What Does Dieting and Website Expectations Have in Common

There isn’t hardly a day that goes by that you don’t see an advertisement in the newspaper, or hear on a tv or radio commercial how simple it is to loose weight. Just take this pill, cut out the carbs and increase your protein intake, eliminate this food group, restrict your caloric intake with low-fats or no-fats and on and on. Then there are the one size fit all ideas like drinking grapefruit, eating cabbage soup, drinking super duper green tea several times a day to ramp up your metabolism. The only thing these ideas have in common are the quick fix. Many of which if you follow over an extended period of time could seriously undermine your health. If memory serves me correctly Dr. Atkins fell over dead walking on his way to work with a heart attack. He died of heart disease. Who wants to be skinny when your diet is rotting your heart away. Then there is the proven fact that most people who only diet and don’t excercise, once they go off their diet wind up heavier than what they started with.
So what does all this have to do with having a real estate website?
The quick fix.
It’s happenned more often over the past several years, after all the industry kind of stinks right now (depends on who you talk to really), but agents aren’t making money for many reasons… the one I want to address today is it’s not your website’s fault.
There are way too many vendors and companies offering the golden bullet promising an inbox full of leads ripe for your picking. You’ll have so many leads, you’ll have to staff a 5 man team just to respond to all the leads. Let’s hope your attitude towards purchasing and expectations for a website from one of these vendors isn’t the same as many people’s attitude toward their diet. Quite frankly folks, it’s a ploy to seperate you from your hard earned cash.
Just like a long term strategy for loosing weight, you have to eat 3 to 5 small balanced meals a day and excercise 3 to 4 times a week. If you do that over an extended period of time the pounds will slowly come off, with the only difference being it’s a lifestyle change and not a quick fix.
Here’s how a daily conversation goes in my office. Ok, it doesn’t really happen like this but play along with my alter ego on this.
Me: What are you wanting a website for?
Agent: We want a website so we can find buyers.
(my internal dialogue) Fair enough, I think that’s what everyone wants.
Me: So how do you plan on achieving this?
Agent: I don’t know, you’re the expert I’m told, you tell me. Can’t you get me to the top of the search engines?
Me: Sure, I say… how much time are you willing to put in?
Agent: What? Isn’t that your job?
Me: Well yes, but I really can’t do it without your cooperation. I’ll need you to spend time creating content for your site, like writing a weekly article about the industry, answering in writing some of the frequently asked questions so that someone can get a sense of your knowledge, character and demeanor. I’ll need you to submit your information to these yellow page directories (or you can pay me to do it), I’ll need you to get on Facebook and talk to your friends, then we can point your friends to some interesting posts on your website (something as simple as what’s happenning in your community over the weekend), that way they will possibly repost your information, then your friends, friends will get to know you, maybe like you and do business with you or point one of their friends in your direction when the subject of buying a home comes up. You should also do those things you did pre-internet, like advertise and put your website on every piece of paper you produce, and God forbid, create an email signature that goes along with every single email you send that has your name and the company you work for in the from line, the company you work for at the bottom of the email along with your phone number and your website. You might also want to consider having a web chat on your website, so when visitors to your site are looking at properties, they can chat with you. You probably need to go out into the different neighborhoods and take some pictures and write about those areas, then we can link to active listings for those areas. You should probably write up a buyers guide to walk first time homebuyers through the process and offer that up as a downloadable pdf. You need to reduce the intimidation factor for those first time homebuyers. It’ going to really take some effort on your part. Have you ever worked with investors? Do you have a plan on how you find those so we can figure out a strategy to find more?
I’ll update the website with that information, pretty it up, optimize the tags for the search engines, etc. I can’t create any meaningful content for you that doesn’t sound like a boilerplate you can find on thousands of other websites. Should I could go on? I have another 3 dozen proven marketing strategies that I could talk about. I have a list of over 200 ideas to write articles about. That will keep you busy creating content for a couple of years. It’s not going to happen overnight.
Do you have the time, I’ll explain them to you?
Agent: Ahhh, no I really don’t. I think what your saying is that I’m going to have to put in some time to market myself, get out there and create content that people might be interested in, kind of like a citizen journalist, they’ll have to get to know, like and trust me before they fill out that form to request more information.
I think I’ll call one of those companies that keep cold calling me, I think their called, oh I can’t remember, but they start with a Z or T or it’s some kind of advantage company. They said they have all that for me done already.
Me: So you want to look, act and behave like the average agent?
Agent: I think so, I don’t have the desire to work all that hard.
Me: Well good luck to you.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that if you think you’re going to earn a good living off your website in the first year of it’s existence your probably fooling yourself. Unless you buy traffic and then there is still no guarantee all those clicks will actually turn into a lead.
I won’t take your money.
Photo courtesy of:  petekraynak

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Posted on by Rick Thomas