If you don’t know the right questions to ask and what results to measure how can you possibly grow your company?
The online game has changed in the last year…
and brokers are expected to keep up with all there is to know about being online and run a real estate company. That’s why very few are actually successful at it.
I certainly don’t know everything there is to know because online marketing involves so many moving parts that require a specialist in each one.
A specialist you ask…
If someone says they are the “Chicago real estate expert” they are full of ______ (insert your own term).
There is no possible way you can represent every single neighborhood to the best of your ability because there is way too much inventory, way too many neighborhoods, and way too many laws that are specific to each municipality.
If someone says they are the online marketing guru then are also probably full of ______ (insert your own term).
There is no possible way you can be an expert on website conversion, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click, etc.
That’s why it is best to find a specialist for each area.
Like a real estate professionals buyer agency agreement says…
I am not an attorney, mortgage professional, tax advisor, surveying company…
Here I would like to ask you, the real estate broker some questions and if you don’t know the answers to these questions I’m happy to direct you to the right resource if you ask in the form of a comment at the end of this post.
[Excerpt from my Broker Online Communications Audit]
Website (or blog)
Have you used ClickTale to see how customers navigate your website, what they click on, and how you can improve the experience?
Have you used MarketingGrader to determine the effectiveness of your online sales funnel? This pertains to how many consumer online leads a company will receive, how many agents interview from online forms, and conversion rates of each.
Have you used WordTracker to identify which keywords that you want to rank high on search engines like Google? This will be used in website optimization and social media content production.
Is your website mobile friendly? This means an online visitor doesn’t have to squint or consistently pan and zoom to read the site.
Is your business address easily found and does it link to a Google Map?
Do you give people the ability to subscribe to your blog using RSS and email? Are the logos and calls to action clearly identifiable?
How many lead magnets (search for homes, special report, audio lesson, webinar) do you use to build email auto-responder lists using double opt-in?
Do you include television appearances, articles featured in trade journals, or other media that give credibility to your company’s brand?
Do you poll online visitors continuously for feedback using a variety of survey methods? If so, how many?
Do you offer a password protected members area of your website so consumers can access advanced search capabilities and special offerings? If so what do you offer that no one else has or can?
How often do you check the analytics (ex. Google Analytics) of your website to measure the number of visitors, bounce rate, most visited pages, referral sources, and conversions from online sales funnels?
Do you collect email addresses from your online sales funnels? If so, then what is the conversion rate of opt-ins, click-throughs, appointments and sales?
How many email auto-responders do you use to build list rapport over the life of the buying cycle? What is the click-through rate of each campaign?
Do you follow the 2003 Can SPAM Act rules and regulations?
Do you disclose how often an email subscriber will receive messages? Do you guarantee their email address will never be shared with a 3rd party and adhere to the rule?
Do you ask for the email subscriber to double opt-in? This means they receive an email to confirm their subscription and continue to receive emails from you?
How often do you whitelist your email address for 100% email delivery using http://www.sysop.com/whitelist.php?d=1?
Do you use RSS email campaigns to segment messages from blog categories to segmented email lists?
Have you optimized your email signature with links to call to actions, link to address, and social media profiles?
How many video sales letters have you created to increase online conversion rates?
Do you answer your frequently asked questions using video on your website?
Do you video screen capture to educate consumers, train employees to use software, or give market reports?
How many video testimonials do you have? Are they easily found on your website and YouTube channel?
Have you created video job descriptions for new agents, new employees, and virtual assistants? These save time on training and lead to faster results.
Are you skilled in hosting virtual meetings using GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar or Skype?
Social Media Marketing
Do you have a REALTOR® Broker Social Media Policy? Must be a National Association of REALTORS® member to access. http://www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/pages/0510rm_socialmedia?OpenDocument&Login
Do you have a social media accountability plan who diagrams who does what, when, and how often? Example is our marketing assistant or community manager tweets 10 – 20 times per day spread out throughout the day from 8am to 8pm.
Do you have a spreadsheet of social media profiles each with a unique password for the company?
Do you engage local, regional or national media outlets using social media?
Have you inserted royalty free social media icons on the website template that link directly to your Linkedin company, YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Twitter account?
Have you made a list of desired media outlets and begin to develop a trusted relationship with them?
Well, how did you do?
Which areas can you improve right now?
You can find some talented people online at oDesk, glance, and Fiverr to do some of these jobs for you. I hope you will share some of your feedback with where you are and what next steps you will take.
The more honest you can be about your business the faster you will make progress.