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 met with two different Realtors last week who were new to the business. They both asked how they can create a value proposition and “get noticed” as a new real estate agent. This is what I call the “rub” as a new real estate agent. It’s fairly easy to obtain a real estate license, but things become far more challenging after your license comes in the mail. Every new real estate agent gets excited for their venture and has grand ideas about dominating the market and making a lot of money. Then comes the reality of learning the other side of the business. Marketing strategies, advertisement, building a business, SOI, and learning online and social media tactics to get noticed. Getting noticed in a field of many can be difficult without hard work and a strong value proposition. Let’s talk about first steps to success.
I would say at least 3 -4 times a month I get this call or email from a Realtor: “Wade…we really want to use Stewart Title on this transaction, but this other Title Company says that if we go with them, they will give my buyer a free home warranty at closing. Can you guys do that?” That is when I have to drop the news, that the Title Company Home Warranty isn’t really free. Ever hear the phrase…”no such thing as a free lunch?” Think along those lines. You might be thinking that this doesn’t happen in your area of country, and you are probably right. It does happen in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area…all the time. There are several things about this marketing tactic to “earn business” that needs to be explained. Not only to real estate agents, but also the buyers and sellers on the transaction. It affects them as well.
For my last blog of 2015, I thought I would talk about something that is important in the scheme of expanding your business and brand going forward…“as real estate agents, how can we grow our online presence?” There are many ways that real estate agents can grow their online presence in 2016, but I want to break it down into a few simple steps and additions to your current marketing systems that will get more eyes to your business and brand. Some of these things you may be doing now, and some will be foreign. It’s all about baby steps, and setting goals to implement these new items into your business. I would suggest you get rid of the marketing tactics that didn’t work for you in 2015 and insert these.
Having this website active and creating consistent online content (blogs/videos) for 3.5 years now, it has led to a lot of people on the site (thank you) and in turn resulted in many calls and emails with questions from real estate agents and mortgage lenders. It has also resulted in lot of questions from other Title Insurance sales reps from all around the country. I realize that in our job position, there is not much training out there. In fact, most companies offer none at all! I remember when I first started in the business back in 2005 and I was the 21st title rep for my very large company. We had many successful Title Insurance sales reps but they weren’t too keen on sharing HOW they became successful. I had to learn for the most part…on my own. So once a year I post a helpful blog/video just for you…the title sales rep looking for advice, answers and how to be the top rep in your area. Here are the top questions I get from other Title Insurance sales reps from around the country.
As a guy who spends his day helping real estate agents with their marketing plans and learning new strategies for business, I see a lot of Realtor websites. Some of these websites are good, many are not so good. I see the “free” company website, all the way up to the custom built website that has 30+ pages and top of the line IDX integration. With so many options where does a real estate agent start, especially the when that person may not be as tech savvy? In many instances Realtors spend a lot of money for a website and don’t realize what they purchased and most don’t know how to use this amazing tool to create more business for themselves. In the end, they spend thousands of dollars to have a “business card online.” If you are a Realtor and this sounds all too familiar, keep reading because here are 8 helpful tips to know before purchasing a real estate website.
Having a real estate website (that you own) is important, but driving consumer traffic to your site is MORE important. The issue I see with Realtors is that they need help learning how to use their website as the amazing weapon that it can be. One of the keys to making your website effective is to give consumers the ability to find your real estate website…but how? Avoiding the pitfalls many Realtors make with trying to generate website traffic can be the difference in promoting your value and “brand” to a large audience vs a small one. My job is to make sure my clients with Stewart Title don’t make these mistakes. What are they? Here are the 5 reasons why people can’t find your real estate website.
As I teach real estate marketing classes and meet with agents throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC, I get asked a lot of questions about technology, blogging, video, WordPress, and more. Many of these questions are similar and I felt that the best way to address some of the top blogging questions I receive is here…my website. My storefront. I don’t have the ability or time to address every single question I get from real estate agents, but I will address the most common questions that are the most common. It will be helpful to those agents who have decided to learn and understand WHY creating effective content results in online leads, clients, business, and commissions. Let’s address these top blogging questions, shall we?
We knew this day would come…the new Google algorithm change, just not exactly sure when. Well, on Tuesday April 21st Google made a major change to how they rank websites. Ever since the smartphone and iPad came the norm in our society the trend for online searches has moved away from desktops to mobile devices. Now, Google is the first search engine (and the largest) to reward websites that have taken the extra step to convert their sites into “Responsive Design.” This means that they are very mobile friendly and easy to navigate/use for the end user. What this also does, is penalize websites that have not taken this step. As a real estate agent or mortgage lender, you think you have trouble coming up in Google searches now?? Well, this change could make it even harder. Let’s talk about this new Google algorithm change, how it affects you, and what you can do to overcome it and remain relevant online.
Real Estate agent partnerships form constantly. Partnerships with lenders, Title Companies,inspectors, etc. People form these partnerships because they believe by doing so it will improve their business and make their life easier. Sometimes this is true, other times it is not. This is more true than in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area. Here “Joint Ventures and MSA’s” (Market Service Agreements) are a large way that many of the Title Companies gain their business. Title Insurance Sales Reps play a different role here to their agent and lender partners. I have been in this area since 2012 and working like mad everyday to overturn how Title Sales people are viewed by real estate agents and mortgage lenders. This brings me to an email I received from a mortgage lender client. *snippet