One of the first things I ask when training new salespeople is whether they have Googled themselves lately. This is important because any potential clients or customers will definitely be checking them out online.
It is important to build an online presence from the get-go. Number one on the list is to buy a domain name, I recommend using their personal name. Domain names cost under $15 annually so purchase both the .com and .ca name. Point that domain name to your website so that if anyone searches your name they will be directed to your site. Be strategic and decide on a target or niche market to work. You may choose to work with seniors, first time buyers, or perhaps farm a new community neighbourhood. Make yourself an expert in your niche. Search for a domain name that applies to this niche and point it to your website.
When you have the website figured out you need to create a profile on the big social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Yelp, Foursquare, there are many to choose from. Even if you don’t have time to explore each social media site right away, having a profile gets your name onto the search pages of Google.
Next fill your website with lots of great community information. There are many website choices and your real estate brokerage may provide you with one for free. Make sure your website has a lead capture program and take advantage of drip email campaigns. Keep your website fresh and add useful real estate information and photos and videos of your community. Don’t forget to push your website on your business cards and all advertising and marketing material.
If you decide to blog, be consistent. If you aren’t able to write posts two or three times a week you are better to try a different marketing strategy. Facebook is a great way to reconnect with old friends, past colleagues and clients. Be yourself and find your niche on your personal site. Let your personality show through on your posts. Don’t forget to actually comment on others’ posts and not just click like all the time. Take advantage of lists on Facebook and put your relatives, clients, colleagues, etc. into different lists. Then if you are short on time you can just pull up a particular list to see what those people have been up to.
When you are comfortable, start a business fan page. Invite your personal friends to join. Again you must add interesting posts regularly if you want to gain an audience. Post real estate statistics, interesting homes, what’s happening in your community, etc. Do some self promotion but no bragging and don’t tell people how busy you are or they will think you have no time for them.
One final recommendation for new REALTORS® is to join groups on Facebook or Linkedin. There are lots of real estate related groups and you can network and gain lots of great tips and information by commenting and contributing to these forums.
There are many ways to increase your presence on Google organically and not have to spend money on companies who specialize in increasing your search engine optimization. Remember, your personal Facebook page is private and will not appear on Google pages but your business fan page will so make sure you post some great content there to get noticed.
Pay attention to the above tips and you will never be a “Secret Agent”.
Jenny Kotulak, YPN Committee Member and OREA YPN Guest Blogger
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