By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine
Real Estate Rainmaker: Guide to Online Marketing By Dan Gooder Richard (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2004)
There’s no question the Internet has radically changed the playing field for real estate professionals and how they interact with clients. But despite the Web’s widespread acceptance, not everyone knows how to squeeze the most marketing power from the interactive medium. The mission of this book is to change that by teaching practitioners how to build an effective, customized Web site and capture more leads online. Author Dan Gooder Richard covers all the bases of online marketing strategies in chapters like “Building a Trophy E-mail Database” and “Driving Traffic to Your Web Site: 75 Ways to Promote Your Site.” He focuses on catering marketing messages to the customer, creating a strong online brand, and above all else, using the Web as a tool to generate higher sales. “You are no longer in the real estate industry,” Richard says. “You are in the marketing business. Marketing done right will produce all the sales you can handle.”
Tips From the Book:
- Your Web Site Must Make a Good First Impression. Prospects come and go with rapid mouse clicks, so you must instantly grab the attention of every visitor to your site. The key is content; be sure visitors see information rather than circus-like clutter or wasted white space. Also, make sure it’s clear who’s behind the site. You’d be surprised how often sites don’t place address, phone, or e-mail information in easy-to-find places.
- Create Custom Postcards to Drive Traffic. Create or buy postcards printed with a screen shot of your Web site in color. Take this idea a step further by creating a series of cards each featuring a different section in your site for different targeted customers, and launch a 6-month to 12-month mailing campaign.
- Select a Domain Name That’s Consumer-Centric, Not Ego-Centric. Domains that relate to the consumer rather than the personality of the real estate professional are more effective because they attract the consumer. If the domain name also is short, catchy, and to the point, you have a winner. Personal domain names have little intuitive recognition for market strangers.