Improving Real Estate Marketing with 6 simple steps.
Are you a realtor or real estate professional looking for ways to improve your website traffic and conversion rates? This article aims at methods and best practices to improve overall quality of traffic to your site and ultimately capture more home buyers.
With the explosion of social media in past few years, more people are starting their home buying search by reaching out to friends and websites online. Recent studies show more than 75% of home purchases in 2011 were initiated by an online research.
The search for the next dream home normally starts with two phases. During the first phase of this research, many of these home buyers looked for statistics on recent home sales, price comparisons, mortgage rates, foreclosure rates and nearby schools. These searches often lead clients to well-established real estate websites that offer wealth of information. These sites are backed by teams of dedicated professionals that have access to several resources and constantly update their content.
As a home buyer, while online research starts with search for metrics, it enters a new phase once a desired neighborhood and price range has been picked. This new phase is by far the most difficult phase for savvy shoppers as they start looking for an agent that has qualifications to secure them the best deal in today's distressed market. While there are several websites focused on providing statistics on real estate market, there are only few places that are focused on second phase of online home buying (Finding the Realtor). As a realtor, what could you do to be found by these ready to make a move home buyers? Here are few of the proven techniques that help realtors rank better than competition:
1) Have a fresh looking, web2.0 website that is the center of all you online and offline marketing efforts:
Most Realtor Website Designs are created using duplicate templates that are several years behind today's standards. These sites often receive no real traffic and are only good for satisfying the empty space on your business card.
Start by replacing your 2005 looking website with a new design that targets today's shoppers.
2) Keep track of your ROI (Return on Investment):
Studies show 9 out of 10 realtors do not track the success of their marketing campaigns by tracking the end results. If you knew for every $500 spent, you closed one sale, then $500/lead would not sound expensive. On the other hand, $1/Lead when you close nothing after 10000 leads, becomes a very expensive campaign. Ask your real estate marketing provider to provide you with detail reports and statistics of your campaigns.
3) Invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
SEO requires extensive experience and understanding of each individual market. Don't settle for MAGIC! Not only it will not work long term, it will also have negative impact and possibly getting your website black listed by search engines.
4) Social Media:
Social media presence is not just having a Facebook page. You need to use these tools to engage home buyers even before they start their search. It is highly recommended to use an agency to maintain your professional look and brand in social media sites.
5) Keep your website informative:
Your website should be informative enough that you would use it yourself! Need a mortgage calculator? Put one on your site. Target those home buyers that are just starting their research. If your website is found during the first phase of home buying research, you are golden, because customers simply transition to second phase without having to start all over again.
6) Be patient, while hungry for results:
Many of your efforts will show results only after few weeks/months. But if your website hasn't produced any leads/sales then you have to reconsider your strategy, budget, service provider, etc.
These techniques are used by many savvy realtors. You should consider applying them to your own realtor website by analyzing the market you are in. If your website has not produced any sales in a year or two, consider shutting it down immediately and start all over again.