In today's digitally-driven world, establishing a robust online brand and presence is not just a trend but a necessity, especially for REALTORS®. The real estate landscape has transformed significantly in the last 10 years, with buyers and sellers turning to the internet for their property searches and transactions. According to NAR's 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 100 percent of home buyers used the internet to search for a home this year. Hence, the significance of an online footprint for real estate professionals cannot be overstated.
For starters, creating an online presence ensures accessibility and broadens the reach of a REALTOR'S® services. Prospective clients can easily find and engage with you, regardless of geographical boundaries, through various platforms. Next, a strong online brand establishes credibility and trust among potential clients. Consistent branding across multiple platforms fosters reliability and professionalism, crucial factors in the decision-making process for buyers and sellers. And finally, in a saturated market, a distinctive online presence sets you apart from the competition allowing you to showcase your unique value propositions, specialties, and success stories, thereby attracting and retaining clients effectively.
That said, with the multitude of tools available on the internet to help build that brand presence, it's easy to get overwhelmed with which platforms to invest your energy. Along with REAL GRADER, we've created a succinct list of platforms that truly move the needle on your business when executed correctly.
Leveraging the .realtor™ Domain and Major Platforms
We're biased (and for good reason), but the .realtor™ domain offers a unique opportunity for REALTORS® to enhance their credibility. Leveraging this domain can create a memorable and trustworthy web address, boosting visibility and authenticity in the industry. But that's not all, the free customizable website included with the domain should be the first resource you leverage in establishing your online presence. This is a surefire way to set yourself apart in an industry where many of your competitors rely solely on the page on their broker's website to communicate their value.
Once you've launched and personalized your website, the additional 8 platforms on which to focus on having a strong profile that are guaranteed, if optimized and branded properly, to generate the most leads and revenue are:
Google Business: Optimizing this platform ensures visibility in local search results, provides essential information (contact details, hours, location, social media profiles), and encourages client reviews to enhance credibility. When potential clients search for real estate services in a specific area, a well-optimized Google Business profile increases the chances of appearing in the Local Pack (the top three map listings) and Local Finder, ensuring visibility among local audiences. Further, a well-optimized profile can improve SEO rankings. It increases the chances of appearing in relevant search queries, especially for location-based searches, improving overall online visibility.
realtor.com: A cornerstone platform for real estate professionals, establishing a profile on this site provides numerous advantages crucial to your success. realtor.com is a go-to platform for millions of buyers and sellers actively seeking properties. Having a profile on this site grants REALTORS® immediate access to a massive audience, increasing visibility and the potential for property inquiries.
homes.com: Similar to other reputable real estate platforms, homes.com attracts a substantial audience actively searching for properties. By creating a profile on this platform, REALTORS® gain access to a diverse and engaged pool of potential buyers, expanding the visibility of their listings.
Zillow: Zillow is widely trusted by consumers as a reliable source for property listings and real estate information. REALTORS® featuring their listings on Zillow enhance their credibility and professionalism, establishing trust with potential clients.
Facebook: Each social media platform out there attracts its own distinct audience. Facebook boasts billions of active users worldwide, providing REALTORS® with an immense pool of potential clients. It's great for community building and engaging with audiences.
LinkedIn: For professional networking, LinkedIn is the platform that offers REALTORS® opportunities to connect with peers, industry professionals, and potential clients. Leverage LinkedIn to establish partnerships and gain referrals within the professional sphere.
Instagram: As a visually-driven platform, Instagram allows REALTORS® to showcase properties through high-quality images and videos, appealing to a visually-oriented audience. Use Instagram to engage with followers, share behind-the-scenes content, client testimonials, and create a consistent brand image, fostering trust and connection. Strategic use of hashtags increases the discoverability of posts, enabling you to reach a broader audience interested in real estate.
YouTube: YouTube offers a powerful platform for REALTORS® to create video content, such as property tours, neighborhood guides, and market updates, fostering engagement and attracting potential buyers. Videos on YouTube have a longer lifespan compared to other platforms, providing ongoing visibility and attracting viewers over time. Use YouTube to share informative content, answering frequently asked questions, providing tips for buyers and sellers, and establishing yourself as a knowledgeable resources in the field.
Strategies for Optimal Utilization
Before you dig into optimizing your online presence, plan for and prepare assets for a brand image, like a logo, color schemes, and messaging to reinforce your soon-to-be-established brand identity; but know that it doesn't stop there. Consistently creating and sharing valuable, engaging content tailored to each platform's audience, showcasing expertise, market knowledge, and providing valuable insights for buyers and sellers are all integral to your continued success in driving new leads. Finally, regularly interact with your audience, respond to inquiries promptly, participate in discussions, and network to expand reach and credibility.
In conclusion, the digital sphere is an indispensable arena for REALTORS® to thrive in today's competitive real estate market. By harnessing the potential of a .realtor™ domain and optimizing major online platforms, you can elevate your brand, expand your reach, and cultivate lasting relationships with clients, ultimately boosting your business success.