The need to provide accessible customer service and keep a high profile has led local real estate companies to join the rush to set up a web site representative of their breadth and abilities.
ERA-Richmond Real Estate Service in Meadville has maintained a web site, www.era-richmond.com for three years. DeAnna Runyan, marketing manager, organized and planned the agency’s web site development. Now, she takes care of the upkeep of the Web site, keeping up with changes in listings, prices, etc.
A graduate of Edinboro University in Erie, Pa., with a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing, she has lived in Meadville all her life.
In addition to her work for ERA-Richmond, she recently opened a photography studio, Photographs By DeAnna, just outside of Meadville. The studio focuses mainly on portraits and wedding photography. Runyan is currently designing a Web site for her studio.
“Making use of the Internet gives us a lot of opportunities,” Runyan said. “The agents even use e-mail to communicate with clients. Some agents keep in touch primarily via phone, some by both phone and e-mail. E-mail is becoming more and more important, though. But sometimes a conversation is necessary.”
Runyan said that the agents include the web site address on their business cards to constantly direct customers to the site.
The agency, which offers one of the largest and most comprehensive selections of real estate in Meadville, is also the only national agency with a site specifically designed for the area.
“We’re a leader in the area,” said Runyan “Of course we’re not like a company in Pittsburgh or New York City, but we always try to be on the cutting edge.”
The site is not their biggest sales catalyst, Runyan said, “but it’s gaining more and more of a slice of our business every day.” Citing the benefits of immediate access to the agency’s property offerings, Runyan said the site has helped immeasurably in the area of customer service.