Monday, November 07, 2005

Why it is critical for real estate agents to use the internet.

The internet has become a very powerful tool for marketing a business and to not be on the internet would just not make sense from any business or marketing perspective. However I still run into those who do not want to have anything to do with the internet. I can't help to wonder why... Most of those who I talk to which feel this way, say that they are doing fine without a website or internet presence and don't see a need for a real estate website.

At the same time I will see the same agents spend most their marketing dollars on advertising or marketing materials that are expensive and provide even less of a value. What can I say to convince these people to see it the way of many others to see how the internet could help them in marketing their business online? Not only by having a real estate website, but by utilizing e-mail marketing and similar tools. Well I suppose there will always be those who will never change or "get it", but once you look at the cost of owning a website and the cost of using e-mail marketing as opposed to many other types of marketing currently used by agents, you will see a significant difference in cost and results.

In most cases it is cheaper and easier to start a business online then physically having a business, overhead and advertising is generally a lower cost and allows you to reach a much broader market. Starting several businesses online myself I have too been very successful making money purely online with no print advertising. I am not saying not to use print advertising, I am only saying that it could be done and an agent could be very successful if done right. In the real estate market a combination of the two would provide the best results, by using a real estate website to compliment your ad in most cases be the primary focus of an advertisement.

As the internet continues to grow it will be a requirement to have a real estate website or you will be considered... well out. Remember when cell phones were not "standard"? Well if a real estate agent does not have a mobile phone they may be considered to be hard to reach or behind the times. I know I would not want to have to rely on my agent being in the office when I call. In addition I EXPECT my real estate agent to have a real estate web site. It could be for a reason as simple as obtaining their phone number or contact info from my work computer, or seeing my home being advertised in one additional place, whatever the reason, a website is something every agent should have, even if it just sits there online.

Obviously I would recommend doing more with a real estate website, then let it sit, but the point is the need for a real estate website. While a website could provide new leads, it will also add a value to existing clients, save time; expand marketing efforts and much more all for a very low cost. For example a full functioning website through LinkURealty costs as low as $29.99/mo. with no setup fees, besides the cost of a domain name, which is $7-$25/yr. depending where you buy it. Basically $1 a day for 24/7/365 exposure. Does every agent have a budget for a website? If not they should.

Can you think of a reason why a real estate agent would not need a real estate website?
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