Learn why every agent needs their own website branded to their name, market or niche and how to promote your personal brand along with your company brand.
You can't be in the real estate business without an effective online presence and strategy. The NAR reports that 96% of buyers start their home search on the internet.
Whether you work for a small independent brokerage or a regional and global powerhouse like Century 21 or Sotheby's International Realty your broker most likely offers agent pages or microsites to all agents. You're thinking "Yeah I have an agent page, company subdomain site or homes.com site that my broker gives me for FREE. Why do I need anything else? "
Good question. Let's take a look at a couple of typical agent microsites.
They don't look bad right? Search bar, Navigation picture and bio. Look at both sites again. Whose brand are the agents really promoting?
These sites do nothing to help you build YOUR brand and are typically filled with duplicated content changing out only the agent name, bio, picture and listings with the rest of the site being identical to all other agents' sites in your company. Even the navigation links go to the same pages for each agent. These sites do nothing to help you with search engine visibility and can even hurt you. For more on that see our post "Is Google punishing you for your real estate blog?"
In order to set yourself apart from the competition you need a unique and compelling site — not just another "me too" site. Use your site to position yourself as a local expert with useful and unique content on the communities you specialize in and targeted towards your niche buyers and sellers.
Whose brand and niche is the agent promoting now?
Expand this focus with targeted keyword blogging to build trust and demonstrate your expertise. Unique content, specialized hyperlocal community pages and targeted blogging all make your website a resource for your clients — giving them a reason to use your site for their home search needs and to use you as their agent.
Set your site up correctly and you will find that you may even outrank your company's website on key search terms. Pair your new site up with single property websites for your listings and your properties may appear on page 1 of search engines.
But wait — there's more! What happens when you decide to change companies and move to another agency. If you relied on the agent page or microsite your company provided for you, it is gone and all that promotion you did for sallyagent.xyzrealty.com is gone with it. You get to build a NEW agent page or microsite with your NEW company and once again you are promoting your company's brand over your own. I'll bet you won't even update the photo and bio but your business card and email will promote your new website sallyagent.mynewcompany.com.
If you change companies and have your own site you will just need to change, or have your website company change, the logos, company address, broker license number and company phone. The rest of the site — including the website address — stay the same and continue to promote your brand over your company brand. Are your clients going to remember "sassyrealestate.com" or "www.signatureflorida.com/agents/cecilia-putrino/"?
Your site is your 24/7 marketing machine and you should own the site that have built.
A note to brokers and company owners: Agents with their own domains and sites can only help your agency attract more listings and sell more homes. Better performing agents are the lifeblood of your company. Linking from your site to your individual agents' sites and having their sites link to the main company site send authority signals to Google and everyone wins.
This post is a re-publication of a post by Chris Smith originally posted on LinkedIn. View the original post