SEO 101

It doesn’t matter if you’re the best real estate agent in the city, if you don’t have leads, you won’t make any money. Finding new clients can be frustrating, but we have a few ideas that may help when it comes to creating a website with a high SEO.

It requires a little patience, but in the long run, optimizing your site will generate more traffic and more leads. In brief, optimizing your site is a little like setting up guideposts for search engines like Google. When someone searches for something like “Real Estate Agent”, the search engine looks at a couple of different factors to determine what pages show up first in your results. These factors include age of site, number of pages, unique information, frequency of updates, and, of course, the words on the page, among others. This is why you’ll often see Zillow and Trulia at the top of results – they’ve easily got most agents beat on age of site and number of pages.

How can you optimize your site for a higher ranking?

Content

The actual words on your site are, of course, a big deal for search engines. Most important, you want to make sure that the words you’re using on your site are words that potential clients will be searching for. For example, your designations are important, but are buyers and sellers going to know and search for industry terms like ALHS, e-PRO, and GRI? Keep this information, but check your site for “search terms” like “homes for sale in Stone Oak” or “Cypress real estate agent.”

If you’re comfortable with the back-end of your site, you can also add helpful terms to your images, page title, and more. For example, when you post a picture of a home, the photo title may be a string of numbers or even “123-main-street.” By changing these titles to something like “home-for-sale-77494”, you’re giving search engines one more clue that your page is relevant to the search.

Frequent Updates

Next, you can make more frequent updates, through a blog, for example. By posting regularly (even once a month), you’re showing sites like Google that your webpage is active and current. If you set up your site a year ago and haven’t changed it since, search engines aren’t going to want to show your page to visitors. It’s also a good idea to check your site every couple of months and update outdated information.

Unique Information

Having unique information on your site is very important. For example, a certain real estate brokerage recently rolled out a brand new website service for all of their agents. Included on these sites are 5 sample pages and 4 sample blog posts. All of these pages have exactly the same content. When a search engine scours the web for relevant information, it will find thousands of pages that are identical (except for contact information and agent names). Search engines don’t know what to do with thousands of pages that look exactly the same and will feature them much lower in results than pages that have original content. If this sounds like your website, the best thing you can do is rewrite the pre-fabricated content you were given to reflect you personally and professionally. This will benefit your SEO, but you’ll also be creating information that your clients can use.

Be Patient

It takes about 60 to 90 days to see results from SEO improvements, and may take as much as 6 to 12 months for newer websites. Improving your SEO is a long-term project with big results, so keep making updates, posting original content and checking your site for search terms, even if you aren’t seeing immediate changes. In the long run, you’ll be building a site that search engines want to feature and, of course, that offers great information to prospective clients.

Are You Your Own Worst-Paid Employee?

If you work for yourself, like many do in the real estate industry, it’s important to know the true value of your time. Driving to and from appointments, working on contracts, attending CE classes, and networking, among other activities, can take a toll on your day. Before you spread yourself too thin, you’ll want to understand just what you’re giving up when you commit to one more thing.

Take a look at the Time Value Calculator or take this quiz at Clearer Thinking.

When you understand the value of each hour of your day, you’ll be in a better position to schedule your tasks and to decide what you want to outsource and what you can tackle on your own. For certain responsibilities, you may find it more financially viable to hire outside help for a lower rate than your own time is worth.

Say that your free time is worth around $20 per hour: If hiring an employee will cost you about $12 and save you an hour compared to doing the work yourself,  then it might be the right call. If it’s going to cost you closer to $20, you should probably reconsider. You can use your new knowledge to help you figure out:

  • Whether you should order in or cook
  • Whether you should hire someone to organize your office
  • Whether to hire someone to manage your social media accounts
  • Whether time spent on the phone with customer service to save $X is worth it
  • Whether or not it’s time to move on from a stalling client

The calculators linked above are meant to act as guides, not gospel truth. You will also want to factor in your personal budget, your own enjoyment of certain tasks, and more. Regardless, knowing your value is always a good thing.

Reaching Out to a New Contact

Let’s face it – we live in a world where texting is the primary form of communication for most people. In many cases, your clients may have even said they prefer a text to an email or phone conversation.

But there are certainly times when a phone call is so much more appropriate for the situation. And there are times when choosing between a phone call or electronic communication can make or break your relationship with a client. We break it down below.

Send A Text If…

  • You have already been working with your client for some time.
  • The information you’re delivering is brief (ex. changing a meeting time, thanking the client for meeting with you)
  • The information you’re delivering is not complicated.
  • Your question or information does not require a complicated response.
  • The client has given your their direct cell phone number and given you permission to text.

Send An Email If…

  • You have had a conversation with a client that requires additional information. For example, you’ve told them about a listing you think they’d like, and you want to follow up with website information.
  • You want to ensure that there is a record of communication.
  • Provide brief status updates.

Make a Phone Call If…

  • You have not already met with your client in person or had a phone conversation. Your first impression should never be via text message.
  • You’re delivering bad news. It’s important for your client to hear your tone of voice and for you to gauge his or her response so you can choose the best path to take next.
  • When it’s important to you that information (whether it’s practical information or tone of voice) is delivered accurately and in the proper context.
  • The nature of your conversation will likely take more than an exchange for 1 or 2 sentences.

Four Fall Blog Topics to Inspire You Today

You probably already know that blogging is a fantastic way to keep your website at the top of the search results. The consistent updates to your site tell search engines that your page is active, the additional pages help feed results, and the language on each blog (probably related to real estate) tells Google, Bing, and Yahoo that you are relevant to the real estate industry.

Keeping your updates consistent is crucial. So here are four topics to get you interested in making your blog is up to date!

UPCOMING EVENTS

There are plenty of things to get excited about as spring approaches. No matter where your interests lie, you can find something to get passionate about as you update your blog. You may want to highlight holidays and events this fall like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashanah, or Veterans Day. Community events can also be a big hit. Offer your readers a list and commentary of all of the springy events they can take advantage of. They’ll see you as a fantastic resource and community guru!

HOLIDAY SAFETY

Holiday safety is a great springboard for blog topics. Use ideas like safety tips for Trick or Treating at Halloween, kitchen safety for Thanksgiving, and home safety for those who travel during the holidays. Your readers will appreciate the valuable information you offer. More importantly, you’ll be offering great and useful advice that could make a difference this holiday season.

HOME MAINTENANCE

No matter where you live, preparing your home for the winter months is a great idea. Help your readers and potential clients get ready for the cooler weather by providing great advice on what they can do now around the home. Find some great ideas here.

FAMILY FUN

Autumn is just about the perfect time for family fun. From hayrides to festivals, there are some great ways to bond with the people you love best. Your readers will love some of the ideas here, including the Texas Renaissance Festival, Oktoberfest, and the Texas Hot Sauce Festival.

Love Real Estate but Hate Being in Sales?

For many people, the idea of being in the sales industry can be cringe-inducing. Even when business requires it, the idea can be an uncomfortable one. But we are here to help you embrace your salesmanship, build relationships, and find success.

Here are four points to help you learn to love sales.

We are natural salespeople

You may not realize it, but you were born for sales. Even as children, we know how to ask for, and how to get, what we want. There are things that don’t work (stomping feet, screaming, etc.) and things that do (kindness, sincerity, hard work, etc.) Sales doesn’t change much past childhood, but the audience does. Don’t be pushy. Do be courteous. Don’t manipulate. Do approach potential clients with sincerity.

Sales is already a part of your everyday life

Not every sales transaction has to involve money. Whether you are dealing with children, coworkers, romantic partners, or even neighbors, life is transactional. Our little everyday conversations have an aspect of sales within them. Asking your child to get ready for bed? In a small way, you’ve made a sale. Negotiating “duties” with your spouse or significant other? More sales experience. These mini-transactions can help prepare you for business transactions.

You are here to help

You are a professional. You offer a service people need. In fact, people desperately need the expertise you bring to the table. Your relationship with your clients is absolutely win-win. They get an expert to navigate them through a complicated transaction, and you get to build your business. They are receiving just as much out of the relationship as you are.

Social Media Resource: September 2019

We’re happy to share some great articles with you this month. Please feel free to pass these along to clients, friends and family.

Fall Friendly Tips

Around The House

Food

Buying And Selling

Great Ideas