One of the most frequent questions we get on phone calls and in emails is:
“How can I build a better real estate website?”
There are so many different things that can be done to get more leads from an existing real estate website that we can’t share all of them in one blog post.
I want to take some time and over the next 12 weeks, show you 12 things that we have seen people do to get more out of their existing site.
Day 1: Use a great real estate domain name
How can I choose a great domain name for my real estate website?
Your domain name is really YOUR brand. It is how people will find you. Your real estate domain name is what people will think of you. A good domain name is the foundation for a great real estate website.
Get a domain name that is related to the market where you to sell
Yes, there are sites like Redfin.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia.com that have a name that is totally unrelated to real estate who have had great success. These folks have spent millions for dollars on brand recognition and advertising to get the brand recognition they enjoy today.
Generally you don’t want to use your name as your domain. While this is a good thing to do if you are Pitbull, Beyonce, or even LeBron James, I don’t think it works well for most agents.
When someone wants to look you up, they probably won’t type your name as the domain into a web browser. It is more likely that a visitor would go to Google and type in your name. Even if you have a different domain name, visitors will be able to find you be doing a search for your personal name.
Select a domain about the market you work in. Something like ShadowValleyRealEstate.com or BuyingBoston.com is a good domain name for a real estate website because you are telling people that you serve a particular market. This real estate market may be a city, a subdivision, or even a part of town.
This is important is because when people go to Google and do a search for real estate, let’s say they are looking for property in Hoboken New Jersey. Let’s say you are looking to purchase a home in Hoboken and you were to do a google search for:
“hoboken real estate”
and got these domains back as search results:
Which of those would you be most likely to click on?
If you are like most people, you would click on one of the last two. Our client at HobokenNJ.com is a great example of getting to the top of the Google results with a great domain name.
While Yoopie sounds like a fun, yuppie, and cool name, it doesn’t make folks feel comfortable that it is a place to search for a home. Becky Morrison may be a top producing agent in her real estate market, and all of the competing agents know who she is, but most people don’t know who Becky is, and they probably are not looking for her personal site.
The last 2 have something about the original search term. You may like this example of how to beat Zillow with a great real estate domain name.
If you live in Miami, you may not want to go out and try to buy MiamiRealEstate.com after reading this blog. It is probably long gone and worth thousands if not millions of dollars.
But if you have a little bit of a niche like duplexes in Miami then you could go out and buy miamiduplexsearch.com (unless someone reading this just bought it). That is a great domain for you to use to hit your market. If you are focus on a small area or a niche in your market, get that domain name as soon as you can.
Mistakes to avoid when purchasing a real estate domain name
What NOT to do:
Darren Rowse at Problogger wrote an insightful article about some common mistakes people tend to make when purchasing domain names. These can be mentioned here with a little real estate tweak to them:
Not getting your own domain name
The first mistake, according to Rowse, is NOT getting your own domain name. You may be using something like ScottSimmons.UptownRealEstate.com as your domain. When you do that, you are limited in what you can do. You are tied to that other domain name.
Even if you use ScottSimmons.WordPress.com for a wordpress real estate website, you are not in control of your domain. If they change anything in their policies, you are impacted by those changes. Get your own domain name. (We show how and where below)
Not using .com for your domain
Another mistake he mentions is not getting the .com domain for your site. Don’t buy a .net or .org. You want the .com so that there isn’t any confusion for visitors.
Using hyphens in your domain
Hyphens is the last mistake on the list. miami-real-estate-expert.com is hard for people to remember. It is confusing to have a bunch of hyphens when you tell a client your email or your domain.
I actually used something like 899-home.com as my first domain name as a full-time real estate agent. That was a cute idea, since it matched my phone number, but it is terrible trying to get people to memorize my domain name or my phone number.
I switched from that to some thing more like rogerscommercial.com (Commercial property in Rogers Arkansas, the town where I lived.) That worked much better and people were able to remember it a lot better.
How find and buy your new real estate domain name
Buying a domain name is simple and easy.
- Make a list of the five or ten most important keywords for your site.
- Just go to a site like DomainTyper.com or Enom.com and use their domain name search.
- Search until you find a great domain name that will be your brand and buy it.
Get the rest of the series to build a better real estate website.