Yesterday I posted the first half of the post version of a webinar I gave for a group of real estate agents. Today, here’s the other half.
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.
Reason # 9: YouTube
What’s the number one search engine? Google you say? That’s right.
So what’s the number two? YouTube! Did you know that?
If you are doing any sort of video (and you should), chances are those videos are on YouTube. We can get great SEO from our videos if we do it right (that’s blog fodder for another time) but we can also use the videos to drive traffic back to your website. One of the easiest ways is to write a post for each video and then add that link to the first line in the video description. You could also use YouTube Annotations or Cards to achieve the same thing.
How do you do that? Write the post, shoot the video, publish the video, embed the video in your post and then publish your post. Now take that permalink and go back and edit your video description. That’s a little back and forth but easy once you get the hang of it. Why not use it to drive people back to your site?
Reason #10: Themes
A theme changes the way your site looks. There are thousands of free themes available in the WordPress Directory. With a click you add any of them to your site. Each of these themes is reviewed by a really smart team of WordPress volunteers before it get’s there so you know it’ll work. There’s also a very active industry out there of theme makers that charge for themes. Beware though. Some of these are poorly written and not checked by those smart volunteers I mentioned that work for WordPress.
There are good premium themes out there and they are worth the money. I use a framework called Genesis and custom built child themes that exceed industry standards for all my client sites.
Here’s a link to the WordPress Theme Directory.
Reason #11: Plugins
While a theme generally changes the way your site looks, a plugin can add some cool features and elements to your site. Plugins are like little programs you add to your site and can do things like…
- Reduce spam comments (akismet)
- Create contact forms
- Provide better security
- Help you write better SEO
- Create better image galleries and slideshows
Currently there are almost 40,000 plugins in the WordPress Directory. Like themes each have been vetted and reviewed before they got there. There are also premium plugins you can buy – and just like themes, buyer beware.
Reason #12: IDX
Want to bring the MLS into your site? It’s pretty simple with WordPress. While I’ve seen some sites that use an iframe to do this, the better way to do it is with a 3rd party IDX solution. There are plenty of them out there and I have my favorites but use the one that works best for you.
With a 3rd party IDX you can set up custom searches and custom displays. For instance, on your community pages you could show the latest properties based on days on market. This would change anytime there was a new property that hit the MLS in that neighborhood – and do so automatically.
You could also setup lead capture within your IDX. Example: search for three properties and make them register. That kind of thing.
Your local MLS might only allow you to iframe a search into your site but a third party IDX solution takes the same data and does incredible things with it. A while ago I wrote a page, entitled, “Real Estate IDX Options“
Reason #13: Custom Post Types
With every WordPress install you can create two different kinds of content, posts and pages. Pages are for things that are more permanent in nature (contact us, about us, how much is my home worth, and communities) while posts are meant for things more timely. This would be things like articles about “great places to watch the fireworks”, “how to make a winning offer” and so on.
But what if you wanted to create content that was different than that? Things like Testimonials, FAQ, Listings, and Past Solds? They don’t neatly fit into the two options you get with WordPress. Luckily for you WordPress allows you to create Custom Post Types. I use CPT’s for my FAQ section, and my Clients section (portfolio).
Note: CPT may be a little more advanced to setup for the average person.
Reason #14: Library of Content
We’ve all had someone ask us a question to which we’ve written a Pulitzer prize worthy email to answer. A week later a different client asks the same question. Go back and find your answer, cut and paste, rinse, lather, repeat… There has to be a better way, right?
The better way would be to write the answer once, as a blog post. When the next person asks the same question you can send them a link to the post. The more you write the greater your library will become.
Two additional benefits:
1. If one person asks a question, many many more will also have wondered the same. Google will point their query to the answers it finds best fit – and that might just be your site!
2. You’ll be showcasing your knowledge and expertise. Even if people don’t respond, they’ll see that you really know what you are talking about.
Reason #15: Mobile Responsive
We live in a mobile world. More and more people will be visiting your site on their mobile device. How does it look? Do they have to pinch and zoom or does the site make it easy by rearranging elements and navigation so it’s easier to use with my big fingers?
Most new themes are now Mobile Responsive. Every site I build these days is as well. You don’t need a ‘mobile website’ with WordPress, the theme will recognize the size of the screen and make those adjustments automatically.
Additionally, Google said it was going to take sites out of it’s results that were not mobile friendly. You can make sure your site meets their test HERE.
Reason #16: Lead Capture
I wanted to save this one till the end because it’s always the one thing that every one wants.
“Will it get me leads?”
“Can I capture their email address and phone numbers?“
Here’s the thing. Nobody wants to just give up their email address or phone number willingly. They will, but you have to give them something worthy in return. It’s a two way street.
Here’s a few of the better ways I’ve seen to get them to offer up their contact information.
- Create an ebook (Example: 101 tips to sell your home in today’s market) and give it away. To get it they need to provide their name, email, address and phone. You could do the same thing for the buyers.
- Use your IDX to limit the amount of times they can search or pull up a property detail. Typically your IDX will create a nice popup asking them to register.
- Don’t forget about your newsletter. Technically I like to think of it as a ‘lead incubator’. For me I set it up to ask for only their email address but you could require most anything you like.
- I’ve built a site where the agent had compiled a list of every kind of person a homeowner might need. Contractors, handymen, gardeners, plumbers – you name it. To get her list all you had to do was fill out the simple form.
Reason #: Pride in Ownership
It’s something you preach every day to your first time buyers. And just like in real estate, there’s a sense of pride in ownership that comes from owning your own site. First of all you’ll have your own domain name. You’ll also have an email address based on that domain name. No more JoeSmith23@AOL.com – you’ll look professional with Joe@JoeSellsHomes.com, right?
Ok, so how’s that for 17 reasons you need Home Base and it should be on WordPress? Are you ready for one last Call to Action?