Technology has become a huge part of today's real estate market. Those who stay on top of the newest technological advancements win. Technology is supposed to make your lives easier. But, how do I apply that technology to give me the most benefit from my time and dollar?
Step #1: Your Website
Your website SHOULD be the central hub for all of your marketing. Your website serves several purposes. The first is that it is a place to represent yourself to millions of buyers and sellers on the web. This doesn't mean that the website should focus on you. No offense folks, but buyers and sellers don't care about you when they are looking for homes on the internet. They are looking for information. They want to get to the information as soon as possible. It's important to make the searches very easy to find. Just having them on your website isn't good enough. You only have 4 seconds to capture a potential clients interest on your website. If they have to look to find the information, they are moving on to a competitors site. Here's a good example of an effective real estate website. http://www.georgiaresidentialhomes.com.
Step #2: Driving Online Traffic
Driving traffic is imperative regardless who hosts your website. Forget all the promises. Forget all the BS you've been told. I'm setting the record straight right now. If you really want your website to be successful, you will have to drive traffic to your website. Now, this doesn't mean your web host doesn't have certain things in place to assist you with this. I'm going to lay out a few options that are used successfully in today's market. These are simple things you can focus on to get the most bang for your buck.
1) Social Media + Blogging - Look, there isn't any point to doing one without the other. If you are, you're missing a vital component. They support each other. Lets start with the blog. Do you really understand the point of blogging? A blog is a fantastic way to keep traffic on your website longer. Traffic that stays on your website longer stands a better chance of converting into a lead. There's also a lead quality benefit. The leads you get from people that invest time in your blog are more likely to invest time with you. When you blog, be sure to send several links back to the homepage of your website. If your website is designed to capture these leads your in good shape. Now that your blog is in place, you need to take advantage of social media to drive traffic to that blog. I know. It seems weird that you would focus on sending traffic to your blog as opposed to your lead capture ready website. The idea here is that different things appeal to different people. If your blog is attached to your website, you get credit for that traffic anyways. Plus, you can embed IDX search links into your blogs to get people into your search solution. They all work hand in hand.
The best way to set up your social media accounts is to integrate them all to Twitter or use an integration system that is free such as Hootsuite. You post the link in one place and it's sent out to all of your friends and followers in one easy step. Of course, the more friends and followers you have, the more people your blog will reach. If your blog is something about the home prices in your particular area, then make sure you don't just talk about them. Post the the actual price ranges in your blog. Link them to your IDX and you have another way to capture leads. If you need help with your social media click here.
2) Pay-Per-Click - Google Adwords is a good way to drive traffic to your website starting from day one. It's important that your website is set up the right way to capture traffic. Otherwise, it's not going to work well for you. If it's set up right, Google Adwords can be a great moneymaker for you. Lets put it into perspective for you. Lets say that you decide you want to spend $300 per month to drive traffic via Google Adwords. Average agents close 1-30 on quality leads. If your website is set up right, you should generate 45+ quality leads a month. This gives you more than enough to close an additional sale per month on top of whatever other marketing your doing. The average Realtor in the US right now is averaging $3,000 - $4,000 per sale in commission. $300 to generate $3000 - $4000? I'd do that any day. This isn't to say you have to spend $300 per month. With your own account, you can spend whatever you want. It's up to you. That's the great thing about it. Again though, I have to caution you. If you don't have your website set up to actually capture this traffic your paying for, then it will cost a lot and yield little results. Some companies do it as a free part of their hosting. I'd recommend working with a professional if you want to obtain the best results.
Step #3: Local Marketing - Utilizing QR Codes
It's time to step up your game. The market is too darn competitive now. QR Codes are the future in real estate and if your not using them your falling behind the technology curve. Forget all the nonsense about those free down-loadable QR Codes. They are pointless. Who cares if you have a QR Code that redirects someone to your website if you can't even track it to know if it's working. Utilize a paid analytics program. They aren't expensive. You can start at about $39.95. Put them on your business cards, listings and any other marketing materials your are using. Now you have an affordable way to track all of those other marketing methods you are using. QR Codes have been used successfully in Europe for the past 6 years. They are the future in real estate. Hence the reason most of you have heard of them but have yet to fully capitalize on what QR Codes can do for your business. Plus, with an analytics program, you can also capture leads from your scans. This is huuuge! The quality of leads you get from QR Code marketing beats internet leads hands down! If you are looking for an affordable and effective analytics program click here.
Another form of marketing you can use with QR Codes is vehicle banner. They are absolutely cost effective marketing tools. The vehicle banners we provide for real estate agents run $300 for everything including design and installation oof the banner. Embed a QR Code in your banner and you have marketing that costs you nothing on a month to basis, lasts a year and a half, and generates millions of impressions each month. Not to mention the fact that you will get noticed! Click here for more information on vehicle banners.
There are several effective ways to market yourself as a real estate agent. Just remember that it all comes back to how effective your website is. Start with your website. If your not capturing lead information it's time to make a change. Then you can really take your marketing to the next level. Staying on top of current technology trends can keep you making money. Even in a slow market.
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