Digital marketing success doesn’t revolve around marketing secrets; it revolves around marketing commitments. Where most real estate agents fail on social media and digital marketing is in putting together a plan and sticking to it.

Brokerages are no different. With exceeding pressure on brokerages to recruit, market and produce top-notch tools for their agents, digital marketing often falls to the wayside. With some simple adjustments, brokerages can put themselves in a spot to not only compete online in their market but to win.

1. Answer buyer questions.

Questions should be your core focus when you develop an online strategy. Brokerages trying to rank high in an organic search for keywords and terms like “Los Angeles real estate” are fighting a battle they will have a hard time winning.

On the other hand, if brokerages focus on answering specific questions buyers would have (and search for), they’ll give themselves a better chance of attracting visitors. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas does an excellent job on its blog, answering questions like “Where are the safest neighborhoods in North Carolina?” or “Which is the best suburb for raising a family?”

If you are looking for inspiration, Movoto‘s blog is another great place to check. Everything Movoto posts answers a buyer question.

2. Start to move some more ad spend online.

The average cost for 4,000 impressions in a newspaper is $32, while the same amount of impressions on Facebook costs about $1. I’ve written more about this here on Inman.

The fact remains that broker offices are still spending upwards of 60 percent of their ad budgets on print, yet 92 percent of people now use the Internet to search for homes, and the number of Google searches for real estate has increased 253 percent since 2009 (according to Placester). And you can target your online ad campaigns, whether through Facebook or Google ads.

3. Demonstrate your office culture.

Most of the real estate content I see online centers on listings. Here’s the problem with posting listings repeatedly on social media: The majority of people seeing them are not interested in buying a home in the near future. Brokerages also face recruiting challenges and selling themselves online.

The best way for brokerages to tackle these problems is to create content that describes the company culture. If your office heads to a canned food drive or everyone is dressed up for Halloween, snap some photos and get those on social media. This is an excellent way to show what kind of work environment you provide, and what type of person clients and recruits can expect to work with.

4. Set 90-day goals.

Brokerages should write and rewrite digital goals every 90 days (if not more frequently). I would start with a look at your current accounts and traffic patterns, recording where you stand. Numbers to take note of:

  • Facebook “likes,” reach and engagement.
  • Twitter followers and retweet reach.
  • Website traffic acquisition, bounce rate, time on site and total visits.

All of these numbers are available from Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and Google Analytics. From the starting point, I would set realistic goals that fall in line with your online spend — the more you spend, the more your pages will grow.

5. Inform agents.

Brokerages need to inform their agents about the online strategy. Agents will be the biggest mobilizers of your broker offices’ marketing material. Telling agents that you are sharing local and valuable content on your Facebook page and showing them how to share and repost it will help both the agent and brokerage alike. A common tactic is to commit to monthly webinars (keep them under half an hour in length) for agent training on topics such as social media.

Jordan Scheltgen is the founder of CAVE Social, a marketing agency based out of South Florida. He’s obsessed with everything to do with online marketing, startups and football.

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