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There are a number of things that clients would like to see on a realtor’s website, including pictures of properties, information about the area and a handy mortgage calculator. While most of these things are fairly easy to set up, some require a little help from a website design service. However, you can do some them yourself with the widgets and tools available on the Trulia Business Solutions website.

On top of being a place where you can add your listings to publicize them further and to help them sell, the Trulia site also offers free website add-ons. All that you need to do is customize their widgets, then copy and place the code onto your site. Here are a few of the widgets that they offer:

Mortgage Calculator: This is pretty straightforward, your client enters the cost of the home that they are looking at, along with other pertinent information, and the calculator tells them what their projected monthly mortgage will be.

Market Trends Chart: Wondering how much the average home listing price is in your area? This chart will tell you and your clients, after adding it your website.

Map: The map shows all of your listings in a particular area, not all of the ones listed on Trulia, so it narrows down the search quite a bit.

Search Box: The only potential downfall to the search box is that it searches all of the homes in a given area that are listed on the Trulia website, not just the ones that you’re representing for sale. However, the clients searching it are already on your website, so they will more than likely contact you once they find one that they like.

Carousel: The carousel is kind of like the search box, only the listings come with photos and other pertinent information attached, so it’s more visual than the standard “text only” search.

While you should go somewhat easy on the widgets and not place them all on the same page of your website, integrating a good number of them not only makes your website (and you) look more professional, but it gives your potential clients a chance to see what is for sale in the area.

Adding a few YouTube videos to your website, or going beyond that and creating your own YouTube channel, is a great way to promote your business. You can create a video tour of houses that you have for sale, get a few happy mortgage clients involved in a video testimonial, or even show potential clients around your office — everything from your neat (or rather messy desk) to the lunchroom can be featured.

Before you whip out your video camera and start shooting, make sure that you have a plan in place. There are a lot of videos available on the web, and the best way to guarantee that yours will be ignored is by uploading a fuzzy, unfocused 9 minute video that never gets to the point. Here are some great tips to follow:

Keep it short – Under two minutes is recommended, although you can go as long as five or six, depending on your subject matter. This is a promotional video, not a scene-by-scene remake of Citizen Kane, so determine how long it will take to get your point across and then stick to that time limit.

Make sure that each video has a purpose – Think of them as mini-movies. You should have a distinct beginning, middle and end, and can create “cards” with a title and list of credits with most digital video software. While you do not need to have a script to follow or even an exact outline describing each shot, you still should have a general idea of what will be filmed and what you will say before the camera starts rolling.

Pay attention of the background, setting and lighting – The last thing that you need is a promotional video for a house that you’re selling that features a large pile of garbage in the background. Neaten everything up as much as possible. It’s always best to shoot outdoors in real sunlight, but good indoor lighting will work as well. You just don’t want it to be too dark, or no one will be able to see what you’ve filmed.

Share the video – Post links to it everywhere (on your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook Business Pages) and embed it on your blog and main business website. If you create your own YouTube channel, cross link it with everything else in order to generate some traffic.

Here is an example of a video we like: Click on the Picture to View

Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is not impossible to do on your own. It may sound like it requires a team of experts and some Internet know-how, but it really doesn’t. Once you launch your website, and want it publicized for the world (and potential clients) to see, there are some tricks that you can do to help ensure that your site ends up in the top ten search engine results, all without having to pay for online advertising. Here are 5 to get you started.

1) Make your URL easy to remember. This may seem like common sense, but it needs to be emphasized here. It is much easier to tell people to “visit you on the web” if your URL is www.yournamehererealty.com, rather than a long string of odd numbers and letters. A simple web address is also easier for search engines to pick up on, and will lead to them sending more traffic your way.

 

 

2) Cross-link as much as possible. It cannot be repeated enough. You need to post links on your social media accounts that lead to your blog and, repeating the process, links on your website that point to your social media accounts. This will increase the traffic that comes into your website, making it look better from the point of view of the search engines.

 

 

3) Design a simple, easy to navigate site that includes a site map. Search engines use bots to crawl your site and pick up on the important stuff, like keywords, your web address, your name, what type of business you run, and so on. The easier your site is to navigate, the more these bots will come away with, which will add to your search engine ranking. This also helps out the people who come to your site, since they will be able to find out what your business is all about and how they can contact you.

 

 

4) Update your content regularly. Search engine bots pick up on how updated your content is. You don’t need to post a new blog article every day, but you should update it a few times a week. Updating the content on your other pages at least once a month is helpful as well. You don’t want your ranking to fall due to having stale content on your site.

 

 

5) Submit your site to search engines. This may seem like the simplest step of all, but it is also commonly overlooked by many people. The large search engines (Bing, Google and Yahoo) will not find your website unless you submit your site to them. Doing this is free, and, in the case of Google, takes mere seconds. There is a new set-up that Yahoo and Bing both use, but once you have mastered the 3 step process, your URL is submitted to both sites at the same time.

Ubertor

Ubertor

Ubertor is a Real Estate website provider based out of Vancouver, Canada.

What is it?

Video focused Real Estate agent websites. It integrates with Youtube, Facebook, and Viddler.

The good?

Ubertor offers some really nice templates for Real Estate websites. It’s a very professional company and that professionalism is reflected in their designs.

The bad?

The number of custom pages is limited on the entry level packages. Also, it appears to lack more advanced editing functions to move the website layout around.

Conclusion:

Overall it is a very good system. The starter price is very affordable and for most realtors with less than 5 active listings the cost of $37.00 per month is not unreasonable for a good website.

EstateVue

EstateVue

EstateVue describes itself as “the best Real Estate Marketing Platform on Earth”. That is a big statement, it better live up to the test.

What is it?

EstateVue is a Real Estate website solution. It provides Realtors with websites and advertises some great features such as drag-and-drop design components.

The good?

EstateVue has some nice templates and provides attractive websites for Realtors looking to stand-out. It also connects to some of the Real Estate boards providing syndication to your mls listings.

The Bad?

EstateVue had some support issues when it started. Hopefully those are mostly resolved. It relies heavily on flash for its design components. Flash is a great looking addition for websites, however it is not indexed by Search Engines, and it does not work on mobile browsers or the iPad. Which is really bad for Search Engine Optimization.

Conclusion:

If you want a sleek looking website and are willing to sacrifice some SEO advantages and usability, then this is a good site solution for you.