Michael Russer, a.k.a. Mr. Internet®, is CEO of Russer Communications. He is a leading speaker and author in the real estate industry and has been writing about Internet marketing and virtual outsourcing since the dawn of the commercial Internet.
A Web Site for Each Listing
Make your sellers feel like they’re a priority by creating a dedicated Web site just for their home.
November 1, 2005
Say you have an impressive Web site that does a great job of showcasing all of your listings—and all of the other listings within your MLS, for that matter. Sounds like a dream come true for buyers who are sorting through their options.
But when it comes to winning over sellers, your approach of giving equal billing to all listings on your site may not sound so appealing. After all, what sellers really want to know is, “How will you go above and beyond for me?”
What if you could show sellers that you have built a comprehensive Web site dedicated solely to marketing their property? The URL would match their home’s address, making it easy to remember, and the whole site would be accessible by the public just hours after you get the listing.
Win Them Over
Web-based listing software allows you to do all of this, winning over clients on the spot with detailed Web sites focused on just one listing. Here, I’ll explain how this listing tool works and look in particular at PowerSites, a service offered by Wappingers Falls, N.Y.-based AgencyLogic.
Using PowerSites, you can create an impressive listing Web site relatively quickly. Each site includes:
- A URL based on the property address (for example, www.1758indianway.com)
- Up to 50 property photos
- Slide show with titles and a narrative
- Detailed property descriptions
- School reports and mapping
- Floor plans and links to virtual tours
- Custom neighborhood and area information
- Downloadable documents and disclosures
AgencyLogic offers six basic design templates, each of which can be customized to some degree. If you want to take a more unique approach, you can pay $600 for a custom branding service —a template that fully incorporates your branding and matches the look and feel of your personal Web site.
A broker module also is available, which features a company-branded template for all salespeople of a particular brokerage to use.
What It Costs
One perk of using this software is that it costs nothing until you actually publish the site on the Web. This allows to you develop a site as a pre-listing tool at no cost. With just a few drive-by photos and descriptive text, you can wow prospective sellers by showing them their home's own dedicated Web site, and you won’t have to pay for the service until they sign on as your client. (Note that you will need an Internet connection to show them their site, even before it goes “live” on the Internet.)
Once the seller gives you the green light, you just have to complete the final property details and click the "submit" button to make the site operational. PowerSites automatically registers the Web site address. Even though the site is built instantly by the system, it can take up to several hours for the Internet to recognize the new property address domain name.
Individual PowerSites cost $99, which includes the domain name and Web hosting for six months. Costs are lower when sites are purchased in bulk—a good idea if you have a high volume of listings or work with a team.
Easy to Use
The folks at AgencyLogic say it only takes about 15 minutes to put together a bare-bones listing property site using one of their templates. A more full-featured site will take about 40 minutes to several hours, depending upon how fancy you get.
Ira Serkes, a salesperson with RE/MAX Executives in Berkley, Calif., has been using PowerSites for his pre-listing presentations for the past two years.
Ira says the individual listing Web sites give him “a significant advantage over my competitors when the seller sees that my focus is on them and selling their property.” He calls the marketing tool “a definite advantage when I'm going head-to-head with another agent."
You can see one of Serkes’ PowerSites at www.1410HollySt.com.
Similar Services Available
AgencyLogic isn’t the only company offering software that allows you to create individual property Web sites. Another company, Walled Lake, Mich.-based Thunder Lake Media, offers a similar service called 123 MainStreet for about the same price. However, there are some notable differences. The sample sites I viewed included content that wasn’t entirely focused on the property, such as free reports for buyers and sellers and the ability to search for another property. You may view that as a positive or a negative, depending on how you plan to use the site.
I think it made the site seem more like a practitioner’s Web site with just one listing rather than a Web site entirely dedicated to one home.
Once again, one of the keys to success during a pre-listing presentation is to answer the question, “What's in it for me?” from the sellers’ perspective. Using a Web site dedicated to marketing their property helps them feel like they’re No. 1 in your mind—which of course, makes you No. 1 in theirs.