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You’re a REALTOR®, you know you’re in the business of real estate property transactions. You also know you need to market yourself and your business. You know the traditional ways of marketing: direct mailings, signs and business cards, sponsorship of neighborhood events, referrals, advertisements, etc.
But are you missing out on another way to market because either you don’t know what you would say, or you think it’s a waste of time? Here are some thoughts from a fellow REALTOR® in New Hampshire. http://actvra.in/4Wkk
Always remember, you are an expert in your field and your field expands far beyond “just houses” into the neighborhoods and local news of your niche market. You know things from schools, local events, to local policy. Share these things and let your potential clients KNOW through your knowledge that you are the expert for them.
Short answer is probably Yes 🙂
Ugh, you’re thinking. My job is real estate and I don’t have TIME to play around on Facebook. But let’s think of it differently. If your job is helping people and growing a network, then you can see how communicating with as many people as possible is very helpful.
Social Media (you know, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc.) is just one piece of your marketing mix, but it is an important piece. If you’re already engaging, good for you! But if you’re not playing in the social media playground yet, you really should be using these free tools for real estate marketing. Try not to think of it as a drag or a task, but a conversation. These are simply tools to start a communication, display a tidbit of local information, let everyone know about an open house, and share your listings.
Here is a link to some facts and figures of the most popular platforms, however the best information we want to share with you is:
- Be sincere
- Be positive
- Show your personality and strengths
- Have some fun
- Link back to your website—such as your bio, a listing or a search, or CMA lead gather form
- BUT, remember to post for the good of your customer, not (solely) to tout your brand.
Spend about an hour a day sharing information, starting or joining discussions and your network will grow.
Last week, we talked about the three different types of leads:
- Low Cost / Low Intent
- Medium Cost / Medium Intent
- High Cost / High Intent
And we also asked you to find out how much website traffic you’re currently getting. Why? Because according to research done by Google, only 2-3% of people who visit your website will convert (take some sort of action and give you their contact information).
Which means, to capture a significant number of leads, we need a lot of monthly visitors to our website:
Most of us can’t get the number of visitors we need from organic traffic alone (people who find your website through a search portal or other referral). We need other ways to drive people to our websites, get in front of people actively looking for a home, or generate leads from our networks.
So today, we’re going to give you some campaigns you can use to find leads of each type. These are campaigns we use in our brokerage, GoodLife Realty, and the ad examples you see are from ads we’ve used and tested.
Low Intent / Low Cost: Home Search PPC Campaign on Facebook
When someone is looking for a home, what are they interested in seeing? Homes for sale! This campaign promotes the home search feature of our website to potential buyers.
Facebook Ads are one of the most effective ways to get in front of buyers. With Facebook Ads, you can target people likely to move in the zip codes or areas you focus on. Here’s an example:
This ad then takes them to page on your website where visitors can search for properties:
These lead are generally going to fall into the “Low Cost, Low Intent” category. They’re only giving you their contact information so they can get more information or browse homes on your website, so follow up accordingly.
Low Intent / Low Cost: Home Value PPC Campaign on Facebook
This campaign is similar to the Home Search campaign, but targets potential sellers. If someone is thinking of selling their home–even just toying with the idea–they are going to want to know how much their home is worth. With this campaign, we use Facebook Ads to find people who 1) Own a home and 2) Are likely to move, and then offers them a free estimate for their home.
The ad sends them to a landing page where people can enter their address and contact information in exchange for a free report that provides a brief home valuation.
We use a “What’s My Home Worth?” tool to provide an automated report. If you’re interested in that route, there are many services that offer this feature. However, you can also just produce a quick CMA yourself and send it to people who request a home value analysis!
Remember, with both the Home Search and Home Value campaigns, you want a system for following up with individuals who take action. You need to to establish a relationship and build trust over time so that when they become a high intent lead, you’re the agent they work with.
Immediately after someone takes action, you should follow-up with an automated email that introduces yourself, lets them know you are available, and then provides value.
And then you need to stay in touch. After the initial email, shift to sending information that buyers or sellers would be interested in. We start with a 12 point email sequence for both buyers and sellers that delivers information about the buying or selling process.
Medium Intent / Medium Cost: Just Listed Campaign
One way to attract the Medium Intent / Medium type of website viewer is with a Just Listed campaign.
The basic principles of this campaign work just like the Just Listed campaigns we all know, just updated for the digital age. By using digital marketing, you can get your listings in front of the right people at the right time, making your Just Listed campaign more timely, targeted, and ultimately effective.
Here’s how it works: You use Facebook Ads targeting features to find people who are likely to buy a home. The ad promotes the property:
The Facebook Ads drive people back to a property page on your website.
If possible, you should host the property page on your website. That way, you get the benefit of the traffic to your website, people seeing your brand, people browsing your website, and so on!
This campaign is incredibly cost effective, as well. We spend around $50 or $60 per listing (just a couple dollars a day).
High Cost, High Intent: Marketing to your Network on a Regular Basis
When you look at hard costs, marketing to your network isn’t that expensive. However, when you consider how much your time is worth, and then you think about everything that goes into building your network and keeping in touch–meeting these individuals, building the relationship, calling, creating marketing materials to stay in touch–the cost adds up.
To simplify the process of marketing to your network, we use a digital monthly campaign that looks like this:
We begin by writing a blog post on a topic useful to homeowners, buyers, or sellers, such as amplifying the value of your home. The information should be highly relevant, and something your network would be interested in. We also promote the blog post across our various social media platforms to get more traction from it.
We then take the information from the blog post and have it designed in a PDF report. Studies show that people perceive designed PDFs to be of more value than a simple blog post.
After we have the PDF, we email it to our network. It’s a relatively easy was to keep up with your network without bugging them.
Additionally, you’ll be providing your network with an arsenal of tools they can use to promote you. When someone in your network comes across referral opportunity, they are going to have a lot of resources they can use to refer you. Sending information like this also gives you something to talk about when you pick up the phone to call your past clients.
Now that you have some campaigns to start generating traffic and leads, tomorrow we’ll focus on how to follow-up, nurture, and convert the leads you generate!
With the IDX featured on your Powered-by-PROTECH website, your new listings automatically appear on your webpage* shortly after being entered into MLS.
To post the listing details to Facebook and Twitter, or to share by email is soooo easy you won’t believe you haven’t been doing it.
**Some details have been blurred to protect the Agent’s rights to the sample listing.
1. On your website, find your listing and click to open the details. (*You should have a Featured, Agent, or Office Listings web page set up. If you don’t, let us show you how to do that).
2. On the Listing Detail Page, click the SHARE button.
3. Choose your social media.
4. If you’re not currently signed in, you might be asked to sign into your account. And you’re sharing! Here is a sample of what a Facebook post will look like. When a potential client clicks the image, the listing details open to your website.
Use this feature to share your new listings, Open House events, and any other listing (of your own, or that you have specific authority to advertise) you’d like to draw attention to.
Remember—It takes TIME and patience to build an audience through blogging and social media communications. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Be consistent, be authentic, and keep at it!
Although a website may not be your main source of leads, it is very true your professionalism is judged by potential clients partly on the appearance and performance of your real estate website. And with some work, that website can also start generating leads for you. There are a number of ways to get traffic to your website, and search-engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important. PROTECH develops your website with the basic SEO to get you started, and with continual attention and knowledge of yourself and your goals, your website will become a true tool in your REALTOR® marketing toolbox.
How Do You Optimize Your Agent Website?
Real estate SEO is not that difficult to do, but it requires you to follow a set of rules and guidelines. If you don’t, it will be harder for your website to get organic traffic. And if you don’t have traffic, you’re losing out on potential clients.
This guide will take you through each step required to properly optimize your website and benefit from at least a fraction of the huge amount of traffic that search engines can send your way. So roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and start working on your online visibility.
There are four main steps in SEO:
1. Identifying optimum keywords
2. Enhancing your pages so they can attract search engine traffic (also called on-page optimization)
3. Website promotion (also called off-page optimization or link building)
4. Measuring and tracking your results
Identifying your Keywords:
1. Find the Best Keywords for You – Go Local
Think of the audience you are targeting: people that are interested in buying or selling homes in your area. Your keywords should be specific to real estate in your area and relevant to your listings. Some examples, assuming that you are a real estate agent in Tierra Verde Florida:
• Tierra Verde real estate
• Tierra Verde homes for sale
• Tierra Verde real estate agent
• Tierra Verde single-family homes
• Tierra Verde homes for rent
• Tierra Verde land for sale
• homes for sale in Tierra Verde fl
• houses for sale in Tierra Verde
In fact, the more specific your keywords are the better. Target your niche of listings accordingly with keywords like: “your location beach homes,” “your location condos,” “your location coops,” “your location luxury homes,” “your location multi-family homes,” “your location vacant land,” etc.
2. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to Uncover More Keywords
The Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google that can uncover what are your most valuable keywords. The tool’s purpose is two-fold:
• To give additional suggestions for keywords
• To estimate how much monthly traffic those keywords receive in Google
To use it, go to the tool’s location and log in with your Google account. If you don’t have one, create a new account (it will take just a few minutes). Then simply type in some keywords you think people might use to search for what you provide, including your geographical area (e.g. “Tierra Verde real estate”). It will give you a list of related keywords and their search volumes.
Enhancing Your Pages with Relevant and Engaging Content:
3. Use Your Keywords in the Page Title
Each webpage has a title that can be seen at the top of the browser, but must not be confused with the heading. The page title (also called title tag) is much less visible on the site itself, but is the first element that appears in the search engine results.
Here are a few examples of good page titles you can use for various page types:
• Homepage: Tierra Verde Real Estate | Tierra Verde Homes for Sale – [Your Brokerage Name]
• Neighborhood: Chelsea Real Estate | Chelsea Homes for Sale
• Listing Page: [Address], Tierra Verde, FL Home For Sale
Place your most important keyword at the beginning of the page title, the closer a keyword is to the beginning of the page title, the better the chances of that page ranking for that keyword.
4. Make Your Content Engaging
Write your content for your potential clients, not for Google or Bing.
Search engines track visitor behavior to detect what real visitors are reading, thus trying to improve their algorithms to offer people valuable content. If Google detects those visitors tend to leave your site and search again immediately after they have clicked on your website, the logical assumption is that they didn’t care for what they saw. Your website is then likely to be downgraded so as not to appear so high in the results for those search terms as another website with those terms and similar content.
5. Tell a Story
People love stories. They will give you more attention if you take them on a journey.
6. Use Your Own Unique Content
If you only copy articles from other websites and paste them into your site you will find it extremely difficult to attain good rankings in the search engines, because duplicate content can suffer penalties in the search engines.
7. Use Your Keywords Throughout Your Articles…
Have your targeted keywords appear naturally throughout the article; don’t force your keywords in. For example, if one of your keywords is something like “homes in Tierra Verde buy,” please don’t add it in that form in the article. It’s much better if you use these words in a more natural order, like “buy homes in Tierra Verde.”
8. …But Don’t Overuse Your Keywords
Having a keyword appear 2-3 times is enough in a 300–500 word article. Overusing your keywords (also called keyword stuffing) is bad for readers. Search engines can detect keyword stuffing, and it’s not a good thing if they come to the conclusion that you’re trying to exploit them.
9. Format Your Content to Make it Easy to Read
People tend to skim, not read articles. Using short paragraphs (3 or 4 lines), with lists, headers, titles, and subtitles help your clients find the information they really want quickly.
10. Try List-Type Articles
People love list-type articles (like this one), because they are easy to read. Writing articles like “10 Reasons Why Living in Tierra Verde is Awesome” can bring you a lot of exposure, and eventually clients.
11. Use Relevant Pictures
A picture is worth 1,000 words and makes your content more enjoyable. Be sure to include descriptive alt text both to help with SEO and accessibility.
Branding Your Real Estate Business:
12. A Good Domain Name is Important – Choose a Brandable Domain Name
A good URL can go a long way in attracting extra traffic from the search engines. Besides the obvious branding reasons, it can also yield better click-through rates from search engine results. An important thing to note is that as a domain gets older, its strength in the search engine results increases.
When you choose a domain name for your business, the most important thing to consider is your brand, and to a lesser extent, your keywords. For example, a good combination is “brand + real estate.” In the case of property sites, a good option is for the domain to contain the property’s address. Also, it should be relatively short and easy to remember.
How to Attract External Links to Your Website:
Every time another website links to yours, it acts as a vote that the other website gives you. The more votes you have, the better, because when search engines find out about them they will know that people are talking about your website and this will result in good rankings.
What is very important in a backlink is the clickable text, also called “anchor text.” This is another strong signal that search engines take into account when evaluating your relevancy to certain terms. When you build your backlinks, having your target keywords in the anchor text of some of them can be really useful for SEO.
Link building is hard work; in fact it’s the most time-consuming aspect of SEO, but it’s worth your while if you do it right.
13. Get Involved in Discussions on Forums and Real Estate Networks
Whenever you find a forum or a real estate social network discussing topics related to your real estate niche, or better yet, discussing the real estate situation in your area, it’s a good idea to participate in those discussions. Link back to your own website, using anchor text keywords if possible.
14. Find Local Blogs and Contribute Guest Posts on Other Blogs
This is one of the most effective link building methods. There are a lot of bloggers out there that will agree to publish your article on their website. In that article they will usually let you add a link to your site. Participate in discussions on local community websites to increase your local SEO (and real estate!) authority.
15. Add Value
But don’t comment on blogs or forums only with the intention of getting a link. Try to add real value to the discussion, help people when they have questions, follow up on your conversations, and be a valuable asset to the community.
16. Create Real Estate Videos
On a property site, create a video with images or a tour of the property. On your agent site, create a video showcasing some information about the real estate activity in your area and about you. Then upload the video on the major video hosting websites (YouTube, Dailymotion, etc) and place a link to your website in the description of that video.
17. Don’t Forget Your Social Media Marketing Presence
Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus profiles are essential for your social media presence. Be active, add people on Facebook, follow people on Twitter, and be genuine. Although Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are considered by many to be the most important social media sites for marketing, there are also other resources to help maximize your social visibility, like LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.
PROTECH can set you up with a beautiful, optimized real estate website. Using these tips above you’ll be able to provide us with the information we need to get you started, and then help continue building your own special presence on the web for your clients.
Content courtesy of https://retechnology.com/agent/articles/46-tips-to-attract-more-leads-using-real-estate-seo-best-practices?layout=onepage
Is the .com domain name you really want already taken? Never fear, there’s a new domain extension in town, and it’s full of SEO potential for real estate practitioners.
The sunrise registration period opened just last Monday for the new.Homes top-level domain. “Sunrise” registration is a limited window of time that allows trademark holders to purchase .Homes domains that match their marks before registration is opened to the general public. That means if you’ve trademarked the name of your real estate team or practice–Central Coast Realty™, for example–you can now reserve CentralCoastRealty.Homes so that your company’s name isn’t taken by somebody else. The Sunrise period runs through May 6. You can learn more here.
However, the domain names with the highest SEO potential are up for grabs on May 12, when open registration starts. Because registration will then no longer be restricted to trademark holders, agents and brokers can buy names that reflect their area, like Boston.Homes. The reason a domain like this has so much SEO potential is because it matches the phrases that consumers are likely to search for, e.g. Boston homes or Boston homes for sale.
.Homes domain names are only available to professionals who serve the residential real estate industry. This includes agents, brokers, mortgage professionals, appraisers, property managers, builders, home insurers, MLSs, and associations. Dominion Enterprises, the operator of Homes.com, is the exclusive registrar of .Homes domain names. To learn more, visit domains.homes.
Other Domain Extensions for Real Estate Pros
.Homes isn’t the only real estate related domain extension out there. In October 2014, the .REALTOR domain extension became available to members of the National Association of Realtors and the Canadian Real Estate Association. Realtors can snag their first year’s registration of .REALTOR domains for free through the end of 2016. You can claim your .REALTOR domain here.
As for other domain extensions… well, there are quite a few that may interest agents and brokers. Here’s a sampling:
Dot com alternatives are a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition. And with a well chosen domain name in play, you can potentially earn your website a lot of welcome SEO juice. Is a .Homes, .REALTOR, or other alternative domain something you’d consider for your business? Let us know in the comments below!
Have you ever wondered what the newest social media app is and what it means/does? As the web and social media communication evolve, new buzz words are added to the dictionary and new services are available to all of us. It doesn’t matter if you’re a total newbie or even if you’ve played in the Facebook and Twitter world a bit, you might not know how these social media services work for you to get your message (and listings) out into the world— we can dive deeper in a future post.
For now, what do all these new buzz words even mean? We’ve made it easy for you with the list below. Get out your SEO/Social Media “flashcards” and enjoy!
Thanks to Website Magazine for providing the following…
Aggregator – a Web-based tool or application that gathers and displays content from a variety of sources to an end-user.
Avatar – the primary image associated with a social network member’s account.
Board – a Pinterest feature that allows users to organize the content they have “pinned.”
Bolt – an Instagram offshoot, Bolt is a messaging app that lets users take and send photos to friends.
Check-In – an action that connects a person to a physical location. People can “check in” to locations on social networks like Facebook and Foursquare.
Circles – a Google+ feature that allows users to put people together into specified groups. Through this feature, Google+ users have the ability to share updates with specific groups of people in pre-defined “circles.”
Comment – a public response to a status update or other piece of content.
Community – a feature on Google+ that allows members to create niche groups where people with similar interests can interact. Communities can be made public or kept private.
Connection – people who are part of a LinkedIn user’s personal network. Similar to a Facebook “friend” or a Twitter “follower.”
CrowdPost – a proximity-based iOS social media app that connects users based on their location.
Dashboard – an administrative interface that typically allows users to monitor social network activity as well as take actions like sharing content.
Direct Message (DM) – a private conversation between two users on Twitter.
Engagement – a vague term that describes participation with a brand’s content on social networks. Typically, brands take fan and follower actions such as likes, retweets, shares and comments into consideration when measuring engagement.
Facebook – the world’s largest social network, with 1.23 billion monthly active users.
Facebook Audience Network – a mobile ad network that targets users in other apps using Facebooks demographic information.
Fan – a Facebook user who follows a brand or business Page.
Favorite – an action that represents a user’s approval of a piece of content on Twitter.
Filter – an image customization tool which users can leverage to change the tone and look of their photo.
Flickr – a photo sharing community that allows both amateurs and professionals to post images they have taken and receive comments and even negotiate purchases with those who are interested in the photos.
Follower – someone who has chosen to receive your tweets in their Twitter timeline.
Foursquare – a location-based social network that enables users to discover new locations and check-in, share and save places they have visited.
Friend – a Facebook connection between two people. Both parties must agree to become “friends” before a connection is made.
Google+ – a social network created by Google where users can share content and connect with other members. Businesses can add photos, contact information and more that will appear in Google’s search engine result pages.
Group – this feature is available on both LinkedIn and Facebook. It enables users to create a niche community where people with similar interests can communicate with each other. Similar to Google+ Communities.
Hangout – a feature available on Google+ that allows a group of people to have conversations and share content with each other. Users also have the ability to start video hangouts with up to 10 friends.
Hashtag – an interactive feature that allows social network users to relate a status update to a broader topic.
Handle – the name a Twitter member chooses to represent themselves. To interact with another Twitter member, users must address them with the @ symbol and the person’s handle, such as @WebsiteMagazine.
Influencer – a brand’s most valuable audience members. Typically, influencers are active in the social community and have the ability to sway the opinions of their followers.
Instagram – an online photo-sharing social network where users can share filtered photos and videos. Instagram is owned by Facebook.
Instagram Direct – a communication method that allows Instagram users to send photos and videos privately to another user.
Instagram Explore – a new tab that helps users discover new content that is relevant to their interests.
Like – an action that social network users can take to show their approval of a status update. In addition, Facebook users can “Like” pages in order to receive the Page’s status updates in their newsfeeds.
LinkedIn – a social network for professionals, users are able to post their job experience and skills, find personal and professional contacts, search for jobs, blog and much more.
LinkedIn Ads – a self-service advertising solution that allows its users to create and place ads on the LinkedIn.com website.
Lists – a curated group of Twitter users.
Meme – a generally recognized piece of content that typically pokes fun of a person, place or situation. Typically, memes are shared by many people and quickly go viral.
Message – a private communication method between two or more users on Facebook.
Messenger – an app to which Facebook transferred all of its messaging power. Users are able to chat with their friends in a similar manner to text messaging.
Newsfeed – the homepage of a social network that is continuously refreshed with activity updates from a user’s friends or followers.
Page – a Facebook profile for a business or a brand. Facebook users can “like” pages but they cannot be friends with pages.
Pinterest – a pinboard-style social network where users can share content and create theme-based collections.
Pin – a piece of content shared by Pinterest users.
Poke – a Facebook action that allows one user to interact with another user through a virtual “poke.”
Profile – the Web page of a social network user that displays any content that the user has shared.
Promoted Content – a way to increase the reach of a profile or a specific piece of content on social networks. Promoted content is paid for and thus an advertisement.
Reddit – the so-called “front page of the Internet” has hundreds of subpages (called subreddits) for various topics from Space Jam to Astronomy and Politics where users can submit posts and comments to drive discussion.
Retweet – an action that allows users to share another user’s content on Twitter.
Rich Pin – pins that feature extra content, such as a map, product pricing, recipe details and more. There are multiple types of Rich Pins, including Place Pins, Article Pins, Product Pins, Recipe Pins and Movie Pins.
Sentiment – the implied attitude behind user comments. Social media monitoring tools can help brands measure sentiment in order to gauge the overall perception of a company or specific marketing promotions.
Share – an action that allows someone to publish content from another source. The content is “shared” to that user’s personal social network.
Snapchat – a photo messaging mobile app that allows user to take photos or record videos and send them to selected friends. Each piece of content sent has a time limit (1-10 seconds) for viewing. After the content has been viewed it is not able to be seen again unless it is part of a Snapchat Story.
Snapcash – Snapchat users are able to send and receive money from Snapchat friends after entering their debit card information.
Snapchat Ads – Snapchat introduced its first ad in Oct. 2014. Users are able to view ads in the Stories section of the app.
Snapchat Chat – Chat enables users to have a private conversation with friends via text, snaps and previously saved videos and images.
Snapchat Discover – a storytelling feature where users are able to find Stories from a variety of sources including CNN, Comedy Central and Food Network.
Snapchat Story – Snapchat users can put content into a “story” for 24-hour viewing. Typically, stories are made up of a string of content that creates a narrative.
Social Listening – a tool that enables users to monitor and measure what is being said about a brand on social networks.
Social Login – a sign-in form which allows users to leverage their social media credentials on a third-party website instead of having to create separate login credentials.
Status Update – a piece of content shared by a social network member.
StumbleUpon – a social discovery engine that helps users discover new and unique things from across the Web through recommendations.
Subreddit – a community subpage on reddit like r/pics and r/tech that discuss relevant topics to the community.
Swarm – a social meetup app spawned from parent Foursquare that lets users check in wherever they are.
Syndicated Promoted Tweet – a promoted Tweet that can be seen off of Twitter.
Timeline – Facebook’s newest profile layout that display’s a user’s collection of shared content.
Trending Topic – the most popular topics currently being discussed on a social network.
Tumblr – a microblogging platform owned by Yahoo. Currently, Tumblr has more than 172 million blogs on its platform.
Tweet – a Twitter status update.
Twitter – a popular social network that allows users to post 140-character status updates.
Twitter Discover – the Discover tab enables users to find new hashtags which may be of interest to them.
URL Shortener – a tool that converts a long URL into a shortened version that is easier to share, especially on social networks.
Vine – a mobile app owned by Twitter that allows users to share short videos that play in a continuous loop.
Viral – a piece of content that is rapidly and organically shared.
WhatsApp – acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp is a mobile messaging app.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing – an unpaid form of promotion by a customer on behalf of a brand.
YouTube – a video-sharing platform owned by Google.
YouTube Kids – specifically designed for kids, YouTube Kids has a variety of videos for kids to learn from and parental control settings to make sure kids watch only age appropriate videos.