REALTOR.com says bye-bye to Internet Portal feeds

REALTOR.com announced that they will no longer feed portals such as MSN and the likes.  Instead they will be focusing on there own infrastructure and building there desktop and mobile products.

“We are no longer focused on Internet portals for traffic acquisition,” said Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer of Move, in a statement released from REALTOR.com.

“The growing popularity of searching real estate listings across mobile platforms, coupled with the  success of our brand and social marketing campaigns, has proven to be the most effective and efficient way to attract transaction-ready consumers to our services,” said Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer of Move, Inc. “We are no longer focused on Internet portals for traffic acquisition.”

For over 10 years MSN has served up listings from REALTOR.com.  It’s not clear yet if  Zillow, Trulia or other portals like Homes.com will step in and try to provide listing data vacated by REALTOR.com or if they will follow suit and also pull the data and begin to solely focus on their own integrated marketing strategies.

 

 

How to pick a blog topic

We all know that blogging, when done effectively and cross-linked to your website, can be a very effective way to increae your SEO and engage your visitors frequently. But sometimes, finding topics to blog about is difficult.

Here are some tips to help:

  • not like the other guy – try not to pick topics that your competitors are also writing about. Try to be unique – that can equate to higher rankings if there are fewer people blogging about the same thing
  • been there, done that – avoid topics that are already represented by other content on your blog or website. For example, if you are a REALTOR, don’t blog about a new listing – that listing is most likely already present in the property search area of your website
  • local, local, local – search engines LOVE hyper-local content. Blog about things going on around you – events, seminars, community, neighborhoods, or even achievements of a business associate
  • read trade or industry publications to come up with trending ideas that others may find interesting
  • write a follow-up to a previous blog post that was read  alot or commented on a lot
  • sometimes your own hobbies can give you some great blog ideas
  • show me how – write a quick how-to or guide for something in your industry that you do well, and can perhaps help others to do better
  • don’t be afraid to be funny – sometimes a blog post can go off the beaten-path and have nothing at all to do with your blogs usual posts. Jokes, funny happenings around you, or even a funny movie or TV show and provide humorous interludes for your blog that readers will appreciate

Don’t be afraid to experiment. There is no WRONG blog post. Some may not be as popular as others, for sure. But if you experiment a little, you may stumble across a post that becomes more popular that you ever thought it would, and it turns out to be something completely different than you usually post about.

Do you post any blog articles with unusual topics that surprised you in their popularity? We’d love to hear about it!

Content Marketing

With all the attention to the update Google has been doing over the last year or two, it has become clear content is paramount for any website. In a nut shell Google wants to find content that is clearly written to the audience, content that is relevant and original. Today it is not enough to just write good content and SEO but you need to have a strategy on how to market your content.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Content Marketing, here it is;

Content marketing is a practice of creating relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving business.

The premise here is to build your brand, gain trust, position yourself as an authority and capture your target audience.

Because you now have a goal you need to plan on how you will engage your audience and then convert that to a sale.

Here are a some tips to help you get started.

1. What do I want to accomplish?

Define what your ultimate end game is.  Why are you writing the content? Is it to build trust, retain clients, attract new prospects, highlight yourself, build brand awareness, build loyalty, or just build SEO.

2. What type of content should I publish?

While I am a big believer in blogging, today blogging is not enough.  You need a cornucopia of mixed media, web pages, blogs, video and eBooks.  You need to cultivate your audience along the sales pipeline.

3. What resources will I need?

This is a complex answer because you first need to consider the size of your firm and what resources you have available.  Once you consider who is writing what and/or if you are going to outsource any of it you can then begin to evaluate what types of content you want to produce.

4. Write is Natural Language

When you write your content you need to write as naturally as you can.  Long gone are the days when we wrote to game Google into positioning our content to inflate our SERP. The thing to remember here is to build your authority as an expert.

Don’t forget just because you have created all of this great content and then do not share it you are just wasting a lot of time and money. Another thing to consider is do you have a quality CRM application?  Do you use any marketing automation?

 

Facebook is Still the King of Social Media Referrals

It may not come as a big surprise, but in Shareaholic’s Q4 2013 Report, Facebook accounted for just over 15% of all inbound referrals from social media (including direct traffic, social referrals, and searching) to the over 200,000 sites that are part of the Shareaholic network. This is a 48% increase since September, spread over $250 million unique visitors.

What’s most noteworthy about the new report is how poorly Google + and even LinkedIn are doing, compared to the other social media outlets.  And while Twitter is in 3rd place, it’s growth is relatively flat, and it’s penetration 1/10th of Facebook’s.

We’d love to see how you track your social media referrals and how your site stacks up against Shareaholic’s sampling.

Getting Results From Your Real Estate Website

Many real estate agents end brokers have reported that they have seen an increase in the amount of leads they have been receiving from their website.

The agents and brokers that reported success stated that they frequently update their site with fresh informative content on a weekly basis.   By doing so they received quality organic leads.

If you are not getting the leads from your site, here are some of the things you should continually update and add:

  • Local news and events pertaining to your market area
  • Local school information
  • Sold homes reports
  • Photos and Videos
  • IDX

Have you updated your site content lately?

10 Tips for a Successful Networking Event

I write a lot about how to better improve your virtual presence but today I thought I would write about some grass roots strategies.  For those of you who never attended a business networking event, they are great for making new contacts and in the Real Estate Industry it is all about the people.  So if you are willing to give it a try here are 10 tips you should know.  By the way a great place for find a Networking Event is on http://www.meetup.com

1: Bring Business Cards: Yes I know it sounds silly but a lot of people forget or do not bring enough.

2: Be prepared to talk, show your value. Instead of going to your next event and just winging it, try to think about what you want to say.  Avoid a canned sale pitch and instead talk about who you are and what value you or your company can bring to the person you are talking to.  Also remember your value might not be in what you can bring the person you are talking to but maybe in someone he/she knows.  Referrals are everything.

3: Make good use of your time. When we did our speed networking session last meeting we gave everyone about 1 1/2 minutes to talk.  We did this specifically because most people will decide on how good or interesting you are in under 2 minutes. In my world of web design people a person visiting your website makes an unconscious decision to stay on your website in under 10 seconds by visualizing color, images, space and key text.

4: RSVP early. Doing this helps in 2 ways.  The first way is it forces you to commit early when your schedule is more likely to be free. If you wait until the last minute you run the risk of being busy that night.  The second thing it does is it helps to foster more people to attend.  People signup a lot of times based on the number of people already going.  So if you see 20 people are already registered you are more likely to register yourself.

And don’t forget you can cancel your registration with most events up until the day before, so go ahead and RSV now!

5: Set time to meet everyone, don’t just talk to the people you know.

6: It’s always not about you: Some of the most successful people tend to put their own personal motives aside to connect other people. This can take place at the networking event or afterwards, but try to make connections between the people who you have recently met. This also helps people remember you because both people will remember you as the person who connected them. I was told from a colleague that she did not really make a connection until she met someone about 2-3 times.

7: It is not only about the event. After you leave take the time to connect virtually.  With today’s social tools it is easy to extend the relationship after the meeting. Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

8: Post via your Social Networks. After the meetup post something on LinkedIn or Facebook about the event.  It helps to connect you to the people you met by reminding them where you both met.

9: Followup: Try to follow-up with the people you met within 48 hours.  Visit their LinkedIn account and leave message, connect through common interest social groups or send a personalized email. Do not think of the new connection as just about what they can do for you; offer to refer contacts to others, ask questions pertinent to them.

10: Plan your next event. Networking is not just a once in a while thing.  The more you practice networking, the better you will become. Take some time to see what you did good and what could be improved.  Make note of these for your next event.  Make a goal to attend at least one event or more per month.

I hope this might help you make your next meeting more successful.

Infographics – The Future of Marketing?

First let me define infographics for you — they are graphic visual representations of  information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. With an information graphic, businesses can develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information.

We’ve taken this trend to mind…and figured why not make some for REALTORS®! Below is one of MANY infographics we will begin to spread throughout our blog and social networking sites. If you have any idea for an infographic that would help with your internet marketing – let us know!

Click Me for the Full Picture!