One of my first jobs growing up was working at a golf driving range and mini golf course in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was pretty much the perfect summer job for me since I got to spend time outside with access to unlimited range balls during slow times. And, it turns out, I learned something at that job that applies to online marketing in the real estate industry 20 years later: systems are a key to success.
Each night, the driving range staff of 2-3 would pull out the closing checklist from under the counter with a list of things we needed to do before leaving for the night. It contained things like:
1. Walk the range to find balls the tractor missed.
2. Refill the pop machine.
3. Stock the counter with fresh buckets of range balls.
4. Empty the trash bins on the mini golf course.
5. Turn off the range lights.
6. Reconcile the deposit.
7. Lock the gate.
There were around 20 steps on the list. Nothing on the list was difficult, but if anything was missed (ex. leaving the lights on overnight), we looked like fools to the morning staff and the owner.
In many cases, online marketing for real estate follows similar rules. It’s not particularly difficult to get the basics right, but it’s something you need to pay attention to in order to not look like a fool online. For example, if you don’t have a photo – or the photo you have of yourself was taken in a different decade – prospective customers will move on to other agents who’ve taken 30 minutes in the past decade to maintain a current and professional web presence.
Back at the driving range, if we didn’t have a written closing checklist to refer to we would have likely missed something obvious every night. It wouldn’t have been the end of the world – a costlier power bill and more work for the morning staff, perhaps – but it would have dinged our credibility with the owner, our customers, and our coworkers.
At WhereToLive.com, we work to help create systems that increase the online credibility of our clients, which leads to additional traffic, higher conversion rates, and more web generated leads. We continually track what factors are leading to positive online experiences for prospective home buyers and sellers, then create systems to replicate that success across our entire network of clients.
Brokers and franchises are beginning to realize that their brands are in the hands of agents who may not have effective online marketing systems in place. When consumers have anything less than great experiences on agent websites, brands suffer. Brokers and franchises that provide effective online marketing systems to their networks are positioned to provide consistently positive brand experiences to consumers, and a financially rewarding system for their agents.