Why Realtors Can't Seem to Turn Profit from the Net

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It seems that every realtor I run across has horrible war stories of their attempts at establishing themselves on the Internet. Realtors shelling out thousands of dollars on websites that "might be doing something" or "look pretty" is par for the course. The way one conducts themselves on the Net should be no different than any other aspect of their business. You should have concrete metrics on how your website is working for you. One should know how many sales they make as a result of their website and should do everything in their power to keep their percentage of leads from the Internet growing above the industry average.

There are five main reasons why realtors on the whole, have not profited in any great numbers from the Internet. I'm not saying there isn't a few Realtors out there making a killing. But they either have figured out what I'm going to tell you or they are so popular that they could just show up and sell a house. Here are the 5 main reasons why Realtors cannot turn a profit on the NET.

1. Web designers don't understand Real Estate

Just because someone claims to be a web designer, it doesn't mean they are in a capacity to reinvent the way you do business. If you happen to choose your local mom and pop web design firm to build your site, don't expect the sky to open up and money to start pouring down the information super highway. It just doesn't happen. Same goes true from the $100 DIY template special, it doesn't work. If you really want to see some actual results, you need to hire a company that specializes in Real Estate Technology. Usually this route is more expensive, but will turn exponentially hire profits.

Always check at least three references before taking the next step with any company. Also make sure they provide the following services in house. If they don't provide these services, or farm it out, your website will either be ineffective or overly expensive.

• IDX Integration • Customer Relationship Management

• Search Engine Optimization • Pay Per Click Management

2. Realtors don't get enough leads to take it seriously

The majority of Realtors don't get more then 1 - 5 Internet leads per month. The numbers just don't warrant, in the Realtors mind, more effort to be speedy and efficient with the leads they get. In other words, many Realtors take their time when responding to emails and inquiries either because they are too busy or feel they have more important things to do. If they had reason to see the value in the Internet, anyone with a pulse would put more effort into becoming more tech-savvy and treat an email the same as a phone call. N.A.R. said the average response time to an email inquiry is three days! If it took my Realtor 3 days to call me back he/she would no longer be my Realtor. Why should it be any different over the net?

3. Tech-savvy Realtors have enough knowledge to get themselves in trouble

The more tech-savvy Realtors tend to be the most unlikely to hand over the reigns and let a professional handle their web presence. Most of these Realtors tend to try and build their web sites themselves. If you have enough time to be on the cutting edge of real estate technology, your website isn't giving you enough leads, and thus you must not be as close to the edge as you think. If you are a Realtor, be a Realtor, don't moonlight as a web designer your clients deserve better. No one can be the best at everything, the key to success is proper delegation of responsibilities.

4. Realtors want short term gratification forsaking long term profitability

Over 80% of Internet leads are looking at least four months into the future. Thus you must have some system for retaining these long term leads. From experience the best way to do this is some type of daily or weekly email notification when new properties become available. It gives your clients what they want and keeps your brand in front of their eyes. If you are just getting emails and phone numbers contacting them once and tossing it aside, you are missing out on over 80% of the profit you could be making.

5. 99% of websites are missing at least of one piece of the puzzle

There are four pieces to a successful website. If you are missing any one of the four, your website will not be as productive as it should.

1.Targeted Traffic- Make sure you use both on line and off line advertising to bring as many unique visitors to your site as possible. PPC advertising, signs, fliers, TV etc.

2. High Sign-Up Rate - Your website should capture visitors information, no exceptions. Furthermore, make sure your website is capitalizing on the traffic it is getting. It should have at least a 10% sign up rate, that is you should get 10 leads per every 100 visitors to your site, anything less is throwing money out the door and losing leads to your competitors.

3. Customer Management Tools - Make sure you can communicate with the leads you are getting. If there isn't a tool in place to organize your leads, Murphy's Law will take over and the majority will get lost or underutilized.

4. Accountability - You should act as a team with the Broker as the captain. A lead shouldn't be allowed to sit five days without action. An email should have a maximum 24 hour response time. You need to put in place a series of rules and regulations to bring order to the otherwise chaotic world of the Internet.

Don't be another statistic. Don't pay $4000 for your glorified business card. Find yourself a professional that understands technology, but more importantly understands real estate. If you do you will be far ahead of the game.

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Justin Tracy