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Why Do Real Estate Agents Require Websites?
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During the past ten years, the Internet has changed the way people buy houses and the way real estate agents and brokers do business. The Internet makes it easy for home buyers to quickly to sort lists of available properties in their local area and provide them with a combination of written information, photos and virtual tours. Large national real estate firms such as Realtor.com and ReMax operate web sites that furnish access to real estate listings across the country.

A consumer in the market to purchase a new home can quickly search available properties, 24 hours a day from the comfort of their own home. No longer do potential buyers have to contact a real estate agent to see local homes that meet the buyers situation. Today, with a simple online search, home buyers can easily find a real estate listings for houses that meet their needs. In most situations home buyers can obtain specifics of the listing, view photographs of the home and in some case take a virtual tour online before they contact a real estate agent to arrange a viewing.

Based on a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, in 2007 nearly 84% of all home buyers utilized the Net while looking for real estate. This figure has virtually doubled since 2001 and is up considerably from the 2% of all home buyers who used the Internet in 1995. More important is the fact that almost 82% of these buyers used a real estate agent to complete their purchase. These numbers show how necessary it is that real estate agents and brokers have be visible online. If future home buyer finds a property of interest on-line, it is important that they can quickly contact the listing agent through the same page or via the agents website.

One of the biggest on-line real estate resources is Realtor.com, this internet site is operated by the National Association of Realtors. Realtor.com provides over two million real estate listings. One of the features Realtor.com offers is the ability to provide contact information and a link to the listing agents website. Realtor.com is an excellent example of how the internet can be used as a well-formatted marketing and product presentation tool.

Online Marketing for Real Estate Agents
In todays market place it is necessary that every real estate agent or broker have a personal internet site that at the very minimum provides a future client with the agents contact information. More sophisticated internet sites can often be easily set up to provide supplementary listing information and pictures of available properties. Every web site should include phone numbers, office address and email address for the agent. Remember, the key to any successful real estate website is to make it easy for the home buyer to contact the real estate agent.

Other outstanding way to promote any real estate business is a blog. Blog is short for "weblogs" and are one of most efficient online marketing tools. A blog allows you to discuss your local market or specific listings as well as providing a method to market yourself and share your thoughts on the real estate industry.

Social Networking or Web 2.0 sites is the latest online marketing phenomenon to have emerged in many areas of business today. Online social networking is rapidly gaining popularity within the real estate industry.

So what is Social Networking?
Online social networking is a internet based community that allows people with similar interests discuss, contact and interact with each other. Members of these social networks can send messages to other member, chat, post video, share files and post to blogs. Some of the most popular social networking sites include Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Real Estate Voices and Zolve Hosting your website Regardless of the marketing methods plan to use, you must have a professional, informative website that connects the buyer and real estate agent together. It is important for a realtor to consider the following when selecting a web hosting company.

What type of web site do you plan to develop? Are you planning a simple brochure site that just provides information, or one that offers listings and virtual tours or a blog. If you are planning to offer customers virtual tours of your property listings you should select a web host who understands the technology behind "virtual tours" and offers web hosting plans that provide the features and bandwith that allows them to be included in the website.

When considering any web hosting company, the first thing you should look at is where you want your online business to be in the future. Look at things like, how much traffic do you expect? How many sites do you plan to build? What type of server software will you be using? Do you require a dedicated IP address? Once you have established your needs you can begin looking at web hosting companies.

Generally a successful real estate website will also provide potential buyers with more information on a property than is available through the national MLS listing. The realtor's web site should be comprehensive, personable, and provide clients with as many options as possible.
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