We know that real estate agents excel at listing and selling homes, but are not meant to be technology gurus. Much has changed since technology first entered the real estate arena. Today, it is more important than ever to have a full featured website as both a listing tool and a lead generator for buyers. With so many changing trends in SEO, you can actually position yourself to show up before aggregators like Zillow and Redfin with resources that are free. We keep our finger on the pulse of changing real estate technology so you don’t have to. Explore these articles to ensure that your listings are exactly where buyers are shopping.
You’ve built your website with an MLS feed that has excellent prospecting features. You can make the entire MLS work for you, but only if you can drive traffic to your website. The following tips will ensure that your website is discovered by those looking for a home.
Many agents don’t realize that by creating a page on Google My Business and Yelp, they will show up on a map above the aggregators like Redfin, Realtor.com and Zillow. These services are free to use and only require that you set up and verify your business in a geographical location. We currently offer this service for $299.
Get More Reviews
Share your Yelp and Google pages with past clients and ask for reviews. The more reviews you secure, the higher up on the list you will rank. Set up a Facebook page and encourage clients to like and review you on your page. You can also ask clients to review you on sites like Trulia and Zillow. Reviews have begun driving SEO and website popularity so take the time to solicit reviews from your clients on these sites.
Many agents feel that keeping up with Social Media is time consuming and they are not sure where to start. We offer a Social Wall that is integrated on your website that automatically feeds all posts in one place. I have found that Facebook is a good platform for sharing expertise, area tips and larger content with a relevant photo. A Facebook page is an excellent free resource to use a Call Now feature or other buttons that lead to your website. Twitter is a good medium for Just Listed, Just Sold or My Favorites with links back to your website. The content on Twitter is limited by characters, but by linking to your blog posts or listing pages on your website, you can drive traffic to read more on your website. Instagram is an excellent platform for sharing your lifestyle or photos of a more personal nature. If you are selling river properties, photos of your weekend boat adventure are perfect. Agents can come across as impersonal and posting photos of grandchildren or you enjoying the lifestyle you sell are great for Instagram. People want to work with agents they ‘connect with’ so share your personal passion for your business.
Be Creative and Consistent
Branding is important across all of these free mediums so ensure that your look and feel are the same across platforms. Don’t share posts just to fill up space. If the content isn’t interesting to you – it probably won’t be to anyone else either. Showcase your expertise and professionalism, but feel free to be human too. If you are selling ski in and ski out properties, posts about season pass pricing or snow forecasts are interesting to your audience. In terms of real estate information, don’t share the same content you are posting in the MLS. Be innovative and creative. Position two chairs and a cocktail in front of your listing’s spectacular view and invite your audience to: come live the experience. Identify one feature of your new listing and make it stand out. You might prop up skis, boots and poles in the snow in front a newly listed cabin with a caption: the only thing missing is you. Be creative.
Your Website as the Center of the Universe
You may have an agent page connected to your broker’s site, but the moment a prospect wants to search beyond your one listing, they can be connected with other agents in the office. Your office’s agent page is not a website. You need your own website that keeps you in the center of all information you share with clients. A website is both a way to generate buyer prospects, and a listing tool. Once you have a website, don’t forget to center all ongoing contact from your URL. Sure, you can send out MLS information through the software your Board of Realtor’s provides, but wouldn’t it make more sense to continually drive traffic to your site? Find the listing on your website and send that URL instead. The more you drive traffic to your website, the better it will rank in SEO.
Youtube is Free TV
As the world moves toward streaming music and movies, sites like Youtube are becoming popular portals for consumers to pass time. Additionally, a video on your website of you sharing your passion for your business is a free tool that allows you to showcase who you are and what you do. It is easy to create a video of a new listing from your phone and upload it to Youtube. You can then share the URL on Twitter and other platforms for increased exposure. If you are specializing in a market segment, share your expertise via video. Showcase new developments on your Youtube channel and become it’s conduit for buyers. When telling your story, Youtube is a free and popular way to do so.
Finally, search the names of top selling agents and notice the places where they are listed. This can help guide you to portals you may have missed. Remember that the old days of paying Realtor.com or Zillow to be connected to your listing are going by the way of the dinosaur. There are many emerging and free technologies where consumers are searching so be sure to check back here to learn more.