As the old cliché says, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Research tells us that close to 85% of buyers and sellers in today’s market use the Internet to find both information and Realtors. If that’s the case, you should be treating it like an electronic business card. Here are five self-test questions that will help you decide if your web site is doing its job.
- Is the look consistent with your overall image?
- Is the content current?
- Is the content useful rather than self-serving?
- Is your writing professional?
- Is your contact information complete and accurate?
Is the look consistent with your overall image?
The format, color scheme, and overall design of your business card may be dictated by your company. If that’s the case, keep your web site similar in its look and feel. Repetition leads to recognition, and you want to be recognized. The web site doesn’t have to be identical, but if your company’s colors are blue and white, your web site should not be black and beige. You can express your own personality without sacrificing corporate identity.
Is the content current?
There’s nothing worse, from a client’s point of view, than reading through a page of information and then discovering that it was written in 2007. You can’t afford to look stagnant. If you’re talking about current mortgage interest rates, you should update them weekly (or provide a link to a site where that information is available and current). If you’re talking about recent sales in your particular market, use statistics from last month, not last year.
Is the content useful rather than self-serving?
Sure, having an “About Me” page is fine. You want clients to get a feel for your personality. You want to publicize your specialties, your background and experience. However, the client (whether a buyer or a seller) wants information first. Give them useful market data and then invite them to get acquainted. It’s fine to have a featured listing on your home page, but don’t make listings and sales the focal point. Instead, provide interesting insights into your local environment, links to available resources, and fun facts.
Is your writing professional?
Perhaps grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation are not your strong suit. You are not alone. However, nothing will destroy your credibility faster than clumsy sentences, misspelled words, and long, rambling paragraphs. To keep your writing sharp, get coaching from an expert or use our library of professionally written blog posts designed especially for Realtors.
Is your contact information complete and accurate?
This looks easy, but a simple mistake here can cost you plenty. Your website should have a “Contact Me” link in the home page menu bar. On that page, you should have:
- Your name
- Applicable professional designations (ABR, CPS, CPM etc.)
- Street address (with link to map)
- Office telephone
- Office fax
- Cell phone
- Email address
- A professional (not snapshot) photograph
- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other links if you use them
You don’t need to be a techno-geek to have a credible, attractive web site. Follow our simple suggestions and your electronic business card will put your best face forward. The good news is that a good web site, unlike a traditional business card, is working for you 24/7. Isn’t that worth a few minutes of your time to do it right?