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Do I really need a website? Are my prospects interested in my online presence? Is there a benefit to having a personal website? These are questions often asked by real estate agents looking to get into the digital marketing world. We compiled a list of reasons why it can be very beneficial to have a valuable online presence through a personal website.

1. Homebuyers and sellers are judging their agents before ever meeting them

What do we do these days when our best friend or our kid start dating someone new? Well, we Google them. We want to know their criminal records, their personality, reputation, occupation, etc. We hope not to find anything negative against this new date, but the worst would be to look up  their name with no search results – what do they have to hide?  The same happens with homebuyers or sellers and their new real estate agent. They need to know their agent is competent, has a good track record, has good reviews, and knows what they’re doing. When the agent’s name is searched, what shows up? Is it a clean professional website with past sales, an updated profile picture, helpful blogs, and contact information, or do the results return empty? The website does not have to have all the bells and whistles, but it should at least be thought of as an online business card.

2. 80% of all home buyers are searching online

It is no secret that today’s society is heavily reliant on technology. Neither is it a surprise that 80% of home buyers are starting with an online search. Not only that, but statistics show that over 31% of millenials will be looking to purchase a home in the next two years. This means that 80% will only be growing with younger generations entering the scene. Because of this, we need to make sure we and our listings can be easily found online.

3. Websites centralize your network

With having accounts for Zillow, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, brokers websites, blogs, etc. strewn about the internet, it is paramount to have one central access point for these outlets for future clients to access. It is much more comprehensive when these resources are all on one central page. As the name implies, a website acts like a spider web. Immagine your website at the very center with social media, videos, blogs, and pictures branching out from the middle. Not only can those links all be found on one central location now, but they can all point towards the website as a funnel for lead capture.

4. Websites automatically capture leads

How many times have we heard “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? In marketing the worst decision we could make would be to put all our hope in a single method of lead generation.  Agents should have multiple methods of lead generation set in place, particularly focusing on the most effective with the least amount of effort. After all, why would we chase after leads when we could be passively bringing them to us. To accomplish this, we suggest a broad approach to digital marketing. Simply having an MLS on our website gives home buyers a tool to use us as their agent. Having valuable blog content on our website will show people we have expertise. Posting property videos on our site can boost sales rates. A website is a multifaceted tool that lend toward multiple lead generation methods. Because of its versatility, a website should be the foundation on an online presence. If your website acts as a one-stop-shop for leads, they won’t want to look elsewhere.

5. A great way to brand yourself

“I don’t need a personal website because my broker provides my information on their website.” Sadly, this is how some agents think. Because information is on Zillow, a broker’s website, Facebook, or listings are posted on an MLS, a personal website is unnecessary. However, the very individualistic nature of a Realtor’s job makes personal branding a necessity. What makes YOU stand out. Why should I sell or buy with YOU as an individual. These are questions that are best answered on a website with information, videos, posts, pictures, only of YOU. This is where you as an agent can brand yourself, not brand Zillow, not Facebook, not your brokerage, but you as an individual agent.

What are your thoughts?

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