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Going Digital in 2011: Tips for Real Estate Professionals

January 12, 2011

Are you considering hiring a dedicated employee for social media and online marketing? Most companies can’t afford that luxury, but they also can’t afford to miss this vital marketing channel. If you need another statistic to convince you, here’s one:  Trulia, the real estate search website learned that its online visitors who used its mobile app was as high as 46% in some cities. And they were not just early-adopter cities like San Francisco or Seattle. High usage was spread across the country, including Dallas and Chicago!  Your customers expect you to be where they are – and that’s increasingly online!

So, if you are in charge of your digital efforts or have simply delegated it to the most tech-savvy person in the office, here are some online tools to help you out!

Measure results to best allocate your time.

Online marketing is no different than offline marketing. You need to check in and see what your efforts are producing. Measurement doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

For example, if you have more than 30 “likes” on your Facebook page, you already have Facebook Insights activated. It’s a tool that goes beyond the number of “likes” to tell you what type of content and conversations are generating the most activity in your community, when activity spikes or falls, whether your interactions with fans are leading to connections with their friends, and much more. Find it on the left-hand side of your Facebook page, and use it to best allocate your time and content. Twitter offers a variety of software tools that measure results, as well.

Videos – Again!

As we talked about last week, posting content doesn’t just mean status updates. Videos generate greater interest and open rates, particularly when included in email. YouTube has made it very easy to create a channel and post videos you can point to from your Facebook or Twitter updates or your website, and back again. For example, Keller Williams Realty International, a real estate franchise company, maintains a YouTube channel of videos on monthly real estate reports, real estate advice, and current company events. Using YouTube gives you a full-circle of online marketing, and the corresponding link back and forth boosts your website’s SEO at the same time!

Video is also more powerful than static photos when you post listings, and new mobile apps are making it easier to capture panoramic videos of a home’s interior with very little effort. While not perfected, check out 360 Panorama, an iPhone app that stitches photos together without photo editing and allows for uploads to Twitter.

Did you know?  More than 50% of agents and brokers say they invest up to 5 hours on their website per month and the majority spent less than $500 on their website in 2009.


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