Today, more and more people turn to the internet when looking to buy or sell a home.
In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, about 51% of home buyers found the home they purchased online.
So what does this tell you as realtors? It means that you need to adapt your marketing strategy to this rising trend by building and maintaining an online presence for your real estate services.
Usually, the brokerage you partner with will offer you a page on their website to build your profile. Besides, you may rely on third-party sites like Zillow, Facebook, and LinkedIn to add your profile and testimonials.
But that’s not enough. Staying competitive in today’s real estate world goes beyond single-page profiles on sites you don’t own.
A better approach is to have your own custom website—a personal one that you fully control and manage.
But you may find yourself wondering, “Why do I need to have my own website?” Well, here are 5 important reasons you should.
1. Boost exposure and generate quality leads
Referrals and repeat businesses are great. But, having your own website and optimizing it for search engines can bring far better exposure for your real estate services. It can as well generate quality leads on autopilot.
Why? Because anytime prospects search online for real estate agents, your own site can come up in the search results.
And when they eventually land on your site, you can capture their contact details via a form for further marketing. On the contrary, this may not be the case if you rely on a single-page profile on your company’s website for this purpose.
That’s because your brokerage site is far more likely to come up in the search results for real estate services than your single-page profile.
This means you’ll be competing with several other agents working with the brokerage for a chance to get the lead.
2. Own a Piece of Real Estate on the World Wide Web
Isn’t there an irony in selling people the need to own homes while you rent space on sites you don’t have complete control over? Why not give yourself a unique piece of real estate on the world wide web that you fully control and manage.
Relying on single-page profiles on third-party platforms for your online presence puts your real estate business at the mercy of external influences beyond your control.
For instance, your activity on social platforms could violate a policy, be it unknowingly, leading to a suspension or total ban of your account. What will happen to your business while you appeal, assuming you can.
Chances of these happening may not seem likely to you at the moment. But cybercriminals can also influence account bans, and people who’ve fallen victim now know better.
Of course, this is not to say you can’t have online profiles on social channels or platforms like Zillow as part of your marketing strategy. But your own custom website will serve as the core of your presence on the internet, where your other profiles on social pages, local directories, and brokerage sites all link to.
3. Establish a strong online presence
People search online whenever they’re looking to know more about a person, product, or service. Besides, they’ve come to expect businesses that claim legitimacy to have an online presence. That’s why the lack of a strong online presence is one reason why agents may end up losing referrals.
When prospects look you up, they expect to get some evidence that you’re who you say you are. With your very own personalized website, you present yourself as a true professional with real expertise in your field.
You may think you don’t need the added expense of having your own custom website. After all, your broker has already provided a section on their site for your use.
However, this puts you at a disadvantage. Think of your broker site like a home rental.
Whatever marketing you do still benefits the brokerage/the umbrella brand you’re working under and builds their identity instead of your own. It’s like making renovations and updates to a home that you’re renting.
So what happens when you eventually switch or leave your current brokerage firm for greener pastures? It’s simple. Your single-page profile will be removed, and you’d have to start again from scratch
However, your own custom website and your leads stay with you regardless of who you choose to work with.
Know what’s working and do more of it
Having your own personal website helps you avoid guesswork and running your business blindly. But how so? Because a look into your website analytics can generate the necessary insights you need to improve your business process and efficiency. It also helps you to understand your clients’ needs and how to serve them better.
Say, for instance, your site analytics shows that a particular channel seems to generate the most traffic. You now have an idea of where to focus and scale your efforts to grow your business.
Also, site analytics can tell you which particular page of your site gets the most visitors. This shows what people are looking to know more about, so you can continue to develop relevant and helpful content around that topic.
However, you may have limited access to data on your brokerage’s website for you to generate insights and make smart business decisions.
4. Position yourself as the go-to expert
Getting real estate clients today goes beyond providing basic information about yourself and your services on some corporate websites. People would rather do business with an expert they like, trust, and respect.
Since buying a house or selling one is a big investment for most people, they’ll want to know more to inform their decision. You can provide relevant and helpful content that guides them throughout the buying and selling process.
For instance, you can take note of questions prospective home buyers and sellers commonly ask you and provide answers to those questions on your site. Providing helpful solutions helps you gain trust quickly with your prospective clients.
So when they’re finally ready to take the next step, they know who to call – and that is you.
Also, you can add functionalities and resources on your sites like buyers checklist, mortgage calculator, access to MLS listings, FAQs, and community guide. All this goes a long way in establishing you as the go-to resource and true expert for real estate services.
5. Be unique and stand out
Getting great business results means you need to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
However, having a profile page on your broker’s website, as with multiple agents, makes it harder for you to stand out by default. What’s to stop your prospects from choosing to work with any of your colleagues instead?
We all have unique or relatable sides to our personalities with which we can connect with clients on a deeper level. Your very own personalized website is a place where you shine through your personality.
On your website’s about section, you can share your experience, passion, and core values. You can even share images of you doing fun things or anything interesting about yourself that makes you more human and relatable.
6. Give yourself an edge
The bottom line is having your own custom website is a small investment that will give you an edge in the real estate marketplace. It’s something you fully own, manage, and have complete control over.
And more importantly, you can build a strong online presence, establish your personal brand, market yourself effectively, and get better business results with your site.
At ShiftWeb, we are always ready to help. Contact us today and we will help you boost your online presence by offering web design services. You can as well send a proposal with details about your business.