There is one real estate tool every investor needs to have at their disposal: a good real estate website. Conversely, if you are not using it to your advantage, you are likely hurting your own cause. Take the appropriate steps to not only finding, but also retaining leads. Here are five tips to ensure that when clients find your business online they will consider you to be leading professional in your area:
1.) Stay Active On Social Media
Social media can serve as a marketing platform with unlimited potential. While most see it as a means of keeping in touch with friends, savvy business owners should view it as a free marketing portal. Essentially, it is a way to reach an unlimited amount of people with a relatively limited investment. Perhaps even more importantly, consumers are increasingly using social media to research potential businesses. Most first impressions are made after a quick visit to a respective social media page. Therefore, investors are advised to put their best foot forward on every social media page. The result may surprise you.
It is uncommon to find a business that is not taking advantage of social media. Brands of every size are likely already on popular social media platforms like FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram. However, it is important to know how to use these tools to your advantage. It is not enough to simply be present – just having an account will not lead to anything. You have to stay active on social media to gain the attention of your followers.
With the advent of social media, there is a good chance your competition is using the same strategy. Essentially everyone in the same industry will be sharing their listings. Having said that, it is in your best interest to stand out from the crowd. Determine what the community is talking about, do some research, and find a way to keep them informed on these topics. When they are on your page and see that you actively share helpful content, it will give them more of a reason to keep you in mind rather than a competitor. Provide daily content and information that will engage your audience. You need to give them a reason to continue to come back.
2.) Maintain A Good Presence On Review Pages
Again, your presence online is an essential piece to any branding strategy. Nowadays people will immediately head to the Internet to research a company in question. The first thing they find will greatly influence the direction they head. If they are immediately directed to bad reviews, warnings, or any thing of this nature, there is a good chance they will move on to the next candidate. Therefore, you need to make sure everything that comes up in a search is presenting your company in a positive light.
Business directories like Google Local or Yelp are growing in popularity because they provide online users with firsthand accounts of what it’s like to work with you. In fact, 90 percent of buyers are influenced by positive reviews of businesses that they read online, according to Dimensional Research. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to be registered on these sites. You must constantly monitor what people are saying, and if an unhappy client leaves a review, address it as quickly as possible.
In just about every industry, and particularly in the real estate sector, businesses are expected to be transparent. That is to say – there is absolutely no reason for a respectable company to have anything to hide. The more transparent your business model is, the more likely consumers will be to trust in your services. With this in mind, do not just delete negative reviews and consider the problem resolved. Respond to whoever left the review and work towards a solution. This will show your professionalism and that you value their input, which in turn will help a prospective client establish a level of trust before they decide to contact you.
3.) Optimize Your Website For Mobile Traffic
Websites are typically the face of any business. For those businesses without a brick and mortar foundation, the Internet is particularly important, as it is essentially an online storefront. In other words, your website should always be accessible. It is one of the most valuable tools you have in your arsenal as a real estate investor. Optimizing your Internet presence is, and always will be, a top priority.
With the progression of technology, it is not enough to have a website that is only suited for a desktop. What does that mean? Well, it is simple: your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices as well. More and more searches are taking place on smartphones and tablets. As such, you need to make sure your website translates well on these devices. It’s vital that you are able to provide a high-quality user experience on any device, especially with mobile becoming the preferred search method during the home buying process.
Between June 2013 and June 2014, mobile queries for open houses grew 35%. During that same time period, desktop searches remained unchanged. Therefore it is important to make sure you clients have a pleasant experience when using mobile devices. If a potential client pulls your website up on a smartphone and it doesn’t work properly, it will likely change their mind about contacting you.
4.) Millennials Are Returning To The Market
Fortunately, encouraging signs have signaled an end to the financial struggles of millennials. The crisis that has burdened this population for years appears to be easing. Experts predict that a strengthening labor force will allow millennials to contribute to the housing market within two to five years – if not sooner. The influx of new buyers is expected to stimulate the U.S. housing sector.
Millennial real estate-related Web usage grew 30 percent from May 2013 to July 2014, and millennial real estate mobile usage grew 81 percent over the same period, according to comScore. What’s important for you to know is that they are spending more time researching agents than other generations.
5.) Enhance Your Marketing Strategy
While both searching for and buying a home, prospective homeowners are looking for more than the property itself. More often than not, people looking to buy a home will be supplementing their searches with what they can do to the property once they acquire it. For example, did you know that home improvement videos on YouTube grew by 35 percent in July from the same time last year, or that someone searching about buying a home is four times more likely to search for furniture than someone who isn’t?
Knowing this; think about how you may enhance any user experience. Perhaps you can provide content for increasing curb appeal. Maybe you can include a video about rehabbing a kitchen or installing lighting. Regardless of what you add, make sure it is helpful and relevant. The more you can help them understand, the better. Sometimes all you may have to do is provide a link to a good moving company. Again, supplement your content with information that may be useful to any homeowner. That way, Internet users will find themselves coming to your page on a regular basis.