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Top Producers in My Area are Not on WordPress – Why Should I Be?

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?).

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Product & Marketing for 360modern. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Drew,
     
    Thank you so much for this post. 
     
    This topic comes up all the time when I am speaking with brokers.  You bring up some great points about brokers that have been in the business a long time.  They didn’t need to worry about the web because when they were developing their business there wasn’t a web to worry about. Now the game has changed and to compete in the online space you have to be there with a good presence and on a platform that provides every advantage.
     
    Many brokers are now realizing that their “brochure type sites” just don’t cut it for leads and the savvy home seller knows what a great website should have.
     
    I am fully convinced that WordPress is a great way to build a website.
     
    LA
     
     

    • I would agree WordPress is one of many good options for building content, but not always the best option if you are looking for a good user experience for the home buyer.. Many of the WordPress agent or broker sites are not set up for an easy home searching experience. They could be with the right IDX integrated into them. Many of them hack in an IDX that is not easy for the user to use therefore are not converting like they should.

      Many times WordPress can be very slow loading if agents are using the wrong plugins as well.. I agree if an agent wants to spend more time being a webmaster and not following up on leads they can save a few bucks using WordPress.. I guess an agent should probably decide where their time is better spent.. Playing webmaster dealing with the latest plug-ins or spending a few more dollars and let a website company handle that so they can spend more time following up & working with clients.. Not sure if stepping over $100 bills to save pennies is always the best business decision. Is saving a few bucks worth getting a site that could convert 2 – 5 times better worth it?

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

        • Hi Darin,

          In Full disclosure I am a Hawaii real estate broker that started Real Geeks because I could not find a solution that was SEO friendly, easy CMS that was flexible, built-in blog, easy fast IDX search for my users with a great lead capture and back-end lead management system.. My team has sold 100 properties so far this year from the site.. So I guess it its working pretty well and I might know a little about lead conversion 😉

          I said MANY OF THEM not all of them have a hacked IDX.. that is not very user friendly therefore not a good user experience and will not convert very well. The key to converting a higher number of leads is having an easy to use fast IDX integrated into a site like this one http://www.gellens.com. Now that is set up to get highest conversion rate possible…. Notice it is skinned just like the site and the search is fast and user friendly.. It also has a great lead capture with a back end lead manager to follow up on the leads and view all the users activity..

          I DID NOT say that a person using a WordPress could not use a webmaster or somebody to help manage their site… In many cases it would be better for an agent to do that and spend their time on following up with leads and clients.. Better use of time… Agents probably shouldn’t wasting their time creating flyers and other marketing pieces either when they can delegate that as well.. If they are really into producing more business.. Agents are independent contractors therefore running their own business.. They probably should start running it like a business instead of trying to do everything themselves.

          You asked the following:

          1. And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? No site will convert if there is not traffic to it.. No matter how well it is set up to convert..

          2. How do you get traffic to your site? Traffic organically from search engines. There are other ways of driving traffic though… that are cost effective..

          3. And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data?
          This San Diego http://www.homesalessandiego.com/ site was on WordPress with a 1 parkplace IDX and once we switched it over to Real Geeks the sign ups went up 5 times.. That would be 500% increase.. Had it stayed on WordPress and integrated Real Geeks IDX and skinned it like the Gellens example it would have gone up at least 3 – 5 times as well..

          This site http://www.greenvillescrealestate.net/ was on Advanced Access and switched over and sign ups went up 10 times..

          I could give you a lot more examples of sites getting 5 – 10 times the amount of leads, but I think you get the point..

          I would be happy to chat anytime… Have a great DAY!!

          Aloha
          Jeff

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

      • I don’t understand you comment at all.

        The way you make it sound is that if I’m an agent and I use wordpress, I have to do it all myself, is that right? I can’t have a webmaster if I use wordpress?

        And on IDX… so you can only use a “hacked IDX” on wordpress, what does that mean?

        And also, how do you convert if there is no traffic? How do you get traffic to your website? And where do you get the “2 – 5 times better conversion” when not on wordpress data? What is the source of that?

    • I would agree WordPress is one of many good options for building content, but not always the best option if you are looking for a good user experience for the home buyer.. Many of the WordPress agent or broker sites are not set up for an easy home searching experience. They could be with the right IDX integrated into them. Many of them hack in an IDX that is not easy for the user to use therefore are not converting like they should.

      Many times WordPress can be very slow loading if agents are using the wrong plugins as well.. I agree if an agent wants to spend more time being a webmaster and not following up on leads they can save a few bucks using WordPress.. I guess an agent should probably decide where their time is better spent.. Playing webmaster dealing with the latest plug-ins or spending a few more dollars and let a website company handle that so they can spend more time following up & working with clients.. Not sure if stepping over $100 bills to save pennies is always the best business decision. Is saving a few bucks worth getting a site that could convert 2 – 5 times better worth it?

  • Hey Drew, this is a great post and so many “spot on” points.

    What I especially like is your honest opinion of what it takes to make a blog successful and generating those leads when you said – Blogging and online lead generation is a long term strategy….

    That whole paragraph says it right there.  Too many people think blogs as another quick fix and don’t realize the dedication and time it takes. 

    thanks!

  • Hey Drew, this is a great post and so many “spot on” points.

    What I especially like is your honest opinion of what it takes to make a blog successful and generating those leads when you said – Blogging and online lead generation is a long term strategy….

    That whole paragraph says it right there.  Too many people think blogs as another quick fix and don’t realize the dedication and time it takes. 

    thanks!

  • Drew,

    A question on this: “WP gives you about 70% of what Google is looking for…”

    I know for many and probably most, Google is what everyone wants. But my client calls go up when I can rank high in…well, used to be MSN. There was a direct connection to my blog-clients and my placement in msn search. 

    Of course that is now Bing. Do you have any advice with regard to Bing vs Google? Given the majority of my clients work for Microsoft, (some for Google) placing in Bing is ultra important for me.

  • WordPress is powered by Content management software. I really like your post but i have  a one question  what are the condition of wordpress plug- ins?

  • Drew, YOU NAILED IT: 

    “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. “

  • Drew, YOU NAILED IT: 

    “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. “

  • Drew, YOU NAILED IT: 

    “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. “

  • Always remember that most high producing agents today have built their business prior to the internet becoming to go to source for real estate information.Thanks for sharing this article with us.Keep sharing with us.

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