Improve Your Real Estate Business with a Website

After being in the single-family house business for the last 28 years, I was looking for a way to make my operation more efficient. And along came the Internet. WOW, what an improvement to my business! Here is what we did.

First, we contracted with an Internet Service Provider, then purchased our own domain name. The domain name only cost us $75 for two years and our service provider (which gives us direct access to the Internet) charged us $144/year (after some negotiation). Then we were ready to set up our own website that would be accessible to the WORLD!

Now we have a web site that provides rental information 24 hours a day to everyone who owns a computer and has access to the internet (isn’t that everyone–or at least everyone you want to rent to?). When prospects call our office and ask, “What do you have for rent?” We say, “Do you have access to the Internet?” If they do, we give them our website address and tell them to call back AFTER they have viewed our site.

Here’s what we have accomplished:

  • No more 20-minute conversations explaining in detail each available rental.
  • Saved on long distance calls back to prospects that have called for info.
  • Phone lines are not tied up for long periods, thus we can take more calls, etc.
  • Automatic screening takes place online. Our policies and procedures are explained on our website.
  • The prospect can fill out our rental application online and either email or fax it to us for preapproval.
  • Saves a ton of advertising expense (we now just advertise our website in the local newspaper–directing prospects to go to our website for further info.)
  • Allows prospects to be selective with our inventory of available homes prior to even calling us (often times the prospect calls up and says, “I have narrowed my interest down to these three houses. Can I make an appointment to see them and bring you my completed application at the same time?” Talk about efficient, I think we have arrived!
  • Sets us apart from our competitors. No other company in my town is doing this to the extent that we do. We have pictures of the rentals with a complete detailed description and a FLOOR PLAN online.

We also have “links” to other web sites so our prospects can:

  • Find out what the weather will be like when they a arrive in our town
  • Make reservations in local hotels for their stay
  • Get info on the community from the local chamber of commerce
  • Get a printout from a map service (this will provide a detailed map highlighting the route from the place the prospect is staying in town to our rental).
  • So what does the future hold?

We are now working on taking VIDEO of each rental (inside and out). Can you imagine how impressed our prospects will be when they can see actual video of each rental available online in the comfort of their family room? Who knows what is next!

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By CREOnline Contributor

A content contributor to the original