Monday, August 19, 2013

Real Estate Professionals Need a Solid Foundation Online

Real Estate And Marketing
Realtors and brokers have a long-standing relationship with brand marketing, both at the company and personal levels.  They were early adopters when things began to move online, and today's consumers know they can just as easily find realtors on Google or Yelp as they can by driving past park benches and for-sale signs.  However online, the velocity of change continues to increase, as new tools are being released that provide a richer and far more functional experience to the consumer; and those realtors who take advantage stand the best chance to thrive.

Let's look at 2 examples of realtors doing an excellent, and not so excellent, job of using online tools to build their reputation.  Think of as the scorecard by which to compare these examples, because it's a powerful place to store all the different pieces of your reputation puzzle.

A Great Example:   Danny Evatt

A quick glance around this page and it's clear that Danny knows what he's doing.  Consider the mix of tools he employs, ranging from familiar things like a website and linkedin page, to things like a trulia presence, a company blog, a facebook presence, and even an active twitter feed where he posts great pictures of his locality (nice!)  One of my favorites is a link to the Wikipedia history of his last name -- for the sheer creativity!

Danny's page is 80% complete which is quite good; though 
if we were to offer some advice, it would be (a) to include an already existing YouTube presence to the page, and (b) to take greater advantage of the 'Achievements and Recognition' section to post links to milestones and press mentions (maybe he sold a flagship property and could add a link to the successful listing; or perhaps he was mentioned in the paper, or won an award from his company or an association.)

A Not-So-Great Example:  Jesse Continental
Unfortunately, this is a much more common story.  An office or realtor will begin to work on their online reputation, but stop before they have a chance to realize the huge potential upside.  30 seconds on this page is illustrative that Jesse has lots of real-world experience and understands his market niche, but that's where it stops.  With only a 40% completion rating on Spoke--by posting a name, summary, industry, website and (discontinued) facebook link, Jesse is leaving real value on the table!  He could invest a very minimal amount of time to learn and deploy industry-specific tools lik, and even the more general  If you're in the real estate business, make sure you understand these at the very least.

Final Thoughts
There are two important takeaways from this analysis.  First, remember that each outside presence and link that you add to your Spoke page represents a unique channel to attract new clients, and impress existing ones.  For example, many realty offices are great sources of local market news and conditions.  Have you written articles or blog posts?  Add a quick link to the notable links section of your Spoke page.

And secondly, think about the broader implications of having a rich and varied reputation on the internet:  Danny is clearly a quick-study when it comes to learning and taking advantage of new tools and technology; and when you look at all of these on something like his Spoke page, it can send powerful subconcsious signals that he has the creativity and tenacity to represent a client extremely well.  So push yourself to new levels this year, because more and more people rely on these channels everyday for increasingly important information (like finding a real estate agent.)  

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