Establishing your online visibility is an outright given in today ‘s world, and agents that do it appropriately can reap the benefits of leads, new consumers, and increased sales. Regardless of what a few of the “old-schoolers ” might say, the reality is that you are required to utilize the Internet as a major form of marketing today. While some veterans in the business might be able to remain prosperous thanks to a broad network of references and clients throughout the years, most will have to (and should) utilize their website and social networking to create and promote their personal brand.  Every agent should budget for a good digital marketing strategy, but remember that good doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.

Have A Website

In today’s society, it’s about becoming the only resource for your clients, creating your personal brand, and staying relevant to your area of expertise. Having your own real estate website is the best way to protect all of these areas and maximize your development and growth of your business.

Paying developers to build a website that ranks high in search results is a more cost-effective and sustainable online marketing strategy than buying search engine advertisements.

At it’s most basic level, your website is a place where your current, and prospective, clients can go to learn more about you and the services you offer. However, most agents make the mistake of doing only that and no more; in today’s competitive marketplace, you need to go beyond displaying your services. You need to use your website, blog, and social media to become a valuable resource with pertinent, helpful information.You need to set yourself apart from the competition. You don’t want to be lumped in with everyone else in the office on some generic website,

Having a custom website allows you to set yourself apart from the competition. You don’t want to be lumped in with everyone else in the office on some generic website, otherwise, what’s the benefit of the prospect choosing you over another agent in your office?

Have a Blog on that Website

Over 90% of homeowners look online for information during their home search process.  And as a result, online content marketing has become the new frontier for real estate agents.

Blogging on a weekly basis and broadcasting your posts through social media and email campaigns will allow you to stay ‘in front’ of those folks in your social sphere and database. Your weekly post also opens you and your content up to a possible audience of thousands with just a few hours of work.

One of the more powerful aspects of blogging is the fact your post lives on the internet forever.

Take into account the value in a post that gets viewed over and over again via Google searches. Not only do you enjoy ongoing traffic to your site with one post but you are reaching all new potential buyers and sellers year after year…after year!

Your post can surface weeks, months and even years after you wrote it. Keeping your content relevant keeps your potential for Return Marketing alive and well.

Utilize Social Media

To put it simply, social media is where people are. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and dozens of others provide valuable opportunities to maintain relationships with existing clients and attract new ones, offering visibility and engagement at a low cost. You can boost your website’s SEO by utilizing your social media to promote and push traffic to your blog posts.

Remember that a light touch is essential. Your goal is not to hit people over the head with your inventory or sales record—it’s to let them know who you are, establish yourself as a resource, and lay the foundation for a meaningful relationship. You will only get out of these campaigns what you put in, so take the time to promote content that is relevant, interesting and visually appealing.

Cultivate and Monitor Your Online Reputation

Taking control of your digital reputation is more important than ever. A study done by BrightLocal in 2014 found that 88 percent of the 2,104 respondents trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Just think of the last time you traveled and used Google, Yelp or any of the hundreds of other review platforms to make a decision about a place to stay or where you would eat.

There are dozens of major directory websites out there where customers can leave reviews about your business, and it’s important that you not only monitor what is being said on those directories but that you try to cultivate as many positive reviews as you can. Without that effort, bad reviews about your business can leave you with significantly fewer new customers.

Foster a thriving business by cultivating and distributing glowing client recommendations. Building your reputation online is a key to generating more leads and brand awareness

Don’t Be Afraid to Source It Out

While the digital landscape can seem daunting, it’s really about just putting in the time to learn how it all works, then creating and implementing a strategy. However, many agents would prefer to spend their time focusing on the actual sales process or with clients, rather than in front of their computer screen. And that’s ok. Turns out there are companies that can handle this all for you, and for much less than it would cost to employ a full-time digital specialist.

RE/MAX Innovations relies upon and recommends ShoutCloud Studios, a Kansas City-based digital marketing company who is well versed in website development and online branding.

The new reality of marketing in this business is the Internet and technology.  Starting early in planning and building an effective Internet presence will make a huge difference in the long run.  Becoming a real estate agent who is highly successful will require the Web.