In real estate, 20% do 80% of the business. Whether you’re new to the game, looking to join the 20%, or resistant to slipping into the bottom 80%, here are some ways to increase your home sales:
1. Target local search terms –69% of home shoppers who take action online begin their search with a local term, such as the name of a neighborhood (NAR and Google’s “The Digital House Hunt” Study). Because of this, brand related referrals have dropped from 64% in 2008 to 22% in 2013 of a broker’s referral traffic (The 2013 Broker Website Effectiveness Study). So, focusing on demonstrating your local expertise through neighborhood content landing pages will provide you with a competitive edge against major brand competitors within your respective communities.
2. Strengthen your local expertise –When a home shopper searches for “safety in East Harlem, New York”, competitors’ strategies will mostly consist of static crime rates, if anything. Take advantage of this by having blog posts at the ready that answer home shoppers' questions, such as “Safety in East Harlem: What You Need to Know”, or “Moving to East Harlem? 10 Tips to Stay Safe”. Developing these posts may seem time consuming, low priority, or easy to procrastinate on, but the payoff will be increasing your competitive edge, website traffic, local credibility, and conversions.
3. Hone in on properties - For 52% of homebuyers, finding the “right” home was the most difficult step in the home buying process (The 2013 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers). Once visitors arrive to your blog or local content landing pages, offer them direct routes to your local listings, each correlated with their respective information such as crime rates, school districts, and transit options. In the end, having as much content for each home possible will increase the chances of you selling more homes to your visitors.
4. Pay attention to Google – Google changes constantly. Paying attention to algorithm updates (when announced) will help you understand why website traffic or search rankings may be down, or even how to further boost it. For example, Google’s Panda update labels websites with identical content as being low quality. While this affects the countless Realtors who offer listings without unique content or customization, your local content landing pages and content-rich blog posts show your local expertise and can help elevate your platform to the top of the search results. To start understanding Google better today, look into Google’s Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin.
5. Obtain leads before your competitors do – 78% of home shoppers visit more than three sites before reaching out (NAR and Google’s “The Digital House Hunt” Study). Providing lead capture forms is a great way to pick up these leads before they reach out to your competitor. One example on how to do this might be offering highly demanded, localized content such as “South Beach, Miami’s 2014 Home Shoppers Guide”. This content not only generates increased mind share and credibility, it's designed to obtain contact information from your leads and generate more contacts for you to sell more homes to.
6. Provide your leads with content that counts – It can take weeks or months before home shoppers find a home or even reach out. In the meantime, reach out to them on a periodic basis with listings that have opened up in a highly ranked school district or within five blocks of mass transportation. This not only retains your relevance among past traffic, it keeps you top of mind for when they’re ready to purchase.
These strategies, when exercised properly, can help you improve your relevance to home shoppers when they first search for a home, increase your consideration when they are deciding between using you or a competitor, and ultimately help you sell more homes.
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Image Credit: Mark Moz on Flickr.com