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Yucaipa Real…,  in 92399

Is the time invested in building a quality real estate website worth the potential return?

Asked by Yucaipa Real Estate, 92399 Sun Feb 24, 2008

Building a real estate site takes a large investment of time, effort and energy. I've spent the past 6 months building up http://www.yucaipahomesource.com, but is it worth to investment?

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Hello Yucaipa,

Having a nice looking, user friendly website is great useful. However, don't expect it to generate loads of quality leads. Standard real estate websites simply provide a page to drive our perspective clients and leads to. It should be connected with an IDX so that these prospects can search the MLS direclty through your site. You can typically set up a nice looking, operational website fairly inexpensively. And some brokerages even offer a website when you hang your license with them.

Here's the real skinny... There's been a lot of buzz surrounding the effectiveness of a real estate blog in gaining market recognition and generating leads. If you don't know what a blog is (I don't mean to insult your internet savvy-ness in any way), it is a web log of your own periodic posts, the more often you post quality content the better. And quality content can be FUN non-real estate related as well. After you have a well established blog (a lot of consecutive posts) it will organically come up in google searches much higher than traditional websites. Why?? Because of the depth of verbage in the postings and the constant additions to the site (makes the site look very recent, which search engines apparently love).

I would suggest doing some research in setting up a blog. These are some example real estate blogs that I was told to check out when I was investigating:

http://www.realestatesizzle.com
http://www.sandiegoh.com
http://www.portorangejuice.com

Also http://www.realestatetomato.com is a great resource. They can totally set up a blog for you but its expensive. They do give a lot of free info on their website though.

I hope this helps... happy blogging!
Tara
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2008
I'm not sure how anyone can really operate effectively in the business any longer without a decent website. Worse yet, a very large percentage of agents don't have a website at all, and don't even write anything on their own profile page provided by their brokerage. This leaves a huge opportunity for agents with good sites. And with over 85% of buyers, and a large percentage of sellers, using the Internet to shop for properties - and agents - it is kind of a no-brainer to have a website of some sort.

As far as investing $5,000-$10,000 for a great site, you will stand out from most every other agent because of the quality if it is done right....but choose your designer carefully. We've had lots of different websites over the years that are very effective, and the best thing you can do is to do real estate searches in different parts of the country to see what sites you like the best. Then contact some of the companies at the bottom of those sites, because they are the ones who designed them. You can generally look through their portfolios online, and give them a call to talk over their costs.

The real estate business hasn't really changed that much overall: buyers and sellers still like to deal with individuals instead of companies, and having and individual site is critical in this day and age.
Web Reference: http://www.Lakehomes.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
Yucaipa,

It call comes down to marketing, lead generating and conversion ratio. Having been in the business for a few years, I could tell you that those key elements are what made my website succesful and worth the money spent. Beware that you can begin to just "Throw" money at your site. Throwing money at your site is not always the answer, driving traffic, providing good information and converting the lead into a sale is what really counts. If you spend $5000.00 on a website and you convert 1 lead worth 3% commission on a 300K home, you have almost doubled your investment. The trick is how to get to that point without breaking the bank.

We all know Real Estate is a numbers game and that is what your site comes down to. I would personally focus on a smaller number of quality leads as opposed to a huge number of junk leads. I have had experience with both and the junk leads are usually a waste of time.
Good Luck,

http://www.C21Infinity.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
The best way to determine if your web site is worth the work you have spent the last six months is detrmined by the results. This has to do mainly with how many responses you have received from the public and how many leads have resulted in potential clients and of course INCOME.
You also have to continue improving your web site and make changes according to the changing market trends. As long as you have results you must keep working on it. Continue making research of what is avaiable and adapt to your client needs, you will definitely succeed on your objectives.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Whatever website you create you want one that is content rich so that the visitor finds a reason to use the site and continue to return.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
MVP'08
Contact
In today's market, the homebuying process begins online. Why wouldn't a real estate professional want a web presence?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
Yes, yes, yes.If you are a real estate professional,you must have your own website,period.All the people who have answered this question telling you that you have to pay thousands of dollars to create a website have no clue. You can build a fantastic website for under $500.00 dollars! How? Go to http://www.alamode.com, look at the websites that they offer, and you will be amazed .Use my name as a referral and you will receive $50.00 dollar s off your purchase.Feel free to take a look at my website that I created for $450.00 dollars.It is fantastic,great results, but I must tell you that it takes alot of work and alot of marketing for your website domain.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
Only you know how much business actually came from the site.
I will talk about this from the perspective of a new Agent- use the least expensive site available and drive the public, Just Mets, your Sphere of Influence and anyone else seeing your marketing, to the site and provide valuable resources for Buyers coming into town, Vendors that you recommend and worthwhile information about the area.
If you are a mid-level producing Agent, it is time to use one of the many web services that specialize in raising your ranking and that you "pay-per-click" to get potential Clients. Monitor the source of business over a 6 month period to decide whether or not to continue using that perticular web-service. Don't throw any more money at a website and never track the success, than you would toss it out the window as you drive down the road!
If you are at a stage in your business- $6M or above, consider leveraging your business with hiring a Webmaster to raise your ranking and utilize their other webdesign talents, as a valueble member of your Team. The more talent you hire, the greater the potential to break through your current ceiling.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2008
Yes! Yes! Yes! In today's real estate market conditions, a web site is worth every dollar that you spend.You need to have many listins,great content,easy navigation and links for consumers to follow.I have been the leader in web sites in my office for the last year,and it has paid off,again and again.I must say,a realtor without a web site is like a fish out of water!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
I have two different websites. One that I put together on my own with my godaddy account, you can get a free site that has those annoying ads on top of the page or pay a small charge to get one that doesn't. I have another website on e-neighborhoods that I get quite a bit of exposure from. They both have templates, but I like the E-Neighborhoods more. You pick what you like, customize what you would like but they put it all out there for you. It's not very expensive, and I like it because I have control of the site without being too much on my own. I also have a mls search of my office listings, and they can contact me for more if they would like. So far I have only one good lead from my site, which I have because I pay for google adworks as a sponsered link. I get quite a few hits, and I've had over 200,000 impressions since March and it's not too bad on the pocket. I was considering phasing out the adworks until this weekend when I was having an open house; this woman walks in and says I look familiar and she couldn't recall from where. Right before she left she told me she remembered, she had visited my website when she googled local realtors. I know it's definately getting my name and face out there, so for now I am very content with the local exposure my site gets me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 21, 2008
Free websites can be great... if you update them regularly. That is the key. Even the most expensive and best designed website is worthless if the information is not current. In your marketing materials drive as much traffic to your website as possible. Offer teaser articles that "for more information" they can visit your site for additional details. Also, make sure your web content is ACTUALLY HELPFUL to a buyer or seller. Although it is fine to have information about you... what they really want is about them and meeting their needs through education and information. Process, tips, and "what is happening in the market" are the most sought after topics of surfers out there browsing. Keep them coming back with updated content. Also, make sure the website isn't too busy or confusing... this is a common complaint among surfers. Limiting your website to 15 or so tabs requires you to stop and think what is most important to put within those tabs. Turn your website into a profitable feature. It validates you and offers credibility as an agent in todays market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Thank you all for answering! It's good to see I'm moving in the right direction. Ironically, I found an even more economical answer through alamode, they offer their basic 20 page site without ANY CHARGE. I haven't even paid a dime for it yet, which is pretty sweet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2008
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