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Why Online Success Is Every Estate Agent's Holy Grail

February 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 140

We've just experienced one of the most severe of recessions of modern times and the impact on overseas property professionals has been tremendous, with huge numbers of agents unable to survive these most challenging of times.

We don't need to look much further than Dubai, Spain and Bulgaria to see how the recession has put so many estate agents out of business. Potential buyers have been keeping their hard-earned money tucked away unsure what the future may hold.

However, even during the recession many people have still been considering and actually buying property abroad. Not everyone has felt the full force of the recession with many barely affected by it.

The overseas property agents who have remained in business have managed to do so by reducing their costs, becoming more efficient and embracing the "free" nature of online marketing to succeed and capture those limited numbers of buyers.

The joy for those agents still in business today is that there is significantly less competition. As markets now appear to show some small signs of recovery, we are again seeing some new overseas property agents coming out of the woodwork. I know this because many have been approaching me over the past few weeks to advertise on my websites.

Many are realising that now is the time to kick off an overseas property business. The competition is low and before the activity in the market starts to intensify the new players can begin to establish themselves and their online presence.

For those estate agents that have survived the "property bust" they are in the best position to grab the new potential buyers eyeing up the overseas property market again.

Those that will do the best are those who over the past few years have firmly established themselves as the "place-to-go" online for the market/s in which they operate. They'll already have done all the hard work in positioning their brand online and in the search engines and should now be able to begin to reap the rewards of all their efforts.

The Importance of the Internet

Have you ever searched on Google for name? Have you ever searched for information about your competitors? Have you ever searched on Google to find out what other property other agents are offering in your market/s?

I'm sure you will have answered "yes" to at least one of those questions and I can guarantee you that the majority of your potential customers will be doing the exact same thing.

When you look to buy a book you'll probably check on Amazon to see what the reviews for that book are. When you go to buy a new car you'll probably go online to see what discounts different dealers are offering for the same car.

Overseas property buyers are no different. The majority spend a considerable amount of time online researching everything there is to know about the properties they are interested in. They'll want to know:

What prices other properties are going for in the areaLocal amenities and attractionsRentability, if they plan on earning some money from rentalsNearby golf courses and beachesPurchase costs and taxes

Today's buyers are much more informed than ever before. Many people got totally sucked into the whole property boom over the past few years but with so many getting their fingers burnt, and with plenty of media coverage of all these horror stories, the modern buyer won't be as likely to jump in head first without firstly having all the necessary information to hand.

The place to go for all of this information is the Internet and unless you can be found and have the information that they are looking for then you're not going to be their default choice as their estate agent.

Building Trust

All those television and newspaper horror stories have really painted a terrible picture in people's mind of overseas property agents.

Why should someone trust YOU with thousands of pounds of their hard-earned money? You need to ask yourself this question when considering how to position your business in front of the thousands of potential property buyers scouring the Internet every day.

There are some very effective, simple and free techniques that you can use to achieve this. All it requires is a bit of your time, honesty and openness. If you are prepared to do this then the results will astonish you.

Some estate agents are already using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, very effectively, especially in building up that level of trust with their potential customers.

Low-Cost and Long-Term

This has to be the most compelling reason to focus your marketing efforts online. You can benefit from the your effort for many years going forward...and it doesn't have to cost the Earth.

The reason for this? Google is the number one search engine. If you can get your website in a top position for the key phrases relating to your market, and you don't do anything silly to ruin that, then that website will consistently deliver traffic and leads to for your business every day. It will remain there generating leads for you whilst your competitors try to catch up with you.

The hard work is in getting there; staying there is much easier.

But the best aspect of it is that you don't need to employ an expensive search-engine-optimiser in order to achieve this level of online success. You can do it all yourself. You just need to know what to do and the best, quickest and most efficient way of achieving it.

Overseas property exhibitions, magazines, pay-per-click campaigns, etc, can all be extremely expensive but the main downside to these is that once the campaigns are finished they're finished. They are no longer working for you.

Being successful online means benefiting from your efforts on a low-cost and long-term basis. It's the now and tomorrow of real estate marketing.

It Does Take Time

Establishing an effective online presence that yields the majority of your enquiries does take a bit of time to implement.

So start today and don't let your competitors beat you to it.

I write about real estate and a wide range of travel destinations around the world and having been in Italy recently I have been writing about Malpensa Airport in Milan.

Source: EzineArticles
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