Do you know the answer to these questions?
How many individual real estate agents have their own personal website?
Of those agents who have their own personal website, how many leads/prospects did they generate solely from their website in the last 12 months?
How many closings can they attribute directly to their website?
I’ve been involved in real estate in a professional capacity for over 25 years. In 1994, I started the first individual real estate agent website in the state of Idaho.
No other real estate agent in the state (and let’s be realistic, this site was one of the first in the country) had any web presence. Frankly, most of our brokerages in the area weren’t even on the web. Plus, when brokerages and agents did start getting online, they focused on creating an online brochure.
I focused on providing content. Back then, I was only able to promote our own listings on our website (IDX/VOW didn’t exist) and I wanted to be the go-to resource for relocating buyers so I focused on providing answers to their questions and details on the area with resources on who to contact for what. That’s the content I provided. Sure hasn’t changed much today, has it?
In 1995, we generated our first sale directly from our website – a cash sale – triple the average price – quick closing. As of 2013, that same individual has bought or sold more than six times – not to mention the dozens of referrals this person has given. Suffice it to say, that FREE website that I built on AOL’s platform back then, reaped well over 6 figures in income over the years.
In 2004, blogging began. Do you know when pioneering real estate agents started noticing it? 2007 through 2009. Do you know that even now, nearly a decade after it’s inception, most real estate agents do not have a blog? And by most, I literally mean most. As in less than 40% have even started a blog, and by started I mean put up a single, solitary post.
Do you know why this is so important and so significant?
Because without a blog, it is nearly impossible to generate nearly free traffic and ultimately leads/prospects to your real estate website.
Because without a blog, you are allowing the few pioneering real estate agents to control the massive amount of buyers and sellers scouring the web in their search for their next buy or sell.
When over 90% of real estate buyers and sellers start their home search online, why on earth wouldn’t you want to be where those 90% are?
When most buyers and sellers today start the process 18-24 months in advance, if you aren’t there when they are making decisions, you won’t be there when they are signing paperwork.
Yes, there is power in “client referrals”. Yes there is power in “direct mail”. Yes there is power in “cold calling”.
What happens when you don’t have enough clients to generate referrals from? What happens when you don’t have the money and resources to implement a successful direct mail campaign? What happens when you can’t stand cold calling or door knocking?
Where are you going to get your real estate business from?
There are a few real estate agents out there who are building their businesses solely from online sources. Solely from traffic to their blog/sites. Solely from their online presence.
When we focus even a sparse amount of time on our real estate blog, our business doubles. Doubles. With just a couple hours a week focus. When we focus more, our business expands exponentially.
There are real estate agents out there who have started out with nothing and within two years are closing over 100 transactions a year – solely from their online presence.
Think about that.
A massive real estate business closing 100 transactions a year – on a marketing budget of peanuts, just from utilizing a blog.
Let’s step back a moment. Maybe you don’t care about a massive real estate business. Maybe you just want to make a solid living.
That’s what we wanted, solid, stable, consistent income. So that’s what we built. Online.
We weren’t cold callers. We weren’t door knockers. We wanted to change the entire demographic of our business (from an investor based business to a residential, move-up seller, business). So, we focused our efforts on our blog. We tripled our already strong business. In less than a year.
We also focused on demographic and expired farming, and pushed it all through our online portals. But that’s a story for another day.
The beauty of online lead generation via your blog site? It’s fast. It’s furious. It’s financially beneficial. It’s where the consumers are. It’s pioneering.
Even today, very few real estate agents are working the online avenue.
I know why.
Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert and close Facebook leads.