Understanding your competition on and offline is key to finding opportunities and knowing what sets you apart from other agents in your market. Offline competition is pretty easy to measure. You notice the faces on the back of the buses, you see the agents at all the events with super charged networking strategies, and you know who’s been in real estate for eras, with more referral business than they can probably handle.
Online competition is not as obvious. There are several facets to internet marketing, and unless you are putting yourself in the driver’s seat as a buyer or seller, or are scouring the internet in search of your competition, you probably don’t know who is dominating the online space in your market.
It’s time to get informed. There are thousands of leads on the table (or floating around in cyber space) that should and could be yours. The first step to generating leads online and creating a top notch digital marketing strategy for your real estate business is understanding your online competition. A competitive analysis is important for any business, real estate is no different. Here are three simple searches you can do to find out who you are up against online.
1. Do a Google Search
Do a simple Google search for Real Estate ‘Your Town’ (e.g.: Real Estate Denver). Who takes the first few spots? If denoted with an ad icon, you know these agents are paying for those top spots using pay-per-click advertising with Google Adwords. If there are no ads, this could be a quick and cheap way for you to claim the top spots on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Who are the top agents underneath the paid ads? These are real estate agents who are getting substantial organic traffic to their site. They may be employing excellent search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, or their websites may have been around for a really long time.
2. Do Some Social Media Stalking
With your Facebook Business Page go to Insights and scroll to the bottom where it says Pages to Watch. Search for other agents in your area and add them to your watch list. You will be able to see how many Facebook fans they have, how engaged their audience is, and how active they are on this channel. If you don’t have a Facebook Business Page yet, here is how you get one.
On Twitter and Instagram perform a simple hashtag search. Hashtags are used to categorize and filter information. Check out hashtags such as #YourTown #YourTownRealEstate #HomesForSaleYourTown. Find out which Realtors® are active on these channels and are using these hashtags. If these channels are active in your area however there are no real estate agents using them, there is an opportunity for you to become an authority in this space.
3. Do a Youtube Search
Video is the medium that is attracting all of the attention right now, and presents a good opportunity for agents who are comfortable in front of a camera. Jump onto Youtube and search ‘Your Town Real Estate’ ‘Homes for Sale Your Town’ and any other relevant phrases. Which agents are showing up first? Not a lot of action happening in your market on Youtube? This could be an opportunity for you.
Paid advertising, organic web traffic, social media and Youtube are some of the many ways you as a real estate agent can use the internet to generate more leads and create brand recognition for yourself online. With 95 percent of buyers using the internet as an information source when purchasing a home, the importance of having a strong online presence should not be overlooked. Understanding your competition online is step one of creating a rock solid digital marketing plan for your real estate business.
Meghan is a real estate agent from British Columbia Canada, digital marketing specialist, and founder of REALMM an online marketing portal helping Realtors® leverage online marketing to create more time, money and freedom in their businesses.