This was a question I received from an agent in Atlanta via Twitter last week. Ironically, I am writing this blog post from an airport on my way to…Atlanta. No, I am not going to visit this agent. I happen to be heading to a wedding. A friend of 20+ years from Michigan asked me to stand up in his wedding. Truly honored, and somewhat surprised 🙂 Here is the question asked on Twitter;
What SEO Do You Recommend for Realtors?
(Look at that screenshot!)
This topic could be an entire online training course, but I am going to try and cover two very important parts regarding this question.
Video is such a powerful medium and suggest every agent use it in some way in their marketing. You may have noticed — I am using it a lot more with AskAdam, my YouTube channel, the interview series I am doing and a lot of video in the members area of Elite Agent Inner Circle (you can find out more about that here).
There is a reason for that 🙂
I also have a lot of fun with it.
Here are a few more reasons why you should implement video in your marketing;
In a 2009 study from Forrester, video was proven to rank easier than a website.
Remember — YouTube is owned by Google. I know that study is 5+ years old, but I can assure you, video is much easier to rank on Google.
Another tip: Google Hangouts are easier to rank than YouTube videos.
Did you know that 73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with a Realtor offering to do a video, yet only 14% of agents create listing videos.
That statistic alone should make you want to jump on the video bandwagon. Very powerful and it can be done very affordable with websites like Fiverr, oDesk and eLance. Budget is no longer an excuse.
How Can Real Estate Agents Use Video Marketing?
It’s really limited to your imagination, but I will give you some ideas on how I would use it, if I were an agent.
- Interviews (a lender, title company rep, your city's mayor, other local business owners, etc.)
- Answer questions (hint: exactly what I am doing with Ask Adam)
- A picture slide show of your listings (technically not a video, but you can still leverage the power of YouTube
- Use a Google Hangout to do a live open house
- Virtual tours
- Thank you videos (to new leads, past clients, referral partners, etc)
- In your email messages
- Telling your story
Here is another great article on the importance of using video: Why You Can’t Afford to Skip Video Marketing
Now, video is also considered content marketing, so a bit of an overlap here. Every agent I speak with, a question I always ask is — Are you using a blog to generate leads 24/7/365?
Of course, I get their attention with the generate leads 24/7/365 part.
That is exactly what a blog does. It generates leads non-stop, all day everyday. It doesn’t matter if you’re working or mot. You could be sleeping or on vacation, it doesn’t matter. It’s like an employee that truly works FULL-time. It works for you.
According to the 2013 Google/NAR study, the average homebuyer spends three weeks researching real estate online BEFORE even calling an agent. It’s probably a good idea to have helpful content they could read before contacting you. This is how you build that know, like and trust factors that are so important online nowadays.
It’s why I hold nothing back with this blog.
If you want to compete with the big agencies who have the large budgets — create content. Creating content levels the playing field, but it does take time/work.
Common Obections I Hear
I don’t have time — This is the most common one. This is when I ask the agent to audit what they are currently doing.
You can wake up 30 minutes earlier, skip one networking event and write a blog post, write something on your lunch break or write in 15 minute chunks. A blog post should take 1 – 2 hours and you need about that time to promote it. Finding three hours in a week should no be too difficult. I am sitting here at the airport writing this blog post. I could be surfing the internet on my laptop or wasting time on Facebook.
Nope, instead I am sitting here writing a blog post with pen and paper (old school) at the airport. Answering a question from an agent on Twitter. Being helpful and adding value.
What do I write about? This is another common one and it seems agents tend to over think this. One of my favorites is answering questions — exactly what I am doing now. I know agents get asked a ton of questions throughout the process, and if one person has that question, chances are others will as well.
It’s not that hard, in fact, I wrote a blog post about this topic: 104 Real Estate Blog Topics to Generate More Qualified Leads.
These 2 objections are the two most common I hear.
Is it hard work?
Yes, it is.
Is it worth the effort?
Without a doubt.
I was talking with an agent from Manhattan Beach a few weeks back. He had found this blog and read a post, that lead to another post and another post.
He downloaded an ebook of mine and was entered into my automated email follow up sequence. In one of the emails, I offer a strategy session. He applied and was approved. I then send an email to a link to my online scheduler. He scheduled a time to chat that was convenient for the both of us. I have all of this automated with the exception of the application approval, but that only takes me 2-3 minutes.
When we were chatting on the phone he told me he found my site while searching online. It was a Friday night and he spent a couple hours reading through some of the posts. He knew I was from Michigan (he read the about page). So he knew me before we ever interacted. My blog posts built up trust with him in me. I didn’t even have to any convincing 🙂
I asked if he were blogging and he said he was not. I shared with him how he found me and how it lead to a conversation. I could see (hear) the lightbulb go off. He understood it.
We didn’t end up working together as he has a few other projects going on right now. He was not 100% committed to becoming an agent full-time.
The more content you produce, the more visible you become online — whether that is through SEO, social media, etc. SEO is part of the equation. SEO is no longer about building links, but providing valuable, educational content for your audience. When you do this, Google tends to reward you as well. Write for your audience and never a search engine.
Real estate agents can become top producers in their marketplace by adopting content marketing. By sharing/adding value and not sales pitches, you become the go-to resource. Very few agents are doing this, but the few that are, are doing very well.