The long road ahead: How to work a real estate website business

On March 25, 2014

Categories: Real Estate Marketing, Real Estate Website

We often are asked by potential clients the cost of having a real estate website, to which we respond the cost is anything you want it to be.   In any business regardless of what you do on the online world is as competitive if not more competitive than a traditional brick and mortar business.  When we say that to establish any online website it’s a long road and it’s often a tedious road we mean that a lot goes into how a website is built.   We are going to outline some of our most frequently asked questions we get in our Real Estate industry and what you can learn on how to move ahead on the online digital market.   Regardless, of the industry you participate in the same principals apply when it comes to an online website.

If you ever operated any business you know that it’s a tedious process and long process that often requires longs hours of work.   As a Real Estate Agent, you basically wear all the hats in the business and you have to do pretty much all the things required of any business.  So how do you stay competitive when there is so little of you to go around?   Some Agents an do this extremely well, while others often or barely wear more than the sales person hat.   It’s a industry that rewards are great if the business goes well and terrible when business is not so well.   It’s often an industry in which you have lots of small cycles of  within one year.   A business is often a combination of the offline world, the non-digital world and the online world, which only exist in the world wide web.   What you decide is your path to your business is determined by your own Business Plan and your own path to success or failure.   It’s specific to each individual and how you reach your own individual goals for your own business is determine by your efforts either offline or online.    We are going to outline what are the similarities in the offline world to the digital world and how you can begin to understand why the digital online world is as competitive if not more competitive than the brick and mortar model.   These are our findings after many years of working with and helping our clients grow their digital business.

Getting your website the online exposure it deserves

The challenge of any website regardless of the business is getting exposure.   The same can be said of a business that is located in a particular shopping center.   Yes, it’s true that a website has world wide exposure and that anyone with a computer or smart phone can view your business, but to get this exposure requires lots of effort and not to mention the help of the search engines to get you this exposure.    The internet is an extremely young industry that is only 25 years old in comparison you have businesses that have been around for more than 100 Years.    These brick and mortar business as they are often referred to have endured lots of business cycles and lots of ups and downs in the economy.  Some have survived while others simply disappear and to be never be seen again.   So, what do we mean by exposure?   When you open a store and for example you have a store in already extremely successful and super busy intersection or the location your business if bound to get many many eyes without very much from your part —  That means you have chosen an extremely great location and it helped you tremendously in the efforts of exposure.    The similarities of this to a websites, is when you choose an extremely easy domain name.   But, the likely hood that you will get a really good domain 25 years later is probably harder.   We are not saying the possibilities are not there but you get the point.   That you have to now choose a name 25 years later, when lots of people in the industry have been doing it for a while.  We don’t think you should get so hung up on a domain name, because if you’re not able to get what you’re looking for you’re going to be heart broken.

The already established business is an already existing competitor

So, now you found the right place or rather the right domain name in which you plan to grow your business, but you quickly realize that someone already has a much more clever easier to remember domain name, because the one you wanted was not available.    The same is true, if your wanted to open a business in the same street where someone has been doing business for 15 years for example,  you’re going to have to figure out how to get some attention as well and compete for those customers.    This is so extremely true of any online website, except you are no longer competing with the local street business but rather or potentially more companies with more streets involved.     We are not saying that it’s easy to compete, but just because you got a domain name it does not mean you are not going to face competition from already established website.   We think it’s an extremely difficult problems for search engines to solve, because just anyone can launch a website and go into business — so the search engine has to decide who is to receive the most exposure.    We’re not going to get into the extensive details of how or why the search engine is your friend or your worst enemy,   What we going to instead concentrate is on the value that the new website should provide from already existing website.   This is the most important aspect of any new website, and to determine this you really have to look deep and research this profoundly, if you ever want your online business to have a chance.  So consider “value” for a website to have any real chance at success regardless of the domain name.

The cost to compete on the World Wide Web for consumers

There is a cost to any business when it comes to acquiring any potential customer, weather you do this offline (mortar/brick) or online.  The question that we often ask our customers to determine for themselves, what is the cost you’re willing to pay for this if any.   Some customers, have no interest in attaining any business online, and they merely do it just to keep a face or brand exposed.   While other’s who want the exposure will have to determine what this cost is.   Remember what we said earlier, that some of these online business have been operating for many years now, so there was an initial cost and continuous cost to keep that business going all these years.

Will take a simple example, if you had a traditional Brick and Mortars business, you may likely have events, marketing materials made, new product announcements or a growth in a particular community that lead you to get more new customers.    The business grows over a period of time and now the brick and mortar location has a steady flow of customers because it has been out there for a while, and you as a small business owner have done many other things to help it grow.    This is the same of an online business, the same principals apply and if someone has been out there for many years now and has had exposure the chance that they added or contributed something for it grow and now the website has “value”.   So, to go back to the original question — What are you willing to pay for your website to compete with someone who has been doing it for longer than you have?

 

In Summary — We just outline some of the similarities between an online business and a traditional brick and mortar business.   These are some essential points to understand if you’re are new the online business realm and things you should consider when opening an online website.    The business online and offline share similarities an often time one has a higher cost than the other, and it really depends on your specific industry.   The online industry is still new and still growing industry and we think that the online business is a compliment as to what you do offline.    Don’t get caught up in the domain name, but always think about the value of the website, so that you can distinguish yourself from an already crowded market place.   Evaluate the competition and determine the cost for you business to grow online, to catch up or outpace your competitors.   There was an initial cost to an already existing website and it likely has had many things done over the year to add value, that can’t be seen unless you been following or watching them for many years.    The most important thing is not to wait another 25 years if you plan to be in any business now or in the future, because before you know it the digital world maybe the predominant market place for all things and brick and mortars would just be complimentary to online business.