Differentiating yourself from the competition on listing appointments can be a challenging proposition. If you want to make your services stand out from the crowd plus convert the buyers of your listings into future clients, a “third-level domain Web site” is a powerful way to capture more listings in 2005

Every time you go on a listing appointment, one of the challenges you face is determining what to include on your marketing plan. Should you promise to hold a property open every Sunday? Will you place a special ad in the local paper every week? How will you target market the property to potential buyers? What is required to capture the attention of the brokerage community? Will you post the listing to Realtor.com and if you do, will you use multiple pictures or a virtual tour? As agents grow more sophisticated in marketing their properties on the Web, standing out from the competition becomes more difficult.

Recently, many top producers have been using “third-level domain Web sites” as a way to motivate sellers to list with them. A third-level domain site is a separate Web site using the property address as the URL. For example, if you are listing 123 Main Street in Smithville, you can register 123MainStreetSmithville.com with Network Solutions. Prior to going on a listing appointment, take digital pictures of the property, write up a short description, and post it as a separate link on your Web site. In addition to your normal sign rider, prepare a separate sign rider with the Web address listed on it. When buyers see the sign rider, it is easy for them to remember how to locate the property on the Web. Better yet, if you own the URL and stay in contact with the new buyers, there is a high probability they will elect to use your services when they are ready to list.

If setting up seller Web sites is not one of your strengths, an excellent alternative is using a company called AgencyLogic.com. For a flat fee, AgencyLogic.com will register the seller’s Web address for you. They also have a number of template Web sites already prepared. All you need to do is upload the pictures, type in a property description, and you can have a brochure and a Web site ready to use in just minutes. In addition to the information you provide, the seller’s Web site will have information about local schools, a map to the property, a mortgage calculator, and in some areas, a floor plan.

During your listing presentation, show the sellers how their new Web site will look. Walk them through the features including how the mapping function helps buyers easily find the property. The fact that you already have a Web site prepared with their address as the URL impresses most sellers. It also creates the impression that you are an organized, sophisticated Web marketer.

Jerry Rossi of RossiSpeaks.com shared his experience using this powerful approach. On a recent listing appointment, the sellers were ready to list with another agent. After seeing the digital pictures of their property, the information about local schools, the mapping function, the property brochure, and a floor plan, the sellers’ response was:

“This is so far above the others, we’re using you!”

They cancelled the other appointments they had and listed the property at a full commission.

After the property closes, you can retain the URL or give it as a gift to the new homeowner. This allows the buyers to show their friends and family their new home. They can upload additional pictures of the property, their children, or of anything else. Buyers often like this service so well they will elect to use the former listing agent rather than working with the agent who sold them the property.

Linking the seller’s site to your main site drives more traffic to your Web site. More traffic translates into better placement on the search engines. Better search engine placement means more listings, more referrals and more money your pocket!

(Special thanks to Jerry Rossi of www.RossiSpeaks.com for the marketing tips in today’s column.)

Bernice Ross is an owner of Realestatecoach.com and can be reached at bernice@realestatecoach.com.

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