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Your Internet Marketing Machine/Users/adamp/Desktop/Stuff for FAR/Magazine Assets/DEC08PACKAGED/images/marketIt

Turn your site into a supercharged marketing tool.

Mitch Ribak credits his souped-up website marketing with increasing his business by 700 percent in his first four years. Ribak, a broker with Tropical Realty of Suntree in Melbourne, previously worked in Internet marketing, so he handles his own online marketing, which includes search engine optimization (SEO), lead capture and lead conversion. He even co-created a program [100MPHMarketing.com] to help him track his marketing efforts.

While Ribak’s monthly expenditure of $6,000 for online marketing during his first four years may seem high, consider this: It has netted him $28,000 in sales in just one month. “I spend the majority of my money on pay-per-click fees to a program that brings active buyers to my site,” he says.

Here’s how to boost your online presence.

Grow Your Network
It’s vital that you find an SEO program to drive buyers to your site. Good search engine placement makes a pay-per-click strategy (where you pay a fee for people who click through to your site) very worthwhile. Ribak says HomeGain’s BuyerLink [homegain.com/buyerlink], is a “great source because they do all the work. If you search for ‘Melbourne real estate,’ you’ll end up on our site [because it’s so high in the search engine rankings].” Ribak’s website is melbournehomesearch.com.

Track Your Leads
Use a lead-capture format, such as asking people to register or sign up for a benefit, to obtain contact information. Then, store this information in a customer relations management (CRM) program. This is an “easy-to-use database that allows you to keep updated on consumers’ actions on the website,” says Ribak. Two sources are Top Producer and Microsoft Outlook. For Ribak’s two offices, the CRM tracked 21,000 leads  and, in his fourth year, one in 24 became a sale.

Develop a Lead-Conversion Strategy
This program should allow you to e-mail new listings, follow up on phone calls and develop a drip e-mail campaign.

Ribak says the software he developed “automatically assigns leads, reports to administration if the lead wasn’t worked, sends an initial list of properties to the lead, places the lead into an automatic listings-update program and sends comparable listings to the customer.”

With the right tools in place, you can keep track of Internet leads and ensure your website stays at the top of any search.