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The secret to your success as a Realtor is simple: you have to make yourself stand out. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by developing a distinct online marketing strategy.
The red-hot BC housing boom is a siren song to throngs of would-be Realtors, lured by what they see as a lucrative career with low commitment and few barriers to entry. As a result, British Columbia is flooded with Realtors and the Internet is awash with real estate websites.
If you’ve ever looked at a Realtor’s website and had a sneaking suspicion that you’ve seen it before – it’s probably because you have. A staggering number of Realtors willingly choose to use the same boring headshot, cookie-cutter website templates, generic stock photos and canned copy-and-paste content lifted from major real estate agencies as everybody else.
Don’t be one of them. Instead, choose to stand out. Take steps toward creating a unique and effective digital marketing strategy that’s tailored to emphasize what makes your real estate business unique. Here’s how.
1. Polish your first impression
We tend to search for everything online these days, and looking for the perfect Realtor is no exception.
Your website is your modern-day business card, and making a polished impression can make or break you. Put the time and effort into designing a high-quality website, or hire someone to do it for you. Nothing communicates novice like an unpolished, unprofessional online presence. By investing in delivering the best, you can also give yourself an edge over many of your local competitors.
2. Have function – not just form
Did you know that the average attention span of human beings is now 8 seconds, shorter than a goldfish? That means that every time a page on your website displays improperly or fails to load, it costs you potential business. Optimize your site for web, handheld devices and for multiple browsers. You want it to function and load seamlessly, no matter what device your clients use to open it.
3. Create a consistent brand
Take the time to solidify a streamlined brand identity – across print, online and other media – that delivers a focused and cohesive impression. This is the foundation of building your reputation as an industry professional and earning the trust of your potential clients.
4. Be engaging
As long as you keep the conversations going, you’ll find engagement increases the size of your real estate business’ online footprint tremendously.
Stay highly responsive and approachable online. Many of the most successful Realtors consider themselves as always on-call, responding to their clients’ inquiries like lightning. Streamlining all of your social media, website contact forms, and email addresses to forward to your mobile can save you a ton of time and effort… and keep you in the game!
5. Stay in touch
Consider sending direct email marketing newsletters and articles of interest to your client base. They’re a proactive way to grow your subscriber base and stay connected with your existing clients.
As a real estate expert, clients will always turn to you for trusted advice on buying and selling. Offer your clients the opportunity to ask questions on social media and your blogs. Build your brand even further by sharing your industry expertise and producing high-quality content that is valuable to your core market: blogs, articles, insight and videos that appeal to their interests.
6. Use social media wisely
Social media can be a real estate agent’s secret weapon – provided you maximize its potential.
What’s #trending? Use social media to stay on the pulse and monitor what clients in your local demographic are searching for on Facebook and Twitter. Your potential clients are real-live people who spend their coffee breaks and lazy Sundays scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So connect with them there! Use social media as a tool for networking with other industry professionals, building relationships with your audience, aligning yourself with local causes you care about and getting involved with nonprofits and community initiatives that show you care.
Facebook is the modern marketplace of the masses, and it’s easily the most popular way to search for local Realtor services. The holy trinity of social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — each offer paid ads designed to slip unobtrusively into the newsfeeds of your audience, based on targeted demographics. It’s a fantastic way to attract more traffic and generate more leads, with none of the obnoxiousness of pop-ups.
7. Think about SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a critical component of online marketing. If clients can’t find you, they can’t hire you. There’s an art and science to SEO that’s beyond the scope of this article (click here for more about SEO for Realtors), and you don’t want to do it wrong. But you do want to do it.
8. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades
Not a world-class graphic designer? If you are struggling to write strong content or shoot promo shots for your page, consider hiring qualified professionals to help. It often results in a more polished presence than you can otherwise achieve on your own. Focus on doing what you do best: being a real estate expert. Delegate the rest!
As a Realtor, and as a human being, you’re unique. You have a particular set of strengths and attributes, and you have a unique set of skills and aptitudes that make you the perfect Realtor for a particular type of client. In order to be found by that client, however, you need to showcase what sets you apart from other real estate professionals.
Passionate about a particular niche in buying or selling? Love bungalows, first-time buyers, eco-friendly homes, empty nesters, foreign investors or beachside Comox Valley vacation homes? Use that to your advantage, and focus on distilling your realty brand and establishing your local reputation much more quickly.
Found your niche? Excellent… now you’re ready to design your own distinctive USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to pitch it! You may want to devote some serious time and consideration to this, because it’ll define what your future audience perceives as unique about you and your real estate services.
Where so many generalized Realtors coast by, you can rise above by demonstrating your commitment to quality. So go ahead and invest in those premium business cards, hire some pros to design you a dynamite website, give away promo items and always roll out that red-carpet level experience for each and every one of your buyers and sellers.
In the cutthroat landscape of the Canadian real estate business, going the extra mile is the best way to ensure you stand out.
Need help with your marketing? Boost your real estate business with copywriting and content marketing services designed specifically to highlight what’s unique about your real estate business. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.