This week our Top Rated Agents series focuses on Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Once again, we use a combination of agent ratings from sources like HomeLight and Zillow, along with such factors as SEO prominence, social media reach, and media coverage to rate professionals. It should be noted here, that in the development of our process using a single source to find the best agents became problematic. I will discuss this in the summary at the end of this report.
The Rocky Mount agents below are representative of professionals who rated very high (in one aspect or another) across the spectrum of digital rating systems. In the past few weeks we’ve discovered that no single system of agent appraisals covers the sub-markets like Rocky Mount. It should be noted that we are having to modify our methods because of inconsistencies in the ratings from certain entities. That said, here is a short list of top-rated agents in this area.
Team Anderson Realty, the Charlotte firm run by Erica Anderson, is a top rated professional at HomeLight (via U.S. News & World Report), Google (5.0 with 348 reviews), and on Zillow (5.0 with 391 reviews). The HomeLight report says Anderson has over 500 recent transactions.
Anderson’s SEO team has done a fair job, MOZ shows a domain authority of 26, with 3,652 backlinks to the company’s website. Her agency also maintains a credible social media effort, including Erica trying her hand at personable videocasts. Thankfully, she stopped creating the Youtube videos, because she was really bad at it. Anderson’s efforts marketing wise are redeemed by the fact she’s gotten notice from HGTV, and a few other media outlets.
Homer Tyre is a former U.S. Marine who is the owner/broker at Tyre Realty Group, one of North Carolina’s most successful agencies. Homer rates very high at Zillow (4.9 - 393 reviews), and has 500+ recent transactions according to U.S. News & World Reports’ latest HomeLight figures. His company also has 5-star reviews (189) via Google. Where the search engines are concerned, Tyre’s team seems a bit above average. According to MOZ, their website has a domain authority of 25, which is not stunning, but not bad compared to most real estate agencies.
The agent also ranks high for searches for his name, which believe it or not, many real estate pros do not even both with. This agent’s social media effort is very nice, with an engaged Facebook audience of 5,800 fans. The Instagram shares of the company are not pretty, but they are effective. It also looks like Tyre attempted a Youtube channel, but it’s barely worth mentioning here. Tyre’s media mentions are negligible, which would seem to suggest the group is not a steller internet marketing entity.
Chris Gorman founded Gorman Residential Real Estate back in 2015. According to HomeLight, he’s recorded 210 recent transactions. On Zillow, at Google, and in all the places that matter, this North Carolina agent has ticked all the boxes. The same is true of his team’s social media presence. The agency is busy updating Facebook, and Instagram, with a past effort to become famous on Youtube. The Raleigh, NC Keller Williams agent maintains a perfect review score on Zillow, as well as on Google (51 reviews).
This agent has been in the business less than a decade, according to the information we can find. This excuses, to a degree, the horrible SEO and mediocre digital marketing prowess we’ve found. I hate to be negative, especially about businesses that are just getting off the ground, but so many of these real estate professionals rely on the reach and brand of the names they work under. Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, insert the recognized brand and reach, and it seems like real estate professionals have more or less resigned themselves to doing less, instead of more. Maybe Gorman will take this grain of advice, and get going taking his business to the next level.
The Lineberger Team, headed by veteran agent Kathy Lineberger, is a standout in this region for several reasons. Working with the family owned Chesson Agency, and eXp Realty, Lineberger’s team has recorded 285 recent transactions according to HomeLight. On Zillow, Lineberger is perfect where reviews are concerned, and the broker/agent did make the U.S. News cut. However, limited social media presence and digital marketing efforts hurt this agent. At least in our ratings.
Digging a bit deeper, a cookie cutter website that has a domain authority of 13 on MOZ, no major media mentions, and no visible effort beyond Facebook does not help our assessment either. To her credit, Lineberger does sell listings faster than 47% of the Wilson, North Carolina agents (HomeLight), but Wilson is not Chicago or Sacramento.
Jennifer Dwyer has 131 recent real estate transactions according to HomeLight. Her Google, Zillow, and HomeLight reviews are all perfect. I had to put her last in our list because of the low ranking of her company’s website SEO wise, for no media mentions at all, and the fact the company’s Facebook seems canceled or closed. For once, I am at a loss as to how to add or to advise on how this professional can be more successful.
The broker’s company, World Properties International Dwyer & Associates is highly rated across the board, but it seems either closed or otherwise completely obscured on the web. Since HomeLight’s transactions for Dwyer seem to end in 2020, perhaps she’s moved or gotten out of the business. The point here is, the average potential client should not have to hunt for more detailed information about any agent in a list. This is why we are “hunting” using other criteria.
When I first began analyzing the digital marketing performance of real estate agents and other online entities a decade ago, it was normal to find ineffective or half hearted efforts. This is 2022. And now there is no excuse for ANY professional serving client expectations to fail to make full use of every tool available. I will be blunt here, because as a consumer advocate, I must.
First, let me take a sharp dig into HomeLight and other rating services/technologies that ask to be trusted sources. A couple of weeks ago, I had to stop using HomeLight to isolate the best agents in America. The reason was efficiency, from a journalistic/reporter/analyst perspective.
HomeLight was, in essence, using me and other users as a lead generation tool. I have a flurry of emails from agents to show, and not only from HomeLight suggestions. Now, even the U.S. News & World Report lists do not reveal the full names of HomeLight-related agents, the user/searcher must fill in the forms to become an email lead. Enough said, about third party rating services geared to market real estate agents.
As for the agents themselves, for years now we’ve watched a relative few extraordinary professionals eclipse their competition. While a very few brokerages are capable of selling like crazy, by pounding the pavement and putting up “for sale” signs, the best of the best spend the time, energy, and resources to hit all the contact points. Social media, even news, are logical points, and not rocket science to engage with either. And it just does not cost that much to pay someone expert in social media to handle multiple accounts on a daily basis. I know, I advised some of the world’s top PR and marketing agencies on methods and campaigns for years.
Look, I’m going to share with you my pick if I were going to buy a house in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She is not in the U.S. News & World Report list created with HomeLight, but she does work with Moorefield, a leading company that is on the “tops” list. For those of you who might need real estate service in the near future, I do not envy your choices for finding the best of the best online. Google searches reveal ads and big brands, mostly. So, while you can always trust marque names like Engels & Volkers or Southby’s in the luxury market, the everyday search is subjective.
I’ll be reaching out to P.J. Roberson for her take on the importance of complete digital and conventional marketing, for a follow-up here. For agencies that would like to know how I came to find a North Carolina multi-million dollar producer in their midst, I am semi-retired, but I do consult by the hour sometimes. This admission, in and of itself, is an example of expert residual influencer marketing.