Web Presence for a Seller

junk email example

by Jay on November 13, 2009

Sometimes I wonder as I delete the 100th spam email that somehow gets past spam filters on the server and my computer whether the internet will be like our financial system and someday collapse under its own weight. The internet can be profane, invasive, distracting and misinforming. It gives voice, however feeble, to the ignorant and insolent and strange people compelled to share the intimate details of their lives minute by minute.

But…

the internet is also very useful. In the business of marketing real estate, including high end homes, the web has practically pushed print advertising into the recycling bin of history.

We are now in the era of the Semantic Web or Web 2.0.

For a thoroughly befuddling definition of this you can go to Wikipedia. But I’ll save you the trouble. What Web 2.0 really means is that using the web in increasingly more sophisticated ways is getting easier and easier.

Until recently, it took a fair amount of money and/or know how to provide anything but the bare minimum of exposure for a property on the web. Now it is ridiculously easy to get web exposure.  That’s the good news.

This is the bad news…

Because it’s so easy to put something on the web everyone is doing it. It has not reached the point where it’s usefulness is actually decreasing the way email has but it does take a little more thought to make it worth the effort.

Many real estate agents are scrambling to master the new technology. But technology does not a marketer make.  The biggest error with real estate promotional materials at all levels is revealing too much.  Even on ebay, few homes are sold based on the pictures and auction copy.  Homes are seldom an impulse purchase even for the very wealthy. Everyone wants to see the house in person before they purchase.  Revealing too much gives potential buyers too many opportunities to rule out a property before seeing it.

The goal then is to get qualified buyers to visit and that may require some teasing. In the high end market the emphasis is often on “qualified.” For both privacy and security reasons most high end sellers do not want traffic for traffic’s sake.

There is no sure fire formula.

Different properties require different approaches even with the web. How the web is used is closely related to the next two topics in this series having to do with promotional issues and channel marketing. The sophisticated seller in the upscale market must act like a CEO and ask pointed questions to anyone interviewing to be her marketing director. Here are a few technology issues that can be the basis of that conversation.

– The use of Realtor.com and its  “Showcase” option

– Single property websites and search engine optimization for them.

– Listing on specialty sites.

– Listing syndication

– Virtual tours and other video “brochures”

– Email campaigns

If you have questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you want to share this article, use the “Share This” icon below the post. Next up, the fourth P in the Marketing Mix, Promotion.  The primary issue is positioning a property for the right buyers with good copy writing. Jump to the article here.

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