July 2009

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.

With the housing market taking a nose dive, real estate agents are taking advantage of the impact of search, utilizing sound strategies that help gain new clients. An article from Search Engine Land talks about a few vital tips that help real estate agents get to the top in organic search results:

Getting external links to your site from relevant sources in or related to the real estate industry is crucial in climbing search engine rankings. The more relevant the external links pointing to your site are, the more advantageous it is to your rankings. This doesn’t mean go buy 100 general links to your site –you need to make sure the linking is gradual; otherwise Google filters could flag your site and possibly penalize your site for unnatural link graph patterns. Get a head start on gaining external links by making use of well-known, authoritative directories like Yahoo! and BOTW.  You can identify other businesses or consultants in your local market and secure links from their websites.  You can participate in local online communities.  Get your name out there and be a voice in the online real estate market in your geography!  Links will come!

Recently real estate agents are starting to exploit the blogging trend for this purpose, continually developing fresh content for internet users and search engines. By updating your blog on a frequent basis and incorporating backlinks to your site, your search engine rankings can rise. At the same time, online blogging builds brand loyalty and users will be able to connect with you on a conversational level, possibly turning into clients as a result. Develop useful content that users can benefit from, whether its information about the communities you sell properties for or industry related tips and trends.

Triangle Direct Media (TDM), a new media marketing company, helps real estate agents better communicate with current and potential clients while also increasing their search engine rankings through these tactics.  Specifically, TDM assists real estate agents in blog creation and development, helping realtors make the most of buzz marketing in a time of economic downturn.  That’s how the company was founded more than 3 years ago; while the depth and breadth of services has increased to service national retailers with blog marketing, social media & SEO — TDM still knows a thing or two about real estate blog creation and marketing!

The Real Estate market has been seeing an increase in supply with a decrease in demand, making the business more and more competitive. While the economy is down, agents need to focus on marketing themselves rather than their properties. It is important for agents to use this time to maintain a connection with their clients and community, as many are not currently looking to buy. Fortunately, social media marketing strategies help real estate agents effectively communicate with their network and gain a high-touch competitive advantage. By having an active online presence you are automatically having a foot forward compared to your competition. They say that “location, location, location” is important when finding that perfect property to call your next home, well location is just as important on the Internet and in a local online market. CNET News reported the time that people spend on social networking sites is up 83% from a year ago.  By having an absence in social networks, you miss out on new opportunities and potential leads for now and in the future.

By using blogs and niche social networking sites, agents can actively communicate back and forth about key topics in their industry and local markets.  Not only will this give your name more prominence to a larger number of connections, but it will also create a sense of trust and credibility  for current and potential clients. This is an easy way to share information, history, and your expertise about the areas in your market, homes you sell, or even common FAQ’s of customers.  Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself either.  Putting a personal touch in every post and keeping it in a conversational tone, rather than your business lingo, is important. Introduce yourself in these networks and talk about how you became a real estate agent, or even what your other passions are. There is no better time than now to be online promoting yourself and your business. Use this opportunity to engage your readers on a personal level and build a sense of reliance so that when they do want to buy a new home they’ll remember you, just as other Triangle Direct Media clients do.

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.