You may have just stepped on board with a new brokerage and wonder if you'll ever catch up to the big dogs that have had their hat in the ring for years.
Is there any hope for you online when others in your area have been blogging, spamming social media, and getting their name out there years longer than you have? When you are concerned about whether or not you have a chance consider your foundation first. If you haven't signed onto any brokerage yet consider joining forces with a company that already has a heavy online or media presence.
Some of these companies can charge hundreds in desk fees or Realtor fees so make sure you weigh the costs effectively. But when you first start out in real estate you will still want to establish yourself as your own individual but lean on the experience and foundation of a larger corporation to get you started. It's probably not the wisest idea to start out your real estate career in your own brokerage that no one has ever heard of. You want to get your feet wet with a reputable company and then branch out.
Creating Your Website:
You should have your own established website if you plan on attracting online customers. Most people start their home searches online now and not having a search feature and a personal website can really harm your online presence. You will want something that is personal to you but not necessarily your name. You want something that is area specific for SEO purposes but not narrowing your domain to your brokerage should you ever move. Having a site such as RealEstateofBozemanMT.com is a great site name because it tells the search engines and people alike that your site is all about Bozeman real estate.
This works well for search engines because they can detect what your site is about beforehand and it also can be moved from one brokerage to another if need be. The only time this would not work is if you are moving your profession to another town or state.
Your website should have at least a basic search feature on it to allow folks to find the home they need and then a contact feature to let you know they are interested. If at all possible this search should be framed into your site or actually included in your site. You don't want people or search engines leaving your site if possible and you want to make sure they can contact you personally for more information on the property.
Your site must be clear for any level of internet user. Some IDX solutions offer a client lead system to allow a log in for searching. This can bring you more leads but the idea is split between people. It may help, but it may turn some folks off. It's a personal choice I think. You may choose to have the search feature go to your brokerage site such as click here to search for "YOUR CITY Homes" but then again, make sure the contact form goes to you personally.
Keeping it Social:
If you plan on having any type of social presence you will need to set up a twitter and/or a facebook page. This is probably the bear minimum you should do. A facebook business page can be set up and maintained from your personal account and then you will want to attract others to this page. Don't expect to create a page and just let it sit there and the people will come. It won't happen. You have to give people a reason to come and access to it. A couple of the best ways to do this is to create links and icons on your website to direct people there. If people want to know the updated listings in their area such as the newest Whidbey Island Rentals, then direct people to your facebook page by saying "To get the latest on all Whidbey Rentals "like" our facebook page here".
Same with a twitter account. People may want to stay on top of a listing and the best way to get them involved is to make sure you have something they want. There are dozens of social media sites but when you first start out, stick to the ones most people know and use.
Linkedin is a good one for detailed information about you and your professional history. It's a great way to a client to learn more about you and will show up when someone Google's your name. (More and more people are doing this so jump on the band wagon and make sure your information is accurate).
Blog Blog Blog:
It's true now that more and more businesses and personal companies are blogging to stay with the fresh and new revolving content that Google loves. If you set up your website and then don't do a thing with it ever again, it will slowly seep into the internet abyss and may never be found. If you are trying to compete with the big shots that have been dominating the search engines for years, you will need to go with a blogging website such as a real estate WordPress site or blog off site directing folks to your static website. If you have no idea how to even begin to blog, start off on a real estate blogging website such as ActiveRain.
Read other blogs from real estate agents just like you from all over the country. Get ideas and information and be inspired. Many times just getting your name out there with a couple newbie blogs can really get the ball rolling. When you blog, make sure you mention your website and your area of service several times. If you are talking about homes in Irvine California you will want to mention that several times in the blog. About once every 100 words or so. This will drive home the importance of that keyword to your reader and to the search engines.
But if your market is already saturated with websites all promoting the same thing, you may need to get more specific in your keyword usage. This means, link or bold large phrases with the keywords included in them so that your page comes up on the search engines for that phrase. It would be something more on the lines of: "Investing in real estate in Olympia Washington". This is a pretty specific search phrase and one you may not think would be searched for very often. While this may be the case, keep in mind that those that are searching for this should be a pretty prime target for a lead. It's those you want. Not the thousands of lazy searches but the one or two solid leads and this is where you can soar above your competition.
Another tip to use is to offer homes in a particular development or community that might be more geo-targeted. Even if you don't personal have any homes listed there yet, you can certainly advertise them. Remember, you may not advertise a specific listing from another agent without their permission, but you can advertise homes in that general area such as "Homes and Estates in Medina Washington" This will come up on the search engines IF there is good content and a good direction to this page. This is where you can shine. Once you have these three factors set in place, don't leave them to rot on the vine. You must nurture these online avenues to see results.
Don't get frustrated when you do all the above and a week later there is still no one commenting, no one calling and no one following. It will take time but the more you put out interesting information and connect with people the better results you will have. If you want to start out in a brokerage you will need to do the following much more aggressively since people won't know or trust you right off the bat. Pretty soon you will be rising to the first page on search engines. But it only comes with massive and continuous exposure.
These are just some very basic start up suggestions for new real estate agents. For more information please visit PersonalSEO.com or call for a consultation.