Internet technology and marketing

June 16, 2011

Technology and REALTORS

Filed under: facebook, QR, real estate, social media, twitter — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 11:23 pm

Approximately one half of NAR members said they used social media sites last year.  In 2009, only one third did. Further, in 2010 89% of buyers used the Internet to search for homes versus 45% visiting open houses and 36% used print ads.  The Internet is being used by real estate professionals.

The most often mentioned social media tool is the blog.  One successful real estate professional said his approach has been to focus on the town where he lived and farmed.  He was soon obtaining 300 page views per day.  On occasion he had 8,000 page views.  His first lead came almost a year later. One buyer that used this realtor said that it was the content of the blog that appealed to him. 

Real estate professionals said they optimize their websites and blogs for simple keyword phrases – like “Seal Beach real estate”.   

Other social media sites that are widely used are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (so far, no surprises), and Criagslist.  Google AdWords is used. Real estate portals are favored, too – Trulia, Zillow, and Redfin.

What other technologies are available to real estate professionals?  Quick response (QR) codes on “for sale” signs.  Individual websites for listed properties.  With the objective being to broaden the number of possible buyers, the Internet makes sense.

What have you used?

Here are some of our observations.  Social media is an effective tool.  We favor Facebook as the tool that most users are using today.  FB will provide a blog like forum by using a “like” page.  Use this to expand your reach.  Give visitors a reason to return.  Remember that the “like” page is a business page and is expected to be that by visitors.  If you want to discuss movies, restaurants, etc, then use the “friends” pages. 

As far as how rapidly you will get results, be patient.  There is the negative real estate market to deal with and that buyers need time to get comfortable with you.  They will link to your website for more capabilities – property searches. 

Be sure to provide links to Facebook and other social media sites from your website.

July 9, 2010

Internet marketing for REALTORS

This is the first of two articles directed toward REALTORS.  Here are some general thoughts about Internet marketing of your website.

FOCUS.  You need a focused niche in real estate and then direct your market message to support that niche. Buyers and sellers are not interested in a REALTOR that they perceive as a generalist.  They want to work with people experienced in the niche that they fit. Consumers may not understand what niche they’re in, but they want their REALTOR to be there.

For example, a REALTOR can work with first time buyers or seniors.  A REALTOR can focus on specific cities, tracts, or neighborhoods.

STRATEGY.  Three primary elements an overall Web strategy includes:

-A branded IDX solution that includes mechanisms to to capture leads. Many of the IDX applications offered by MLSs are sophisticated solutions that include means for lead capture.
-A means to follow-up with leads to get engaged in their home search process. This can range from run-of-the-mill DRIP campaigns to packaging information for consumers drawn from multiple sources. 
-A connection between your offline marketing to your Internet marketing so there is synergy between the two.

ADD CONTENT. Google and other search engines like new content.  An easy way to do this is to add new pages with the new content.  Create some form of a blog in your site which increases the content on your site.

These factors will help increase the website’s visibility and appeal to search engines.  They will also help grab attention and increase the likelihood of consumers returning to your website.

More to follow. Stay tuned.

June 26, 2010

Leads – what is acceptable?

We mentioned in a previous post that websites show a wide range of results in lead generation.  Many REALTORS are converting about 1% to 2% of their visitors to  leads.  Other industries are getting approximately 8% to 10%. 

One report from a major website development company said that a successful website would generate these statistics:

– about 2 visitors per day or 60 visitors per month

– about 3 leads generated monthly or about 5% visitor to lead conversions.

Many REALTORS may not be producing the results that they should.

How should website owners measure their leads?  Our measurements are primarily based on leads that come from submitting online forms.  In addition, other contacts are also leads – for example, email and telephone calls.  All of this should be considered.

More in our next post.

January 7, 2010

Using IDX

Filed under: real estate, website content — Tags: , — webcubic @ 3:45 pm

IDX is one of the services that most MLSs provide for their members so that member websites can display property information.  It is a “no brainer” that this function should be used by every realtor for their website.

Depending upon the MLS, IDX may provide some good lead capture mechanisms. We suggest the following:

– there should be a way to capture the visitor’s basic contact information.  The issue is when to do it.  If you do it at the beginning of a property search session, then the visitor will likely exit the website.  Some IDX applications provide options to do this either before they view a specific listing or after viewing listing details.

– while viewing a detail listing, invite the visitor to “schedule an appointment”, “receive an email showing the listing detail”, or “save the result” so they look at it later.  These calls to action will generate qualified leads.

– some IDX applications provide the capability to set up searches for specific cities, zip codes, communities, farm area, or neighborhoods. If your IDX application provides this capability, then you should set it up so for the popular searches for your visitors.

IDX is a required application or component for every real estate website.  But don’t stop there.  Take advantage of it so that it becomes a lead generation tool.

For a better understanding of how to implement IDX with a website that supports IDX, please contact WebCubic at www.webcubic.biz.

October 13, 2009

Content sources

Filed under: real estate, website content — Tags: , — webcubic @ 5:53 am

It is important for websites to have meaningful content.  This not only adds value for the visitor when he/she visits the website, but it also provides you, the website owner, to engage the visitor. 

One of the ways to add such content is to incorporate content based on good third party products.  For real estate professionals and their real estate websites, one recently available products comes from ZingDing (visit their website at www.zingding.com).

ZingDing uses photos, music, and special effects to assemble pleasing photo presentations.

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