Digital Marketing for Real Estate Agents

“Ninety-two percent of all home buyers use the internet at some point in their home search, 42% use the internet as their first step in their home search.” (Zillow, 2015)

“A recent Zillow Group survey of homebuyers and sellers demonstrates that this year, 28 percent of buyers age 50 and younger now find the real estate agent they purchase a home through via the internet.”

I’m not a coach, and I’m not trying to sell you my marketing services. I’ve spent the past 8 years in internet marketing, with a specialty in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Financial Advisors, and am now trying to apply that knowledge to my own real estate business.

Despite the availability of internet marketing tools and resources, I’m amazed at how dependent most of the industry is on “old school” sales techniques. A majority of leading coaches, trainers, authors, and top producers across the country are preaching the same strategies – prospecting – cold calling and/or door knocking.

While these strategies have clearly worked for many successful agents in the past (and are still working in the present), I question their long-term viability, efficiency, or necessity as a strategy for ALL agents.

To be clear, I am not ready to declare “the end of prospecting” in real estate. While all of my leads and clients in my marketing business were either inbound (rather than disruption based outbound marketing) leads or referrals, that has not been the case in real estate – yet.

Instead, this blog will outline my efforts and experiences, both positive and negative, as a new agent attempting to build a (digital) real estate business.

Can Digital Marketing Replace Prospecting in Real Estate?

If you ask those “prospecting proponents”, many of them will tell you that it’s not going to happen, in fact, some will tell you you’re wasting your time worrying about online marketing at all.

Of course, that’s what the establishment in the music, video, travel, newspaper, and publishing businesses said too. In fact, it’s what most Advisors said back in 2009 before the more recent rush to the web.

Is Real Estate the ONE industry that inbound marketing doesn’t work for? Possibly. There are certainly challenges that are unique to real estate, . . . on the other hand . . . ?

I know that I hate being on the receiving end of cold calls or having a stranger knocking at my door to sell to me, and most consumers are telling us that they don’t want to be marketed to in this manner either. They are  going out of their way to sign up for “do not call” lists, advocating for “no solicitation” neighborhoods, listening to ad-free music, and streaming commercial-free TV programming.

In addition, the data shows that consumer behaviors are shifting in the real estate market:

  • Ninety-two percent of all home buyers use the internet at some point in their home search
  • 42% use the internet as their first step in their home search
  • 28% of buyers under 50, found their agent online

There’s no reason to think that these trends won’t continue.

Building a Real Estate Business

I will be detailing the marketing efforts and changes I make along the way.  SEO, blogging, video, and paid advertising will be focal points of our digital marketing strategies.

Does this mean I’m ignoring “old school” marketing altogether? Heck no! 🙂

I know from experience that digital marketing takes time to develop, and while I hope that it allows me to one day eliminate traditional prospecting, I need clients today and traditional prospecting is the fastest and cheapest route to those early clients. Additionally, if I’m going to write about what works and what doesn’t, I really need to try it . . . don’t I?

I will be making phone calls and open houses prominent spokes in my marketing efforts, and will address my experiences with those traditional strategies as well.

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Buffer Adds Scheduled Retweets

Understanding and Working with the Colors of the Web

The first thing that will be obvious from this article is that I'm not a computer programmer - I "speak"
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Understanding and Working with the Colors of the Web

Take Triberr to the Next Level with Reblogging!

Have you discovered reblogging on Triberr yet?  If not,  you're missing out on a great opportunity! Are you . . . .
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Take Triberr to the Next Level with Reblogging!

10 Steps to Providing a Business Review on Google

Customer reviews and recommendations of local businesses has become an important element in attracting "local" customers to a business in
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10 Steps to Providing a Business Review on Google

4 Search Engine Optimization Benefits of Blogging

Are you in search of  the SEO secret sauce? The one tool, strategy, or software package that will make all
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4 Search Engine Optimization Benefits of Blogging

Is Klout Gaining . . . Clout?

As search engines move more towards "influence" indicators like "Google Authorship" and social signals, how long will it be until
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Is Klout Gaining . . . Clout?

New Cover Photo Policy for Facebook Pages

The big news here is that Facebook has actually done something to make it easier (albeit, only a little) to
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New Cover Photo Policy for Facebook Pages

Ecosia: Environmentally Friendly Search

Ecosia.org is a search engine mask - the actual search engine is powered by Bing and Yahoo - that is
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Ecosia: Environmentally Friendly Search

Fishing for Leads: PPC vs. SEO Keyword Selection

When I speak with business owners, the one thing that they all have in common is that they want to
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Fishing for Leads: PPC vs. SEO Keyword Selection

Webinar: Using an eBook to Market your Business – Gini Dietrich, Craig McBreen, Marcus Sheridan

Click on the Webinar below to watch presentation. Gini, Craig and Marcus discuss: The Benefits of Writing an eBook Tips on how to
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Webinar: Using an eBook to Market your Business – Gini Dietrich, Craig McBreen, Marcus Sheridan

Profanity and Professionalism

"If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better
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Profanity and Professionalism

How to Write an SEO Friendly URL

The URL - Uniform Resource Locator - or address for your web page, is a key "on-page" SEO element. It
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How to Write an SEO Friendly URL

Top 25 Marketing eBook Semi-Finalists

Following is a list of the Top 25 Semi-Finalists in our Marketing eBook Contest. Voting will be open to readers
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Top 25 Marketing eBook Semi-Finalists

BrightTALK: Free Business Webinars “to Go”

What is BrightTALK? BrightTALK is a dynamic webinar platform that sponsors and produces webinars from industry thought leaders and experts. The
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BrightTALK: Free Business Webinars “to Go”

Book Smarts: Outsmarting Google – SEO Secrets to Winning New Business (by Evan Bailyn)

If you find yourself in a position of trying to sort through all of the SEO information, misinformation, and sales
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Book Smarts: Outsmarting Google – SEO Secrets to Winning New Business (by Evan Bailyn)

The Top 10 Financial Blogs of 2012

Thanks to everyone who nominated a blog, to Marie Swift, April Rudin and Victor Gaxiola for lending their time and
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The Top 10 Financial Blogs of 2012

How to Customize Your LinkedIn News (Pulse) Stream

LinkedIn offers users an updated stream of the day’s “news” near the top of the LinkedIn Home page. Named “LinkedIn Pulse”,
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How to Customize Your LinkedIn News  (Pulse) Stream

Why SEO’s Can’t Tell a Good Joke (SEO humor)

 
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Why SEO’s Can’t Tell a Good Joke (SEO humor)

2012 Top 10 Search Marketing Blogs

Love it or hate it, Search Marketing - Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Local Search Optimization, and Pay Per Click advertising
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2012 Top 10 Search Marketing Blogs

Having Trouble Verifying your “Local” Business? Call Google for Help!

Yes, you read that right, you can now call Google Local for help with "local" business verification issues. For many of
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Having Trouble Verifying your “Local” Business? Call Google for Help!

Deux yeux TeuxDeux? (Do You “To-Do”?)

Are you a list maker? Do you organize your days, weeks, and months with lists? Are you always searching for a
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Deux yeux TeuxDeux? (Do You “To-Do”?)

Would you Rather be “Thanked” or Re-tweeted?

This is not a rhetorical question - I'd really like to know! Sandy Appleyard, one of my Triberr tribe-mates, recently posted
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Would you Rather be “Thanked” or Re-tweeted?

Is Your Thumbnail Image Costing You Business?

How much time did you put into picking your thumbnail picture? You know . . . . . . that little
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Is Your Thumbnail Image Costing You Business?

Have your Favorite eBook Judged by Gini Dietrich, Marcus Sheridan & Craig McBreen

Have you written a marketing eBook or White Paper? Or maybe you've found an eBook that has helped you in some
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Have your Favorite eBook Judged by Gini Dietrich, Marcus Sheridan & Craig McBreen

Google+ Introduces “Communities”

Google quickly rolled out "Communities" yesterday. "Communities" are Google's answer to Facebook and LinkedIn Groups - a place where like
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Google+ Introduces “Communities”

2012 Marketing eBook Contest

5 Reasons Every Small Business in the World Should Write an eBook That’s right, you should have an eBook. And no,
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2012 Marketing eBook Contest

The Content Marketing Dream Team

The original "Dream Team", the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team was the first comprised of NBA players. Timing and events
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The Content Marketing Dream Team

25 Tips to More Effective Marketing on Pinterest

Pinterest is the 4th largest generator of website traffic on the internet, it generates more revenue than the other top
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25 Tips to More Effective Marketing on Pinterest

Pinterest for Business: Time to Take Another Look?

Pinterest has been busy the past few weeks, first introducing secret boards, then verified accounts, and now business pages. So, what
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Pinterest for Business: Time to Take Another Look?

No Use for Foursquare? Think Again.

Have you checked out foursquare yet? Maybe already looked into it and decided it wasn't for you? You live in a
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No Use for Foursquare? Think Again.

The Impact of Blogging on Website Traffic and Leads

Blogging has long been touted by marketers as a powerful business marketing tool. Personally, my bias generally takes me to
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The Impact of Blogging on Website Traffic and Leads

eBook Writing Challenge: Are You Ready to Write an eBook?

"NaNoWriMo" - mean anything to you? It stands for "National Novel Writing Month", which officially begins its 14th annual campaign tomorrow, 
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eBook Writing Challenge: Are You Ready to Write an eBook?

Why Claiming Your YELP Listing is Must for Local Business

Yes, I really said that YELP is a MUST! We already know that  most people, when looking for information about a
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Why Claiming Your YELP Listing is Must for Local Business

Too much Triberr?

Too much [Triberr]? What's that mean? It's like too much money, there's no such thing It's like a girl too pretty, with
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Too much Triberr?

The Most Important Element in Local SEO: Reviews and Recommendations

Local SEO: Reviews and Recommendations Okay, now we're making progress! You've registered with the "Local" search engines, created numerous (are you
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The Most Important Element in Local SEO: Reviews and Recommendations

10 Steps to Dominating Local SEO in 2013 (Free Webinar)

Appear on the first page of search engines for industry and location based search (i.e. Boise Plumber) "Local" SEO should be
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10 Steps to Dominating Local SEO in 2013 (Free Webinar)

Adding Adwords Conversion Tracking to Your WordPress Website

What is Conversion Tracking? What action would you like your visitor to take once they get to your website - make
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Adding Adwords Conversion Tracking to Your WordPress Website

LinkedIn Offers Personalized Banner Image for Company Pages

This shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone, right?  With Facebook, Google+, and more recently Twitter offering personalized banner
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LinkedIn Offers Personalized Banner Image for Company Pages

Local SEO – Step 2: Preparing Your Website for Local Search

Much of "Local" Optimization is focused on "off-page" factors - registering with the search engines, creating citations, building links, and
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Local SEO – Step 2: Preparing Your Website for Local Search

Klout Gains Influence: Will it become a Factor in SEO?

Bing, who already has a partnership with Facebook, and earlier this year announced new partnerships with Foursquare and Quora,  yesterday
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Klout Gains Influence: Will it become a Factor in SEO?

Local SEO – Step 1: Listing Your Business on the Search Engines

Search, from both sides of the equation - the searcher and the search engine - has become much more local
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Local SEO – Step 1: Listing Your Business on the Search Engines

Local SEO: The Most Important Online Marketing Strategy for Most Small Businesses

The Question Depending on your resources, market, and goals, there are countless internet marketing tools and strategies available to you and
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Local SEO: The Most Important Online Marketing Strategy for Most Small Businesses

Twitter Now Offers Personalized Banner Image Headers!

Twitter's joining Facebook and Google+ this week, allowing users to add a banner style image to their headers. The Home, Connect,
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Twitter Now Offers Personalized Banner Image Headers!

SEO Demystified: SEO Doesn’t Confuse People – People Confuse People

The one constant that you can count on in SEO is change - new rules, new restrictions, new algorithms, new
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SEO Demystified: SEO Doesn’t Confuse People – People Confuse People

Building a Blog Following the Jeff Bullas Way!

"Writing is sometimes the easy part. The real secret is learning how to use social media marketing and email marketing
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Building a Blog Following the Jeff Bullas Way!

Facebook is for Likes Not Leads

Is your business on Facebook? How's that working out for you? No, seriously- I'm curious. 900 million people on Facebook .
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Facebook is for Likes Not Leads

How Important is SEO? New Research + Infographic

Is your site optimized for organic search? According to recent research out of the U.K. (GroupM UK, Nielsen) and published by
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How Important is SEO? New Research + Infographic

Do You T-r-i-b-e-double rrrrrr?

"... it takes only two things to turn a group of people into a tribe: a shared interest and a
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Do You T-r-i-b-e-double rrrrrr?

2 Free and Easy Ways to Find the Perfect Blog Post Photo!

So you've finished writing and editing your article, crafted a great title, and are ready to hit "publish" - as
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2 Free and Easy Ways to Find the Perfect Blog Post Photo!

6 Marketing Books that Changed My Life

Are you marketing out of passion or necessity? Although there seems to be an ever growing number of internet marketers
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6 Marketing Books that Changed My Life

Finding Your Blogging Voice

Wow . . . a blank page, . . . a clean slate, . . .a fresh start . . . . .
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Finding Your Blogging Voice