Published: January 20, 2015Topics: Did you know...

Is It Time To Ditch The Idea Of A Real Estate Webmaster?

Reality check …

A website is only as valuable as the amount of control that you have. So, gone is the illusion that you can rely on a real estate webmaster to “take care” of your online presence. And enter the current reality: what you get out of your website depends on what you put in.

Webmaster is a title that became prevalent in the mid-1990s, to identify an individual who was solely responsible for all the duties related to maintaining a website. Webmasters were considered gurus, because they provided a means for small- to mid-size businesses to get their presence online – something especially meaningful for company managers who had little or no knowledge about how websites were created and maintained.

Basically, webmasters offered the easiest way to “check” website off your to-do list.

The floodgates open

With the success of websites as a business tool, businesses drastically changed the way they approach their online presence. As a result, webmasters were flooded with more complicated requests, and websites required more frequent updates.

Many webmasters found themselves unable to fulfill this level of demand, and some of their skills didn’t keep up with rapidly changing technology. In the end, the concept of using a webmaster, whether an in-house employee or outside contractor, simply died.

Businesses that could afford it hired in-house web development teams to implement their online strategy, which grew to include not just websites but social media presence. But what happened to the rest of the small to mid-size businesses? A new industry was born to fill that void: Content Management Systems (CMS), also referred to as “Website Builders,” “Web Presence Builders,” “Template Websites” and so on.

Control is key

In the modern age of real estate websites, “control” is the most important factor that determines whether your website is effective or a bust.

Imagine for a moment, a person searches online for a real estate professional. What are they experiencing? Most likely, they are visiting many websites with the same stale, lifeless, yada, yada, yada content. Consequently, none of the agents on those websites stand out to them.

But when they reach your website, they see relevant content that is fresh and personal.

  • They may see a picture of you with a new homeowner that you recently represented in the buying process.
  • They may find a blog filled with helpful advice and a strong call-to-action.
  • They may get to a landing page that exchanges a valuable offer for their contact and other information – helping you determine if they are qualified leads.

You become a real person to them. They are not hesitant to reach out to you because your website reflects your personality and human side. They know that you are easy to reach because your website is updated frequently. That’s the advantage a website that you control will give you!

Take control

CMS technology helps you maintain the control you want over your website.

Beware, however: Real estate webmasters haven’t gone away completely! There are some that are still peddling old fashion “custom” websites and will do whatever it takes to convince you to buy a pricey website; that offers a lot less than a template website, that gives you no control, and that will quickly become obsolete.

Do yourselves a favor, Realtors. Avoid all the gibberish talk and thousands of dollars for a “custom” websites from these real estate webmasters and get a website design that you control.