How you ask? Before I answer that question I have to ask you another question. Do you provide links to “great” websites like your local chamber of commerce, your local newspaper website or maybe the area convention and visitors bureau from your website? I know you were thinking those websites offer all kinds of great area facts and information (and they do). And the main reason you provide those links to these sites is because…….? We both know why. Chances are your site fails to provide any solid area information to your site visitors and you want your site visitors to be able to get to know your area. So is it a bad thing to provide your visitors these “community links” to this “valuable area information”? BTW – this is as close to a rant post as you’re going to read from me. Take heart – it’s a mild rant.
Is Your Real Estate Website the Consummate Area Resource?
So here’s the scenario. Your “About the Area” page is basically a “laundry list of community links” to local websites. Hoping to make it easier for the site visitor to obtain “valuable area information” quickly, you make sure this list of “links” is accessible within “one click” from your homepage. Some agents make it even easier to access these links and place them on their homepage. And we all know “area information” for certain types of buyers is critical to their decision making process (can you say relocation?). Now with the “HELP” of these useful websites, your site visitor can access all kinds of great information about “your” neighborhoods, your community, your town/city, your county and your region all by simply LEAVING YOUR WEBSITE! Now ask yourself how in the heck that can be a good thing! Silly me – and I thought the primary reason you had a website was to be the consummate area resource for your site visitors offering valuable search tools and nuggets of area information. The main reason you spent hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars on this thing you call a real estate website was to hopefully have a site visitor see the “value” in your web site and its’ resources and maybe ultimately see the “value” in starting a relationship with you.
The Chamber of Commerce Would Never Think to Monetize Their Space on the Web!
If you believe that little nugget, I have some beachfront property for sale in Phoenix! Read on…. Completely satisfied, you can relax knowing you have “accomplished your mission” and “sent your traffic AWAY” from your website to that “harmless” chamber site or maybe even the local newspaper website where your potential client will “NEVER” see a “banner ad” or a “Google Adword campaign” for your competitor. Wait a second – did I just say your COMPETITOR? Sure did…. congratulations! Your website is now a “resource” for your competition.
Is It Possible Your Website is a Direct Gateway to Your Competitor’s Website?
Real Estate Agents are Wising Up!
While I see some improvement in the real estate industry with this problem, it continues to happen quite frequently. Can you offer these types of links to sites to your consumer? Sure if you must, but if you do, do it right. Make sure the links you offer are deep within your website (at least 3 clicks from the homepage). That way you are sure your site visitor is “vested” in your site and realizes your website is the valuable real estate resource they should come back to time and again. Give them a reason to come back. By all means, write your own area information page. If you can’t write it, hire a pro, hire a journalism student, get an intern, hire a high school student. Get anybody to write it – just do it and keep your site visitors to yourself. Otherwise, keep sending your site traffic to those harmless other websites. Surely “your” site visitors will never click on those banner ads or those Google ads. Yeah right!
What’s Your Feedback?
Take a close look at your real estate website. Does your site offer your site visitors a way of escape to your competitors?
Helping you build a better real estate website,