Search has completely changed, said Seth Price, vice president of industry relations at real estate technology company Placester.
He compared search to the story of Hansel and Gretel. “We need to figure out how to create the breadcrumbs that engage our customers and potential customers so they can discover us in a way that works.”
He shared tips at the Inman Connect New York session about how to nail your search engine strategy in 2016. Here’s what he had to say.
1. Terms that include “near me” have increased by a multiplier of 34 in the past year. “Everyone in this building has searched for a restaurant or a coffeeshop or a something ‘near me.'”
2. No matter what you do and how great you are, we as humans want to do things in the privacy of our own homes before we want to talk to an agent. “If we’re going to fight reality, we’re going to lose.”
3. Devices have taken over our lives. Do we take our phones to the bathroom and to bed? We all know we do. “And you know that’s wrong,” said Price. “Our attention spans are actually getting shorter.”
4. Use digital to create relationships at scale — leverage your ability to be in more places at once. “You still have to shake hands, you still have to kiss babies, you still have to send cards,” said Price. “But you have to figure out how to make it not-transactional.”
6. What do your clients care about? “They don’t really care about what you have to say,” said Price. “They don’t care about your slogan, your logo, your colors.” Find out what they care about. Make them better, richer, healthier.
6. What’s a citation? A reference to your name, address and phone number. And local search feeds off of citations. If you don’t put your name, address and phone number where they are supposed to be, “Siri can’t find you,” noted Price, and Google might not know your business exists.
6. Verify your business on Google. It’s free, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
7. Every office needs its own address and phone number — these are “bread crumbs” that help you get discovered.
8. Price recommended moz.com/local — which will tell you where you show up and where you don’t. Whitespark, out of Canada, can take care of your citations and certifications for you.
9. Heard of Amazon’s Echo? It’s just a new form of search, said Price — like Siri for your house. “Hey Alexa, I’m thinking of moving to Boston. What elementary schools are available near MIT?”
Price mentioned several brokerages doing social media well — Live Urban Real estate on Pinterest, Pope Real Estate on Instagram. “Not one of them talk about themselves,” he said. And every different platform is an opportunity. “You cannot do them all,” he said. Not without a team.
Check out the slides: