Point of View: Is Your Web Site an Expense or an Investment?
Whether you already have a web site, or you’re just in the “thinking about it stage,” the ultimate success of your site depends on whether you view it as an expense or an investment. Here’s why that makes a difference.
If you see your web site as an expense, you’ll probably cringe every time you have to pay the hosting fee, pay a designer for an upgrade, or pay a professional copywriter to create the sparkling copy that will turn your visitors into fans and clients.
However, if you see your web site as an investment, then you can take the long view, painlessly put together a budget, outline the results you want to achieve, and develop a clear plan for creating the site that will deliver your message. Here are your guiding principles for getting from here to there.
Principle #1: You are a Realtor, not a web designer. You need a web site tailored specifically for a real estate professional, which you can customize with your own unique touches. In short, you need to invest in a sleek, high profile web site that is easy to get up and running, simple to maintain, and cost effective. Sound too good to be true? Not necessarily.
Principle #2: It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Whatever amount you decide to invest, you need to focus on your ROI (Return on Investment). Accept the fact that your phone won’t start ringing with calls from prospective clients the moment your website goes live. “If you build it, they will come” does not apply. So we’ll move on to:
Principle #3: Promotion gets attention. This starts with publicizing your web site address in every piece of written communication you send out. It belongs in your signature block on every email. It is visible on every ad, on your business card, in your Tweets and Facebook posts. When you can, link to and from other sites of mutual interest, such as mortgage brokers, developers, contractors, appraisers—any service provider that can benefit your clients.
Principle #4: Freshness keeps them coming back. Your web site should be updated weekly. That means, at the very least, creating a “breaking news” space near the top of your home page where you post information about current mortgage rates, market trends, neighborhood happenings, (think hyperlocal content), price reductions, and new listings – and no you don’t have to name it that. A blog that provides how-to tips for both buyers and sellers can be a great draw. Remember, your clients don’t know what you know—that’s why they hired you. And of course, every time you do a major update, you’ll promote it. (See #3, above.)
Still doubtful? Feeling out of your depth? Check out our Winning Agent Pro Special Offer. It’s our customized web site package designed specifically for Realtors and only for Realtors. It will get you started down the right path and we’ll be there for you, every step of the way, from domain registration to final launch. We’ll even create copy, if that’s not your thing.
So look to the future. A year from now, two years from now, use this checklist to see if you’ve invested in yourself, and done it successfully:
- Your web site is a key piece of your overall marketing strategy.
- You’re showing up near the top in major search engines.
- You use Google Analytics or a comparable metrics analysis to keep up with trends and track your effectiveness.
- You’re promoting changes to your site regularly with email blasts and frequent use of social media.
- Your clients find something of value every time they visit your site.
Here’s the bottom line. An expense represents a product you’ve bought and paid for. Now you own it. But it provides no ongoing benefit and will probably even lose value after a time. Your copy machine or tablet are good examples.
On the other hand, an investment is resource that you spend money on which then provides you with a measurable return. Let’s say, for example, that you spend $500 to create and launch your site. If it brings you one new client, it’s pretty much paid for itself.
If your website brings you one new client, it’s pretty much paid for itself.
– Winning Agent
So depending on your point of view, your web site can be either an investment or an expense. You just need to answer this simple question: does your site make money for you? Savvy Realtors know that their money should work for them, not the other way around.