Internet - Powerful Marketing Tool



Internet - Powerful Marketing Tool
 
"It is one of the most powerful marketing tools an independent agency can have."
 

As the internet becomes one of the most popular ways for buyers to look for a new home, holiday place or investment, it is both more critical and cost-effective for independent real estate agents to use their internet marketing clout.

A professional website can allow independent agents to compete with the larger real estate groups by making it easy for potential buyers to find a selection of appealing properties in their preferred location.

Vaughan Reed, Business Development Manager of Labyrinth – which specialises in the design of websites for independent real estate agents - says searching for a home using the internet is now common practice. Customers will be attracted by a good quality, easy-to-use site with well-featured listings – no matter how large or small a firm is, he says.

“If a website is designed well, so information is easy to access, it can change a firm’s whole marketing strategy.

So what results should an independent real estate office expect to achieve from having a professional website?

The site should:

  • Increase sales by generating additional qualified leads
  • Reduce advertising costs – some marketing input will shift from advertising in print media to the website.
  • Attract potential out-of-town customers seeking real estate in the office’s area.
  • Attract international buyers searching the web for New Zealand property investments.
  • Have provision for listings to be listed and modified very quickly.
  • Put leading property listings in the limelight.
  • Allow users to search for properties by property type, price, location and listing code.
  • Create a strong ‘people-orientated’ feel to a real estate office by including salespeople’s profiles and photographs, and links to their listings.
  • Provide easy-to-find phone and email details so that prospects can readily contact the real estate office.
  • Publish listings directly to the real estate institute and other large real estate portals. This in turn increases the listing exposure without having to double-handle each listing.
  • Offer the ability for the potential purchaser to subscribe to an email notification service for new listings within their specified criteria.

Independent real estate company Coastal Realty, in the Horowhenua, this year set up its first website, which went live on the worldwide web (www.coastalrealtynz.com) and is now working for their business.

“We were what you might call ‘internet hicks’ at the start of the web development project,” admits Coastal Realty licensee Trish Tilbury. “But we were experienced in marketing and knew what benefits it could bring our business, our clients and investment in our region.

Each listing has a reference number, plenty of images, a summary of its features (eg dwelling type, bedrooms) open home/auction details, price where applicable, plus the agent’s contact details, we can even showcase our star property, which provides a fantastic incentive for the vendor. The powerful search function makes it easy for users to track down the type of property or location they are seeking in the region.

“We had high expectations and sought an online real estate partner to contribute their expertise in establishing a user-friendly website,” says Trish.

“We’re really pleased we took the plunge. Our clients tell us the website is making it easier to access our listings, services and sales team, and that it is a breeze to use.”
With more qualified leads being directed to an independent real estate office, spending on other forms of marketing, such as newspaper advertisements, can be cut.

Vaughan Reed says independent firms should not be lulled into thinking a website is only going to work for the big real estate groups.

“It is one of the most powerful marketing tools an independent agency can have.”

For further information visit Labyrinth at www.website.co.nz or call 0800 website (0800 932 748).






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