Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate CRM’
Do you remember the world 20 years ago? No computers on desks at work. No email. No Internet. Forget about Google (started just 12 years ago) and social media was a gathering of newspaper reporters. :O)
Please name for me 1 thing that you do in the same way that you did back in 1980. Just one thing that’s done in the same way. Something that hasn’t been affected by technology, made faster, or eliminated altogether? Is there anything at all that’s the same?
Do you communicate the same way you did back in 1989? The same phone? The same typewriter? Has your job been changed by technology? Of course it has. If it has not, you’re probably a painter. Even if you’re a painter, I’m sure the way you sell your painting has probably changed. Unless you’re that guy on the street corner selling your art, and I suspect, if you’re reading this post, that’s not you.
What about your marketing campaign, are you marketing the same way you were in 1989? If you said yes, then you need to wake up!
Best practices in real estate marketing have changed a lot. The unfortunate fact is that lots of real estate agents are marketing themselves and their services in the same way they always have. If the only significant affect of technology to your marketing has been the way you generate listing sheets, it’s time to get with it.
The really shocking thing is that there are lots of BIG real estate firms that still haven’t embraced the internet. They’re not leveraging SEO or PPC or social media. If they are, it’s a small percentage of their marketing budget.
Developers are some of the biggest culprits out there, or I should say, it’s the marketing firms that work with developers. These guys are spending a lot of money – I’m talking about hundred of thousands or often millions of dollars – on the same media and sales methods that they used in 1989. I invite you to look at the marketing budget for a development in your area. If you live in NYC or maybe LA, then this might not be as true, but just look at where they’re spending their money. What do you see?
Very often you’ll find large print media budgets in marquis local newspapers, the same papers who are dying because of drastically reduced circulation. You’ll find huge budgets on branding firms to design expensive brochures and folders filled with highly designed collateral. There will be special attention paid to press releases (ok, that’s a little better) and flowers for the model unit. Even with all of this spending, the real estate marketing firm that reps the place is probably still taking a full split.
If you find a website on that budget, you probably won’t find much online marketing to support it. An email marketing plan? A SEO retainer with a good SEO firm? A PPC ad buy? A CRM system? Is any of this on there and does that budget rival the print budget? I doubt it. Have they invested in a good CRM system for the sales center or model unit staff? Is technology going to help them sell the units in inventory any faster? If not then you know as well as I do that an opportunity is being missed.
OK, for you analysts out there, I know what your comment is going to be before I even ask. You want to know why a budget should be allocated. Or, maybe the question is not why there needs to be an online marketing budget, but is it actually a better investment? The answer is unequivocally yes. We’ve done the math for many projects and over many years. SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media, the online marketing 4 some, you might say, are by far more cost effective marketing investments for real estate marketing.
If, by chance, that budget you’re examining does have some online marketing on there and leads are, by chance, being associated with media buys or sources, do the math. Calculate the cost/lead and you’ll find that the online leads generated are costing half if not less than half of the leads from traditional media.
So, please ask yourself again. Am I using the same real estate marketing methods that I was 20 years ago? If you are, it’s time to innovate.
I think everyone reading this blog would agree that, at the end of the day, results are what really matter. You could be performing real estate SEO and appearing at the top of the search engine results, but if you’re not getting good leads and closing deals from them, then all that SEO effort is probably a waste. What matters are results.
I’m going to tell you all something that may shock you. Yes, this blog has good search engine ranking and high placement in the SERPs, but (here’s the shocker) search engines are not our largest source of inbound traffic. Believe it or not, social media sites are our biggest traffic source. I’m talking about Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Digg, Reddit, Technorati, Stumble Upon, the list goes on. When you aggregate the visitor traffic that these sites generate for us, it adds up to more than either the search engine traffic or direct traffic that we receive, which are our other largest sources.
Now, it’s critical that you understand which traffic sources are effectively converting for you and which are not. Also, it’s very important that you have a good lead follow up system. Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is as important as your SEO, if not more important, in improving your close rate. All that said, I’m not going to follow this tangent in this post. Boston Logic, our parent company, offers great real estate CRM and lead management tools, check out the ONE Lead Management System, but I’m not here to advertise.
So, let’s get back to our premise. Yes, SEO is bringing us traffic, but we must notice and nurture the opportunities that social media sites can bring us. Every effective online marketing campaign should include heavy engagement with social media. SEO is crucial, but a holistic approach, which includes Real Estate SEO, social media, email marketing, and other online media, is going to bring you the best ROI every time.
Here is some supporting evidence:
- We’ve written before on this blog about how SEO is a lot like voting. Search engine algorithms take into account link counts, clicks on their results pages, keyword density on a page, and many other factors. All of these can be paralleled to voting. Social media sites work in much the same way. For example, the more people who Digg a page, the more popular it becomes and the more visitor traffic it will receive.
- Similarly, Twitter is all about followers and popularity. If your real estate blog has 1,000 followers on twitter then every time you post, they’ll be notified. That will mean a steady flow of traffic to your site.
- Also, let’s not forget about the opt-in advantage. When a person chooses to follow you on Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, etc, it’s their choice. They’re virtually raising their hand and telling you that they’re interested in what you’re doing and what you have to say. If we could always identify parties who are interested in what we do, marketing would be a lot easier.
- Using social media will help you gather inbound links to your site. This will help your search engine placement and your referral traffic.
- Similar to SEO, you need to produce good, relevant, unique content in order to get noticed and gain popularity and traffic on social media sites. Smart online marketers know that this is a requirement for good SEO and to achieve search engine ranking. So, while you’re working on your SEO campaign and generating good content, your efforts can be at least twice as valuable when they also contribute to your social media presence.
The goals when performing SEO and Social Media marketing are the same: Get noticed. Generate relevant traffic. Do more business. Come to think of it, these are the goals for most marketing efforts. My point is, with all of these similarities and benefits, you can generate traffic through SEO and through the use of social media at the same time. You can also analyze the traffic and the ROI of your effort using similar tools and methods. It’s a win, no mater how you slice it.
If you’re not leveraging social media as part of your marketing campaign and would like some help, or if you are, but you’re not seeing the results, drop us a note. We’re here to help.