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Real Estate Websites: Ignorance Can Cost You – Watch Out For “Joe”

real estate websites

Remember the old saying “Ignorance Can Cost You?“. There are many sayings I have heard over the years, many passed down from generation to generation, some are completely false but “ignorance can cost you” is tried and true. I am a former business development manager for a national title insurance company, and I will be the first to admit that I am ignorant. Ignorance sounds like a derogatory word but it’s not.  Ignorance is simply the state of being uninformed. So by definition alone, we are all ignorant – about something. But, {and here is another saying} “what you don’t know can hurt you”.

When I take my car in for service I am admittedly ignorant and unfortunately, I can easily be taken advantage of.  I simply do not know enough about my car or any car for that matter to know if someone is blowing smoke up my ass. The mechanic could pop the hood, poke his head in, then run screaming with his hands in the air saying, “Oh My God….Your triangular bitasterine pump is going to blow!” Of course I  (because I am ignorant on such a subject) would say, “well, can you save my triangular bitasterine pump or do you have another one I can buy here?” Not realizing there is no such thing. In this scenario, I could have been misled, over charged and easily taken advantage of – because I don’t know any better – I am ignorant. To add more ignorance, if the mechanic is wearing blue coveralls with a white name badge stitched to his left front, I would assume that he is an expert. But what if he isn’t? What if this guy, {let’s call him Joe} knows just as much as I do about cars or maybe even less? I assume that if a person is working at a car dealer and is wearing blue coveralls with a while stitched name badge that they are an expert. Wouldn’t you?

I see the same thing happening in the real estate industry. Right here in good old Phoenix Arizona. Yep, there are  “Joe’s” among us. One Joe in particular, wears the blue coveralls {so to speak} he even has a white stitched name badge but “Joe” is no expert at real estate marketing. “Joe” is holding classes here in the valley on Internet marketing. He tells real estate agents things like, “you don’t need a website”, all you need is this. Of course, “this” is what “Joe” has to sell, it’s his triangular bitasterine pump if you will. “Joe” tells real estate professionals that he can get agents “on the 1st page of Google”. The 1st page of Google is the holy grail of real estate marketing because over 90% of consumers are going to the Internet FIRST when looking for homes. Real estate agents that don’t have an Internet strategy are essentially competing for the 10% of consumers that don’t leverage the Internet.

“Joe” gets agents {30 or so at a time} in a room and he demonstrates how his triangular bitasterine pump can get a real estate agent on the 1st page of Google. He even has SCREEN SHOTS to prove it. He doesn’t demonstrate his feat live.  Joe’s spiel works because for the most part, the real estate agents in the room are ignorant. They are ignorant to what a good website is, how a good website works, how Google ranks websites, how Google ranks content, they are ignorant about how to get their websites on the 1st page of Google.

I was in the Navy, {yes I was in the military} I went to boot camp in Great Lakes Illinois. After graduation from boot camp we {my company and I} rented a party bus that took us into Chicago for the night. Boy oh boy, you want to talk about crazy? Imagine, 45 guys that have been couped up and told what to do for the last 10 weeks are now set free {for one night}, with mass amounts of alcohol and no supervision. We had a blast. One of the things I vividly remember is the guys that were introduced to the infamous “Three Card Monty” on Church Street. I watched as many of the guys lost their hard earned money to a game they had no chance of winning. I tried to reason with them but they wouldn’t listen. If they only knew. Eventually I got them away from the game but the damage was already gone.

I’m doing the same thing with this post. “Joe” is preaching the merits of a leased website {that really isn’t a website at all} with a costly monthly fee. That’s right, I did say leased. Meaning, once the agents stop using his triangular bitasterine pump all of their content becomes orphaned. What “Joe” is doing by preaching the merits of his product {with SCREEN SHOTS} :-) is taking advantage of hard working real estate professionals that are looking for help. He is also putting them further behind the proverbial eight-ball.

I will be the first to tell you that I am not an “expert” at Internet marketing. I know that I show up for the keywords and key phrases that I want to rank for. While I am not an expert, I know many that are. I know most of what works and most of what doesn’t. Ask any one that knows about Internet marketing in the real estate space and they will tell you that “Joe’s” triangular bitasterine pump is just that.

To be fair, the product “Joe” is pitching has it’s place in a real estate agents marketing, in their Internet marketing strategy but it should not be the centerpiece of that strategy. For many reasons. One being, the agents don’t own it. Using a leased website or platform for your website is no different than using a phone #, email address, or URL that you don’t own. The terms of service or monthly fee can be changed at any time which could result in having to start all over.

So, how can you identify a “Joe”? Ask lots of questions. Will I own this website? Can I modify or make changes myself or do I have to call someone? Will you show me how to use it? etc. Don’t just ask questions, ask for evidence. Remember the movie “Jerry Maquire”?  “Show Me The Money”? Have him show you the money. MAKE SURE “JOE” LOGS OUT OF HIS GOOGLE ACCOUNT BEFORE CONDUCTING ANY GOOGLE SEARCH.

Someone that says they can get you on the 1st page of Google better be able to SHOW YOU that they are on the 1st page themselves ORGANICALLY, not in the paid search. Not for their name either, but for keywords and key phrases that consumers search Google for. Ask them, “If I was a consumer searching Google, what would I find you?

Watch out for “Joe”.



Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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