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Why Every Agent Needs Their Own Website
C. Marshall (Chris) Smith, Updated September 20, 2019
The NAR reports that 93% of buyers start their home search on the internet. Having your own internet presence allows current and future clients to connect directly with you and to confirm that you are the right realtor for them.
You're thinking "Yeah but I have a company subdomain site or homes.com site that my broker gives me for FREE."
These sites do nothing to help you build YOUR brand and are typically filled with duplicated content changing out only the agent name, bio, picture and listings with the rest of the site being identical to all other agents' sites in your company. These sites do nothing to help you with search engine visibility and can even hurt you. For more on that see my post "Is Google punishing you for your real estate blog?"
Your domain name is important too. You will want it to either reflect your name, your niche, your geo-targeted area or a combination. Examples:
- delraymike.com - Delray Beach specialist Michael Weiss
- sassyrealestate.com - Realtor Sassy Putrino
- chrissellsboca.com - Realtor Chris specializing in Boca Raton
In order to set yourself apart from the competition you need a unique and compelling site - not just another "me too" site. Use your site to position yourself as a local expert with useful and unique content on the communities you specialize in and targeted towards your niche buyers and sellers.
Expand this focus with targeted keyword blogging to build trust and demonstrate your expertise. Unique content, specialized community pages and targeted blogging all make your website a resource for your clients - giving them a reason to use your site for their home search needs and to use you as their agent.
Don't forget to pay special attention to your About page. This is your opportunity to let your personality and professionalism shine while clearly identifying your strengths, memberships, awards and past accomplishments. You will also want to provide "social" proof to your visitors from your past clients. Curate and post your best reviews on your site. Include the source - Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, Zillow, Realtor.com, website or letter. You can include a separate Reviews page or include reviews on your about page, home page, buying and selling pages as appropriate.
Set your site up correctly and you will find that you may even outrank your company's website on key search terms. Pair your new site up with single property websites for your listings and your properties may appear on page 1 of search engines. We recommend an address specific customized single property for all listings above $500,000 depending on market). Not only can you get great SEO results for searches for the property address, the dedicated site is a great reason for sellers to list with you.
Your site is your 24/7 marketing machine. With a customized WordPress site that you own your brand becomes portable. If you go out on your own or change companies, it is easy to update a site that you own and control instead of starting over. We have had clients change firms and have rebranded their sites the same day.
Mobile first design is critical. 73% of all online real estate searches come from a mobile device - tablet or phone. In addition, Google punishes sites that are not mobile friendly in its search results. For these reasons it is critical that your website be ful-functioned, easy to use and attractive, especially on a smartphone.
A note to brokers and company owners: Agents with their own domains and sites can only help your agency attract more listings and sell more homes. Better performing agents are the lifeblood of your company. Linking from your site to your individual agents' sites and having their sites link to the main company site send authority signals to Google and everyone wins.
This is an update to an article originally published on LinkedIn on August 20, 2015.
"As a new agent I was leary of investing in my own website. I shouldn't have been. As a direct result of my website, which you built, I very quickly signed 5 separate listing agreements from home sellers impressed by the website (and two of them are under contract already). The website was the best investment I ever made for my current real estate business. "
— Michael Weiss
"As a Realtor looking to grow my business, I interviewed a number of web developers. C. Marshall Smith and Hypesites was the only one who discussed the business end of real estate and offered suggestions about the best way to market myself, improve my online presence, and thus promote and grow my business. Chris has extensive knowledge of the Real Estate market and knows how to achieve the results I was looking for. My website is functional, informative, and beautiful,. He is patient, and accessible. He knows how to cross-promote to get the best online results possible. He’s a patient trainer, and shares his knowledge and ideas willingly. I couldn't ask for a better person and company to hire for this project. Thank you Chris!"
— Stacey Halio
"I was happy to find C. Marshall Smith. I own a mortgage, realty, and property management company, and couldn't find anyone who was able to get their head around designing a website that did justice to all three of the things we do into one, cohesive website that looked great, and portrayed each business with a separate, stand alone web page. I also didn't want a bunch of drop down boxes that took the visitor off the page he/she was on; I wanted all of the information on the web page, and he found an inventive way of doing that too. He "got" me, and my vision. It looks beautiful, and he did it at a reasonable price, too. Thanks, Chris!!!"
— Chuck Tebbetts
"I have had the pleasure of working with Chris in co-servicing Sotheby's International Realty clients. Chris has unrivaled knowledge of both Marketing and Technology spaces, and is able to sew this knowledge together to create amazing solutions. Working with Chris has been an absolute pleasure, and with his guidance, we have enjoyed success in the real estate technology. I would recommend working with Chris to anyone!"
— Chet Schmid
Tools for Success
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