We have been doing print, radio, TV, and other promotional marketing for a long time. We, for the most part, know what works in our market for our brokerage when it comes to these traditional marketing venues. When it comes to the Internet, however, it’s evolving so quickly that we can never relax when it comes to keeping up with what works on the Web, search engines, and for lead generation.
Website or Websites
It isn’t just about a brokerage website. Each of your agents is paying attention to how the Web can influence their incomes, so you want to be able to help them to build and maintain an online presence they’ll appreciate and value as an income generator. This presents a major challenge to maintaining a consistent brand across multiple websites. The key is to take control. One approach is to just pay for a website for each through whatever web platform you use for the brokerage. Another is to create a segment of your brokerage website for each. What they really want is a presence they can market to their prospects that appears to be uniquely theirs. They also really don’t want to spend a lot of time and effort in maintaining that presence.
Sub-site Address for Each Agent
You can provide that “uniquely you” aspect to agents through sub-sites. If your website is at http://yoursite.com, a subsite for Jim Jones would be http://jim-jones.yoursite.com. The agent’s name is placed with a dot before the domain name, and this becomes a subsite of the main site. You’ll need to work with your webmaster to get this done. However, once it is done, each agent can market their mini-site as if it were their own.
Provide each agent with their own descriptive text, marketing focus, niche materials, and contact information. They get the value of the entire brokerage site for SEO, as there will be a great deal of highly relevant local real estate market text and keywords on the site. They’re not out there trying to do their own SEO or buying clicks to bring visitors to an individual and separate website. It’s not a hard sell to show them the benefits of a presence on the brokerage site rather than an individual site.
MLS and IDX Is Mandatory
All of your agents benefit from the fully-featured IDX search function for the local MLS you place on the brokerage site. IDX is one of the most powerful lead generation tools available to the real estate professional or brokerage. Agents will appreciate being offered leads in the rotation that come from the IDX and lead generation tools and apps available on the brokerage site.
Recent consumer surveys clearly tell us that more than 90% of them use the Internet in their real estate and property research. They overwhelmingly indicate that searching all local listings is important to them, and the IDX system integration provides that ability through a feature-rich integration into the website. They can search on all of the popular property criteria, as well as on maps to locate nearby similar properties or local amenities.
Content for SEO, Search Engine Optimization
The advantage of an office real estate website is the ability to create comprehensive content that will be noticed by Google and the search engines. However, a major goal of content creation is to provide value to the site visitor. When they arrive via a search, you want them to easily locate the information they are seeking. Offering comprehensive content coverage of your area, local real estate market information, and answers to any and all questions a buyer, seller or investor may ask is how you’ll gain search position over time.
Create specific and focused content around each niche the agent services:
- Rentals and Property Management
- Single Property Site
Google gets better every day at recognizing quality content, and Google updates algorithms hundreds of times every year. The goal of the major search engines is to deliver quality content with highly relevant information to the searcher. That should be your goal as well, and this will align you and the search engines for better results. Take the delivered content and work with it to put your local and unique spin on it. Localism of searches is becoming more important with the use of mobile devices for searches.
Lead Generation for the Office
One sure way to build agent loyalty is to provide them with quality leads that progress to commissions. Provide a comprehensive suite of tools for lead generation.
- IDX with registration options for more information, as well as saved and shareable searches.
- Easy forms generation to create customized lead generation offers such as special reports and market statistics.
- A Lead Capture process for more lead generating power:
- Create a login tab on the site
- Offer saving of searches
- A user page with interactive elements that allow the sharing of information and even documents
The website lead generation powerhouse is a site with some type of call-to-action and lead form on every page of the site. You never know what content will prompt the visitor to register, or which special offer will grab their interest. Any page without some type of lead generation is a lost opportunity.
Lead Management and CRM
Once you’re enjoying all of those incoming leads, you’ll want to make sure that not a single one is wasted. With the average consumer starting their Web real estate research months before they’re ready to act, it is crucial that you build and maintain a relationship so you don’t lose them to a more aggressive competitor.
With the brokerage site generating a steady stream of leads for assignment to agents, we’re now concerned with keeping track of those leads and fostering relationships. The brokerage site delivers a centralized CRM, Customer Relationship Management, for ongoing communication with prospects.
- Track registered users’ search activities and site interactions.
- Share documents with prospect and client users.
- Communicate inside the system via email and their user interface.
- View their saved searches and properties to help you in serving them better.
- Manage contacts, emails, tasks, documents, notes and a calendar for each prospect or contact.
- Employ content-ready and customized drip email marketing campaigns and action plans.
- Monitor the social media activity of users; what they’re saying about you & what they’re sharing.
When you can locate a fully integrated website-through-CRM system, you can pull together a whole lot of independent contractors into a cohesive income generating unit.
Today It’s All About Mobile
Mobile devices have taken over the way we use the Internet, and they just keep grabbing a larger share of Web page views. These are smartphones and tablet computers, and they provide us all with the ultimate convenience when we’re on the move in our busy lives. These days you must address mobility both from a marketing and a business management perspective.
Google gives massive preference to “mobile-friendly” sites when searches originate from a mobile device. This won’t affect desktop and notebook search results, but it will dramatically change the top results for mobile searches.
Google has tested sites for mobile compatibility and is already displaying this in results. All or almost all of the top results will be Mobile-friendly sites when searches are done on mobile devices. Your site must be optimized and mobile-friendly, so you’ll gain an edge in your SEO on mobile devices.
Receive Leads on Mobile Devices
It isn’t just about the consumer, though. Your agents are mobile, and they’re most effective when they’re out interacting with prospects and clients. Whether they’re showing properties, meeting with listing prospects, or previewing properties, they need to stay in touch. A new prospect lead isn’t going to be patient. When the lead comes into the system, your website must help you to have it routed immediately to the agent’s mobile device. They can contact that lead immediately to lock out the competition.
Manage their CRM while Mobile
Agents are more mobile than ever, and they need to be able to handle CRM tasks on their mobile devices. Whether your system is online and mobile-friendly or it is a mobile app just for this purpose, you need to address this issue for optimal lead conversion to commissions.
Your agents aren’t doing deals if they’re sitting behind a desk. Help them to be where they need to be to work with clients and keep up with their market while handling the Customer Relationship Management tasks that will keep prospects engaged until they’re ready to act.