GUARANTEED WAYS TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE INEFFECTIVE
WE OFTEN HEAR WHAT REAL ESTATE WEB SITES SHOULD DO TO ATTRACT AND KEEP VISITORS. BUT WHAT ABOUT WHAT THEY SHOULD NOT DO? WHETHER YOU CREATE YOUR OWN WEB SITE OR HIRE A DESIGN FIRM TO BUILD ONE FOR YOU, HERE ARE 30 EXTREMELY GOOD WAYS TO GUARANTEE THAT YOU’LL NEVER GET ANY LEADS FROM YOUR REAL ESTATE WEB SITE. FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES AND YOU WILL BE AMONG THE 80 PERCENT OF AGENTS WHO’S WEB SITES ARE NOT GENERATING ANY NEW BUSINESS.
1. Let your visitors search for your listings only by zip code or community. After all, if out-of-towners are really interested in buying in your community, they will be as familiar with it as you are.
2. Never include more than one photo of a listing. And, to save time and effort, recycle the same lame photo you used in your newspaper ad last week.
3. Don’t test your site for broken links after you upload it. Most Internet users are used to seeing these and understand mistakes do happen especially with technical stuff like the Web.
4. Design a very fancy 3-minute Flash as your introduction. And, to make absolutely sure your visitors will watch the entire (and very expensive) presentation, never include a “skip intro” link on the page.
5. If you don’t want to spend the money on a Flash introduction, load your home page up with lots of photos, flashy buttons, and unrelated graphics. You’re visitors will be so intrigued, they won’t mind waiting a few minutes to see it.
6. A 50:1 ratio of extraneous links to your partners web sites to actual site content is a good formula for bringing in more business.
7. You love those spinning, flashing, animated graphics, and decide more is better when it comes to providing interest to your pages. Use lots of them.
8. You keep hearing about site “stickiness” and decide the best way to keep visitors on your site is to include a clever script that disables their back button.
9. Never create any original content for your site. You’re a “Real Estate Pro” not a writer.
10. Don’t include any information about your area or school systems. It takes a lot of time and effort to publish this kind of thing and most home shoppers aren’t interested anyway.
11. Never change your site once it’s up there – even if it contains listings from 2 years ago. Your prospects will think you must be the best because you have such a large inventory.
12. Create a popup window that prompts your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. Put the popup on every single page on your site regardless of how many times your visitors have seen it.
13. Eliminate all photos and use only virtual tours. Force the tour to load as soon as a prospect clicks on the property.
14. For heaven’s sake, don’t give your visitors too much information about your homes. If they really want to know more, they should be using the phone, not the Internet.
15. Include lots of ads for mortgage lenders, movers, lawyers, and security systems providers on your site. And, if you have the room, get some ads for pet food and laundry services on there for good measure.
16. Make it hard for your visitors to find your listings. Then, make them click several times to get any details about them.
17. Focus your site on yourself and your tremendous accomplishments. Make sure you mention several times throughout your pages that you’re responsible for zillions of dollars in sales last year. Make your home page your “brag” page.
18. Place lots of links to pages that are incomplete. On the blank pages, put lots of really “kewl”, animated “under construction” do-dads, complete with flashing lights.
19. Force your visitors to fill out long, complicated forms. This will get you lots of contacts.
20. Add a chilling rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” for your visitor’s listening enjoyment. And because you are certain that everyone loved the movie Titanic just as much as you, do not include a method of stopping it.
21. Never use thumbnail images of your listings. The bigger the better.
22. Make sure you shoot the photos of every listing from a minimum of four blocks away so you get all the surroundings of the property.
23. Use photos of your homes at the highest resolution possible so they show every little detail. Everyone will want to wait six minutes per page just to see the eye-catching graphics you have included.
24. Don’t go through all the trouble of including your exclusive listings. Instead, simply link to your local MLS database.
25. Use a free Web hosting service for your site. While you’re at it, make sure it has a long address with lots of slashes and tildes. This is sure to get you a good listing in the search engines.
26. If you use a free Web hosting service, be sure you sign up for free email too. This way your visitors will get an ad with every message you send them.
27. Put as little time, effort, and money into your Web site as you can. A free site on REALTOR®.com will have your phones ringing almost immediately.
28. Force your visitors at every turn to give you their personal contact information before they can look at anything on your site.
29. Only check your email weekly for messages from your prospects. People are used to waiting days to get a letter by postal mail, why should email be any different.
30. Believe that the Internet is just a fad and treat it as such. In a year or two this will all die down and folks will go back to doing business the old way.