Real Estate professionals have had a bumpy road the past 20 years with the ups and downs in the economy and real estate market. The past few years, the Florida housing market has been gradually improving and it has leveled out to be more predictable and reliable. But the market is still not what it once was and the competition for listings and good clients is challenging. To stand out and set yourself apart from other Florida agents takes more marketing and branding than ever before.
Build a Positive Online Persona for your local Florida area
In today’s visual and social world, people want to see you and know you to a certain degree before they decide to work with you to buy or sell a property. Making a name for yourself in the industry is important but very difficult. If people haven’t heard of you, they want to learn more about you.
Anyone buying a home in an area they are not familiar with looks for a Real Estate agent who really seems to know the area well. Showcasing your knowledge of the local area builds confidence in your potential clients.
Join a guest blogging site, such as FloridaSmart.com and start writing about the local area, local things to do, local people, and share images from around town. Share articles that help home buyers and sellers, share Florida Real Estate Trends and News, to showcase your knowledge and draw more quality clients to you.
Be active and engaging on social media and add your social links to your website and your listings. Set up notifications on your cell phone so you will know when someone engages with you and you can respond right away.
Linkedin is a great platform for real estate agents to connect with other professionals. Look for other people in your local community to connect with. Professionals tend to search on Linkedin first for other professionals, so be the one the find by putting yourself on their radar.
For a Real Estate agent, instagram is the perfect way to humanize yourself to your potential clients. Don’t only post homes! While you should be posting the houses you list, you should also be personal and post other images you take around town. If you are a tree lover, gardener, or other hobby, post your images on instagram to show your personality. And make use of some really great hashtags. If your website is JulieSellsOrlando, then be sure to use #juliesellsorlando in every post.
Facebook is an awesome place to showcase a home listing, give home buying and selling advise, and share events, such as an open house. But you can do so much more on facebook to get the word out about yourself as a Real Estate Agent. Join local groups, or start one. If you have a hobby or interest, there is a facebook group for it, and it is a great way to connect with others.
You might be thinking, really, pinterest? Yes. This is a great place to create a board of the local area. Collect and create pins that give a glimpse into your area to build up your connection with the community. Have fun with it and create your own fun graphics! Getting re-pins can spread the word and bring more clients to you.
Most people use twitter to follow a particular person, typically famous person, or for news. But twitter can be a great way to communicate with your clients who are searching for homes. Post a new listing from your office everyday. Share Local Real Estate news in small chunks with tidbits of information. People don’t really want to hear “we just sold another home”, they want to hear, “Interest rates dropped another .5%”, or “the Real estate market in Orlando is booming with homes in the 300-400k range the fastest selling homes.” And then include a home picture with each post to improve engagement.
Any articles you write on your own website or guest blogs should be shared on your social sites.
Boost posts and run ads on Facebook to get your name in front of the people who need your services. Facebook lets you refine the audience who you show your ad to so you can really hone in on your target clients.
Put your phone number at the top of your website and make it clickable! More people are searching on their phones and want the ease of clicking your number to contact you. And Stay in touch. Make sure you keep in touch with past clients, even years later. They will be reminded of you and appreciate that you remember their birthday or other special days, and they will refer others to you. Set up your google calendar to remind you to send out well wishes. Share the love with your clients after closing by sending them an online gift card for a popular online store or home store.
Don’t think just because you are active on social media that you no longer need to think about your website. Your website is your first impression and main impression to your clients. It should be beautiful and captivating with high end images, a professional photo of you, with your phone, area you work, and of course, the legalities for the Real Estate Board all within easy viewing.
Mobile friendly goes without saying these days, but I still have to say it for real estate is one of the businesses whose potential clients have shifted to more mobile searches than desktop.
Tell stories about home buyers and sellers, share personal stories, office stories, funny stories. The more personal you can get in your online persona, the more you will draw in clients.
Partner with other local businesses to share stories, provide referrals, and pass on savings through mutual website links and guest blogging.
Do not force pop-ups or emails in order to use the home search on your website. This increases bounce rates and frustrates visitors. Instead capture emails and leads with a compelling offer. A free guide, local area insider information, coupons for local businesses, free “how to sell your house” seminar, etc.
Scheduling App – to help you manage appointments
Zillow – set up your online Professional on Real Estate Websites such as Zillow. Zillow has become a directory of Real Estate Agents where home buyers and sellers can find a professional in their area. Testimonials on your website are not recommended because the trend is that people don’t trust those as much as outside websites with testimonials. Encourage your clients to leave you a testimonial on Zillow or other real estate site instead to improve your rank and credibility.
Most people will request to be removed from your mailing list if you send out too many newsletters in one month, or if your newsletters are all just promo based. Create an informative and interesting monthly newsletter that your followers will look forward to about the status of the market, trends in buying and selling, and general local real estate information.
Whatever your specialty is, you can create a webinar for it. “How to set your priorities and find the house of your dreams without compromise”, “How to start investing in Real Estate”, “Learn how to sell your home fast”.