In a previous post, I talked about the how and why I think that good single property websites can help to market our listings. At that time, I had really just implemented them for all of my listings and wanted to get back to something that I said I would do about what some best practices might be for reusing them. Before I get that far, I do want to say that I can in fact say that it was one of the single property websites that sold a listing that we closed on this past week.
The story, as relayed to me from the buyer whom I did not represent, explicitly told his agent that he was not interested in a home like the one that he bought (contemporary), but, the agent saw the single property website that also doubled as the virtual tour and forwarded him the link. Because of the number of photos and the ability for the buyer to really see the home - much more than just some photos, they decided to see the house anyway. So it was in fact the single property website that overcame a very big objection to get the buyer in the house which he then purchased. He did tell me at the inspection that he really liked the way the information was displayed and that it made all of the difference. This is why I feel so strongly that these are important and should be an integral part of marketing campaign for listings. I market Atlanta homes to buyers on my website and I want to be able to market my sellers listing with the same success on their own websites.
Compared with ho-hum virtual tours, a website dedicated to the property simply allows for easier navigation from a consumer point of view and really, that's what matters.
So what are the best ways to use them and how can you maximize the benefit? Surely, selling the home that it was intended to market is the first priority, but, as we all know in real estate to be successful, each thing that we invest our time in (at least those things which result in the most production) should have more than a one-to-one conversion. With self hosted single property websites, the possibilities for that type of conversion are strong. Below is a list of items that you can do with them along with the how and why to create a set of best practices for using these as a marketing tool much greater than one single home.
- Select a domain that will outlive the listing - One thing to do is to go after the neighborhood. HomesnHaynesLanding.com is URL I used for the one that I just sold. It's the only home to sell in the neighborhood this year. Well, we are always trying to figure out how to take internet marketing and flip it around and utilize it for the more traditional marketing campaigns that we know are still effective. Without going in to great detail as to a particular set of direct mail/traditional marketing campaigns and strategies, I'll just ask this: Don't you think I can let the homeowners know who the most capable agent is of marketing homes in the entire neighborhood?
- Once the home sells, import the list of remaining homes for sale to the website - Due to the use of a keyword rich and relevant URL, you can very easily rank on the first page for the neighborhood. Capitalize on it. Get buyers for the remaining listings, but, don't put these listings up until the property is sold. Remember, the goal of the website is to at first sell your listing. I'm sure someone will argue this point with me though.
- Use the homepage to let everyone know who get homes sold in that neighborhood - This is an opportunity to demonstrate that you are the undisputed expert. Proof of success is the only thing stronger than perception.
- Get photos and information about the neighborhood up on an internal page - make it a useful resource for the neighborhood, potential buyers and to demonstrate that you know even more about the neighborhood than just selling houses. Nothing opens the interent door better than creating value to help personalize what is otherwise an anonymous online experience.
OK, so that's a lot to do, and now I will have to prove the next phase of success by transforming the website into something more than just a single property marketing tool. Once completed, I'll post the next part of what has accidentally become a series on single property websites. Noone said it was easy, but really, how many things that are succesful are easy? It's just like anything else, hard work creates the success.