The state of the economy has made business difficult for companies in the real estate industry. Although mortgage rates have dropped significantly in the last few months, loan origination and refinancing activity has still not picked up. What can you do to stay afloat in these tough times? Our advice is to focus more effort into generating online leads.
According to a 2009 study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of all home buyers used the Internet to search for listings and realtor services. In the last six years, this figure has grown 30 percentage points. Has your company’s marketing efforts taken this into account? In this increasingly digital age, realtors need to make sure their online channels are drawing homebuyers in and keeping them interested with engaging content. Not quite sure how to do that? Here are some tips to help you get started:
Improve your search engine optimization. An easy way to make your site search engine friendly is to do some simple keyword research. Start off by thinking of some words that are relevant to your business. Then, clearly define your target market. From there you can focus on the terms you think your target market would use to find your business or businesses like yours.
For example, a real estate agency in Pennsylvania may want to be ranked for “Philadelphia condos” or “Harrisburg town-homes”. Once you have a list of keywords, place them throughout your website in page titles, page descriptions, headings, URLs, etc.
Connect with prospects/clients on social media. Social media is a great way to engage homebuyers and get traffic to your website. Give prospects a virtual walkthrough of a house with a video on YouTube. Let them browse through pictures of the rooms on Flickr. Make your company available on social networks, and start conversations on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This will allow you to answer any questions new prospects may have, and also let you keep in touch with existing clients.
Start a blog. Not only does blogging help your search engine rankings, but it also builds your company’s credibility. Homebuyers will be more comfortable doing business with you if they see that you know and understand the real estate market. Starting a blog will allow you to showcase your thought leadership as an industry professional.
If you publish content to help homebuyers and update them on the latest real estate news, they will be more likely to return to your site when it comes to making a purchase.
We do understand that many of these suggestions can be daunting tasks. Gaining exposure on the Internet will take a great deal of time and effort, especially as more competitors start using the same mediums. However, this is the new age of Marketing that you simply can’t survive without.
Source: Webucast (online marketing and SEO professionals).