A month ago real estate experts predicted a grim future for the Billings, Montana housing market. The region has a whopper of a housing crunch, and Gov. Greg Gianforte’s key housing affordability proposals just won’t get past legislators. These days what were affordable homes are now a luxury item.
Despite interest rates climbing, Billings is consistently voted one of the best places in the US to buy a home. The complexity of the market there is, however, just cause for finding the best professionals to either buy or sell a house. Here is a short list of great professionals who can help. We hope this shortens your agent search effort.
Shawna Morales, the managing broker of Engel & Völkers Billings makes use of every tool EV provides with regard to digital marketing, which is a smart move. She maintains a very good Facebook presence on her own, and runs the gambit of digital marketing strategies. 66 perfect Zillow appraisals, Her most prolific effort, an Instagram channel with over 21,000 engaged connections, tops 99% of Instagram profiles run by real estate agents. She’s also been named one of the Top 100 Agents in America.
On LinkedIn, Morales has lots of room for expanding her network. Another spot where Morales could gain brand recognition is with her underutilized YouTube channel, where she is very good on camera. However, if Billings, Montana has a real estate superstar, it’s this energetic professional. She’d be who I’d turn to to either buy or sell a house in the region.
Lanissa Fortner, of 4 Seasons Real Estate, fits the template we’ve established for highly successful real estate agents who understand marketing. She ticks all the boxes digitally including a highly visible Facebook presence, a useful Instagram channel, a very nice LinkedIn engagement, and what appears to be a stab at developing a YouTube “tips” channel.
Perfect Zillow reviews (211/5.0) and over 70 sales in the past year punctuate what is a 90th percentile digital presence. Unfortunately, Ubersuggest by SEO guru Neil Patel shows that Fortner’s website only gets about 11 organic visits per month. This is a shame, because the site is aesthetically nice and helpful. Fortner also has 90 near perfect (4.9) Google reviews to her credit, and perfect reviews on Realtor.com (70). What’s missing is traditional media outreach and extended branding for the veteran agent, but that’s it.
Sheila Larsen at Team PureWest Christie's has almost 80 sales in the past 12 months, and over 160 perfect Zillow reviews. She networks well via LinkedIn, but lags behind many US agents in the use of other social media. She has a total of 14 posts on Instagram, for instance. This can be explained because the former Berkshire Hathaway associate only began working with Christie’s last year.
The agency’s website has a mediocre on-page SEO score of 45, and it looks like almost no one visits Larsen’s main internet billboard. Other than this setback, the Christie’s agent is using the PureWest Christie's Facebook for engagement there. Her team’s advisory profile has no posts as of this writing. Given Larsen’s shift of companies, the 80 sales and perfect reviews across those transactions put her here in our lineup.
Terri Welborn and her partner Ashley Erb (at right) at Selling Billings are doing a good job of leveraging digital marketing channels. The team is approaching 1,000 very good Google reviews, and Welborn has almost 100 perfect Zillow evaluations. Their Facebook entity has over 1,400 likes, and their website, while atrocious from an aesthetic standpoint, has a great on-page SEO score.
What I find interesting with this team is that they make no bones about proclaiming that 80% or more of their sales come from referrals. This explains, to an extent, how come Welborn has not invested more in digital tools like YouTube, Instagram, and other useful channels.