If you have ever purchased or rented a property then chances are you have spent hours scrolling through images and listings online in order to find the right one.
In fact, if this rings true for you then know that you are not alone. A whopping 90 percent of people claim to use the internet when house hunting and another 53 percent claim to use the internet as their starting point for purchasing a home.
If you are a real estate agent or are involved in property in any way, then this should be setting off a few light bulbs for you already.
More than ever, people are using the internet to find and purchase properties and real estate agents definitely need to stay ahead of the curve.
When it comes to capturing traffic for your real estate business there are many factors to consider, however if you want to see if you measure up to the digital age, here are some go-to questions to ask:
- Does you real estate business have its own website that ends in .com.au?
- Does your website showcase all your properties in a clear and easy way?
- Does your website allow potential buyers and sellers to contact you with little effort?
- Is your website optimised for search engines?
- Do you have online content or a blog that promotes your knowledge and business?
- Do you reach out to customers using newsletters and social media?
- Do you advertise your real estate business online?
- Are you active on social media?
- Is your website mobile friendly?
If you didn’t answer ‘Yes’ to at least half of these then you are doing yourself and your company a huge disservice. However, not all hope is lost. There are many services out there that can help you get your company up to speed, but in the mean time here are the top 5 things you need to do today to get your company into the digital age.
1. Keywords and Real Estate SEO
Ranking in Google is important, but if you work in the real estate business you must also cater to search engines like Domain, RealEstate and even Gumtree.
These sites act as virtual marketplaces for real estate buyers and sellers and showcase properties based on location, budget, house type and more. These sites also often come with handy tools such as mortgage calculators, free home estimates, as well as expert advice on purchasing and renting.
Because of all of this information, they are a great resource for buyers and many of these sites receive millions of hits per week. Research also backs this up and according to real estate buyers, 42 percent use sites such as these before even contacting an actual agent.
Now that you understand the significance of sites such as these, it is important that your company is on one of these search engines. Most of these sites do charge a fee, however it is definitely worth the cost.
Once your site is up on these prominent search engines you also need to work to optimise your keywords. A simple SEO plugin on your main website can help, but you also have to be mindful what you enter when you are writing your listings.
To help you get started with what keywords to choose keep in mind that 69 percent of shoppers begin their search with a local phrase such as “houses in Malvern” or “Burwood real estate agent”.
You may also want to consider ranking for the following phrases:
- [Suburb] real estate
- [Suburb] homes for sale
- [Suburb] real estate listings
- [Suburb] property management
- [Suburb] real estate agent
If your company does service multiple cities and regions, try to focus priming your keywords for the main city that you do business in, or the city that your office is located in. Then you can branch out from there.
Starting local is definitely key as that is what is going to help attract the right kind of buyers. You can also add on from there by providing information about the local city such as schools, hospitals, events and such in order to rank for more keywords.
This can be especially helpful if your real estate company focuses on a niche market. For example, say you are specifically wanting to target families, then perhaps you can also have long tail keywords that include “homes for sale near Mt Waverley Secondary College” and so on.
Don’t forget to also optimise your images too by including the same keywords in the ‘alt text’ field. Again, if you have an SEO plugin on your site this should be an easy fix. Alternatively, you may want to outsource it to an expert.
2. Content Creation and Blogs
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your real estate site is by writing a blog.
While you don’t have to write dedicated content for every house you are selling, having some informational and interesting blogs about certain properties, areas or events can definitely help to push traffic to your site.
Some examples of content you can write include additional information about a certain property and its features, different community events that are going on in the area where you sell majority of your properties or an interior design article that features different lifestyle and decorating ideas.
The options are endless, just remember to keep your content engaging, centre it around keywords and practice good SEO rituals such as including:
- A Meta Description
- A Title Tag
- A Alt tag on Images
- File name on Images
- Keywords in Content
This is going to help your posts rank higher on search engines like Google and will make your site more user friendly and easier to navigate through.
Once you have a few articles published share them around on relevant sites such as your social media page and other relevant industry websites. You may also want to consider publishing your images on sites like Pinterest and Instagram or having short video clips on Vine.
3. Photos and Videos
A picture not only tells a thousand words it can also help you sell a thousand too. More and more people are looking for visual content and particularly when it comes to purchasing a property, people want to be able to see what they are potentially going to be buying.
Photos and videos help to engage your audience when they come to your site and also help you to better showcase properties and get buyers interested.
To put it in perspective, an Australian real estate group reported that they had 403 percent more inquiries for listings with videos than those without. Further studies have also found that videos on real estate pages receive more clicks.
Don’t be afraid to also get creative with your images as well. There are plenty of easy to use editing tools out there that can help enhance and optimise your images to draw in attention. Just make sure the images are clean, good quality and are optimised so they can be downloaded quickly and easily. This is especially important when it comes to accessing your site on a mobile device.
You can also take it a step further and include video testimonials of happy home buyers or sellers that you have worked with in order to further establish your reputation in the industry.
4. Go Mobile
If your site is not mobile friendly than chances are you won’t rank high in Google’s search results and you won’t attract a huge flow of traffic.
The statistics also say the same, as over 89 percent of new home buyers use a mobile device when purchasing a property and this number is only set to grow as smartphones and tablets become more prevalent.
Many websites can be easily optimised for mobile devices however, if you want to go that one step further why not consider creating your own app? This way you can offer clients a tailored experience that can be easily accessed from their portable device.
Whichever way you choose to go, keep in mind that research has found that real estate clients use their tablets and smartphones to conduct the following:
- Read general information about a property
- Get directions to visit a property
- Map out where the property is in relation to schools, amenities etc.
- Compare prices and features
- Search through Real estate inventory
- Call or email an agent
- Read reviews
- Research mortgage rates and financing
- Use a mortgage calculator
- Scroll through images of a property
- Watch a video about a property
Using this short list you can help tailor your mobile page or app to include this type of information in order to make it easier for your clients to work with your company and access the necessary information.
5. Create a Social Media and Online Community
We briefly mentioned putting images on social media but if you really want to drive traffic to your website you need to work on building an online community.
This not only means that you share images, blogs and tidbits on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but it also means that you become an active user on these platforms as well.
This requires you to reply to user comments, post daily and even run competitions or campaigns using hashtags, retweets and other forms of social media engagement.
Having an active social media presence not only makes you easier to find but it also make it easier for clients to trust you and work with you. This is because it helps to instantly build a relationship and connection between your clients and the community that you live and work in.
The possibilities with marketing on social media are endless but some strategies include, posting images using hashtags, sharing blogs and other relevant content, tweeting about recent accomplishments or sales and sharing videos of properties.
Creating an online community also goes beyond social media and can be more personal such as writing emails or reaching out to existing or potential clients over the phone.
Email marketing is a great way to connect with clients and allows you to stay fresh in their minds. It also allows you to showcase your properties to a dedicated and specific audience.
In fact, email marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to market and can yield excellent results when executed correctly.
Aim to keep your emails limited to 1-2 per week and keep them relevant for your audience. Also find a way to make them personal, even if it is just including their name in the subject title.
When it comes to growing your Real Estate business online the key is to really create engagement and value with your specific target audience.
Real Estate’s future is in the digital age and in order to stay relevant you have to begin adopting some of these tools and protocols in order to keep and make new customers.
Need help? Why not schedule a call with us today.
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