Real Estate Agent SEO. Can it exist? The short answer is yes, but the real question is should you? Real Estate agents and Mortgage Brokers are a very unique market. When it comes to Real Estate Agent SEO otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization the challenges are very different for Real Estate Agents. Why you ask.
Search Engine Optimization is about getting your web page or your name to show up first. One of the foundation blocks that all of the search engines use is physical location. Customers want to know you are real, and so does Google, Yahoo and Bing as well as the rest of the smaller search engines.
For a business like a bakery, where there is only one website for the address, building that foundation block for SEO is very easy. We have a service that automatically updates over 40 directories every month. Those directories are “trusted” by the search engines and help to solidify the foundation that the search engines look at first. Real Estate agents can share an office with more than a hundred other agents.
An agent not only has to stand out among other agents, they have to stand out at their own physical address. Normally the broker or owner of the mortgage company has the physical address locked up. So what is an agent to do? The answer is build a “raised foundation”. Just like a house is built on either a slab or a raised foundation, internet search results are too. The trick is to make sure your pillars are deep enough to hold up your entire SEO house. This is what makes Real Estate Agent SEO very different.
When you are competing not only in your market but in your own office, real estate agents have other challenges. Super agents buy those fancy ads in the local luxury magazines, some buy bus stop ads, others have their face on grocery carts. Does any of this work or help with SEO for Real Estate agents?
The answer is yes and no. All those bus stops and shopping carts might get you a few more clicks but most of our data indicates that you don’t get enough to make a difference. The fancy magazines usually have great websites, and that helps Real Estate agent SEO, but is a very expensive way to do it. Shopping carts, bus stop benches and golf course signs are ok for branding, but not so much for marketing. What is the difference you ask. The human mind needs about 16 impressions before it recalls a name, face or event. That is branding.
Marketing on the other hand is the first step in the sales process. Marketing is the science (or VooDoo if you don’t believe in the science of the mind) that connects a business to a potential customer. You don’t put your face in front of people a hundred times. Instead you put a solution to a problem they have just realized they have at the right time. Then you stay connected to them until they purchase a solution.
I’ll use solar as an example since I just added solar to my home. When I started searching for solar systems, several websites appeared in the search. SEO took care of step one for those companies. Then I filled out a request form for five different companies. Four of the five started the sales and marketing process by calling me back or emailing a followup. Two of them put me on an automatic mailing list that sent me specials and updates and asked me how the process was going as if a person was sending the email to me.
For those of you that think online marketing can’t be automated, you are kidding yourselves. The problem that 70% of your clients have is exactly the same. You can ask the same questions every time and make it look very personal. And no you don’t need to be at the top spot in search on google to make this work. In fact if you do it right, the marketing process will land you on the top spot.
After I narrowed my solar search down to the final two (guess who), I added in one big gun for comparison. With three proposals in my hand, I had two of them come to my home and I made the final decision.
Real Estate works much the same way. It doesn’t matter if you are are mortgage broker or real estate agent, the clients need to either buy, sell or get a loan to buy. There isn’t really a lot more going on there. For mortgage brokers there is the occasional re-finance, and that is a truly automated process if it is set up right.
NAR data suggests that real estate agents can automate their process as well. If you know that the average homeowner moves every 3-5 years, why not create an automated process to say “Happy Birthday”, or “Happy Anniversary” and then after three years start offering listing services? NAR data also says that 70% of listings go to the “next agent” the seller talks to! Are you kidding me? That says that 70% of the real estate business is up for grabs!
Mailing out hundreds of generic postcards and plastering your face all over town might land you a few of those sellers. The harsh reality is that unless you are a super agent and everyone knows your name, you probably won’t get the listing. When you “hope” that one of those 70% sellers see’s your name next you are “hope” marketing. Truly successful agents and brokers never hope market, they target market. Real Estate Agent SEO sets you up to succeed in target marketing and target marketing improves the success a Real Estate agent has with SEO. One helps the other.
Target marketing will also help you build the foundation of Real Estate Agent SEO. These days, Video is one of the top ways to sell, and I don’t mean doing 3d walk throughs of your listings. Yes you need listing photos and video, but if you want to be on top of search for your area, you need a video of you and your farm. What makes you the local real estate expert? the best lender? Put it on video.
So the secret to Real Estate Agent SEO is easy.
1. Get your name in all of the directories at your address before your office mates do. We do that cheap, you can do that yourself for free but it takes a lot of time to get it right. Click here to learn more
2. Create videos that set you up as the local expert in your area.
3. Buy targeted ads and leave the bus stops to the old school agents and the agents who don’t know better.