Linking Up With New Real Estate Clientsby LinksManager.com/LinkPartners.com Staff © 2006, Reproduction without permission strictly prohibited.
All company and product names in this document are the property of their respective copyright and/or trademark holders.
|Select and implement links bursting with authoritative information people entering into a real estate transaction need to know.|
Which poses a question. How do you convince potential clients who don't know anything about you except for the name they see on "for sale" signs, bus benches, Yellow Page ads or a search-engine directory listing that you are expert enough to be entrusted with the responsibility for finding them a new home or business or selling their old one?
The answer to this is a two-parter.
Part One: Make sure your website address is highly prominent on your "for sale" signs, flyer boxes, open-house brochures, business cards and all your ads -- Yellow Pages, billboards, bus benches, TV, etc.
Part Two: Groom your website so that it positively reeks of competence and expertise. Select and implement links bursting with authoritative information people entering into a real estate transaction need to know. Use your website and your link partners to answer a prospective client's most important question before he or she even asks it.
Let's think about that for a minute. How would that be possible? Some prospective clients are buyers, some are sellers. Some are interested in farms, others in office towers. Some have children and need to know about local school districts, others are retirees who would rather not live within 20 blocks of a baby. How could all these diverse people have the same "most important" question?
Because, unless they have been referred by a previous client or know you personally through fraternal memberships, business associations, the country club, etc., the most important question is invariably going to be this: Does this agent know what he or she is doing?
|A website that exceeds expectations, that provides information above and beyond what a visitor expects to find, is a website that tells visitors that the operator knows what he or she is talking about.|
If you are like many agents, you tend to think of your website primarily as a vehicle to help you sell properties. Selling properties is, after all, the point of the exercise, the place where the commissions are earned. To sell properties, however, you must have listings - preferably exclusive listings. And websites play a role - probably a much greater role than many agents realize - in real estate sellers' decision-making about who to list with. The issue, as noted before, is competency, expertise, which agents really, truly know what they're doing.
A website that exceeds expectations, that provides information above and beyond what a visitor expects to find, is a website that tells visitors that the operator knows what he or she is talking about. Such a website establishes the image of its operator as a professional, the kind of expert anyone would be comfortable trusting with their transactions.
Far too many agents don't always understand the importance of linking in engineering a website that will get them on the shortlist of brokers a potential seller is considering. They think links are something to do with search-engine optimization or a way for some one in Portland, Maine to find a local agent to help them relocate to Portland, Oregon.
Which is the truth … but far from "all the truth and nothing but the truth."
Consider the often misrepresented relationship between local real estate agents and search engines for a minute. So-called search engine optimization gurus, unethical link-scam promoters, and other pontificators frequently throw around statistics like "over 75 percent of the traffic that real estate sites receive come from search engines" to peddle their particular panacea - their one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that rarely - if ever - exists. How can this problem not exist? Doesn't 75 percent of the traffic on real estate sites come via search engines? Believe it or not, it probably does. But not in the way the folks who claim you should design your site for secret search engine algorithms instead of clients would have you believe.
|The vast majority of search-engine-
generated real estate Website hits are coming via directories and portals.
What does this tell us? It tells us that the vast majority of search-engine-generated real estate Website hits are coming via directories and portals, either those specific to real estate or generic ones like SuperPages.com. To put it more brutally, it doesn't much matter how badly you twist and distort your site's message to try and influence search engines - that's not how you're getting your online-generated business. You're getting most of that business via a click-through from a third-party site which could care less whether you have incoming links from such prime real estate properties as Buckingham Palace and the White House.
That could be considered the bad news. But the good news is that this leaves you totally free to build your site and your link pages for clients and prospective clients. You can concentrate your attention on writing great "sell copy" instead of sneaking in keywords. You can put more time into establishing reciprocal content links that will give your site visitors information about financing, property taxes, zoning, schools, neighborhoods, restoration specialists, landscaping - about anything and everything they might like to know (and want to be sure their agent knows.)
|It is crucial to either provide information about your community directly on your content pages or to link to primary sources.|
When structuring your content, it is important to remember that your success depends largely on you being perceived as the expert you are. Therefore, it is crucial to either provide information about your community directly on your content pages or to link to primary sources.
If you're located in Phoenix and the subject is "landscaping" a link to a directory showcasing a bunch of contractors in Arizona isn't good enough. Instead, use LinksManager to establish direct reciprocal links with landscape and garden-supply companies throughout your working area. That's what site visitors will expect.
Stop! Didn't we define the goal as exceeding expectations? You bet. How might we do that in this example? How about categorization? Landscape links grouped by business type (suppliers, contractors, maintenance services), by style (ornamental, desert, water-themed), geography, etc. Organizing these links in categories makes them more useful, adds an extra layer of professionalism to your site and, last but not least, is almost ridiculously easy to implement when using LinksManager.
Set up similar link exchanges with as many RELEVANT local and regional businesses as possible. Each link to a mortgage company, plumber, mover, title company, truck-rental operator, painter, carpenter, and furniture and appliance dealer provides your visitors with an additional pathway to information they may need, makes your site more complete and presents an opportunity for you to gain new clients via your link on your partners' sites.
|Set up similar link exchanges with as many RELEVANT local and regional businesses as possible.|
Real estate agents' Websites -- like those of attorneys, architects, brain surgeons and other professionals -- are different from e-tail sites where products are bought and sold and transactions are both initiated and completed online. Real Estate Websites are open ended, a link in the chain that connects buyer, seller, lender, insurer, title company, accountant, attorney, escrow company and anyone else who might be involved in a given transaction.
With a bit of strategic planning, a small investment in time and effort, and intelligent use of your LinksManager account, you can ensure that your website becomes one of the strongest links in that chain.