Technical Real Estate Marketing Tipps

By: Michael Long

It is no secret that the Internet is one of the top places to market real estate but even in this lucrative medium you have to know what you're doing if you want to spend your money wisely. This article explores products and services that offer the best value for your money. If you are willing to do a little legwork you can dramatically reduce your marketing costs while increasing the impact of your marketing money. If you are unfamiliar with the Internet or need some help with the basics of using a computer then hire a smart teenager to help you with the technical part and you can worry about the Real Estate Sales.

Rule #1: Always Pay for Customers not 'Impressions'

If you do not have a degree in Computer Science you may not know the difference. One of the earliest and least effective ways to buy online advertising was through impressions. A web site owner would sell an ad on their site and then charge the advertiser for each person that saw the advertisement. This was the predominant way to sell advertising before the dot com crash of 2000. This is the same model that had been used by magazine publishers for decades. As an advertiser you are buying an ad but on the internet you can buy a customer. The problem with buying impressions is that you have no idea how many people actually end up on your site. Worse, studies have found that ads in some areas of the site produce almost no customers because no one clicks in those areas.

There is a much better way to buy advertising. Pay for the number of visitors that the advertiser sends to your site. If you are paying $0.10 for an impression then 1000 impression will cost you $100 dollars. That sounds like a pretty good deal. Unfortunately some advertising (such as banner ads) has a very low click through rate - less than 1%. The advertiser has no incentive to actually bring the potential customer to your web site. The advertiser displayed your ad so (as far as they are concerned) their job is done. If you received 10 visitors for your $100 dollars then you paid $10 dollars per potential customer. As an alternative pay for users not impressions. If you are paying $2.00 per user session then you can be guaranteed that the potential customer found your site. You could buy 50 potential customers for your same $100. A thousand impressions for $0.10 is worth far less than fifty impressions at $2.00 per user. For more detailed information please take a look at Sage.

Rule #2: Get in Front of Customers Before Your Competition Does

One of my favorite ways to gain a competitive edge in real estate is through Google Adwords. Adwords are those small text advertisements that appear along the right side of Google pages. Adwords need to be understood in order to be used effectively which is why many real estate agents avoid using them. They can take a little while to perfect but the impact on your business will be dramatic. The advertiser bids on specific terms by bidding how much they are willing to pay for a 'clicks'. For instance an advertiser might say that they are willing to pay $1.00 for an internet visitor that typed the word 'Maplewood Real Estate' into the Google Search Engine. They could buy 10 of these visits from Google each day for $10. These are some of the most qualified customers that you can find. Your paying more to contact a smaller number of web users but this is offset because the web users have a very high probability of becoming customers.

The most effective way to bid for these terms is to bid for terms that are very specific to what you are selling. If you are selling a home in Seattle the term 'Seattle Real Estate' may not be the best term to advertise under. Why? It is too broad and probably too expensive at $3.32 per click. It is more effective to bid a large number of specific terms. It might be better to bid $0.50 per click for a variety of very specific terms. 'Seattle Craftsman Home,' 'Seattle Home with Hottub,' 'Maplewood 2 bedroom,' 'University of Washington Home.' Brainstorm and be sure to find as many targeted terms as possible.

Rule #3: Spend Money To Make Money

Realitors need a wide variety of tools including newsletters, virtual tours, flyers, broadcast email, and web commercials. Buying each of these tools individually can get very expensive. Fortunately you can buy a package that includes all of these services at one low price. Imprev is one of the best companies in this area. Imprev offers an impressive array of services at one very low monthly price.

I am in love with templatemonster.com. This site offers beautiful templates for a very low price. Most web designers are not going to build a site that looks as great as these templates. Pay your web designer to modify these templates as opposed to making a complete site. Your site will look more professional and you'll pay a lot less.

Rule #4: Look At Your Web Metrics

Wouldn't you like to know how many people are looking at your advertising? What they are thinking. What they are doing (buying) or not doing when they see your advertising. Your web logs are the second best thing to a crystal ball. I cannot tell you how many people look at their web logs and immediately know what went wrong or right with their site. The best part is that most likely you already have this installed and just need to know how to access the information. So ask your web master.

Rule #5: Hire REAL SEO not Junk SEO - Learn how much a keyword is worth.

SEO companies have sprung up by the dozen and the vast majority of them are built on a common misconception. It is relatively easy to get a great position on a term that no one looks for. For example say you want to find users in Seattle Real Estate. You go to an SEO company that offers to get you a great position for the term 'Wonderful Seattle Real Estate'. So who looks for 'Wonderful Seattle Real Estate' in the Google engine? No one. All of the web searchers are looking for 'Seattle Real Estate' not 'Wonderful Seattle Real Estate.' Companies are not competing for the term 'Wonderful Seattle Real Estate' they want 'Seattle Real Estate.' You can find the exact value of the term based on a very simple formula. Find the bid value for the term in Google and then multiply it by the number of Overture users. By this logic the term 'Wonderful Seattle Real Estate' is worth less than one user a month.

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