Real estate agents switch firms as fast as our clients switch homes. So every agent needs a home where our brand image can remain consistent, even if the wall we hang our license on changes. Therefore, it’s vital that every real estate agent owns an individual website that he/she manages personally.
Below are several tips and expert resources you can apply today to give your personal brand an edge!
1. Domain Name:
Ideally, you'll want your name for your domain. In reality, your team name or firm name will usually need to be added. Unique names, i.e. TerrassMisher.com, make for easy branding.
However, if your name is John smith or Jane Adams you might have a harder time. Consider adding your middle name or initial. Or try something like “THEjohnsmith.com”, “AGENTjohnsmith.com” or “THEjaneadamsGROUP.com”.
IMO, adding “sells” to your name seems outdated and well, a little tacky. “TerrassSellsChicago.com” seems less authentic and more like a sales pitch than what I believe buyers today are expecting from their agent. But if it’s working for you, keep it up!
I prefer Bluehost, because they integrate seamlessly with WordPress, have extremely affordable rates for new sites, and great customer service (and I’m not getting paid to say that). Set up is easy and I’d start there if I were you.
3. Theme Choice:
There are thousands of website themes and templates to be found online. Many are free, many are overpriced, some come with excellent support, and many leave you to figure everything out.
My suggestion, however, is to check out themeforest.net (dang, also not getting paid for this plug) and search for a paid theme. Look through which ones are best sellers, trending, and most reviewed. Search for real estate specific themes as well as the blog/magazine style themes.
The beauty of finding a great theme is that you now have an amazingly designed website right out of the box. If you're not good at design, or don't have the time to spend on it, you can leave the default template, update the photos, text and contact information and you'll have an awesome looking site within hours.
4. Theme Design:
“White space” and simplicity is good. Clutter is bad.
Clear pictures are good, graininess is bad. (Tip: optimize your photos by scaling them down to approximately 100KB to increase and maintain the speed of your website.)
Choose a color scheme (Paletton.com). Know what your colors represent (Color Guide). Don’t choose blue and yellow because Walmart is successful. Instead, consider how your clients see you, how you want to be seen and then choose a color that represents your traits and values.
5. Post Elements:
“Content is King!” Without great content, even a beautifully designed theme will not keep people on your site and coming back for more.
Post your content consistently. Keep your topics specific to your niche market and over time when your farm area is Googled, your name, photo, and/or website will show up too.
Lastly, launching a WordPress website can be done in less 20 minutes. But the design aspect can literally take weeks, even with a minimalistic layout.
So, I implore you, whenever an issue arises, you don’t have to solve the problem yourself.
Google your question, find a template, hire a freelancer, stop wasting your time and let an expert do the time-consuming work for you.
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by Debbie Drummond