7 Strategies for Next-Level Marketing
Savvy agents kept their business alive over the course of the past five years by developing an online marketing presence – these agents already have custom websites, Facebook pages and Zillow or Trulia profiles. But in order for the market’s recovery to take them to the next level, there are a multitude of strategies to employ that can build upon the marketing presence they’ve already developed.
Here are a few to consider:
• Create a landing page for each of your target markets to dominate local SEO. I worked with an agent who had created landing pages for specific communities in Chicago. One of her most developed pages yielded a meeting with the owner of a multi-million dollar condo in the area, who contacted her after multiple Google searches yielded her name. SEO is more of an investment of time than money, but if you embrace the process strategically the first time, the results can be staggering. WordPress is a great blogging platform well-suited to building landing pages within your website that has a user-friendly content management system. Tel is another type of landing page that is easy to create and build – if you register a .tel domain, you can build a landing page by uploading photos and inserting copy in 250-character bits in boxes down the table. Finally, you can add your SEO keywords to the bottom of the page. This type of landing page is simple to build, as it requires little to no programming knowledge.
• Organize the sphere you’ve developed into one comprehensive system. With client relationship management (CRM) software, once you’ve organized your contacts into a CRM system, you can use it to create email campaigns, tracking the efficacy and ROI on each marketing effort through built-in metrics. If you’re on the verge of investing in Web marketing more seriously, this is a tool that can act as the central command of your new efforts.
• Use the Yelp app on your smartphone to find attractive local businesses to associate with your listing. When you’re marketing a listing in the city, you’re also marketing the neighborhood. Unique, attractive coffee shops, cafés, boutiques or grocery stores can and should be considered amenities for the potential homeowner. The Yelp app will bring up popular nearby businesses just by plugging in the address of your listing; if you’re really adventurous, you can even walk the major streets near your listing with the app open, and when you point your camera at a business, the app will bring up information about the business on your phone. Considering the impact that Yelp has on local businesses, you should make sure to list businesses that have good reviews within your listing descriptions.
• Video is becoming the dominant medium of online media – and rightfully so, as its engagement on all fronts is an effective way of keeping attention online. However, many agents use it solely to promote listings. Branch out and incorporate video into your business in different ways: shoot an introductory video to promote your brand directly, embedded on your website’s home page. Using this strategy, you can create a short, two-to-four minute video where you speak about your experience, your approach and your principles, all while using B-roll footage of your strongest neighborhood market to make your potential client see your work put into action.
• Find five non-listing (Zillow/Trulia/etc.) sites to sign up for to comment on stories, including neighborhood blogs, Yelp questions, local-interest blogs or any blog that suits your interests. Make sure you sign up to create a profile with a link back to your website. Select blogs that appeal to you regardless of motives for your business – ones that you’d read on a regular basis, with posts you have strong insights or opinions on. You shouldn’t sell yourself too strongly, since visitors are there for discussion that pertains to the topic of the blog, but you should have leads coming to your site just by providing insights and engaging on a personal basis.
• Use your tablet for supplemental photos and lead capture for teams at open houses. Apps like Open Home Pro for the iPad are designed for such purposes. Any broker who’s had a great conversation at an open house with a lead, only to find their name illegible on the sign-in sheet, knows the value of this inexpensive tool. And it makes another facet of your presentation more professional.
• Use HootSuite to streamline your social media presence. Before I learned about HootSuite, I was managing social media for a broker using a printed out calendar. I had a schedule where I’d post stories and items to my different accounts on different days of the week, and types of content were spread out over the course of the week. It kept me on track building a presence in each of these places, but it can be difficult for an agent to keep a regiment. Once I found HootSuite, I was able to schedule all of my social media posts for each of my accounts from one place and during one block of my workweek. It has a simple interface that allows you to connect each of your accounts, and a user-friendly dashboard has a field for entry and a simple calendar function to schedule its posting to the time of day.
Agents who have remained full-time for the length of the economic downturn have demonstrated resilience far beyond what’s required of most professionals. Now that the real estate forecast is getting sunnier, it’s time to develop, grow and differentiate – one of the keys to building your own brand.