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Industry, Education

July 7, 2018

Billboards in the Middle of Nowhere

Searching through my archive, I found our Technology Book catch the title of this chapter. We made sure it was a pretty well-known slogan.

Chapter 11: Websites are Billboards in the Middle of Nowhere

Once your e-mail marketing plan is in place, you will want to take the next step and decide how the World Wide Web will help you achieve your overall internet marketing objectives. The WWW is the graphical part of the internet with easy to use, “point and click” navigation.
Using a website for Marketing, Publishing, Service and Support

An internet presence is made up of an e-mail presence and a web presence and, just as your domain is the foundation of your e-mail presence (You@YourName dot com), your domain is the center of your web presence as well. The address of your website, the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) should contain your domain (Your Name dot com). Your domain host (remember, there are 3 types of Internet hosts…domain host, e-mail host, web host) will “point” your domain to your website, no matter who your web host might be.

Keep in mind that websites are billboards in the middle of nowhere and this must be an ever-present consideration as you contemplate the purchase of a website. Since the commercialization of the browser in the early 1990’s, real estate professionals have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on websites nobody visits. You must have a website strategy in addition to having a website. Having a website with no website strategy is like throwing your money into a bottomless pit.

Many real estate professionals are searching for that magic website that comes up in the "Top Ten" of search engines, and brings them more local and out of area referral business than they can handle. That magic website does not exist. A successful website requires a well thought-out, consistent application (based on a criterion such as budget and audience) of internet marketing strategies (both e-mail and the web) over a relatively long period of time. Having a web strategy will help yield the best results from a website as you work to get the most return from the money you allocate to internet marketing.

What is your web strategy? For many real estate professionals, the answer is to buy another website, acquire a clever URL, pay someone to get the site ranked in certain search engines and then hope the leads will come rolling in. The real estate professionals who employ this strategy will end up looking like Rip Van Winkle before they can live on the commissions generated from such a plan.

The better strategy and the one that will have a greater likelihood of success begins with research into the objectives, tools and mindset of the target audience; coupled with a review of websites of other successful real estate professionals. After conducting this research, you will be better able to make an informed decision about what your site should be, what it should cost and how much you can realistically expect to gain from allocating marketing dollars to this endeavor.

Developing Your Website

In many cases, a consumer's first exposure to you, your services and your abilities, is your website. Your website is YOU to the visitor. It is their first impression of you, and like the saying goes: "You only have one opportunity to make a good first impression."
Your website is a publishing vehicle and must include information about you, your company, property listings, and specific information about the community in which you work.

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