When it comes to online marketing, many real estate agents know the basics, but even seasoned agents have a hard time communicating with their target audience. Online marketing strategies change year after year and it’s so hard to keep up. This is the reason why mastering the marketing basics is crucial for you to succeed online. Here are 5 common “don’ts” that you should keep in check:
Mistake #1 Choosing style over substance when it comes to your website design
There is really no reason to choose style over substance when you can have both! Having an attractive homepage captivates first time visitors but content and functionality draws them in.
The goal should always be to keep your visitors interested and the quality of your site content will be a major factor. Showcase your Community pages and make sure that they are reader-friendly, accurate and comprehensive. Use statistics and graphs to help clarify complicated information easily for your users for things like:
- Month-by-month price fluctuations
- Neighborhood home price comparisons
- Local versus national average home prices
- Annual home price statistics
- Stats about the homes you’ve sold in the past year or quarter
- Mortgage rates
On your neighborhood pages, include information like:
- Local Attractions
- Neighborhood Photos and Video Tours
- Area Statistics
- School Rankings
Mistake #2 Your website and content looks like everyone else’s
Many homebuyers start their online home search looking at sites with MLS listings in their area.
- The first page of Google is most often occupied by huge national brands like Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com plus the main sites of other franchise companies like Remax, Century21, Sotheby’s, etc. How will your own agent website compete with these older and more authoritative sites?
- The best way to set yourself apart in your local market is by being different than everybody else. Translation: establish yourself as THE local real estate expert in your area or city.
- Not every agent in your area is as up-to-date as you are. Why not stand out even more with a killer website that is the go-to place for local real estate information?
- That starts with finding out what your competitors are writing about and then finding subject areas that have been unexplored and writing about that.
- When presenting local market information, use only solid statistics from reputable sources to support your content.
- Create community information that doesn’t sound boring and templated. Incorporate neighborhood video tours, property videos, downloadable checklists, buyer guides and more.
- Add a personal touch to your website — add your team photos, showcase your testimonials, awards and affiliations, events, company news, and even the charity orgs that you support.
Mistake #3 Posting Once in a Blue Moon
The easiest way to lose readers and recurring visitors to your site is to keep the same old posts and information up month after month.
- You cannot post once in a blue moon on your website and expect to keep a strong following. Consistency is key. Make it a habit to have a new blog post or article at least once a week so that your subscribers and followers won’t forget or unfollow you.
Mistake #4 Demanding Instead of Directing
A CTA or a Call-to-Action is one of the most important things when it comes to lead generation.
- Your goal should be to direct your audience to do something instead of demanding that they do something. People are so used to seeing call-to-action buttons like “Call Now” or “Read More” that they are becoming desensitized to these things.
- To come up with a more effective CTA form or button, anticipating your visitors’ next step by saying things like “Send me more awesome posts like this one” at the end of a popular blog post instead of a plain “Subscribe Here”.
- Or at the end of a featured listings page, “Let Me See All Available Homes” instead of the usual “Contact For Info”
Once you get visitors to sign up or subscribe, you have to make sure that you are giving them something of value. For example, if they’ve subscribed to newsletters or alerts on saved searches, include useful content in those e-mails like:
- Neighborhood Videos
- Exclusive Market Information
- Links to Informative Blog Posts
- Expert Advice
Mistake #5 Making your website forgettable
Online marketing is a popularity contest – the same goes for search engine rankings, social media, etc. Your goal is to create a memorable site that people will want to return to and even share it to their friends who are also looking to buy or list a house. How will you accomplish this?
- Create unique, quality information that you know that your users will like. Be the one-stop destination for real estate information in your niche area.
- Make searching for a home an easy and beautiful experience for homebuyers. If you have IDX feature on your site, make sure that the basic and advanced search fields are easy to use. People hate filling out long forms when making a home search. Create pre-saved hotsheets for popular neighborhoods in your area.
- Use high-res photos for your featured listings, and professional looking videos for your property tours.
- Take the time to craft your listing titles, headlines and descriptions.
- Make sure your contact information is displayed on every page, preferably the header part or sidebar navigation of your website. You want people remembering what you look like so make sure a professional looking photo of yourself should be displayed there.
- Create a beautiful blog section that people would actually want to read and subscribe to. Make sure your blog posts are accompanied by photos, graphics, etc to make it more reader friendly and attractive.
- Add social media sharing buttons on your blog posts.
- Make it easy for people to follow you on social media – are you sure that you have these clickable icons on your homepage?
- Make it easy for users to interact with your website. This means creating sections for:
- Soliciting feedback – Contact forms, Testimonial forms
- Allow for commenting on blog posts, as well as one click social media sharing
- CTA on different pages and Subscribe buttons that look engaging
- Prominent contact information or tab