in IDXPro can send email listing updates automatically? When visitors save a search onyour MLS Search page, they have the option to receive HouseTrack™ automated listing update emails. TheHouseTrack™ system automatically searches the MLS for listings that match the homebuyer’s search criteriaand sends regular email updates. All emails include your branding and link back to your website, meaningyour name stays at the top of their mind. These emails are a great way to keep your website visitors comingback to your site and they’re so easy to implement – you don’t have to do a thing!Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 15
  16. 16. Following UpThis is perhaps the most significant thing you can do to increase the number of leads you convert toclients: FOLLOW UP WITH EVERY LEAD! ASAP! If you don’t try to get in touch with your leads, they won’tbecome your clients. They will not pursue you. If you are unresponsive, homebuyers will move on tofind someone who is responsive. So always follow up with leads. The more prospects you talk to, themore business you will generate.Response time is also critical. The sooner you respond to homebuyers and sellers, the more constructiveyour conversation will be. If someone fills out a form on your website and you wait a week before yourespond to their inquiry, they may not even remember you. And if they do, it sends the message thateven if they were to become your client, you cannot provide the support they need. No one wantsto work with an agent that is too busy to even talk to them. Communication is important, and it’simportant to start off on the right foot. According to a California Association of REALTORS® survey, whenhomebuyers were asked why they were satisfied with their agent, the most common response was“always quick to respond”.4After you make initial contact with your leads, add them to a drip email campaign. You can send themmarket information, real estate news, home buying and selling tips, or anything else that is relevant.Showcase your expertise and the high level of service you offer and keep in contact with leads. You’ll besurprised how well it can pay off months down the line!Brokers & Multi-Agent OfficesIf you are a broker or a member of a real estate team, it is important to ensure that every member ofyour team presents a positive and professional image to prospects, clients, and the community. Not tomention that every member of the team should pull their own weight.Many real estate website providers offer groupdiscounts or office solutions for the entire company.However, before you choose a website for your entireoffice, do your research! Many office solutions reallyonly include a few extra broker tools over whatis provided in their single agent products. ELITEWebsites™ on the other hand, come with an officewebsite and complete websites for the individualagents in the office. The office and agent websiteswork together to make listing and lead managementeasy for the entire office and their listings. But, like anyother website product, you should do your research4 http://www.car.org/marketdata/currentresearch/homebuyer2009/Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 16
  17. 17. before purchasing! Take a Free Test Drive of ELITE Office to try it out yourself before buying, and thenshare this document with your colleagues so they have the resources required to create an outstandingwebsite of their own! ELITE Website Clients: Did you know that ELITE Office Websites come with at least 5 additional websites for individual agents in the office? The main office website includes an unlimited Agent Directory section, automated lead assignment, and can share listings with the Agent Websites. Agent Websites can be customized to fit the agent’s individual needs and include all the same great features of a regular ELITE Agent Website.To add an Agent Website to your ELITE Office Website: 1. Login to your Admin Menu. 2. Click the Agent Websites button. 3. Click the Add a new Agent Website link. 4. Enter your agent’s information. 5. Submit!Your agent now has their own website to generate new business with – and it didn’t cost you a thing!Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 17
  18. 18. ConclusionThe ideas included in the previous pages can undoubtedly help you improve your website and yourbusiness, but it’s important to keep in mind that this is just the beginning - a little time and creativityon your part can take these ideas to a whole new level! The more unique and helpful your website is,the more homebuyers and sellers will remember it, come back to it, and contact you from it – whichtranslates to more sales and commissions for you.Keep in mind that it is not necessary to implement all of the strategies listed here. Implementing justone or two key concepts can result in decisive improvements to your website, and more business! Theimportant thing to remember is you don’t need to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars tomake your website your own. Set aside about an hour a week to focus on updating your website and becreative. You’ll be surprised at the results you can get!If you are interested in the benefits that the new iHOUSE ELITE Websites™ can bring to your business,Take a Free No Obligation Test Drive. No credit card is required and it automatically expires in 14 days.And remember iHOUSEweb’s Web Marketing Consultants and Customer Support Representatives arealways here to help! iHOUSEweb, Inc. www.iHOUSEweb.com Sales sales@ihouseweb.com (866) 645-7702 Customer Service support@ihouseweb.com (866) 645-7700Copyright © 2010 iHOUSEweb, Inc. All rights reserved. 18