MARKETING YOUR SITE LOCALLY
As soon as your site is done, get BUSY! Immediately start using your URL (website address) on all your business cards, flyers, and in all of your advertising. Run an ad in the Real Estate Book and in the local papers, just so you can run your web address in the ad. You'll make your seller happy too, while you're at it. If you hold an open house, put your site address (along with some of my clipart) on all of your Flyers. Every ad you run should have your website address. Be proud of your site, and let folks know it's there.
Many make the mistake thinking of a website is a marketing tool to reach only those who are coming from out of town. It is, or course, but not only. A website can be a very powerful and successful local listing and selling tool! Today's sellers want to list with an agent only if they can put their home on the net. Even those that don't have the internet themselves want their home on the net. And those that are internet savvy want their home, not just on the net, but on a site that is very visual, showing up in the search engines!
Local buyers will shop your site, often calling or emailing for an appointment because of viewing one of the homes on your web. You can save money on newspaper advertising by not having to use so many words to describe the amenities of the house. Just list the most important and then add ad your website address. Let the local buyers learn more about the house by visiting it on your site.
If you have a Real Estate company in your area that specialized in an area you don't, and they have a website, you might contact them and ask to exchange links. For instance, if you don't do commercial real estate, and a company in your area does only commercial and not residential, then you are not in competition and exchanging links would benefit you both.
Contact your Board of REALTORS® and see if they wouldn't introduce your new site in their next newsletter. They are always looking for something of value to their members to put in the newsletter. A section on Local Real Estate Websites, and Real Estate Web Resources on the net would be of great value to agents I think. (While you're at it, see if they would put my site in their newsletter too..so other REALTORS® can find me!)
Many Cities have Local Internet Directories (lists of local websites). Be sure to do a search of your city in a search engine (you can use mine at the bottom of this page) and visit all the directories that pop up. Many allow you to link for free. Take advantage of these opportunities as many agent sites are found by the person moving into your area who first did a general search of your area.
If you are in a city with a lot of competition, you might want to consider purchasing some ads in the most popular internet directories. If you do a search of your city, any directory that pops up on the first search page is a great place to be. Odds are that the person doing the search is going to click on one of those links. If possible, you want to be there when they do, even if it means purchasing an advertising banner for a reasonable price.
I'm sure I don't need to say, use your online advertising dollars wisely. Everyone is out there to get it from you. But you only want to put it where you KNOW it has a good chance of being seen. Otherwise, you might as well send your money to a charity. It will do more good.. Once again, play like you are the person relocating to your town, and put into the search engines all that you think they might be searching and see what links come back, and if and how you might be able to get your site linked on theirs. Search your home town (Mine is Bella Vista, Arkansas, so I would first search those words. Then I would search Bella Vista Real Estate. Then I would search Bella Vista Arkansas Real Estate. And I would do these searches in more then one search engine. Each may have different links.