So, You Want To Be The BEST Local REALTOR ® At Marketing?
We have a list of questions that beg attention, but none so frequent than this! So many agents new and experienced come to us looking for an answer on how to be the BEST REALTOR ® at local real estate marketing. Oftentimes, it's not that it costs an arm and a leg to achieve legendary marketing status, but it definitely requires some input.
In this month's article, we're going to cover some of the pitfalls that agents can fall prey to as well as some shining examples of REALTORS® who are doing all the right things when it comes to local marketing.
Let's dive in!
I Want To Be On The First Page Of Google
For any given set of returned search results for a key term, you have ten spots available on the first (and any subsequent) page of Google. That does not include paid spots, which are paid AdWords found at the top of the page. However, this is not an article to explain paid vs organic search result traffic, but we will post more about that topic next month if you're following along.
There are ten organic results returned on the first page of Google. Ten. Not a big number when you break down how many other real estate agents in your local town are vying for the exact same results. That's why it's extremely important to pay attention to your competition and your local market sentiment when you're setting up your organic SEO strategy.
For example, let's imagine that you're a brand new REALTOR ® starting out. It seems reasonable to consider that you aren't going to magically appear at the top of the first page of Google under an ultra-competitive key term like; 'Real Estate in Kelowna'. At least not out of the gates. There are a few good reasons for this. None of which include your web development company doesn't know what they're doing.
Reasons that you won't find yourself there are mostly going to come down to time. Organic SEO takes time, patience, and consistency. They are three ingredients that require staying power. Having an SEO marketing company like EstateVue helps to execute this strategy and keeps you on course for great results. However, there is no substitute for tenure. So, let's look at how you can spend your newbie time to achieve a quicker return on results!
What Can I Do To Speed Up Time?
The short answer is the obvious answer. There is no substitute for time. However, how you spend your time in the interim can have a huge impact on your future ranking results. Following the advice below will help you immensely when the phone starts ringing and you suddenly find yourself in the reverse and short on time.
Investing time into the items below will have your site catching Google's eye sooner rather than later. It will also help you in the future to build everything from engaging neighbourhood guides to marketing proposals for developers.
Build A Library Of Local Real Estate Marketing Content:
It always fascinates me that a good chunk of the customers we have, do not have much in the way of content. This observation even includes our customers who have been in the industry for decades. Maybe they do have content, but they are very reluctant to turn it over because it's either incomplete, outdated, or incorrect.
It's always been my thought that as a REALTOR ®, your job is to know local real estate marketing. If you didn't then how could you possibly inform someone about the neighbourhoods in your community, past sales, market conditions, community amenities, schools, etc.? What I find is that most agents do know this information and they know it well, but they're either too pressed for time or too wrapped up in other tasks to do anything about it.
My advice is to dedicate even a half-day per week to your own marketing. You should be using this time to build a library of local content for your business. Start by doing the basics like writing about yourself and why you've chosen to take up selling real estate. Follow it up with some reasons that people would want to hire you. What makes you different? What makes you better? Everyone wants to hire someone better and everyone pays attention to what's different. You really need to accentuate your best attributes when you describe why people should choose you.
It's been said countless times, but differentiating yourself is key. Resist the urge to be the Jack of everything. There's a sea of you out there and most of you are drowning. Play outside the lines a little bit and get creative with your strategy.
Next, write with abandon about the neighbourhoods where you want to sell real estate. Do you want to sell waterfront real estate on lake Okanagan? Or do you want to help first-time buyers? Those are two very different demographics. One has made it and one is just starting out - how are you going to appeal to both? Spoiler alert - you won't, so focus on the messaging of your content. Make it speak directly to the demographic you want to attract as if they were a captive audience in person. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
What are things you should include in a neighbourhood write-up?
Average sale price and stats, such as who lives there. Young families or retired folks? Again, these are things people want to know that you know when they hire you. Your buyer is asking themselves; Are they recommending this neighbourhood because they have a listing here or do they truly know this would be a good fit for my lifestyle? That's why it's important to try and get into the headspace of the home buyer, and imagine what content they want to see in order to make an informed decision.
Make sure you also write about the feeling of the neighbourhood. People will want to know what amenities are nearby. Coffee, bars, pubs, restaurants, shopping - these are all important to real estate hunters. It's a great idea to also include indoor and outdoor recreation options as well as how walkable the neighbourhood is. Is public transportation available?
When it comes to flexing your local real estate prowess we recommend throwing in some Hidden Gem content. This is where you showcase your knowledge about something in the neighborhood that die-hard locals love and new residents should seek out. Perhaps it's a local hike but it could even be the best place for scrambled eggs in the city. These are the burning facts people live for!
Don't Give Up On Local Real Estate Marketing Even If You Can't Write
If you can't come up with cohesive paragraphs then a brainstorm of bullet points is a great place to begin. If you're working with a team of content developers they know the drill and can fill in the blanks. Do not give up because you can't get started. If you know the information, if it's in your brain, then it is critical to your business that it's conveyed.
Can't write? Get a tripod and hit record then! Video content is just as good if not better than written! Record a few practice runs on your phone's video camera and then get filming. Jot down five frequently asked questions and then use your bullet points to stay on topic and track. Congratulations, you've made an amazing start to building your content library.
Photos Are So Important
If you live in a city for any period of given time then chances are you have snapped some great photos once in a while. Please share them! Another, item that will surprisingly set you apart is the curation of a local photo gallery. Here's an eight-shot list you should try to build for each individual neighborhood:
- Most popular or main street
- Housing style example
- Recreational amenities such as hiking/biking infrastructure, parks, arenas, farms, etc.
- Shopping, dining, entertainment locations
- Grocery, gas
- A hidden gem (this can be a view, beach, hike, coffee shop, etc.!)
Do you use a professional photographer for your listing photos? Even better! Ask them to get the shots above each time they visit a new neighborhood. It won't cost you much more and it will majorly help in your quest to be the BEST REALTOR ® at local marketing!
Common Pitfalls For Agents
Here's a quick list of what we see as common barriers to becoming the BEST REALTOR ® at local real estate marketing:
- Wasting time. Instead, spend downtime building a library of local content, photos, and resources. If you don't have any customers yet, focus here, and good things will come!
- Complaining you aren't there fast enough. If you're investing your time diligently and working with the right people, then gradual improvements will be evident.
- SWOT. This one goes back to business school basics. Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. If you can't write, opt for video content. If you aren't comfortable doing either, then hire a professional. However, be prepared to provide information in the way of content and photos.
- Procrastinating. If you have all the great content, all the photos, all the drone flyovers, and all the testimonials then it's time to mobilize! Organize it as best you can and get that E-mail sent over to your web dev for implementation. There's nothing worse than great content that doesn't get to see the light of day! Send it along even if it's in small pieces. Something is better than nothing!
- Organization. A great marketer is organized. Use a digital calendar system like Google Calendar and schedule out your time. A little planning goes a long way. You're less likely to skip a task if it's scheduled in advance. Check the weather and plan for some weekly neighbourhood photo shoots to start building your local content library!
In summary, the agents who are willing to collaborate and who view their marketing team as an extension of their business, generally have more success overall. And, like everything in life, more organization, and planning ahead of time equates to greater success at the finish line.
Now let's check out some Real Estate Agents and Brokers who are making some great moves when it comes to knowing how to market locally!
Brooks Lancaster in Penticton is explaining what makes a house a home for sale in Penticton this month!
Neufeld Jones has published a great resource on their blog this month about schools near houses for sale in Kelowna! Check it out if you're moving!
The RE/MAX Vanderhoof office has provided a great list of secondary schools near houses for sale in Vanderhoof and the area. If you have older children then you won't want to miss this great resource!
If you're moving in or around Sherwood Park and you have school-aged children then you won't want to miss RE/MAX Elite's article this month about schools near Sherwood Park homes for sale.
Comox is gorgeous all year round which is why it's no surprise to find great Comox houses for sale near parks - check out the list of options brought to you by Royal LePage in the Comox Valley!
Josh Miko is featuring this popular real estate development in West Kelowna Condos for Sale
Preparing houses for sale in Kelowna for 2022 - read this updated list courtesy of Hilbert & Crick here!