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Simplify your online marketing strategy

Real Estate Technology

Real estate agents face a dizzying array of choices when it comes to online marketing strategy. Vendors confusing things even more by trying to differentiate their offerings, which makes it hard to compare the alternatives.

Follow these tips to un-tangle the mess and simplify your online marketing strategy!

Purpose of Online Marketing 

At its simplest, all online marketing attempts to achieve the following goals:

  1. Get visitors
  2. Convert visitors to leads
  3. Close
Getting Visitors

All online marketing boils down to only a few categories:

  • Buy visitors one at a time

    Examples: Banner Ads, Search Engine Ads, etc. Payment models vary (PPC, CPM), but effectively you are paying for each visitor.

  • Spend time/money up front, get free traffic over a long period of time.

    Examples: SEO, PR, Craigslist posts, Word of Mouth all create inbound links that once established last a very long time and deliver free traffic.

  • Drip Email / Blog Subscribers

    Convert one-time visitors to repeat visitors by luring them back with content.

So next time you're evaluating a marketing idea, just remember, it fits into one of these categories. Once you get it into one of these categories, it's much easier to understand, and much easier to compare.

I'll talk more about converting visitors to leads and measuring online marketing efforts in upcoming posts. Subscribe to my blog to make sure you don't miss out!

Eric Reid
Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners - Lawrenceville, GA

As agents we get hit with a new "marketing" opportunity by email ever hour and I have to say most of days I just hit delete and move on .. so my questions is how do I avoid my intended clients from doing the same. I just don't see email / drip campaigns working


Feb 03, 2008 12:52 PM
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
405home @ ERA Courtyard - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead
Great post, and I'm looking forward to your suggestions on conversion.
Feb 03, 2008 01:08 PM
Alan Pinstein
Decatur, GA

Yes, that's an excellent point. I have a couple of answers for you.

  1. It doesn't matter if some people hit delete; it's the ones that respond that matter.
  2. This is where ROI comes in. As long as email is lower ROI than something else, it will continue.
  3. However, you're right. The more people get marketed to, the more they ignore it. But that doesn't make it hopeless. In the end, people need to buy and sell houses, and if you can get in front of them at the right time, you'll get business.

    The key to fixing this problem is improving relevance. You can't sign up every visitor to your mailing list and expect them to enjoy it.

    To me, the best way to do this as an agent is with an IDX search on your site. A good property search is the most important thing to buyers. They will bookmark it and keep using it until they're ready to deal with an agent. Then they'll most likely call you.

    A good property search should be easy to use, not require registration, but encourage it through special features like emailing the buyer when new properties match. You can't get much more relevant than that.

    Depending on your MLS, you will have 0 to many choices for IDX vendors. My company makes an IDX search called MyDX that services several Georgia and Florida MLS's. The customers of ours that generate the most leads do it by combining online marketing (to drive visitors) with our MYDX product (to generate leads). The best customers have generated hundreds of leads in just a few months.
Hope that helps! 


Feb 03, 2008 01:11 PM
Alan Pinstein
Decatur, GA

One more note about drip email...you should think of drip email and blogging in almost the same exact way... you have "fresh and relevant" content to draw back visitors in hopes of a future transaction. That is the only point of it. So over-dripping content or blog posts that aren't relevant to get "branding" or just "stay in front of the person" isn't a good strategy b/c people will unsubscribe or ignore your messages. Make sure that when you say something, it's relevant. 

Feb 04, 2008 02:07 AM
Don Draughn - Mortgage Professional
High Point, NC
Great information, Alan.  I can't wait for the next posts.  Keep them coming.
Feb 04, 2008 02:44 AM
Renae Bolton
Marketing 4 Realtors - Garfield Heights, OH
I'm your Professional Real Estate Marketing VA!

I agree with Alan but would also like to point out that, if your website information is targeted to a specific niche, you are much more likely to get high-quality leads instead of looky-loos.  If your website focuses on luxury homes in Lawrenceville, the people who sign up for anything on your site are much higher prospects than those who sign up on a website that has only a general Lawrenceville real estate focus. 

Also, what Alan says about relevance in your drip campaigns is so true.  I tell our clients all the time that you don't want to send stuff out just for the sake of sending stuff out, be that e-mail or direct mail.  Whatever you send should be something that the recipient would want to receive or need to know.  It makes you invaluable to your leads and makes them want to come back or keep receiving your information.

Great topic!

~Renae - Market 4 Real!

Feb 04, 2008 03:07 AM
Alan Pinstein
Decatur, GA


Thanks for the comment! You are exactly right about website content, it also needs to be relevant. I see customers all the time wanting to post content about local tourist stuff for the city, or links to the Chamber of Commerce. I can't imagine that being very relevant to someone looking to buy or sell a house.

I'll talk about this more in the future, but there are a ton of web site statistics you can use to measure how relevant your audience thinks your site is. Things like your bounce rate, total time on site, total pages viewed, % of repeat visitors, these are all a great measure of relevance.  

Feb 04, 2008 03:22 AM
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS
Chamber of commerce and links to County Zoning could be important only if community is important in selecting a home. However, its a moot point as most people can find those references for themselves if they are able to find your website.
Feb 05, 2008 09:25 AM