Get Your Real Estate Web site in Order Now !!!

With the Spring only 3 months away now is the time to consider getting your real estate web site in order for the upcoming year. Many web site owners leave it until they need to be placed and ready to receive visitors before thinking about their marketing.

Marketing online is a process that can take many months depending on where your site is currently placed, how old the domain is, whether you have your content ready etc.

So start the process in advance, this also makes sense if you are going to embark on the marketing of your web site yourself. While it is quiet you have the time to concentrate on it, ahead of the rush that normally comes with real estate in the Spring.

So, do your Spring cleaning now in the Winter, and be ahead of all of those other real estate agents that are sitting back with their feet up, and even if you are going to employ a real estate internet marketing company, do it now and give them a chance to do a good job for you. There is no magic formula that will have you immediately up and running, and if a company tells you different take a good long hard look at them before you do business with them. None of us have any special relationship with any search engine that gets us immediate placement, other than Pay Per Click.

So in short, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and have a great and prosperous new year.

Is Spam and Bulk Emails Slowing your response to customers ?

In this article I’d like to cover 2 areas. When is an email SPAM ? and What can you do about it ?

I recently spent an hour or so on the phone with a web host discussing when is an email spam and they explained the following to me.

It is a very grey area, we discussed the obvious like all of the gambling, phishing, pharmacy etc. that’s going around, but then we got onto subjects like link exchanges, genuine business propositions etc. The response back from the web host that any email will be regarded as spam if the recipient decides it is, if they report it as spam it will be treated as such and dealt with like that. This in fact means that if you decide that a newsletter or some such thing that you signed up for is SPAM the web host will treat it as such. Currently I must be getting about around 1500 a day, of what I regard as genuine spam, these also include the nasty responses from people who think I’m sending SPAM, when in fact it’s some real spammers using fake headers that point to my server, even though the IP addresses don’t match.

So what can you do ?

Well you can ignore it and just delete it each day, like the majority of the world, this isn’t really a solution and likely means you spend hours each day ploughing through and at least looking at everyone.

You can report each one to the host where they appear to be coming from …… Hmmm, also not very practical, you’d spend your whole life checking and reporting SPAM.

You can use a service like SPAMARREST, this has proved very effective for us, and way better than any SPAM filter on a mail box. What this does is it retrieves your emails from your mail box, if they are on your allowed this it automatically posts them through to you, if they are not it send another email asking the person to enter a code, basically confirming that they are a real person. Most people don’t mind this and will just enter the code, the email is then forwarded to you. What this does do is quarantines the emails where people don’t confirm, if doesn’t delete them, you can go back and eyeball them if you want to. This does in fact ensure that you get to see the emails that are important and sent by a real person or the people that on your allowed list, not perfect, but much better than the excessive number of emails we are all receiving everyday.

Marketing Your Real Estate Web Site – DIY or Use a Company ?

When it comes to marketing your real estate web site there are several things you should ask yourself before you decide that you will do it yourself.

Firstly, Do you know how to do it ? All too often people think they know what they are doing and receive advice form a whole multitude of web designers, friends, blogs and wherever. But is the advice right, we had a new client recently whose designer knew all about search engine marketing and was going to build his knowledge in as he went. The first thing we found was hidden text on the page an absolute no no of course, with all engines, but an immediate ban waiting to happen with Google.

Secondly, OK, you know what you need to do to get those elusive top 10 rankings but do you have the tools to do it, and the technical know how. It’s all well and good knowing you need links and to restructure the HTML of your site etc. But how do you go about getting links, what are you looking for, how do you find them. Without the right tools it is a daunting task and one that many set out on, but never achieve.

Thirdly, Do you have the time ? Many people ask me how long do I need to allow each week for internet marketing, well actually they still call it SEO. My answer to this depends on the site, but in general if you cannot give at least 10 hours a week, you are not going to succeed and even then you are talking 10 hours a week for at least 6 months in many cases and even after that around 5 hours a week. So is your time better spent on what you know best ?

After reading this article you like many people we speak to say, then how can you do a good job for the fees you charge ? The answer to this is volume and years of knowledge and expertise. When we are working with links we have many contacts already and can exchange or get one way links for many clients in one go. Hence we are more efficient than one offs, and contacts want to work with us as it is more beneficial to them. So we may achieve in 10 hours, 10 times what you would for a one off deal. Also we have technical writers who know how to write content to look good on your site, and be be good for the search engines. These people do it everyday and it’s second nature to them. We know how to title pages and write those meta descriptions so consequently we can make change fast and efficiently. All in all it’s our job.

So market it yourself or use a company ? – Should I sell my house myself, I think they call that F.S.B.O. You decide for yourself, but I think you know the simple answer.

Canadian Inflation Figures and House Prices

Inflation figures announced in Ottawa today show a jump of to 1.5%

Housing costs account for 27 percent of Canada’s consumer price index and they rose 2.9 percent in November from a year earlier, led by the biggest jump in mortgage interest costs since March 2001. Food prices rose 3.1 percent, Statistics Canada said. Energy prices fell 2.8 percent.

Housing may have peaked though, according to Carolyn Kwan, an economist at Scotia Capital in Toronto. She pointed in an interview to new-home price data that Statistics Canada released Dec. 11, which showed the gain from a year earlier easing to 11.4 percent in October from 12.1 percent in August.

If we continue to get moderation in home prices, that will keep the Bank of Canada on track to cut rates next year, said Kwan, who predicts two cuts next year during the second and third quarters. The slowdown in economic growth also will help reduce inflation pressures going forward, she said.