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Many real estate professionals are overwhelmed by the need to stay on top of technology and the question of where to focus their return on investment (ROI). Areas such as branding, offline versus online marketing, advertising, generating content and various income producing activities are in constant need of a systematic plan and approach.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2016 Member Profile report, agents spent a median of $80 a year to maintain a website in 2015, down from $130 in 2014. The report further reveals, “Members typically brought in one inquiry and one percent of their business from their website.” While saving on costs may seem solely positive, real estate professionals who invest in key components of their website see a higher conversion rate and ROI. Most important in leveraging your technology is converting customers to clients once your website provides a lead.
Investing in online marketing, advertising and customer relationship management is vital. Offline marketing can also direct customers to your website, however, online is more cost efficient, making tracking ROI and target market easier. Real estate professionals truly leveraging technology in their businesses know that simply having a great website isn’t enough, especially if your market of new customers doesn’t know it exists.
The 2016 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports that for 44 percent of recent buyers, looking online for properties was their first step, while 17 percent contacted a real estate agent first. If you’re an agent that specializes in a specific location, your website is fundamental in helping you capitalize on local business. Developing a dedicated budget in your business plan for search engine optimization will cement your business’s presence among online search results, giving you a better chance to secure new buyers and raise your bottom line.
Your technology can help identify when a consumer that registers on your site frequently logs in to view property updates or save properties. Users displaying active interaction are often genuinely interested versus others who simply check in and out. The question is, how would you specifically know who’s checking unless you monitor the technology and efficiently interact as a real estate professional? Conversing directly with your clients is more effective for discovering how they’ve been responding to listings or interacting with the data provided on your website. Technology can play an important role in the equation, but it is not a one-man show.
In today’s real estate market, you have to increase your digital marketing budget if you want to have digital market share. Your website is the foundation and it should feature landing pages to your target market’s neighborhoods along with website registration options.
By resourcefully monitoring your website, you find which properties your customers view and better understand their needs. With this knowledge you can establish yourself as the source—automatically generate daily new listings for your clients, reduce the overwhelming amount of searchable homes and create a steady relationship with them.
Most Agents aren’t patient enough to go through the process or don’t want to invest in a consistent advertising budget to create targeted traffic to their website. It’s not a surprise that a high percentage of agents fail within their first five years in real estate. Leveraging technology can determine your long-term or short-term success in any business and real estate is no different.
Agents that have more referral business tend to be more passive in leveraging technology, and we all know that referral business is the best business. However, you should be constantly leveraging technology for sustainable growth and success.
Diamond Realty Brokers
Founder and CEO