Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category
Ever wonder why some real estate professionals jump to the head of the pack, while the rest sit back with unanswered questions and empty calendars? The most effective real estate agents understand an important principle in today’s market: a business will perform best tomorrow through effective online marketing today.
Minimizing marketing costs and extending market exposure are areas where real estate professionals can really excel. Real estate agents understand what buyers, sellers and investors want and why- and they may even be experts in the art of the close – but what separates those at the head of the pack is becoming an expert on how to get there. In today’s modern marketplace, where the power has clearly shifted to the consumer, being ‘findable’ and accessible to all potential and current clients at every available opportunity is the real leg up.
Let’s face it, the process and commitment of leveraging tools available online is no longer one to procrastinate or underestimate. It’s a necessity of staying in the game.
Newspapers, circulars and penny savers are traditional advertising sources brokers and agents are familiar with. Real estate pros today need to think about advertising with online newspapers and industry directories, free online classified ad sites like Craigslist, real estate blogs, personal websites and social media channels. Deploying a broad online strategy with a focused message allows Realtors (and any entrepreneur really) to advertise their listings to as many people, for as little cost, as possible.
Advertising online effectively however calls for some insider knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And the reality is that Real estate SEO and real estate SEM (Search Engine Marketing or Paid Search) today require more complex strategies than simple keyword inclusion.
Keyword density is important in enhancing your real estate search engine relevance. This keyword repetition can put a real estate website or blog on the map, but it’s important not to over-saturate (nobody, search engines included, wants to read text in which every other term is the same). Once you have created content in your own words that conveys your message, you need to make sure it reaches as many people as possible, and with a consistent message.
For Realtors, personal branding is, (in the age of social media), essential to establishing a stronger and more viable business presence. A brand is synonymous with quality in business. Put simply, a brand is a promise. And your personal brand is your unique market perspective, your value contribution to your clients. You need to establish yourself as a credible expert in the industry to gain your clients’ confidence, and spreading your message through social media can be a highly effective means to this end.
Real estate professionals should focus foremost on using social media marketing to access a greater audience and communicate with other like-minded professionals.
The goal should be to build an infrastructure of “friends”, and eventually, a community of your own. While Google+ is less business-promotion friendly for now, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Foursquare each offer real estate agents the opportunity to get the word out about their businesses routinely and conveniently from a smartphone, tablet, or any other device that can connect to the internet. Reaching this larger audience frequently, conveniently, and at a very low cost is the key to growing your sphere of influence and seeing real results.
For example, LinkedIn is still less popular than other mainstream social media platforms, but it can allow for very targeted prospecting in a professional, no BS environment. LinkedIn’s dovetail networking allows members to access other like-minded individuals with similar backgrounds, work history and interests, and to promote themselves to the job market. Once considered only a platform for individuals to connect with potential employers, it has evolved into a valuable channel for prospecting, product positioning, personal branding and viral marketing.
With so much to learn and adopt and so little time to do it- find a few avenues of modern marketing to get passionate about and hopefully it will feel a little less like a strain and more like a wheel in a well-oiled machine. If you’re a Realtor in today’s marketplace, you can choose to overlook new marketing mediums as trends that will phase, but chances are you are also choosing to be left behind.
Be proactive about growing a competitive business online, and contact Boston Logic today for a free consultation. Trust the experts…because we’re invested in your success!
Chances are that when you first joined, only a few people in your “circle” were on LinkedIn- but it’s popularity has steadily increased creeping towards the popularity of Facebook. It’s become a pretty user-friendly interface with options to import your contacts and integrate your social media profiles as much (or as little) as you want. So if you haven’t done so already, take a morning off the Social Network to sync your circle with LinkedIn.
Two things to keep in mind before taking the plunge…
BE SELECTIVE with your professional network. Take the time to go through all your contacts before inviting them to connect. Don’t import people from your various accounts that may be detrimental to your image; like business ventures that didn’t go well, or that ex of yours you don’t talk to anymore, or that person from high school that posts inappropriate anecdotes to his Twitter Feed (which he has syndicated with LinkedIn). Your connections reflect upon who you are. While LinkedIn is becoming more ‘socialized’- leave the merely social to Facebook and be selective of your ‘professional network’.
BE CREATIVE with your network, too. Think outside the box! Your LinkedIn Network should be a lot more than just the people you worked with at the last few jobs. Fill out your Reading List (by Amazon), join interesting Groups, write a unique Summary (with some of your resume keywords of course), and add impactful Experiences outside of your career track.
Here’s some suggestions to start widening your circle:
1. Teachers. Find and connect with teachers you had good relationships with in school. Or, if you’re still in school- get it while it’s hot! It’s a great place to start with asking for Recommendations if you haven’t yet entered the workforce full time.
2. Fellow Students. If you had group projects, or were in a cooperative setting, having a classmate or two vouch that you’re a team player who can meet or beat expectations is something prospective employers will notice.
3. Successful Friends and Relatives (i.e. your “mentors”)- there’s a ‘friends’ option to request a connection on LinkedIn for a reason. It doesn’t matter what industry they’re in or what kind of job of they have- it’s always good to be connected to people with lots of connections! The six degrees of LinkedIn separation never cease to impress me. Oh, and the, “I saw on LinkedIn that you know so-and-so” makes for great office chit-chat or an ice-breaker on an interview!
4. Clients. Request a recommendation for your work on their accounts now, while it’s fresh in their mind and you’re fresh in theirs! Your company might even use it as a testimonial & it certainly reflects well on them too. It will also be a nice accumulation of recommendations over time naturally, instead of a mad-rush if you’re unemployed later.
5. Your ‘Freebies’. This is especially important for consultants, and often overlooked! Make sure to connect with the people you give your advice, support and/or guidance to (i.e. your “mentees”). Maybe it’s a local diner you love, or a charity group you volunteer for- whomever benefits from your knowledge (or simple ambition to be a good person) can repay the favor ten-fold with a recommendation on LinkedIn!
6. Co-workers. It doesn’t need to be an obvious swap- but pay attention to who you enjoy working with and why, and start giving recommendations. Link Karma will surely come your way.
7. Subcontractors, Vendors, Partnerships. If your company hired another company to do work, and you coordinated frequently with someone on their team, send them a ‘connect’ request! Provide or request a referral from them, depending what the relationship was. You never know when your NEW boss will ask you if you know someone that does ______; and it would be nice to say ‘Yes, I’ll email them now’.
8. People You Don’t Know…Yet. Under your profile Settings, set your privacy controls to be open. It’s beneficial to let anyone and everyone browse and find you- you never know who might be looking. Also, be sure to carefully indicate who can contact you for what (i.e. reconnecting, business opportunities, consulting, job offers, etc.)- there is an unspoken rule of the acceptance of these intentions.
** Helpful Tip **
A lot of people aren’t sure what to write in their recommendation, even though they enjoyed working with you and are happy to give you one. Maybe writing is just not their thing, so help them out. Instead of just sending the auto request, give them tips on what to write by saying things like:
“I was hoping you could write a recommendation for me based on the work I did for you on xyz project, particularly about ________ and how we handled ____________.”
OR, if your relationship is more casual, feel free to provide them with a list of bullet points to touch on (i.e. punctuality, organization, creativity, plays well with others, etc.)
Take a little time to get creative and connect. Continuously building your online reputation will establish you as a leader in your space, and as someone who is passionate about who you are and what you do. Chances are you will strengthen your current relationships and job prospects for the future, too.
Is there a group of people to connect with that I’m forgetting? Add them to the comments below!
Thanks to the folks who made the RE Bar Camp in Chicago possible. Tony, Todd, and others, thank you!
I have to say that the day was one of the most discussion oriented Bar Camps I have experienced. Most sessions weren’t lead by any one person. Often, there were people in the session who knew more about the topic and answered a lot of questions, but really, a conversation ensued.
There was no PowerPoint, no white boards, no presentations of almost any type. This certainly made for a different kind of Bar Camp.
Many Real Estate professionals, especially those over 40 (not to be ageist here…), look at Social Media and the web as a new thing they HAVE to do. Someone at the conference said that they need to start “checking” Facebook 2 or 3 times per day. I think this is a misconception.
Reality has changed. The way we compose a relationship has changed. How we communicate has changed and will continue to evolve. You don’t check Facebook a few times every day, you’re constantly on Facebook. Your phone gives you alerts, and you get emails. Twitter will text you if you want. That’s how it’s been since the beginning. Social Media is a big part of how we relate to one another now.
If the realtors who were at the conference make social media a part of their lives, then they won’t see it as a new marketing medium or a new way to find clients, they’ll see it as a new space for connecting and communicating…with family, friends, clients, corporations, candidates, you name it.
Social media is not a new marketing tool for realtors. Social media is a new part of life. Make it part of yours…
Looking for a good place to start? Check out the last presentation from our LogicClassroom series, Marketing Your Business on Facebook | Logic Classroom May 2011, hosted by our resident marketing expert Angela Davis. And be sure to sign up for the next one on Tuesday, June 14th!
After reading a great – and true – blog post on “7 Reasons Your Blog Sucks (and What to Do About It)”, I had to comment and share my thoughts. Blogging about real estate can often be frustrating: trying to generate interesting, consistent, and good-quality content frequently can be a daunting task. What’s more, that in the real estate industry, readers aren’t exactly actively engaging with blogs or becoming loyal fans and followers.
That’s not to say that this isn’t possible. Usually the problem is either lame content and not being consistent with your content. Don’t forget, it takes more than the bare minimum of just throwing content once a week up on your blog: you are competing for your readers – and potential customers – online attention. And if we know anything about browsing the web, the online reader isn’t a patient one.
Here are some top mistakes that we see non-real estate SEO clients make every day, and some tips on how you can think about blogging differently to overcome them.
1.) No content strategy goals
You either don’t have a goal, or are all over the place. Take a minute to think about where you are trying to go with your blog and what statement you want to make. Are you writing to build a brand, build influence, or increase your leads? Your goals will shape your blogging strategy, and you need to make sure this message is conveyed accurately internally.
2.) Internal resources aren’t organized
Who writes your content and manages your social media profiles? My guess is, you’ve got one person for your company that you hope is blogging at least once a week. Identify who this person or team will be, whether its a requirement of all your agents to post once a day, or you and an intern writing once a week. If you don’t have a blog yet, start small and test-run a Sequoia real estate website with blog feature for 6 months to see how your business benefits. Create a solid team, and compile data to have a common ownership of the blog within your company.
3.) Real Estate niche is undefined
As with businesses in general, its so much better to have a specialized niche. The same applies to your blog: the less your posts are all over the place, the less targeted your message and your audience will be. Think about your target market and what they want – now how can you solve their problems? What are they concerned about?
4.) Not listening to your audience or clients
We tell clients that blogging is the best way to assert yourself as an expert in your field of real estate. But how can you position your company as an educator if you don’t know what your clients’ problems are? There are great “listening” tools like Google Alerts or Radian6 that you can employ to be on top of the latest news and issues of your market. From here, you can generate blog material in reaction to what you read.
5.) Your blog is boring
Here is where we have to be honest. Many real estate agents and brokers are not really writers, and the content your blog pushes out reflects that. It may be worth bringing in some fresh perspective with younger interns or agents that have expressed interest in writing to help stimulate interesting blog ideas to give you different angles to pursue.
Try and be the journalist that attracts your readers’ attention. Stories are everywhere, from interacting with clients to your kid’s dentist appointments. You can also tie in a recent news event or real estate market development: and the faster you are with these, the better. Have a defined, committed point of view – and finish it off with a great headline, like a “How-To” post or “Are You Paying Too Much To Sell Your Home?”
6.) Lack of authentic material
People don’t care about press releases. Sorry. They want to talk and leave comments for actual people, not droning company robots. Here’s where speaking about your personal experiences really comes into play – “I just met with this seller, and ran screaming from the house…” These are memorable, and make people connect to what you are writing about. And, clients prefer to work with “real” people.
7.) No publishing system
We emphasize constantly that consistent blogging is horribly important. However, there is a system that should be put into place. It starts by monitoring relevant and trending topics, aggregating the “noise” into relevant topics, creative writing and editing, and ends with measurement with Google Analytics. You need to have this process in a calendar to make sure you meet deadlines consistently, and over time you will become more efficient as blogging becomes part of you or your team’s routine.
8.) No “BOOM!” Ending
Remember in high school when your teacher told you to write a captivating conclusion that leaves the reader in reflection of what they just wrote? Don’t leave your readers hanging. Pull it all together, and throw some punch in there. Also don’t forget to continue the momentum with a strong call-to-action.
So go forth and make your blog the best it can be. Social media sites move quickly, and every reader that bounces of your blog is another opportunity lost. Don’t be overwhelmed by this list: tackle one issue at a time, and over the upcoming weeks your blog will be back on track.
We all know that publishing content on a regular basis is an important aspect of your online marketing campaign. Boston Logic recommends that our real estate SEO clients blog at least once per week, and that those new sites try to blog twice per week to generate content faster so Search Engines crawl your blog sooner – when a site has 100 posts, that’s the magic number when the search engines start to pay attention.
So you’ve been blogging once a week since your site has launched. Things are going good. But when is the optimal time or day of the week for your blog post to be published? When will it be most likely to capture the most readers? Be more likely to be shared on Facebook or Twitter? Unfortunately, there are just as many answers as there are businesses. Each business has a different customers: so how do you go about finding out what works best for you?
1) Experiment. As David Friedman mentioned in his “What is an Online Marketer?” article, it’s all about tracking, making educated changes, and then measuring for success. If you have Google Analytics installed in your website, (which you should!) tracking is easy.
If you blog 0nce per week, take the next few weeks to conduct an experiment: try publishing on each weekday to see which generates the most interest or traffic. For example, blog next Monday. Then write a blog the next week on Tuesday. Keep going until you have a full week days’ worth of posting so you can measure your results. You’ll always have variables such as high-traffic topics, but it’s a good place to start.
Finding the day your blog is most trafficked is a good start – a more advanced experiment, and ideal for those who blog every day, would be to find out what time of day would be best for you to be blogging. If you’ve found the best week day already in the previous experiment, start the process over again by blogging once during each time of day and measuring the results.
2) Tips and Data. Experimenting to find out what’s best for your personal blog is the best way for you to get the most accurate results. However, there have been studies conducted to help point you in the right direction when it comes to days and times to blog. Thanks to our good friends at Hubspot, we have some great findings to help point you in the right direction:
The best time of day to get shared on Facebook: 9am
The best day of the week to get shared on Facebook: Saturday
The best time to get your blog read: Morning
Also, take a look at this great image Hubspot created. Based on this data, we can see that most blog post views activity (people reading your blog) seems to take place in the late morning every day – Hubspot reported in a “When Do You Read Blogs?” survey that 80% of people who read blogs answered in the mornings. This also seems to be true for links to your blog and blogger comments.
Another interesting visual is that the most heavy commenting activity seems to take place on the weekend, and a bit on Mondays.
If you take these tips as a starting point and then experiment to find out what works best for you, you will be able to improve your own real estate online marketing presence. Don’t have time to worry about blogging or real estate SEO for your website? Contact Boston Logic today to find out what we can do for you!