Does Your Real Estate Web site Provide Your Competitor More Business?

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 “harmlesschamber site or maybe even the local newspaper website where your potential client will “NEVER” see a “banner ad” or a “Google Adword campaignfor 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?

Here is one even better! I’ve actually conducted website evaluations on agent websites where they “framed in” another chamber or newspaper website within their website. Brilliant! Now the site visitor can escape directly to a competing agent who’s banner ad is screaming for them to “CLICK HERE NOW TO SEARCH the MLS!” By the way, you might want to read the “TERMS of USE” policy of that website you are framing in. I dare say 90% of the websites agents choose to frame into their website warns them against such practice. But agents ignore this small detail all the time. (Hmm… fodder for another post!)

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,

Bobby

Dakno Real Estate Marketing Senior Consultant

Your Crystal Coast Blogger

10 thoughts on “Does Your Real Estate Web site Provide Your Competitor More Business?

  1. Hi Roland – Thanks for stopping by to read this post. When looking at the area information on your website I get a little confused. You have an “About Tennessee” article that I believe is “canned” information provided by Point2). I would assume you focus on the Fort Campbell area and not the entire state of TN. BTW – I wrote some content for a real estate agent in the Fort Campbell area once. It seems like an attractive area with lots of great outdoor opportunities. Let me know how it goes adding “area specific” information to your website because we all know that’s what site visitors are looking for.

  2. Hi Janis – I love your blog! My mini-rant was aimed primarily at traditional real estate websites where agents just get too lazy to write or secure a hired-gun to write area content for their website. While the same principals hold true for blogs, linking away to “safe” sites is a more accepted practice. Particularly to other blog portals that don’t compete with your business. Hope that explanation helps.

  3. Another one that I can’t understand is agents who post newspaper real estate articles–ones that quote their more-successful competition by name and company. Where is the sense in that?

  4. Hi Dan – Thanks for stopping by to comment. Hats off to you for being an Internet-savvy real estate agent. It looks like you are doing the right thing by keeping your site visitors to yourself as opposed to shipping them off to the local Chamber of Commerce websites.

  5. Well said. We’ve been guilty of some of these practices in the past, and have been working on cleaning that up and keeping our site the repository of the best information for our clients and prospects.

    I’ve also been surprised by one agent in our area that feeds craigslist ads into their site, and some of those ads are ours which point to our site!

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