6 Ways to Succeed in the Online Real Estate Market

Are you taking full advantage of the internet in your marketing strategy?

The ultimate goal of online marketing is the same as your offline goal—to get a face-to-face meeting with your prospective client. Nowadays, with twenty million people looking for homes on the internet, it becomes an important place to meet new clients and build relationships with your current clients. Here are six tips to help you maximize the effectiveness of your online presence:

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1. Make a good first impression. As a real estate agent, you already know how important first impressions are. You dress professionally, drive a nice car and encourage your home sellers to keep their properties in showcase shape. To make a good impression online, create a branded destination website. Make your practice different from other agents on the web by developing your own tagline (also known as the “unique selling proposition”). Reinforce this position with a logo and website design using coordinated graphics. Then feature the services you provide. Visitors need to get to know you and trust you as the person behind the website.

2. Focus on the needs of your clients. Provide them with a wealth of information. Give them helpful advice about buying or selling a home and the loan process. Tell them about your community, including its neighborhoods, schools and events. Share contact information about your favorite lenders, service providers and business partners. Feature maps and a dream home finder. Your knowledge will make them feel good about selecting you as an agent.

3. Get the best results with an integrated online and offline marketing strategy. Put your website address every place your phone number appears—from your business cards and letterhead to your "for sale" signs. With an integrated strategy, every direct mail letter or postcard, print ad, open house, book and article, sign and email serves two purposes—generating leads and driving visitors to your website.

4. Keep your clients for life. Loyal clients not only mean repeat business for you—they also make referrals. Best of all, a referral from a past client is a slam dunk. Your referral sources are worth their weight in gold. Stay in touch with your clients and show them you understand their interests with an e-newsletter that focuses on a home ownership.

5. Start and finish by cultivating a permission-based high quality database of email addresses. Ask your past clients and sphere of influence contacts for their emails. Send out a mailing announcing your new free newsletter, explain the benefits and ask them if they want to receive the latest edition.

6. Begin by thinking from the end. Your e-strategy should not only fit into your marketing and business plans, but it should also be part of your exit strategy. If you use your own name as your brand, when you go to retire you will no longer be compensated for all of the hard work you put into creating it. A brand other than your name can be sold. As you build your business, make sure its assets are valuable to a future buyer. Think about what building a top notch e-practice can do for your future.

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Consider This

90% of homebuyers use the internet as a source of information

77% of homebuyers who used the internet drove by or viewed a home they saw online

36% of buyers found their home online

25% of FSBOs used the internet to sell their homes

Source: realtor.org