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A Look at Top South Alabama Real Estate Professionals

By Phil Butler | September 2, 2022
  • This week we look at the top real estate professionals in Mobile, Alabama. And, I’ll tell you, I knew this roundup would be different when I hit Zillow in this southern city. As you may know, we’ve been working on a better mousetrap to find the best agents in America for the average consumer. It’s still up in the air, whether or not a tech/social solution is possible. Yes, real estate people are still not like vacuum cleaners or smartphones, though some lead-generating platforms pretend they are. So, let’s objectively look at some of the highest-rated Mobile property gurus. 

    When I saw Steven Smith’s and Laura Buck Smith’s pop up on Zillow, I realized that maybe Mobile property pros are up to date in their marketing mission. The Smiths' perfect Zillow rating over 464 reviews seems impressive, especially compared to others in the region. Drilling down into their online presence, the Team Smith website is not atrocious and has a respectable 78/100 SEO score. The fact there are no social buttons means that the broker has not put resources into the company’s online billboard. As usual, I checked their digital footprint and found an adequate but disengaged Facebook, a Twitter feed to nobody, and a familiar LinkedIn presence.

    On Instagram, the couple show who they are, which I find refreshing, to be honest. I’ve lived in this part of Alabama, and many “real people” are doing business there. I’d say this is the Smiths’ most significant praise point. As you can tell from the Instagram share above, these top agents are just friendly folks. Finally, Laura Buck Smith has appeared in the media on HGTV's, "Bang  For Your Buck Major Home Renovation Edition," and on the cover of Top Agent Magazine. That said, South Alabama is not noted for being mainstream or for looking anything like Silicon Valley. And, I think this is a good thing. These agents reflect the easy lifestyle of the region, which I miss a lot. 

    Melanie Bunting Seymour is the founder of 1702 Real Estate. This is an agency I almost overlooked because Google did not list it higher. This is strange, and Google should consider the number of reviews along with the rating to order their result. 1702 has perfect scores from 60 clients, which is much more than most Mobile area professionals. I am glad I found her because she’s also got perfect scores on Zillow. And 1702 has a functional, pleasing, and connected website with a good SEO score. 

    The firm lost a few points because the company blog has been left unattended 5 years now. This ruins their SEO and branding. Also, the latest local media I could find for 1702 is about a year old now. So, Seymour is not beating the bushes in media coverage. However, a deep and engaged Facebook, a friendly Instagram presence, and yadda, yadda, we have another USA professional who knows what’s happening. I haven’t studied the south Alabama market yet, but I’d bet Seymour’s team could make a lot more headway by upping the marketing volume. 

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    Yikes! Zillow’s paid Featured Agents bar is revolving? And, there are no Mobile agents beneath the bar with excellent reviews? We have to adjust once again. Okay, I'll pick Lisa Granger, a Keller Williams agent with 74 perfect Zillow and five-star 44 Google reviews.

    Surfing to her company's website, I find the nicest smile and a simple but elegant website with SEO score of 78/100. And there are even social media buttons at the top for those who would go that route first to evaluate an agent. And then, another Mobile, Alabama top agent seems to fail marketing-wise. I won't get into it. Ditto Instagram, even though the shares there are nice.

    Granger is also one of Expertise.com's top Mobile agents for 2022, so I am a bit curious why the social wheels stopped churning back in July. But, unless she's off on vacation or something, there seems to be no hint lately that the agency is interesting on the web. Searching media stories, I also find nothing about this obviously talented agent. According to Zillow, she's had 36 sales in the past year, so maybe there is another reason for this puzzling social break. Anyway, she has been savvy enough to buy a featured spot on Zillow, and everything she's built online is way above par. She definitely deserves a spot here.

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    Malcolm Seals seems to lead all others for Google reviews with a 5.0 rating. So, I crossed referenced with Zillow, and sure enough, he’s perfect there, too, albeit with not so many reviewing. I checked his team’s website, and the SEO rating came in at a respectable 78/100. But his site is cookie-cutter with no links to his social media pretty much busted his chances to be at the top of this list. Undaunted, I searched Facebook for his agency. 

    Sure enough, Seals has created a Facebook presence, sort of. However, as soon as I read in the intro “one stop page,” I stopped scrolling. To be fair, it looks like the agent just started creating a community. But how about Instagram? Uh, no.

    I dug and dug and only really discovered what we’ve encountered in other similar regions. The real estate business in south Alabama just seems to be following pigeons marketing-wise. Sorry Malcolm, I am glad you are moving listings the old-fashioned way.  

    Photo credit: National Register - Stewartfield at 4307 Old Shell Road  faungg's photos - feature image

    Phil Butler is a former engineer, contractor, and telecommunications professional who is editor of several influential online media outlets. Phil began his digital ramblings via several of the world’s most noted tech blogs, at the advent of blogging as a form of journalistic license.
    A graduate of The College of Charleston, Phil also served in the United States Navy, and has worked for any number of Fortune 500 companies. Together with his wife and partner Mihaela Lica Butler, Phil also helped forge Pamil Visions PR into one of the most successful online PR companies in the world. His greatest accomplishments however involves being the best husband, father, and friend he can be.
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