RISMEDIA, September 9, 2010—According to the 2009 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 93% of first-time buyers start their home search online. While buyer’s agents may spend time and marketing dollars online, many fail to accurately measure these marketing efforts to ensure they are reaching the right audiences. Fortunately, there is a variety of free or low-cost resources available to help agents measure their impact online.
From ad tracking to search engine optimization, here are just a few ways to improve your marketing strategy and reach more buyers when they begin their home search online:
The world of Web analytics can be overwhelming. Instead of jumping into a complicated Web strategy, start with a few small goals, such as improving your keyword search and implementing online ads. From there, you can evaluate the impact of these strategies and expand your efforts accordingly.
From learning which phrases buyers use most often to search for homes online to connecting your website to keywords specific to your area, keyword evaluation is one of the simplest and most effective ways to help buyers find you online. Try a free keyword tool through Google or Yahoo! and be sure to adjust the content on your website or blog to increase your search results.
Analyze Web Traffic
Determining the source of your Web traffic is the first step to increasing it. After all, you are likely to gain more business from interested buyers in your area than those looking for a home in another state. Start by finding out where your traffic is coming from, via paid advertisements, social media or e-newsletters, and adjust your online marketing strategy to reach those audiences more accurately.
Once you are comfortable with the basic tracking and analyzing of your website, you can expand on your strategy and have fun with it. There are a number of tools available that allow agents to create heat maps, visual representations of high- and low-trafficked areas, which can give you a clear vision of where buyers are clicking and what areas they are missing.
The best way for agents to reach more buyers is to interact with them where they are already communicating and searching for homes. Fortunately, the number of free tools to help agents reach buyers online is increasing, providing a cost-effective way to increase business. In addition, resources may be available through organizations in which you are already involved. REBAC members enjoy access to informational Webinars discussing the latest trends in online marketing as well as networking opportunities through social media and customizable marketing materials to promote their buyer business. Whatever level of involvement you decide to employ, taking the time to improve your Web strategy is key to building your buyer business this year.
Marc Gould is the executive director of The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). A wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 40,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who work directly with buyer-clients. To learn more, please visit REBAC.net.