Archives

The Need for Leads by Kim Hadley, Imaginations Everything

 by Kim Hadley

www.imaginationseverything.com

No one has to tell you that getting qualified leads is essential to any real estate practice. Since you already know that, I won’t go into all the reason that you need leads. What I will do is make suggestions on how to use your site to get qualified leads. 

First a dose of reality. Not everyone who visits your site finds it informative and initiates contact will be converted to a client. Probably not even half, a quarter or an eighth.  That’s the way it is in real estate whether your lead comes from the web or a human referral. However, despite the fact that your percentage of client conversion may seem to be low, consider it from the standpoint of commission earnings. 

If you only get two conversions from 1000 leads a month, a mere .002%, that still equals a very nice commission. Naturally the more leads you get, the more chances you have to convert them to clients.  There are those that will argue quality vs. quantity as far as leads go. Each may have a legitimate argument but the fact remains that being a successful sales agent also means playing the odds.  

This means that you want to get a large quantity of leads and then filter out the quality ones to concentrate on converting.

Converting them to clients will be up to you and your skills, but getting a large quantity to convert will come from your website.  Another consideration is prospective clients who may just have begun to consider buying a home but are not quite ready. People like this, whether they be walk-ins or have made an appointment are usually considered the bane of a realtor’s existence.  They have you drive them around all day, looking at houses all over town then say, “Thanks, we’re just looking”. Now the realtor has wasted the day and despite their best efforts at converting them, these same people may decide to use another realtor when they are finally ready to buy. 

A friend of mine is planning to move to Kentucky in two years and she’s already visiting websites of realtors in that area, looking at houses and trying to learn about the different neighborhoods.  She likes one site so much that she constantly visits it and because of the information listed on it, she’s considering buying land there now that she can build on later instead of waiting two years to move and then purchase a home.

This is one of the beauties of lead generation from the Internet.

People can browse houses online and then come back to you when they are ready without you ever having to leave the office. The trick is to make them come back to you.  Three ways to do this is by the use of email links, freebies, newsletters and information request forms.

Site Goals and Positioning by Kim Hadley, Imaginations Everything

by Kim Hadley

www.imaginationseverything.com

One of the main purposes of optimizing your website is to improve its position in the search engine rankings and thus on the search results page. While I encourage you to employ the various techniques to achieve this, it’s important not to over emphasize your website’s position.

It won’t help you to have your site returned at the top of the search engine pages if your site is not attractive to viewer’s, doesn’t provide the information they need or is difficult to navigate. It is important to drive traffic to your site, to be sure, but it’s only 10% of the battle. The biggest part of the battle is keeping them there, offering them the information they are looking for, and then encouraging them to communicate with you.

This is why before you start worrying about getting your site to the top of the search result page; you need to make sure its worthy of that position.

The Information Highway by Kim Hadley, Imaginations Everything

 by Kim Hadley

www.imaginationseverything.com

The Internet is called the information highway and in order to travel it effectively, you will need to gather some information yourself. The best place to start is at the website that you already have in place. Look at your website from the standpoint of your prospective clients.
    
Another important piece of information is finding out what your competitors are doing. Go onto the web and type in various keywords and phrases that prospective clients may use to find real estate in your area and see whose site pops up. We will delve further into competitor snooping techniques in later blog posts.

Gathering information is only one piece of the puzzle. Your site needs to give information to the viewers and it needs to be the information that they are looking for, not just useless fluff.

There are many ways to make your site more informative and do so in such a way that will cast you as an expert in your field. Two such ways are by posting articles and blogs.

These informative tools contribute to your site and finding sources to post about will be important to your online success. You will need to surf the Internet for e-publications that discuss real estate trends.

This will give you a constant source of fresh topics for both your articles and your blogs. Having a site with fresh and informative information is not only important in establishing a quality site, but it’s important from a search engine perspective.

The Importance of a User Friendly Website by Kim Hadley, Imaginations Everything

by Kim Hadley

www.imaginationseverything.com

Chances are you posted a picture of yourself that reflects you as the friendly confident person that you are and right alongside your picture is your company’s name and logo. That’s all fine, since certainly you want your site’s viewers to feel confident in your abilities, however in today’s society a lot more is going to be needed to convert your viewers to clients.

A) Analyze Your Site

One of the first steps to building an effective site is a careful analysis of your existing web site or the implementation of a new one if you don’t have one already.

On one hand having a site in place allows you the ability to figuratively take it apart and examine each aspect of it to determine its overall performance on the Internet. This is a good thing because you already have much of the systems in place and just need to clean them up, add fresh content and remove the stale ones.

On the other hand, building a site from scratch allows you to do it properly the first time around. This way you can build it using all of the SEO techniques, and lead generating understanding to build a site that works for you right away.

When viewing your existing site, take the following into consideration:

  • Is it informative? If not, what’s missing?
  • Is it easy to navigate the site or would prospects have a difficult time trying to find what they need?
  • Is it a cookie cutter website, meaning does it look like everyone else’s?
  • If yes, what can you do to personalize it?
  • If you were a person who was looking to find a home in your area, can you find all the information that you need on your site?
  • How well does the content reflect your company and how much is it contributing to the efforts in realizing your goals?
  • Does your site contain informative information such as articles discussing the various aspects of real estate?
  • Does your site contain blogs that are meant to both entertain and inform your viewers?
  • Does your site reflect your area of expertise?
  • How many leads have you obtained from your site and what is the conversion percentage?
  • Do the linked pages load slowly, which is a quick way to annoy and lose your target audience?
  • What keywords and phrases are you using on your site and how much of your content is relevant to those words and phrases?
  • Factoring in these questions will help you to determine how to revamp your existing site or how to plan your new one.

addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fimaginationseverything.com%2Farticles%2F%3Fp%3D34’; addthis_title = ‘The+Importance+of+a+User+Focused+Website’; addthis_pub = ‘khadley’;

How To Create A User Focused Site – Kim Hadley, Imaginations Everything

By Kim Hadley, Imaginations Everything

The best way to make your website user focused is to find out what your potential clients really want to know. You might think that as a professional, you already know this information but don’t be so sure about that.

Times change and so do the questions that people have. Also, everyone is different so they have different real estate needs.

It might seem natural to assume that most families want the white house with the picket fence and a big back yard. This may not as true as it used to be.

There are a lot of single parents out there, many holding more than one job and they don’t want the hassle of having to take care of a big piece of property.

One of the best ways to determine how to make your site informative is to query your past clients. Send them a survey and ask them to list what their top ten considerations were when buying or selling their homes. This way you will start off with great ideas on how to build your user focused site.

Don’t forget your friends and family. Even if they don’t yet own a home, it’s another way to get an objective point of view and they may give you fresh insight into what your site needs to make it more user focused.

You can also ask them to view your website and determine if it would hold their attention and give them the information they felt they needed if they were considering buying or selling a home.

www.imaginationseverything.com

Virtual Help by Kim Hadley/Imaginations Everything

by Kim Hadley/Imaginations Everything

The internet has opened up a world of possibilities job wise. So many tasks can be done on a computer, from your home, back yard, local café… the sky is the limit.  As a small business owner, I don’t have the regular volume of business, nor the desire to have people working for me full time. I work at home, and I also don’t have to space. I do however have a “virtual staff” of about 15, who I farm out business to on an as needed basis. Counting on my virtual team didn’t come easy. The theory is there, hire someone for $x/hr and charge the client $XX/hr and I’m making money while I sleep!  It works like that when you get the right team in place, that’s for certain. The key is in getting the right team. It can be hard to find people that are good, and that you can count on, once you have found that gem in the bunch, hang on tight and it will be well worth the time it took to find them. The other key is to have several gem’s for the same task. People come and go, especially virtual people.  One of my most important resources for virtual help is my motherhoodincorporated.ca site. What better market that women who wish to stay home and raise their kids, but still want to bring in some income to contribute. What better way for them to keep well learned skills up to date, a match made in heaven for a small business owner looking for contract workers.  Check out Kim’s Site at www.imaginationseverything.com and her blog at http://imaginationseverything.com/articles/.

Starting Your Own Company by Kim Hadley/ Imaginations Everything

by Kim Hadley/ Imaginations Everything

Starting up your own business can be a daunting task. Sure, you have a great idea, friends and family encouraging you but there can be a huge chasm between the idea of, and actually sitting down and getting started doing.  I had worked in the corporate world for 20 years. My kids were in high school, so there wasn’t the same kind of time requirements, and I had a partner who had a good job, which could support us, which was a first.  It was time! I knew what I was passionate about, knew there had to be a market out there, but knew nothing about the business of running a business.  I felt totally overwhelmed when I dropped by the local business entrepreneur center, a myriad of classes and help, but it made me feel like I needed a business degree before I even began my graphic design business. Not really what I wanted, I wanted to design!One of the women there said they had an online business plan I could fill out, and that seemed a good start, so I set that up as my first task. Thankfully it was exactly what I needed to jump start. It was a very simple model, had a series of questions, with the answer fully typed in. All I had to do was re-write it for my business. What got spit out was a well formulated plan, and a To Do list, which I started on right away.

The business took two or more years to even begin to support me in the manner that my previous job did,  yet  all along there was a sense of growth, and that it was going to viable. I know a heck of a lot more now, than I did then about running a business. But most of what I learnt didn’t come from a classroom, it came from where it usually does… on the job training!

Check out Kim Hadley’s Website www.imaginationseverything.com and her blog at http://imaginationseverything.com/articles/.