Today’s realtors simply must have an online presence. Being visible online means you are easier to find, that you will be able to grow your database more quickly, that you can build your brand in front of millions, and – of course – that you will likely increase your profits. Gone are the days of newspaper ads, and fewer and fewer home buyers call the number on a sign posted in front of a particular house. They look for homes online and, often, they seek out real estate agents that way as well.
So, what’s the best way to build an online presence? Well, there’s not really ONE best way. It’s essential to spread your online personality across many platforms so that you are visible to the highest possible number of potential clients, including both buyers and sellers.
Below we’ve provided you with a list of five ways to get the word out about your expertise, letting clients know why they should hire you to sell their home or help them buy a new one.
Websites are a dime a dozen and many people – realtors included – take it upon themselves to build their own site. While it’s not hard to make your own site, it is essential, however, that your website is easy to find and that it is designed so that it comes up near the top of the list for a particular search term (like “Miami realtor,” perhaps). To achieve this, it often helps to hire someone who is search engine savvy, or else you need to take the time to learn about such things as search engine optimization. Your site should also include a homepage that provides enough information about you and your business for potential clients to want to delve further. A good bio – one that’s not “stuffy” – might entice others to call you. Also, don’t hesitate to offer information (articles/blogs) on your website that’s written by others, especially if it pertains to your market, goals, etc. Just be sure you give credit where credit is due.
Yes, it’s true, there are millions of blogs and bloggers out there, but if you make your blogs pertinent to your market and make them easy to find via search engines, they will get read by potential customers in your area as well as others who seek the kind of information you have to offer. Good blog topics? Current trends in real estate (especially in your selling area) are useful to profile, and you might also talk about market updates as they pertain to current national events, like rises and falls in interest rates, etc. However, you’ll also want to include “evergreen” content, a term which refers to content that is timeless. For example, someone could read it two years from now, and it would still be pertinent. That might include topics like how to prepare your home to sell quickly, pre-qualifying for a mortgage, giving your home curb appeal, or other general issues. And, again, don’t be afraid to include content written by others if you think it will be helpful, as long as you have permission. Also remember to include “social share” buttons at the end of your blogs so that those who read them can share them with others on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere. Similarly, you can create podcasts, which are audio blogs.
If you want to give your clients or potential clients more in-depth knowledge than what you can cover on your website (which does better with short snippets people can read quickly), consider drafting some eBooks that are perhaps 10-20 pages long. Make them available as a download and be sure the topics address issues pertinent to both buyers and sellers, either in your location or just in general. Not so good at writing? Hire a freelancer from a website like Upwork. You can likely find one that specializes in real estate and who can cover a variety of topics. When you offer these free ebooks, have those taking advantage of your offer fill out a contact form on your website so that you now have their name and email or other info.
This is almost a “must” in this day and age. Whereas Facebook was once a domain of college-age young adults, it seems everyone uses it now. It’s a great way to promote not only individual listings but also an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge of the market and even to enjoy some personal interaction with clients or potential clients. But while it’s a business page, don’t keep it all serious. Posting a funny cartoon or other quips once in a while is a good idea. DO, however, keep inappropriate material off your Facebook page, including foul language. And don’t forget to post your blogs here, too! You can also do this with other platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
Webinars are real-time “seminars” for potential clients and others who want to know more about your topic of expertise, which could be any number of real estate-related subjects. Webinars used to promote oneself are usually free and can be a great way to convince potential clients that you are the right realtor for them. Putting one together isn’t very difficult as there are many webinar hosting sites available. Each one walks you through the process and helps you each step of the way. (Of course, as with other technology-related stuff, you can hire someone to help you with this.) Be sure, however, that you start advertising the webinar weeks in advance and collect a database of emails for those interested in hearing/watching it, if possible, so you can send them reminders at air time and check in with them afterward.
There are many more ways technology can become your best friend as a realtor. Don’t limit yourself to just a few. An online presence is crucial to your success, and building that presence can be lots of fun. Furthermore, the skills you learn while putting this all together will be invaluable and will be skills you can use for years to come.