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Why Not Put Your Dormant Little Website to Work!?



Please welcome Agent Genius’ newest writer, Rob McCance from Atlanta.  Rob is an interesting guy- he wasn’t born with a real estate license, instead he studied electrical engineering at USF and did enterprise level software sales prior to engaging in real estate where he founded the Georgia Realty Group and now balances that career with web development and lead management. Rob will be writing about his passion of lead management and website design and use, so stay tuned.

mccance-article-one-imageI know what you are thinking: your site has been out there on “The Internets” for years, doing nothing. Every month you pay to host it, you pay for the IDX search and you pay for the edits. You spend countless hours trying to SEO it and attract people to your killer Blog. And all for what, usually almost nothing tangible.

Your site needs to generate some real leads.

I don’t know about you, but the purpose of my website is to generate leads. That’s it. Sure I offer up a lot of helpful information and I sure hope my visitors find that useful, but I really want them to sign in and become a client! After all, I’m not some public service .org site here, I’ve got two mini-me’s to feed.

Ok then, how do we get-‘er-done? Well, why not just create 10,000 one-way incoming links to your site, each link anchor text optimized for your keywords. And while you’re at it, optimize your home page for the same key word and viola; you might make it to page one of Google for that one key word. Yeah, just go ahead do that.

Alright – forget that for now, that will take forever, and that might not even work.

The solution: AdWords.

Here’s the deal: you should think of AdWords as just another cost of doing business. Temporarily stop hatin’ on AdWords. The key to AdWords is putting in some real work correctly setting it all up; the campaigns, ads and landing pages.

If you get it right, here’s what AdWords can do for you: Every single day, 24/7, it can screen a huge number of internet searchers for you and send them to your site, looking for exactly what you are offering. It can turn a mediocre dead useless web site into a lead machine, and I should know.

Hey Google, screen these 174,464 searchers for me this month.

There are four levels of screening that occur when you have a well designed AdWords campaign along with specific landing pages:

Screen #1 – Searchers go to Google looking for terms related to Real Estate in your market.
Screen #2 – One of your ads displays, if that looks on target, searchers click to your landing page.
Screen #3 – Now on your landing page, searchers ask, “is this really what I am looking for?”
Screen #4 – If so, searchers enter your IDX and hopefully register with real data.

Now, after FOUR screens, you are on your way to having a bona fide lead. If the first two screens fail, you pay nothing. Sweet!

How about 2-10 leads per day from your now dormant web site?

Now you are probably saying, “yeah but, I’ll seriously pay for these leads..” All I can say is wrong. If I can obtain 2-10 leads per day in the ultra-competitive Atlanta Real Estate market and spend less than $200/mo doing it, this can be repeated in your market, probably for less.

In my next post, I’ll show you how this is done. In the mean time, start opening your minds about AdWords because for now, until I get my 10,000 one-way incoming links, that’s the only way my site is going to be producing any leads, as brutal as that is…

Rob is the founder of The Georgia Realty Group, a real estate company focusing on the five large counties north of the 285 perimeter in Atlanta. Out of USF in 1991 as an Electrical Engineer, he then quickly shifted into software sales. For 12 years, he sold enterprise level Engineering Design Automation (EDA) software to Fortune 500 companies. His current focus is web site design, SEO and lead management activities and he also takes on the occasional excellent client. Find him at

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  1. Michelle DeRepentigny

    September 23, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Welcome to AG Rob! I have been intrigued by adwords since hearing @housechick talk about them, just was never sure about how to best utilize sperate landing pages, etc. Looking forward to reading your series on them.

  2. Bonnie Westbrook

    September 23, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Convince me! I usually avoid Adwords, so please tell us how it can help our websites. $2400 a year is a lot of money in a medium sized market place like ours.

  3. J. G. Keating

    September 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Interesting! Expensive but interesting! We’re in the process of building our web site, so now would be the time to factor adwords, right?

  4. Bob

    September 23, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Adwords is a fantastic way to jump start a website. You can generate revenue while you build an organic presence. If you get good at it to the point of an automatic ROI you can count on, you dont have to worry about organic.

    Welcome to AG, Rob.

  5. Matt Stigliano

    September 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Rob – Welcome to AgentGenius. Hmmm, AdWords? Well, I’ve listened to @housechick talk about them and enjoyed that, but so far haven’t taken the plunge. Interested to hear what you have to add to the discussion. I’m always up for more leads. So hurry up Wednesday – I’m eager to learn.

  6. J. G. Keating

    September 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I’m definitely interested in finding out more about it. I have never felt that they justified the cost. And then there’s all the pricing options to be considered and the placement etc.

    As you stated:
    “The key to AdWords is putting in some real work correctly setting it all up; the campaigns, ads and landing pages.”

    I’m in the business of selling houses, would the above statement not just increase the amount of time needed away from the actual purpose of the site?

    “If you get it right, here’s what AdWords can do for you:”

    And what if I get it wrong? Can be an expensive lesson!

    I’m looking forward to the rest of your series though, as a lot of sites use them so somebody is getting it right.

  7. Bob

    September 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    If you have a website and expect it to be more than an online brochure few will see, meaning that the purpose of the site is to generate leads, then you have 3 options:

    1) invest the time and money to get it found organically
    2) invest the time and money on PPC that will yield an acceptable ROI
    3) pay someone to do either 1) or 2) for you.

    Hopefully Rob is able to flatten the learning curve so one can lessen the cost and shorten the time needed to realize the goal.

  8. Portland Real Estate

    September 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    AdWords is your best friend on the internet. Nobody has a farther reaching network with more people viewing the ads. Google is god.


  9. Matt Kelly

    September 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    How many of those 2-10 leads actually close?

  10. Bob

    September 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    That is dependent on variable factors.

    If your landing page touts REO deals, but REO inventory is scarce, then conversion is likely to be low.

    If you cant close, then number of leads doesnt matter. What you have is two stage coaching here:

    1) How to get leads
    2) What to do with leads

  11. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for all the great responses thus far. I’ll try to address each of these from the top down. A lot of this will get addressed in the next post, next week.

    Michelle – Thanks for the welcome! More info is coming. As for landing pages, take a look at my site. All 50+ neighborhoods on the right hand column are each landing pages!

    Bonnie – Hopefully I can be convincing. But in my view if you land just one internet sale in a year, that would more than pay for it. And you won’t land just one!

    JG – stop building your site until you have done an exhaustive KW research for your area. The results of that will drive your entire site URL structure.

    Bob – that is correct and that’s where I am now, but now I’m going after organic.

    Matt – right on rock star, and thanks for the welcome. Stay tuned.

    JG – I think there’s a lot in the same boat. When the most popular RE KW in your area costs $5 per click, it’s easy to bag the whole idea. Understood. I ignore these high dollar KWs.

    Portland – I’m in Portland right now. Adwords are the only way to go until you can get targeted organic traffic, which may be never.

    Matt – Leads gathered on the internet convert at the same rate as leads generated by traditional means, roughly 1.5%.

    Bob – subject of future articles coming from me. When you generate 50-100 leads per week, you better be treatin’ them right, or you ARE wasting your money.

    Thanks again for all the great input!


  12. Rich Bailey

    September 23, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    If you take the low side of Rob’s numbers and some industry averages on lead conversion, assuming a lead is defined as an IDX registration, here’s what you come up with: 2 leads a day means 60 per month. If you close 2% of those leads (the industry average for IDX registration leads is somewhere between 2.5 and 3%), that’s 1.2 closed transactions per month. So in a year, that $2400 is getting you an additional 14 closed transactions. You decide for yourself if that’s a good return.

    Bob also makes good points about exceptional circumstances (like a low inventory of REO properties) and actually converting the leads. And the capture and conversion rates will vary greatly with how your IDX solution is set up; i.e. do you force registration, make it completely voluntary, or someplace in between. But you definitely need to consider the return, not just the cost in dollars.

    Looking forward to part 2!

  13. Dan Connolly

    September 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    As for conversion of internet leads I think there can’t be number or percentage accurately applied to that because it all depends on the skill and persistence of the one getting the leads.

    Some people can’t convert a sign call asking for an appointment to see the house, while others can take a reluctant forced registration and have them under contract a week after meeting them.

    Rich, I think if the industry average is closing 2-3% of forced IDX registration (so called) leads, they are only counting the highly skilled seasoned professionals in that average. That number seems way high to me.

  14. Bob

    September 24, 2009 at 12:19 am

    “And the capture and conversion rates will vary greatly with how your IDX solution is set up; i.e. do you force registration, make it completely voluntary, or someplace in between.”

    Rich, I would argue that the registration set up has less to do with it than the design and flow. After a lot of testing, I took a top site and changed the IDX, but kept the required registration aspect. Bounce rate dropped to less than 20% and registrations increased by 300%.

    The key to all this is testing. I’m hoping Rob delves extensively into the testing part. I havent done ppc since Overture was GoTo, so it’s definitely the Achilles Heel of my online expertise.

  15. Paula Henry

    September 24, 2009 at 12:31 am

    I have a fairly good internet presence, so I haven’t tried adwords. Only recently have I started to think about it, so I can direct my business where I want to work. I look forward to your lessons. Welcome!

  16. Rich Bailey

    September 24, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Dan, just to clarify, I defined leads just as registrations, NOT forced registrations. The studies I’ve read didn’t distinguish, and in my humble opinion, that does clutter it up a bit. What would be really interesting to see would be a study that takes registration requirements into consideration. But as you and Bob both noted, the rubber often meets the road after the registration occurs, so that remains a pretty significant, and hard to quantify variable.

    We’ve seen on rare occasion client conversion rates into double figures, but these are well-trained agents with a tested follow-up system, including a follow-up phone call within 15 minutes of the user registration.

    Bob, I concur 100%; the ease of use of the IDX search is a critical ingredient to capture rates. Perhaps one of the more undervalued ingredients, as well.

  17. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Good conversations. Here’s another thought:

    What would also be interesting when we talk about all these “industry averages” is to understand the parameters of the statistics. What got included, what didn’t, what were the time frames tracked, what was a success and a failure, etc.

    For example, I’ve seen a statistic that the average internet home shopper is 6-9 months out. On 9/30 (next week) I have two closings, both internet leads from my site:

    One of them I’ve worked with since 3/6/2008 when they first emailed me (yes I have them all in a database). 18 months.

    The other came in 7/8/2009, and is already closing. 2 months.

    So it’s hard to say if the close rate is 1%, 1.5%, 3%, whatever because if you track these leads until they are spent, which could be years, they may net a sale long after the data collection for the statistic is closed.

    I’m pretty sure these statistics we see being thrown around do not have data collection timeframes this long.


  18. Nick Nymark

    July 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Whats the statistics? How many leads have you received in the past year from Adwords and what is the ROI? Just curious if you don’t mind me asking.

  19. Rob McCance

    July 31, 2010 at 4:23 pm


    I don’t have hard stats and that was sort of the point of that post, which was 9/24/2009 by the way.

    But little has changed since then. I spend $100-$200 per month driving traffic to my site via Adwords.

    This generates 50-100 registered leads per month and yes, it is this variable. Never been quite sure why.

    I close 8-10 transactions from this lead stream per year.

    In my area, these are $400k and up, with an average in the $500k to $800k range.

    Do the math, let me know if the ROI is any good.



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Social Media

Facebook pays $52M to content mods with PTSD, proving major flaw in their business

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook will pay out up to millions to former content moderators suffering PTSD to settle the 2018 class action lawsuit.



content moderators

Facebook’s traumatized former content moderators are finally receiving their settlement for the psychological damage caused by having to view extremely disturbing content to keep it off of Facebook.

The settlement is costing the company $52 million, distributed as a one time payment of $1,000 to each of the 10,000+ content moderators in four states. If any of these workers seek psychological help and are diagnosed with psychological conditions related to their jobs, Facebook also has to pay for that medical treatment. They pay up to $50,000 per moderator in additional damages (on a case-by-case basis).

Facebook also will offer psychological counseling going forward, and will attempt to create a type of screening for future candidates to determine a candidate’s emotional resiliency, and will make one-on-one mental health counseling available to content moderators going forward. They will also give moderators the ability to stop seeing specific types of reported content.

According to NPR, Steve Williams, a lawyer for the content moderators, said, “We are so pleased that Facebook worked with us to create an unprecedented program to help people performing work that was unimaginable even a few years ago. The harm that can be suffered from this work is real and severe.”

Honestly, this job is not for the faint of heart, to say the least. Like the hard-working, yet not unfazeable police officers on Law & Order SVU, seeing the worst of humanity takes a toll on one’s psyche. Facebook’s content moderators are only human, after all. These workers moderated every conceivable–and inconceivable–type of disturbing content people posted on the 2 billion-users-strong social media platform for a living. Some for $28,800 a year.

I wouldn’t last five minutes in this role. It is painful to even read about what these content moderators witnessed for eight hours a day, five days a week. While Facebook refuses to admit any wrongdoing, as part of the agreement, come on, man. Graphic and disturbing content that upset someone enough to report to Facebook is what these people viewed all day every day. It sounds almost like a blueprint for creating trauma.

This settlement surely sets the precedent for more class action lawsuits to come from traumatized content moderators on other social media platforms. The settlement also shows this business model for what it is: flawed. This isn’t sustainable. It’s disgusting to think there are people out there posting heinous acts, and I am grateful the platform removes them.

However, they have to come up with a better way. Facebook employs thousands upon thousands of really smart people who are brilliant at computer technology. Twitter and YouTube and similar platforms do, too. They need to come up with a better plan going forward, instead of traumatizing these unfortunate souls. I don’t know what that will look like. But with Facebook’s sky-high piles of money and access to so many brilliant minds, they can figure it out. Something’s got to give. Please figure it out.

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Social Media

Twitter will give users a warning before a harmful tweet is sent

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter is rolling out a new warning giving users a chance to edit their tweet before they post “harmful” language, and we aren’t sure how to feel about it.



twitter warning

Twitter is testing out a new warning system for potentially offensive tweets. If a tweet contains language Twitter deems “harmful,” Twitter will pop up with a warning and opportunity to revise the potentially offensive tweet before posting. The warning mentions that language in the tweet is similar to previously reported tweets.

If internal alarms are going off in your head, congratulations, you are wary of any censorship! However, if you read a tweet spewing with bile, racism, or threatening violence against a person or institution, do you report it? Do you want Twitter to take it down? If you said yes, then congratulations, you want to protect the vulnerable and fight hatred.

If you are wary of censorship, yet want to fight hatred and protect the vulnerable, welcome to the interwebs! It’s a crazy and precarious place where almost anything can happen. Despite decades of use, we’re still navigating our way through the gauntlet of tough decisions the proliferation of platforms and ease of use have given us.

First, how does Twitter gauge a potentially harmful tweet? According to Twitter, the app responds to language similar to prior tweets that people have reported. Twitter, like Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms, already has hateful conduct rules in place. In fact, Twitter has a host of rules and policies intended to protect users from fraud, graphic violence, or explicitly sexual images.

Their rationale is detailed, but explains, “Our role is to serve the public conversation, which requires representation of a diverse range of perspectives.” However, they “recognise that if people experience abuse on Twitter, it can jeopardize their ability to express themselves.”

We’ve heard stories of teenagers–or even younger children–killing themselves after relentless bullying online. The feeling of anonymity when insulting a living, breathing being from behind a computer screen often causes a nasty pile-on effect. We’ve seen people use social media to bully, sexually harass, and threaten others.

Twitter cites research showing women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and other vulnerable populations are more likely to stop expressing themselves freely when someone abuses them on social media. Even Kelly Marie Tran, who played Resistance fighter Rose Tico in Star Wars, took down her Instagram photos before taking a stand against haters. And she had Jedis in her corner. Imagine your average person’s response to such cruel tactics?

We’ve seen hate groups and terrorist organizations use social media to recruit supporters and plan evil acts. We see false information springing up like weeds. Sometimes this information can be dangerous, especially when Joe Blow is out there sharing unresearched and inaccurate medical advice. Go to sleep, Blow, you’re drunk.

As an English major, and an open-minded person, I have a problem with censorship. Banned books are some of my favorites of all time. However, Twitter is a privately owned platform. Twitter has no obligation to amplify messages of hate. They feel, and I personally agree, that they have some responsibility to keep hateful words inciting violence off of their platform. This is a warning, not a ban, and one they’re only rolling out to iOS users for now.

I mean, in the history of angry rants, when was the last time a “Hey, calm down, you shouldn’t say that” ever made the person less angry or less ranty? Almost never. In which case, the person will make their post anyway, leaving it up to masses to report it. At that time, Twitter can make the decision to suspend the account and tell the user to delete it, add a warning, or otherwise take action.

Every once in a while, though, someone may appreciate the note. If you’ve ever had a colleague read an email for “tone” in a thorny work situation, you know heeding a yellow flag is often the wisest decision. This warning notice gives users a chance to edit themselves. As a writer, I always appreciate a chance to edit myself. If they flag every damn curse word, though, that will get real annoying real fast. You’re not my mom, Twitter. You’re not the boss of me.

This isn’t your great granddaddies’ book burning. This is 2020. The internet giveth; the internet taketh away. It’s a crying shame that evil creeps in when we’re not looking. Speech has consequences. Users can’t edit tweets, so once it’s out there, it’s out there. Even if they delete a tweet within moments of posting, anyone can screenshot that baby and share it with the world. Part of me says, “Good, let the haters out themselves.”

Twitter has shown itself to be open to differences in opinion, encouraging freedom of expression, and has opened up a whole new line of communication for traditionally underrepresented populations. They are a private company, and their rules and policies are posted. What, you didn’t read the terms of use? Gasp!

It’s Twitter’s rodeo, after all. This warning gives users a quick, added heads up to posting something that will likely be reported/removed anyway. For better or worse, Twitter’s still leaving it up to users to post what they want and deal with the potential fallout. Hey, I have a great idea! How about we all be respectful of each other on the internet, and Twitter won’t have to come up with this kind of thing.

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Social Media

Yelp adds virtual services classification to help during COVID

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Yelp constantly adds new classifications for how to find a business to meet your needs, now because of COVID they have added virtual services.



Yelp virtual services

Yelp is making efforts to accommodate businesses whose operations are adapting in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Several new features will help businesses display updated services.

The company has added an information category titled virtual service offerings. Business can display service option such as classes, virtual consultations, performances, and tours. Yelpers can search for businesses based upon those offerings.

Yelp has already noticed trends where users are incorporating virtual services into their business profiles. In an report by TechCrunch, Yelp’s head of consumer product Akhil Kuduvalli said “With these new product updates, businesses of all types that are adapting and changing the way they operate will be able to better connect with their customers and potentially find new ones.”

Virtual services in categories like fitness, gyms, home services, real estate, and health are already increasing in popularity. Yelp intends to showcase businesses that are providing those services by creating new Collections.

Once business owners update their virtual service offerings on their Yelp for Business profiles, we will surface those updates to consumers through new call-to-action buttons, by updating the home screen and search results with links to groups of businesses offering these new virtual services, as well as surfacing them in other formats like Collections,” said Kudvalli.

Also in the works is a curbside pickup category for restaurants. Additionally, Yelp introduced a free customized banner for businesses to post updates on their profiles. About 224,000 businesses have used the banner so far.

Yelp hasn’t stopped there. It’s made its Connect feature (which allows businesses to share important updates to all Yelpers on their profile and their email subscribers) free to eligible local businesses as part of the Yelp’s commitment to waive $25 million in fees to support businesses in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

During COVID-19 businesses and consumers need all the help they can get, and thankfully Yelp is there to – help.

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