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10/3/03 Interview with Joshua Konowe

e-Agent, Inc.
1889 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA 20191
Biography

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Marketing Principles for Individual Agents

  1. Effective marketing is critical for business in terms of profit, local and regional name recognition, future job opportunities and leverage in the marketplace and with brokers; agents need to promote themselves in addition to what their broker is doing.
  2. Marketing oneself in a down economy is perhaps more important than when things are good; find the right types of marketing to reach your target audience within your budget.
Cost-Effective Local Marketing

  1. Using the search engines is the most economical means of reaching a local, regional and national marketplace and is much cheaper than local print advertising; concentrate first on search engine positioning, it requires consistent effort.
  2. REALTOR.com, the largest portal for residential real estate traffic, is a good choice for agents; however, general search engines host higher numbers of searches, position yourself for a targeted search of your area.
Search Engine Services

  1. The range in quality of search engine optimization (SEO) companies is wide, and determining which services are good is difficult.
  2. Good positioning software can produce decent results in optimizing your web site for search engine indexing pertinent to your local market; WebPosition Gold is the best of the software affordable for most agents.
  3. Regular follow-up is an important part of optimization so that you will continue to be shown at the top of search lists.
  4. Consumers search using an array of search terms, so be creative in putting together your list of meta tags; determine the words people will often type in.
Other Marketing Options

  1. Make use of portals to market your web site; consider real estate sites, financial sites, local market sites and content-rich sites such as CNBC.com
  2. Most of these sites do not give you the ability to geo-target the advertising, ads can be run by state, regionally or nationally, but some real estate marketing companies work with the portals to help you geo-target.
  3. Cross-linking to other people's web sites is an effective way to drive traffic to your own site; the number of links (link popularity) also is a factor that impacts search engine status of your site.
e-Agent Services

  1. e-Agent accepts only one client for a geographical area; clients get a well-templated, search-engine friendly website that is optimized continually to meet the changing criteria that search engines look for.
  2. Clients get re-posted data from news sources like Inman, eNeighborhoods, GreatSchools.net and other outsource content.
  3. Hosting costs, domain registration and costs, bidding for paid advertising on the search engines and portals are all taken care of by the company.
  4. The easy-to-use backend has products like autoresponders incorporated; leads are automatically formatted for an Excel spreadsheet or common contact managers.
  5. Clients are eligible for discounts on products and services such as virtual tours and cable exposure through company partners; capability for television commercials is a big addition to the e-Agent network.
  6. The packaged services and products are cost-effective even for technically savvy agents who could do most of the services for themselves.
e-Agent Web Sites

  1. Some agent-clients have multiple web sites, but they tend to use the e-Agent site for marketing exposure that drives traffic in the door, even if they eventually refer visitors to another primary site.
  2. The e-Agent client sites have filters in place to prevent visitors from submitting false data about themselves, an important function for qualifying leads.
  3. One advantage to having multiple web sites is that it increases your indexing visibility with search engines, which cannot recognize that the owner is the same person.
Tips for Following Up Leads

  1. Time is everything on the Internet; the agents most successful in converting leads to sales respond to email requests in 10Ð15 minutes; an autoresponder system allows you to answer at any time; include your personal contact information with every message.
  2. Follow-up by both email and phone call are critical.
Promoting with Email Lists

  1. Email is one of the most powerful ways to reach your potential clientele because it is more personal than regular mail and it's free; it is an option that helps build market exposure.
  2. Email works well for targeting people associated with different web site portals; be sure in using any email list that all the contacts have opted in; visitors that have left information on a site are good candidates.
  3. Constantly update your email list and remain in contact with these potential clients; return on investment is enormous for email done properly.
Favorite Web Spots and Tools

  1. Pay attention to the major search engines (Goggle, Yahoo, MSN, Lycos, AltaVista) to stay abreast of marketing opportunities; web sites such as SearchEngineWatch.com are set up to help search engine users.
  2. For raw data on visitors to your web site, use tools such as WebTrends and WebSTAT.com; Alexa.com ranks your web site relative to others.
  3. Email Spyder is a good tool for agents to harvest local web addresses through search engines.
Contact Information for Joshua Konowe:

(v) 866-324-3687
(f) 571-323-5023
(e) jkonowe@e-agent.biz
(w)www.e-agent.biz


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

e-Agent
REALTOR.com

Web positioning software:
WebPosition Gold

Resources for site content:
www.inman.com
www.eneighborhoods.com
www.greatschools.net

Major search engines:
Google; Yahoo; MSN; Lycos; AltaVista

Search Engine Watch:
www.searchenginewatch.com

Raw data about your web site:
www.netiq.com
www.webstat.com
www.alexa.com
Email Spyder: www.emailspyder.com