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Making Your Website Work by Jim Marks

Wow, I’ve known Jim Marks since my Advanced Access days. And he’s definitely one smart go-getter. I met Jim because he just happened to be on one of the biggest power real estate teams in Orange County. He has walked your walk, fellow Realtors. Time to listen up!

First things first. Your website must convert. If it doesn’t, you’re dead in the water.

Why doesn’t my website get leads? Is the internet broken or what?

Pay close attention. Internet marketing is not passive. It’s active.

What are the elements of an effective site?

Just 2….traffic and conversion. End of story.

What is the process of designing your site? Did you just hire a fancy designer? Or even worse, dictate your vision to some html guru? BIG MISTAKE! Who should do your site? Jim advises (don’t shoot me…just blogging it) — go with an internet marketer!!!

Ask one key question when it comes to your site. WHY? Why will I put it up? Why will it drive traffic or conversions? On a great site, every single pixel should be planned. You should know where things go and, of course, WHY.

Now that you have a strategic build, what triggers website traffic?

  • pay per click
  • organic search
  • killer content (blogs, articles, controversy, news aggregation, *idea* Include questions from your email sent box in your blog posts)
  • social bookmarking
  • social networking

Ok, I got some traffic. How do I get the conversion? Well, conversions usually come from 3 sources:

  1. Phone calls. You should be asking where these callers found you.
  2. Click. They’ll fill out your IDX form.
  3. Email. They’ll email you.

Make sure your site features every available method. Try meebo or Diverse Solutions IDX (Plug plug LaJoie!) 🙂

Another conversion factor: Call back your leads within 5 mins. If you call back first, you’ll get that buyer. When you get a lead, think — How do I turn this into a car ride??? How can I meet the expectations of these prospects and close them? Jim’s such a closer 🙂

People want the same tools agents have. Are you giving those tools to your web visitors? Or did you just move your print gibberish to html?

The reality is, these visitors don’t care about your tips, your GRI status, or even you. They’re interested in your toolbox and how easy it is to use. Remember, half of them don’t know what MLS is, so watch the jargon. Put ‘Find a *keyword* home now’ on your page. That’s what they want. So dish it out generously. 🙂

Yes, you probably knew most of this already. It’s just common sense. So invest the time! Much more time than you did with traditional old school methods. Why? Because there are way MORE numbers in cyberspace.

What do internet consumers need?

  1. Whatever doesn’t require thinking. Complicated is a major no-no. KISS
  2. Delivery of your promise. If you promise something, make sure it’s fulfilled when they click.
  3. Super simple architecture.
  4. Simple everything. Simple message. Super, super simple. Laser focus.
  5. IDX. Choose wisely. Test it like a consumer. You test drive your cars, right?
  6. Images. Load them all onto Flickr. You invested valuable time taking them, or you paid big bucks for the photographer! Images sell houses.
  7. Instant multiple contact info. (tweet you, skype you, call you, facebook fan you)

Make your site authorative. Call them to action.

  1. calm
  2. assertive
  3. opinionated
  4. knowledgeable
  5. authorative
  6. leading

Jim, thank you so much for your time and knowledge. We will definitely be looking at our web site with a new perspective.