Your website is your brand. It is how you represent yourself and your business. It is where you present your listings, accolades and client testimonials as well as a fountain of knowledge for buyers and sellers. Unfortunately in a profession like real estate, it is important to have an esthetically pleasing site but even MORE important to have a well optioned site also. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be your number one priority because without it – you will be lost in the sea of Google pages.
Like you would stage a house to sell, you need to also stage your site properly. Make it user friendly with links to help the “not so world wide web” familiar customers easily navigate the information presented to them. Also make it easy for them to find your listings as about 80 – 90% of your visits are to your listings.
With these two things to consider – invest your marketing budget in continuous Search Engine Optimization (SEO), continuous website development and treat your real estate website as YOUR prime realty!
Capitalize On Your Existing Clientele
Though an existing client isn’t always ready to immediately buy again they are also your most valuable sales force. One happy buyer or seller will lead to a future buyer or seller. Not to mention, word of mouth and happy customers will create a broader customer database. Return clients are the BEST clients so focus on the existing ones to ensure the best customer service…it will serve you well.
That being said, whilst you nurture your existing relationships, the new customers will be doing their due diligence which is where the importance of SEO and Site staging will come full circle.
Let’s get started with some revenue generating tips:
The good thing about the real estate industry? Doing local SEO is easy.
The bad thing about the real estate industry? It’s so easy, a lot of realtors forget to do it.
The number one place to start is getting set up on Google Places for Business.
Some things to consider:
- Local Reviews on social platforms such as Yelp
- Local city directories
- Trusted Service referrals
- Email newsletters
- Donate to local community initiatives
- Volunteer your time in some way in the community
- Piggyback on local events and sponsorship
Social Media is excellent for creating a community. Find interesting articles, real estate updates, home decor, local news etc with appropriate hash tags to gain a following. Don’t forget to include all of your social platform links on your website. The world runs on social media and it is a good idea to jump on this bandwagon because it is an important tool that isn’t going anywhere
- Twitter can be a great way to let everyone know about an open house, a reduced price listing, a new listing – anything at all.
- Use it to link back to your site to gain traffic, use appropriate hashtags (#OpenHouse) and invite people you know using their appropriate handle.
- Interact with your followers and ask questions or for their opinion…form that community!
- Facebook is good for interacting with people on a more personal level, so it can be very useful for real estate.
- Post photos, ask questions, reply to all inquiry’s.
- Treat all communication like a personal conversion and educate everyone else who may come across the post.
- This is ALL visual – showcase the excellent and beautiful elements of your listings.
- Create a well curated and album of all your clients listings.
- Tag appropriately and try to post often to create a beautiful display of all your listings – it will be a plus to your clients
- Don’t just use this to push a sale – use it to become an expert in design, DIY, real estate, decor and anything home related.
- People will see your pictures, re-post them, and provide free traffic to your website.
- Posting a video of a listing works. If you have ever searched for a house by address and the Realtor has a video of the house it is almost always on page 1 in the first 5 results. Google will rank your video higher than your web page.
- After uploading your video to Youtube you can also take the embed code and add it to your website.
- Remember to provide a long description full of keywords and add as many Tags as you can think of.
Website Blogging and Content
You can really stand out among your competition with a well thought out, keyword-rich real estate blog. If you are trying to attract people moving to your city when people buy a house that is far outside of their previous residency zone, they usually immediately need the following:
- Information about local schools, daycares, universities.
- Information about summer camps.
- Information about prospective employment.
- Information about entertainment.
- Information about sports, music classes, art, and dance.
Think about the kind of information that you search for with regards to where you live and what you do around there, and write about it. Think about questions that people have that deal with where they live:
- Which restaurants have outdoor seating? Which ones are within walking distance?
- Are there any good outdoor camps for my kids this summer? What’s the transportation situation for them?
- Where can we see a professional ballet performance or a play that’s geared towards preschoolers?
- What are the options we have for my children when they go to high school? Are there early college programs available?
BECOME AN EXPERT IN YOUR COMMUNITY!
The Most Important Blog Posts You Can Write
While blogging about mortgages, renovations and home care tips is nice and may attract a few people interested in advice the most effective real estate blog post is writing about what buyers and sellers are searching for. A blog post titled “New Listings of Homes For Sale in Anytown” will attract all of the early buyers who are “tire kicking” on the internet. Writing a blog post titled “Anytown Homes For Sale From Your Anytown Realtor” will help you get found if someone is looking for a Realtor in a specific area. Even “Anytown Recent Sales and Market Update” is a great way to attract visitors.
A Few Other Website Tips To Consider
- Your title and description should look good in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
- If you have other social platforms that you use, put that on the home page.
- Make sure your site works on mobile!
- If you have an open house advertised on your site, list the hours.
- If you only sell houses in one area, list it in the title and description of your site.
- If someone has given you a bad review on Yelp or any other site, respond to it. Make things right if you can.
- If you sell houses in 1,000 different cities, don’t list links to those 1,000 cities in the footer of every single page of your website.
Just like with food, houses are something that people (usually) want to buy. You aren’t trying to sell a product that no one wants. You’re trying to make sure that the people who want to buy something are finding you and buying it from you.
Making heavy use of visuals without forgetting the basics or neglecting social media is key – visuals alone won’t be worth much when your competitors are doing all the other stuff better than you.