Online Curb Appeal
My first job out of college was as a reporter for a weekly business newspaper in Boston called the Banker & Tradesman. I wrote about banking and real estate trends -- countless stories on commercial building vacancies, new construction starts, and (because this was the late 1980s) bank failures, the housing bust (and then the boom) and the stock market crash.
I learned a lot in those years, including the fact that marketing real estate has never been a hip business. The people in it might be cool -- but the advertising venues that work best for real estate have long been traditional vehicles like postcards, print newspaper ads and signage. (Although increasingly, tech-savvy real estate agents and developers are turning to online and social media tools like video, blogs, and other new media tools to sell their properties.)
But still, real estate is a very local business (hence the real estate mantra of "location, location, location")-you don't buy a house solely off of the Internet, right?
Yet here's the interesting thing: Marketers of all stripes nevertheless can borrow a page from the offline real estate agent's playbook to improve their online conversations and sales. As David Polley writes in this week's Premium story, "An experienced Realtor knows that the sale begins when potential buyers can picture your home as their own. And first impressions are everything. Therefore, the most cost-effective strategy is to thoroughly clean the home and make minor improvements."
In other words, Polley says, heighten your web site's curb appeal. And he offers five ways to do just that.
Check it out, and tell me what you think. As always, your feedback is welcome and appreciated!