Maryland property assessments recently went up significantly, and nowhere more dramatically than Wochester County. With so much uncertainty in the overall US market, it's good news there are still pockets of potential out there for property owners, if not buyers. These most recent assessments do add another layer to the complexity of investments in real estate, so we took the opportunity to create a lineup of top local pros to help people navigate the waters of buying and selling in and around Ocean City.
Dustin and Mariya Oldfather are #1 in Ocean City, Maryland. Their Oldfather Group tops this list by virtue of over 500 perfect reviews via Zillow, and because of almost 300 sales in the past year. This team covers the gambit of digital and traditional marketing and sales expertise. The group has almost 5,000 Facebook followers, is engaged in virtually every social space, and has even published over 800 YouTube videos.
The Compass Real Estate agents at Oldfather almost all have 5-star reviews at Zillow, on Google, and elsewhere online where reviews of agents are calculated. The group also maintains an aesthetically pleasing, SEO-friendly (82/100) website, an Instagram channel, and more than 600 near-perfect reviews on Google. More importantly, Dustin and Mariya know the value of local media for branding and leads. Oldfather Group is a regular mention on most of the major media channels in the region. In short a version, they do things right.
If there is one negative to point out, it’s a missed opportunity promoting via LinkedIn. The group has a profile, but it looks like all the networking is done on a personal level. It’s a small thing, but LinkedIn is a great channel for leads if leveraged correctly. The channel has over 300 subscribers too.
Right behind Oldfather, Ryan Haley sports almost 350 perfect Zillow reviews. He also has had 171 sales in the past year, and his Atlantic Shores Sotheby's International Realty ticks all the social media boxes as well. The firm’s on-page SEO is perfect (A+), and the aesthetics are pleasing as well. Overall, the site ranks B- with some room for improvement though.
On LinkedIn, Haley has done a decent job connecting with business professionals, but there’s also room for more initiative in this sphere. On Twitter, Haley performs a heck of a lot better than most US agents, I must say. But where this agent really excels is on Youtube, where his group has published nearly 1,000 helpful videos in the past few years. Haley's team is #1 in Worcestor County with 333 deals closed, according to his website.
Unlike Oldfather, Haley is not all the talk of local news or industry media. This is something that would differentiate the Zillow Premier Agent’s already successful business, I think.
Bethany Drew (on the right), of “The Power of 2” Team has made 102 sales in the past 12 months. Her Zillow reviews (235) are perfect, as well. Her team maintains a useful social media presence across the board, but more frequent posting could help the effort a great deal. Drew’s website serves the purpose, but it’s not ready for the catwalk yet. SEO-wise, it also ranks way below average, which means there’s an opportunity for improvement and possible leads.
The Bradford & Drew team has a nice Youtube channel too, but it’s underutilized as well. I should mention that other partner in The Power of 2 team, Terri Bradford (on the left) adds still more Zillow perfection with 41 of her own (5.0), not to mention decades of experience This successful agency could be competitive with Oldfather and several others with a little media outreach and digital marketing push. Some ads would not hurt their effort, either.
Grant Fritschle, of Keller Williams Realty of Delmarva, finishes off this list instead of two dozen others with more Zillow reviews for one reason. It’s not because of his killer website. The SEO score of 67/100 is not close to the best in the region. He’s not here for the most Facebook or Instagram followers, though he does have nice campaigns for leveraging social.
The reason this second-generation real estate agent made this list is that every list should be about potential, and not only substantiated success. Fritschle has managed to make 37 sales in the past year without any of the high-priority digital marketing efforts of his competitors. The hometown professional has dabbled in almost every corner of digital and traditional marketing space, but not even LinkedIn shows up as a potential lead generator. And “No” I do not believe Fritchle and his partner are waving magic wands or doing open house giveaways galore to accomplish their good record.
If you watch the YouTube channel briefly here, you’ll spy something you’ve seen before - tell us if “authentic” comes through when you watch him and Jon Barker present properties. Now, imagine these guys practiced with a social media campaign designed to integrate Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and local news mentions. I put Fritchle here because, with very little effort, he and his partners could triple their sales and overtake much of the competition. I know it seems a bit mean, but 37 sales with the cruise control on? They’ll get what I mean, I know. Watch this agent in the future.