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Archive for Real Estate Internet Marketing – Page 2

Real Estate Emails That Make an Impact!

Real Estate Emails That Have an Impact

The other day I got an email from someone who has a very professional website. Their business is all about constructing a professional brand image online. I love their website!

There was one problem. The email was dismal.

It was full of grammatical errors. It was too short. It lacked a point. It gave a sloppy call-to-action that directed me to a blog post that wasn’t even connected to the company.

It did NOT make me want to work with that company.

Is that the impact that your emails have? Do they match up to your professionalism, or do they fall short?

You can create real estate emails that make a real impact and build your business. For every $1 in marketing, email marketing can return $44.25! If you’re not seeing that, consider making these changes.

Use the Right “From” Address

One of the most important aspects of an email is often overlooked – what “from” address shows when you email your list?

If it’s not a personal email that seems to be coming directly from you, you have a major problem. In fact, the “from” address of an email matters more than the subject line. And the subject line is vital!

People aren’t interested in irrelevant email, and an email that comes from a company (info@company.com, for instance) screams advertising. And an unknown Gmail address seems like spam. Instead, make sure that your name is involved. That way, your recipient knows exactly who is contacting them.

An effective “from” address has these characteristics:

  • Comes from someone the contact knows and trusts (you, not your company)
  • Helps readers find your messages if they get misrouted or put in the junk folder
  • Stands out in a sea of other email addresses

Be Personal and Engaging

Using your customer’s name – without overusing it, of course – is essential to making a connection with your reader. The subject line might say, “-Name-, thought you might enjoy this article” or something equally personal.

In addition, an email should always begin with the prospect’s name. That way, everyone feels like they are hearing directly from you even if the email is automated.

Once you have the personalization, be engaging! Don’t send boring, shop-talk style emails. No one wants to read that. Instead, focus on the following types of email:

  • Q&A: Answer common questions that your prospects have
  • Story-Based: Tell a story about something you encountered and then draw a short applicable lesson from it. The story should be fun – and don’t underestimate how much people want to know the real you!
  • Testimonial: Use a review or testimonial to share a great experience that a client had with you. It helps others want to work with you as well. Be sure to end with “This is why I love what I do”, along with a gentle call-to-action. No need to be too salesy.
  • Drive to a Blog Post. If you have a blog, consider having one email a month that directs people to the blog. That will get readers to your site so they can see your listings and other materials.
  • Having local events can be a great way to share information and get leads. Use your email list to promote any local appreciation or workshop events that you hold.

Be Entertaining

One mistake many Realtors® – and other professionals – make with email marketing is that they think their subscribers want to learn more information.

The truth is, everyone has far too much information. No one wants to learn more! Instead, you need to be as entertaining as you can be. Try to be 80% entertaining and 20% educating. That way, you are getting a point across, but you’re doing it in a really fun way.

Don’t feel like you have to be a professional comedian to entertain. All of us have silly, funny, or even embarrassing things happen in our daily lives that we can share. Those things are often great stories! By sharing a story about yourself, your family, or your business, you can be authentic while also selling your business.

Be Consistent

Are you worried about how often you email? Do you wonder if you email too much? Let me tell you a secret – there’s no magic number. The trick is to be consistent.

If you email once a month – sometimes – but are inconsistent, you’ll get complaints and unsubscribes every time you send an email.

On the other hand, if you set the expectation that you’ll email every week or once a month, and you actually do, you’ll get more engagement, fewer complaints, and fewer drop-offs. It’s not about how often you email. It’s about setting an expectation and being consistent.

Consider varying your emails to make them easier to craft and more predictable for readers. For instance, you could email weekly using a cycle like this:

  • Week 1: Just for Fun
  • Week 2: Testimonial and Ask for Referrals
  • Week 3: Story and Ask for Business
  • Week 4: Drive to a Blog Post

This way, you never wonder what to say next. Your readers will also know what to expect. The consistency will work wonders.

Email marketing is very effective. It just has to be done correctly. It’s also best done in conjunction with regular postcard and mailing campaigns. If you’re ready for your next batch of Just Listed or Just Sold postcards, let us help! We have tons of templates to choose from.

How do you use email marketing? Share in the comments!

How Savvy Realtors® Boost Their Reputation with a Blog

Blogging for Realtors

We’re excited to feature a guest post from April Goudy of MySmartBlog.com!

As a knowledgeable Realtor®, you already know that your reputation is everything. People simply refuse to work with those they can’t trust, which is why establishing your credibility is paramount – especially if you’re only just starting out. And in the online marketing realm, one of the best ways to establish your reputation is by creating a blog.

So how can you build a great reputation by publishing blog articles on your website? Here’s what you need to know.

Shift Your Mindset from Cost to Investment

Business owners, such as Realtors®, must carefully differentiate between costs and investments when making important financial decisions, and this holds true when you are thinking about blog marketing expenses as well.

A cost is something that generally will provide an immediate result. An investment, on the other hand, will have a long-term residual return. When it comes to blog marketing for your business, there are three good reasons why you need to think about this as an investment rather than a cost.

  1. Building Brand Awareness

Marketing generally has many purposes, and one of the primary purposes for most marketing efforts is to build brand awareness and develop or enhance your reputation in some way. Blog marketing essentially creates a series of blog posts that can shape the image your target audience has of your brand.

  1. Increasing Visibility

Another goal of marketing is to increase visibility for your brand. Each blog post that you create may be linked to from other online sources or a previous blog post. Your consumers may also send links of the posts to their own friends and family members.

  1. Generating Need

A blog post can be created so that it defines consumer needs and shows how your products or services may meet those needs. The blog posts will generate an immediate response from your consumers when they are initially posted, but they also can remain online for others to view. This also has long-term benefits for your business.

Generate Credibility with High-Quality Authoritative Content

‘Content is King’ is a good saying, but ‘GOOD Content is King’ is a better saying, for a good reason, with so many places to go online to consume content, every blog has to stand apart. Focus on in-depth blog posts that are well-written and cover an aspect of the industry that isn’t discussed much.

Writing to get to the top of search engines a great side benefit of having an engaging blog. However, writing your content exclusively for search engines will alienate your readers – especially if you’re using outdated SEO tactics. Exceptional writing stands out in an age where most blogs are quickly pieced together just to have something to post each day.

Branch Out Into Other Content Arenas

A really well-written, long from blog post can be deconstructed to make several additional pieces of content that cover the same topic, but target different users.

  • Social media is an incredibly useful tool for exposing content to new readers. One of the major benefits of social media is the ability to share content that stands out with people who will, in turn, share it with each one of their friends and followers.
  • A short YouTube video highlighting some key points from the blog post.
  • A podcast can be a useful way to expose a blog post to new listeners and boost the traffic back to the blog.

Determining how to invest your marketing funds is rarely a simple task. You want to generate an immediate return, but some marketing methods also will give you a long-term benefit. There are numerous marketing methods that you can choose to use for your business, and blog posts are just one. With how cost-effective and advantageous it can be to invest in blog marketing, you may consider including this in your overall strategy.

Ready to kick your blog writing up a notch? We can help! At MySMARTblog we improve communications between busy real estate and mortgage professionals and their clients. We provide Done-For-You, industry specific blog post, websites and social syndication. Happy Blogging!

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Five Things Your Real Estate Website Must Have

Five Things Your Real Estate Website Must Have

If you leave certain things off of your real estate website, you’re leaving money on the table and daring your leads to go elsewhere.

You may have a beautiful and expensive website, with all the bells and whistles. But if you don’t have the following must-haves, you’re going to have an expensive site that doesn’t perform.

Every Real Estate Website Needs: A Simple Contact Form

Make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you from anywhere on your site at any given time. Don’t make them work! And don’t make them click around too much to get in touch with you.

Use a simple form or sidebar on all your pages as part of your design, but carefully consider what information you need to collect.

“A long contact form can be very overwhelming to look at and scare your potential customer right off your website. Keep the number of fields on your contact forms between 3 and 5 max,” wrote Marvin Russell, Founder of MySiteAuditor and Checkli.

“If your website offers a service, then your contact form shouldn’t try to sell that service. It should only try to get your foot in the door by asking a few basic questions.  NeilPatel.com was able to increase conversions by 26% by removing 1 field from his contact form.”

Every Real Estate Website Needs: Local Listings

This is what many website visitors are here to see. Don’t put too much branding between your visitors and your listings. People may like you, you may be amazing, but they’re here to see houses. So keep your listings fresh, current, and easily accessible.

Use this great article that explains how you can quickly and easily integrate MLS listings onto your site (for free or cheap) by using WordPress plugins.

Every Real Estate Website Needs: An Active Blog

The key word is active.

That can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. This may mean twice a week, or twice a month. The number isn’t that important. The key thing is that you come up with a content schedule and stick to it.

Also, make sure your blogs have real value. Of course, every listing should get it’s own blog and landing page. But make sure your blog contains more. Helpful advice on how to buy a home is always welcome. It also makes you look like an expert, not just a salesperson.

Every Real Estate Website Needs: Local Events

Don’t ignore the value of this. It goes beyond just doing favors for local businesses and clubs. It makes you look like a pillar in the community, and in-touch with everyone. By listing local event on your website, you can become a go-to site for reasons other than your listings, which is great for your brand.

It also helps your search engine optimization (SEO) when these events’ web pages link back to you. Backlinks are SEO gold and what puts you above the other guys in search results.

Every Real Estate Website Needs: A Simple Web Address

Read your website’s web address (URL) over the phone to someone. How slow did you have to read it? Did you have to repeat it? Have you had people type it in wrong? These are all signs your website’s URL is too complicated. It should be easily read out loud and easy to remember.

“Forget about hard-to-spell, long and clever words or anything too complex—unless you want to make it hard for people to remember your URL. Do yourself a favor: dump the cutesy names and don’t use numbers—they won’t help. Best practice? A name with only one possible spelling,” wrote Tom Lowery, entrepreneur, author, corporate training specialist.

So if you’re building a new site, focus your time and money on simple and intuitive contact forms, dynamic listing feeds, a well thought-out blog, local events, and a simple and memorable URL. If you already have a site, review it for these things.

If you have a new URL make sure all your print materials like business cards and brochures have the correct info. If you need to update your print materials, you can easily create your own design online, and make sure your brand resonates.

How Real Estate Websites Get Noticed – Rise Above the Competition

Real Estate Websites - Rise Above

Google “Your area + Realtor®”… Are you the only one to come up? We didn’t think so. Are you on the first page to come up? If not, we can help.

There has never been a bigger need to own your area’s webspace, because there has never been more competition. But the good news is, not everyone knows how to properly cultivate a web presence. So rising above the competition will be a whole lot easier once you read this article.

Here are 4 things you need to do to rise above the pack.

Put a Keyword in Your Real Estate Website’s URL

Let’s start with your website’s URL. You may be tempted to use your name, because it’s simple. That’s logical, but wrong.

“Odds are users are googling local terms to find services like yours, and not your name. Many agents make the mistake of getting a domain that showcases their name, but miss a great SEO opportunity to get traffic by using search terms in their domain name,” said content strategist, Sandra Manzanares.

So instead of Paul-Bennet.com, go for something like EastPhillyHomes.com.

Monitor Rival Real Estate Websites

There are actually a lot of tools out there that will help you spy on the other guys. There’s no shame in doing this. Actually, it’s irresponsible not to.

See what types of content they’re publishing and see how it performs. This can give you a great idea of the types of things you should be doing, or the things to avoid completely.

Of course, always stay original. But stay on top of what they’re doing, so you don’t miss any opportunities.

Use Google Adwords

You may be putting this one off because you think this will take too much time and money. It’s true, this will take time and money. But, if you devote a little bit now, you can have a well-defined Adwords strategy in place in a few months. You don’t have to beat everyone right away. You just need enough growth to invest in yourself and your success.

“Yes, you won’t do as well as those who have the wherewithal to spend vast amounts of money on their AdWords campaigns,” wrote inbound marketing expert, Matthew Bushery.

“Over time, though, as you learn the ropes and gain a greater understand of the types of keywords that create the most traffic and leads, you’ll grow your business and, in turn, be able to allocate more ad spend to AdWords.”

Stay on Top of the News and React

Is something making real estate headlines? You can piggyback on its traction in the news, while defining yourself as the expert.

This is called “newsjacking.” There is always something real estate related in the news– it could be new by-laws, or market shifts. It’s great to be the first one to react. But you need to be the first one to publish a meaningful response. Or you need to be the first to position your reaction in a way that makes people want to click it.

Complicated changes to real estate rules/ laws? Publish a piece that puts them in plain English. New stats about the market? Tell the readers exactly what that will mean for their asking/ closing price.

Everyone has a website, but not everyone is doing these things. Most Realtors® put their name in their URL, instead of their area. At the same time, most will also get so caught up in their own site, they ignore what everyone else is doing. Or they may feel they don’t have time to look into Google Adwords, or blog about current trends. That’s great news for you. Because these are the building blocks you need to create an effective web presence.

While you’re revisiting your digital advertising, how does your print marketing look? Is it time for new business cards or postcards?  If you need new materials, you can easily customize your own design online and give your branding a quick refresh.

How Real Estate Websites Get Noticed – Own Social Media

Real Estate Websites - Social Media

Not surprisingly, while 84% of Realtors are active on social media, only 55% said they’re comfortable in using social media for business.

Being comfortable with how you use social media and properly integrating it with your real estate website starts with building a system and schedule, then seeing and reacting to the results.

Let’s take a look at how to make you comfortable in social (media) situations.

Great Real Estate Websites Make it Easy to Share

Any real estate website should make it easy for the user to find the Facebook or Twitter button to share your materials. This is especially important in building traction for your blogs, listings, and events. As your viewers share the blogs and other articles you promote, you’ll gain more visibility on social media.

Share buttons are quick and easy to add, so make sure they’re on every page.

Don’t Ask for Likes. Earn Them

A lot of businesses will share a piece of content and ask “Please Like or comment on our latest blog.” You can do better than that.

Lead with the value that your post gives your readers, and give them a reason to click on it, instead of asking them to do it.

Your blog/video, and social media headline should be similar, in that they both tease the value of what you’re offering. But the social media headline should be slightly longer.

  • Headline: “The Top 5 Mistakes Every New Homeowner Makes”
  • Social Headline: “The average homeowner will pay $5,400 more than they should. Read how to avoid this.”

You may be tempted to use an Upworthy-style headline, that shoots for an emotional response while leaving the audience in suspense.

“But just because it works for a site like Upworthy, it doesn’t mean that every publication should use it. Different headlines work for different sites. It all depends on your content and niche,” wrote Onboardly’s Renee Warren.

“In fact, people are already sick of the style. Google ‘Upworthy headlines’ and articles with the words ‘insufferable’ and ‘annoying’ pop up.  There comes a point when the intrigue is just plain predictable. And then it’s on to the next trend.”

Videos Help Your Real Estate Websites and Social Presence

Start creating videos of your listings and virtual tours. Then upload them to your YouTube channel and share them on your Facebook, Twitter and real estate website.

“Did you know that 73% of homeowners say they’re more likely to list with a realtor who offers to create a video for them, but only 4% of agents put their listings on YouTube?” said communications expert, Jess Maria.

Don’t Just Post on Your Own Page

Part of building a social presence means stepping beyond the safe confines of your own page. Look around social media and find conversations that homebuyers are having. Add your comments to conversations about real estate in your area. Offer your expertise when a question is asked.

When you do comment, don’t wedge a sales pitch into a normal conversation. That alienates people and may even get you blocked in certain places. Be casual, but helpful. And if you have legitimately helped people, they will seek you out.

If you’ve never done any of these things, they may take a bit of practice before you’re comfortable. But, start with adding the share button on your website, then focus on adding more useful blogs to your presence, and then you can work up to shooting videos and commenting on other people’s posts.

While you’re revisiting your digital advertising, how does your print marketing look? Is it time for new business cards or postcards?  If you need new materials, you can easily create your own design online, and give your branding a quick refresh.

How Real Estate Websites Get Noticed – Get More Leads

Real Estate Websites - Get More Leads

Is your website making you money, or costing you money? The sad truth is too many real estate websites are there because the Realtor® knows they need one, but it actually shows no return on investment.

In reality, a well-designed website should be a lead generation machine. It should be one of your strongest sales tools.

If you’re not getting leads from your site, the good news is you can tweak your site to optimize it, without having to tear it down and building it again. Just a fixer-upper.

Here are a few things you can do to help your website build your business.

Keep Your Contact Information on Every page

This is probably the biggest lead optimization fault of any website, not just real estate websites.

Don’t make it hard for people to contact you. Keep your contact information on every page of your site, so you’re never more than a click or quick call away.

“With search engines being such an important driver of inbound website traffic, you can’t always predict where people are going to enter your website,” notes Jonathan Bentz, marketing manager, Netrepid, a provider of professional services.

“Having your contact info on every page of your website increases the likelihood that people will contact you.”

Lead Capture Forms Help Real Estate Websites

If someone doesn’t want to use your contact information, they should just be able to enter a bit of info on the side of any page to reach you.

I know we’re in the business of qualifying our leads, but try not to ask for too much information in this form. Full name, email address and a question is usually quite enough.

An average 5% dip in conversion rate by including a phone number field. Unless your business is based on post-click sales calls, avoid this field at all cost. Not many people like to have someone call them (unless it’s critical to their personal success). said Conversion guru, Oli Gardner.

Use a Call to Action That Gets People Moving

Sometimes a would-be client is on your site, and they leave without contacting you. Why did this happen? Maybe because you haven’t given them a clear and compelling next step or call-to-action.

Say someone is looking at one of your listings. Your first instinct may be to end the page with something like “For more information on this home, click here.” That doesn’t really entice the browsers. Consider a more active, “Click here to get a tour of this home.” It’s what most browsers want. So give it to them right away.

And use different CTAs, because not every page will have the same logical next step.

“If you use the exact same CTA on every page, you are likely leaving leads on the table. While it is certainly easier to use the same call to action everywhere, it’s not the most prudent way to generate new leads,” said ConversionVoodoo.com.

“As your website visitors move around your site, their desires and their needs often change. If you are presenting your calls to action correctly, you even want their needs to change.”

These are just 3 little things you can likely implement tomorrow on your real estate website. You may just have to move things around a bit to get your contact info on every page, add a lead form or shorten the one you have. You can also easily add new CTAs to each page.

PS: In addition to your website, how are your business cards and postcards? If you need to update your print materials, you can easily get customized real estate business cards and postcards to make sure you’re getting the most for your dollar.

How Real Estate Websites Get Noticed – Build a Better Blog

Real Estate Websites

Want a website that performs better than the other guys’ real estate websites? Start by building a better blog than them.

The numbers prove that blogging drives success and performance. According to Hubspot:

  • Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website
  • Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information

The good news is there are countless Realtors® out there blogging on real estate websites, but only a small percentage of them are doing it correctly.

Here’s how to separate yourself from the pack.

Focus on the Headline

It very literally starts here. It’s the first thing people see on real estate websites, and what they use to determine if your blog is worth their time and their click. It’s the “bait” that gets people to stop scrolling through their newsfeed on Facebook and read your story.

Be creative, be engaging and be funny to earn people’s attention. “The City’s New Bylaws Explained” is boring and not really click-worthy. But a headline like “Will the New City Bylaws Cost You Thousands?” will spark people’s interest and create a sense of urgency.

A few other tips on headlines:

  • Let your personality shine through
  • Keep them short and sharable
  • Try to work keywords into them, but don’t force them in
  • Mistakes and myths play well. For example, “5 Myths About Home Inspections” or “3 Mistakes Nearly All First-time Buyers Make” would be great headlines!

Write and Publish on a Schedule

Schedules are good because they make your blog predictable, while keeping you on task. So get yourself in the routine of writing the blog Monday and publishing on Wednesday, or something like that.

What’s the best day to publish on real estate websites? Experts have a ton of data and metrics that can make an argument for Monday right through until the weekend. The bottom line is you want to publish your blog and share it socially when your would-be customers are online. That can be any number of times.

An attainable and repeatable routine is more important than locking yourself into a steadfast day of the week based on someone else’s numbers.

Mix Things Up

Being predictable doesn’t mean being boring. There are lots of different types of blogs you can publish:

  • How to Guide or Q&A: Always popular and you get to showcase your expertise
  • Newsjacking: A term that describes responding to something that’s trending or making headlines and providing your own spin
  • Guest posts: Run a piece from a guest writer like a local mortgage broker or home inspector

You should also try a bit of gated content. This would be something like a whitepaper or a how-to-guide. It’s called a gated asset because your reader will have to provide you their name and email address to download it. This helps you capture more leads and build your mailing list.

Most Realtors® don’t do these things, and neither do bloggers from most any sector. Most will use the first headline that comes to mind, write and publish when they have time, and offer up the same stale meal every week. But now you know better, and can stand out from other real estate websites.

While you’re revisiting your digital advertising, how does your print marketing look? Is it time for new business cards or postcards?  If you need new materials, you can easily create your own design online, and give your branding a quick refresh.

Real Estate Websites: Rock Your Online Property

Real Estate Websites

Realtors® are masters of showcasing properties, but it’s ironic that so many struggle with showcasing themselves.

Think of your website as a property you’re trying to sell. You need to hold it to the same standards that you would ask your clients to. If something is great, sell it. If something is holding you back, fix it or eliminate it.

Here’s how to make your online property – your real estate website – as amazing as your sold properties.

Your Real Estate Website’s Curb Appeal

Your website’s first impression is as vital as any home’s facade. So make sure your homepage is the first place you start impressing people.

“Serving as your company’s virtual front door, this page is generally responsible for drawing in a majority of your website’s traffic. And despite its prominence, many businesses struggle to optimize it properly,” wrote Hubspot’s Lindsay Kolowich.

Make sure your website has a nice, clean and professional homepage, without any clutter.

Your Website’s “Feng Shui”

Everything inside the home needs to be positioned for optimal flow, and this is also true of your website.

People should be able to flow and click through and find exactly what they want right away. People getting confused by your navigation is akin to homebuyers having to step over junk during a tour. It makes for an awkward experience and turns people off.

“If you can go from point A to B directly why take a detour that will just add to the time you take to reach your destination? Makes sense doesn’t it? Now juxtapose this thinking to the design of your site. Still makes sense,” wrote Suraj Kumar, the Founder & CEO of CloudBooks.

Everything should flow beautifully. Make sure that when you send people to your site from your business card or printed materials, they get a smooth experience. And once they’re on your site, it should be easy to browse listings and get in touch with you at any point, from any page.

Fix What’s Broken Before People See it

You would never show people a house with a leaky sink, or a garage door hanging by a hinge and say, “We’re going to fix this later.” You would tell your sellers that they need to fix this before you stage the home. Be sure to apply the same logic to your website.

Dead links, broken images, Under Construction signs, and empty blogs all hurt you. And it’s easy to let these things go when you launch your site and say, “We’ll fix that down the road.”

If you can’t fix a page right now, change your settings to hide it until you can fix it. But once it’s out of sight, make sure it’s not out of mind and you do fix the problem.

Stage Things Professionally

Most people aren’t professional home stagers, so they get one to set up their home. You’re not a professional web designer, so consider getting one to your site.

With the rise of free website building tools, it’s now easier than ever to DIY your own site. That doesn’t make it a good idea for a professional.

You might be able to use their templates to make something that you think looks good. But you’re not an expert on what your users will think looks good. Web designers are. Work with one and trust their expertise to build an amazing website with a seamless user experience.

Yes, using templates alone may be cheap, or even free. But just like spending money on a home staging makes your clients more money down the road, spending the money on a professional website leads to more sales down the road for you.

Using your real estate website to draw clients to you isn’t all that different from getting a home ready to sell at top dollar. Pay attention to curb appeal and flow. Fix what’s broken. Stage things professionally. You’ll be glad you did when your clients find you more easily and quickly!

If you need help getting great print materials to compliment your beautiful website, we’re here to help! Check out our real estate marketing fliers, postcards, and more today!

Pro Tips to Take Your Facebook Presence to the Next Level

Realtor Facebook Pro Tips

In earlier posts, I’ve written about how to get more Facebook followers and what you can post on your Facebook page (Part 1, Part 2). While you can’t let Facebook – or any non-owned social media or website – be your primary home base, it can still be a powerful part of your real estate marketing strategy. Here are some pro tips that will help you take your Facebook presence to the next level as you build your real estate business.

Add a Like Box to Your Website

Did you know that you can add a Like Box to your website, and that website visitors can then like your Facebook page without leaving your site? There are simple, free plugins for WordPress sites that allow you implement this strategy.

The biggest benefit to a Like Box is that it links your website directly to your Facebook presence. Since you want to build audiences that visit you in both places, it’s a great tool for building your real estate audience.

Join and Participate in Facebook Groups

There are dozens and dozens of Facebook groups available that you can join for advice, tips, and inspiration. Here’s the pro tip, though – focus on the ones where your clients hang out, not the ones where your peers do. Find Facebook groups focused on your city, neighborhood, or a local organization. When you join the conversation, you build relationships with exactly the people you want to reach.

I would point out that not all Facebook groups are relational, however – some are simply promotional and people post articles, links, and pitches without any conversation at all. Avoid those, because no one is actually listening. In addition, avoid political or controversial groups – your ideal clients come from all over the spectrum, and you don’t want to develop a reputation that affects that.

Create Non-Realtor® Facebook Pages

You can create Facebook pages that aren’t focused on your business at all, but simply encourage others to talk about related topics. Examples could be “Historical Homes in Atlanta” or “Great Architecture in Columbus”. These types of pages attract more interest because people are so wary of being sold things, and these pages aren’t pitching.

However, because these pages aren’t sales pages, you may need to take a few more steps before you can convert a visitor to this page to a lead. It’s not rocket science, though – it’s simple relationship building and trust that leads to new clients asking you to help them buy or sell a home.

Consider Paid Facebook Outreach

The bad news is that Facebook is increasingly becoming “pay to play”, in the sense that to get seen you often have to pay to place a Facebook ad or boost a post. The good news is that these ads can be very inexpensive, especially compared to other advertising options. You can also target very specific demographics, which helps maximize your return.

If you’re going to try Facebook paid outreach, I’d recommend a small test run before you commit much money. Fortunately, you can do a pretty good campaign for as little as $20 for a week. Try it out and see if you get the results you want. You may find it has a much better return than other paid outlets you use.

Facebook is a simple platform but there are a lot of pro-level tips to making the most of it as a Realtor®. By trying these four strategies, you’ll be able to gain more interest and build more relationships, which will help you make big strides in your business in the coming year.

What’s your favorite pro tip for Facebook? Share in the comments!

Your Facebook Page Doesn’t Count – The Case for Realtor® Websites

Realtor Website

Do you have a Realtor® website as the home base for your web presence? If not, you’ll want to read this article carefully. Unfortunately far too many Realtors® rely on a social media site – often Facebook – as their primary online platform. I’m here to give you some honest marketing feedback. Your Facebook page doesn’t count. Here are three reasons you really need a Realtor® website.

A Website Allows You to Make the Rules

You may not realize this, but when you use a social media platform, you are bound by their terms of service (TOS). The TOS is designed to be beneficial for the service owners, not necessarily you or your business. If you have a Realtor® website as the base of your business, you get to make the rules – you can do what you like, and not risk having your account restricted.

What does this mean, in practice? It means you can link or embed videos from YouTube without having your reach limited. (Facebook punishes any video that isn’t uploaded directly to the platform). You can run contests without fearing repercussions from the social media site. (Every social media TOS has rules and restrictions regarding contests). And you can create ads and promotions you want, rather than ones that abide by the strict advertising rules of Facebook or other platforms.

Your Reach Will Be FAR Better

Have you noticed that your posts aren’t going as far as they used to – especially on Facebook? You may be surprised to find out that only a very small percentage of your Facebook fans see any given post. Facebook claims this is because there’s “too much information” to share with people on their feeds, but the reality is that Facebook and other social media platforms are moving toward a paid-ad driven business model. If you want reach now, you have to pay for it.

On the other hand, when you have your own Realtor® website, you can keep all the fans and visitors you have – without anyone restricting the flow. The work you do to build visibility and reach won’t be throttled by someone else trying to make a buck off of you. The benefit of having your own platform when it comes to getting eyes on your message can’t be overstated.

You Can Control Graphics and Design on Your Website

Do you ever wish that you could show visitors a beautiful slideshow of your current listings, recently sold homes, and happy clients? With your own website, you can. In fact, you can create whatever you want to create. If web design is not your strong point, that’s not a problem – there are many freelance designers or web management companies that can help you set up a WordPress site and keep it up to date for you. I love Outstanding Setup personally – they are very affordable and very responsive when you need changes.

On the other hand, social media sites are designed by someone else, and not with your business in mind. On some platforms, it’s hard to display very many pictures. On others, there’s very little room for text. When you don’t have choices, you can find that your message gets garbled. When you have your own Realtor® website, you can choose a template that displays exactly what you want to show your prospects.

Having your own website doesn’t have to mean hours of coding and learning how to be a web designer. You can easily and affordably outsource the technical work. However, having your own platform allows you to make the rules, maintain your reach, and control your own layout. These three things make it very worthwhile to create a Realtor® website.

What’s your favorite thing about having a Realtor® website? Share in the comments!