Why Real Estate Agents Should Have Community Pages and How to Promote Them
What Are Real Estate Community Pages?
The first thought that may come to mind when reading the title of this article is what the heck is a Real Estate community page. Simply stated a Real Estate community page is a dedicated place on a website where an individual can go to learn more about a particular city or town. These city pages should be jam packed with information and data that explains all about the town. Often times when a buyer is getting ready to be relocated to another part of the country or even within their own state, they would like to learn more about their potential destination.
This is a great opportunity for a local Realtor to show off their expertise surrounding the community that they do business in! There is no question that both home buyers and sellers want to work with a Real Estate agent they feel has a good grasp of what is going on in the city or town. After all buying and selling a home typically is one of the biggest financial decisions someone will make in their lives. If you have the opportunity to work with a local Real Estate expert why wouldn’t you?
What should be in a local Real Estate page?
When trying to determine whether to choose one town over another there are usually some specific things that a buyer is going to want to know. Most often the decision to relocate to one city or another boils down to a few of the following things:
- How good is the city's school system?
- How easily accessible is the highway or other major routes?
- What are the demographics of the city or town?
- What is the communities crime rate?
- How good is the appreciation of housing values?
- Is there public transportation such as a train or bus?
These are just a few of the major things that a buyer may consider when looking to pursue purchasing a home in a particular community. Given these are items that most home buyer's would be thinking about it makes sense you would want to include them on your Real Estate community page!
Here is an example of a Real Estate community page about Framingham Massachusetts. When visiting this Real Estate page you will quickly get a feel that there is an awful lot of good information regarding what you may be researching about Framingham.
The page was created by Bill Gassett of RE/MAX executive Realty in Massachusetts who has a number of these pages on his Maximum Real Estate Exposure website. Each page is dedicated that covering that particular town that Bill works in. From a consumers perspective not only are they learning a ton about Framingham that they otherwise may not have known but they are also learning about Bill in the process. You will notice that all the items mentioned in the bullet points above are covered on the Real Estate page for Framingham plus a whole lot more. It would be hard for anyone to come away not thinking that Bill does not have a decent grasp of the town.
Keep in mind from a Realtors perspective not only should you provide information buyers and sellers would want to know about the town but also some general information on why someone should hire you as a Realtor to work with. As much as the consumer is trying to find out information on the town they could also be looking for someone to hire who has a level of expertise to guide them on buying or selling decisions.
What should a Realtor say about themselves?
Whether you are being interviewed live or online from someone reading about you there are always some things you will want to cover especially if they benefit you as an agent to do so. One of the biggies is time in the business. Many consumers will ask how long you have been selling Real Estate. This is as common a question you will get. Of course if you are a veteran Realtor you will want to say so!
Production level is another big one to cover. Everyone loves to work with a winner. If you have a track record for success you will definitely want to emphasize that. If you are one of the highest producing Realtors in your company, town or even the state this is something you should make people aware of to make their selection process easier.
If you have areas of expertise such as online marketing by all means make sure people know it! With over 90 percent of all buyers’ finding their next home online, you want to make sure that if you are good with social media or SEO people should know about it!
How does A Realtor promote their community pages?
There are a number of different ways a Real Estate agent can promote their town pages. Some of the most common ways are like any other piece of content. One of the best ways today to mass market any article, blog post or static page on a website is through the use of social media.
Social media has changed the way people communicate with one another on a daily basis. It only makes sense that you would want to promote your content in these channels. The most popular social media channels are:
These sites have become extremely popular over the last three to five years to the point where they have become staples in our daily lives. A very large percentage of the population visits at least one of the sites on a regular basis. Given how engrained social media has become culturally it almost unfathomable to think an Realtor would not be using these vehicles to promote their business.
One of the better social media platforms for promoting Real Estate and of course your community page is Pinterest. If you are not familiar with the site it allows users to "pin" things they find interesting. A pin can be anything from a picture, to an article, to a video. People pin items to "boards" they create. When Pinterest first hit the scene it was labeled as a site that was just for women. The common misconception was the site was just for fashion and other women's lifestyle interests. This stereo type could not be further from the truth. Pinterest has become a very powerful medium for anyone with a business and especially those in the Real Estate industry.
Pinterest is the perfect vehicle because there are so many aspects of Real Estate that are visual whether it is a beautiful kitchen, exceptional garden, home improvement ideas and a myriad of other things.
How can a Real Estate agent use Pinterest?
There are a few things a Real Estate agent can do when promoting their business on Pinterest. The most important one would be to create relevant boards surrounding their local Real Estate communities. These boards would feature anything pertaining to the city or town as well as Real Estate items of interest. This is the perfect place for an agent to use the community pages they have created within their website to be in the spotlight so to speak on Pinterest.
Over on the right you will see a board that features Hopkinton Massachusetts Real Estate. Within the Hopkinton Pinterest board you will notice a few things. The board features a number of things including landmarks such as the town common, interesting buildings, lakes, neighborhoods and of course the community page. This board is just getting started as you can see there are only thirty eight pins. It is however exactly the way a Real Estate agent should go about promoting a city in which they have expertise.
One of the other features that can really increase a Realtors exposure is by getting involved with a Pinterest group board. Group boards can really explode an agent’s visibility if the board recruits enough people who are all pinning on a daily basis. What this boils down to is the power of numbers. The more people who are pinning and the larger the board gets the greater the chance the board will be seen within Pinterest itself as well as a Google search.
At the moment there are very few group Pinterest Real Estate boards. This however, is bound to change as more Realtors discover Pinterest as a great marketing channel for their business. This Pinterest Real Estate board has begun to get active and sure looks like it could be a winner. The board is open to anyone who has a connection with the Real Estate industry so others can join besides Realtors. In taking a look at the board there are mortgage brokers, home stagers, home inspectors and Real Estate lawyers who are participating.
Speaking of Google searches and Pinterest - if you create an excellent optimized board and are very active with it there is a good chance you can show up in an online search for competitive Real Estate search phrases. Take a look below at Coral Springs Realtor Lynn Pineda who does a marvelous job with her Pinterest boards. Lynn has been able to come up in search when some types into Google "selling your home Coral Spring Fl". Her Coral Springs Real Estate board is in the #1 position followed by her website. Not too shabby!
As a Real Estate agent if you can come up in the #position in a Google search for a competitive search term like this you are bound to be fielding calls from someone looking to use your services, especially when your website can also be found as well. A big pat on the back goes out to Lynn for achieving this kind of visibility from Pinterest.
Using Google Plus to promote Real Estate content
Google plus is one of the best social media platforms to promote your Real Estate content. In fact it could be the best due to the fact that Google Plus is more than just a social media network but a platform in which your content is integrated into search. This can happen in two different manners. It is possible for an individual blog post that has been shared on the platform to be ranked within search results with a Google URL. The act of putting the content on the Google Plus platform can bring immediate benefits in showing up as a search result.
Even more importantly is search plus your world which Google introduced in January of 2012. Search plus your world is essentially Google presenting search results to you based on who is in your Google Plus network when you are logged in onto your computer.This was Google’s personalization of search taken to the next level. Your Google network is all your Google contacts plus anyone you’ve circled on Google Plus. What this means is if someone you know has written about a topic you are searching for online and you are logged into Google, you will more than likely see them as one of the search results.
One of the keys to becoming more visible online is claiming authorship of your Real Estate content. Claiming authorship allows you to have a photo in search results tying your face with your content. It is estimated that the click through rate of a person with a photo tied to search results can go up by as much as 30 percent or more. Below you can see an example not only of claimed authorship with a picture but how a blog post that was shared on Google Plus can have it's own URL.
Obviously claiming Google authorship is a smart move for any Realtor who has a blog and is writing content that people will enjoy reading. Mark Traphagen who is a well recognized expert in the realm of social media and SEO does an exceptional job in his article Google Plus for Realtors, on why a Real Estate agent should be using Google Plus on a daily basis. This is well worth reading as it explains in detail how search and Google Plus have been integrated.
Another neat thing that Google has recently done is to allow the ability to embed your Google Plus posting directly into a blog post. This allows the discussion you are having on Google Plus to be added directly onto your site. See an example of this below.
As you can see I have taken a posting made at Google Plus and brought it over here to this Real Estate blog. While it may not suite the discussion of this particular post, you can see how it might be helpful to do so on other types of articles.
Re-purpose your Real Estate content with Slideshare
Slideshare is one of the least well known platforms for sharing content but should not be ignored! Slideshare is a PR8 website that does incredibly well in search. With Slideshare you are able to take a blog post you have written and upload it into the site and make a presentation from it. When you upload the post to Slideshare it will be indexed almost immediately.
So how do you create a presentation at Slideshare? Follow these instructions:
- First create an account at www.slideshare.net
- Take a blog article you have written and turn it into a PDF that can be downloaded at Slideshare
- Got to www.printfriendly.com and enter the URL of the article you are sharing into the print preview box
- This will have created your PDF
- You will download the PDF to your computer’s hard drive
- Now got back to Slideshare and hot the "upload" button at the top of the screen
One of the things you will realize when you have posted a few articles this way is that the links within the body of the post are only click-able if your document is longer than four pages. Clearly this is important from an SEO perspective as they are followed links within an article on a PR8 website.
There are of course a number of other ways to promote your content and especially your local community pages but social media is certainly one of the best! Keep in mind that social media is about being social and more people will want to engage with you when you reciprocate. By all means promote your content but don't use social media as a bulletin board. Get out and interact with others and you will find your efforts in social media will become much more worthwhile.
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By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, award-winning Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."Follow @Mike_Allton