Long gone are the days of door knocking to find new business. While brokers provide myriad advantages when it comes to marketing, agents need to be internet savvy and have a proactive social strategy in order to acquire new clients. And how can this be done? Easy—put yourself in the shoes of a consumer. Where are they going to find real estate services? First and foremost, online.
Real Estate Websites
Most buyers and sellers do their own market research before attempting to sign with a real estate agent. And that's where real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com come in. By advertising on these websites and setting yourself up as a featured agent, consumers will be able to find you even if the home they are looking at is not your listing. Additionally, recording all of your transactions on these websites can set you up as the agent with the most listings or the highest reviews, bumping you up to the top of the agent list and making it easier for new clients to find you.
Consumers, especially millennial-aged buyers and sellers, will do their due diligence on a real estate agent they are considering. Since Google is the internet's most popular search engine, the first thing that will appear when your name is searched for is your location and your business' Google reviews. If these reviews reflect a lower score than those on your real estate websites, you could lose out on leads. On top of making sure reviews are posted on Google, as well as other sites, go through your Google profile to ensure information is up-to-date and a link to the website is available.
While broader than Zillow and Trulia, Yelp is known as the powerhouse of reviews. Having a robust profile with many high-scoring reviews and a call back option with a short time-frame is the best way to stand out on this website. If consumers choose to go straight to the agent, they may check Yelp before even visiting Zillow and Trulia. Having your reviews on multiple sites keeps you relevant and consumers will appreciate not having to bounce between sites to read testimonials, no matter which internet source they choose to visit first.
It's not enough to simply create a social media account. An active presence on all major social networks will help you cast a wider net when looking for new business. The more interactive and engaging your profiles are, and the more consistent you are with branding and posting, the more business you can expect to attract. What you post will be the difference between a stale account or one that brings in a lot of business. So, put together an extensive social media strategy that promotes your internet presence and each positive review you receive.
Personal Branded Website
While most brokerages offer website services for its agents, you should also create your own branded site that promotes your listings, rentals, closings and reviews. This website should centralize your entire internet presence by linking back to your Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com, Yelp and social media accounts. Additionally, offering a search engine for local listings will keep consumers on your branded website instead of forcing them to visit other real estate websites where they might be distracted or forced into contacting another agent.
A proper online marketing strategy with a widespread presence is the key to attracting and converting new leads.