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Learn from the winners of the 2006 Florida Realtor® Magazine/Florida Real Estate Headlines Web Site Contest.

Meet the Judges
Randy Eagar, CRS, is founder of Computer Camp, a computer training center in Salt Lake City and is a senior instructor for the Residential Sales Council.

Dan Gooder Richard is founder of the Gooder Group and is an authority inreal estate marketing and lead management.

Ira Serkes is a Realtor® and broker with RE/MAX Real Estate in Berkeley, Calif. He is an instructor who teaches other sales associates how to use computers to better serve clients.
10 Super Sales Associate Web Sites

Number 1:
“This is truly an outstanding Web site,” says Dan Gooder Richard, one of the national experts who judged the Florida contest. “The content [on] is so substantial and exhaustive, it is almost overwhelming.” 

Ken Thompson and Alisha Weisser, associates with Keller Williams Classic Realty, Orlando, redesigned the site after teaming up in early 2005.

While the site is based on a template by WebAgentSolutions, Thompson says there are almost no limits on the customization of design and images.

“We want to acquaint people with the market, especially buyers from outside the area,” says Weisser. “We include new construction as well, giving visitors a good idea of the price ranges in different areas.”

Judge Randy Eagar praises the site’s layout for presenting so much content “in an organized manner.” Judges Ira Serkes and Richard agree that the site’s numerous lead-generation links are vital to its success.  Referring to the extensive list of buyer and seller lead-capture special reports, Richard says, “I stopped counting when I got to 40.” 

Weisser says the site has been extremely effective in generating online leads, which account for a high percentage of the team’s business.

Thompson and Weisser also use a “pay-per-click” marketing strategy to ensure their site appears as a sponsored link when prospects type in certain keywords using major search engines like Google and Yahoo.

Weisser adds that she and Thompson also follow up personally. “It’s more time consuming than using an automated system, but we get a good response that way,” she says. “Most people today start their search on the Internet, and you want to capture their interest in an early stage. But you have to be patient, because it may take six months or more to develop a relationship that leads to the sale.”

Top 10 Sales Associate Web Sites
    Ken Thompson and Alisha Weisser, Keller Williams Classic Realty, Orlando
    Eric Pfeifer, VIP Realty Group Inc., Sanibel
    Patty Willis, Stirling | Sotheby’s International Realty, Orlando
    Debra Pitell, Michael Saunders & Co., Sarasota
    Elizabeth Kassan, RE/MAX Direct, West Palm Beach           
    Ginger Lundstrom, Platinum Realty, Destin
    Greg Ellingson, Golden Realty, Rockledge    
    Deborah Beacham, Coldwell Banker Residential, Sarasota
    Robin DiSabatino, Michael Saunders & Co., Sarasota   
    Jody Rydell and Caroline Dowling, Keller Williams Realty, Miami  
10 Winning Company Web Sites

Number 1: Zev Freidus says there’s no substitute for a clear vision when it comes to building a successful company Web site.  “It’s essential to get the design, the contents and the functionality just right,” says Freidus, broker-owner of Boca Executive Realty in Boca Raton.

Freidus launched his site in August 2005 in conjunction with the company’s opening. “I wanted a site that looks different to the consumer,” he says.”

Freidus says he used a graphic designer, but developed the navigation approach and site functions himself, drawing on his background as a former product marketing manager for General Electric.

One of the keys to the company’s success, he says, was signing an agreement to have multiple listing service (MLS) data sent directly to the site rather than through an IDX (Internet Data Exchange) provider. “That lets us maintain our own database and present the data in a format customized for our visitors,” he says.

Judge Randy Eagar praises the site’s focus on local residential communities, which includes satellite maps that show all listings and streets from a bird’s-eye view.

Judges Dan Gooder Richard and Ira Serkes say the site’s 10-button navigation makes it simple for visitors to find information and conduct searches. “The home page puts the consumer first, and is almost entirely dedicated to property searches by type, then by area,” says Richard.

For the first few months, Freidus provided site visitors with free, open access to property searches. “We had tons of hits, but very few calls,” he says. “Then we decided to implement a registration program, and that’s really worked well for us.”

“We send weekly e-mails and encourage them to come back and look for more properties.”

Freidus says regular follow-up is essential because people searching for property on the Internet may not remember the sites they have visited. “They don’t want to start over from scratch—and you don’t want them to have to Google your site again,” he says. “So, we use e-mail to bring them back to our site.”

Top 10 Company Web Sites
    Boca Executive Realty, Boca Raton
    John R. Wood Realtors®, Naples
    RE/MAX Results Realty, Marco Island
    Dunaway McKenzie Realtors®, Key West
    Resort Realty & Appraisals, Key West
    Babon Group Real Estate Co., Bonita Springs
  7. Real Estate Co., Aventura
    Grayton Coast Properties, Grayton Beach
    Blue One Realty, Doral
    Century 21 Real Estate Professionals, Orlando