iHomefinder a leading national provider of real estate search technology and websites, featured Marin.Com in its November 13th blog post as a website to become the leading outlet for consumers looking for homes in Marin County.
Here is what iHomfinder had to say:
In business since 1994, Behzad knows quite a bit about real estate in upscale Marin County just north of San Francisco. Behzad runs Marin County Real Estate which is affiliated with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International. Like many successful agents, Behzad credits much of his success to his local knowledge of the greater Marin area. Behzad’s goal is to create an online presence that will serve the needs of buyers and sellers in Marin through an aggressive plan to provide robust, relevant content.
The Evolution of Behazd’s Website
Behzad’s initial website included a basic online presence providing listing information along with contact details. He quickly concluded that having a presence is not enough as the engaged site visitor requires a richer experience. He needed to have relevant information on his site that many types of buyers and sellers would find useful. He needed to include deep-local knowledge that would enable him to compete not only against other agents and brokerages but also the big real estate portals like Zillow, Realtor.com and Redfin. Behzad also realized that he needed to not only improve overall awareness but create engaging experiences that keep visitors coming back again and again.
Over the past few years, Behzad has witnessed an increase in the number of mobile users accessing his site. To adapt to this trend, he needs to provide a sound experience for desktop, smart phone and tablet users.
Making the Move to iHomefinder
Prior to making the switch to iHomefinder, Behzad worked with another IDX vendor that offered lead capture services. He found a several key areas that needed improvement. First, Behzad required access to the vendor’s backend so he could manage and configure lead settings. Second, he needed to drive SEO traffic thru both website tags and content creation. His technology contact at Sotheby’s noted his concerns and mentioned that iHomefinder was the top IDX vendor on the market based on Behzad’s SEO, lead management and mobile requirements. After looking the major IDX products, Behzad agreed and made the move to iHomefinder.
One of the first things Behzad did, was to acquire the domain name, “marin.com”. Having a domain name that contains targeted keywords is key in driving SEO results. In addition, ads featuring a specific domain name with an exact match to the product typically perform better than ads featuring a generic alternative. Also, ad performance with the display URL similar to the ad tend to achieve much higher CTRs than ads without highly relevant URLs. (Arguably) most important, is the ‘brandability’ of the domain, which in Behzad’s case is memorable, relevant, easy to spell and authoritative.
Driving buyers and sellers to his site via paid ads is a critical component of his overall strategy. Bahzad developed Facebook and Twitter campaigns to direct traffic to Marin.com at cost-effective rates. He’s taken this a step further by rolling out visitor competitions on social media that incent visitors to create and post content on his website and his social media accounts as well. One such campaign offered a Napa giveaway to people who post their personal story about Marin County. Yet another campaign incented users to post home photos to his social media pages.
As Behzad built-out his website, he had issues with lead capture that were quickly addressed by iHomefinder support. He wanted users to have a clean search experience that did not require username and email address until user engagement was clear. He called iHomefinder support who quickly resolved his concern leaving users with the search experience he intended.
Behzad’s goal is to make relevant information available to visitors interested in residential properties in Marin County. Simply stated, it’s a content game involving not only listings data, but a variety of relevant content that will engage site visitors keeping them coming back again and again. With iHomefinder, he’s able to drive more organic traffic, offer a mobile-first, responsive user experience and work with a world-class support team that is ready to help him meet his business objectives.
Behzad understands the task and is up for the challenge!