Are you tired of having three other agents’ pictures displayed prominently next to your listing on another brokerage or listing portal, especially when your contact information is buried where almost no one can find it? While it’s difficult to slay the “three-headed monster,” there are steps you can take to limit its destructiveness to your business.
Many agents are frustrated by the fact that the best areas and placement on the various listing portals have already been purchased by savvy agents with way more budget than them. If you would like to obtain the best search engine results to send consumers to you rather than your competitors, here are five steps that you can take to outwit the three-headed monster.
1. Plan ahead
Most real estate searches take place over the weekends. In fact, one study showed that if you list a house on Friday, on average it will: receive 19 percent more page views; be 12 percent more likely to sell in 90 days; and will sell for $500 more per $100,000 in sales price.
If you follow up by immediately holding both a Saturday and Sunday open house, you greatly increase the probability of getting the maximum number of leads through your listing in the first 48 hours.
2. Tweet it out
Given that it takes the search engines 12-24 hours for new listings to show up in the search results, use Twitter to tweet invites to your open house the moment you have the listing signed. Repeat this process over the course of the day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Make the invite fun. For example:
Triple chocolate brownie lovers: Chocoholic Open House 1-4 Sat and Sun, 124 Main St. — At $325K this house is even yummier!
Repeat the post several times per day to attract as much attention from local Twitter users. The good news about this approach is that your competitors are probably not tracking Twitter for this type of information, but their clients are!
3. Google Plus first
Trying to figure out what Google is doing with its search algorithm is a guessing game at best. Your listing information is new content. Google has always used a “first to post” approach in terms of protecting original content from the three-headed monster who wants to leverage it. (In fact, if you repeatedly poach content from other sources without properly linking and/or acknowledging where that content originated, there’s a special place for you called “Google Hell.” In other words, Google buries your content so deep in the search results that no one will ever find you.
There are some SEO experts now who are suggesting that the smart play is to make sure that your property is staged and that the video is shot prior to the time you list the property. Then, the moment that listing goes “live,” immediately post on Google Plus first. This supposedly increases the speed at which Google can find you.
4. Become your own syndicator
The next step is to post your listing video (or a different video) to YouTube. From YouTube, you can post the link to your other social media sites. By doing this from the outset across multiple platforms, you are doing your own syndication. For example:
Create a board of listing photos on Pinterest. Any video you have shot should be posted either separately or in conjunction with your “boards.”
If your sellers are willing to be on camera, get them to share what they have loved about living in the house and the local area. Post this video to your Google Plus account and then on YouTube.
If the sellers really love you, get them to provide you with a written and/or video testimonial that can be posted on your LinkedIn site.
Don’t forget to post all of this great information to your own website as well.
If you have unusual or very interesting photos or video, tweet them out on Twitter and post them on Instagram.
5. How consumers really search
Research from Oodle, the company that powers Facebook Marketplace, as well as millions of real estate searches every month, shows that consumers search for property in three ways: by street, city and ZIP code.
While agents paying for prominent placement on the syndication sites are hoping that someone will see their ad and call them, Google doesn’t bring up their contact information. It brings up the information about the property sorting by address, street and ZIP code first and foremost.
It also places a very high value on fresh content, especially video. If you have these resources ready to go live the moment your sellers sign the listing, it greatly increases the probability that those client leads will find you instead of the three-headed monster.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named “new and notable” by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com.