The point of marketing is to create a perception

4. Continuity is Key

Continuity of message and your look is an important element in building a personal brand. Here’s an exercise to help determine if you’ve achieved continuity in your marketing. Just play along and imagine this scenario for a second: Let’s say a homeowner logs on to your personal web site, but for the purposes of this experiment, your name is concealed from their view. Would they recognize you simply from the aesthetic design of your site? If not, that’s a big problem. weblogright It’s very important that all of your marketing efforts provide a consistent look and feel, regardless of the medium. That means that anything and everything you do – direct mail, fliers, handouts AND your web site – should have a consistent, instantly recognizable look.

In the simplest terms, the point of marketing is to create a perception in people’s minds that makes you memorable to them. So if that’s your goal, it only makes sense to help make yourself memorable by having a consistent look across everything you do. This seems like an obvious point, but we’re continually amazed at how many agents tend to underestimate the importance of continuity across all of their personal marketing efforts. Too many agents opt for the “cheapie” one-size-fits-all, template site. In doing so, they might save a few pennies up front, but they are costing themselves thousands of dollars in potential lost opportunity. If your site doesn’t match the look of your other marketing activities, it’s time to make a change.

5. Converting Visitors into Leads

It’s a fairly impressive accomplishment just to get a prospective client to visit your web site. But just visiting your site isn’t the reason you have a web site. It’s all about converting those visitors into leads, and far too many of the sites we see don’t give the visitor ample opportunities to do so.

The best real estate web sites include what the industry calls “stickiness.” Stickiness is all about giving the visitor a reason to come back to your site or to bookmark it for repeated visits in the future. To achieve stickiness, you need to be providing valuable content to the reader. The key to doing this is to step outside your view and put yourself in the prospective home buyer or seller’s shoes. You need to think like your customers. You need to provide market-specific information. You need to ask yourself what questions people are asking you, and then offer that information on your web site.

It’s also essential that you have a system and technology in place to compel visitors to sign up and give you their information. From special report offers to periodic market update requests and more, effective lead-capture tactics are essential to making your web site a strong business generator. If you don’t have them, you’re falling behind the pace.

Even once you have a way of capturing people’s information, the game is not over. At that point, it becomes essential that you have a foolproof follow-up system to keep in touch these prospective clients. The key is to maintain a consistent, but not overbearing presence in their lives. After initial contact and lead qualification, a maintenance follow-up of one to two emails a month is a good plan.

6. Keep It Simple

Far too many agent sites seem to be based on the belief that “more is always better.” You’ve seen ’em – the sites that are a dizzying array of useless links and widgets that make your eyes glaze over as soon as the home page loads. On the other hand, the best sites are those with simple, clean navigation that deliver content people actually want and provides value.

If your site is packed full of miscellaneous links and flashing buttons, it’s time to tone it down and create an easy-to-navigate site that puts the emphasis where it belongs – on conveying your personal brand and delivering valuable, relevant content to your visitors.

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