Real Estate

Imminent Domain (Name): Why You Need Your Own Website

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The world-wide web is a big (and, frankly, sometimes-scary) place. At Little Egg Solutions, we are a small firm specializing in web-based marketing strategies for other small and medium businesses, so we know how vast that ocean can seem to a little fish used to a much smaller pond. For entrepreneurs who are just beginning to branch out into the digital marketplace, it may be tempting to take shelter under the eaves of a larger conglomerate site. Many parent organizations and agency associations have shiny, professional sites that their partners and agents can use, like a real estate company who lists all of its agents, to get their name on the net without all the hassle of purchasing a domain name, building a site, formatting HTML, et cetera.

Don’t do that. (At least, don’t only do that.)

We know, we know; it seems like a logical way to find the eyes of potential clients. After all, why would they be on the site if they weren’t interested in the services provided? Plus, you’ll be benefiting from all the traffic these major sites receive while they do the marketing legwork, right?

Wrong. Yes, those sites get tons of traffic. Yes, those visitors are probably in the market to buy what you’re selling. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be buying it from you. Huge conglomerate sites are complex: built with pages upon menus upon more pages. For your prospects, finding your name in the (admittedly smaller) sea of service providers contained therein is almost like finding a needle in a stack of needles.

Besides, what if you leave the brokerage or agency that’s featuring your page?

Your web presence disappears, that’s what happens. You need a separate, distinct island in the Internet Ocean with a bridge back to the mega-site (in the form of links) to set you apart and truly reap the benefits of your association with the organization’s web presence. Personal branding is important for business success in today’s world. People want to buy from (and sell through) people, not faceless corporations.

Also, people like to buy from people who have experience, and the more positive, professional, helpful information they can find in their search for someone who can help them, the better. By building a separate site for your business, you get your name on the web on your own terms and dictate the content and character of your personal professional brand. Your presence online is not reliant on the favor of any other organization, but you can still link back to the organization’s provided page for increased credibility. It’s a win-win.

But I don’t know how to make a website!

You can use any number of hosting sites, like WordPress, to create a simple, professional website with their templates. Or, even better, you can hire someone to do it for you, and remove the headache completely. At Little Egg Solutions, we can build a perfect, personal website for your individual business needs. Contact us today to find out how we can add a little distance and distinction from the herd to your web presence!

Social Agency: Video Marketing is Your Friend

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We mentioned earlier in our Social Agency series that the video medium has unique benefits for Real Estate professionals, namely virtual tours and interactive listings. However, video marketing on social media is much, much more than just those two things. It’s becoming the gold standard for content marketing across all industries, and for good reason. Our social media marketing experts at Little Egg Solutions have looked into the rise of video marketing on social platforms and have come to the conclusion that it is your friend. Here’s why:

Do People Really Respond Better to Video Marketing?

Yes – overwhelmingly so. In terms of engagement (likes, shares, retweets, comments, etc.), video just blows other media out of the water. On average, a video has 135% more organic reach on Facebook than a still photograph. On Twitter, a video is three times as likely to be retweeted as a GIF, and double that for a photo. The overwhelming majority of people surveyed would rather watch a branded live video than read a branded blog. It’s clear that, despite the potential setbacks for time, money, and camera-savvy employees, video marketing is an excellent investment. Television ads are nothing new to the Real Estate industry, but more time is spent watching YouTube during prime time than on any cable network.

Why is Video Marketing Effective?

Video marketing builds on the same psychological phenomenon that social media marketing has uncovered: People respond better to other people than to faceless entities. We empathize; we trust those with whom we have a connection. And now, more than ever, people are looking to make a connection with the people behind the brands they trust. The Digital Age has ushered in an unprecedented ease of connection through electronic media. It’s not just people on a screen, it’s people behind a screen.

How Can I Leverage Video Marketing in Real Estate?

If this sounds familiar to you, it should. It’s the same basic principles that go into the face-to-face marketing and networking that go along with being successful in Real Estate. No one wants to buy something as important as a home from someone they don’t trust. The difference is, you need to be able to make that connection before the first face-to-face meeting ever occurs. Use the power of video to showcase your personality, your professionalism, and your knowledge of your industry. Give potential clients a glimpse into what it would be like to work with you and show them the person behind the screen, not just on it.

 

We know what you’re probably thinking right now: “How do I do that on top of everything else?” At Little Egg Solutions, we’ve got your back. Much like video marketing, we are also your friend. We can take care of your content marketing needs and help you build the perfect strategy to grow your business, one post, picture, or video at a time. Contact us today to learn how a social media marketing expert in your back pocket can lighten the load!

Social Agency: Google Plus Benefits for Real Estate

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In our last Social Agency article, we discussed the benefits of using Facebook for Real Estate agencies and how to make the best use of the platform. This time, we’d like to talk about an often-forgotten social media platform with tons of perks, specifically for businesses: Google Plus. At first glance, it might seem like creating a Google Plus account for your Real Estate business is a waste of time. But Google is the king of search engines, and the benefits of using their platform for promotion outweigh the tediousness of adding yet another account to your social media presence.

Why You Should Use Google Plus

One of the reasons that Google Plus is severely underrated is that it’s an entirely different social media concept from giants like Facebook and Twitter. You can’t compare one to the others, just as you can’t compare Yahoo and Tineye simply because they both have a search bar. The second reason is there’s a misconception that no one is on Google Plus.

Google Plus, as of 2012-2013, had between 135-300 million active users. That is a massive userbase, and the numbers vary by what you define as “active”. Why? Because many people have a Google Plus account simply by having a Gmail account. Their circle is their email contact list. And you can reach their list by harnessing this unique native connection through Google.

Google Plus Business Benefits

With the native Gmail connection, Google Plus influences the search results for anyone logged in to their account. Now imagine you have 500 connections on Google plus (like, say, your email list). Now your content has priority treatment when they search for local realtors or property listings. It’s a built-in white hat SEO advantage, just because you are already on their contact list.

Google Authorship also adds a distinct benefit for real estate agents on Google Plus. When your search results get boosted for your contacts, or when they show up on their own, your Google Plus profile picture and details show up too. Along with a link to more pages authored by you, which, if viewed for a certain amount of time, automatically returns more results when the searcher returns to the SERP. It’s a double-whammy of SEO benefits that need only your use of Google’s proprietary social media platform. It’s almost like a reward for doing what you were already going to do, because you’re flattering Google in the process.

How To Get Started

Joining Google Plus is much like joining any other social media platform. And, with characteristic care for user experience, Google will walk you through the process of creating your page and completing a profile. After that, add authorship to your posts to reap the benefits thereof and begin the work of expanding your circle (your email list is a good starting point for this) and joining communities to reach more people. Reciprocity is the key to any social media dynamic, so be sure to +1 and share content from connections. Finally, add checking in to your schedule (at least once a week). The volume and pace  of Google Plus make it much more manageable to deal with than oversaturated networks like Twitter.

Via  SEO Link Building  | Flickr

Via SEO Link Building | Flickr

We know what you’re thinking: “But Little Egg, I have a full plate already with just the social media accounts I have.” We get it. Adding another social media platform to your overall content marketing strategy can feel like piling dirt on top of an already-growing mountain of tasks and it may seem like a landslide is imminent. That’s why we’re here: to take the shovel and shoulder that burden so you don’t have to. Contact us today to find out how!

Social Agency: Why and How to Use Facebook for Real Estate

Social media and online content marketing can be a challenge for professionals who are accustomed to doing their recruiting face-to-face, and real estate is no exception. But never fear, the social media marketing experts at Little Egg Solutions are here to help you understand why social media is so important to success and how to get the most out of your online marketing efforts! In the previous installment of our Social Agency series, we covered the key benefits of Twitter marketing for real estate professionals and tips to optimize your marketing strategy. This time, we’re tackling the biggest of the “Big Four” social media platforms: Facebook.

Reach, Glorious Reach: Everyone (and Their Mother) is on Facebook

Facebook is huge. Not just in terms of brand recognition, but also in terms of userbase. A whopping 1.94 billion people use Facebook at least once a month, and almost 1/3 of the people who use it are between 25 and 34 (the elusive Millennial buyer so coveted by many industries, real estate included). But the demographics don’t stop there. Facebook appeals to the young and the old, male and female, of all races, income tiers, and education levels. No matter who you’re trying to sell that listing to, or who you want to represent, chances are, they’re on Facebook right now (or they will be shortly).

Pro-Tip: For the highest engagement levels, including click-through rates, likes, comments and shares, post listings in the evening hours and on weekends. High-traffic hours (weekdays from 1-3 PM) are best reserved for your other posts, although those should be sprinkled into the high-engagement times, as well.

Video Killed the Radio Ad: Virtual Open House

Video is quickly becoming the gold standard of content marketing, and Facebook (as the only platform with more unique monthly visitors than video-giant YouTube) is an ideal place to utilize it. But video has a benefit unique to real estate: simulating the open house experience with virtual video tours. There are a lot of people who prefer to do both their research and their buying online for one reason or another, but not having to interact with other people face-to-face is one of them. Real estate is usually a mostly face-to-face industry, and video can help you bridge that gap.

Pro-Tip: Use the appeal of video to help draw potential clients to open houses by featuring a slideshow of still images. Or, to fully leverage the video tour for people who would rather not deal with crowds, advertise private showings along with a brief tour of the property highlights!

Post, Post, Post: A Treasure Trove of Information

As we mentioned in our Twitter article, social media marketing should follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should be helpful, informative, and general, and only 20% should be directly related to sales. The fast-paced newsfeed of Facebook makes it easy to maintain this balance while also getting all your listings on your business page (and you need a Page, not just a personal profile). Local groups are an excellent resource for information to share, as well as the numerous generic real estate groups on the site. A bite-sized bit of copy and a click of the share button, and you’re one step closer to making that magic ratio a reality.

Pro-Tip: Use your business Page’s messaging feature to interact directly with leads or to keep up with existing clients. Contests and comments are also important tools for making potential clients feel special and for increasing your engagement levels by creating a rock-solid personable reputation.

Via Mark Moz | Flickr

Via Mark Moz | Flickr

Facebook is probably the most important social media platform for content marketing success, but you may find it confusing or frustrating to navigate the business features and to keep up with the fast pace of the news feed. Professional support is critical to fostering and maintaining sales success. That’s where we come in! At Little Egg Solutions, our social media and content marketing professionals are experts at putting platforms like Facebook to work for you and your business. Add us to your winning team today!

Social Agency: Three Key Benefits of Twitter for Real Estate

A strong social media presence and content marketing strategy is important in this Digital Age, no matter what industry you’re in. For real estate professionals, though, it can be difficult to leverage these online marketing tools to their fullest potential; but, as we mentioned in our first installment of this Social Agency series, it is no less important. Twitter, the widely-recognizable, but often frustrating, microblogging platform, can be especially challenging. But the social media marketing experts at Little Egg Solutions are here to help you navigate this unfamiliar territory; it is our backyard, after all. Below, you’ll find the three biggest benefits of Twitter for real estate professionals and our tips on how to make them work for you!

Local Authority: Establish Yourself as a Guru

Twitter, which is often full of breaking news on both a local and national scale, is an ideal platform for establishing yourself as an authority in your area. As a real estate professional, this gives you an important edge over competitors who are underutilizing the platform. If your followers believe that you know all the ins and outs of your working area, then it follows, naturally, that you would know exactly where their ideal home, meeting their specifications, would be hiding in the maze of for sale signs and online listings that potential home-buyers have to sift through.

Pro-Tip: Tweet about local news, charity events, and even other local businesses. Reliable recommendations for local moving companies, professional cleaners, and even rental trucks can show your followers that you’ve got the lay of the land and can help them find what they need!

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Brand Trust: People Like Putting Faces to Names

One of the primary benefits of any social media marketing strategy is humanization. People prefer to buy things from other people, not giant, faceless corporations. They also do a lot of shopping around online. Real estate is one of the most interactive industries there is, and it requires a huge amount of trust. A professional-yet-personal Twitter can be the bridge between you and the potential client surfing the web for the best realtor in town.

Pro-Tip: People love to feel special, so make that a priority in your approach. This can include behind-the-scenes office photos, celebratory posts, contests, group offers, retweeting your clients’ or industry partners’ posts – anything that adds a personal touch to your Twitter marketing.

Just Like Real Life: Play to Your Strengths

Realtors are often fantastic offline marketers. Of course you are; being personable and persuasive is the name of the game in sales, and sales don’t get much bigger than real estate. But translating those in-person skills to online marketing can be both intimidating and frustrating. Twitter, for all its complexity, can actually make that transition easier, if you know how to leverage it. By tweeting with the same tone, style, and enthusiasm that you would put into a face-to-face interaction, you can bring your personality across in your posts – and personality is your bread and butter.

Pro-Tip: Master the 80/20 rule. Post 80% helpful or interesting information like how-to articles, business recommendations, news, and tips, and 20% sales information like listings and special offers. Think of it like soft-selling versus hard-selling: you’ll always get a better response if your message isn’t just: “Buy from me! Sell with me!”

 

Studies show a clear benefit to social media marketing in all industries, including real estate. There is always value in going to where your audience already is, rather than trying to draw them out or track them down. At Little Egg Solutions, we help you put down roots on the platforms your potential clients are frequenting, and our expert guidance can become the strong foundation on which the rest of your content marketing strategy can be built. Contact us today to find out more!