For property sourcers, your online marketing strategy is crucial to your success. Many sourcers will fall into the false belief that setting up Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn accounts are the best way to market their business online because it is free to set up accounts. In many ways, these types of accounts are great for getting your business promoted and raising your profile. However, you need to be aware that you don’t actually have any control over them because essentially, they are owned by somebody else.
So this is the equivalent of setting up your sourcing business in somebody else’s property, on their terms. Imagine a really popular business that has built up its reputation and started generating year-on-year profits. Suddenly, their landlord decides that they want to hugely increase their rent. The new rental amount would mean that they are no longer able to make any profit at all. They are forced to move premises to an area where they struggle to get anywhere near the same number of customers. Their old customers start going to the closest rival and eventually they shut down. It is pretty much the same when it comes to online assets. Facebook can take your page down at any time.
You really have no control over these sites and it isn’t a simple case of asking them to put you back online. If your only online presence is through third party owned sites then you are taking a huge gamble. The only solution is to have your own property sourcing website, that you have full control over. That way, you know that your landlord can’t suddenly pull the rug from under your feet and ruin your business.
Now, there are a few myths associated with building websites, one being that it is really expensive to create a professional looking website. That really isn’t true, you can get free website building tools like Wix.com and you can get a freelance web designer who can build it for under £200. The only other cost will then be your web hosting which comes out at about £10 per month.
Another myth is that it takes a long time to build a website. Again, there is no truth in this. You can realistically get a decent website up and running in a week. Now it can be tempting to do the work yourself but as a property professional you need to ask yourself if that is good use of your time, given you can get the work done by an expert for a reasonable cost. All you need to start off is a homepage that shows what you do and sells your services, an About page to give more detail and your business and then contact details page. Over time you can add content like testimonials, case studies etc.
A third myth is that you will need to call on the services of a professional web designer. Web designers can be expensive but you actually don’t need to go down this route. The most popular website platform around is WordPress and when you opt for a WordPress site you have access to thousands of pre-designed themes and templates, meaning there is no design work required.
People also worry that every time they require a change on the website, they will have to pay a fee. The beauty of WordPress and similar Content Management Systems is that they are relatively easy to make your own amendments. You will be able to do the more basic changes yourself rather than going to a designer.
So those myths should all now be fully dispelled! Don’t be put off setting up your own website because the cost really shouldn’t be a barrier. Remember, there are plenty of specialists who can help you without charging large fees.
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