Name: Vikas Meena (2008 -2010)
Title: The Use of Internet in Real Estate
With over 2.3 million professional agents nationwide, competition is very tough in the real estate market. When thinking about the fact that each one of those professionals need to market in order to stay in business and generate sales, it is easy to understand why real estate is one of the tougher professions to dominate.With more and more media available to the savvy marketer, real estate is no different from any other industry that faces a huge challenge to stand out from the crowd. Generating buzz is tough in any industry, but it is even more arduous considering current market conditions for real estate professionals in 2009. Having a listing in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is no longer a benefit— it’s a requirement to marketing a home for clients. Having a high‐quality and easily‐searchable website is a must in today’s competitive environment. Being at or near the top of major search engine listings is a marketing vehicle in which real estate professionals can truly distinguish themselves from their competitors.
People want to associate with someone who is well known and has awareness in the marketplace in order to get their property sold within a reasonable timeframe.
By the same token, buyers often do all of their research online, finding homes for sale through online MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listings, narrowing down their wants and needs, and basically limiting the real estate agent’s work to showing the house and closing the sale. What could be more efficient and time‐saving? Yet, when these buyers are ready to take that final step, where will they go to find a real estate professional? Most likely, they will find that person on the Internet as well.
Companies like Makaan.com, 99acres.com, zameenzaidad.com, indiahousing.com, realestateonline.com, magicbrics.com and etc. are making there 100% business by using internet.Companies like DLF, MGF Emaar, Parsvanath Develepors, Ansal, Unitech and etc. are also using a internet as a part of there business in sales and purchase.But small property dealers don’t have their websites but still they are doing their business. These businessmen can also have a great opportunity of making their presence on internet and can increase their business many times.
- To understand the demand pattern of internet in real estate sector.
- To know the amount of investment spent on the internet.
- To understand the image of internet in the eyes of real estate consultant and developer.
- People should go online.
- They can get a very good business from it.
- I can give examples of some companies who are running their 100% business from internet like 99acres, mMakaan.com
- There are some other companies who are doing their business from internet as well as their personal deals like DLF, MGF Amaar.
- And once you are online and if still you are not getting business then
- Get the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your website done.
- Get the SMO (Social Media Optimization) of your website done.
- Get the advertisement done about your website.
- And do some stuff to drive the visitors to your website.
- The points which should remember in increasing the online presence are as following -:
- Start by researching other websites. Market research is a good starting place for most marketing activities as it allows you to gather information about customers and competitors. This should then help you set the direction you want to follow. So when looking at an online presence see what your competitors are doing. See how they are communicating in both words and pictures, what tone of voice do they use e.g. friendly, caring, authoritative. What do you like and don’t like about their websites? This may spark ideas on how you can make your website different and better.
- Plan out your website in a wire diagram. This is a pictorial of the layout of your website. This takes time but it is well worth it as it will make it much easier and more logical when you navigate round your website. Start by writing down all the subject areas you want to cover. Then see if some areas can be grouped together so they create a theme. At the top of the diagram you will have a box for a home page, underneath that there will be a number of headline boxes such as; about us; our products; where to buy; contact us; testimonials. Then underneath each of the headings decide what pages you want. For example under “About us” you might have: company history; meet the team; job opportunities; how to find us.
- Also plan out each page as it will save you so much time later. Once you have created your wire diagram you should then set up your page layout. Start with your home or landing page. Draw it out in PowerPoint so you can get a good impression of how it will look on a screen. It will also help your web designer deliver what you want. Then draw out each page with a note about the type of copy you plan to put into each text box and a graphic idea where appropriate. Don’t write the copy or select graphics until all the planning has been completed.
- Navigation bar on the left. In this country we read left to right and that is the way your eyes work. The navigation bar should therefore start on the left hand side of the screen as that is where the eye will focus first.
- Match the graphic to the words carefully. Give some thought to the words and pictures you want to use. Make sure they work together and enhance your message. If you are saying something is easy to use then include a picture of someone making it look easy. Or say “It will look great on your table” then show it as part of a whole table decoration and not in isolation.
- Write to be read with ‘you’ appeal. Too often copy is written with lots of “we”. We will do this, we will give that and we provide the other. Change that to have much more “you” appeal. So use phrases like you find, you can experience, you can enjoy, when you buy. There is more to copy writing than you may think. You need to consider search engine optimising all your copy.
- Don’t clutter your site with banners. A website can become cluttered, very quickly. A banner advert is added, then a skyscraper, or an advert and too soon the real message and content of the website is lost. The result is the visitor stops looking and will move onto a competitor’s website. Keep it simple.
- Avoid counters that show the number of page visitors. A counter is often found at the bottom of a page and it shows the number of people that have visited the website. Don’t use them as they are an unnecessary distraction and if you are using Google Analytics or similar package then you will have this information anyway.
- Check the speed your website loads on different machines. A great put off to any web visitor is a slow load. A visitor will lose patience and they will move on. Be aware that pages can load at different speeds on a PC and a Mac. You also need to remember that not everybody opens a website on a PC or laptop. These days people are looking at the internet on mobile phones, Blackberry’s and PDA’s so you should make sure your website can be seen clearly on these and doesn’t take too long to load.
10. Consider the colour contrasts between fonts and backgrounds. You will spend a lot of time, effort and money on your website. Don’t waste it. To ensure people read your copy you need to make it easy for them to do so. Let the words stand out from the screen by ensuring the colour of the font has sufficient contrast to its background.
11. Put your newsletter online to download. Tell your customer about good news. Let them have the opportunity to download your newsletter. Also give them the option so they can sign up and receive it regularly. In this way you will gain an email address but make sure you have a clear policy about what you will do and not do with the information you collect. Have a look at your competitors’ privacy statements and see what they do, especially if they are using the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) logo. This means they are a member of the DMA and will have to follow their code of practice. You might even look at joining the DMA.
12. Analyse your visitors. Make sure you know what pages are visited, how long a person is staying on the site and then use the information to improve the website. So if certain pages are rarely visited then look at them, see if they can be made more interesting. Perhaps change the headline, use a new graphic and add in extra content. Make sure you see check back and see if things have improved. If not try something different e.g. add a competition, a vote or a message board. Encourage customers to communicate with you, let them add comments and provide content for your website.
13. Drive people to your web address with paper based items. Marketing is changing. We are moving from paper based marketing like brochures, print advertising and leaflets to websites and new media. When producing printed materials make sure you promote your web address prominently.
14. Use both sides of your business cards. Too often we only print one side of our business card or even worse we make a hand written change such as a new telephone number.You could use the second side to promote your company website and personal email contact. Make a point of explaining this when you hand out the card. Business cards are just one of the products you could design. Why not create laptop skins and printed binders to promote your company wherever you are?
15. Minimise the clicks. Don’t make it difficult for the customer to find information that will lead to a sale or business leads. The fewer clicks a customer makes the better.
16. Use bullet points. When you write copy for a website use bullet points. This allows customers to scroll down easily and read or skim read the points that interest them. This is much easier to read than a paragraph of copy. The bullet points can be numbered so that the customer knows there is more. Or you can tell them at the start how many to expect.
17. Get someone else to test it including external links. A website that does not work properly will put off customers very quickly but you are not the best person to test it. You know how it should work. Ask a colleague to be a mystery shopper and use it as if they were coming to it for the first time. Let them play and you watch what happens. Then just note down any actions that are needed.
18. View your website on different browsers. There are many browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. Each of these has different versions and each one could display your website slightly differently. Before you turn your website live check what it looks like on as many browsers as you can.
19. Put alt tags on your pictures. An alt tag is a description of the picture or graphic. It is like a caption on a picture that is displayed when you roll over a graphic with your mouse. It is also used by people with disabilities so they can hear what is written. People with disabilities are an important market worth 60 billion Euros. It provides a real business opportunity.
20. Be careful with special graphic effects and music. These can be very annoying when you have seen or heard them a couple of times. They can also make a page load slowly. So don’t make them complicated and use music very sparingly.
21. Always have contact information on your website. Make it easy for customers to contact you by phone and email. Make sure you check regularly for emails as an unanswered email will undo all your hard work
Research faced following limitation to complete this project –
1) The Possibility of wrong interpretation and the ambiguity of question
2) The time and expertise to construct the survey.
3) Collect data from field
4) Accuracy of collected data from field
5) Lack of accurate, centralized and statewide information
6) Time and cost
7) Respond rate is very low
8) Sample size is small so the accuracy of information is in doubt
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Basically, real estate consultants/agents are present on internet but they are not getting their leads, and they want to increase their reach towards maximum costumers, but because of lacking of the knowledge of internet they are not enough able to do all the technical work.
They can hire the technical persons for this work but their operating cost will be high in this case, so just to maintain their operating cost, some of the real estate consultants/agents give up from going online and real estate consultants/agents try to do it but they don’t take much interest in it and just do it for the sake of saying that they are having their online presence.