Below are five key points for making sure your online first impression lasts longer than your most recent Snapchat.
Reviews: These days, almost everyone does their research online. Anything from movies, restaurants, Uber drivers to real estate agents, is rated and reviewed by everyone. Word of mouth isn’t what it used to be, and more people are turning towards online reviews for a first, second, and ultimately the last opinion so ensuring your online presence is positive as a Realtor is crucial. They don’t all have to be perfect, 5/5 star reviews. In fact, it’s often better if they aren’t to provide some validity. People want to see the transparent version of you that is exposed through a review to really understand how you work. A clients perspective of their real estate experience with you can help attract the right clientele. Build up your reviews as best you can, because at the end of the day this is what many buyers and sellers are going to use to make an informed decision to choose you.
In my experience, the reviews that my team and I have grown over the years have been invaluable to our success. They showcase our talents as expressed from a third party. We can paint a picture of our services and love for the industry, but often the most vivid example is that of a testimonial from a happy client. Going above and beyond our client expectations is one of the best ways to gain outstanding reviews. Due to our strong work ethic, our reviews help us grow our client base as well as credibility in the industry.
Blogs: They’ve read your reviews, and now they want to hear what you have to say. As an increasingly popular resource, blogs are a great way for people to simultaneously connect with you and receive insight into your industry knowledge. Having a blog is an ideal way to expose helpful tips about the real estate process, as well as giving prospective clients an insight into your mindset. Everyone has questions about buying or selling a home and creating posts that already have the answers will help enhance your credibility.
The tricky part about a blog is keeping it up-to-date. It can be a very easy thing to start, but if you’re not maintaining your content and giving people a reason to come back, then you may lose your audience and value. Also remember, people don’t take a lot of time to sit down and read these days so entries don’t have to be essays. Snippets of helpful tips or anecdotal field experience are all it takes. Be concise, informative, and approachable.
For our Team’s blog, we include a variety of different topics. Most recently, we are going to be introducing a segment titled the “Data Dojo”. Within this segment, we will present statistical analyses pertinent to the Silicon Valley real estate market provided by our data scientist. Covering topics both typical and unique, this section is geared towards the data crunchers and engineers out there who understand life through numbers. But beyond that, we do our best to focus our writing on a timely array of industry trends and advice for readers. As a result, we can showcase our knowledge and expertise for anyone looking to learn about our real estate team and its services.
Social Media: Similar to blogs, social media outlets are crucial elements of your digital impression that go a long way with consumers. However, if your Instagram page only has 10 followers and your last post was 3 weeks ago then you’re going to have some trouble making a good first digital impression. The tricky part is understanding how to use each of the major platforms in the most effective way. Facebook is good for events (open houses, home previews etc.), Twitter is great for news articles and short thoughts, and Instagram is great for brand identity through unique pictures of listings or clients. There’s also a happy medium between posting once a century and once a minute. Don’t flood newsfeeds, but also make sure you’re posting frequently depending on the social media platform’s “social norms”. Social media is tricky, but if harnessed correctly it can be an incredibly powerful tool.
The Boyenga Team knows that there are many opportunities on social media, especially since these outlets are one of the best way to engage with our younger clientele and are also FREE. Our platforms are compiled with up-to-date real estate news, photos, videos, and information on properties, along with our listings and happenings in our market area. We’ve found that this increases not only our presence, but also enhances our ability to share our expertise with the potential home buyers and sellers. With over 22k followers on Twitter, we’ve seen quite a large jump in our engagement with the relevant events and timely articles we post and engage with.
Website: People turn to the internet when looking for new homes in today’s real estate world. Building a website that provides a clear vision of your personal brand is key to a strong digital impression. The design should incorporate a way that promotes your brand and provides useful/current contact information. For example, I like using the platform Chime (covered here) which allows realtors to have an enhanced platform that’s attached to a realtors website, that allows me to track the leads behavior, and respond quickly to any of their needs.
Also, you want your blog integrated into your website. This way you can provide current information on market conditions, neighborhoods, schools and any other pertinent real estate data to help educate your users and illustrate your industry knowledge. Lastly a mobile friendly interface is a must in order to maintain a great client experience as well as providing a lasting digital impression.
Throughout the years, we’ve noticed that this industry is often a dinosaur in its attempt to catch up with the latest tech. Recently though, there are high-tech options available that are great for tracking clients both new and old. Recently, we started using Chime to help track, nurture and convert leads. Among many other things, it has an beautifully designed interface that allows my team and I to track the users coming from multiple lead sources. It then provides helpful information and analytics so we can effectively communicate with them and offer specific guidance. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that an up-to-date website connected to a powerful CRM platform is crucial to lead management and conversion. At the end of the day, that translates into what we love to do—helping people buy and sell homes.
Real Estate Portals and Agent Directories: More people are starting their search for a real estate agent on Google rather than asking their friend or neighbor, so building your profiles on real estate portals and directories is crucial. Agents should optimize popular websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Yelp, and Realtor.com to create a strong digital impression. These portals and directories tend to be at the top of the search for Google, so a lackluster profile can be the difference between a click or call, or the consumer clicking on the next real estate agent in line.
I have always taken a long tail approach to real estate portals, websites and agent directories. It makes sense to build profiles in all that are free, and then focus on optimizing ones with the most traffic. I’ve found that Zillow and Trulia top the list with over 100 million users searching each month. I’ve taken full advantage of these portals along with other high traffic sites. So, make sure to spend time keeping profiles up to date. Not only this will create better SEO, but help in growing your lead generation.
In conclusion, make sure your online presence is strong and diverse. You want people to be able to find you, learn about you, and feel like they can approach you within the first few minutes of their research. So, send out some review requests, spend time optimizing your profiles, put your writer’s cap on, and fire up those social media accounts, and in no time, you will have created a strong virtual presence that will land you your next client.