If I look at the very top agents in the company most aren’t using WP for main site, why should I?
I received this question from John Ziemba on Twitter last week and wanted to address it here. It’s a question that I can’t answer in 140 characters on Twitter (yes, there are still some questions that Twitter can’t answer).
First, there are multiple ways to become a high producing agent. And you don’t NEED WordPress to do it. Traditional marketing and sphere building is obviously a proven strategy. Keep in mind that most high producing agents today have built their business prior to the internet becoming to go to source for real estate information.
For example, there is a RE/MAX team that dominates lakefront property on Lake Sammamish where I grew up. Judy Layton and her daughter Sundi Mathewson have built their business over the course of the last two decades via traditional marketing and word of mouth. Ever since I can remember, their team has sponsored a fireworks show on the lake on the 4th of July; each year’s investment probably north of $20,000 in fireworks. Everyone around the lake saw the show every year, and everyone knew that the real estate agent Judy Layton sponsored it. One of my neighbors just put their house on the market. And guess who the listing agents are? Yup, Judy and Sundi.
Their site is not on WordPress, but I would be willing to bet a pretty penny the only leads their site generates are from individuals who see their signs around the lake and Google their specific names. They have clearly not invested in their web presence.
But times are changing. The internet NOW IS the place where buyers go to find real estate information. They don’t immediately call an agent the first chance they get; they do months of research prior to that point. It’s my firm belief that to become a high producing agent for the next 5, 10, 15 years, you need an amazing web presence that can turn traffic into leads as the foundation of your marketing efforts.
So, why WordPress?
Here are a few reasons to start with. The primary reasons I usually give agents/brokers are SEO (WP gives you about 70% of what Google is looking for in onsite architecture out of the box with zero modifications), data portability, flexibility, ease of use, and support. There is simply no more cost effective way than WordPress to build your business online in today’s environment. Even though it’s still not dirt cheap for a high quality real estate WordPress website/blog, the cost of a WordPress site (here is more info about your WordPress setup options and costs) is lower than a proprietary platform simply because the maintenance of the core WordPress software is effectively outsourced to the WordPress community. Add the thousands of plugins, themes, and support — and you have a clear winner in terms of cost. Contrast that with a proprietary platform where every last piece of code has to be paid for by the website provider.
Blogging and online lead generation is a long term strategy. It’s not something that’s likely to prove immediate dividends in the first year. Somewhere between 2-3 years is the tipping point of blogging lead generation in my opinion. If you can stick it out that long (and not many people make it), you’ll be rewarded heavily with leads resulting from the 2-3 years of past content you’ve built up over time. The greatest website on the planet is worthless without traffic. And traffic is hard work regardless of what platform you are on, but I think blogging consistently on a WordPress platform is the best strategy to drive organic SEO traffic over time.
Lastly, remember there is NO silver bullet when it comes to building a business. WordPress by itself won’t do it for you (I know, bummer, huh?).