Are you trying to “sell”, while still “renting”?
I was in a meeting with a real estate professional a few days ago, and asked her if she owned or rented her home. She shot back a startled reply, “Are you kidding me? It would be tantamount to blasphemy for an agent to rent their home. How could I “sell” real estate when I didn’t believe in “ownership.” Good point. She went on to tell me that people who rent are just throwing their money away… They aren’t building any equity…
Next I asked her if she paid a monthly fee to have her website. She replied in the affirmative. I asked her what would happen if she stopped making those monthly payments. She told me the website would disappear from the internet within weeks, along with the content. I then posed the question, “Are you renting, or do you own your website, your content and your marketing?” “Oh my gosh,” she responded, “I’m a tenant.”
Any reputable agent will encourage their clients to “buy in” with an investment that builds equity and offers the potential for a return over the years to come.
Many real estate agents start out with one of those cookie cutter, template websites, auto-generated by a computer. They sign up to the forty or fifty bucks a month plan, pick the template they like best, upload a logo and photo, and hastily type in some text into a few pages. Often, the content is “piped in” to their WWW domain from the remote provider’s server. That means there’s no “real content” actually residing there. (This protects the interests of the website provider because they can kill the site by remote if the monthly rental payment doesn’t clear.)
There’s usually no marketing strategy beyond having something come up when visitors type in www.mycoolrealestatesite.com. The agent signed up for a site, and now they’re waiting for the flood of leads to come in. The providers will tell their customers their sites are “SEO friendly”, but in truth, websites don’t market themselves. So the site fails in gaining search engine rankings, building much traffic or generating any leads.
Often, if the first site doesn’t produce results, they’ll buy a second, or even a third. Hell, they’re so cheap! It’s the battle of the Clone Wars… “You have two sites in our neighbourhood… I’ll raise you to three.”
Here’s the problem: Minimal investment, minimal return! If one ineffective site doesn’t get the job done, neither will two or three.
The “cheap rental” website may have been a “quick and easy” place to start out, but one day it’s time to actually buy in to their career and marketing, and put on a pair of “big boy pants”. They need to start taking their online marketing very seriously and build some online equity. As any real estate pro advises their clients, when you rent you’re just throwing your money away, and it’s finally time to own.
If that’s where you find yourself today, you need to own your website, own your content and own your marketing. If it’s your content, it should physically reside on your server space. And to drive traffic and leads, you will need a content strategy that includes SEO (search engine optimization), ongoing content creation and publishing, and social media… every month.