Even in today’s foundering market, Real Estate is still a lucrative business, and one that’s well suited for the Internet. But it’s not enough to simply throw up a free blog and expect buyers and sellers to come rushing to your site. If you want to make money buying and selling Real Estate online, you’ll need a good website and a lot of quality, informative content.
Get a Professionally Designed Website: More and more people use the Internet to find the information they’re looking for. Very few people pick up the Yellow Pages to find anything any more. When someone wants to buy or sell a home, the first thing they’re going to do is turn to the Internet and land on your website.
When you’re asking someone to buy a home or trust you to market their home for them, you’re asking them to trust you with a very large investment. A well designed website will help establish your credibility. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression!
Make Sure Your Site is Optimized for the Search Engines: You might have all the best information, dozens of photos and even a video tour of each property on your site. But if your site isn’t optimized for the search engines, no one will ever see it. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must for every Internet business owner, but even more so for a Real Estate website. It’s important that your listings appear in the local search indexes so you’re found by those people who live locally and want to buy or sell a home in your area. And it’s also important that you appear in global searches for those who might be considering moving to your city.
Provide Plenty of Information: The most important aspect of your site is the information you provide. Home buyers want to know what schools are in the area, what shopping is nearby, is it close to the business district, what type of entertainment is in the area, and anything else you can think to tell them about the city or area. They also want to know all about the home – how old is it, how many square feet, how old is the roof, how many bedrooms, how many baths, and on and on… You can never provide too much information for a home buyer. In fact, no matter how much information you provide, they’re always going to want more!
Sellers, too, need to know things like how can they save money on home inspections and what do they have to do about taxes, who’s responsible for fixing the fireplace and who pays the Real Estate fees.
Think about including things like maps of the area, a listing of shopping or attractions with hours of operation, a listing of churches, schools, libraries and other community services. Provide check lists of what to look for when you’re looking for a new home, what to provide if you’re selling a home, tips on how to move across town or out of state, how to transfer prescriptions and school records.
The more information you include on your website the more credible and authoritative you’ll appear to potential clients. And each article you include will be one more place for your site on the search indexes. Buyers and sellers will probably still have questions, but they’ll be much more apt to ask YOU those questions, instead of someone else, if they can see that you know what you’re talking about.
Generate a Mailing List: One thing that Real Estate agents did way back before the Internet was to make sure they got every name and address they could and add it to their mailing list. A mailing list is still an important piece of business, but now you need to generate an email mailing list.
If you’re set up your site properly and paid proper attention to SEO, then nearly every person who visits your site is interested in Real Estate in your area for some reason. The problem is, most of those visitors are going to need personal attention from you before they’ll become your client. Very few people make a Real Estate decision online the very first time they see the information. So you’ll need their contact information so you can give them that attention.
The easiest way to get their email address is to offer your visitors something in exchange. Offer them a free download map of the area that shows all the special attractions or offer them a free listing of houses that have been reduced in price. Offer them something valuable, that they won’t anywhere else, and you’ll have them signing up for your email right away. Everyone wants something for free.
Once you have that email address, don’t be afraid to use it. Send potential buyers your newest listings and let potential sellers know you have buyers looking for properties. If you’ve set up a nice site with lots of information, the you have everything you need to make money buying and selling Real Estate online, and you can make a very good living at it, too.