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Think Big with Web Marketing

Michael Citron and team.
Can you conceive of closing a sale within minutes of first meeting a client? Michael Citron can. Read on to find out how he does it.

As co-founder of www.ThinkBigRealEstate.com and a sales associate with Sellstate Results Realty Inc. in Coral Springs, Michael Citron uses the firm’s information-packed Web site, Live Help software by Velaro and an online newsletter to swiftly close transactions with clients and customers across the spectrum. He recalls one busy night, when the loud chime of the Live Help tool on his Web site announced a waiting buyer. “I was so busy that I would’ve never responded to this live chat request online if I had my [computer’s] volume turned off,” he says. The buyer was interested in a Lake Buena Vista property, so Citron directed him to his Web site. The next morning that buyer purchased three Orlando properties totaling $1.5 million.

“When I thought it couldn’t get any better, the same buyer’s close friend bought two properties,” Citron says. “Our Web site has paid off beyond our wildest dreams!” He paid $10,000 for a developer to custom design his site, and he says it’s been well worth the money. Here are his tips on how to successfully implement a Web-based marketing program:

1. Think Speed
Citron says his Live Help tool allows for a virtual presence 24/7 and for sales associates to respond to requests almost as soon as they come in. He bought the Live Help software subscription for $50 per month.

“When I meet with clients, I show them my flash listing or buyer presentation with visuals and voice-over in order to educate (them) about myself, my team and our unique approach. … I often e-mail my presentations to potential clients in advance of our meeting, or I send them a CD to view on their home computer,” he explains.

2. Be First to Respond
With so many competitors, Citron says, it’s essential to incorporate software that allows you to “see” potential clients and customers as they navigate your Web site’s pages. Visitors can instant-message sales associates directly on any page of the site. Live Help also allows sales associates to see what pages prospects are viewing and prospects can initiate chat if they want to.

“Through Live Help, we’ve chatted with people from all [around] the world who are looking to relocate,” Citron says. A sales associate is assigned to be online 24/7, he explains, and the program lets a user know that someone is available to chat if he or she needs help.

One buyer who chatted with Citron through the Live Help instant-messaging program for an hour was able to obtain all the information he needed to feel confident to purchase a property sight unseen, and not even speak with a team member on the telephone, says Citron.

3. Keep it Fresh
Updating the site with Web articles and monthly online newsletters full of fresh real estate information and news. improves its ranking on search engines like Google and Yahoo, Citron says. A search engine optimization (SEO) specialist helps him put the key search words in his articles and other text on his Web site to help put it at the top of search engines.

“I go onto many real estate blogs to ascertain the necessary information to improve my marketing skills,” says Citron. “One blog that I subscribe to is www.RealBlogging.com, which is considered the official blog of the real estate business. With so much free real estate marketing information out there, I learn new real estate tools on a daily basis.” 

Web Design Firms

  1. a la mode Inc., (800) 252-6633; www.alamode.com
  2. Advanced Access, (888) 902-4653; www.advancedaccess.com
  3. CyberSunshine, Inc., (239) 949-0012; www.cybersunshine.com
  4. Diverse Solutions, (877) 348-7654; www.DiverseSolutions.com
  5. Sizzling Studios, (401) 724-8480; www.sizzlingstudios.com
  6. Web Solvers, (407) 599-7515; www.websolvers.com