It is so easy to be swayed by the latest and greatest gadget only to discover that you don't have a clue how to use it.
I added an iPad to my tools at the end of the year. I'm sure based on what I've read from others it isn't getting it's best use yet. I have discovered that my younger cat is addicted to laser tag so it may turn out to be the world's most expensive cat toy.
Enjoy Inna's advice as it is sage for all of us.
1. Stop reading and immediately implementing every damn thing that lands in your inbox or shows up in your daily rss feed, unless what you subscribe to is from actual experts, not your peers. That includes AR.
2. You are not in the business of learning, testing or designing technology. You are in the business of helping buyers and sellers with their real estate needs, mostly. Your customers don’t give a hoot about your ego, your knowledge of techie abbreviations, how many plugins you use, or how many internet domination classes you’ve paid for. It may all be very important to you, and not the least bit important to a John Doe searching Google for a home in a place where you happen to have mls access. John Doe is looking for a HOUSE in a specific hood, not a tech guru. Do you KNOW your hood(s)?
3. Use your god given cranium for analyses, and not just repetition. If someone tells you that they get business from door knocking, but you live in a rural community where you’d just as likely get shot for knocking on doors as not, or you are just not the type to go door to door – no matter how much money you’ve spent on that successful dude’s door-knocking success tips, it won’t make you a dime, cause you won’t do it, ever. By the same token, just because someone is using a particular theme or framework for their site and it works for them – doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Different people always achieve different results with the same tools.
4. Whatever tool you do decide to use for your online presence, the traffic and leads you generate will have more to do with the content you write for it, and how well and consistently you are able to maintain that presence. A very pretty and user-friendly site that sits dormant will do just as little for your business as a butt-ugly one. So, if you don’t plan on contributing the kind of content your consumers want on a regular basis – I’d say go by way of minimal resistance -a do it yourself thingie on any theme or platform will be just fine, cause no one is ever going to find it.
5. Lastly, determining your destiny by way of imitation is a very short lived strategy in a world where things shift as quickly as they do. If you are imitating something that’s already been done, and chasing the same concepts, keywords, hoods etc. as you more successful competition – you will always be chasing them. I don’t know of anyone winning a war from that position, and ranking online is very much like war. So engage intelligently, from the get go. With a solid plan that makes sense and one you can stick to. Tools you settle on should be the ones most likely to get you to that point in the shortest amount of time, but they should also help you stay there. WordPress is all the rage – yet Seth Godin is on a Typepad blog. There are plenty of successful blogger blogs, and non-wordpress real estate sites. There are also plenty of very unsuccessful (outside of just being butt ugly) sites that were built with all the right tools, or at least tools I’d use. But tools can only get one so far. If you are stuck – look to a pro, not well meaning advisors. If you are stuck and broke, get something very simple set up and start writing your content. This way when you can afford to get it done right – you’ll have enough posts to migrate for your site to score decently out of the box. If you are simply one of those control freaks who believes that you can do someone else’s job better than they can – more power to you, and good luck. You’ll be selling very little real estate, but by goolly, you’d be able to tech talk somebody to death in some nifty free wi-fi coffee joint.