Managing your digital landscape has become a necessity to succeed in the real estate industry today. Amy Chorew, technology trend expert, author, speaker, and VP of Learning at BHG Real Estate recently joined us to share how to focus your online presence and marketing efforts.
During the webinar, Amy shared how to track your digital presence, showcase yourself and your brand, and determine which channels and platforms are best for you.
The digital marketing landscape includes awareness (video, social, network display), consideration (targeted display, SEM, lead providers), action (retargeting, reputation, CRM) and retention (retargeting, email).
Step 1: Define your market by knowing your market. To define your market, you must first determine the market geography of where you help clients buy and sell. Draw this on a map and list your zip codes — doing so will help you target your online marketing.
Next, refine and narrow down the zip codes on which you really focus. Understand your market by assessing market demographics, economics and home sales. You can get this information from your MLS or BrokerMetrics. Start looking at this information monthly so you can identify trends to share with your clients and find new areas on which you can focus your marketing strategies. Being able to review your geography, area home prices, and average income all together will influence your business plan.
Step 2: Find your clients (and know how they are finding you). It’s just as important to know how to find your clients as it is to know how they are finding YOU. Start by looking at your company website, your branded website and your CRM. Request the list of referring traffic sources for the past three-month period so you can review the website analytics and identify which websites and social channels your traffic is coming from — these are sites you should put money towards. In addition, create a report from your CRM to quantify the top lead sources for a three-to-six-month period. That will tell you where the majority of your leads are coming from — for example, your brokerage’s lead gen efforts or external sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com, etc.
Organic acquisition: Optimize your website and social accounts for your local market. A good website must have a call-to-action, lead capture, and a place where clients actively come for real estate information. Amy emphasized that your website should make consumers say, “I do want that report, I do want to be on this email list, I do want to setup a home search on this persons’ website.”
- Off-Site SEO: These include links to your website such as social profiles, 3rd party profiles, reviews, and citations.
- On-Site SEO: This includes text, rich media, links, and regular updates.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews. Based on your website and CRM analytics, identify which real estate websites are the most visible to your target audience. Amy shared that “85% of online real estate shoppers evaluate/select agents based on reviews. Additionally, “Consumers are 2x as likely to select agents with 10+ high rated (top 2 rating positions) reviews.” Reviews are more important now than ever, as we live in a world where we use reviews to help choose restaurants, hotels, real estate agents, etc.
Google and Yelp are important locations to place reviews as well. Having a strong presence on G+ and Yelp improves rankings in search engine results and, second, Google displays ratings on agent searches (this also applies to Zillow, Trulia, and some brand sites). You don’t have to go overboard with reviews Amy notes — try to get a least five to ten reviews on these sites.
When creating your profiles on these sites, make sure they are written entirely in your own words, and be consistent. Include your company name, industry focus, and market areas. Keep them between 600-1200 characters. Sites where you can garner client reviews include Zillow/Trulia, Realtor.com, RealSatisfied, Zap, Yelp, LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook.
Citations can = SEO. Local directories, or citations are 3rd party sites such as Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp and YP. For SEO purposes, it is important to consistently display agent information and maintain a strong network of links between your website and 3rd party sites. Whichever website you choose will receive the ‘SEO juice’ generated by citations. Amy recommended BrightLocal who, for a one-time fee, can link you to all of the citation sites.
Maintain a social balance. Maintain a social balance on your website and social media channels by including a mix of community happenings/events, local news, company updates, market news, household tips, and listings. The more local knowledge and news you can share, the better. Remember, your community is local, your listings are local, YOU are local.
Amy also emphasized the importance of establishing a core site — that is one site where you send all your SEO. This could come from community data pages, blogs, directories, profiles, community news, reviews, listings, and lifestyle posts. If you start doing this on a regular basis, your link network will continue to grow exponentially and, in return, generate new leads, resources, and business.