The short answer is yes. But it’s a bit more complicated than simply answering yes or no. As a real estate agent in today’s technologically savvy world, it is imperative that you have an online presence so your prospective clients to find you. The question that arises now is – what type of web presence do you need?
The standard question to that answer is – a website. On the other hand, others may very well advocate for a web presence. So, what exactly is the difference between a website and a web presence? Well, I will attempt to clarify the difference between owning a website and having a web presence in this article.
Wikipedia’s definition of a website –
A website, also written as web site, or simply site, is a set of related web pages typically served from a single web domain. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address known as a uniform resource locator (URL). All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web.
Wikipedia’s definition of a web presence –
A web presence is a location on the World Wide Web where a person, business, or some other entity is represented (see also web property and point of presence). Examples of a web presence for a person could be a personal website, a blog, a profile page, a wiki page, or a social media point of presence (e.g. a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook account, or a Twitter account). Examples of a web presence for a business or some other entity could be a corporate website, a microsite, a page on a review site, a wiki page, or a social media point of presence (e.g., a LinkedIn company page and/or group, a Facebook business/brand/product page, or a Twitter account).
As you can clearly see, a website is a subset of a web presence – with all the development and management fee. I like to think of website ownership as owning a home and website presence as renting an apartment. With a website, you are required to do the following in order to keep the site active and visible:
- Obtain a domain name – i.e., AgentRave.com
- Get a hosting company to host your files to be displayed on web
- Design the look and feel of the website
- Write content for the website
- Build the website with all necessary features – i.e., IDX, properties gallery, etc.
- Make website mobile friendly
- Secure the website from hackers and malicious activities
- Update the website regularly with new and relevant content
- Renew domain name every year or purchase for many years
- For multiple websites, you may have to buy various domain names and build each separate website
- Add the website to search engines like Google or Bing
- Advertise the website so your audience can find you
Of course, there are other elements associated with managing a website – depending on its scope. The major advantage to owning a website is, it’s yours and you can do whatever you desire with colors, pages, images, etc. To sum it up, when you own a home, you can paint it whatever color you desire without anyone telling you otherwise.
On the other hand, here’s the list associated with managing a web presence:
- Determine which social media platform you want to use – i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook and/or AgentRave. Remember, you can use as many online profiles as you please.
- Setup your profile
- Ask your previous clients to provide you reviews and/or recommendations
- Share your profile with prospective clients
- Maintain your profile’s content
A web presence, similar to renting an apartment requires very little maintenance work. You do not have to deal with ownership, website management, domain names, mobile conversions, hosting – uptime/downtime, etc. You do not have to worry about the heavy lifting associated with owning a website.
I strongly believe that most real estate agents do not need a website; rather, they need a facet of profiles on credible websites such as LinkeIn.com, AgentRave.com, Zillow.com, Realtors.com, Trulia.com, Facebook.com, etc. for their web presence.
To drive this point home, according to the National Realtor Association (NRA), REALTORS® typically brought in 3 inquiries and two percent of their business from their website.
AgentRave.com was created to help home buyers and sellers select the right real estate agent in their area. On AgentRave, all real estate agents get a profile with detailed information about the real estate agent; including contact information, zip codes of focus, license number, neighborhoods of focus, property specialization, hobbies, etc.