How do Real Estate Websites Make Money?

If you only remember one thing - remember that "It's not about you."

Mature couple using laptop at home
Dean Mitchell / Getty Images

Real estate professionals who've been in the business for a while are usually on firm ground when they draft ad copy for their business or their listings. Newspaper, homes magazine, TV and radio advertising hasn't changed a lot over the years.

But, when it comes to real estate web sites, all bets are off. Too many agents and brokers take their advertising experience in the other media and place the same type of material on their web sites.

Sorry, but it will never work. That's because the internet site visitor is expecting something quite different when they visit a web site:

  • It's not about you! - Take up more than about than about 5% of your home page with your photo and you've started out wrong already. Only the tiniest percentage of your visitors will come to your site via a search engine query for "your name." They simply are not looking for YOU.
  • If they came from a search engine, that's all the searching they want to do. - If a prospective buyer searches on "yourtown real estate listings", guess what they want to find right away. It's not a statement of your vast experience or a large photo of your team. They want to look through listings. Make that happen with a highly visible place to click just for searching listings.
  • You can find anything on the Web FREE - At least that's the perception of the average internet real estate prospect. And free means without giving up your life history. Provide local real estate and community information in abundance and without logging in, or you'll watch your future clients go to another site.
  • They do want to know YOU - but later. - There is a place on your site for your experience, designations and certifications. It's the About Me page or something similar. Have a link to it from your home page. At some point they'll want to know. The trick is to keep them coming back until they reach that point.
  • This isn't the classified ad section:  When people read the newspaper, what do they want?  Obviously it's all about information.  They don't look at ads unless they have a need for goods or services. Don't make them look at ads about how great you are when they simply want information. Give them information and lots of it.

Don't worry, you won't just learn what NOT to do. Here's precisely what you need to do to properly lay out your website for lead generation:

OK, if you do everything here and the leads start pouring in, what's next?

Realtors pay consultants huge amounts of money to tell them what you have available for free with these links. See, it works! You came here for free information and you're getting it.