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With Trulia, Zillow, Realtor, and about two million active real estate licenses in the U.S., competition offline and online is more fierce than ever before.
Which means getting noticed…
Establishing yourself as the expert in your market…
And, ultimately, finding clients is a real challenge, especially if you don’t have a hefty online presence.
Think about it – homebuyers and sellers can now vet real estate agents online just like they vet homes, browsing and choosing the agent who seems the most trustworthy and proficient.
If you’re not among the browser’s top choices, then you’ve lost…
…and your competitor has won.
So to help revive your current strategy or create a new strategy altogether, here are 10 online marketing ideas for your real estate business.
10 Online Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents
1. Do a LIVE House Walk-through
Facebook’s LIVE video feature is useful for more than recording your kid’s birthday party. You can also use it to do a LIVE walkthrough of house listings that you’re trying to get attention around.
After all, one of the most time-consuming parts of your day is house showings, so why not show a house to your entire Facebook audience with a single LIVE video?
Plus, 70% of homeowners want to list with a real estate agent that does some video marketing as a part of selling their home. This might be your dead-simple, don’t-have-to-hire-a-professional way of integrating video marketing into the service you offer.
2. Create Content to Rank in Search Engines
People use Google to determine pretty much everything they do in life. Where should we eat? Google. Where should we go for vacation? Google. What real estate agent should we use?
You guessed it… Google.
One of the first things that a homebuyer or home seller will do is Google for local real estate agents to help them. They’ll quickly determine how much they trust each agent based on their website and then they’ll probably give one of them call.
That could mean your phone ringing…
Or it could mean your competitor’s phone ringing.
And the more content (blog posts, video transcriptions, resources, etc) that you create, the more opportunities you have to rank in Google. That’s why, at Carrot, we provide our members with monthly SEO-ready blog content.
3. Leverage a Low-commitment Opt-in Form
Look, when a lot of people visit your website, they don’t want to start by calling you, they want to start by browsing. In the beginning stages of buying or selling a home, most people just want to find out how much they can afford or what their house is worth. By creating a single-field opt-in form to answer their question, you won’t only generate more leads, you’ll help more of those people buy or sell their home once they are ready.
If they start working with you, after all, they’ll probably keep working with you – that’s just the way the world spins. You first goal on your website should be to get them started.
At Carrot, for instance, we’re constantly testing real estate website elements that increase or decrease conversion. Then we give our members access to the latest iterations.
Here’s one example of that real estate lead generation landing pages.
4. Publish High-Quality Photos
A picture might say a thousand words, but a beautiful picture of a home can often mean thousands of dollars in the real estate agent’s pocket. In fact, aerial photographs, in particular, sell properties 69% faster than standard images do. And the higher quality those photos, the better.
Beautiful images often means more house showings and more potential buyers…
Which, if the stars align, translates to a quicker and more profitable sale.
5. Write Killer Sales Copy
Words are more powerful than most people give them credit for. The words someone speaks can sway another someone to buy this car instead of that car, this house instead of that house, and…
You guessed it, work with this real estate agent instead of that real estate agent.
And often times, tiny, seemingly insignificant changes to your sales copy can have a massive impact on how many people convert into leads, and then into cash.
At Carrot, we ran one test, for instance, where we just changed a couple words atop a button, seeing a 49.5% increase in conversion rate.
But how do you write killer sales copy that increases your conversion rate? Just so happens we have an article all about it right over here.
6. Add IDX to your Website
When someone visits your website for the first time, they don’t want to work with you (not yet, at least). More than likely, they’re on your website because they want to browse your listings and determine whether you’re someone they’d consider working with. First, though, listings. And don’t forget it.
Not only, though, does IDX-based listings on your website give visitors something to do, it also builds trust and expertise. Imagine, for instance, that someone lands on your website and there aren’t any listings. Yeah… that’ll kill trust as fast as a mild wind blows over a deck of cards.
You’re a real estate agent. People want to see listings.
Plus, if they find a house they like on your website, then who do you think they’re going to call?
You can learn more about the wonders of real estate IDX.
7. Collect Testimonials
Nothing convinces someone to give you a call faster than a close friend telling them to give you a call. And you know what people trust just as much as a close friend?
Online reviews and testimonials (well, 84% of people anyways).
Here’s how Robert Cialidini puts it in “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”
“If you can get people who are similar to the person you’re trying to persuade to speak on your behalf, it’s a lot easier for you than if you have to try to hammer your message one more time into a reticent mind.”
So, save yourself a trip to reticent minds and include a testimonial (or several) on your website. Ideally, somewhere near the top. You can learn more about how to create meaningful real estate testimonials.
8. Encourage Reviews on your Facebook Page
If you have a Facebook page for your business and you’re not actively collecting reviews from past customers on that page, then you’re flushing free marketing opportunity down the toilet. Reach out to customers, friends, and even family (especially family if you’re just getting started) and ask them to leave a review on your Facebook page – it can be something as simple as vouching for your character or your kindness.
The more reviews you have, the more trust you’ll build with the people who see you on Facebook. This strategy increases in importance if you’re actively posting and marketing on Facebook. The more people who see your page, the more opportunity that is available to you here.
9. Engage with Local Facebook Groups
No matter how big or small your city, every city (even little ol’ Roseburg – a city of about 40,000 people) has local digital groups and get-togethers. As you already know, interaction, active networking, and word-of-mouth are the most powerful marketing tactics up your sleeve. The more people you interact with, the more people who know your name, the more people who know what you do, the better business is.
So join some online Facebook groups in your city that interest you and start interacting with the people in that group. The more friends you make, the more leads you get. That’s just the way the world spins.
10. Create Market-specific Landing Pages
In today’s online world, that last thing you want to be is a generalist. People who specialize in everything specialize in nothing. At least, that’s how online consumers think about it.
And the truth is the same for your real estate agent website. For each market that you operate in, create a market-specific landing page for that spot. The more thoroughly that you do this, the more that people see you as the expert in those specific markets rather than the expert in just general real estate.
Real estate competition today is fierce. And that applies offline and online. The good news, though, is that you can outshine you competitions by having a stronger and better-optimized online presence than they do. And while the above ten ideas won’t take you all the way to the finish line, they’re a great place to start.