What are your recommendations for Agent Web Sites?

Asked by Margaret Mitchell, York, ME Sat Jun 14, 2008

Hello all - I am a newly licensed Sales Agent.. Yes, indeed, isn't my timing grand! I need to set up an agent web site. I prefer not to do a custom web site right away - but wait until I have six months or more of experience. So I am looking for a good real estate agent web template. I would appreciate any do's and don'ts that you can share with me, as well as specific web site providers that you like.
Thank you in advance - I have been following Trulia for several months and find some really good insights on here.

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Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Sun Jun 15, 2008
Hi Margaret. Yes, your timing is great. The best agents arise out of a tough market. Now to your question.

Before you do anything, check with your broker or office manager to see if they have any recommendations. They should know what some good choices are. If you can't get help that way, check into Point2Agent. They offer a free standard website. You can upgrade later to their professional level site for just under $50. There's no setup fee. If you don't mind paying an initial setup fee, you may want to check into Z57. They don't have a free version, but I have found that they offer a pretty good package and they also offer free coaching focused on marketing your site. If you are looking for a site that comes with a great database manager and IDX fully integrated in one package, check into Agent Achieve. They may strike you as expensive at first, but there's no setup fee and you get a really first class database manager and awsome IDX together with your website. I just switched over from Point2 and Top Producer to Agent Achieve and I am paying less now per month than I did before for my professional Point2, Top Producer and IDX solution combined.

While it's important to have a website, the best website does not do you any good if people can't find it. My recommendation would be that you include your web address with every piece of marketing you send. You have to actively drive traffic to your site instead of waiting for someone to find it by accident (organically). Most Internet leads don't come from people who stumbled on your website through a search engine. Instead, they typed in the web address that they saw advertised somewhere. When you analyze your web traffic, you'll want to know where the visitor came from. Not everybody who contacts you from your website, is an Internet lead. If they found your website through one of your marketing pieces, they are really a lead from your marketing, not the Internet. Thus, knowing the source of your lead is crucial if you want to know what works and what does not work. Choose a web address that's easy to remember. You may want several web addresses all pointing to the same site and see which people use more. As you get established, you may even have several specialty websites that focus on only one sector of the market. For instance, if you end up selling luxury homes, you may want a site that's dedicated to only luxury homes instead of having them buried among other non-luxury homes on your site.

There are a lot of companies out there that promise to put you on the first page or the top ten of the search engine result pages and I would not spend any money on that right now. Let's face it, how many agents can be in the top 10?

Before you start generating traffic to your site, you want to make sure that your site has content that people want. It does not do you any good if they go to your site once and never return because they could not find anything there that was of interest to them. I would say, the # 1 thing people want is being able to search for properties and that's why you want to have a good IDX solution on your website. It's probably the best Internet lead generator out there. Another important thing is that you follow up your Internet leads as the best lead is useless if you don't follow up. This may sound obvious, but there are many visitors out there that complain that the agent never responded to the e-mail that they sent to them from their site.

Good luck to you.
Ute Ferdig
3 votes
Gerhard Ade, Agent, Bellevue, WA
Sun Jun 15, 2008
If you have something to say, I recommend you start a blog in place of a traditional website. It will help you to get experience with the web and give you the kind of interaction with client and prospects a traditional website does not.. Use WordPress to create your blog and content.
2 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sat Jun 14, 2008

I have several websites.....you may want to take a serious look at the Point2 site. There are a lot of whistles and bells and it cn be very affordable. good luck.
2 votes
Kathi, , Norfolk, VA
Sun Jun 15, 2008
Hi there!
i would check and see if your mls service has web sites. Ours here has 2 different levels that you can personalize. That was an affordable option for me when websites became the way to go. best of luck in your new career and your timing is perfect! if you get the opportunity check out the brian buffini program at http://www.buffiniandcompany.com! keep me posted on your sucess! kathi
1 vote
Debt Free Da…, , 85260
Sat Jun 14, 2008
If you want a site that can be found in google, a template website is fairly useless. You will need to build your own if you want organic traffic.
Web Reference:  http://getprequalified.com
1 vote
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sat Jun 14, 2008
Point2NLS is a great place to start and VERy reasonable!
Web Reference:  http://www.doreneslavitz.com
1 vote
Megan Manly, Agent, Nashville, TN
Sat Jun 14, 2008
realestatewebmasters.com, ion-e.com and webagentsolutions each have some beautiful style templates. I'd check them out!
1 vote
Margaret Mit…, Agent, York, ME
Sun Jun 15, 2008
Thank you for all your suggestions. I am looking at all of them now. I am trying to get up and running with a template web site initially. I will make a bigger investment in my web site when I have a bit of experience, since my web needs may change between here and there. So your suggestions are useful both for now and down the road a bit. Thanks again.
0 votes
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