The 80-20 rule has taken on new meaning in real estate sales.
You’ve heard over and over again how 20% of agents serve 80% of the clients — giving 20% of the market share to the tiny 80% of realtors. Now there is an 80-20 mix between buyers.
In the year A May 2007 call to the National Association of Realtors found that 80% of people buying a home for sale now start their search online – leaving only 20% of the market for those Realtors still focused on traditional marketing methods. That’s a drastic change from 10 years ago, when web presence was considered a novelty.
With numbers like these, you’d expect even lazy agents to have a strong web presence – after all, a website is cheap and requires minimal maintenance once it’s up and running.
But it is not like that. A very informal survey of agent websites shows that less than 20 percent of realtors use their website fully. In an hour or so of browsing “homes for sale” in major US cities, I found only 2 websites that told me why I wanted to hire a particular realtor.
What did I get instead? I found site after site that offers MLS listings, information about the city, a mortgage calculator, an automated market analysis form, and perhaps a squeeze page that leads to a few buyer and seller articles.
I even had trouble finding the agent’s name on a few sites.
What does it mean to you as an overachiever? It means it’s time to make your services stand out on your website. With over 1.3 million realtors working in America, just “being there” isn’t enough. You need to reach those buyers and give them a reason to call you first.
Also, remember that sellers are looking for an agent online. Doesn’t it make sense for a seller to look for a realtor who offers good marketing? While your home tours do a great job of showcasing every detail of your listing — featuring attractive images and persuasive copy — sellers will choose you over an agent whose site shows only a dull photo and basic features.
You have special abilities and strengths. Stop and think about them. Give them respect and have the nerve to accept them.
It’s easy to believe that all agents do the same thing, so you’re no exception. But maybe it’s not true. You can prepare the most accurate market analysis in the city. You may be the only one who answers all the phone calls within an hour. You may have a special ability to acquire a certain property. You might be obsessed with looking at every beach listing in your market. You may know the exact boundary lines for each school district in your city. You can become a first-rate home photographer.
In other words, you may have specialized expertise or a level of service that you take for granted, but your buyers and sellers will find unique.
Stop being shy! Regardless of your specialty or area of expertise, get recognized. Put an attention-grabbing headline on your home page and follow it up with well-written copy that highlights the benefits of buying or selling with you.
Add a special page for buyers and one for sellers – telling each How to benefit From your skills and knowledge. Add some extra useful text and include subtle hints to call you. Your prospects are looking for a top agent who will work hard to achieve their goals. Let them know it’s you!
Then, once your website becomes people-pleasing, it will also please search engines. Since the giant referral sites dominate search for every city in the US, you should put effort into SEO: Search Engine Optimization.
You can hire an SEO company, but you can also do great things on your own. For some simple tricks, visit my ezine articles homepage and read “Increase Your Organic Search Ranking With Good Title Tags” and “Search Engine Optimization Uses Good Methods, Not Tricks.”