Design Realtor Websites From The Buyer's Viewpoint


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #19 - July 1, 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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- 40% already use the 'net!
- Design from the buyer's viewpoint
- How to tap in to the buyer's perspective
- Instant Survey
- Real estate software packages - what is your view?
- Search engine news
- Tip of the day

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Net Success
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92 million Americans and Canadians, or 40 percent of the
population over the age of 16, report they use the Web, according
to the 1999 CommerceNet/Nielsen Media Research study. Over
550,000 new consumers, are "getting on the net" each month. That
is over 18,000 per day!

I am willing to bet that almost every single one of those people
will use the internet to search for their next home, their next
real estate agent, and buyer and seller information. Real estate
agents are recognizing that in order to prosper in the future,
they must become familiar with the internet now! Agents also now
recognize that their own web site is becoming a necessity if they
are to stay abreast with the competition and not become
marginalized.

With the increasing number of real estate web sites online, it is
more important than ever before to give careful consideration to
what makes an internet site effective.

Most real estate web sites proclaim "Here's who we are and what
we sell." This authoring perspective initiates from the Agents's
point of view. The most effective web sites design from the
Buyer's point of view!

Most agents design their web sites to be visually appealing
first, and little thought is given to effectiveness and search
engine friendliness until after the fact.

A buyer-oriented site takes into consideration all buyer needs,
actions, and motivations. The goal is to provide the right
message to the prospective buyer of your services, when and
where they are most susceptible - while they are looking for a
solution to their problem... looking for someone "to take away
the pain."

The genesis of this process almost always starts at the search
engines. Legitimate prospects, those looking to buy or sell, type
in a text version of their problem on one of the various search
engines. For every search your prospective customer does while
in this buying mode, a link to your web site should appear on the
first page or two of the various search engines.

This link to your web site MUST appear in the first couple of
pages of search engine results or a prospective customer will
rarely find you! The more search engines your site places well
in, the easier it is for prospective customers to find you.

Figuring out what phrases your buyers type in, especially when
they are "in the mood" to buy is critical. More often than not,
the list of search phrases the agent believes are most important
generally omits many high traffic generating keyword phrases. The
difference is a matter of perspective - buyer vs. seller.

In order to tap into the buyer's perspective one must:

-Identify the most important key words and phrases used by buyers
of your services.
-Develop titles that acknowledge the buyer's needs.
-Write descriptions that highlight the features and benefits of
your solution.
-Obtain high search engine listings for these important key words
and phrases. This can only be done by incorporating certain
elements and content into your site at the time the site is
produced. Merely submitting your site to search engines does not
result in good placement.
-Create destination web pages that provide the information and
services to fill the prospect's needs.

Make sure your web site is designed from the buyer's point of
view! This includes ensuring the site is designed for search
engine findability, which should be the starting point for the
whole design of your site and not an afterthought.

Not so long ago, merely having a web site and submitting it to
the search engines was enough to cause an agent's site to be
visited by potential customers. Not anymore!

With the plethora of web sites vieing for search engine position,
and prospects attention, it is no wonder more and more agents are
seeking professional web services rather than opting for free web
pages and do-it-yourself web design. Failing to use an
experienced web page provider leaves an agent in the same boat as
a hapless FSBO - without the knowledge and expertise to benefit
from their expense and labors.

There are more great tips for designing and promoting your web site
in previous issues of this newsletter available online.

--------------- Speaking about success with real estate web sites, I received
this a couple of weeks ago.

"Yesterday I sold a $730,000 waterfront property to a couple from
California.  The fact that I sold a property is probably not of
all that much interest to you but what you may find interesting
is that sale came as a direct result of my web site!  The folks
sent an inquiry asking about waterfront properties, we conversed
by email and telephone for a month, they arrived in Victoria this
past Friday and went back to California on Monday having written
the offer.  That sale brings the dollar amount of sales for this
year that I can directly attribute to my web site to a little over
$1.6M.
 
Keep up the good work! " 
 
Dave Philps
Highton & Associates Real Estate Ltd.

Dave understands totally the need for agents to get on the
internet and have their own web site. So much so that Dave had
his web site, the House and Home Victoria Real Estate Page, up
and running before he even had a computer! The House and Home
Real Estate Page sites are a turnkey package, so no experience is
necessary to start reaping the rewards of having your own web
site.

Would you like your site designed from the customer's viewpoint,
and produced to ensure search engine findability? The House and
Home Page Real Estate sites have proven effective and have the
design and content that real estate buyers and sellers are
looking for!

So why spend countless hours and thousands of dollars trying to
reinvent the wheel? Why not have the #1 real estate web site for
your market area?!

Only one House and Home Real Estate Page is produced for each
market area, so hurry before someone else beats you to it! The
attractive cost and proven results makes it winner! Visit
Realtor Websites for more information.

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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.

One of the most popular categories there is the Successful Web Presence category. 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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The current Instant Survey on Results-net.com asks the question
"Which do you think is the most effective way to drive visitors
to your web site?" The results so far are surprising!

--------------- From the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center,

"I am in the process of choosing a real estate software package
to manage my client database (approx. 400) and to better control
my farm area.

I have received the demo disc for Top Producer and really like
it. I have spoken to other Agents in my office that use Real
Estate Biz.

If anyone has any input as to which program you use and how it
has helped you in your business I would be interested to hear
from you.

Thank you for your feedback."

Roger 'A'

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Now, you can be the one and only agent for your market area
listed in the pull down menus at the top of each and every page!

Anyone searching for an agent or property listings in your area
will click on the city or town and automatically be directed to
your site!

How can you be the preferred agent listed for your area? There
are three ways to be listed.

1) You can be listed by paying the fee of $10 month per city or
town to be listed exclusively in each pull down menu. (Listings
are to be prepaid for six months in advance.)

or

2) You can join the House and Home Page program
( http://www.rncinternet.com/real_estate.html)- being listed in
those menus is included for FREE.

or

3)You can become a moderator of one of the forums - being listed
in the menus is one of the perks! (more on becoming a moderator
later).

To be listed in the Real Estate Agents Menu, you must have a
web site. To be listed also in the Property Listings Menu, you
must have a page set up on your web site that directs visitors to
listings - yours, your company's, or the multiple listings.

If you are interested in being the one and only agent listed
for your area, first check the pull down menus at
http://www.agentsonline.net to see if your city or town is
already listed directly on those menus. If you click on a city
name and are transported directly to an agent's web site, that
area is already taken.

Menu listings on a first come first served basis, but you can
be "bumped" in the future if there is a new House and Home Page
that covers your area, if a moderator covers your area, or if
payment is not received. Until then, the exclusive menu listings
will be yours!

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Contributing by posting messages in the Agents Online Real Estate
Idea Center is a great way to increase your exposure - and your
business! Join us at at http://www.agentsonline.net - it's free!

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We still need moderators for a couple of the forums, so if you
are interested let me know at and I
will set it up.

Moderators have the ability to post announcements, edit and
remove messages, send out digests, and are notified by email each
time someone posts to their forum. They are often viewed as a
leader and/or expert, and the moderators name appears on every
page in their forum. Moderators also have the ability to schedule
the digests for their own forums, and the frequency will be
determined by the traffic in the particular forum.

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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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Members of the High Performance Home Page program are reminded to
check their private forum for information, search engine
strategies, and add-ons to their site. The forum is located
within the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center at
http://www.agentsonline.net and can be found at the bottom of the
list of public forums. Once registered at the Idea Center, send
me an email and I will "authorize" you so you can access the
private forum.

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This And That
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Search Engine News

As reported in last issue, AltaVista has been experiencing
problems for several months. It has been noted that AltaVista has
been the victim of some severe cases of spam, and it is theorized
that the spam is the cause of the problems. In one case, a single
web site was found to have spammed the index with over
100,000,000 web pages! That is not a misprint! It seems that
there is big money to be made in adult web sites, in this case
someone resorted to extreme spam because of the huge profits
involved. There are many other web sites with tens of thousands
of pages in the index, and it all appears to be overloading
AltaVista. As of Tuesday their "Add URL" server has been down, so it has not been possible to submit new URLs.

Infoseek / Go.com has never completely got over their troubles of
last year. The search engine is frequently not accepting new
submissions, and even when they are, those new submissions are
not being added to the index as quickly as when the search engine
is working properly. Infoseek appears to have
not added any new pages between June 16 and June 28, so if you are frustrated with not seeing your web pages being added to the index, at least you know you are not alone! They started adding new pages again on Tuesday so enjoy it while you can.

HotBot now states that it takes 60 days to add new submissions
where it used to state 3 weeks. This reflects what has been the
actual situation for some time. In many cases it is taking longer
than 60 days. What I find amazing is that submissions to HotBot
will be listed in other Inktomi based search engines like Yahoo!
, Canada.com, and ICQ-it, weeks before it appears in HotBot -
even though HotBot was the only search engine submitted to.

In competetive areas, HotBot now uses Direct Hit results for it's first 10 results, and then goes to it's regular search engine for the rest. This means it is now impossible for a new site in a competitive area to
appear in the top 10 at HotBot. The site has to have been around
long enough and be good enough to rank with Direct Hit in order
to place in the top 10 with HotBot. More detailed info on Direct
Hit can be found in the last issue of this newsletter, available
online at http://www.leaderspost.com

Netscape has ended their relationship with Excite and now uses
Google to power it's Netscape Search. You can't submit directly
to Google, but have to wait for them to find your site through
links their spider crawls. The quality of the links to and within
your site figure greatly in the search engine rankings by Google.
The links within your site must point to actual content in the site (not links to content on other sites)that is related to the search term. Because the House and Home Real Estate Page sites all have excellent content included, I am happy to report that the House and Home Real Estate Page
sites all rank well with Google, as they do with Excite and all
the other major search engines, so no traffic is being lost as a
result of the change.

Everything appears to be working normally at Excite and Lycos for
the time being. Glad to have Lycos back after it's long period of
inactivity! It seems to take a couple of months to be listed in
these search engines as well - not the couple of weeks they
claim.

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Tip Of The Day
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Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory. -
Albert Schweitzer

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.
- Margaret Lee Runbeck

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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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