• How Technically Knowledgeable is YOUR REALTOR?

How Technically Knowledgeable is YOUR REALTOR?

How Technically Knowledgable is YOUR Realtor?

As professionals, REALTORS have an obligation to their clients to be technically savvy and provide the highest level of service possible.  I have spent over 25 years in the high tech world building sales and marketing teams and there are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

There has been a lot discussion lately on the real estate forums, and I wanted to share things I’ve learned through trial and error, research and practical application.  IMO, services like Wix and SquareSpace are not strong marketing platforms, and “cheap” will get you what you pay for – not much. When you decide to build a website and market yourself online, be prepared to pay a fair price for your anticipated return. At a minimum, you want a site that reflects your professional competence and is capable of being a conduit for generating leads – a Realtor’s life blood. My $.02 about WordPress. WordPress is now used by almost 20% of the website world and is the platform of choice for a vast majority of SEO marketing professionals (see https://managewp.com/14-surprising-statistics-about-wordpress-usage). Reason? More companies make/build plug-ins, programs and API’s to integrate with the platform than any other and search engines such as Google have an incredibly high “affinity” for WP websites – they are “Goolge friendly”. They are designed to be compliant marketing machines. Reality is that you may never rank on page one if you use services like Z,T or R, or even Placester to establish a website presence. Same goes for Broker websites provided to their realtors (sorry if I am stepping on anyone’s ego here). If you leave your Broker’s website (and most Realtor websites are a sub-domains of their broker’s parent site), what do you think happens to your domain authority (and your website) when you leave to perhaps go to another brokerage? That’s right, you don’t take it with you and you start all over again. Same with other services whom you may help to build their authority instead of your own. Z,T, R own all their domain authority – the realtor does not. They use a myriad of monetizing programs, such as lead generation and zip specific campaigns to sell realtors an opportunity – one that DID NOT start with someone seeing YOUR OWN website. Yes, you can definitely pay thousands of dollars a month to Z,T,R for the privilege of marketing on their websites (go check it out for yourself), or you can choose to WISELY spend on a Digital Marketing campaign that builds your own website and reputation for long and short-term ROI. Whether you buy their leads, engage in your own PPC/adwords, or SEO (digital marketing) campaigns, one thing remains constant – you have to INVEST if you are going to “play” in the online arena for some type of reward. Getting onto page one doesn’t happen overnight – it’s an earned position that takes time – in some cases years, but isn’t that what we also do as Realtors who are in it for a career? Similarly, it can often takes years to build a solid reputation in the industry. My Point? There are very calculated and PROVEN ways of gaining (first page) exposure – certain realities that must be respected, pursued and implemented before success is achieved. As an example, investing in a well-thought, long term marketing blueprint is an effort that most Realtors do not take the time to do – it’s a foundation for success. Think about it . . . building a house without blueprints can be a disastrous undertaking. Only a select group see page 1 and 2 results. They take the time to do the things that most do not. Yes, organically achieving Page 1 results is KING, and, yes, you can certainly “buy” your way to page 1 with PPC/adwords, but even then there is an emphasis on quality scores that determine how much you pay and even the frequency with which you might show up. The quality of your ads and website counts! (see – https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2454010?hl=en) Often times a smaller company with a higher quality score will pay MUCH LESS for 1st position advertising than a more well-known advertiser lost half way down the 2nd (right hand) category list of spenders whose quality score may stink, spending a lot more and not getting the return. Yes, I have spent a lot of time researching how it all works. Does your website wear “jeans and a t-shirt”, or is it accessorized for success? Those additional things are what sets apart those that are getting results online from those that are not. Even then, there is more to a website than just featured listings, search/IDX, a blog and pretty pictures. The results come in the DOING, yet doing so properly and consistently. I recently launched my new website and was fortunate to be educated about the process because I involved and immersed myself in it. I still have a lot to learn, yet have also learned that if you do not put it out there, it’s not coming back to you. If you do put it out there, it can come back to you in beneficial ways when the time is taken and to do it right. If you don’t invest in the proper tools, getting the job done can be harder and may often take longer. I’m still perfecting my website, my authority and lead generating activites.  It’s a work in process but one I feel is well worth the effort for a long term presence in the Central Texas Real Estate Community.

Sandy Hoffman has been a broker for over 10 years,  and an agent with Keller Williams Realty for over 16 years.  She   has over 25 years building sales and marketing organizations for many high tech firms in Austin, TX.

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