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Archive for Real estate internet marketing

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.

What to Post on Your Realtor® Facebook Page – Part 2

Realtor Facebook Page

At the end of last week, I posted a list of great ideas for your Realtor® Facebook page. I actually had so many ideas that I had to stop myself, so I thought that it would be a great topic to continue with this week.

Remember that Facebook posts don’t have to be novels – short is great! However, they should be engaging and relevant to your followers. Here are some more ideas about what to post on your Realtor® Facebook page to draw engagement.

Local News and Announcements

Local news and announcements are a great way to keep your Facebook page relevant and interesting. In addition, these types of posts help you rank well in search engine results about specific cities and neighborhoods.

When you show your expertise about a local area, you’re also providing your followers something they can share on their own pages without feeling like they are helping you “sell” anything. In fact, consider ending the post with “Please share this with others that might want to know about XXX town!”

Reviews of Local Businesses and Attractions

This type of post is a great way to engage your Facebook community. Share an experience you had at a local business or attraction, and then invite followers to do the same. You’ll get a lot of great sharing, but you will have to monitor what is said to make sure it stays appropriate and edifying.

Another angle on this type of post is to ask your followers for advice on where to go for a specific experience. Ask them their favorite ethnic restaurant, or the best place to take kids for a weekend in the local area. This “crowd-sourced” type of post is easy to start, and your followers take it from there! You can get a lot of engagement on these – people love to be experts.

Behind-The-Scenes in Your Business

People love to get sneak-peeks at information they usually don’t have access to, and that includes “real life” snapshots of professionals in their area. Take advantage of this to post funny stories, successes, and “me in the process of…” pictures.

Video is another great medium for behind-the-scenes looks. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a professional videographer – a low-cost bundle on Amazon can get you started. People will enjoy seeing your face, and your non-verbal body language will add a lot to the interaction and help build trust.

Cute Photos and Memes

You don’t always have to be super-professional online. Sharing cute photos and memes or jokes is a great way to “let your hair down” and help your audience relate to you as a real person. You want to make sure this isn’t your primary type of content, and of course make sure all content is family-appropriate.

Don’t forget to be careful of where you share your images and jokes from, either. Many times an image may be perfectly innocent, but the name of the page that shared it is vulgar or inappropriate. At times like that, consider sharing the picture yourself, without the page name attached, and credit the originator/author in your post.

As you can see, there are endless ways to share informative, fun, and personalized information on Facebook as a Realtor®. I hope you enjoyed these tips – now pick your favorites and take action!

What types of posts do you love to share on Facebook to boost engagement? Share in the comments!

What to Post on Your Realtor® Facebook Page to Draw Engagement

Realtor Facebook Topics

The last post I wrote talked about how to draw new followers to your Facebook page. Once you have followers, it’s important to post consistent, informative content to keep people engaged. Fortunately, as a Realtor® you have a wide variety of topics available to you. Here are some great ideas about what you can post on your Realtor® Facebook page to draw likes, shares, and comments.

Tips on Selling a Home

Folks who are getting ready to sell a home need a Realtor®, but that’s only the first step. They also need to declutter, clean, and stage their home. They need to landscape the outside to make it more attractive. They need to know how to get professional photos. These are all tips you can share.

Another angle is to share tips about how to keep your home organized so that should you ever have to move it’s ready to go. (See what I did there? Plant the seed!!) There are dozens of topics available when it comes to home organization.

Finally, talk about the pros and cons of selling in different seasons. Help people realize that winter has its benefits (fewer houses on the market as competition), as do other seasons. Don’t feel like your posts have to be long! A “quick tip” that’s only a sentence or two is fine many times!

Infographics

Infographics are a way to share data in a visually appealing format. It’s a great way to share current real estate market information about your farm area, or about the nation in general. You can share a link to someone else’s infographic (not a competitor, of course!) or create your own.

Infographics, and all visual content, don’t need to be intimidating. You can create a simple graphic using Powerpoint, or shoot a simple video using a low-cost video bundle you get on Amazon. Visual content makes a big impact, especially when it comes to connecting with people’s emotions. Take advantage of it!

Remember that position and color are both important parts of using graphics, as I shared in my previous posts. Learn what emotions various colors convey, and use them – there are different colors to use if you want to draw people into confidence versus if you want to inspire excitement!

Competitions

Having a giveaway or contest is a great way to grow your list and increase engagement on your page. You can offer a freebie in return for specific information – email, mailing address, Twitter handle, and more.

Once you have that information, use it wisely, but be sure to use it!! I’ve known Realtors® who collected a lot of valuable lead information and then never did anything with it, allowing those valuable leads to die on the vine.

Be sure you’re clear what information is needed to enter your contest or earn a freebie, and what you plan to do with the information. It’s best to host the contest on your own website – not only will it be easier to collect information and get it into your CRM, you also won’t run the risk of violating Facebook’s strict rules about contests.

Images of Amazing Homes in Your Area

People “window shop” for homes long before they are able and willing to purchase. Why not be the place they go to swoon over images of beautiful homes? You can even set up a separate Facebook page if you’d like – call it something like “Amazing Homes in XXX County, Florida” or wherever you are. You’ll get great local search engine results with a name like that, too!

Once you start a page like that, be sure to post regularly. You’ll want to upload new pictures at least once a week, preferably two or three times. You don’t have to post daily, but you will get a lot more engagement if you do – more people will visit the page to see what’s new!

The great benefit of this kind of post is that it’s incredibly shareable. People don’t see it as a sales pitch, so they are much more likely to share the post to their own pages and say, “Wow, can you imagine this!” This means more eyes on your posts, and more opportunity to invite people to your page.

This post barely scratched the surface of what you can share on Facebook – in fact, I’ll post more ideas early next week. Stay tuned! In the meantime, try some of these out and let me know in the comments how it went for you!

5 Ways Realtors® Can Get More Followers on Facebook

Facebook for Realtors

Having a Realtor® Facebook page is a great way to engage with prospects, showcase your properties, and share your expertise. However, it only works well if you have plenty of Facebook followers! Otherwise, your posts are not being seen by anyone and you are not getting a great return on your time.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to draw people to your Facebook real estate page. Some are more obvious, and others less so – if you take advantage of them all, you’ll do far better with your Facebook promotions.

Invite Your Circle of Influence

Before you roll your eyes and say “Duh,” hear me out. Many times we invite our circle of influence once – the day we set up our page. We send a request out to our friends and family on Facebook and that’s it. However, our circle changes and expands over time. Do you know more people know than you did in the beginning? Probably so!! Take advantage of that and invite your circle of influence in again.

Obviously, don’t send a Facebook request every month or anything like that – that will just push people away. But if it’s been a year, or you have a new connection you’d like to invite to Facebook, do it! Don’t forget about your circle just because you invited them once a long time ago.

Make Sure Current and Past Clients are on Your Facebook Page

Sometimes, once we land a contract, we forget all about including the new client in our ongoing marketing. I guess we figure once we gain a customer, there’s no more need. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth!! We all know that referrals are our biggest source of quality business, and what better way to get referrals than to make sure your current and past clients follow you on Facebook?

Don’t assume that once you’re done, you wash your hands of the customer and move on. Encourage them to stay in touch with you in a variety of ways – email, social media, maybe even an in-person visit to see how things are going. When they follow you on Facebook, they’ll see all your new properties and information, and may share it with their own followers – giving you a whole new set of prospects!

Don’t Use Your Page for Spam

None of us think that the information we share is “spam”, but try to see it through the eyes of your prospect. Do all of your posts talk about how wonderful you are, how important you are, and how much you sell? Do your posts consist simply of “Buy from me” and “List with me” messages? If so, I’m sorry – but your page is spam.

Prospects don’t care about you until they know you care about them. Make sure your messaging is very focused on the prospect – the emotions they feel when they consider buying or selling a home, the steps they take, and the tips that make it easier. Share about those things in helpful ways. Share about your neighborhood. When you share relevant content about your prospects, you’ll get more followers and more engagement.

Use Great Graphics

Images are a big deal online. A picture really is worth 1,000 words when it comes to catching attention and conveying emotion, two things that are essential in any kind of marketing. You can find free graphics on Pixabay, or you can use your own images, or use Canva to create great images without much expense.

Studies have shown that images should be highly relevant and carefully placed in order to increase readership. Placing the image above a headline gets more people to read the article, and putting a caption under the image helps people get the message you’re putting across, even if they don’t have the time to read your entire post.

Promote Posts

Promoting posts on Facebook is almost ridiculously inexpensive, compared to other types of advertising in real estate. You can choose your budget – from $5 to as high as you want – and target your demographics very specifically. This allows you to target your farm area, a higher-wage earning job set, specific age ranges, and much more, in any combination.

Promoted posts have another value – when someone “likes” a promoted post, you see their name listed, and have a chance to invite them directly to like your Facebook page. Once they are a regular follower of your Facebook page, they will see the wonderful listings and expertise you share on a regular basis.

Getting followers on your Facebook page takes some time, but there are things you can do to shorten the cycle. Invite new friends and acquaintances to like the page. Include links on your email signature, business card, and more. Don’t spam on your page – instead, share helpful information with great graphics. Boost posts so they get more targeted visibility. Your page will become much more successful as a result.

How do you promote your Facebook page? Share in the comments!

5 Ways to Find High Income Leads Using LinkedIn

High Income Prospects on LinkedIn

Did you know that 49% of LinkedIn users have incomes over $100,000? This makes them great, likely well-qualified leads – much more likely than your average American to be looking for high-value properties, and much more likely to qualify for the loans needed for those properties.

There are good ways and not-so-good ways to go about connecting with people on LinkedIn. You can join a group that is located in your geographic area and start cold-messaging people, but that route will have a lot of work with little reward. You also may have to be a bit less than honest to convince people to connect with you without actually knowing you, and I never recommend that.

There are some better ways to find high-income leads using LinkedIn. Here are five ideas to get you started:

Create a Great Profile

Anyone who’s interested in connecting with you will start by viewing your profile. You want to make sure your picture is professional, your purpose is clearly stated, your tagline is prominent, and your website link is included. All of these things help visitors connect with you and invites them to learn more.

There’s a bit of an art to crafting a great LinkedIn profile, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Make sure to use specific keywords related to real estate and your geographical area, so that people doing searches like “city real estate” and other similar terms find your name. In addition, you may want to freshen up your profile every few months to take advantage of new keywords or update your pitch.

Comment In Groups

I mentioned that cold-messaging people was not very fruitful at best, and a tad shady at worst. Instead, join a group that is related to your demographic area, or a group that focuses on an interest you have. When you share relevant information in the groups on a regular basis, you’ll become known to the people in there. You’ll develop a reputation as someone who is knowledgeable and professional.

Over time, you’ll develop very logical, good reasons to ask for connections with these people. Once you’re connected with them, they will be able to see the information you share on your profile and the articles you post. You’ll also get visits to your website from people you get to know. Once you’re connected with someone, you can also direct-message them and they’ll be much more receptive. Start with information they’ll find helpful, and over time find ways to offer your services and ask for referrals.

Visit Profiles

Each week LinkedIn Members are sent a list of the people that viewed their profile. When you visit profiles regularly, you can show up on that list. Unless you pay for a premium membership, you may not be able to see very much information. But you should still be listed as a visitor in their weekly list.

One way to find relevant profiles to view is to begin looking at profiles of active members of groups you join. Not only does this put your face in front of them each week, it may also help you understand more about them so you can build your relationships more authentically within the group. You can also do an advanced search and view profiles of people who live in a specific zip code. This way, your name and face will appear on the weekly notification for people in your farm area, which may prompt them to try to connect with you!

Write Useful Posts

Any member of LinkedIn is able to share posts, photos, and updates with their followers. By keeping your content flowing, you’ll not only establish yourself as an expert, but you’ll keep your face and name at the top of their news feed. It’s important to keep content high-quality while also sharing often.

The most effective way to do this is to repurpose other posts. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with writing a blog post and then sharing it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Bufferapp is a great tool for making these kinds of updates quick and easy.

Keep Connecting

Your connections will add new connections every day, so there will be a lot of new 2nd level contacts in your list on a regular basis. View their profiles, get to know them, and reach out if appropriate. If you find that a lot of people in your targeted geographical area belong to a specific LinkedIn Group, join that group! Find useful things to say.

Being on LinkedIn, like any other social network, requires building relationships and building trust. Yes, you can spam. You can buy programs that will send fake visits to people’s profiles. You can direct message people you don’t know and pretend you’re new and lost. While those things may bring a few connections, they won’t bring the authenticity and trust you need for people to trust you with a real estate transaction.

Instead, take time to really connect. Have a great profile. Join groups related to your farm area and share. Cross-post blog posts and social media updates. Use advanced search to find more people in your area and see how you can connect with them. When these efforts pay off, you’ll have a lot of well-qualified, high income prospects ready to work with you.

Do you use LinkedIn for prospecting? Why or why not? Share in the comments!