How Can Homebuilders Stand Out in a Web 2.0 World?

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Social networking. It’s everywhere. MySpace. ActiveRain. LinkedIn.

Then there’s e-mail marketing, search engine optimization, blogs and pay-per-clicks.

Maybe, like millions of others, you’ve already put yourself and your business out there. Or maybe, like millions more, you’ve heard of Social Media and Web 2.0, but you don’t have any idea how to get started.

It’s time to learn. And if you’re already there, it’s time to take a second look to see what you can do to differentiate your business in a crowded field.

I’ll bet the Web 2.0 hold outs among you are asking yourselves why you should bother. After all, you have a website. The truth is, your website isn’t helping homebuyers find you if doesn’t show up it in a simple Google search. Web 2.0 applications are like the directional signs you’ve always used to get drive-by traffic into your neighborhoods. Your company name appears in more places on the Internet alongside the key words your potential homebuyers are using to find their next builder. That means the search engines are more likely to find YOU when someone types “Chicago homebuilder” or “Alpharetta real estate” into that search field.

And when online lookers can find you and you can track their experience on your website and learn from it, that’s a good thing. In fact, website usability and tracking techniques have helped builders increase direct sales by more than 15 percent, reduce marketing related expenses by 17 percent and put 3 percent directly back on the bottom line.

A couple of places you can start utilizing Web 2.0 are is Chicago’s new real estate news blog, www.ChicagolandRealEstateForum.com and Atlanta’s most popular real estate blog www.AtlantaRealEstateForum.com. These blogs offer a place for builders, developers and agents to post news, comment on the industry, talk about their homes and brag about those new certifications they’ve earned. It’s another way to put up signs on the Internet and point the way to your website and, ultimately, into your homes.

And they are free.

What’s not to love about the world of Web 2.0?

By Mitch Levinson, MIRM, CSP, MBA