Writing Effective Email Replies To Real Estate Leads


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #11 - March 11, 1999

from Results-net.com
By: Doug Towes, Editor

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About the Leaders Post
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The Leaders Post is the newsletter for real estate
professionals committed to Net Success - from Results-net.com, an
online community of real estate professionals dedicated to providing
excellent service to their clients. If you prefer the online version,
the current issue as well as previous issues can be viewed by clicking
Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent
in it's entirety.

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Contents
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- 400% more effective!
- Focused web sites best
- Don't just rely on search engines
- Promotion idea from Montreal
- Spiders
- Contest winner
- Ethics and the web
- Tip of the day


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Net Success
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When I produced my first web site back in 1994, I was surprised to
find that many things I had been told to expect simply were not true.
The internet was portrayed (and still is today) as a very impersonal
place where people lie and hide behind false identities. The
internet, I was told repeatedly, was leading to the death of good old
fashioned human contact. By and large, the reverse is true!

The internet is actually reviving a lost art - letter writing! I
found almost immediately that people would tell me way more about
themselves in an email message than they ever would on the telephone.
This led me to the understanding that the most effective way to use
email is to treat the composition the same as writing a good old
fashioned friendly letter.

Recent studies by internet marketers have validated this. The
studies show that email written in the same style as a letter - with
a salutation and a yours truly at the end, and the contents written
in an intelligent and respectful manner without "hype" - produced
results over 400% better than an email that "pushed" a product or
service.

Think about this the next time you respond to a request for
information from your internet site. Don't push too hard - write in a
friendly style and show how you can benefit them. The rewards will
follow!

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Ever since the first web page was produced that included a hit
counter, the myth began that the more hits your site receives the
more business you will do from your site. This is only true if you
are selling advertising on your site. It means nothing to a typical
real estate site - which is the reason I do not use hit counters on
my pages. Visible hit counters will usually do you more harm than
good. No matter how many hits the counter shows, many visitors will
fail to be impressed and will think that the site isn't worth viewing
because it is not popular enough.

The only thing that really matters is how many requests for your
services you receive, and designing a site to be effective is
different from designing a site to attract a lot of traffic. For
example, porn sites and sites that generate income from advertising
are notorious for using popular keywords such as "Disney" or "Home
Improvement" in their meta tags in order to attract traffic.

For a site to be effective it has to be focused and your visitors
targeted. As the old saying goes, "You can not be everything to
everyone." You can, however, position your site effectively to meet
the needs of a specific group. It's a paradox but you will indeed get
more with less. This means understanding who your customers/visitors
are. The mind hates confusion. If you try to get your visitors to do
too many things, especially on the front page, they will do nothing.

For a site to be effective, it also has to appear unique to your
target market - it has to say "I'm different! Have a look!" If it
looks just like a hundred other local real estate sites at first
glance, the visitor will never even find out how focused you are -
they will be gone.

This is one of the secrets of the success of the Results-net High
Performance Home Pages - they are definitely unique in their market
area! They are also focused to the target market, easy to navigate,
contain dozens of pages of valuable information, and make it easy for
the visitor to do business with you.

If you are considering a new web site, check out the High
Performance Home Page Program at Realtor Websites .
There are now three different formats to choose from - and still one
low setup fee. There is only one web site produced per market area,
so hurry before someone else takes the opportunity in your area!

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It is now more important than ever to not just rely on search
engines as a way for visitors to find your site. AltaVista just
crashed a few days ago,and is in an utter state of confusion. In the
last six months, HotBot, Lycos, Infoseek, and Excite have all had
problems that have gone on for months at times. This means that the
predictability is gone, and those who do a good job of promoting
their sites online and offline will attract the most visitors.

Many good ways to promote your site have been discussed in previous
issues of this newsletter which are all available online at
http://www.leaderspost.com - check it out!

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From the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center...

Here is a great idea that was posted recently...

"I'm promoting myself in the Knights of Columbus provincial magazine
in Quebec. Being an active member, I put an ad 10 times a year at
97,000 copies per issue. I'm getting 4-5 calls per week all over the
province. So I refer a good part of them.

If ever you are member of various social organization, check for
price and think referrals."

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What works for you? Your suggestions and submissions are gratefully
accepted, and if used you will receive credit along with a link to
your web site or (e mail address if you don't have a web site yet.)
Send submissions to - suggestions may
also be left at the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center in the
Newsletter Suggestions Forum. http://www.agentsonline.net

One of the most popular forums there is the Relocations forum. There are
always lots of interesting and informative discussions going on with a minimum
of spam and solicitations to wade through - check it out!

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Happenings At Results-net.com
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There are now three formats to choose from in the High Performance
Home Page Program! Only one site is produced for each market area
(not one of each format), so take advantage of this opportunity in
your area before someone else does! More information can be found at
http://www.rncinternet.com/real_estate.html

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In a recent issue of this newsletter, I mentioned that there was a
system being initiated to have the message threads at the Agents
Online Real Estate Idea Center spidered by the major search engines.
The effects of that initiative are now beginning to be appreciated by
those agents who have posted messages in the forums.

A check of the server logs for the last few days shows that visitors
were sent to the forums (and from there to the agents' sites who
posted messages) by several search engines, including HotBot, MSN,
Snap and DogPile (say what?!). Some of the phrases people were
searching for included "London Ontario real estate", "cause
marketing", "remax canada", "real estate agents", "Kitchener real
estate board", and "Calgary real estate".

As well, in the past few days spiders from Excite and Northern Light
visited the Idea Center, so agents who participate in the forums will
be increasingly rewarded! These spiders not only indexed the messages
posted at the Idea Center, but found the links to a couple of the
forum moderators' sites and indexed those as well!

Join us at the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center at
http://www.agentsonline.net - it's free! We still need moderators for
a couple of the forums, so if you are interested let me know at
admin@rncinternet.com and I will set it up.

Moderators have the ability to post announcements, edit and remove
messages, and are notified by email each time someone posts to their
forum. They are often viewed as a leader and/or expert in their
forum. As well, the moderators name appears on every page in their
forum.

There is now a colorful new logo suitable for members to place on
their web sites and linking to the Idea Center. The logo is just 6kb,
and a transparent gif, so it will work whatever your page background.
Have a look at http://www.agentsonline.net/home.html , where you can
see the logo and cut and paste the code for linking.


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This And That
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Contest!

This week's lucky winner is Lorraine Abrams, Woodland Hills CA,
who wins a photo listing in the Real Estate
Directory at Results-net.com! http://www.results-net.com

For the next while, we will be choosing one posting a week from the
Idea Center, and awarding the lucky participant with a FREE 6 month
enhanced listing (which includes the agent's photo) in the Real
Estate Directories! The lucky participants will also be mentioned
with a link back to their web sites in this newsletter which goes out
to several hundred real estate professionals. Membership in the
Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center is free, so discover this great
networking resource today at http://www.agentsonline.net/.

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Ethics and the Web

A new Interpretation of Article 18 of the Canadian Real Estate
Association Code of Ethics has been approved as a result of agents
using misleading search terms in an effort to have their web sites
come up on an internet search.

The Interpretation prohibits a member from using the name or mark of
others for the purpose of leading surfers to his or her website. It
states: "18-5 A REALTOR shall not use as search engine keywords for
his/her internet web sites, the trade name or trademarks of any firm,
franchise, board, or organization other than those which the REALTOR
is affiliated or otherwise authorized in writing to use."

This includes a member's use of the REALTOR trademark name in meta
tags unless authorized in writing. Apparently members have NOT been
authorized to use REALTOR in meta tags.

Any thoughts on this? Post them at the Idea Center or send me a note
to

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Tip Of The Day
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"Success usually comes to those who are
too busy to look for it."
- anonymous

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professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to
their clients.

This newsletter is Copyright (c) RNC Internet Services, 1999
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