If you prefer to produce the content for your site yourself rather than hire a professional writer to do it, the last thing you should ever do is perform a simple copy/paste job of another website.
One writer in the industry discovered that her client "Bob," had copied all of his content from a competitor's website--with the internal links intact! When visitors to Bob's site clicked the links that were sprinkled throughout the on-page content, they were taken to Bob's number one competitor's website, thus exposing himself as a content thief.
Plagiarizing content--whether it's from a competitor's website or from a local chamber of commerce site--is unethical at the very least, and in more extreme cases can lead to charges of copyright infringement. In addition, duplicate content damages your site's rankings in top search engines like Google.
Search engines have become much more sophisticated in the last few years in terms of detecting duplicate content, and will only rank sites with unique content at the top of their results page. If your site has copied text throughout, it will be virtually invisible to the search engines, thus making it nearly impossible for potential clients to find you.
Going SEO Crazy!
A little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing, and SEO is no exception. SEO, or 'search engine optimization,' is all about getting your website to rank highly for certain keywords that users are known to search for.
Organic placement of these keywords is the goal, but some agents add keywords to every second sentence, making the text clunky to read.
Google penalizes site owners for having too many keywords, or "keyword stuffing," but even if your site isn't flagged, it's important to think about user experience when doing any SEO. Visitors to your site actually read what you put up, so be careful with how many keywords you squeeze into the text. Always keep readability foremost in your mind when producing content for your pages, or else you'll end up with spammy looking text.
Not Having Listings on your Site
In the early days of the internet, people could get away with putting up a website that had nothing more than a company's logo and contact information. Now however, real estate buyers are looking for more than just an advertisement--they're looking for listings. If you don't put property listings on your site, you're simply not being competitive in today's market. Visitors will leave and go straight to a competitor that does have an IDX feed on their site.
One note regarding listings: there is a lot of debate between real estate agents who argue whether one should require visitors to register with their site before they can access a property's full listing details. Some say that visitors will get annoyed with the registration requirement and go somewhere else, while others contend that registration is the best way to get viable internet leads. After all, by registering with your site, each person must provide you with their contact information and tell you what they're in the market for. You can then utilize this information when you call them for the first time.
The Excessive Use of CAPS
In internet etiquette, writing in all caps implies that you're shouting. It's seen as unprofessional and spammy, so try to avoid it as much as possible. If you want to make a line of text stand out (like "Click here for your free home evaluation."), use bold or italics instead. If you're comfortable with html, you could even make the line appear in block quote formation, or put it in a highlight class to really draw your visitors' eyes. By writing the line as "CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE HOME EVALUATION," you're yelling at the visitor and making your content look tacky.
When writing content for your website, remember that user experience is your number one priority. Provide real estate relevant information, have your listings prominently placed, and always write original material. You'll demonstrate to users that you're a realtor who's keeping up with the times, and the search engines will love you too.