According to NAR research, 90% of homebuyers use the internet as part of their search for a new home, as opposed to just 27% who still look in the newspaper. Yard signs factor in to 53% of homebuyers’ search methods. But look at that first figure again. You have to be actively marketing your homes online, and you have to have enough of an online presence that buyers will find your homes, right? So, here’s a quick ‘how to’ on grow your online presence.
“A website is an absolute must for any self-respecting business, and that includes real estate agents,” says Amanda Cornelius, co-founder and CEO of Properties Online.
But a website in and of itself is not enough.
To truly grow your online presence, Cornelius advises, you should ideally have a mix of the following:
1. An agent website. Your agent website is your online business card and resume, and should be used to highlight your achievements, experience and expertise and to provide clients and prospects with valuable information.
2. Single property websites. These focus around a single property, highlighting its features and benefits and providing all the information on that property at one place. Sellers and buyers alike love single property websites , and they are great at helping you to win listings.
3. Social media accounts. You need to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Update your social media accounts frequently, add useful info and links, and reach out to new friends and followers weekly. Over a year or so, you can significantly grow these accounts. The beauty of social media is that it functions just like word of mouth marketing, but on a much larger scale.
4. Don’t forget email! Being active and proactive rather than passive when keeping in touch with clients and prospects can make a big difference, and email drip marketing programs are a huge help.
5. Incorporate offline marketing tools. Remember those 53% of homebuyers who looked for yard signs? Custom sign riders, complete with QR codes, are designed to direct people immediately to your website, while also logging and sending their mobile phone number to you as a lead.
“Growing your online presence takes time and patience, but it is also lots of fun and the return on investment is very real,” says Cornelius.