Over the past ten years, the Internet has changed the way people buy houses and the way real estate agents and brokers do business. The Internet makes it easy for home buyers to quickly sort through the listings of available properties in their local area and provide them with a combination of written information, photos, and virtual tours. Large national real estate firms such as Realtor.com and ReMax operate websites that provide access to real estate listings across the country.
A consumer in the market for a new home can quickly search for available properties, 24 hours a day from the comfort of their own home. Potential buyers no longer have to contact a real estate agent to view local homes that meet the buyers’ situation. Today, with a simple online search, home buyers can easily find real estate listings that meet their needs. In most situations, home buyers can obtain listing details, view photographs of the home, and in some cases take a virtual tour online before contacting a real estate agent to arrange a viewing.
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, in 2007 nearly 84% of all home buyers used the Web while searching for real estate. This figure has practically doubled since 2001 and is considerably higher than the 2% of all home buyers who used the Internet in 1995. More important is the fact that almost 82% of these buyers used a real estate agent to complete their purchase.
These numbers show how necessary it is for real estate agents and brokers to be visible online. If the prospective home buyer finds a property of interest to them online, it is important that they can quickly contact the listing agent through the same page or through the agent’s website.
One of the largest online real estate resources is Realtor.com, this website is operated by the National Association of Realtors. Realtor.com offers more than two million real estate listings. One of the features that Realtor.com offers is the ability to provide contact information and a website link for publicly traded agents. Realtor.com is an excellent example of how the Internet can be used as a well-formatted marketing and product presentation tool.
Online marketing for real estate agents
In today’s market, it is necessary for every real estate agent or broker to have a personal website that, at a minimum, provides the prospective client with the agents’ contact information. More sophisticated Internet sites can often be easily configured to provide supplemental listing information and images of available properties. Each website should include the agent’s phone numbers, office address, and email address. Remember, the key to any successful real estate website is making it easy for the home buyer to communicate with the real estate agent.
Another prominent way to promote any real estate business is a blog. Blog is short for “weblogs” and is one of the most efficient online marketing tools. A blog allows you to discuss your local market or specific listings, as well as provide a method to promote yourself and share your thoughts on the real estate industry.
Social networking sites or Web 2.0 are the latest online marketing phenomenon to emerge in many areas of business today. Online social media is rapidly gaining popularity within the real estate industry.
So what is social media?
Online social networks are an Internet-based community that allows people with similar interests to discuss, contact, and interact with each other. Members of these social networks can message other members, chat, post videos, share files, and post to blogs. Some of the most popular social networking sites include Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Real Estate Voices, and Zolve.
Hosting your website
Regardless of the marketing methods you plan to use, you should have a professional and informative website that connects the buyer and the real estate agent. It is important for a real estate agent to consider the following when selecting a web hosting company.
What type of website are you planning to develop? Are you planning a simple brochure site that only provides information, or one that offers virtual listings and tours or a blog? If you plan to offer clients virtual tours of your property listings, you should select a web host that understands the technology behind “virtual tours” and offers web hosting plans that provide the features and bandwidth that allows them. be included on the website.
When considering any web hosting company, the first thing to consider is where you want your online business to be in the future. Look at things like, how much traffic do you expect? How many sites do you plan to build? What type of server software will you use? Do you need a dedicated IP address? Once you have established your needs, you can start looking for web hosting companies.
Generally, a successful real estate website will also provide potential buyers with more information about a property than is available through the national MLS listing. The real estate agent’s website should be comprehensive, friendly, and offer clients as many options as possible.