Why the shift to Real Estate
Love of community and small business
Getting into web design stemmed from my passion for small business and working for yourself. Learning about other people’s goals, strategies, and how they plan to serve their community with their new business is something I have always found fascinating. This is also something that many real estate agents surely relate to as they work toward being the go-to professional and community expert in the local market they serve.
Doing extensive research and discovering exactly how I can help agents fill the gap between where they are and where they want to be in their market today has centered around one question; How can I help agents provide more value to the people in their community?
A need I can fill for real estate agents
Real estate agents face an increasingly competitive market for people looking to buy or sell a home online. Do a quick search for homes for sale in your area and you’ll see that the vast majority of search results displayed are from huge websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, etc. Agents trying to compete for broad keywords like “homes for sale” or “find a home” have found a huge decrease in organic traffic to their websites over the past several years.
Websites like Zillow have dumped millions of dollars, spent years of hard work, and made it their goal (with great success) to dominate the first page of search results for these highly valued keywords. Then they have created a system to “sell” these leads back to local agents in some form or another.
How are agents suppose to compete without the resources of these big players?
Answer: By shifting their focus and providing great, hyperlocal content.
Websites like Zillow rank the highest on Google because Google deems them of the highest value (according to many factors) to people searching for a home. It’s that simple. Google’s primary goal is to bring people the search results that are most likely going to provide what the visitor is looking for. This is where we need to shift our focus from trying to outrank multi-million dollar businesses to creating value where we have the advantage. In our neighborhood.
No one knows our communities like us.
My mission with the real estate websites I build is to provide agents with a powerful and straightforward platform where they can easily create more and more value over time through hyperlocal content and becoming the go-to resource for people living in the community, visitors to the neighborhood, and Google.
Once an agent achieves the goal of having a website that provides incredible local content, they will have a growing stream of organic leads that they own. Not to mention this will start creating the trust and establishing the authority they want in order to create relationships with people in their communities before, during, and after the home-buying process.
My experience and advantages
My experience with custom post types in WordPress, custom fields, custom post relationships, and directory style features has put me in a unique position to be able to provide agents with such a platform. Coupled with my partnership with Showcase IDX and their state-of-the-art IDX integration, agents no longer have to worry about sending leads to their competitors and literally paying for those leads back one at a time. This is their website. Their content. Their traffic. Their leads.
Incomparable with other options for agents
The position I found myself in along with my experience in helping local businesses rank locally has presented an opportunity for real estate agents that can’t be ignored. Especially when you consider the traditional options that agents have with being forced to choose between A) A subsite off of their broker which offers little to no flexibility in creating a truly hyper-local resource. B) Pay way too much for a do-it-yourself system with an ugly IDX interface and getting stuck with a company that provides poor customer support.
It has always been my goal to give business owners the ability to own their website built with tools and resources that won’t cause more problems than they solve.
A huge advantage for real estate agents
One phrase I’ve stuck to for years is “don’t underestimate the value of providing value”. After all, our businesses hinge on the one question of whether or not we are providing enough value. The benefits of value can come in many forms such as the actual business we get from customers, the increase in trust and authority in our circle, and the stronger network we can create with the businesses around us.
The real estate websites I provide are built on three pillars of “value”:
- Get the best IDX integration available
No matter how great of content a real estate agent creates for their website, the site needs to be able to convert the traffic it generates into leads. When a homebuyer is ready to find a home and they find themself on the agent’s site, it’s essential the website has the modern & user-friendly tools available for the visitor to actually find the home. Otherwise, the agent is forced to refer the visitor to another site where the lead may or may not end up back with the agent that worked so hard establishing trust with the visitor, to begin with.
The agent is the one that provided valuable community resources and information in the first place. They shouldn’t let the final stage in the sales process ultimately result in leading the visitor elsewhere.
However, staying true to my commitment to only use quality tools and services, finding an IDX provider that checked all of the boxes that I required wasn’t easy. That’s when I landed on Showcase IDX. And I’m am happy to call myself a certified partner today.
I won’t go into too much detail about exactly what they have to offer here. I’ll save that for a later post. (There’s just too much for this one!) But just to give you an idea of who they are, they offer the only home search integration that consumers consistently choose over Zillow according to The Made in America Movement, built-in lead generation, and support that is incomparable with other solutions for agent websites. I encourage you to check them out if you want to learn more about what Showcase IDX has to offer.
- Quickly and easily build incredible local content
Another advantage of the websites I create is the ability to quickly and easily add valuable and useful content. Focus Pages (or community/niche/landing pages) allow agents to compete with big players like Zillow on search engines by highlighting their expertise and offering more value and information in their community than what’s currently available.
The whole idea behind these Focus Pages is to give the agent an easy way to create special pages that focus on part of the agent’s market and that works towards ranking high on search engines because of the incredible content they offer. The goal of these highly valuable pages is to ultimately bring a stream of fresh, organic, and FREE traffic that turns into trusting clients that look to the agent as a true professional in their field and helps secure relationships with them before and after the home buying/selling process.
- Access to exceptional customer support and quality tools/services
The final main component of my services is to continue with the same level of quality services and customer support that I’ve been providing to my business owner clients for years. This includes the same standalone WP platform, WP Engine hosting, SSL, modern & mobile website design, and ongoing maintenance for each real estate website I create.
A dedication to real estate will also give me the ability to continually add valuable features for each of my client’s websites and provide more focused and specialized support for them to reach their goals.
What changes for current and future local business clients?
Nothing will change with the current level of services and support that my local business clients are receiving today. And, though I’ll be focusing on real estate websites going forward, I will still be taking other projects when possible. I encourage my current clients or new business owners interested in my services to contact me if they have any questions!
I couldn’t be more excited to see the positive impact I can make for real estate agents and their marketing efforts in the future. A more focused approach in my expertise will allow me to make more real-life improvements for my clients and I look forward to the relationships I will create with them going forward!
Let me know if I can answer any questions or address any concerns!
But for now, I have websites to build!