Effective Web Presence For Realtors


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #39 - April 6, 2000

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
professionals committed to Net Success - from
Results-net.com, an online community of professional
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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- Some Just Don't Get It
- Any Child can Produce a Web Site
- Develop an Effective Internet Presence
- How to Evaluate a Webmaster
- Killer Virus Alert
- Tip Of The Day

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Net Success
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I received this a few days ago...

"So many Realtors do not understand the search engine "concept"
--- there are guys all over the net sending spam mail, asking to
promote sites, and build sites... and the agents buy into it
(and the guys don't know anything about search engine
placement)... such a shame... and like a good/great Realtor is
often not recognized, since people only get to work with one
many years apart... a webmaster probably suffers from the same
lack of recognition due to the fact that the Realtors don't know
how to assess a bad one... Carolyne Lederer

That is true Carolyne. In this day and age, with software
available for free, absolutely anyone can produce web pages and
bundle them together and have a web site. It is so easy even a
child can do it.

Anyone can put an ad in the paper and a sign on the lawn to
sell a house - but as all agents know, there is a lot more to
it! The same is true with developing an effective internet
presence.

When most agents are thinking about producing a web site, eye
pleasing design is probably what is at the top of their list -
right next to price. Little thought is given to how in the world
anyone will ever find their web site in the first place or to
what specifically on their site will actually generate business -
untill after the site is up and they are not receiving any leads
from their internet presence.

Agents considering having a web site produced should take the
broader view. The goal should not be to produce a web site - but
should be to develop an effective internet presence.

In any real estate market area, there can be hundreds of real
estate web sites but there are only two or three that actually
have an effective internet presence. Individual real estate
sites may occasionally be able to boast a top 10 spot on one of
the major search engines. There are only two or three however
that can be found near the top of several of the major search
engines. Since most searchers will check two or three different
search engines when performing a search, these two or three real
estate sites are virtually guaranteed a visit. If those two or
three sites provide the searchers with the information and
services they are looking for they are guaranteed to receive a
lead as well!

All the rest of the agents with web sites are left grumbling
about the internet is a an overated waste of time. Soon interest
is lost, they hire a search engine submission service, - or the
quest for a new web site begins.

Of course, in most cases, hiring a search engine submission
service will not in itself help a site to rank better. And,
having a new web site produced - using the same decision making
criteria as before, will lead to the same results once again.

A web site by itself is not an internet presence. There has to
be a total package. The first thing an agent should ask any web
site designer or service is for proof of their ability to
consistently position web sites in several of the major search
engines. That means proof that the sites are well positioned for
competitive keywords that are actually used by searchers.

One trick designers like to use is to boast about their ability
to position sites and examples are provided using non-
competitive keywords searchers seldom use. Make sure the
designer or service can position web sites for the keywords
searchers use most often - "yourcity real estate".

Often when examples are provided - they are just for one search
engine. That means nothing! If you want an effective internet
presence, your web site(s) will have to place in the top 10 or
20 of at least three major search engines.

Make sure examples are given for several real estate sites
because anyone can get lucky once.

Also ask these questions...

1)Does the fee include a total web presence and promotion
system?

2)Does the fee include hosting the web site?

3)Does the fee cover changes and editing of content on your
site?

4)Does the fee cover search engine submission? Just once? Once
a month?

5)Does the fee cover ongoing changes to your site to adapt your
site to changes search engines are making in how they rank sites?

6)Does the fee cover the design and production of additional
web sites that act as pointers to your main site in the search
engines?

7)Does the webmaster take the initiative in determining when
and what changes and additions are necessary to improve search
engine positioning?

8)With Link Popularity an important factor in how a web site
ranks in many search engines, does the site have a page for
exchanging links with other agents?

All of the above are extremely important if you want to have
any chance at all in having your web site become a generator of
business. The problem is that in most cases only 3 or 4 of the
above are covered by the monthly fee charged by webmasters and
real estate web site providers.

The House and Home Real Estate Page web presence system come as
a turnkey package and is continuously updated to conform to the
changing criteria required by search engines - so you can sleep
nights and concentrate on selling real estate! Check it out at
http://www.rncinternet.com/real_estate.html.

* Only ONE agent per market area is eligible for this total web
presence and promotion service! If you are considering
marketing your services on the Internet, why not have the #1 web
presence in your area?

Hurry! Before someone else takes this opportunity in your area!

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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.)

R U S H - K I L L E R V I R U S A L E R T!

At 8:00 am on Saturday, April 1 (This is not an April Fool's
joke!)the FBI announced it had discovered malicious code wiping
out the data on hard drives and dialing 911. This is a vicious
virus and needs to be stopped quickly. That can only be done
through wide-scale individual action. Please forward this note
to everyone who you know who might be affected.

The 911 virus is the first "Windows shares virus." Unlike
recent viruses that propagate though eMail, the 911 virus
silently jumps directly from machine to machine across the
Internet by scanning for, and exploiting, open Windows shares.
After successfully reproducing itself in other Internet-
connected machines(to assure its continued survival) it uses the
machine's modem to dial 911 and erases the local machine's hard
drive. The virus is operational; victims are already reporting
wiped-out hard drives.

The virus was launched through AOL, AT&T, MCI, and NetZero in
the Houston area. The investigation points to relatively
limited distribution so far, but there are no walls in the
Internet.

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Action 1: Defense
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Verify that your system and those of all your coworkers,
friends, and associates are not vulnerable by verifying that
file sharing is turned off.

* On a Windows 95/98 system, system-wide file sharing is
managed by selecting My Computer, Control Panel, Networks, and
clicking on the File and Print Sharing button. For folder-by-
folder controls, you can use Windows Explorer (Start, Programs,
Windows Explorer) and highlight a primary folder such as My
Documents and then right mouse click and select properties.
There you will find a tab for sharing.

* On a Windows NT, check Control Panel, Server, Shares.

For an excellent way to instantly check system vulnerability,
and for detailed assistance in managing Windows file sharing,
see: Shields Up! A free service from Gibson Research
(http://grc.com/)

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Action 2: Forensics
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If you find that you did have file sharing turned on, search
your hard drive for hidden directories named "chode",
"foreskin", or "dickhair" (we apologize for the indiscretion -
but those are the real directory names). These are HIDDEN
directories, so you must configure the Find command to show
hidden directories. Under the Windows Explorer menu choose
View/Options: "Show All Files".

If you find those directories: remove them.

And, if you find them, and want help from law enforcement, call
the FBI National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) Watch
Office at 202-323-3204/3205/3206. The FBI/NIPC has done an
extraordinary job of getting data out early on this virus and
deserves both kudos and cooperation.

You can help the whole community by letting both the FBI and
SANS (intrusion@sans.org) know if you've been hit, so we can
monitor the spread of this virus.

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Moving Forward
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The virus detection companies received a copy of the code for
the 911 Virus early this morning, so keep your virus signature
files up-to-date. We'll post new information at www.sans.org as
it becomes available.

Prepared by:
Alan Paller, Research Director, The SANS Institute
Steve Gibson, President, Gibson Research Corporation
Stephen Northcutt, Director, Global Incident Analysis Center

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Tip Of The Day
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To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three men, two of them absent. - Unknown

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