For my first post I thought I’d stick to writing about something I do best – building quality links. There are many ways to go about building links but doing it right is what concerns me the most. A lot of real estate agents either outsource their link building, do the very least they think is required to get the link, or straight up buy links… We might as well lump in those who don’t do anything at all as well.

Local Link Bait
In this post we’ll look at a few examples our team uses with great results. The best part of all: it’s not all about the links! Link bait these days involves social media, your personal connections and the overall result is *hopefully* great branding for you. Getting your local link bait to bite will be easier than going global but it won’t be a walk in the park.

No walk in the park? Well, expect that 4 out of 5 attempts won’t yield the most stellar results, but keep in mind that you’re creating great content in the process, so there really isn’t much lost. Most of the time, the first little viral push aspect will rely heavily on your social followers, or at the very least, your Facebook friends.

A lot of the content topics won’t necessarily be on real estate and that’s something I recommend. A good mix of pleasure with business can go a long way, especially when it comes to personal branding. You may not get a client straight away, but hopefully that person remembers your name (or that they’re following you on Twitter + Facebook) and when it comes time for an agent, your name is in their brain.

Consistency is something that a lot of agents seem to lack. If you can keep up with quality, baity content for a year, even 6 months, you’ll see some seriously brilliant results.

Use Your Blog:

The blog is a great place to launch your link bait, almost entirely because it’s on your site and you get all the link benefits. It is more difficult to get something to get globally viral from an unestablished domain, true,  but that’s not what we’re talking about here. It’s also a great bonus to beef up your internal linking a little, especially if your content goes “hot”. Don’t worry too much if your first few attempts don’t work out either. Constant awesome content is going to do your marketing efforts wonders and who knows, it might get a jump start randomly down the road.

Choosing your link bait topic is key to any link bait success and doing it locally is no exception. I always tell my real estate clients that they’ll need to do a lot of non real estate related topics. Before you think it’s a waste of time, remember that being an agent is all about self branding. You may not get a client right away but down the road you hope people remember your name. Besides that, the more followers you nab socially, the more you’ll have with your name in their brains.

Here are a few topic ideas that work for us, and should get your juices flowing;

– 10 Places To Find Online In (insert your city name here)
– 25 Local People Worth Following On Twitter
– 3 Amazing Luxury Properties in (insert city here)

Make sure your blog is optimized to funnel people to the appropriate places (Newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc) before you start your link bait adventures. I’d also make a list of people you’re going to want to have help spread the word. That list may just be friends and family at first but after a few runs you’ll have new social friends that will help out. With that being said, make sure you share the social love back and participate in the communities that helped you out.

Mobile Application Magic:

My favorite form of link bait these days are mobile applications. It’s straight-forward good content with an easy means of getting solid links. There’s no scam involved, no trickery and best of all, it’s something that will give you a serious edge over your competition. I have a lot of clients either ignoring my request or they’re too afraid to jump in and make something happen. This is a BIG mistake.

Mobile phone use is obviously very popular, I’m embarrassed even having to write that down. How many of you are marketing to this platform? How many of you are using this platform? Whether it be the Android, iPhone, iPad, or BlackBerry, you need to jump on this sooner rather than later! If your local area has nothing from another agent, then you are at a serious advantage.

I highly recommend starting out with a basic mobile app on the iPhone and the Android platforms, no matter what it is you have in mind. They make up for most of the smartphones in the world and both platforms have plenty of developers working on them the world over. You can even be up and running sooner than you think! Check out Smarter Agent and RE Cake for awesome mobile solutions.

Want To Some Serious Links?

Build an iPad (and/or your tablet of choice) local real estate magazine. This has been our most effective marketing strategy as of late. Granted, it’s not the easiest and it takes money, time and some good ideas and articles, but, like other baity content, you get out what you put in. We recommend making one with plenty of valuable content including video, photos and articles in addition to the property listings you’ll want to plug.

The results are more than just awesome links but also include branding and downloads from target home buyers. The best example I’ve seen to date comes from the fine folks over at Douglass Elliman who have the best iPad magazine (The Profile) I’ve ever seen in the real estate industry. This is definitely something to learn from and inspire you to come up with your own ideas.

Video Link Bait:

Sometimes I find video is the hardest marketing strategy to implement properly. Like myself, a lot of people don’t want to get behind a camera and yak away for a few minutes. This brings me back to the whole personal branding mantra I keep repeating. Why? Well, sometimes video marketing is going to be one of your strongest marketing streams. It can be yet another area that sets you apart from the rest of the local market.

Video also has many other benefits aside from just branding. They, of course, can include links, social media followers and rankings within the SERPs. A well viewed and rated YouTube video will, in a lot of instances, outrank your website; this is a strategy you should be employing.

Video Ideas That Work:

– Interview a local related individual/blogger/business
– Do a market update
– HD Video of the most amazing property in your portfolio
– Do videos showcasing a new development

These should be more than enough to get your video career going and hopefully you finally get the nerve to jump behind the camera and show off that pretty face. At the very least, make some decent slide shows with your favorite video editor or Animoto.

Going From Here:

There are plenty of other ways of attracting local links and it all comes down to creating the right content. It won’t be easy, and I know that’s not the best of news, but if you keep at it, you’re going to have such a jump over the competition in the long run.