I’ve been in Title sales since 2005. Back then the phrase “get discovered online” or “build an online presence” wasn’t used very much. It was all about how many postcards can I blast out to a certain marketing area, or even buying a ton of ad space in real estate magazines. How times have changed…oh wait…for many Realtors, the times have not really changed that much…for them. They are still stuck marketing their business almost the exact same way, though consumer behavior has changed in a big way. People continually reach out to me saying they were “Googling something” or “found me on YouTube” Realtors still think that’s quite cute when I tell them of my success. In the meantime, they keep plugging along wondering why they are wasting marketing dollars. They struggle because their real estate online presence stinks. Our job, as Title salespeople, is to lift them up and show them how to be successful in the areas where they are lacking. Here are the three ways to know if as a Realtor, your real estate online presence stinks.
A few years ago I started working with an agent from a local real estate company in Alexandria, Virginia. His name is Gordon Wood and he told me about an idea he had for a great product he was calling WhoHub. Ok…as you can imagine over my nearly 15-year career in Title Sales I have seen and heard a lot of ideas about great real estate tech. The difference, this one made a ton of sense. For one reason, the WhoHub app was created by a long time successful Realtor who designed the WhoHub app for other Realtors and brokerages. If you are like me, I get way too many emails and have to look at several places to find out what the heck is going on with my business. I know many Realtors inside their brokerage have to do the same thing. What if everything you needed was located in one place…on an application on your smartphone?
I teach a lot of lead generation classes to my Realtor clients and one of my favorite classes is about Farming specific subdivisions. I teach and show agents how to essentially own your real estate farm on the internet. You can probably think of a “top agent” in your area who has a stronghold on a real estate farm. Now, go to Google and type in “homes for sale in xyz subdivision” or “information about xyz subdivision” and see if they show up on the first page of the results page. There is a real good chance they are nowhere to be found. Why? Agents haven’t been trained or taught to use the search engines as their friends. Instead, they spend their marketing dollars on direct mail, newsletters, and the famous “Just Listed/Just Sold.” There is value in direct mail, but if you look at your own behavior–do you go to the mailbox to get your real estate information? Let’s reverse the thinking and talk about how you as a Realtor can own your real estate farm online.
SEO for Realtor websites in 2020. What’s changed? What’s stayed the same? First…let’s back up. SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Essentially it’s the way Google, Yahoo, Bing, and YouTube rank or selects the most relevant content when someone types in phrases or questions on their platforms. Theses “search engines” want to give their users the best experience possible, so creating the right content is important. The issue I see is most Realtors have websites, but few know how to use them correctly. The other issue is the Realtor’s website is given to them by their brokerage. Those two things in combination say–“My online presence through search engines is going to be very minimal.” Let’s change that by walking Realtors through the main functions of SEO that will help them get noticed on that infamous “first-page” where they conduct business.
I think we all can admit changes and disruptions have been making their way into the real estate industry. It seems every few months some innovation is trying to change how we do business. The move to the internet and technology–which I’ve talked about for the last 7 years on this site seems to be leading the way. The difference is I talk about how to leverage and use tech to expand your footprint and grow market share. This new form of tech disruption involves getting rid of the Realtor all together. This affects everyone in our industry in many major markets and soon to be nationwide. The iBuyer pandemic is sweeping the country, so much so, that it was the “item of value” mailer for all Brian Buffini coaching clients this month. If Buffini is telling his clients to push this information to their databases, that means something. Here is what Realtors need to know about ibuyers and how they can best educate their clients.
I get asked a lot of questions over the course of a week. Many of them involve real estate marketing, websites, or how to do something. In some instances, I direct a Realtor or Lender to another website that can help them with that question or teach them something new. When you know or use these sites on a regular basis, you think most people in the industry know them…far from the truth. Here are some super helpful real estate websites that can enhance your business…but you probably didn’t know existed.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear that real estate online leads suck. With that said, I know many Realtors that spend big money each month on online leads. It’s like saying postcards get a very small return and are thrown in the trash, yet people send them out every month hoping to get that listing or buyer calls. The issue is real estate online leads don’t suck…it’s the kind of online leads they get AND the people trying to convert them to clients. Online leads are actually some of the best “leads” you can get, but the issue is where are your online leads coming from? In my opinion online leads get a bad wrap. There are many factors into WHY this is, and I want to discuss the reasons Realtors hate online leads, and what they can do to make sure the online leads they do receive are primed prospects ready to act!
As one of my last blog posts of 2016, I want to tackle a question that I get very often when teaching my real estate marketing classes in the Northern Virginia area. “Is it bad if I’m outsourcing real estate content marketing?” The answer to that question is YES…and NO. There are pro’s and con’s to each, and I want to discuss each below. I realize as busy real estate agents that delegation is part of your business. Without proper delegation it makes it hard to grow year over year. It also becomes impossible to wear all the hats and still keep your sanity. Many Realtor clients of mine have expressed their interest of ditching the company website and upgrading to a custom WordPress site, (I highly recommend it) and with that comes adding content to make it go. Think along the lines of adding gas to your Ferrari. Here are my pro’s and con’s to outsourcing real estate content marketing.
Why is it that the most effective applications and marketing tools are often the most simple to understand? When I meet with Realtors on a daily basis, they tell me that easy to understand marketing concepts resonate best with them. Understandable. Technology, especially apps are not supposed to be difficult to use. The concept of WhoHub is a simple and easy to use technology that shines light on its featured player…the Realtor. Brad LaTour, WhoHub’s CEO explains: “WhoHub combines the ease of sharing your trusted vendor network with the popularity of messaging. It allows the Realtor to be where their customers expect them to be–on their smart phone.”
WhoHub is the brain child of a successful, 28 year veteran of the real estate business, Gordon Wood. As a top agent at McEnearney Associates in Alexandria, Virginia he was continually inundated with questions from clients, past clients, sphere of influence, and other Realtors in his office…“hey, do you know a plumber, painter, home inspector, lender, carpet cleaner, etc.” Gordon thought, there has to be an easier way to store vendors into a master list where his clients and past clients can have 24/7 access through technology, while keeping him “top of mind.” Boom! WhoHub was born.