Here we go again with another EPIC blog post… 😉
I am presenting a webinar for a group of real estate agents today and I thought I would share the same content with you as I did with them.
Here’s why every agent needs to OWN their own website
and why it should be on WordPress.
Like any of my presentations in real life, my webinars have very little text on the screen so embedding a slideshare won’t do any good. Most of the pictures below are from my actual slides.
The Setup: Why WordPress? Isn’t that a Blog? What the heck is a Blog?
Hopefully you already know what a blog is but I covered a few of the main items like…
- You don’t have to blog.
- Every blog is a website but not every website is a blog.
- You don’t have to have comments if you don’t like.
Ok, but why WordPress?
I explain it with just one slide. I’ve written about it before.
Ok, so let’s get on to the point. Here’s my 17 Reasons you need a HOME BASE and why it should be on WordPress.
Reason #1: Google
There’s a few reasons why every business needs to have a website. It might be because you want an online ‘brochure’, or it might be a place to disseminate information to your existing customers. For most though, it’s the possibility of attracting new customers, new business.
Typically that happens by word of mouth and social sharing, or by Search Results.
Search Results come in two flavors, paid and organic. Paid means you are running an Adwords campaign so that your site shows up for certain keywords or phrases. Organic refers to SEO (search Engine Optimization) and that means that your site naturally ranks for those keywords. People (like us) usually blow by the paid results and go right for the first page of organic. Organic also is free. You can’t pay your way to the top of the organic search results.
Proper SEO is hard to come by but a properly built WordPress site is an excellent way to get started.
Reason #2: Portability
Let’s face it. No matter how attached you are to your brokerage and it’s brand, some day something might change and you’ll be switching. It happens every day. Owning your own website means you’ll have to change the brokerage logo and address and that’s about it. I won’t even go into the argument of owning vs renting. 😉
Reason #3: Ease of Distribution
Once you have the content on your site (as in a published post or page) you’ll have a permalink (a unique URL) that goes directly to that page or post. This means you can easily share your content on other social media networks. When you do people who see it will be driven back directly to your site and that post or page. I’ve written previously about the three responsibilities of a blogger Content Creation, Distribution, and Response. Here’s an old video on how to Distribute your posts and why.
Reason #4: Community
Real estate is all about selling the lifestyle and a major part of that is being a part of the community. This might be strange but remember back in the early days when you had a weather widget on your sidebar? Why did you have that? Were you trying to share a little of what it was like in that community? Obviously today you can do so much more.
Most real estate sites I build have pages dedicated to neighborhoods or cities depending on the agent. Each of these pages might have detailed information about schools, amenities and even current listings within that area.
Want to take it a step further? (this is more of a giant leap). I manage a real estate site for an Agent and we’ve commissioned 10+ (non real estate) authors to write daily on a variety of topics. Their posts might be about a new restaurant, a local fundraiser, a new high school principal, or most anything having to do with the community. The site is currently one of the most trafficked sites in the area! You can’t buy that kind of exposure, you have to earn it.
Reason #5: Facebook
This is part of your distribution plan but it’s so much more. The average person in FB has 130 friends.
When you create a post on your site and then share that post in Facebook it can be to your Profile, your Page, or even into different Groups. The content you share will be seen by your sphere and possibly shared by others. For every person that shares your post you’ll be reaching a new and different 130 people. 130 times 130 equals 16,900. Quality content can go viral pretty quickly.
For every person that clicks on that to read the story you have a unique opportunity to earn a new business relationship. These might not be friends but rather friends of friends of friends. These are people you had no hope of reaching before. Facebook has power!
Bonus: I’ll tie this in with the community example above. Each of those community posts are shared to the Facebook Page. The result? A real estate agent’s Facebook page with 21,000+ Fans! How many fans do you have?
Reason #6: Calls to Action
Driving people to your site is one thing, hoping they take the action you want is another.
WordPress makes it easy to add proper Calls to Action on your site. What might a CTA be? Search for Homes is an easy one. How Much is My Home Worth? is probably the most popular. Schedule a Buyer’s Consultation might be another. Effective CTA’s are a science but the general idea is that while you have them there, capitalize on it while you can.
Speaking of Calls to Action…
Reason #7: Landing Pages
Rule number one of running an advertising campaign is to never ever send them to your home page. Always send them to a targeted landing page (or squeeze page) that specifically answers their questions or sets them up to get more information (with lead capture). Most themes these days have a template in them to do just that.
Reason #8: The Newsletter
Very similar to the Call to Action above, driving people to your site is one thing, hoping they return is another. One of my favorite Calls to Action is asking them to “Sign up for my Newsletter“.
I think of it as a lead incubator. They are interested but not yet ready for a call to action. The newsletter will keep you top of mind until that time when they are ready.
Getting their email is easy. But what happens next?
You’ll need to send them a newsletter on a regular basis. When you do you’ll be supplying them with useful information while continuing to remain top of mind. Technically speaking this is a drip campaign. That’s the good part. The problem is generating the newsletter in the first place! Am I right?
WordPress automatically creates something called an RSS Feed. That stands for “real simple syndication’ but you don’t need to know that.
With my clients I set up an email newsletter campaign with a 3rd party mailer that pulls from that RSS feed and creates a colorful newsletter AUTOMATICALLY. That’s the magic part. If it didn’t happen automatically, you’d never get around to doing it, right? Wonder what might that look like? Click on the sample newsletter to see. That was all done automatically!