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Turning Your Real Estate Business into an Online Powerhouse!

by Jamin O'Brien

Greetings!

I speak with real estate agents from all over the country on a regular basis. Some are having their best years ever, many are doing well, some are struggling, and some are getting out of the business. Certainly this year has been a choppy one for real estate and next year is expected to be a challenging one as well. If you are looking to grow your business in 2011 it is imperative that you make adjustments that directly impact your bottom line.

Keep in mind that currently 5 million people are behind on their mortgages and this will result in a glut of foreclosed homes on the market for next year. If you are not savvy when it comes to short sales and bank owned properties you may want to get familiar quickly.

Let's focus on the positive with the belief that what you focus on expands and could result in you getting more sales in 2011.

First, if you do not currently have any online presence you need to get one going as soon as possible. While there are a couple of active agents who have so much referral business they do not need a website the vast majority of realtors should have a professional destination for their clients where they can showcase their listings, talk about the community areas they service, give school information and let people know why they should be doing business with them. I recently had a woman tell me she had gotten clients simply because her website looked better than the competition and these people believed she would be a more professional agent to work with! You need to make a great first impression with clients and your website can do that for you. Make sure the website is uncluttered and easy to navigate. If you are interested in a nice uncluttered professional website I strongly suggest you consider Real Pro Systems!

Second, don't underestimate the power of Pay Per Click services to drive traffic to your website. PPC can be expensive but can pay off in dividends as you can drive traffic to your website or your stealth sites if you have them! Online leads require that you be diligent and follow up as fast as possible. I heard recently about an agent that set up a Pay Per Click campaign and was driving traffic directly to his main website where his contact information was clearly visible and was getting a great number of leads by doing so. One of our new clients was planning on mimicking this by driving traffic to her Real Pro Systems Website to compete. We offer Pay Per Click services as well if you need help creating online leads and don't know how to navigate through crafting an internet marketing campaign, putting in positive and negative keywords, etc. You can take a look at our Pro Leads PPC services in evaluating whether or not you feel you can do it yourself. We had someone get a signed contract with someone just while we were doing a test for the marketing area! How is that for effective?

Third, if you are looking for a long term strategy in getting additional traffic to your website you are going to need to pick effective search terms to optimize your site for and you are going to need custom, unique content along with links to different areas of your website and inbound links from reputable online sources. Ranking well is going to take time, money or both. If you have a tech savvy person who works for you or an administrator they may be able to create the content, blog articles and dynamic search links that will help your website sizzle. For those of you who would like the process to be handled by others we have Search Engine Optimization Services available! SEO has a cumulative effect and while PPC will drop off the minute you terminate the service search engine optimization will have a lasting impact. The more pages you have on your website the greater your chances of being found online. Making sure the pages are optimized for specific keyword search phrases is crucial to these pages being found. Optimizing each page for Texas real estate or something general will not be effective in getting traffic. Linking articles to pages in your website will help lend credence to the content and let the search engines know these pages are important and need to be indexed well.

I hope this helps! Here's to making 2011 your best year in real estate!

Is Business Falling Through The Cracks?

by Jamin O'Brien

If you are a real estate professional this may have happened to you. You're moving and shaking, going out on appointments with existing and potential clients, you have multiple deals working and you can do no wrong. You are good at closing and finding the perfect house for your clients. You barely have time to eat and take a day off. Deals start closing and then all of a sudden, nothing. Your deals have closed and you have nothing to do. No new clients and the phone is no longer ringing.

What happened?

I'll try to put this gently. You forgot to manage your business. You got so busy closing deals that you didn't plan ahead. You were so focused on what was in front of you the bigger picture got away. This can happen in any sales environment but business pipeline management is nothing new to other sales arenas, so they are much more likely to manage this effect.

In sales, when you fail to manage your business pipeline effectively you can create what is known as an air bubble. This happens when you are focused more often than not to closing business rather than planning ahead and prospecting new business at the same time. Smart and savvy agents know that while you are closing business you need to be constantly focused to creating new opportunities and developing them at each stage of the sales cycle. In real estate a sales cycle can be as short as a couple weeks and as long as 12-18 months. Plan accordingly. As a successfull real estate agent you need to be vigilantly watching each stage of the sales cycle to make sure you are cultivating your leads, prospects, pending deals and staying in front of your closed business as well. The sale is not over when the people have bought or sold a home as they can send you referrals!

Real Pro Systems has been revolutionary in that they have finally separated each stage of the sales cycle so that you can manage your sales pipeline effectively. A sales pipeline has an open end that is broad and represents your leads. As the sales cycle moves on the funnel narrows as people become more or less qualified to buy or sell a home. At the end of the sales funnel you have the people who have finally qualified and completed the transaction.

Real Pro Platinum separates leads, prospects, pending sales and closed deals to give you visibility of each stage of the sales process. This allows you to focus on each deal and assign action plans to make sure every step is followed with laser like precision. By making everything visible in the business dashboard you can constantly evaluate each stage of the sales process to keep sales constant. If web traffic is down, how are you going to draw more people to your website? If leads are down how are you going to get more of them? If not many leads are getting promoted to prospects (time frame, budget and decision maker) how are you going to improve conversion? And if your deals aren't closing what can you do differently?

Having visibility doesn't gaurantee success but it does give you the ability to spot problems quickly. Formulating solutions will take experience and partnerships with forward thinking companies who can provide solutions at each stage of the sales cycle. Getting leads online to help you grow your sales funnel is invaluable in making sure you always have plenty going into the pipeline. From there team leaders and business managers can help their agents convert more leads into closed business. If you are interested in learning how Real Pro Platinum can help you close more business feel free to contact Real Pro Systems.

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