Real Estate Marketing


The 2008 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers provides evidence that within the last year interested buyers who find a home ON THE INTERNET took action. With 87% of home buyers looking online for their next home to purchase in 2008, one can only imagine what the 2009 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers will release. A total of 35% of purchasers drove by the home after finding it online, with 29% walking though the home. Apparent by now, internet marketing is a tool that is and will be playing a much bigger role in real estate advertising than ever before. Simply put, it cannot be ignored in such a competitive industry as real estate.  Breaking this down one more level, it is widely known that web surfers use search engines 85% of the time to find websites.  The R/E industry could be an exception with flagship properties like Realtor.com, Willow.com, etc — but in local market searches, you can bet there is great opportunities for agents and their agencies to rank well in organic search — or in the always expensive PPC listings.

Internet marketing is progressively pushing more real estate professionals to put their face & personality online. Utilizing tools such as blogs, social media networks, and optimizing their websites to increase traffic, professionals are able to draw in these savvy internet, decision-driven home buyers of today. Effective real estate professionals ultimately do not have time to understand the “ins & outs” of online marketing. Triangle Direct Media combines new media marketing expertise and strategies to give real estate professionals a face online and in turn, increase their search engine rankings. With these solid blog marketing strategies our real estate clients have seen vast improvement in their rankings, helping them get ahead of the curve with the use of internet marketing.

Searching for your next home has never become so easy with the use of the Internet.  But does it stop there?  An article on Commercial Appeal talks about how a woman found her and her husband a house online, and how her online experience led her to that particular agent.  Stuck at home in bed with her husband in Iraq, Darleen Cervasio relied on interactive sites that featured home prices, photos and virtual tours.  Today online, many listings that do not display these details are often ignored by consumers.  Successful agents understand that in a Web 2.0 world, technology is very important.  Real estate agents need to give online users an “open house” experience on the web to draw buyers in and set their properties apart from others.

Many real estate agents today are turning to the social media trend to reach out to prospects.  Utilizing social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, niche networks and blogs, agents are able to take technology and thus communication to another level.  Interested buyers are no longer looking for authoritative figures, but also personable real estate agents to help find their next home.  Agents are able to use these networks to build relationships with current and potential clients in a pull-oriented marketing method.  Triangle Direct Media offers social media marketing strategies to help real estate agents and their agencies get ahead in today’s high-tech, high-touch society.  Applying highly-effective new media marketing efforts to increase organic search rankings, real estate agents are able to see a shift from traditional marketing strategies.

In follow up from a previous post on how Twitter trends are tapping into real estate, I gathered more useful information for real estate agents due to inspiration from Mark’s comment. As discussed, Twitter is evidently useful and beneficial to the real estate industry. A new, free Twitter application, called TweetLister, allows you to create, post, manage, and schedule commercial, residential, and vacation listings on Twitter. Real estate agents and owners can even track the clicks on their listings. Once viewing tracked clicks, you can then download and print the clicks for each listing for reference. TweetLister provides a detail page for each listing giving the viewer more information that can link them through to your site, as well as providing a contact form so that anyone interested.

From selling properties to renting and leasing, TweetLister provides a simple and handy way to manage all of your listings at once. Allowing you to post and re-use as many listings as desired, TweetLister permits you the ability to schedule frequency of posting a certain listing for a set period of time or even daily until your listing sells. If you have Twitter already, you can use your existing account to get started. TweetLister is just another new media marketing tool that has remarkable potential to benefit real estate companies.

Many associate Twitter with the common phrase, “What are you doing?” but real estate professionals and industry leaders are giving Twitter a new purpose. As a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time, Twitter can help build your business. A simple, easy and effective approach to increase traffic, just as blogging is. Even better, it can even benefit your real estate blog. By joining twitter, you’ll come to know many members of your community, as they will also get to know you. Twitter tightens communities, builds friends, and deepens relationships through your followers.

In any business, friends are more likely to refer you than are “clients”. Make your clients your “friends” and create a twitter account especially for your current and potential clients. You can post new listings, updates, pictures, video tours, and even link to your real estate blog posts. Using twitter as a 24/7 marketing tool can help you get sales and build rapport with your clients. Connect with your local community through your twitter account to give them the information they want. Have a separate account to connect with real estate industry professionals. Share expertise thoughts, ideas, updates, promotions, and links to helpful blog posts.

Twitterfeed allows you to feed your blog to twitter, also letting you customize how often you want posts. Just like in blogging, you can even include keywords you want to be found for in Twitter. Search.twitter is a feature that allows users to search tweets that people write. To get followers, keyword optimization is key. Once you get followers, you attract more business. Allowing up to 140 characters, Twitter will connect you to 20,000+ people around the world.

You might ask, will I sell a house through Twitter or get a prospective seller to list with me using this thing? The root of all real business comes from making connections, and what better way with real estate than to connect with your local community? Not only that, but you can get followers from almost anywhere. If you send out a tweet linked to a new listing, you have the potential of picking up a buyer or seller. The relationship building, both realtor and otherwise, has a lot of potential. You can put twitter on your web site, your blog, almost any site to attract more traffic to your content and build business. Twitter is just one of many valuable new media marketing and social media tools available to realtors at very cost-effective prices. It just takes dedication, effort and sincerity to become a powerful lead generation tool for your real estate business.

In past entries, I’ve talked about some of the different purposes that real estate blogs can serve, and have given suggestions about the type of content best suited to each purpose. Articles for a real estate blog focused on lead generation probably won’t address the same topics as articles for a blog used primarily for property listings. Nevertheless, one thing that all real estate blog marketers have to worry about is promoting their websites. After all, if nobody’s reading your content, then you’re just wasting your time.

Unfortunately, promoting real estate blogs is a bit tricky. Traditional, non-niche bloggers (i.e. those that just write about their daily lives) can promote their blogs through various free traffic exchange services or blogrolls where the basic idea follows a quid pro quo format. You visit my site, I’ll visit yours.

But this doesn’t work for real estate blogs — unless you’re just interested in the number of visitors you get rather than the quality of those visitors. Let’s face it: you’re not going to generate many qualified leads from simple traffic exchanges.

Instead, real estate blog marketers need to focus their promotional efforts in very specific ways in order to get decent results. For example, search engines will likely be your number one referral source, so it’s important to make sure that you’re listed in all of them — not just the “big three” of Google, MSN, and Yahoo. There are also lots of directory sites available (DMOZ being the most popular), and these can provide some good traffic as well. In most cases, all you have to do for inclusion is submit your URL and wait for the review process to run its course.

Another excellent way to promote your real estate blog is to list your URL on all of your business cards. Then, whenever you hand your card out at a convention or conference, or to prospective buyers and sellers, you have an opportunity to draw in more readers.

And finally, you should list your blog URL in any print advertisements that you take out in local or national newspapers. Inserting a website address in your ad shouldn’t change the price much, and the return you get in terms of more readers will be well worth the few extra dollars you might have to pay.

In a perfect world, top-notch content would be enough to bring in droves of new readers every day. As things are, however, you’ll have to spend quite a bit of time promoting your real estate blog in order to attract the kind of traffic you want.

If you’ve been reading and implementing my tips on how to turn your real estate blog into a powerful marketing tool, then you’re well on your way to building a successful website. Or are you? How can you tell if the adjustments you’re making are having a positive impact on your site? The only way to be sure is to periodically assess your real estate blog’s performance to see if it’s hitting all the right benchmarks.

Periodic assessments (every two to three months or so) will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your blog, thereby giving you an idea of what you’re doing right and what still needs improvement. Your stats program is critical to this type of analysis, but in order to put the raw data into context, you have to consider what your real estate blog marketing goals are. Some of the most common goals that Realtors® list include:

  • Promoting name/brand awareness
  • Driving traffic to their site
  • Increasing the number of inquiries from potential clients
  • Increasing sales
  • Earning additional revenue from pay-per-click affiliate programs

Once you’ve established your goals, then evaluating your blog’s efficacy becomes a piece of cake. Is your company becoming more well known in real estate circles, both locally and nationally? Is the number of visitors to your site steadily increasing each month? Are you receiving more telephone or email inquiries from people interested in your services?

If you’re answering “no” to these questions, then it’s time to redouble your efforts at providing high-quality, relevant content for readers, as well as to promoting your site as heavily as possible.

If you’re answering “yes” to these questions, then congratulations are in order. Your real estate blog is indeed becoming a terrific marketing tool that is bringing you new clients and putting money in your pocket — which is no small feat.

Just remember not to get too complacent about your blog’s performance because Web readers are a fickle bunch and will quickly go elsewhere if your site stops delivering what they want!

Last week I mentioned that I would be shifting the focus of my posts from content to search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for a little while. I know a lot of people find SEO time-consuming and tedious, but it’s a necessary chore if you’re serious about using real estate blog marketing as a legitimate tool for promoting your business and services.

The first step in do-it-yourself SEO is to figure out which keywords the major search engines already associate with your real estate blog. If your blog has been around for a while, then you should be well established for certain phrases, which you can verify by checking your stats program. Even the most basic stats packages will tell you what words and phrases visitors are using to find your site.

If you’re brand-new to real estate blog marketing or would like to start optimizing for different keywords, then all you have to do is choose a handful that reflect the bulk of your business. A good keyword phrase usually incorporates the type of property you sell most often, along with your major farm area.

Thus, if you’re based in Raleigh and deal mostly with commercial lots, then “commercial lots Raleigh”, “commercial real estate Raleigh”, and perhaps “commercial property Raleigh” would be good keywords to target.

Notice that the name of your farm area generally follows the real estate keywords. While this can be a bit cumbersome to fit into grammatically correct sentences, it is how most people input the terms into search engines.

Once you’ve picked out a handful of keywords for your blog, start writing on-topic articles that contain the keyword phrase a few times. Articles of 200-400 words are best. Also, it’s important to refrain from using the keyword phrase too many times in a single article in order to avoid the appearance of “keyword stuffing”, a practice the search engines frown upon. Two to four times per article should be sufficient.

You can monitor your progress with your target keywords by searching for the terms yourself to see where your blog comes up in the SERPs (search engine results pages). If you’re doing things right, you should see your rankings improve over time!

With the popularity of discount real estate brokerage firms on the rise and the nation’s economy on the decline, your commissions have likely dropped way off in the past several months.

It seems that everyone is suffering from a cash crunch right now, and both buyers and sellers are looking to save money on their transactions any way they can, whether that means going through a discount joint for a flat fee or trying to handle the entire process themselves. They figure the extra hassle is worth it if they can save 6% on the commission.

So how can you use real estate blog marketing to overcome this mindset? By justifying your commission to prospective clients.

You do this by telling them exactly what kind of service they can expect from you when you’re on the job. Talk about the steps you’ll take to list, market, and show a home for the seller, or the lengths you’ll go to in order to secure the perfect property for the buyer. Talk about all the paperwork, inspections, and price negotiations that you’ll handle. Talk about how you’ll use your years of experience in the local real estate market to get your clients the best possible deal. Then, use your past sales figures and customer testimonials to back up what you say.

When you’re upfront about your services like this, it puts people at ease and helps forge a trusting relationship right from the beginning, as you remove any doubts that the clients might have about whether or not using a Realtor® is worth the extra money, so give it a try!

When we started our company back in March of 2006, most of our time was devoted to helping and teaching real estate agents how to blog. The time factor was always an issue because most realtors work all the time. If you have a half hour per week to devote to “attracting” potential buyers or home seekers there truly is no other way to market yourself. I had one realtor that wanted to be ranked on the search engines for a particular subdivision. This was a pre-construction subdivision with homes starting at 700K on up. We taught her how to blog about it…”hey, I can’t reveal our secrets in this article” and she secured 2 lots that totaled over 2 million dollars. She wrote two articles on the subdivision and a couple of buyers did a search after driving buy and found her blog articles. So if you’re a real estate agent and claim you don’t have time, I suggest that you try harder. Your commission depends on it.

I often field calls from realtors asking me if there’s more ways to gain additional traffic to their blog. Over a year ago when we started our company we wanted to make sure that all of our clients knew everything there is to know about blogging. Last year corporate blogging wasn’t big to realtors but now it’s becoming a necessity to have one. Let me offer you a few tips followed by a short story about a blog that I’ve been watching.

1. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog log or blog catalog do so now. It’s a great blogging community and a great way to gain additional exposure to your blog.
2. Learn more about your market and what your area has to offer. You’re posts will be found on all blog engines and it’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your area by showing people that you know what your talking about!
3. Read other blogs, check out news headlines and state your opinion. The wonderful thing about having a blog is stating you views on various topics.
4. Link to other blogs and comment on them. One clear way to gain visibility is to let other bloggers know you have one. Read what others have to say about a topic that interests you and begin a dialog.

Now for my story:
I’m an avid baseball fan/Red Sox fan and have been reading Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling’s blog 38pitches for three months now. In three months he has a 4pr and an alexa traffic rank of 59,000. That’s pretty impressive for a blog to move up that quickly in such a short period of time. He’s famous and gets a lot of traffic so thats why his blog has become so popular. I can’t tell you how many times ESPN has mentioned it in the past few months. This leads me to my final tip:

5. Find blogs of famous people. A ton of politicians have them and they’re open for conversation not to mention actors/actresses, rockstars, CEO’s etc…..Link back to them and comment on their blogs about posts they’ve done. You’ll be amazed by what can happen. Hey, I hope Curt visits our blog and comments on this post!

Next Page »