The marketing budget is only so large, and when faced with a list of potential marketing activities that could potentially consume the rest of one’s life, it can be tempting to throw in the towel. Fortunately, there are better and worse ways to spend marketing dollars. Here is a list of the top 5 activities that snag the most bang for your buck.
Listing syndication is an important way to reach an audience beyond the one already searching for a real estate website. Although it’s important to pander to preexisting clients and prospects, if listings aren’t seen by new prospects, it hurts business in the long term. By syndicating real estate listings, agents can ensure that their listings get seen by the millions of potential buyers and renters who use real estate portal websites and apps, so that no matter where their potential clients are, their listings can be seen.
Listing syndication made it to the top of this list because many real estate website vendors, such as Zealder, will syndicate agents’ properties for free. Listing syndication, while been one of the most effective ways to gain leads for an agent’s listings, has one drawback – the agent must have properties to syndicate. For new agents who don’t have any properties to list yet, they should consider the other options on this list.
Traditional advertising relies on putting an ad out there and hoping someone sees it. PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising is a much more cost-effective way to advertise, because the account is not charged until a potential customer actually clicks on it. With PPC advertising, an agent can utilize keywords and location targeting to ensure the exact type of clients that they are looking for are visiting their website.
While PPC advertising can bring results immediately, it can also quickly consume a marketing budget if not managed properly. To gain optimal result from a PPC campaign, it’s important to invest time in keyword research, A/B testing, ad copy, landing pages optimization, and so on. Since most real estate agents don’t have the time and expertise to manage PPC campaigns effectively on their own, it’s recommended to utilize a 3rd party vendor. Zealder offers PPC advertising as part of our Search Engine Marketing services.
This is just a fancy way of saying agents should be getting their voices out there using content their readers want. Whether that content takes the form of blog posts – which is the most common – links on to great stuff on social media, or regularly refreshed website pages to reflect new ideas and information, potential clients want to see that agents know what they’re talking about. Agents should choose a blog schedule and update regularly, keep to their niche knowledge areas, and always share new posts on social media.
On the internet, Content is King. But not just any content, high-quality content that prospects can relate to. Agents should try to produce content that is good enough to publish in a magazine or journal. As professionals with real-time experiences in local markets, real estate agents have a vast amount of knowledge to answer questions that prospects in their community are searching for. While it might require a decent amount of an agent’s time and money to develop high-quality content, this will lead them to become a social influencer and have an authoritative website from the search engine’s point of view.
Sharing information with clients and prospects is one of the best ways to touch base and prove expertise. The most effective way to do this is with email marketing. Email marketing should definitely be a part of an agent’s marketing activities. The high quality content that an agent develops for their website and blog should also be shared with their mailing list. Subscribers will appreciate it, and it allows an agent to receive quick feedback to their content.
When a prospect shares their email address with an agent and opts-in to receive messages from that agent, it is an opportunity for that agent to further develop that relationship. While social networks are a good way to build an audience, it does not provide direct attention from that audience the same way that email subscriptions do. That is why agents should put careful thought into the messages that they send via email marketing or newsletters. Agents should stay away from “spammy”, “canned,” and automated messages. If a prospect goes as far as providing access to their personal email address, an agent should be respectful and only send messages that are personalized for that prospect. All Zealder’s web presence suite plans include Email Marketing, which allows agents to send personalized messages directly to their subscribers.
Many people are confused by the concept of search engine optimization, or SEO, but it’s pretty straightforward. Search engines operate on relevance, meaning that search engines base rankings on what searchers (actual people) think is important. To rise through the Google rankings, the best approach is to perform keyword research to find the terms users are already searching for. Agents that use these terms in their website headings and subheadings, the content of their blogs, and in their real estate listings have a better chance of appealing to search engines and, therefore, the people that use them.
Search engines love unique, rich content that gets updated frequently and has a lot of direct links from external pages. This gives agents another reason to produce high-quality content and become authoritative. Web page owners that are confident in an agent’s expertise will gladly add a link to that agent’s content from their own pages. This will result in a higher search engine ranking. Zealder constantly shares tips and advice to agents for improving their SEO. Zealder also offers SEO advertising as part of our Search Engine Marketing services.
Trying to decide how to spend the marketing budget can be tough, but try implementing these guidelines in the plan. Go slowly, tackling one at a time, and soon enough marketing won’t seem like such a costly, overwhelming enterprise. Instead, it will become a no-nonsense and easy way to build business over the long haul.