Editor’s note: In a new online chat forum called Rookie Talk, the Rookie Realtor asks for advice from colleagues. Here’s the latest snippet from the Rookie’s desk:

Rookie Realtor asked:

Many thanks for all the great feedback from you all about how to drive traffic to my new Web site. I have another question: Other than listings and biographical data, what other types of information should I put on it? What kind of information do you put on your site that generates lots of leads, or at least “hits”? Thanks!

Jim Lee, Realty Executives Associates, Knoxville, Tenn., said:

Buyers (and sellers) are looking for information relevant to them, not necessarily information about you. Put yourself in their place. You live in one city and just got word from the company you’re transferring to or you’re getting ready for retirement and are looking for a new city to move to.

First of all, these buyers want to see ALL the Realtor listings for an area, not just yours, not just your company’s, but ALL the listings. IDX (Internet data exchange) now makes that possible if your board participates.

Second, schools are a big draw. Even if a family has no kids, a home in a good school district is usually more desirable than one in a problem area. For a nominal price, you can offer free school reports for your area’s public and private schools. Buyers have to fill out a contact form with their name, phone and e-mail address to get one. That gives you the opportunity to contact them for customer follow-up and offer your services.

Third, what is there to do in your city and what’s the history? Cultural, recreational, theatre, museums, outdoor activities, etc., are good things to have on a Web site.

Fourth, buyer and seller tips are a good thing to offer. I offer a free relocation package of information to people moving to my area. That gives them a reason to contact me. I also subscribe to Eneighborhoods.com, which includes a bimonthly newsletter for clients and also the most recent home sales in their neighborhood. There are lots of things you can put here.

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A link to local weather is good, I use a link to Weather.com for my area and it’s free.

Same for Mapquest.com–it’s easier to explain where something is if you can e-mail a map.

Links to local restaurants and motels including those that allow household pets like dogs is also good. An amazing number of people bring their dogs and the occasional cat on a house-hunting trip. Go figure.

I have some links to local employment Web sites. Be the helpful guy and offer some resources to help clients find a job.

I have a link titled “Free Stuff” where potential buyers and sellers can get my free newsletter, relocation package, school reports, market analysis for their current home and some other goodies.

All these things are designed to keep people on my Web site once they get there and also give them reasons to contact me. Once they do that I can then offer my buying and selling services.

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Marc Davison, VREO Software, said:

Jim’s answer is awesome. The only other element I would add is to create a market analysis page that simply lists the low, high, medium and median cost of homes based on the last four quarters. This way buyers and sellers can gain a clear perspective of what they are facing cost-wise in that marketplace. This data will also help leverage your CMA (comparative market analysis), as it will be based on solid facts that are a click away on your site.

These facts will speak volumes about your sense of area awareness not often seen on agent’s sites. It positions you as being resourceful and perceptive to the needs of buyers and sellers. These are critical elements that accent your focus on service and do more for you as a marketing tool than any 100-word mission statement. This is the extra mile you are willing to go.

***

Got tips, ideas or advice for the Rookie Realtor? Send them to Rookie@inman.com.

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