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"Rejuvenate Your Business With a Web Site Makeover! "


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Allen Hainge Photo
2/4/05 Interview with Allen Hainge

Allen F. Hainge Seminars, Inc.
11463 Washington Plz W
Reston, VA 20190-4311
Biography

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Common Mistakes Many REALTORS® Make

  1. According to his survey of virtual assistants, a mistake that Hainge cited in 2001 is still problematic among agents-not using the tech products they already have.
  2. A second major error is not recognizing the power of web sites; although there are a lot of products and services available, their web site should be the core of real estate pros' business.
Web-Centric Marketing

  1. Hainge's group called CYBERSTARS® consists of about 200 agents (in the US, Australia, Bahamas and Mexico); all of them rely on technology.
  2. They have made their web site the focal point of their business, and everything that they do is designed to promote that site; about 90% of agents in general (even though they have a web site) have not picked up on its importance.
  3. The group consists of excellent business people who work at a business, not a hobby; they are proactive, not reactive; even though most are not techies, all have discovered that a web site is the best and least expensive marketing tool they've ever had.
  4. Although by doing a lot of work it is possible to generate income from Realtor.com, making significant money from a web site requires going beyond the use of a basic company page or franchise page.
  5. RE professionals need to take advantage of personalizing a good template site (Advanced Access or Homes.com) or take the final step of hiring a designer to do a truly custom site.
  6. Advanced Access, for example, provides 900 pages of support content and help in registering your domain and launching your site for as little as $200; if you can budget $3,000-$5,000, use a designer.
  7. Plan to spend 30-60 minutes a day improving your site, no matter what kind it is; the good templates are easy to personalize by adding pages and photos, changing text, etc.
How to Handle Listings on RE Web Sites

  1. Besides not personalizing and promoting their sites, many agents are failing to provide adequate listing information and area information; these two content categories are what consumers are looking for.
  2. Sellers audition selling agents (without the agents knowing it) by checking out how the agents handle listings on their sites; posting a single photo, some bricks-and-mortar information and your contact information is not adequate.
  3. Get insight on good, deep sites by going outside the industry to sites such as Toyota.com or Landsend.com; agents need to put up multiple photos or virtual tours-VisualTour.com is a good resource-maps, school and neighborhood information, downloadable print brochures, open house schedules, etc.
  4. Excellent examples of agent sites are Ira Serkes' BerkeleyHomes.com [see interview from August 2004 Alert] or Marlo Harris' SeattleDreamHomes.com.
  5. Presenting full listings on your web site is key; AgencyLogic offers a service to do your listings according to the company's unique format-you email photos and basic information, and the company writes and posts the listings.
More on Web Site Content

  1. A link to an MLS is expected on an agent's site; include a function that allows consumers to put in their house specs and receive automatic notification from you when a match comes up.
  2. Put button links prominently on your site offering consumers five or six things they can ask you for-e.g., a relocation packet, top tips for buying a home, top tips for selling a home, a seniors' packet, free reports.
  3. A valuable and reasonably priced source for free reports is the Gooder Group, which offers reports plus a follow-up service.
  4. Personalized community links and testimonials (featuring the buyer's or seller's photo or a photo of their home) are other ideas for appealing web site content; Jack suggests considering the AudioGenerator service for recording testamonials by phone for use on your site.
  5. Put your marketing presentation online in visual graphic form to save lots of time with both prospective buyers and sellers; some agents refuse to go on a listing presentation personally unless a prospect has viewed the online material completely first; what is important is to personalize your information to reflect you-don't rely on a template.
  6. Post your marketing pieces in PDF format on your site so that consumers can see what you use to market property (flyers, brochures, postcards); by the time your competitors catch on, you should be on to something else anyway.
Promoting Your Web Site

  1. Many agents get a lot more business from personal promotion than from search engine placement and metatags; put your web address on everything because all other marketing should be designed to get consumers to you web site.
  2. Ideas include advertising on moving trucks from On The Move (cost is about $900/month, insurance included) or selling magnetic panels to your business partners.
  3. Apply the one-third / two-thirds rule for advertising in real estate magazines; instead of showing house photos on the entire page, put a screen shot of your web site on the top third next to a reason for consumers to go to the site (seeing every MLS listing, getting a free relocation packet or tips for selling your home, etc.).
Major Opportunities Ahead

  1. Web sites will become even more effective in linking agents with consumers and allowing consumers to do business on the site as technology advances; e.g., capability to do contracts and financing will expand.
  2. Virtual assistants will be used more widely to save agents time and free them from their offices-Hainge uses one from another state to run his business; VAs work for an hourly or monthly fee instead of being on your payroll.
  3. Tablet computers, which can receive email and hook up to the Internet with an air card, will be used by more and more agents.
Contact Information for Allen Hainge:

(v) 800-695-3794
(f) 720-863-2290
(e) allen@afhseminars.com
(w)www.afhseminars.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Allen Hainge Seminars

Web site services:
Advancedaccess.com
Homes.com

Content-rich business sites:
Toyota.com
Landsend.com


Excellent agent sites:
Berkeleyhome.com
Seattledreamhomes.com

Visualtour.com
Agencylogic.com
The Gooder Group
Audiogenerator.com
On The Move