Hello and welcome to part 3 of the Modern Real Estate Agent series where we explore the ideas, tools and techniques available to market your real estate business online.
Today I want to focus on how to effectively market your listings, which are essentially the lifeblood of every real estate agent regardless of market or demographic. But instead of slamming you with an essay’s worth of reading I am going to serve this to you in the oh so popular checklist format.
(This is mainly to make it easy for you to consume but also because checklists have been shown to increase shareability! For those astute readers, this is a solid content writing tip disguised as honesty…)
Without further ado, here is the Modern Real Estate Agent's Marketing Checklist for Listings:
1. Awesome Photos
Not only are amazing listing photos worth a thousand words but they are worth thousands of dollars in your pocket. Numerous studies have shown that professional quality listing photos sell listings faster and for higher prices (a quick google will show you lots of results). Not to mention that many other listing marketing techniques rely on the use of images. You could think of an investment in quality photos as an Archimedes lever to all your other marketing efforts. This is especially true if the listing you are trying to sell is not the most attractive… a good photographer can work wonders with lighting, angles and composition.
2. Breathtaking Video
In this day and age, a video can be as central to raising the profile of your listing as great photography. You are effectively giving people a visually compelling tour of the property without requiring them to leave their seat and catering to audiences who prefer watching video as opposed to static images and text. With the use of steady cams and drones, professional videographers can create an amazing experience that can entice the potential buyer to get in touch.
Most all modern real estate photography companies also specialize in listing videos so it is almost a no-brainer to get a video taken if your marketing budget permits.
3. Compelling Listing Description
Once a potential buyer has decided that a listing’s base attributes (price, bedrooms, etc) meet their requirements it is up to the photos and the listing description to convince them to take the next step and get in touch with you. Just like lousy photos can turn away leads, a boring and poorly written description can be the nail in the coffin for an otherwise fantastic listing.
And here is a bonus Ninja tip:
When you upload your listing to your local MLS, it is (hopefully) syndicated to potentially hundreds of other websites through an IDX/Reciprocity program. The description you painstakingly wrote for your listing is now verbatim on all of these other website which is seen as “duplicate content” in Google’s eyes which may reduce the chances of your own website getting the search traffic. Because the listing is your own and you control your own website, you have the ability to customize the description on your site alone to make it stand apart from the masses. So what you want to do is expand or even rewrite the description to be especially awesome on your own site which would help the listing rank on your own website instead of another agent's. This is also an opportunity to spruce up the text with formatting, images, videos, etc. because real estate boards do not allow this in normal descriptions.
4. Blogged About
While I don’t condone “auto-blogging” whenever you get a new listing, it is a great idea to write a blog post for each listing you get. An effective technique is to not simply announce to the world that you have a new listing (because fewer people care than you think..) but to write about a topic that relates to the listing and then reference that listing (with a link to it) in the post.
For example, let’s say you just listed a beautiful home that is a prime example of modern west coast architecture. Well, you could write a post that goes into the history of this style and provide links to a few examples of homes that use it (including your own). The point of this specific technique is not to directly market the listing but to increase exposure to the listing and the shareability of a piece of content that links to the listing. You could also write a neighbourhood profile for where the listing is located and then plug the listing in the post with a short description and a link.
Because no one is going to share a “Just Listed” blog post and get you much needed backlinks whereas they might share a solid, informational article that happens to mention the listing.
5. Shared on Social Media
Just like a blog post, you are trying to increase the number of eyeballs that will potentially see your listing. Take the time to create a unique message that is crafted for the specific social channel and don’t just blast the exact same message across all channels.
“All you empty nesters out there with a dog to fill the empty space in your hearts… check out this super cute cottage style home close to dog walking trails: [link]”
“JUST LISTED A NEW CONDO FOR $999,000 CHECK IT OUT: [link]”
6. Backlinks Gathered
The more other websites you can get to link to your listing, the higher it will rank in Google. Here are some ideas on how you can accomplish this:
- Make sure that your brokerage’s website has a link to the listing on your own site on their sites copy of the listing.
- Do the same as above on any team members or close partners websites
- If you work closely with a mortgage broker, get them to give you a shout out with a link on their blog or social media.
7. Marketed to Newsletter
If you don’t already have one, you should have a mailing list of people that you can contact whenever you have noteworthy news like an awesome new listing. Be careful to avoid “list fatigue” by hammering the list too often because you want people to care when you e-mail the list and actually read what you have to say.
8. Syndicated through IDX and DDF
You really need to make sure that you and your brokerage are part of your boards IDX/Reciprocity program because this means that whenever you get a new listing it will automatically be added to potentially hundreds of other real estate website which can dramatically increase the number of people who will see it.
Some people seem to have some sort of phobia regarding this one because they don’t like the idea of their listing being on other real estate agent’s websites. I personally believe that the benefit far outweighs any potential downside and unless you are marketing extremely exclusive/luxury listings, you definitely want to have your listing in front of as many people as possible.
If you’re a Canadian real estate agent, another avenue to increase the exposure for your listings is to make sure that your listings are opted into the relatively new DDF (Data Distribution Facility) system created by CREA.
9. Featured on Homepage
Did you know that content on your homepage is given more emphasis than other content on your site by search engines? Because of this fact it can be beneficial to include a preview of your listing on your homepage with a link to the detailed information page. It also makes it more likely that potential clients coming to your homepage to check you out will see the listing and click on it.
10. Paid Advertising Campaign Setup
If you are really serious about marketing a specific listing and it has enough upside for you to be worth it, you can setup a paid advertising campaign (also known as PPC). You are essentially paying to have ads displayed to people browsing the net and searching for specific keywords. This is a more advanced technique so I won’t go into much detail but will definitely write a piece specifically on this in the future.
I’m going to stop myself here because I could write an almost endless list on all the little things you could do to market your listings but I believe in the 80/20 principle. If you cover the above bases and implement each item well you will have a step up from most of your competition and will position your listing in an ideal place for a quick sell.
Keep on being awesome!
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by Jennifer Snyder