For agents, the Internet can be either the best place to get business or the best place to waste money and be ignored.
Recently, I got the chance to talk with award-winning author and online marketing expert Nicole Nicolay from Agent Evolution about how to succeed in real estate marketing online.
Here’s her take on one of the biggest misconceptions of strictly traditional marketers, negative reviews, and social media’s #1 site.
What’s the most important reason an agent who is experiencing recent success with traditional marketing practices still needs to establish an online presence?
Despite having success via traditional marketing, smart and experienced real estate agents know that consumers and potential clients may be looking online for them, their business, and their listings. And they also know, whether they like it or not, that people are talking about them online.
So rather than rolling the dice and waiting for the good, the bad, or the ugly to surface in Google search results, it’s smart to be proactive by taking a few simple steps to give your web presence a boost and make sure people can find you!
One easy step toward increasing your online visibility is to create a professional profile on LinkedIn, Trulia, or Yelp, and asking key clients for their endorsement.
Another highly effective way to rock your online results is….
to have a website that acts as a hub for sharing your expertise, and posting articles, photos, videos, etc. on the site on a regular basis. This is obviously more labor intensive, but it’s definitely worth it.
How do negative reviews affect agents today, and what’s the best way to react?
When and if a negative review surfaces for you, the best thing you can do is to NOT react immediately. Instead, head over to Starbucks, order your favorite treat, take a deep breath, and understand that this person just wants to be heard.
If it’s possible to contact the negative reviewer by phone, do it! He/she will be pleasantly surprised by your efforts. In my experience, when reviewers are given the chance to explain their experience, they will most often delete the bad review.
If you can’t call the negative reviewer, try reaching him/her online or simply comment back in a positive tone asking how you can help.
If there is no way to appease this person, your best bet is to focus on getting several new, awesome reviews, which will bury the negative one in search results.
With all of today’s options (Facebook, blogs, Pinterest, etc.), what’s the most important place for an agent to focus on establishing their online presence?
At the very least, agents should have a professional website so they can establish a web presence and get found, showcase their expertise and what they have to offer, and provide an easy way for potential clients to contact them.
FYI, more agents are choosing WordPress as their website platform now because you own your site and its contents, you can easily update it yourself, and customization is affordable.
As for the myriad of available social channels…well, that depends. Facebook is always a good place to start, with almost a billion users. It’s likely most of your sphere is interacting there. Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and real estate-specific networks like Trulia Voices also offer target-rich environments for engagement. To choose which social channel to start with, go where your targets are and where you enjoy being social as well.
Once you do make a choice to participate in a social channel, be there on a consistent basis, and don’t forget to share relevant and helpful content from your website, as that will likely increase your traffic.