Every real estate agent needs to think about his or her own personal brand. They should not rely upon their brokerage to provide them with an online presence or marketing for their listings. If an agent wants to build a reputation, they need to offer better services than other agents and present themselves as the experts. Here are a few tips to help you dominate your local real estate market.
1. Better Quality Photos
It does not take a professional to tell the difference between a professional real estate photo and one shot with a smartphone. Unfortunately, you have only one chance to make a first impression. Wen buyers see your listing for the first time it will the photos on your MLS listing that will make that impression. Most importantly, the sellers will be less than impressed when they see you marketing their home with poorly focused, dimly lights or grainy images. Listing clients are often repeat customers if you do an outstanding job marketing their home.
There is no need to skimp on quality photos. You could always buy a camera, wide-angle lens, flash, tripods, and editing software and do it yourself. However, the learning curve is rather long and the initial cost to get started is high. The quality of your first photos will likely not be that great unless you have previous experience with photography.
Take great photos is no different than selling your home. You could do it yourself but you will get better results and a better experience when you to hire a professional. There are many professional photographers doing real estate photography today, at affordable prices.
2. Use Video
Video now dominates all other forms of media when it comes to online or social marketing. Zillow has made it popular to use its walkthrough video feature for listings on Zillow. Unfortunately, these videos are taken with smartphones and lack the use of a gimbal to stabilize them. The final product is often of poor quality. The best listing video is a professionally produced listing video. These videos will capture the homes best features and combine it with narration and/or music to help create an emotional connection to the listing.
Community videos, testimonial and agent videos will greatly help you build a strong personal brand.
3. Professional Website
This is the place where you will have 100% control of marketing you and your skills as a real estate professional. At a minimum, your website should have your contact information, a bio about you and your current listings. This would be the bare minimum. The only reason I would even suggest the bare minimum is that so many realtors do not have a personal website at all.
A truly successful website will have the following:
- Individual community pages for the areas you service. These are perfect for the user and SEO. Community videos combined with your text description are the best way to show off communities on these pages.
- Listings of the current homes that you have listed. An IDX Broker to allow clients to search homes from your website is a great addition as well.
- Customer reviews and testimonials in both written and in video
- Articles on the current market, loan programs, and information that buyers and sellers need to know about home transactions. This where you get to show off your expertise.
- Offer a newsletter opt-in so you can capture emails and leads. This will also keep you in touch with potential leads and past clients.
4. Create a Blog on Your Website
Your blog should be part of your website. It will help to drive traffic to your website and increase your ranking in search engines. This is a good place to keep all your tips, tricks current market and financial advice. Stories about transactions that did not go smoothly but you were able to work them out are a good way of showing your expertise while keeping it personal. The content you write will help to show off your expertise while building confidence and trust with leads.
Your blog will give you the chance to engage with leads and past clients and build your reputation. Just make sure to post often.
5. Actively Post on Social Media
Post your listing and blog post on social media linking them back to your website. The most popular platforms will be Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Instagram is great for posting listing images or infographics, but you cannot link out. The bigger your social media following is the larger your reach will be on these platforms. Do not be afraid to use paid advertising on these platforms. The cost is low and you will get a lot of coverage in a targeted area.
6. Get Optimized Locally for Search Engines
When someone is looking for a realtor in your area, you want him or her to see you at the top of the list. This is often something that will require an SEO professional to obtain the best results. Depending on the competition in your area, you might be able to rank yourself. Here are a few things that can get you started:
- List your business in Google My Business
- List your business in Bing Places for Business
- List yourself on Yelp
- List yourself on Zillow
- List yourself on any local directories that you may find
- Here is a list of other directories that will help
One thing to keep in mind is you MUST use the same Name, address, phone number and website for every listing. I highly suggest copy and pasting this off an Excel or Google sheet, so there are no typos. In addition, a 150-200 word description of your services, some of the directories will need this.
7. Ask for Referrals
There are no better advocates to your expertise and skills than a happy past client. Leverage them for referral by staying in contact with a newsletter or phone call. Start offering referral payouts to past clients that refer you leads that close a deal with you. This a great source of new leads that requires little effort.
8. Use Email Marketing Campaigns
There are many different email-marketing tools available to use. Most will serve you well. The key to email marketing is don’t be SPAMMY. You need to offer something of value. So, what is of value? Information on interest rates, loan programs, area home values, home maintenance and repair advice, information on upcoming local events or anything else that would be relevant to homeowners or buyers. The best suggestions will come from your clients. Listen to their questions and then create a newsletter and blog post in the subject. Provide a portion of the blog post in the email and a link to the post on your blog to read the rest. This will drive more traffic to your site.
9. Become an Expert in Your Niche
If you specialize in an area of real estate or a particular community, be the expert in this niche.
Example: If you own a horse or knowledgeable on horses. That would be a niche, you would want to consider. Since you are already part of the equestrian community, it would make it easy for you to corner that market. You will already have a contact in that community and you will be knowledgeable in that area of the market when you talk with the client. You will now just need to market yourself as the expert.
Example #2: You have sold a few beach properties. It would pay you to market yourself as a beach property expert. Since you have experience at it, you will already know what buyers and sellers of these properties are looking for and market towards that niche.
10. Follow up
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes realtors make when they don’t follow up after closing. This is especially important when representing buyers. It is best to call within the first few day or two of closing so you can answer any questions they may have. Then again a week or two after the initial follow up call. Then one more call 60-90 days out. When you call to see how they are enjoying their new home and how the move went. It makes them feel important to you and gains trust and respect. This small effort will be rewarded in repeat customers as well as many customer referrals.
We are constantly adding information to our blog with tricks and tips on how to market yourself and build your brand. You can check back often or sign up for our newsletter which will notify you when new content is added to our blog