This week our “top agents” journey takes us to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in search of the superstars of real estate marketing. Over the past few months, we’ve been experimenting with better methods for finding and evaluating real estate professionals. We’ve met with some success but a lot more complications.
For larger markets, keying on reviews at Google and Zillow proved effective. However, less “mature” markets require a lot more effort (drill down) in order to differentiate. And Myrtle Beach proved to be a prime example. There may be no foolproof method for discovering the best of the best online! Maybe all we can do is suggest “best practices” for certifying the top agents in America and the world.
Scott Trembley seems to have the highest and most highly positive Google and Zillow reviews among agents in this region. I use the term “seems” since it’s becoming increasingly difficult to filter agents in smaller niche markets in this way. Trembley’s Keller Williams Oak & Ocean Group has an overall 4.9 rating on 400+ reviews on Google and a perfect score on Zillow with 972 reviews. In fact, I filtered Trembley from among his competitors by reversing my procedure and searching Zillow first.
Being the top dog in Myrtle Beach, you’d expect Trembley to have a stunning website with highly visible social media buttons that connect his agency’s extensions. But, you’d be disappointed as I was when you click the little buttons, and you’re taken to accounts that are now gone. Oops! The only one that seems to work is the Youtube link, which goes to one video with 8 views. So much for digital sales and marketing genius. Trembley is not vested in local media outreach either, so I guess we’re seeing a traditional brick-and-mortar operation. The point is, we’re left guessing. A final plus for Trembley is the fact his website ranked 83/100 for SEO.
Another agent who was a bit tough to isolate from the crowd in Myrtle Beach, Radha Herring, actually has a killer digital presence and perfect reviews at Google and Zillow. With 97 sales in the last 12 months, she’s racking up the commissions for herself and Watermark Real Estate Group. She’s also a Zillow Premier Agent, which means she understands the value of ads and branding too. And then there’s the downside. The Watermark website is a catastrophe in which somebody managed a 67/100 SEO score. I won’t delve into how jacked up the site is.
Herring’s Facebook effort is respectable, as is her Instagram channel. Watermark also has a respectable social presence. She’s also got the best Youtube channel I could find among regional agents. The problem is, that there’s no hub of connecting. It seems as if Herring has several small mouth marketing funnels and no wider strategy. I could be wrong, but relying on leads from Zillow or other platforms, leaves a lot of potential sales flapping in the wind. Anyway, she certainly deserves a spot on this list. She’d be at the top of it with a website that matters and a bit more local news.
The Boyd Team, led by Eddie and Julie Boyd, is another exception in a resort town that seems to be stuck in Web 1.0 professionally. To find this agency, I simply searched Google. But, when I tried to cross-reference using Zillow, the team had very few reviews. Anyway, further searching revealed the Boyds attaining 3,308 followers on Facebook, which attests to the agency’s effort. Some expert posting and frequency also told me I was not wrong to “guess” at their professionalism.
The Boyds have done a lot of work on the company blog, and in social media, but not too much where local or regional traditional media is concerned. And the website is a patchwork affair where you’ll find the social media links down in the sidebar reminded me of the Dot Com crash.
Greg Sisson’s Grand Strand real estate business has to fit into our story here. The sheer numbers of near-perfect reviews on Google and Zillow ensure his position. I swore before listing him I’d not include another mediocre website in this report, but fair is fair. His digital billboard scored 83/100, and no matter how ugly it is, at least the social buttons at the bottom actually work.
Sisson, who grew up in Myrtle Beach, attended my alma mater, the College of Charleston, and went on to build his credentials working in Hawaii, LA, and at Lake Tahoe. Now, he's the team lead at eXp Realty.
Anyhow, Sisson does a good job on Facebook and the other social platforms, and his team’s perfect Facebook reviews are among the best in the U.S. As I typed this, his social media team posted only 10 minutes ago. And hey, Sisson even has 94 subscribers on a pretty nice Youtube channel that’s not quite up to date. Even though the broker is not in the daily news, there’s also evidence he understands the value of branding and PR via earned, owned, and paid media.
Many times throughout this series on the top agents in the U.S.A., there’s a good deal of criticism. While critiquing real estate professionals was and are the job, it is never my intention to unduly bash anyone. These are mostly all fantastic industry people we’re presenting here. It’s simply astonishing sometimes how much is left out in the digital marketing and even branding sphere of things. And even by the highest rated professionals. That said, criticisms are meant to be constructive, advice from a digital expert. That’s it.