Attract New Clients with Google My Business

Attract New Clients with Google My Business

While searching around the countless name of realtors on Google, I found a very few real estate business profiles who listed their business in Google My Business.

Setting up a Google My Business account gives you the advantage over the real estate agents who don’t. If your Real estate business is listed in Google My Business, Google populates the entire search results pages with information about your company including office hours, reviews, address popular times and images. All of this information is completely editable within Google My Business portal. Not only this, you will also appear in Map search when buyers, sellers search for businesses like yours.  

[bctt tweet="Brokerage’s website appear but realtor's own
 website doesn’t come on top."]

Sometimes clients’ ask that when somebody searches his name in Google, his or her brokerage’s website appear but their own website doesn’t come on top. The popular brokerages always take advantage of this thing. Well! It doesn’t mean that your business cannot be top listed. It takes time to build momentum.

A quick win to build that momentum to drive traffic to your website: Create a Google My Business Account. Every agent wants a real estate website for the purpose to drive more visitors and generate more buyer-seller leads. With Google My Business your real estate business will appear in Google’s Local Results.

I have seen in our clients’ case who build their Google My Business listing and their website start appearing on top without their brokerage information. And the other thing I observed that you don’t have to add realtor word with their name search through sometimes names are common. So another goody! See the below picture.

See another example of a real estate agent whose business is not listed in Google My Business account. The information populates is quite irrelevant to his profile. His website doesn’t even appear on the first page.

 

Even if you don’t rank organically for keywords like real estate agents, you will guarantee the appearance on the first page with Google My Business. Not only that you will also appear in Google Search and Maps when someone searches for businesses like yours.

Setting up your Google My Business

It doesn’t take much time to set up Google My Business account. Google provides some easy steps to make your business live . You need to fill the basic information such as name, address, phone number and finally, it asks you to verify your business. You can verify your business by phone or by snail mail. It takes almost 10 days to receive mail from Google. Once that part is done, you can edit your business and add the necessary information.

What is necessary for you as a real estate agent to boost your visibility?

Photos

Don’t ignore the importance of your picture and your office picture. Try to use the same picture that you use a website, social media places to be consistent. Add an exterior picture of your office.  This will help potential clients find your location. Always choose your picture as a cover photo instead of your logo or office picture. Real estate always works by agent’s picture. It is easier for the buyer and sellers to identify you in person.

Reviews

Reviews really matter! Start capitalizing it and ask your past clients to fairly review your business. You will not get until you ask. The click-through-rate increases by 10 folds for Google paid ads.

In the results above, the company without reviews is the least eye-catching and has few chances to get clicked in comparison to other links with 4+ reviews. Those stars really make you a star!

Monthly Google Report

This is my favorite part when at the end of each month, Google sends you an email outlining your business performance. You will see how many times you appeared in search results, how many people visited your website through your Google My Business interface and how many people clicked to call your business. Based on this data you can improve your listing results.

Now you know that listing a business in Google My Business is free and takes a few minutes to set up, there should not be any other reason to stop you from setting up. If you are looking for some guidance, please comment below what you feel about this article and we will help you setup your free Google My Business.

Real Estate WordPress Website

Real Estate WordPress Website

WordPress is by far the most popular content management system and powers 31% (new percentage update) of the internet. WordPress is an open source software which can be used to create a beautiful functional website, blog or app.

 Somehow the real estate industry remained distant from WordPress. Real estate involves some data pulling of properties from various boards and their regular update which should be aligned with boards in order to show the current status of properties.

[bctt tweet=”Somehow the real estate industry remained distant from WordPress.”]

Additionally, MLS/IDX integration has its own limitations. You can find hundreds of real estate WordPress themes to build a real estate website. But when it comes to showing MLS listings, things get complicated. There are various IDX plugins that can be used at some monthly fee.  

Again, you need to upgrade the plugin on a regular basis whenever a new version is released otherwise compatibility issues arise and your site might not perform well. Also by not doing so, you will be limiting your website of additional valuable features that can bring more real estate leads.

Our real estate websites are WordPress based with MLS/IDX and VOW integration. You don’t need to worry about upgrading to new WordPress version and IDX plugin upgrade. It gets automatically updated whenever a new version of WordPress is released.

A Real Estate WordPress website offers you huge benefits.

Automatic Update to New Version:

Remember how the websites look like 8 years ago? With the introduction of the iPhone, iPad, tablet, Surface and a lot of devices with varying screen sizes, websites performance got compromised.

 

Internet users can open your real estate website on any device and you need to make sure it is responsive so that it adjusts with every screen size.  

WordPress platform is regularly updated with new features and superior enhancements. That doesn’t mean that you have to manually update your website to a new version. WordPress allows to automatically set to new updates. As I said earlier,  all of our websites are set to automatic update so you don’t have to worry.

For real estate websites which are not in WordPress, you have to rely on your web developer to update it. Otherwise, you won’t realize that your website is running with the old version that means losing online real estate leads.

World Class CMS:

WordPress provides you the world-class content management system to add pages, update existing pages, add videos, add clients’ testimonials without touching the code.

I have seen most people are familiar with WordPress backend so they don’t have to learn tutorials for managing website. Even for someone who is not familiar with the WordPress backend, it is very easy to learn and we take care of that part.

You will also find tons of tutorials and youtube videos for running a successful WordPress website.  

Search Engines Love WordPress Sites:

The code behind WordPress is very clean and simple, making it easy for search engines to read and index a site’s content.

In addition, each page, post, and image can have its own meta tag keywords, description, and title, and be optimized for specific keywords, allowing for very precise search engine optimization.  

You can also use tags to further enhance your search engine optimization efforts. Do you know that Google prefers WordPress website having other factors in place? Oh Yes! That is true.

SEO:

We all want our website to perform well in search engines. This is where the site generates traffic and create real estate leads. WordPress is the only platform that provides you with thousands of plugins to increase the performance of your website.

 

Yoast is the best WordPress SEO plugin.  Your real estate website comes with already installed Yoast plugin. With this, you get a health check of every single page of your website. A lot more can be written on SEO and WordPress syndication. I will be writing a separate article in coming days.

WordPress Community:

WordPress community consists of thousands of developers and volunteers around the world that update the platform regularly so your website is never outdated.

[bctt tweet=”Real estate  without a doubt is an international business.”]

Real estate  without a doubt is an international business. The WordPress framework can be fully localized and be translation ready whether you are targeting Chinese audience, Arabic community or any particular community in the world as well as local.

Extend the Functionality:

Whether you want to add live chat, event calendar, video gallery, Auto Response,  portfolio filter or any other special functionality to make your website more functional, you will find the endless plugin to add in your WordPress real estate website.

There a lot of free as well as paid plugins to install and activate. This helps you minimize the cost of your website because adding more features in real estate website which is not made of WordPress always involves additional cost.

No HTML Editing or FTP Software Required:

WordPress is a self-contained system and does not require HTML editing software (such as Adobe Contribute or Dreamweaver).

You can create a new page or blog post, format text, upload images (and edit them), upload documents, video files, image galleries, etc. all without the need for additional HTML or FTP software.

The design is 100% Customizable:

WordPress acts as the engine for your real estate website. The look and feel of the site can be 100% customized so your brand can shine through and provide a unique experience to your visitors.

Also, you don’t need to wait for your tech guy to make simple updates to your site. With WordPress, you have control of nearly every aspect of your site and can easily make those simple updates yourself.

Built-in and Ready to Go Blog:

WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform. Blogging capabilities are built-in and are easy to integrate. Setting up RSS feed, email subscriptions to your blog, comment posting are easy to set up.

You can automatically display the most recent blog posts to other pages of the site ( home page, for example) are also very simple to set-up, and help to extend your company’s reach and make your site more dynamic and interactive.

Your Site Can Grow as Your Business Grows:

WordPress sites are very scalable. You can have hundreds of thousands of pages or blog posts on your site and the performance of the site will not be compromised in the least.

Add more team members:

You started your real estate business and now are adding more people on board to grow your business. WordPress allows you to add as many real estate agents and their portfolio as you want on your website and add their portfolio.

There is no extra cost of adding more team members to your WordPress website.

Add Exclusive Listings:

Do you want to add your exclusive listings which are not in MLS? Our real estate WordPress websites provide you that flexibility to showcase your exclusive listings. You can also limit these listings to your registered users if you don’t want to make them public.

Have Multiple Users:

As an administrator of a WordPress site, you can set-up multiple users if you have a large team and assign access levels and tasks to each user.  

Did I miss any point or do you know any better platform for a real estate website? Let me know in the comments below.

Leads From Website

Leads From Website

Why Real Estate Websites don’t generate leads?
Leads, leads, leads…The most asked questions with my interaction to agents.

Every single agent I talked to so far, asked me one question, “I have a website for 5 years but I didn’t get even a single customer from it so far. It set me thinking that if a website doesn’t give any business then why should we have it? Just for sake of having it because every business needs in today’s tech-driven world can be true at some extent but I think this rule doesn’t fit to all.

To find out the reason why real estate websites don’t generate business I went through all the agents’ websites who asked me this question time and again. While viewing these websites, I found following noisy concerns which is why the websites were not generating leads.

  1. No Personal Touch: The first main concern I saw in websites was lack of personal approach. I went through almost 260 websites and I saw almost same layout with just some different colors (gaudy color choice), agent’s picture and his contact. I have seen this that mostly agents websites made by companies who ask them to choose a template with some set up and monthly fee. If they go for customized website, of course that costs more but still I saw almost same design throughout. A business should have a unique approach to its visitors in order to generate leads. Every agent has some speciality the only need is to find that and apply the same in his business. Your website is an entrance door to your business office for online community so it should be appealing.
  2. No Local Expertise: Another thing that I saw in websites is the general approach to audience. Real estate websites goes with same formula of home search tool, lead generating forms and contact information. Agents have local expertise but their specialty doesn’t reflect from their websites. No matter what, if they focus to their niche market, there are no chances that they can’t grab business from their website.
  3. Old Bogus Search Tools: Though a lot of websites are turned into mobile friendly websites and optimized as per screen size but search is still the old way. It doesn’t engage to the user if he wants to search a property. Though websites are filled with all the search tools such as neighbourhood, 360 view, property details, picture slider etc. I observed websites are all monotonous, with broken links at some places and other. Somewhere, I saw the links are going to demo sites. Quite weird!
  4. Lack of Social Media Interaction: We all shout about social media and spend some time at facebook everyday to greet friends. Real estate websites are linked to social media pages but posts at their corresponding social sites are not appropriate to the business. May be the agents don’t know how to link their social feeds to their website or maybe they are not taught or assisted how to do that, their social media pages are not subjected to their business.
  5. Lack of blog posts for listings: Having only a website is not going to work if the supporting elements are missing. A real estate business needs every shout to reach the target audience. Agents meet many people in a day but they don’t share their views and listings online. Having a dedicated blog can work wonders for building the niche market. Many agents`online appearance lacks this tool.

There are many good website out there and there are many other issues to talk about while going through the individual websites. Online presence needs time and perseverance.

If you have something that can enhance an agent’s exposure to online community, let us know and we would be adding in there.

How To Create Engaging Content For Your Real Estate Blog

How To Create Engaging Content For Your Real Estate Blog

If you’re searching for a steady source of great content for your real estate website, you may be overlooking your greatest asset: Your Listings. People never tire of looking at stunning home decor pictures and descriptions of dream homes. It’s a huge opportunity for creating engaging content for your real estate blog  that people will actually find useful.

The challenge, of course, is how to turn your raw listings into bite grasping and engaging posts. Most agents think just of their latest listings while creating the post. Buyers and sellers want posts that are curetted into bite-sized bits and tailored to their personal interests.

  1. Catchy Headings: The headline you give to your post is the first impression of your post. If this clicks to your clients eyes, they will definitely go through your post. Give some nice and attractive heading to your post. A good idea is to highlight home characteristic with geographic location; e.g. Torontos Most Expensive Homes or the Highest Rated Condos in Toronto.

Keep reading to learn exactly how to create awesome real estate blog posts, including 17 titles you can steal – umm, borrow (since I didn’t invent this). Happy marketing!

  • 10 Provincetown Fixer-Uppers on the Market Right Now
  • The Sweetest Cottages in Bar Harbor
  • The Hottest Rentals in Chicago
  • The Biggest Back Yards in Cambridge
  • The Best Roofdecks in Manhattan
  • 10 Tahoe Waterfront Properties under $500K
  • San Diego’s Least Expensive Beachfront Listings
  • 12 North Beach Flips on the Market Right Now
  • Most Expensive Apartments on the Market in Phoenix
  • 10 Smallest Homes in Columbus on the Market Today
  • Boston’s Priciest Condos
  • 15 Most Beautiful Pools in Austin
  • Biggest Garages in Boise
  • Largest Houses in San Francisco
  • The Best Ocean Views in Maine
  • Homes with the Largest Docks in Biscayne
  • The Most Historic Houses in Atlanta
  1. High resolution pictures to WOW!

This is where you need to concentrate the most while writing your real estate blog post. When searching your MLS for listings to use, choose only the best and biggest property photos, ditching any image that seems too small, cut off, blurry, drab, or otherwise unflattering. After all, if it doesn’t inspire you, how much do you think it will inspire a potential buyer?

“Articles with images get 94% more total views.”

  1. Your write up must target consumer niche: Content is still king when it comes to Google ranking and this is not just a point for you to write a nice content but it should focus your listings and clients you want them. A good useful content improves Google ranking of your site. The main goal is to engage your ideal market segments and potential clients.

Now that we’ve outlined what your post needs, here are some step-by-step instructions for creating it.

Sample Article with Step By Step Instructions

Step 1: Add Post Title, Description, and Call to Action (CTA). Click on the picture below.

Step 2: Hyperlink Address and Image to Your Website. Click on the picture below.

Step 3: Add Final CTA at End of Post. Click on the picture below.

 

Online Marketing Stats

Online Marketing Stats

WEB STRATEGY: A web strategy is a strategic web direction for a business. It outlines the most advantageous positioning for the company on the web, the experience it should create for its customers, the brand image it should project, the way it should engage the prospect and existing clients, partners, and suppliers, the way it should convert traffic to sales -Wikipedia A web strategy is a clear plan and system to harness online users in order to drive ROI SEARCH MARKET SHARE Ranking of  Search Engine Searches 1 google.com 61.71% 2 search.yahoo.com 16.26% 3 bing.com 15.06% 4 ask.com 3.93% 5. Yahoo! 6. AOL  aol.com 2.50% RELEVANT STATS Worldwide Web Usage 2 billion users online Google alone has 88 billion searches per month 34,000 searches per second Web Usage 272 Million users online, 78% of the U.S. population In March 2011, Google had 40 billion page views in the US Search Usage 83% of real estate inquiries begin online 61% of all North America searchers choose Google as their preferred search engine Organic search results receive over 75% of all clicks 91% of users do not look past the first page of search results NOW WHAT? How do you strategize online? MAKING IT WORK TOGETHER Website Objectives? Who is your audience? What are your competitors doing? What are the traffic sources? How do you maximize content? Metrics: How do you measure success? SEO IS ABOUT TWO THINGS Keywords Keywords match a search query to a webpage Links Determine which webpage rank highest THE SEO PROCESS Keyword Research Find the right keywords to optimize for on page Implement those keywords on the website Optimization Make the website search engine-friendly  Link Building Build links to the website to increase authority RELEVANT CONTENT Listings Curated Information Video Images Resources LEVERAGE AVAILABLE TOOLS Syndication for Leads Craigslist for Leads, Listings & Buyers Property Landing Pages for Lead Capture
Launch Real Estate Online Marketing

Launch Real Estate Online Marketing

Developing an online presence — in other words, a core foundation for your online real estate marketing. To launch your real estate online marketing – goes through steps in your overall marketing plan. Once your website is launched, it’s on you to kick your digital virtual promotion online: That means forming an email marketing blueprint, developing a social media footprint, and diving into the world of advertising (both online and offline). Together, all of these tactics build a multi-channel marketing strategy that allows you to effectively reach, inform, and nurture your audience and — in time — convert them into new business.

This kind of brand promotion entails the utilization of several online portals and techniques to enhance your reach to a targeted  audience. In the case of real estate agents, that means implementing a marketing strategy that incorporates the base infrastructure of one’s online presence — the almighty agent website — and then building on this foundation once it’s optimized accordingly (e.g. numerous landing pages that offer resources and brand information are built out, several blog posts have been published, and listings are frequently updated to each page).

Once you have built a big chunk of your site with plenty of relevant content, local market details and your industry expertise, you can start the next level of marketing strategy to be a part of the virtual world.

I have highlighted some fields which need to be addressed in order to successfully build your online presence. 

  • Starting an organized lead management method.
  • Building out an email marketing plan
  • Expanding your reach through targeted advertising (e.g. pay per click ads via Google AdWords, targeted real estate mailers)
  • Broadening awareness of your brand on social media (organic and paid publication, and regular engagement with your audience)

There are, of course, a number of other marketing tactics you can employ to generate and nurture your leads — for example, guest posting on local publications and blogs and leveraging public relations. Having a proper online marketing strategy can smooth out the real estate marketing.

After all, this is done, you need to measure how effectively your marketing is working.

Check your Google Analytics account to track website traffic, user sessions, and time on page.

Use the analytics platform to also see who’s clicking through to your real estate website in your emails and social media shares

Your real estate CRM; lead management tool allows you to see lead activity and employ nurturing tactics

After you get all of your activities up and running, you’ll slowly but surely be able to master the marketing techniques that will launch your real estate marketing to the next level.

Pin It on Pinterest