Agent websites often look great but not many of them generate regular leads. This article discusses why you need an agent website, and what to put on your real estate website to ensure you become Google’s locally recommended agent.
Why you need an agent website
Most agents I speak to have never considered their own real estate agent website They rely on their agency profile to do the work for them. The few agents that do see the merit in their own website or blog are often so overwhelmed by the technical aspect, or the perceived cost, that they put it in the too hard basket.
You have possibly done this yourself. But you know that you need an online presence. So, you do the next best thing. Take to social media.
How most agents plan
their real estate social media
You select your platform of choice. You then proceed to bombard your Facebook friends or Instagram followers with pic after pic of you in front of a sold sign. There’s the obligatory smiling client and there is probably a small child or cute dog involved too.
You may talk about your busy week or how your pen is about to run out of ink from all the contracts you’ve signed (I’m not kidding here, I’ve actually seen this)!
You get some likes and maybe even a share or two. But they are usually from friends and family or perhaps even previous clients.
These likes and shares are just vanity metrics. They make you feel good but they rarely, if ever, result in a genuine hot lead.
You continue posting religiously. Week after week, month after month without seeing any return for your efforts. So being the driven, dedicated agent that you are, you decide to try LinkedIn, YouTube, or another social platform.
You are now on several platforms but still nothing is working. You are not gaining any traction. You often feel like all this effort is pointless and you don’t know how to get ahead or give yourself the edge over your competitors.
Is your aim to get real estate leads?
Let me ask you, why are you even social media? Is it to grow your personal brand and improve your profile? Is it to connect with your friends and followers? Or is it to generate listing and sale leads?
If it is to generate leads, I hate to burst your bubble but that is unlikely to ever happen using social media alone. If your only online efforts are social media you will rarely, if ever become the stand-out agent in your area.
Sure, you might collect one or two leads here and there. But for the time and effort involved, the ROI is far better producing content for your very own agent website.
Before you start getting down on yourself though let me say that this is not your fault. The stats are against you. Let’s look at Facebook as an example.
6 Facebook marketing stats for real estate agents to be aware of.
These stats have been compiled by various leaders in the social media space. They give an insight into why you will never fill your pipeline using Facebook.
1. Every Facebook user has more than 1,500 stories competing for a spot in their newsfeed at any given time. However, only about 300 of those stories are chosen to appear in the newsfeed. (source Adespresso by Hootsuite).
2. On FB the average click through rate across all industries is 0.90%. (source WordStream). Simply put for every 100 times that someone sees your post, less than 1% of people are choosing to click on it.
3. In 2017 the average length of a Facebook video was 3 minutes 48 seconds, yet the average person only watched a Facebook video for 10 seconds. (source wordstream). You go to all the trouble of producing content for your FB audience, but nobody is watching.
4. The average organic reach for a Facebook post is 6.4% of the pages’ total likes. Adespresso then goes on the say that the key phrase here is “average,” because brands with consistently lower-engaging content and less on-platform activity will see reach rates even lower. They then reference the 2% number floating around.
5. 57.5% of people who unfollow a brand do so because of an excessive amount of promotional posts. (source Adespresso by Hootsuite)
6. For countries with the greatest advertising reach, Australia did not make the top 20. (Source SMPerth).
These Facebook stats highlight only some of the reasons why you are up against it trying to stand out on Facebook.
Why You Need A Real Estate Blog Or Agent Website
With so many agents using FB it makes it difficult for you to stand out in an already crowded market. Factor in the other hurdles already mentioned and it is virtually impossible to dominate your local market via Facebook.
However with Google being the most visited website in the world on any given day, and only 5% of real estate agents, blogging or providing any form of regular and relevant content, there is an enormous opportunity for you to dominate the online space with your own estate agent blog.
While 79% of professional agents are on FB only 5% of real estate agents are blogging. This offers an amazing opportunity for you.
With your own agent website you can become Google’s most recommended agent in your local area. But you must do it the right way or you will become just another agent throwing money at the next shiny object.
Two major benefits of having your own agent website
Your own agent website allows you to scale your prospecting efforts, and equally as important your efforts will not be affected in any way by Covid- 19.
If we do hit a second wave you will be able to continue to prospect without a backward step.
Your own website can get you attention on Google but only if you set it up correctly and start creating regular, relevant content. Content that your local audience wants. Let me show you how to do that.
3 reasons that your agent website is failing you.
There are a several reasons why most real estate agent websites fail to deliver consistent seller leads. Here are just three:
1) the site is generic in nature.
It has usually been set up by the brands head office or a developer. By trying to appeal to the masses they have isolated their real market.
Developers obviously know how to build a website. What many don’t have is a broad understanding of SEO (search engine optimisation). They don’t understand the intricacies of SEO or real estate in general.
2) The website is not search engine optimized.
3) The content is not local.
To rank in Google search results as the dominant local agent you need to produce relevant content that is attractive to your local market. And you need to post that content regularly.
9 tips for producing real estate blog content that will have you winning the hearts of local sellers and Google.
1. Have a schedule. Work out the significant times during the year. These are times that are significant to sellers and buyers during the year.
For example, how to prepare for a spring sale, how to be sold by Christmas or how to settled in your new home before school returns in the new year. If you are going to share content on your site that discusses these times of the year, you will need to be sure that you allow yourself enough time to do so.
It is pointless sharing content on your blog about how to be sold by Christmas if you only remember to post it a week out from December 25th. A schedule along with a blog content planner will help to keep you organised.
- 2. Keep phone notes and a notepad or similar in the car – jot down or record ideas whenever they pop into your head, no matter how random they may seem at the time.
- 3. Read the online version of your local paper – this is a great source of local news that you can promote on your own site. Be sure to always credit your source.
- 4. Check FB pages or groups in your local area for upcoming events and promote these on your website. Make sure you get notifications so that you get news as it happens.
- 5. Check what is trending in your local area. Set up a Google alert to get notifications.
- 6. Do a round up post of local cafes, beaches or restaurants. Whatever it is that is popular in your area. Give an overview. Include plenty of local images and be sure to use the correct keywords to make sure you get plenty of Google ‘juice’
- Keyword research is important here. There isn’t much point producing content if nobody wants to watch it, listen to it, or read it. If you already have a website with a blog, but struggle to produce regular content you may be interested in my content marketing blueprint for real estate agents.
- 7. Produce blog posts on local attractions. What is it about your area that makes it a great place to live? Think about what buyers want to know when they move to your area. Talk about the local schools, sporting clubs or restaurants. You get the idea.
- 8. Interview a local identity. Don’t think big production or expensive video editing. Record it on your mobile. Then upload it to your blog.
- 9.Think about the questions that you are asked regularly from sellers and buyers. Either produce a video or write an article explaining the solution. Then post that content on your blog.
I mentioned before that 79% of real estate agents are using Facebook. With only 5% of agents blogging you have a few years to jump on the blogging train before every agent is doing it and you lose your point of difference. Once this happens it will be much more difficult to gain that local expert position on Google.