Getting ahead with Online Marketing

Listener Question

Hello Timbo, I feel like you are a friend. I have you in my ear when I am at the gym (aka)Woolworths stacking shelves at night. By day I am a Real Estate salesman. Real Estate by its very nature is all about marketing, even though many in our industry mistake advertising for marketing!

The issue that I face is that I work for a small but highly ethical office. I am relatively new to the industry but have some fairly good runs on the board already. In this industry we have to “catch and kill our own” and I need to get my personal marketing chops up there with virtually a zero budget.

I have enjoyed some good success with good old fashioned door knocking. It is time consuming but it does allow for good raport to be built up early on which I can nurture. My issue is getting in front of people who are thinking of selling in the near future.

Any thought would be welcomed.  Thanks for your work.

Mark Noble

Response from Netregistry
by Uyen Vu, Digital Marketing Manager

Hi Mark,

This is a tough one. Selling a house is a long and well thought-out process, as most people will shop around the market, perform research online and enquire in various estates before they settle with the right agent. If you were thinking of selling your house, the first thing you would probably do is go online to perform your research. The ideal strategy for seeking out potential clients is to provide a sense of trust, reliability and as you mentioned in your email, rapport with potential home owners.

So the question is how do you do all of this without contacting individual potential clients? And allow them to easily find you.

I you go into the search engines and perform a search for ‘selling a house’ you would notice the top three Google Adwords Ads and then the organic results – usually dominated by news articles, guides and major real estate brands. As real estate is a highly competitive industry, ranking within the search engines for top positions requires a lot of hard work and time.

Now, we understand that for many small business owners (like yourself) you are very limited with how much marketing budget you can spend.  But in order to see effective results in a short amount of time some money will need to be spent, but it doesn’t need to be an outrageous amount if you use a combination of Pay Per Click advertising and do-it-yourself Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO and PPCA Pay Per Click campaign with Google or Yahoo! is a quick solution to top the pages; each with their own benefits. As Google is the major search engine out of the two you will have a wider audience, however with more competitive pricing, Yahoo! on the other hand may not have as much of an audience but their cost-per-click may be lower. Both channels allow you to customise your ads and perform A/B testing with just with a few clicks.  You also have the ability to monitor and see where your conversions lie and adjust your campaign accordingly.

Pay Per Click campaigns are usually recommended to land on a ‘landing page’, a specific page designed to capture and build rapport with the audience rather than just your website. The landing page can list key benefits of your service and offer them a good call to action such as requesting a free property valuation. You can also display the last couple of sales done by your firm for example: Having a specific number and email address on your landing page will also help you track your conversion rates and compare if your landing page is working, your target audience may prefer to call than email, helping you to build rapport with the potential client.

Along with your Pay Per Click campaign you should invest some time in SEO.  This is a great way to start optimising your website so that major search engines rank it more highly for your specific keywords, as searched by your potential customers.  With a minimal budget, doing this yourself is ideal and there are a lot of resources out there to help you on the SEO steps that you can implement.  Sam Shetty explains this well in his webinar, In-depth SEO.

A big part of SEO, is investing in an online blog or ‘guide’.  As mentioned before, consumers would prefer to perform research and understand the market before making any decision. By portraying yourself and your company as a vessel for knowledge rather than just a real estate agent will set you apart from your competitors, thus creating more trust and value. Blogs or guides do not have to be long nor daily, maybe a weekly or monthly article about the world of real estate or ‘guide to selling a house’, ‘property checklist’ will not only help with potential searchers clicking through and coming back to your website, but with regular fresh content it will also boost your web ranking positions within the search engines. In turn, boosting the traffic to your website and more potential clients.

As the real estate industry is highly competitive you may also need an online marketing campaign that includes Social Media. If you have a quick search through Facebook and Twitter, most major real estate brands have their own social channel. Not only is social media a free advertising space it allows potential clients to build a relationship with the brand, creating more trust and awareness.

The above should be used in-line with your current offline marketing strategies as well. In brochures and printed materials make sure you include your website or social media addresses so that there is a link to all your marketing channels.

Download The beginner’s guide to online marketing.  If you are still unsure about how to start off you may need to talk to a professional like Netregistry, we offer a range of Online Marketing packages including SEO, PPC and Social media campaigns.

What other marketing tactic combinations have you used to generate leads for your business?