In the old days, real estate agents wore a tweed jacket and a name tag and always made sure they had business cards in their pocket before heading out the door to a neighbors holiday party. But, in a world of new and exciting technology, we can now generate leads from anywhere and at anytime.
Online presence has made it possible to toss out the tweed jacket and post our business card to millions of internet users through a social media post with optimized hashtags or a website with great SEO content. Our point is, having a clean and professional image online can set your business up for success and attract new leads.
Do you have a website?
We understand searching Google isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's most peoples go-to search engine. Leads looking for real estate opportunties and experienced agents are no different. So when you "Google" your real estate business, what comes up? Do you have a beautiful website that attracts and invites business? Or do you have an outdated REALTOR®.com website page that offers a headshot and contact information from 3 brokerages ago?
Having a beautiful and interactive website with home search functionality and a professional bio detailing your success (or bright future) in real estate can allow potential leads to feel like they're in good hands of a professional agent. Think about it, when you're searching for a professional service to sell your home, would you choose the one with only a Facebook page to showcase their business? Or would you prefer an established agent that made the time to build a professional website for their client's needs?
Next step? Nobody knows your business better than you. Start creating web pages such as "About ___ Real Estate", "Contact Us", "Current Listings" and other pages that provide both buyer and seller leads the information they'll be looking for. Make sure to showcase your knowledge of the market and how your skills can help clients get to the closing table. After you've done all you can do, hire a virtual assistant company to do the "hard" labor such as adding an IDX feed of the current listings on your regional MLS or optimizing your website for SEO to get your business page to the top in Google listings.
Don't have the time to build a website? Hire a web marketing agency to do the work for you. This allows you peace of mind while you're doing what you do best... which is running your real estate business.
Are you trending on Twitter?
Social media is a powerful tool. Through the use of hashtags, valuable content, and maintaining a regular presence- social media can convert leads that may not have learned of your business before. Some agents post pictures of current listings, client success stories and pictures of them with their new homes, and market statistics.
One of our favorite "social agents" is Tazz Weatherly with Silvercreek Realty. If she's not busy assisting her clients, you can find her doing Instagram stories and live videos posting about Boise, how excited she is for her client's upcoming closing dates, and motivational videos hoping to encourage you and your own success. Her social media enthusiasm and personality has done well for her business. She has thousands of followers with user engagement praising her content on every post. Her ability to share her real estate journey and success as well as showing her vulnerability and raw emotion from time to time help her followers feel connected to her. This is what we call human-to-human marketing, and it's made her a real estate top producer in the Treasure Valley.
Consistency is key. We suggest posting at least 3-5 times a week to keep your content up to date and fresh for your followers. Also, look at what your competitors are posting and the hashtags they're using that are possibly getting them exposure. At Mode Realty Group, we prefer to post helpful strategies for buyers and sellers as well as business advice for agents to provide content of value without spamming our account followers. We take an Inbound Marketing approach to our social media. We want to be a part of the conversation, we don't want to interrupt it by advertising our business. It's our hope that by providing helpful content to our followers and staying consistent with our posting, they'll reach out for our services when they're ready. I think we've all unfriended someone who posted 5 times a day spamming their products into our news feed... market the way you'd want to be marketed to.
Different Social Media Platforms:
You're running a business, you possibly don't have time to manage 7 different social media accounts. Find out which social media platforms your sphere of influence and potential leads gravitate to more and focus on those specifically. Shoot a quick Instagram video in between closings or between showings, letting your audience know what you're up to and how excited you are to be as busy as you are.
What does Yelp! Have to say about you?
How many times have you searched reviews before choosing where to eat or which hotel to stay at? Boise real estate is no different. When out of town buyers or even local leads search online, they'll see top reviews first and often choose that business for their services. In a community of over 5,000 agents- reviews can help set you apart.
Here's a real example:
Our office is located on a side street near popular resturants. A few weeks ago we had a walk in (yes, a walk in... often considered a unicorn in this day of technology) that found us because he was eating lunch and searching for real estate brokerages on Yelp! and he wanted to talk to one of our agents because of the 5 star reviews he had just read.
Go back and ask past clients to leave you reviews on Google or Yelp! It's a great way to follow up with them as well. Ask how their new home is treating them and if you can help them in any way. In a perfect world, they'll mention a family member is moving to the area and needs a REALTOR® and you called just in the knick of time. If nothing else, hopefully you get a 5 star review or two from happy clients that help get your business noticed.
All in All...
While you may not be the biggest "techie" on the block or even know how to make a facebook status, recognize that a good online presence is important. A good website and consistant posting to social media about the market and your success stories can be a recipe for great lead generation that can take your real estate business to new heights.
For a bit more help on the topic of social media, here's Hubspot's Free Essential Guide to Social Media Advertising.