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Marketing Ideas For Real Estate Agents

February 7 2013

Most real estate agents are just far too busy worrying about their next lead or listing to put time and effort into any marketing strategy other than what they have been doing in the past. Traditionally, most real estate agents have relied on cold calling, door knocking, letterbox drops and word of mouth to generate the next listing. The only issue with this is that every real estate agent is doing this and the chances of generating that all important lead and becoming slimmer and harder to find. If you are a real estate agent and you are happy to continue down this well worn path and waste your valuable time and money then the choice is obviously yours. Alternatively, you can be a lot smarter than this and look to other more powerful online marketing tools to get your name out there and in turn generate leads. If you follow the tips that I have outlined below, I can promise you that you will be two steps ahead of your competition down the road as I have found that not many real estate agents having taken the step of marketing themselves in the digital environment. I have found that most agents are just too lazy, don’t understand it and are afraid to learn it or just prefer to use marketing strategies that they are comfortable with, to change their marketing behavior patterns. It is this attitude that has left a huge gaping hole in the market that is ripe for the picking by those agents who are prepared to invest in educating themselves about this new online world.

GET YOURSELF A DOMAIN NAME.

As part of your marketing strategy you have to get yourself a domain name. If you name is John Smith, and you work in the Bondi area for example, then you need to get a URL or domain name like: www.johnsmithrealestateagentbondi.com.au.
You might think that this sounds too long but if people are searching on Google for real estate estate agents in Bondi then because this suburb is in the URL then it will byt the very nature of the way search engines work, rank higher. In fact, you should be looking at as many suburbs as you can get with your name and register them all. This way you will come up when people are searching for Bondi, Double Bay or even Edgecliff. This is a nifty trick and may mean that you are able to dominate these suburbs online when vendors are looking for an agent in that area. Of course you will need to speak with a company like Hopping Mad Designs to help you build some authority into these domain names ( called search engine optimisation or SEO), but this can be fully explained when we meet. Buying a domain name is very inexpensive, you can pick one up for around $10, so don’t be shy when it comes to getting as many names as you can. Even if you do not use them you can at least stop some one else from getting them. A point to note. If you can register a domain name that is very clean and to the point, like www.realestateagentsbondi.com.au OR www.realestateagentdoublebay.com.au then my advice is to grab them asap!

NOW GET A PROPER WEB DESIGN STUDIO TO DESIGN YOU A WEBSITE

This step is vital to the success or failure of your online digital marketing strategy. Try to find a web design company that can at least design you a half decent looking site. Try not to be tempted by cheaper web studios offering $399 template design packages as you will end up looking like every other site out there. Remember, vendors are selling their most precious asset and if your site stands out and has as they say that ‘wow factor’ then the chances are there that you will get the invite to inspect their property once they land on your site. Again, I have to stress here, align yourself with a web agency that has an all round design experience, with a very strong and varied design portfolio. Don’t just look go with an agency that specialises in real estate sites as the aim here is to have a strong point of difference. Most web studios or marketing agencies will be happy to show you their portfolio of work and will have this on their website. Do your homework. Google the words/phrases: ‘ web design’ or ‘marketing strategies for real estate agents’ and see if you can find and web companies you like the look of. Once you have narrowed it down to a few, go and meet with them and try to get a vibe to see if you can work with them or not. A VERY IMPORTANT point to take on board here, is that you should see if the agency has a strong SEO team on board. yes they may be able to design you a site, but will they be able to rank it for you? If they don’t have this combination then you need to continue your search.
If you go online and look for say ‘web designers sydney’, you will note that there are paid ads ( on the right hand side of the screen and at the very top 3 listing on the page – with a slight yellow shaded background), avoid these. Only look at companies that are organically ranked. That is, the other 10 listings on the page. The rationale behind this is that you want to use a web company that has been able to rank it’s own website and not rely on paid ads. This is because that if they can rank their own site through SEO ( in an extremely competitive area), then they will be able to get your website high up on the rankings.

To get a good idea of what a credible website deisgn companies portfolio looks like, have a look at the Hopping mad web portfolio.

As you are reading this I can hear you say that our company already has a website and we place our listings on there. WRONG!. Yes the real estate agency you work for might have a website BUT YOU DO NOT PERSONALLY HAVE ONE. The point here is that you need to build an individual online presence that will promote you and not your agency. What happens if you leave this agency and move elsewhere? If you have your own website with your past track record you can easily amend a few details and move on. Basically, you own the intellectual property of your website and no one can take this away from you.

IF YOU ARE THE OWNER OF A REAL ESTATE AGENCY AND WHAT TO GET MORE EXPOSURE, then you also need to look at all the points above and have your website designed and optimised by a web company that’s done this all before. If sales are down and listings are few and far between then you really need to look at other new avenues to start pushing your business and the best way to do this is now online. Vendors are now going online in increasing numbers to search for their real estate agent and if you are not there then you will loose that listing.The smarter more cutting edge and progressive real estate agent are starting to get on board with this and if you think that you can just bury you head if the sand then you might as well lock up shop. This is here to stay, and as a marketing medium and tool will only become more common place. If you are reading this article and you are even remotely interested I cannot urge you enough to pick up that phone and call us at Hopping Mad Designs. We can show you how easy, simple, and quick this can be, all at rates that are going to make the exercise very worthwhile for you.

The bigger players ( and I cant mention names) are already looking at their online marketing strategies and the last thing you want to be doing is scratching your head and wondering why these real estate agents are always at the forefront of innovation. I am telling you WHAT THEY DO and I can show you how they are doing it and how this will be one of your most powerful marketing tools. Please note I am not trying to sell you something here. All I am trying to do is to illuminate to you what’s going to happen in the online world and help your real estate business be part of this. The choice is ultimately up to you.

I can say this with authority because I used to work in the real estate industry about 25 years ago and found that getting a listing was very difficult. As one of the directors of a web design studio now some 25 years later, I can show you that tactics I use to generate leads for my business. Yes we are in 2 separate industries, BUT THE FUNDAMENTALS REMAIN THE SAME and will only get closer as the internet becomes more intertwined with our daily lives. Please give me a call on 02 9360 8514 or email me steven@hoppingmad.com.au and I will be more than happy to explain this whole process to you.

FALL IN LOVE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, should be your best friend. If you think they are just for your kids or only used by teenagers, then you better get those kind of thoughts out of your head. As a real estate agent, you need to be on these platforms and start generating followers. Once you have a few hundred of them, you will need to start communicating with them about who you are and what listings you have. People are interested in these kind of things and if you are actively engaging with people on these platforms then you are going to be doing the right things by your business.
This is a very new area and its probably best that I do not overwhelm you with too much information here, but needless to say, YOU SHOULD CREATE ( and I mean immediately) at least a Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile. Once all this has been done ( if it’s too hard to do don’t worry we will do this for you), come on in and we can go over a social media marketing strategy and campaign for your agency.

Most old school real estate agents have never even thought of these social media platforms so if you want to stay one step ahead of the game then the opportunities are very much available for you. If you are in your 20/30/40’s you might already be active on Facebook or LinkedIn etc etc but the point here is are you using this effectively to actively market yourself. You might have been engaging in these social media environments on a social level, and while that is a great start, you need to look at how you are doing this and what you are saying. It’s basically time to step up and now that if you are serious about your real estate career then you need a professional company working with you to manage your social media profile.

MAKE IT EASY FOR MOBILE PHONE USERS TO BE ABLE TO FIND YOU

This is a no brainer. The world has gone mobile and you need to ( once you have had your personal or agency website designed) get your head around the differences between mobile phone websites. There are basically 2 styles of mobile sites:

you main website that is viewable on a mobile site – difficult to navigate and users well as hard to find listings that you have.

A fully customised mobile phone website that is totally user friendly for the iphone, ipad and android market – this can just be a very basic site with your name, a single button that takes you to your listings and a contact icon. Overall this is a 3 page website that will give mobile phone users easy access to your details, your properties and a call to action button to contact you. This is the preferred option and should really be considered as a vital component of your marketing strategy in the next 12 months. Again, ignoring this will just give your competition the edge it needs to push you and your real estate agency that much more to the sidelines into obscurity.

Mobile phone website are easy to do and really quite inexpensive, so before you roll your eyes and think about those costs, please give us a call so we can show you just how simple and easy this whole process can be.

CREATE KILLER COPY OR CONTENT AND YOU WILLBE REWARDED

What ever you are going to publish or write online from this day forward needs to be inspiring, entertaining, interesting, informative and to the point. This means you may ned to engage the services of a copy writer who can write 2 or 3 killer articles for you to publish online ( on your blog, Facebook page or newsletter), that will keep your online visitors and followers wanting more and just that bit more curious about you or your real estate agency. If the articles are interesting enough, they will be forwarded on to other people, generating real interest in what you have to say. As a real estate agent, YOU WANT this kind of exposure and you want people to be interested in what you have to say. The more they read and the more they like your articles the more chance you have of getting that phone call to sell a property. It’s a simple as that. You should note that like with everything, online success does not happen over night. It is a gradual process and takes time. You have to be very consistent in your marketing approach and strategy, but I can swear to you the payback will be huge as you grow your online digital footprint.

DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT A BLOG IS?

You have probably heard the word blog and are more than likely to have read a few in your life, but are you fully aware of the power that blogging can have and how it can really increase your exposure online. If you are reading this blog article then what I have done is written an informative piece about marketing strategies and help for real estate agents which will lead to real estate agents inquiring about our services and how we are able to help them. This is what blogging can do for you. It’s a huge weapon in your real estate marketing arsenal and should be used weekly. Once you start blogging about everything relevant in the real estate world, online users who stumble across your article, if well written, will more than likely use your services or recommend you when wanting an agent. As stated previously, the content has to be professionally written if it is going to work for you. At Hopping Mad Mad Designs we have a team of very experienced copy writers that will be able to give your blog that professional edge and make you look like a superstar online.

OK, if you have read this blog and are excited and motivated about all these new marketing possibilities mentioned then you are making very positive steps to becoming an online leader in the real estate industry. Even by implementing just one of the points mentioned above, will see your name and agency getting heaps more exposure to new markets and therefore more potential new clients.