Published by Kartik Subramaniam
According to one recent study, the vast majority of all experiences between a services provider and customers still begin in the exact same way: with a search engine. If you needed just a single statistic to underline the importance of your online presence as a realtor, let it be that one.
Thanks to the rate at which technology continues to advance, consumers are doing more research before purchases than ever before. They want to collect as much information as possible and weigh all of their options carefully before making the decision to part with their hard-earned money. If they're putting in hours upon hours of careful research before investing in something like a new computer, how much effort do you think is going towards some of the larger purchases they'll ever make like a home?
In short, quite a lot.
This is why it's critical for you to understand that, as a realtor, your online presence is one of the most important elements of your business that you need to keep a careful eye on. This is true for a wide range of different reasons, all of which are worth exploring.
As stated, most experiences between you as a realtor and the people you've dedicated yourself to serving are going to begin with a search engine like Google. This means that if you go to Google right now and type in your business' name, you'd better show up as high on the page as you possibly can.
This means not only creating a real estate website or using an online social media platform to showcase yourself, but elevating it above acting as a simple "virtual business card" and into the realm of a helpful online resource that people actually want to use. You need to write blog posts, record videos and offer other helpful content to help people understand why you're someone worth paying attention to in the first place. People have questions and concerns when it comes to buying a home - your website is an opportunity for you to answer them in a way that builds trust and empowers your larger SEO (search engine optimization) efforts at the same time.
Of course, people aren't just going to take your word for it that you know what you're talking about when it comes to real estate - they want this confirmed from other real people that you've worked with in the past. Reviews on Zillow or even Yelp may also come in handy when servicing new clients.
It's equally important for you to keep in mind that when it comes to the level of research people are doing ahead of a major purchase like a home, they're not limiting their activities exclusively to "normal working business hours." They're doing research early in the morning and in the middle of the night. They're pouring over options on weekends and at virtually all hours of the day. This means that a successful online presence as a realtor depends on making yourself available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Think about it like this: if someone has a question, they want an answer now. They're not going to wait for you to get back to them - they're going to keep trying until they find someone who will. By giving people the opportunity to contact you anywhere at any time, you're making sure they complete the majority of their customer journey with you.
In the end, traditional word of mouth may still be the best way to secure real estate leads - but that doesn't make an online presence any less important. Still, both of these things are in service of the most important marketing opportunity of all: doing whatever it takes to generate as many satisfied customers as you can.
Are you ready to get your real estate license?