Getting the Most Online

Over the last week I’ve had questions about how to maximize yourself online with our new marketing initiatives.  I’ve put together an ‘action list’ for both the buyer and seller realms. 

Getting the Most Online from Buyers
  1. Set yourself up to receive leads-to-text from your website. | Learn How ▼
    Most of you are already set-up to receive leads from the Select Response System.  This is where you receive leads directly to your mobile phones.  If you’re not set-up this is the first thing you need to do to start receiving leads. 
  2. Know how to identify where the lead is coming from Learn How ▼
    I went over this briefly last week but check the email or your website to view the client’s source so you know where the lead is coming from.  You now receive leads from:
    • Your website
    • DiscoverStL.com 
    • Zillow/Yahoo 
    • Trulia 
    • Realtor.com 
  3. Know how to check the client’s request and respond Learn How ▼
    If you’ve received a lead from Zillow/Yahoo, Trulia or Realtor.com the client has asked you something and you need to respond to them. 
  4. Set up the client for a Buyers Search  Learn How ▼
    This delivers the client every current home on the market that meets their search criteria. 
  5. Set up the client for Property Watch Learn How ▼
    This is the #1 way to create return customers to your website! This feature emails the client every new home that meets their search criteria. 

Getting the Most Online for Sellers

  1. Create an SEO Listing Description Learn How ▼
    Optimize your listing descriptions in MARIS for search engines.  
  2. Turn ‘on’ Seller’s Reports for your website Learn How ▼
    This automated report shows the # of hits the seller’s home is receiving on the DiscoverStL system which includes DiscoverStL.com, your website and the 600+ agent websites at Prudential Select Properties.  
  3. Turn ‘on’ Seller’s Reports for Prudential.com Learn How ▼
    Also referred to as OSA, these automated reports show the traffic the seller’s home is receiving on Prudential.com.
  4. Create a Zillow/Yahoo Profile Learn How ▼
    • Puts your photo on your listings
    • Allows you to manage your listings
    • Allows you to receive reports about listing activity
  5. Create a Trulia Profile Learn How ▼
    • Allows you to manage your listings
    • Allows you to send seller’s listing activity reports
  6. Turn ‘on’ Sellers Reports for Trulia.com Learn How ▼
    These automated reports show the the traffic the seller’s home is receiving on Trulia.   
  7. Add Open Houses to Prudential.com Learn How ▼
    Although most of our website portals display information for open houses automatically, any open houses on Prudential.com need to be entered manually. 
  8. Posting Listings to Facebook Learn How ▼
    Posting your listing to Facebook is not only easy, it reminds your SOI that you are in the real estate industry.  Just remember to make sure it’s not ALL you do on Facebook.  A good rule of thumb is 80% social, 20% business. 
  9. Posting Listings to YouTube Learn How ▼
    YouTube is the second most powerful search engine.  Posting your listings on YouTube not only gives you SEO power it can set you apart from your competition. 
  10. Posting to Craigslist and Postlets
    I’m doing a bit of field surveying right now on both of these to provide you with the best solutions.  Look for an update from me soon.  


Additional Resources 

  • August’s Select Circle: August roundtable will cover our new marketing options.  Join us to review the above action steps and more!  Mark your calendars for Thursday, August 18th 10:00 a.m. – Noon at the Home Office Training Center, 1650 Des Peres Rd., Suite 205. Please register on the Resource Center if you plan to attend.  
  • Online Prospecting Ideas: I’ll be creating a new post soon about online prospecting ideas which we’ll also touch on at the Select Circle. 
  • Resource Center: we’ll be adding these action lists to the Resource Center for easy access! 

 

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How we plan to deliver you more buyers

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I’m a strong believer in transparency about what we are doing and why. Today I’m covering the changes we are making to our marketing plan as of July 2011. 

 

The Short and Sweet Version

  • Our Classified ad budget in the St. Louis Post Dispatch will be re-allocated to Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate for the next six months.  This coming weekend will be our last week of corporately sponsored ads in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. 
  • Our Search Engine Marketing budget will be re-allocated to Search Engine Optimization for the next six months.
  • Our support of Your Next Home magazine is increasing.  The company will now support one month of advertising in Your Next Home for all new listings taken over $100,000.  Your personal web address and phone number will be included.
  • Leads from the four major portals will be driven straight to you on all your listings.  You’ll receive them by text/email.
  • You’ll see monthly reports on the campaign including the number of leads generated both online and via phone calls.

 

The Lengthy Version with Lots of Words and Graphics

Where is our advertising budget going? 
Last month we spent almost half of our advertising budget on classified advertising in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. This is a huge chunk of our advertising dollars to invest in a 5 line, text only ad.

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Is this really the most effective use of our budget?  
I certainly don’t have to tell you there’s been a shift from print to online advertising or that we’re the last broker with a corporate presence in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  But we need to question if these ads:

  • Can be proven effective
  • Drive buyer leads to you
  • Increase consumer interest

 

Re-investing our print budget online
By reallocating our St. Louis Post Dispatch expenditures we can increase our online exposure on the top four real estate portals. Together these portals drove over 45,000,000 visitors last month.  

 

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How is this change good for you? 

When a consumer goes to Google or another search engine and enters ‘st. louis real estate’ you can guarantee that Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and Yahoo Real Estate are going to be within the top search results.  These national portals have an enormous amount of marketing dollars invested in SEO/SEM (search engine optimization and marketing).  Now if the consumer gets to any of these portals, they can also get to you.  Your listings will not only be there, they will be at the top of search results with leads directing to you.

1. Featured Listings 
When a visitor views a search result list on one of these portals, the listings at the top of the list are considered ‘featured’ properties.  If the search returns several hundred properties that match, an un-featured home may very well be the 175th on the list. Which means your listing never gets seen. With these changes your listings will now be featured (moved to the top) on Yahoo, Zillow, Trulia and of course, DiscoverStL.com. 

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2. Buyer Leads
Any request from your listing on Yahoo, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia or DiscoverStL.com goes directly to you.  You’ll get the request as a text to your mobile phone, sent to your email and recorded for future reference on your website’s client management side.  As always, there is no referral fee on these ——-> it’s your listing. 

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3. Opportunity Time Leads
Each portal will have a unique phone number that forwards to our offices on a rotating basis, increasing the number of opportunities available on phone duty. The unique number also allows us to track the number of responses we’re receiving from each portal. 

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4. Results Reporting
Which brings me to my personal favorite thing about this change.  I am routinely going to send you updates on the number of calls, leads and visits we get from each online initiative.  You’ll be able to view the direct results of this campaign and we’ll be able to evaluate it’s effectiveness.  If it doesn’t work the way we’re anticipating then we’ll go back to the drawing board.  The important thing is to get these buyers into your hands. 

How to Identify Leads
Make sure you know how to identify these buyer leads so you don’t miss an opportunity. Step-by-step guide below with examples.  

IdentifyingLeads.docx
Download this file

Your Next Home Magazine
Prudential Select Properties will support new listings in Your Next Home for the first month of the listing.  The full color ad will direct to your website and have your mobile phone number.  

There is also now an option to add the Sunshine Kids logo to your listings in the magazine. 

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SEM to SEO
For the next six months we’ll be taking the part of the budget we were using for search engine marketing (buying ads on the first page results) and using it towards optimizing our site so we organically pull in the search results for keywords like ‘st. louis real estate.’  I’ll also be sending out reports on this each month.  We expect to be able to drive more leads to you with this change.

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If you have questions remember you can email me at Sarah@DiscoverStL.com.