Suffice it to say, people nowadays are crazy about information. The majority don’t reach for the dial- they reach for their mouse (or stylus). They do their due diligence. First they type your name in Google, then they find your website, and lastly they see if you have a community presence through social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. These are all pieces of the puzzle – each equally important as the last.

The key to the website debate is how you use it. If you treat your website as an online business card, you probably won’t see much return on investment from it. The folks that tweak it several times a week, and keep fine tuning it can get a steady stream of leads.

Your own website allows you to control the conversation in important ways.

One truth that will always exist in Real Estate is that you must set yourself apart from the competition. This exists online as well. You may save expenses by going with the broker supplied website but put yourself in a prospects shoes. What’s the benefit of choosing you over another agent in your office using the very same corporate resources?

Your personal website allows you the freedom to brand yourself. You can make it a direct reflection of your expertise, goals and services. This gives you credibility. Remember, buyers and sellers want to work with someone they can trust.

The #1 mistake I see Realtors make is they setup a website that provides potential clients information about them and their services – and they stop there. Today’s market is too competitive for that, you have to go beyond just displaying basic information. The right move is to make it the only resource your clients believe in.

You can take advantage of your freedom to target specific geographic areas. Fill the website with useful tidbits that only a true member of the community could know. Use your blog to demonstrate your knowledge and authority while simultaneously building an audience and trust. Educate prospects with helpful tools and content such as mortgage calculators or home buyer tips.

The truth is the world isn’t moving online, it’s already there. If you wish to stay relevant you have to effectively market in that virtual space. A personal website can be the the Grand Central Station of which all your other efforts thrive through.

Jesse Hickman

Digital Guru at Gooder Group
When he's not heads-down coding, you can find Jesse enjoying kayaking the waterways of the Shenandoah.

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