Robert O’Shaughnessy, President of Digital Marketing – NewGround PR & Marketing
I’m typing these words as the airplane lifts off into the Phoenix dusk, bound for San Francisco. Today I had the privilege of speaking to Green Street Real Estate, inc., a unique group of realtors palpably eager to know and master all the online opportunities available in order to support their goal: sell more homes. Like so many, for this group, time is limited and tough decisions must be made: What do I really need to learn and, once learned, what do I really need to do?
The most common question from the group was: What to should I do right now? This blog post seeks to answer that. Like the talk, what follows is a recommendation for what to do first, after that, and after that (and after that…and after that…)
Do this first: establish a web presence. We talked about the importance of a web presence for properties and for agents, and we distinguished between website and web presence. Once upon a time, you built a site, people came to it, done. Now, you control some content, and the public controls some content. Whether you like it or not. So to those doing nothing to create a presence online, it’s clear: Your time has run out. Do it. Tools like wordpress, squarespace, various template libraries, and agencies like this one are all available to help.
Your website needs to prominently offer an opportunity for visitors to convert into leads. We spent a lot of time discussing lead follow up plans and collaborating on how to transition leads into appointments. This is the bread and butter of your business! So much can be said on this topic, but for now let’s just all agree that leads are good and that home-sellers should get and contact their leads. Give your potential customers what they want: a prominent and easy way to share contact info.
Got a website? Good for you! Now you need to establish a presence on the social media outlets you can reasonably commit to monitoring. “Reasonably commit to” because you need to make a plan, incorporate it into your routine, and stick to it. Try a post per week. Crucially, be there to engage whatever the public decides to say about you. And realize that just like a prospect driving past your property to check out the neighborhood, prospects are browsing the web shopping you to see if your values, like a neighborhood’s culture, are aligned.
You need to track everything, so you can know where you are – and are not – in getting website traffic and leads. We talked about tools available, the most common being Google Analytics. We walked through how to setup Google Analytics (contact us for help).
If you are reading this and so far can say “yep yep yep I have all this nailed,” to you I say: you’re amazing. Pat yourself on the back. Good for you!
Then comes email marketing. Service providers were recommended, spam laws reviewed, how-to’s shared. The team committed to segmenting the lead list, regularly contacting those interested, and understanding subject lines and call-to-action’s that work.
The talk concluded with marketing brainstorming. Search engines were discussed, with tips for getting on Google Maps shared. The portals – Trulia, Zillow, Realtor, Homes.com – were discussed and we learned from each other where good leads originate. And we talked about some buzz-worthy topics: retargeting, social marketing, content marketing.
It was a good day. It was a long day. And with the lights of San Francisco visible in the distance, this blog post would fail if it didn’t close by doing what everybody in the room knows to do: ask for the business. If you, dear reader, would like assistance with establishing and maintaining a web presence, let us know. We’ll help. Contact us today.