If you’re not using what is known as a “single-property Web site,” you’re missing one of the best tools to increase your Web traffic and convert more listing leads into signed business.
Single-property Web sites such as those offered through AgencyLogic.com and ListingDomains.com are powerful lead conversion tools. When you offer sellers a customized Web site that uses the property address as the URL (333ElmStreetAustin.com), most will sign the listing agreement on the spot. Initially, these sites were priced at about $100, but today they are about one-third that amount. When you post the URL on your sign, visitors can enter it into their cell phone and see the interior of the property without disturbing you or the sellers. These sites also have the following advantages:
1. A powerful lead conversion tool
Single-property sites help you convert more listing appointments into signed business. After the property closes, keep the URL active and allow the new buyers to post their pictures on the site. You continue to pay the hosting fees. When the property comes back on the market, the sellers are more likely to list with the agent who has been hosting their home’s Web site as opposed to their past agent who probably hasn’t been in touch.
2. I speak your language
ListingDomains.com offers a manual Spanish translation service. Having your listings translated manually rather than automatically is a wise decision. Online translation services such as those offered by Google or Babelfish often make major errors that show that you really don’t understand the language. If you opt to use one of these, always have it reviewed by a native speaker to avoid this problem.
3. Increased stickiness
To increase your stickiness (i.e. to motivate Web visitors to stay on the site longer), consider adding aerial maps, videos of the area, or other community information. More importantly, many single-property sites now post these on Google, Craigslist and Yahoo.
4. Remodel with a click of your mouse
One of the best ways to increase your stickiness on any Web site is to add the new space design tools from Obeo.com. Obeo will photograph your listing and upload the property pictures to its software. The system then generates a property floor plan that allows you or your clients to arrange the furniture long before the movers ever arrive.
If your buyers object to a room color or to the lack of hardwood floors, Obeo allows you to change the roof and exterior colors, the indoor wall colors, the flooring, as well as the color of the countertops and the type of wood used in the cabinetry. This powerful tool keeps your Web site visitors engaged while also allowing them to envision what the property would be like once they make their desired changes. More importantly, it can prevent them from making a drastic mistake.
5. Tracking helps you motivate clients to be more realistic
Of all the advantages listed above, the most important of these is the ability to track where Web traffic originates and how much Web traffic you are receiving. Obeo also tracks how many times each room is being viewed. The reason tracking is so important in today’s shifting sales environment is that it will help you to motivate your sellers to be more realistic.
At Real Estate Connect NYC last month, Verl Workman demonstrated how he persuaded all of his sellers to increase their commissions to 7 percent while also being more realistic about their prices. Since the Obeo system tracks agent and client page views separately, Workman was able to show one seller how 256 agents had viewed her listing and yet there had been no showings. Clearly, the problem was the combination of the price and the commission. When you can accurately document how much Web traffic your site is receiving, it’s much easier to persuade sellers to lower their price and/or raise the commission. Workman went back to each of his sellers, showed them the Web statistics, and every one of them opted to increase their commission to gain more attention online.
6. Convert more expired listings
When you are competing for an expired listing, prepare one of these sites ahead of time. There’s no charge until the site goes live. Show it to the sellers and ask whether their past broker used this marketing approach. If not, you’ve given the seller a concrete reason why the listing expired.
With all of these advantages, one of the smartest moves you can make for 2008 is to create a single-property Web site for every one of your listings. The cost is minimal and the benefits are substantial.
Bernice Ross, national speaker and CEO of Realestatecoach.com, is the author of “Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters” and “Who’s the Best Person to Sell My House?” Both are available online. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog at www.LuxuryClues.com.