The High Tech Commercial Real Estate Agent
Real estate SEO tips vary widely. Some sites are all about generating traffic and ranking for certain keywords, but there are others that are more involved and concentrate on improving your website and online presence. If you're not familiar with these kinds of businesses, you might be surprised to find out how much they can do for your business. There's even a difference between what you should do on your own website and what you can do when you hire an SEO company. So, how does real estate SEO differ from other industries? Marketing for real estate businesses is a tad bit more challenging because of the wider competition that’s present in this industry. Especially when you’re a first-timer, you’ve got to position yourself against real estate moguls and other bigger companies. That way, you can make the most out of the capital you’ve used to set up your real estate business, or even your loan from companies, such as Mid-Atlantic Financial Group.
Do you ever wonder how easy the commercial real estate business would be if you could sit behind a desk and leads would casually contact you via web, phone call, or messaging? Gone are the days of door-knocking, cold calling and sending out mailers, so read on. Whether you are new to the industry or a veteran, you should implement these 3 simple real estate marketing tools and strategies immediately. It will not only give you an edge on competitors, but it will also ensure you have a sudden stream of leads in your pipeline, which will increase sales. You can implement these strategies yourself or hire a commercial real estate marketing agency like My Perfect Workplace to implement them on your behalf.
Strategy 1: Activate Google My Business.
Google My Business can be considered as a digital directory or yellow pages. When you create a Google My Business account, you’re enabling the general public to learn more about your company’s name; they learn more about you and what you have to offer.
This is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the real estate industry, and it is absolutely FREE. Set up your business profile with professional photos and add a description of your business which shows the uniqueness of your company compared to your local competition to ensure customers choose you every time.
Each customer communicates differently with a service provider. Google My Business has the functionality for customers to engage with you in an array of ways. Therefore, it is important that you set up your business profile to meet each customer’s needs.
Ensure you set up your profile to allow customers to reach you by calling, messaging, leaving a review or by visiting your website. Let’s face it, with over 9 billion searches every month, the world uses Google. Turn those Googlers into your customers today!
Additionally, the layout of the Google search engine results page (SERP) displays pay per click (PPC) ads first, the local 3 pack, also known as Google My Business, second, and finally the organic rankings, which are much less visible. This makes it imperative that you utilize this free Google service in order to stay at the top of the organic search results.
The local 3 pack not only drives qualified leads your way, it also ensures you are working with local prospects in search of their next ideal property.
Strategy 2: On-Site SEO for Commercial Real Estate Agents. What does that mean? On-site SEO refers to the optimizations made to a website's content to help Google, Bing and other search engines understand what your website is all about, what services you offer, and beyond.
Since most new commercial real estate agents have a small marketing budget, they may not be able to hire a reputable local SEO agency to help them develop their on-site SEO strategies. In those instances, we recommend you start with freelancers on UpWork. You can find SEO gurus for as little as $3/ hour who reside elsewhere. Local freelancers are also a great option. However, local SEO freelancers in high-tech commercial real estate markets like Los Angeles and San Francisco can cost as much as $20/ hour. For a start-up commercial real estate agent or agency, that may be out of budget.
No matter how small your budget, it is imperative that commercial real estate agents hire SEO help. Don’t try to do it all on your own, especially when you’ve got absolutely no idea about SEO. Since this is one of the most important digital marketing strategies to apply, it’s imperative that you get it right. Otherwise, you may only be wasting time and money on techniques that don’t even work well with your company. This can only put you lower in the competition.
Before you can generate organic leads, which are FREE, as opposed to PPC, you must know your target audience and understand their intent when they start typing keywords into search engines. For that, you or your SEO expert must perform targeted keyword research. If you skip this step, you may waste your content marketing efforts by attracting the wrong customer base, or even worse, no customer at all.
If you have no budget for this technology at all, use a quick free tool offered by Google. Start by typing in a “keyword” or “keywords” you think your potential customer may type in the Google browser. This will likely return a list of I.P. based additional local queries users are typically typing directly into the Google search bar. Use those returned “keywords” when developing your scope of work for your on-site local optimization.
See example below:
Strategy 3: Commercial real estate agents want to work with local workspace lessees, buyers, and sellers. The same holds true for potential prospects looking to lease or sublease space. Commercial real estate refers to many different types of properties. These properties include office, co-working, retail, industrial, mix-use, live-work and multifamily properties. Keeping that in mind, you should pick one or perhaps two specialties in order to best optimize your website’s on-page elements.
Let’s face it, not all of us can be a Jack or Jane of all trades. Prospects like working with subject matter experts (SMEs) in the field of real estate. If your specialty is office and retail leasing, you want to ensure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are used throughout your website. Be sure to include a call to action, such as “Call us today to tour our office/ retail spaces at...” and your local phone number. Additionally, the same NAP that is used on your website should be used for your local listing citations, such as Google My Business.
You also want to ensure the backend of your website has a placeholder for title tags, meta descriptions and body text. You may then use highly relevant keywords that tell Google and other search engines what each of your website pages is about by filling in the state, city, and neighborhoods that you service in your title tags and meta descriptions. Then write out the description of the city or property in the body. You can learn how to optimize on-page elements yourself by taking a search engine optimization specialization course by Coursera or by hiring a SEO freelancer to help you with this process.
Undoubtably, commercial real estate is a local service. Therefore, ensure your website makes use of schema local markup. The schema markup tells search engine bots what they are looking for. Additionally, if you are a commercial real estate listing agent, ensure your properties are indexable and have an XML sitemap. Without an XML sitemap, search engine bots may not read all the web pages of your website, and therefore may skip the page you have of your property listings.
Although these easy-to-read commercial real estate SEO tips are not inclusive of all the strategies a commercial real estate agent may want to implement at the start of his/her career, they certainly are easy to implement with a budget in mind.