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[Case Study] Shay Hata: Winning Listings with Placester

By Andrew Rapp

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Name: Shay Hata

Business: Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff Realty Group

Website: http://www.shayhata.comShay Hata

Realtor Shay Hata started her real estate career off on the right foot with a Placester website. Just now completing a very successful first year in the industry with over $10 million in sales, Hata works with Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff, serving Chicago, IL, and the surrounding suburbs.

Hata personalized Placester’s Fremont template to create a real estate website that highlights her business background and unique interests. A prolific blogger, Hata created 25 sequential posts that walk home buyers through every step of the process. Additionally, she’s established a perfect winning record on listing presentations by using her site to impress prospects with a professional image and marketing savvy.

Why did you choose Placester?

As a new agent, I didn’t have a website previously. However, my husband, Nobu Hata, who has been in real estate for 22 years, did. He programmed his website himself and felt Placester would be a better option for me, as it’s a beautiful yet affordable mobile responsive website which I can easily update and change myself.

How do you use the blog feature to communicate with clients?

I love the blog and use it every day as a tool to communicate with my clients. I have a series of 25 blog posts which detail every step on the buy side of the home buying process, from selecting a Realtor through closing. Recently I added a similar series that covers all the steps for sellers.

As I work with clients, each week I email them a link to a blog post (what I call their homework) which details the next step of their home search process. This keeps us all on the same page and saves me a great deal of time as I don’t have to retype or explain every step to each new client. I just reuse the blog posts over and over again. My clients like it, as they can refer back to my blog posts when they have questions or share the post with family members who are part of the decision-making process. In survey after survey, buyers have repeatedly said one of the best parts of working with me was my informative blog posts explaining each step of the process. I’m currently working on a series of posts for the sell side of the transaction as well.

In addition, I regularly blog about issues I think will be helpful for my clients, such as fall maintenance reminders. Every blog entry gets posted on Facebook and Twitter to get maximum exposure. In addition, I have home inspectors, mortgage loan officers, and other individuals who are part of the home buying process contribute articles to my blog.

What features or content on your site do you find useful for impressing prospective clients?

I’ve won every listing presentation I’ve been on and, in part, I credit my success to my website.

When at a listing presentation, I pull up my website and show sellers pages which will be helpful to them (such as my seller Resource page which lists handymen, cleaners, plumbers, electricians, etc. that they might need during the inspection period). I also tell prospective sellers to compare my website to the other Realtors I’m up against during listing presentations as I believe a website gives a seller a good idea of my marketing skills and how I will market their property.

When sellers see my website, they see that it looks sophisticated and professional. Many of the other agents I compete against either don’t have a website or theirs doesn’t compare to mine whatsoever. They end up looking unprofessional and like they don’t know what they are doing when it comes to marketing. If they can’t effectively market their own business, how are they going to effectively market their client’s home?

What’s one tip you would give to agents building their first site?

It’s all about the content. You need to spend time writing great local content. Your content can’t sound like you pulled it off a national website. It needs to sound like your voice and speak to your local market.

Whenever someone questions my being a newer agent, I tell them to go to my website, read my blog, and see if I sound like an inexperienced newbie. After 22 years of watching my husband in this business, I know what I’m talking about and that comes through loud and clear in my blog posts.

In addition, you need to have great photographs. If you aren’t a good photographer, buy them from a company such as iStock. I spent about $500 on photographs to get my site up and running.

Lastly, plan to spend 40-80 hours getting your site customized, adding photos and blog posts to get it up and running after Placester creates the basic version. After that initial 40-80 hours, I now only spend about one hour a week on my website. And don’t be afraid to call Placester. They have great customer service. I probably called once a week the first two weeks I was customizing my website.

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