A friend of mind gave me some advise recently on his specialty. (His own domain can be found at http://www.Naples-Fl-Real-Estate.com). He wrote the following:
“In the majority of real estate websites, over ninety percent of the pages are dynamically created, duplicate content, with most real estate listings coming from the same data sources. Keeping this in mind, making a website stand out in the search engines and above the competition, becomes a monumental task.
And that is were creative SEO comes into play. And its not what it used to be with tons of links from every social media website. Its more about reputation than anything else today. One good link from a very reputable site is worth more than millions of low quality back-links.
If you are in the market for a new domain, look at the history of an aged domain and its quality of back-links. Having an aged domain is not always the key, especially for less competitive keywords. I have found name specific .pro domains very successful in ranking, so do not focus just on just traditional domain extensions.”
I can appreciated that it is a very competitive marketplace and I take from his words that one of the challenges is when the bulk of your website is dynamically created from the same data source as everyone else you have to be better at the other things. For one, you have to have a more experienced webmaster or perhaps you are the webmaster, in which case you have to be good at selling real estate and building websites. Not typically talents found in the same person but remotely possible.
And if you have a professional website and it is looking just magnificent it still won’t be successful if you can’t also address the search engine optimization needs of all website. It looks great but nobody sees it. Traditionally, there are website specialist that do nothing else but optimize your website. It is not often they are both the webmaster, the site owner and the SEO guru. So real estate websites are competitive, not unlike hosting services where everybody and their brother now offers hosting but I could not imagine depriving oneself of a cost effective tool such as your own website as an agent. It may be daunting but how many properties do you have to sell to make it worth the expense and effort?