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Real Estate Agents: Don’t You EVER… EVER… EVER.. Do THIS

back links real estateEverywhere I look I see real estate agents doing it. It makes me want to SCREAM “what are you doing?!!”. I see them do it on facebook, on Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, even on their own real estate websites.

I met with an agent yesterday that I would consider pretty “tech savvy” and even HE DID IT. So I told him what I am about to tell you and If you are anything like him (and I am betting you are) this simple fix will result in more traffic, more leads, more closings and ultimately – more MONEY. Green. Cash. Duckets. Dead Presidents. For YOU.

So what is it? What are real estate agents doing that is literally killing them? What was my “tech savvy” client doing?

Driving Traffic. AWAY from his website.

Let me explain.

Today over 90% of all consumers start their home search online. Why wouldn’t they? That’s what you do when you have a need for ANYTHING. You ask a search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing or YouTube a question related to your need. “what is, where is, who is, how to, can I?” The search engine then serves up 10 results and you start by picking one.

That link, once clicked, sends you to a website. A website where you can learn more about the product, service or information you were looking for. When I say learn more, I mean, discover pricing, colors, availability, watch videos etc. But NONE of this. I say again, NONE of this could or will happen if you didn’t get to the website first. Correct?

Your Storefront

Today,with the advent of the Internet,  your storefront is not your real estate office or brokerage. It’s not that shiny office with the nice receptionist, the leather furniture, maybe even a water wall. No, your office is online. Your office is your Real Estate WEBSITE. This is where people will look for you, where they will learn more about you and ultimately where they will make contact and in some cases, even make a purchase decision. You may have noticed, consumers don’t necessarily want to meet at your brokerage anymore. They don’t want to get into your car. Where do they want to meet? In front of the house. Oh and they usually found the home they want to see THEMSELVES!

So your  real estate website is imperative. A good real estate website will do the “selling” for you. Imagine that, you don’t need to talk about how great you are or even how long you have been in the business, because your website will do it all for you. Your website will educate and inform.

It’s Hurting Them

I see real estate agents sending traffic (consumers, buyers, sellers, whatever you want to call it) AWAY from their websites. Their storefront. And it’s hurting them. How you ask? In many ways. In no particular order below are some of the ways I see agents hurting themselves online.

  1. External Links. Take a look at the bottom of your website, hopefully there are none, but most likely you will see them… External links. They may be links to school information, loan information, maps, walking scores, whatever. Click on one of them and they are LEAVING. Leaving your real estate website and going to someone else’s, where they may get lost, get the information they want and leave or even worse, register on another agents website. Any links your provide should be to content within YOUR OWN WEBSITE. (Internal Linking)
  2. Articles. Those articles that you think are great, the ones that talk about why you should sell now, or why you should buy now, or ways to increase the value of your home or find foreclosures, whatever, are killing you. These are the articles written by “industry giants”, Inman, Trulia, Zillow, NY Times, LA Times, etc. By sharing these articles on your Facebook pages, on twitter, (even if you meant the best), you are sending your clients, your potential clients, your “friends” and followers… away from your website where they may (this will be a recurring theme)  get lost, get the information they want and leave or even worse, register on another agents website.
  3. Email Newsletters. Those (digital) email newsletters you send to your sphere of influence, the ones with the links to articles you are hoping to use to get that buyer or seller off the fence. By sending them to your SOI you are sending your clients, your potential clients, your friends and followers… (say it with me now) away from your website where they may get lost, get the information they want and leave or even worse, register on another agents website.
  4. Widgets. You know those really cool widgets from some of those “industry giants”, you know the widgets you can add to the sidebar of your real estate website to allow your visitors to calculate their mortgage payment or see photos, maps, walking scores? Well those widgets are killing you. First of all, they have code that you can’t change (really, look at the TOS, it specifically says you cannot modify or change the code at all), that code is a back link, from your real estate website to theirs. A back link is common SEO or Search Engine Optimization term. A Back link is one way search engines like Google measure Authority. The more back links going to a website the higher the rank of that site or page will be. Why does this matter? Because there could be hundreds, if not thousands of other agents with the same widgets. Collectively all those links will result in higher rankings for the “industry giant”. How does that affect you? Well, consumers looking for homes online find those same THREE websites at the top of the search engines. Where they register and get paired with an agent that advertises on that website or in that zip code.

    Oh SNAP!

    Oh SNAP!

What Should You Do?

So since I told you what not to do, let’s talk about what you should. You should be doing everything in your power to keep consumers ON YOUR REAL ESTATE WEBSITE. I use facebook, and Twitter and Linkedin and other social media networks, and I post articles on them too, but those articles are MINE and those links are sending consumers TO my website, not AWAY from it. (you may be here right now because of one of those links)


Next time you see a great article written by an industry giant, don’t post it on your networks or send them to your SOI, instead do what media companies have done for years, reporters and magazines and internet marketers have done for years – repurpose it! Rewrite the article on YOUR real estate website, don’t copy it verbatim, rewrite it using your own personal experience and ideas or take a side for or against the article. Then share it. But don’t you ever. Ever! Send traffic away from your storefront. Your real estate website.

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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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