Like all good things in this world, websites have an expiration date. If it’s been several years since you’ve updated your real estate website, or if you just aren’t driving much traffic, it’s probably time to follow a new strategy.
Perhaps you’ve tried before but were intimidated by the difficulty of doing it yourself and/or the high cost of hiring outside help. Fortunately, there’s tools today that make it easy (and affordable) to do everything from web design, SEO, marketing and more.
This 8-part guide will teach you everything you need to know about creating and promoting a real estate website. Each lesson should take between 30 and 120 minutes, so you can knock one out each evening, or buckle down and finish them all in a weekend.
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Day 1: How To Choose A Domain Name
The Example: Lake County Realty
In order to give you a literal example, I’ll be building my own real estate website throughout this course. My father, Tom Waring, owns and runs Lake Country Realty, a real estate brokerage firm on Lake Gaston in North Carolina.
Lake Gaston is located on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. It is a very large lake with over 300 miles of shoreline. However, there are not any large towns close by so most of the people who own homes on the lake are either:
- Older people who have retired.
- People with families from larger cities which are around a 2-hour drive, like Raleigh NC and Richmond VA, who own vacation homes there.
The average price of a waterfront house is around $400,000, which is about 3 times as much as the average price of a house in the surrounding areas. Because of the high relative prices for Lake Gaston properties and the big commission checks they generate, there is a lot of competition from other local real estate companies, as well as realtors part of national brands like Century 21. Since many of the people who buy houses on the lake are new to the area and don’t have existing relationships with local realtors, there is a good opportunity to pick up potential clients when they search the internet for information on the area and local property market.
My father’s existing website has several problems including poor search engine ranking, technical glitches, and a dated look and feel. Given all the problems, I have decided to trash the existing site and start with a clean slate. So basically, the process being described applies to creating a new business website.
Throughout this course, my father’s new website will serve as an example of how these various tools work. It will also illustrate choices some of the choices you need to make, such as choosing a domain, keywords and content. Your specific situation, of course, will vary depending on your business and unique market. But rest assured, this guide will give you a broad overview that anyone can apply to their real estate or small business website.
The first step in building a website for a business is to choose a domain name for the site, which is the topic of the next article in this series.