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13 Internet marketing tips for Realtors

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Yo, realtors: You guys rock. You help people make the biggest purchase of their lives.
But you don’t understand marketing. Or at least it seems that way. Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t send me canned e-mails with the same content that every other realtor is sending me. It does nothing for me, or you.
  2. Do send me a short note telling me about changes in the neighborhood, or big changes you think are coming to my block, or your new puppy. Pick something I care about!
  3. Build your own site. Your agency page is nice and all, but it looks like every other agent’s agency page. Don’t have the time/money to build a custom site? Use Blogger.com or WordPress.com.
  4. Pick a really small niche. Own it. Love gardening? Write about it. Send me gardening tips. Write about it on your blog. Remember: You love gardening. Share it. You’ll get more fans that way than spamming me with lists of local house values.
  5. Get writing. I tell everyone else this. Why not you too? Write on your blog. Draft your next 3 newsletters. Whatever. Writing is a full-contact sport: The more you write, the better shape you’ll be in.
  6. Guest post. Find a blog you like and admire. Offer to provide a guest post. You give someone content, they give you a link.
  7. Learn how local search works. Read everything on David Mihm’s blog. You may not rank #1 for ‘Manhattan Realtor’, but you have a legitimate shot at ‘Hudson Heights realtor’.
  8. Be available. We’re past the days of the direct, hard sell. Build a strong presence online. That doesn’t mean you always have to be present. It means that your identity – your brand – has to be. So make sure you’ve got a Facebook page, and a Twitter account, and a Yelp account.
  9. Respond. If someone e-mails you asking if you know a good dog walker, answer them! I know it’s a pain. But you never know where your next client might come from. Maybe it’s that person. Or maybe it’s the dog walker you refer to them.
  10. Be a referral resource. Connect people who need help to the people who can help them. Become the Person To Ask. Build some social currency. You can cash it in later.
  11. Do reviews. Use Google Maps, Yelp and other local sites to review local restaurants, hair stylists and other shops you frequent. Become the neighborhood expert.
  12. Find the local blogs. Read them. Someone in your area is probably writing a fantastic local news blog. Find it. Subscribe to it. Keep up on events.
  13. Go to a Q & A site like Yahoo! Answers. Look for folks asking about your neighborhood. Answer them. That’s your next step towards becoming that neighborhood expert.

Work towards this stuff, and you’ll become the person people contact when they want great information about the area. What could better position you as a realtor?

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CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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  1. great list – our company has several real estate agents as clients. It is amazing how many of them think the website the company gives them is really awesome and the canned emails are the end all, be all.
    the difference between them and many of the top agents is a site that has unique content and ranks well.

  2. Actually – many companies fail to realise that the days of the hard sells are gone, like what you said, not only the realtors.
    Its been so many years since all these social media marketing portals started to buzz, yet I don’t see one company out of hundred investing in a “online marketing” department.

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