Real Estate Webdesign Canada | Branding
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Branding

A real estate online reputation is SUPER important these days. Know that your potential customers who aren’t coming to you from a referral ARE checking your reputation online. Google is a powerful tool—both for you and for your potential customers.

 

Great—now what?

 

Managing your Real Estate Online Reputation

Of course the best way to maintain your real estate online reputation is to be a good agent that your clients love. It’s also a way to get money-making referrals. BUT—there’s always one client unhappy with their deal or another agent jealous of your success, which is why you need to manage your reputation online.

 

There are a few ways to actively manage your online reputation…

 

Real Estate Online Reputation Management: Reviews
This one is a little tricky as there are tons of review sites on the internet—but Google makes this extremely easy to find…simply Google (don’t you love how this is a verb now?) your full name. If no reviews come up then ask some of your previous clients if they could post some. If there are negative reviews, there’s nothing you can do to take them down, but you can often post a kind response to them. Now, the internet is a battle ground and there will always be some bad reviews mixed in with the good, but just make sure that you have more positive than negative. Have your real past clients post honest reviews of you, as they will come across as significantly more genuine.

 

Real Estate Online Reputation Management: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great way to build a solid reputation online as you can have real people make real reviews and recommend you for skills that you list on your profile. The person making the recommendation will have their name show up as recommending you, which will link to their profile—offering up an excellent level of authenticity.

 

 

Real Estate Online Reputation Management: Google Alerts!
Now that you’ve managed the current state of your real estate online reputation—set yourself up to actively manage it in the future by creating a Google Alert for your name. A Google Alert will send you an email every time your name is mentioned on the web, which is basically a ‘heads up’ that your reputation has been added to. Be aware of course that if your name is relatively generic, like ‘John Smith’, then you’re going to get emailed with a bunch of alerts for other people.

 

UPDATE: Unfortunately Google has removed Google Authorship for the time being. We all sincerely hope that they will launch this again in the near future, however Google hasn’t expressed any inklings that this is currently in the works. If you hopped in a Dolorian and are reading this from the future–send us a quick note on whether the awesome Google Authorship was ever revived!

 

Google Authorship is an effective and easy way to improve your real estate SEO and improve the amount of search engine visitors you receive. 

What is Google Authorship

Google Authorship is essentially a way to be recognized by Google—in a very visual way. Verified Google authors have a picture that appears in search results. This picture comes along with a byline. real estate SEO google authorship example

How Google Authorship Affect Real Estate SEO

Google recognizes—and rewards—its verfiied authors by displaying their articles higher in search results than equivalent articles and websites who do not have Google Authorship. Your Authorship rating however will improve the more places you are published on the web, so work on doing guest posting on like-minded blogs. These can be your brokerage’s blog, your company’s blog (Royal Lepage, RE/MAX, etc.), mortgage broker blogs or other real-estate industry blogs. The more you posts around the web (when linking to your Authorship account), the better your reputation and recognition from Google will be.

The Real Estate SEO Results

Studies are showing that pages with Google Authorship recognition (the pictures and the bylines) gain 150% more click-throughs than pages without it.

How to Setup Google Authorship (Spoiler: It’s Easy!)

Setting up Google Authorship is extremely easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Create a Google Plus profile
  2. Add a professional-looking photo as your primary photo on Google Plus
  3. Ensure your Google Plus name matches the name that you use in real estate
  4. Add your blog to your profiles “Contributor” section (this involves simply entering the URL address and the name of the website)
  5. Add your Google Authorship code to your website

If you are unsure about how to add this code to your website, ask your website provider. If you’re one of our beloved customers…just ask us to add it for you 🙂

 

 

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Posted by Robin in Branding, SEO, Uncategorized Read More

 

One of our best pieces of real estate marketing advice is this—make better business cards.

Business cards are a reality in real estate, but this dated technology needs a facelift. And let’s face it, they haven’t changed in decades even though the world around us has. If you’ve been wondering whether your paper (or plastic!) business cards are still beneficial to your real estate marketing strategy—this post is for you. Enter Infoduce.

 


Real Estate Marketing Advice: Get Infoduce

Infoduce is a phenomenal tool to bring your offline business online. This digital tool uses QR codes to link your business cards to the whole realm of your digital worlds. BUT, they aren’t just QR codes. Their QR codes can link to a number of things, including connecting them with your social profiles, your listings, your vcard, your website, your online resume and more!
real estate marketing advice infoduce for realtors


We recommend linking it to the following:

 

  1. Online Resume

    As a realtor your resume is your pedigree, so offer your potential customers a way to get to know your experience, niches and successes by connecting your Infoduce code to your resume. This can be via any online resume site or via LinkedIn.

  2. Your Vcard

    Having a potential client save you in their phone is huge—but it is cumbersome for them. Make the process easy by letting them save your info in the click of a button.

  3. Your Listings

    If you meet a potential client and want to show them your current property listings, then have them scan your card. You can link to your featured listings on your mobile-friendly website, to easily share your listings. IF you don’t have a mobile-friendly website with featured listings…let’s talk.

  4. Your Social Profiles

    Having someone connect with you on your social profiles is a great way to get in front of them daily—even if it is digitally.

 

Including the above 4 methods of real estate marketing right on your business card is a phenomenal way to connect with people in new ways—while breathing life into a boring old marketing method that the people you meet really don’t care about. The cold truth is that they either throw your card on the pile when they get home…or it doesn’t even make it that far before it ends up in a trash bin. So, heed our real estate marketing advice and check out Infoduce.

 

 

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Posted by Robin in Branding, Uncategorized Read More

Realtor websites are your best chance to make a first impression, to distinguish yourself…yadda yadda yadda. Insert any additional cliches that you can think of here. Since here at Real Estate Websites Canada we loathe vagueries we thought we’d just get right down to business and offer you tangible advice about what to look for in a website—even if it isn’t one of ours. Oh, and while you’re here…check out our websites (which are available a one-time fee of $2500).

Realtor Websites— 8 Things to Look For

So—without further preamble, fluff or crap, here’s the top things you should look for in realtor websites…

 

realtor websites bad example

…don’t do this. 

(And don’t do this either)

  1. Responsive Design Responsive design ensures that your website looks perfect across all devices. This is because it adjusts depending on the screen size—without looking stretched or like a shrunken head. Responsive design is an alternative to designing a specifically mobile website (which is a different version of your website for only smartphones), which is another excellent option…depending on your needs. Note that mobile websites may need to be updated in addition to the non-mobile version.
  2. Clean Lines Modern web design is all about clean lines that allow your visitor to be visually-impressed by your site—instead of scared away. They also empower the user to easily find the content they want.
  3. Flow Clean lines assist with proper ‘flow’. ‘Flow’ gives the users a place to begin looking, and then guides them through the website. This is accomplished by properly using element size and colours.
  4. Creativity and Uniqueness If you think that your website is the only realtor websites that your potential clients are going to, you’re quite mistaken. The average user will look at, at least, 10 realtor websites before they choose their agent. Make yours stand out with clever branding.
  5. Great Content The ‘wow factor’ visuals of your website will keep a user around for a few seconds—but you need to convince them to stick around (and hopefully call you!) with great content that offers them tangible advice. Avoid cheesy realtor fluff…they saw enough of that on the previous 9 Realtor websites they visited. Great content will also vastly help your SEO. If you have no idea what to write…we’ll scribe you some brilliance for $35/page.
  6. Features (click-to-call, live chat, etc.)So you hooked them in with your flash, kept them there with your content…but now what? Well, now you need features that help reel in the fish. These include things like click-to-call, live chat, email sign up for information they truly want, etc.
  7. Function
    Another element you want to look for is functionality. To give you an example, we worked hard on functionality for our website about condos for sale in Regina. This website has compare listings feature, a ‘favourite’ listings feature, advanced search functionality, call to actions and more.
  8. Integration You surely have at least five different types of technology—ideally you want them to all integrate together. A great example of this is to integrate your lead-capturing technology into your website, and then hook them both into your CRM. Zapier is a great technology to link together nearly every technology you have. Another way to integrate your existing technology and marketing into your website is to integrate your social marketing—so that when you post on your website it automatically pushes it out to your social networks.
  9. Lead Capturing The whole point of your website is to capture the users. So, use carefully-tuned lead-capturing forms and technology to help make the most of your website.

 

So—sounds good…but where can you find all these things? Well, prepare yourself for the shameless self plug—but with us.

 

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In our digital world, real estate websites are your first impression. If you have an unprofessional website it will likely be your last impression. So…how DO You make a great impression online?

We happen to know what makes a great first impression online in terms of real estate websites and Realtors….

Our Real Estate Websites: 4 Ways to Make a Great First Impression Online

Without further ado or mumbo jumbo, here are our top ways to make a great first impression online…

real estate websites first impression online

  1. Get a GREAT Website

    Whether you opt for one of our websites (which we highly encourage you to at least investigate) or not—you NEED a great website. The days of having a 90s-looking, poor-functioning, non-mobile website are long over. If you don’t have a super-professional website that is customized to you and has a unique concept to it (whether that circles around a slogan or other branding). You also need a homepage that encourages users to move on to a second page in order to reduce ‘bounce rate’.A website is critical to your first impression as it portrays professionalism—or not. And there’s zero excuse for having a poor website considering we sell ours for a one-time fee of $2500.

  2. Get a Better Headshot

    If we ever see another 80s ‘power pose’, teased hair, or an agent leaning on a sold sign again—we’ll go crazy. Your potential customers surely feel the same way. So—get better headshots. Drop the cheesy and opt for professional, modern shots—that don’t say “Hi my name is sleazy”, and that don’t scare people away. If a professional photographer isn’t in your budget (although you’d be surprised how affordable it can be) then get smart about it. Hire a student photographer or look for a Groupon photography deal..in order to save a few bucks.

  3. Get a Great Bio

    One of our biggest pet peeves is agents who have super-generic ‘I’ll sell your home TODAY’ content without any type of specifics, proven abilities, bio or resume. Every agent says that same vaguery. Be different. Also, if you’re not eloquently written—hire a professional. Seriously—it will cost you like $35-$40, and you can use it across all your marketing material in addition to your website—for YEARS to come. If a photo and bio are the only investments you make this year in marketing…spend $100 on the two of them.

  4. Availability and Response Time

    We’ve dealt with agents—but as clients and as THEIR clients. One of the biggest issue for Realtors is response time. Implement a number of ways for people to get a hold of you and promote them on your website, business cards and marketing materials—but then support those with ready availability.

 

If you haven’t checked out our real estate websites Canada design yet—do so now. We’re cheaper than our competitors and significantly better..which makes us a solid investment. Then be sure to build on that website, including with a great bio, headshot and availability!

 

 

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Young buyers are an important percentage of the home-buying market—so your real estate marketing needs to cater (at least in part) to them. If you’re rolling your eyes thinking “yeah, easier said than done…mutter mutter…young punks…grumble grumble”–never fear…it’s easier than you think.

If you found this blog post randomly on the internet (*woohoo this proves our marketing is working!) and haven’t seen our website yet—check it out, then come back to this blog post.

Http://real-estate-websites.ca

Done? Great.

You likely noticed the ‘pow’ of our design. Clean lines, humour, a bright pop of colour (but not too much), integrated video, clear navigation, a responsive mobile design that shows brilliantly on mobile devices, the modern logo, etc. These are all geared towards a Web 2.0, younger audience…because if the technology and design can impress a young, technology-oriented agent…it will surely impress some of the *ahem* ‘progressive in years’ agents.

The truth is–if your marketing can impress even the young, hip kids–then everyone else will likely follow suit. Modern is good–to everyone. So, how can YOU do it?

 

Real Estate Marketing: How to Attract Young Buyers

To keep this simple we’ve come up with 3 somewhat simple things you can do to upgrade your real estate marketing to a 2.0 version that will impress the young crowd…

  1. Get Modern Headshots
    If you’re leaning on a sold sign, with teased hair, a screwed-on smile and a thumbs up—it’s time to update the pictures. So, ditch the ‘power poses’, 90’s brick cellphone pictures and other canned images. Get modern-looking headshots that show you out in the field—you know, actually working! Or, make this the year where you go for a funny approach and take a joke picture. Or—if those sound too risky, just get a modern picture, with bright colours or warm tones and a nice background (exposed brick always makes for good pictures). Outdoor headshots are always nice too—although this doesn’t always work well in Canadian winters.

  2. Social Media Marketing
    Every single young person is on Facebook. So, create a Facebook page with good, modern branding that shows your expertise in the business combined with your personality.

  3. Get a Stellar Website
    Every single young person will also Google you and check out your website. A dated website shows that you’re behind on technology—which is a huge detraction for the younger generation. It is a problem for them because technology is a big part of marketing these days, and they want to know that you use technology well and can do things like text, email and ‘chat’.

    So, ditch your old website that looks like it was created in the late 90s (and the template probably was!). Get a custom-branded website that is modern, and that truly represents your personality, approach and expertise. An example of a website we made that attracts young buyers is our niche website about condos for sale in Regina. This website’s overall look is catered to young buyers–which was a smart decision considering young people make up the majority of condo buyers in Regina (and other cities for that matter).

    If you’re worried that this all sounds too expensive and time-consuming. Headshots are a one-off cost and can be done fairly cheap (you can check Groupon for a photography deal if you want to save some cash), social media marketing is free (and fun!)–and our custom-branded websites are only $2500 and we do all the work!

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If you’re looking for advice on how quantifiably-effective real estate slogans are—we can’t help you. We don’t know how successful they are. But, what we can tell you is that they can be a highly-effective element of an overall branding campaign.

 

When it comes to branding, we highly recommend selecting a niche before choosing your real estate slogan. This is because real estate slogans are secondary to your overall branding strategy. It is much more effective to decide to become the condo agent in your city, or the foreclosure agent—or the relocation agent, than to try to brand yourself as “the 24-7 realtor”. Whether you choose a vertical like condos, or a geographic region—do this before you pick your slogan. Then, pick a real estate slogan to suit.


Real Estate Slogans


Below are a few of the most-common options available in the market place. These serve purely as an inspiration creator—but we highl
y encourage you to customize a slogan to yourself. If you get stuck….just ask us for some ideas.

Just before we jump into some examples, know that the most effective real estate slogans target a geographic area, use a rhyme, paint a picture or tug on the heart strings.

 

Example slogans to get your creative branding juices going are:

 

  • To sell fast—call the rapid Realtor
  • because nobody does it better!
  • Past performance means future guarantees
  • Because your home is worth it
  • Reward yourself with experience
  • Delivering (consistent) results
  • The low-commission agent
  • Solutions—not promises
  • Profit from ourexperience
  • …because your home is your best investment
  • Bigger homes, for less
  • The Condo Queen
  • Your full-service agent
  • Everything I touch turns to sold
  • Move in the right direction with ____
  • Real estate solutions—simplified
  • …dedicated, to results
  • Meet with the rest—sign with the best
  • Coming soon—to a closing near you
  • Intuitive investments
  • Beyond the sale…
  • Click or call…we do it all!
  • Real estate relationships—not transactions
  • Welcome home.
  • Turning your realty dreams into reality

 

For more tips on real estate slogans and overall real estate branding—stay tuned to our blog! 

 

real estate slogans

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Our Real Estate Websites–Why Not?

While most people immediately resonate with what we’re doing (selling instead of renting websites, like our competitors) there are a few people who push back with excuses not to buy one of our websites. And since we’ve got nothing to hide—here they are!

 

Real Estate Websites Rejection Reason 1: It’s Too Much Money

We rarely hear this excuse as our websites are very affordably priced at $2500 for a custom-branded website that doesn’t use the same template as 37% of your competitors. The reason why is that the average agent is spending $50 per month on their current website solution. That’s $600 each and every year. So, within one year your website begins paying for itself multiple times over, as you’ll pay $600 a year with them until the end of time (or the end of the internet, or your career). Even if you’ve negotiated a lower price at, say $35/month—that’s still $420 a year. That’s over $4,000 over a decade…for a template website.

When we break the costs down like we did above most agents nod in agreement that our solution is the more economical one over the long-term. But, what if your money is currently tied up in other marketing ventures? No worries, we still love you—and we still want your business, which is why we created out payment plan. You can pay your website off at $100 a month until it is paid.
For more info on our payment plan, click here.

 

Real Estate Websites Rejection Reason 2: I Don’t Have Time

You don’t need it. We do most of if for you. All you have to do is look at the design throughout and choose from a list of options we send you how you want your site customized.

For more information on the process, click here.
 

real estate websites no no

Real Estate Websites Rejection Reason 3: I Don’t Want to Mess With What’s Working

Hmm…is it working? Agents are often surprised when they look at how little traffic and leads their website actually sends them. If you’re saying now “but the current website vendor has a lead-generation program where they send me leads”…. oh ya? How many have they sent you? The truth is that once agents start doing the math on their current solution—it isn’t working as well for them as they think.

 

Real Estate Websites Rejection Reason 4: I Like __(example)__ Service that my Current Provider Offers

We’ll admit that some of our competitors do offer some great services to their clients, like website content, email-marketing tools, blogging, etc. But guess what—so do we. But, we’ve partnered with some amazing emerging technologies to offer these services (most of these partners’ solutions are FREE!). For example, instead of having a built-in email-marketing platform like one of our main competitors does—we integrate MailChimp into your website—a highly interactive, multi-million-dollar tool that is offered to you free. We also work with a phenomenal Live Chat platform called Zopim—which is also free (unless you’re a brokerage and want multiple agents—then it is $14.99 per month) and we can integrate into your website. You then download the free Zopim app to answer incoming chats. Zopim even offers visitor insights and powerful analytics tools that give you great insights on who is visiting your site.

We’ve chosen to align ourselves with technology companies like the above because let’s face it—it is what they DO. They all only do one thing but they do it extremely well and they can build more powerful solutions (with their millions of users) than real estate websites companies ever will.

Reason 5: What’s YOUR excuse?

If you’ve got a reason not to use us that we haven’t included in this list we’d love to hear it! You can live chat with us using the widget below, or email us at info@real-estate-websites.ca.

 

 

Posted by Robin in Branding, Uncategorized Read More

Have YOU added Google Authorship to your real estate websites? You should!

If you’re doing SEO then Google Authorship is a no-brainer, it gives you a much-needed SEO boost by establishing your credibility as a real live person and as an active internet participator. The only catch is that you do need to actively contribute to the internet, at least somewhere. (Authorship also adds a little picture next to your website on Google search results!)

The great part about Google Authorship is that is helps your overall SEO plan—especially if you’re guest blogging (which you should be if you are actively participating in your SEO). If you don’t know what guest blogging is, it means writing blog posts for other similarly-minded blogs on the internet. It gives you a link back to your site while establishing you as an authority in your real estate area. Our best suggestions for guest blogs are on local mortgage broker sites, on your brokerage’s site and any other established site (the better they’re doing in Google search results the better for you!). Guest blogging, and then adding that blog to your Google Plus profile will establish you as an author. Then when you add Authorship to your website Google will recognize you as an active industry leader and give you an SEO boost. You’ll also get high-quality backlinks from your guest blogging—which is even more brownie points from Google.

real estate websites google authorship

 

Google Authorship for Real Estate Websites—A How To
Setting up Google Authorship is easy. The first step is to create a Google Plus profile if you haven’t already. The next step is to add your website and its blog to the list of your “Contributor” sites. You then add any blogs that you guest post on to your list of “Contributor” sites. This will establish you as a Google Author. You then need to add the following code to your website:

 

  <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a>

For more help on doing that, you can read this Doc on Google.

So, the process is two steps:

  1. Add your website to your Google Plus profile page under contributor.
  2. A a link from your Google Plus page to your website and any websites you contribute to.


Once you’ve done that you’ll get your picture displayed in search results and the SEO boost you were hoping for.

If this all sounds too confusing (after all—who the heck knows how to put code into a website?)….never fear, we’re here. Purchase one of our Simple Support Tickets for $25 and we’ll do it for you 🙂
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When we ask our customers what they want for their personal branding for real estate websites we often get ‘whatever’ or ‘whatever you think is best’. And while we do ‘our best’ with a zero branding budget—coming up with an idea, plan and execution won’t be effective without some guidance from the master of your brand…you.

real estate websites branding

real estate websites branding

 

You are the only person who can create your brand. At the very least you need to provide guidance on what you want your brand to be. For example, will you be THE condo realtor in X city? Will you be the ultimate first-time homebuyer agent? Are you a generalist with decades of experience?

What ARE the elements of personal branding when it comes to online real estate branding? 

 

Real Estate Websites Branding

There are a number of elements involved in creating a successful online real estate websites brand, including:

 

1. Expertise

Your online brand needs to establish you as an expert in your field and/or niche, after all, you wouldn’t buy stocks from a mall kiosk. People want to buy investment from experts—so be one. Establishing yourself as an expert means creating a website entirely centred around your niche. It should include multiple pages of content offering tangible advice to your potential buyers and sellers, a blog with continual advice and market reports and an air of professionalism that instills faith in you from your viewers.

 

2. Personality

Your personality IS your brand as an agent, so display that prominently on your website. If you’re numbers-oriented and serious, display that. If you’re a social person who can talk easily with people and hold their hand through the process—then do that on your website. Don’t hide your personality traits because your potential customers may call—but they won’t stick around once they realize you aren’t the person they found online. Sincerity goes a long way, and you’ll find plenty of people that align with your modus operandi.

 

3. Across-the-Board Materials

Your real estate websites brand needs to serve as a contact point for your potential customers in that every time they see or interact with your brand it instills the same message. So, design your website to match the existing marketing materials you’ve spend thousands of dollars on—or vice versa. This means the same branding, colours, fonts, designs and advice across your website, print materials and social media channels.

 

4. Visual

For people to notice your brand it needs to be visual. This means a clean and simple logo and beautiful web design.

 

5. Humour

Humour goes a long way in getting people to remember you and to pick up the phone, so try to keep your brand reasonably light (if you have the personality that suits).

 

Hopefully you’ve come up with some great ideas to identify yourself and your brand. For help executing on that plan across your website, print materials and social profiles—get in touch with us today.  

As an added ‘tip’, consider a separate NICHE website to gain leads from .Check out our latest niche condo website here: Brampton Condos for Sale
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The best real estate websites have one thing in common—they deliver potential clients. If you’re website isn’t delivering leads—then you’re missing out on clients, and it is likely for one of the following three reasons:

1. Bounce Problems

‘Bounce rate’ is web terminology for when someone clicks on your site, it loads, and they leave within a few seconds. It happens when people don’t like what they see, or what they see doesn’t pop out at them. The best real estate website avoid these like the plague.

The sites with the highest bounce rates generally have one or more of the following issues:

No flow. A website, like any graphical element needs to have a specific flow that the eye is supposed to follow. To accomplish this you need to choose colours, sizes, fonts, pictures and videos that attract the readers to the most important part of your site and then provide a natural visual flow. Websites with multiple items that jump out at you will make users ‘bounce’.

Cheese. Nobody like cheesy. A website that looks cheesy will encourage people to bounce immediately.

Similarity. If your website looks like every other agents’ website then you won’t capture people’s attention immediately. To avoid similarity stay away from templates used by other agents in your area (like MCS or Real Web websites).

2. Failure to Communicate

People are surfing the internet for information. If you don’t provide them, quickly, the information they are looking for then they will find best real estate websites that will. To offer them the information they want in record time, your website needs:

– Excellent navigation. Your navigation should preferably be at the top of your website, and be clearly labelled and easy-to-read. If you have more than 5 or 6 pages then you will want to use drop-down menus to avoid your menu being too cluttered.

– Use sub headings to help people skim the page for the information that they want.

– Use clear fonts without funky colours to make your text easy-to-read.

 

3. Failure to Convert

Attracting people to your website is one challenge. Getting them to stick around for a few minutes is your second challenge. Your third, and final, challenge of the best real estate websites is getting them to take the next step and contact you.This conversion stage is the most difficult, especially since many homebuyers browsing the web are still in their informational phase and aren’t ready to begin contacting Realtors yet. This informational stage however is exactly when you need to strike.To aid your conversion rate, you need to focus on the following:

Expert status. To help aid in conversions, you first need to offer information and advice on your website that makes you an expert. Avoid generalizations and marketing fluff. Instead give them tangible reasons to make you their agent.

Contact. You need to have methods to contact you on every page of your website. This means phone number, email, live chat and social profiles—because you don’t know which method each user will prefer (and not all of them will prefer the same method).

Call to actions. Every good website needs some call to actions. These are generally brightly-coloured buttons with some text that grabs you and convinces you to call. Ideally you want multiple, different call-to-action buttons on your site. On your listings you can hold back a piece of information and say “call for X piece of information”.

Downloadable content. Adding content that can only be accessed by entering your email and then downloading it, or having it emailed to you, is a great way to build your email marketing list.

4. Page Load Time — A Habit of the Best Real Estate Websites

Pages that take a long time to load are bad. First, many people won’t wait–they’ll just bounce to another website. Second, Google doesn’t like pages that take too long to load, so they will suggest other ones to people performing Google searches. So, to ensure success, the best real estate websites load lickety-split.

 

So, is your website doing all that? No…then you need us. Check out our portfolio for some examples of the work we’ve done, then head on over to our services or pricing page to see how much we can offer—and how extremely affordable it is (hint: it’s $2500—with no expensive monthly fee). If your website IS doing all that—kudos! But check our pricing page because we can likely save you a ton of money that you can reinvest in other areas of your marketing.

 

 

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Why Real Estate Branding?

 

Image is (nearly) everything to a realtor—your image is your brand, which is your integrity. But you know that. But how do you build a strong online presence that conveys trust and integrity?

 

Real Estate Branding: How Realtors Can Build a Strong Presence Online
Foreshadowing: real estate branding isn’t all sunshine and roses—you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and get virtually dirty. Or of course you can pay someone else to do it (coincidentally—we’re available). Building an online brand, without getting Mafia-level complex, involves the following elements:

 


Website

Think of your website as your central system of your online real estate branding strategy. It is the hub and the other elements below are the spokes. This is because all the other elements need a central place to send traffic to—a central place that has multiple methods of communication, technology and realtor-specific information. Your website’s job is to get your visitors to call you, and then become customers—and everything else’s job is to get traffic to your website.

So, what kind of website do you need? You need a custom-branded website, that portrays professionalism while offering them all the information they need to make an informed decision on you as a realtor. It also needs to showcase your listings and offer the user multiple methods of communication—our favourites being click-to-call buttons and a LiveChat tool.

 

If you’re thinking how much business you’d have to write to pay for all this—not much! Our websites, with all the bells and whistles—are just $2500.


Mobile Website
Mobile websites are important for everyone—because 2/5ths of all internet searches are now done on mobile devices, and that number is growing quickly. That number however is already larger for real estate agents because most people see your marketing, advertising and meet you outside of their homes or offices—so they look you up on their smartphone. But you knew that already. Did you know that 80% of all mobile users will bounce from a website that isn’t ‘mobile-friendly’?

So, what is mobile-friendly? A mobile-friendly website will show up well on mobile devices. The little-bit-more in-depth look is that it easily displays on mobile devices without having to adjust the size of the picture (commonly accomplished by pinching and expanding the area). They also don’t have massive images or video that will take long to load or eat up a data plan. What they do is allow your visitors to navigate your site easily, finding the information they want with a few clicks of the button.

 

A step beyond mobile-friendly is ‘responsive’ which means they ‘respond’ to the device you are using b recognizing it and displaying in a way that is friendly to that device and its screen size. If you’re wondering if you want mobile-friendly or responsive—the truth is either one will do. Responsive is better—but even having a mobile-friendly website will put you above most of your competitors.

The good news after all this confusion is that the price of mobile-friendly and responsive websites have come down in price significantly, while the qualities have improved. We provide all our customers who purchase a website with a responsive design, which means they have a mobile website that displays beautifully on all devices. Curious which one your website is capable of? Just give us a shout—we’ll tell you.
QR Codes
Once you’ve got a mobile-enabled website you’re a hop-skip-and-a-jump from offering your public click-of-the-button-access to your website via QR codes. If your eyes are glazing over thinking that this is all getting too far ahead for you then know this—all of this can be done for you. A website and mobile version, we can do for ya! We also create all our customers free QR codes. We can also install a tool where you click one button on any page on your website and it instantly creates a QR code that you can add to your business cards, ads and marketing materials.

 

So QR codes—easy and free! A definite addition to assist your online presence.


Social Media (Who are we kiddin’–we mean Facebook)
You’ve likely heard all about how you should be using social media, and it likely sounds time-consuming and confusing—but let us simplify it for you. Choose one social media platform and spend your time on that instead of spreading yourself thin on several.

One exception to the one-social-network rule: sign up for a LinkedIn page. A LinkedIn page is like an online resume, and you can use it to get endorsements from real people you’ve worked with—which lends legitimacy to the platform. It will take you 10-15 minutes to sign up and then it is pretty much a set-it-and-forget it solution (in our opinion). Check your messages that you receive but other than that don’t waste too much time on it—it doesn’t work as well for Realtors as it can for industries that rely on B2B networking, and you’re B2C.

The network we recommend is Facebook—especially if you’re already on it. You can sign up for a service to manage it, or you can do it yourself. In our opinion it is relatively easy to handle yourself, and you can schedule posts for a week at one time by using their timing tool (so sit down for 30 minutes once a week and plan your whole social strategy). Then answer comments and likes to drive interaction. To build your list add all your offline contacts, friends, current and former customers, and then engage them with relevant-to-them, funny or intriguing content (this will take some time to get the hang of). Unfortunately social media marketing—even just Facebook—is too difficult to encapsulate here, and the above is only ‘the gist’ of it. You’ll have to keep researching for specific ideas.

 

SEO/Original Content
An SEO strategy is how you get people to get to your website from Google searches, without paying for it with Pay Per Click advertising. SEO is an extremely complex field—but the ‘gist’ of it (while this article is over 1,000 words it still can’t come close to encapsulating the technology behind any of these sub topics) is that you do certain things to your website that attracts Google’s attention. Google then analyzes your website based on its proprietary (and shrouded in mystery) ever-changing algorithm to assess its credibility. Now, there are thousands of elements that Google analyzes, but what we know so far is that a large percentage looks at two things: your content and how many people and websites link to your content. 


In terms of content Google looks for pages that are 100% original. They, ideally, want pages with at least 300 words of content that uses—naturally–keywords in your industry.

The good news about SEO is that there are technologies that can tell you if you’re doing it right. The industry favourite is a WordPress plugin called Yoast. Yoast gives you a red light (bad), orange light (less bad), yellow light (a little better) or green light (green for go—and green for money!). Green is good. If you haven’t reached green it will tell you what to do in order to get it.


The other element is links. Inbound links are links that are aimed at your website. They tell Google that your content must be good—because other people like it enough to post a link from their content to your content. They can be hard to get organically which is why many people buy links. This can work, although it can go badly too. Instead I recommend speaking to other people in your area with businesses about linking to you, because the quality of the link matters. So, Mr. Responsible Local Mortgage Broker’s website is worth more ‘link juice’ than Bobcaygeon’s Bob’s Bait and Tackle Shop’s link. Don’t just trade links though because Google assigns a lower value to links if you link to each other (Google figured out pretty quick that people will easily trade links for ‘link juice’).

So, you can write original content and get links, you can pay someone (like us) to do it for you—or you can pay for click with Google’s Pay Per Click.

 

Video
Video is our favourite online branding tool for Realtors. It is a phenomenal way to, literally, get your face out there. It is also extremely easy now, since every iPhone has a built-in video camera. Recording an introduction video, listing walk-through and virtual tours is a great way to promote yourself and your listing. And it costs nothing.


Once you’ve taken a video you can upload it to YouTube (free) and then add it to your social media page(s) and your website. You can even tag it a QR code and add it to ads and marketing content. Video has tons of opportunities and it costs nothing if you’ve got a smartphone with a decent camera (although be sure to have some decent lighting when you take the video so it doesn’t come out too dark).

 

Branding Strategy
You’re still reading? Phenomenal. Let’s end this off with an easy one—and yes we’re still talking about a branding strategy. Creating a simplified branding strategy isn’t difficult. In real estate it generally involves picking a ‘look’ and a motto and then multiplying that across all your marketing and advertising. An easy way to do this is to have a custom-banner made for your website—as you can then use that same banner on your Facebook and other marketing documents like materials for open houses and other client-facing handouts. If it doesn’t fit exactly you can always have it altered slightly to fit whatever document you’re using. You should also use it in your business cards. This will create a branding strategy that clients will automatically relate to you.

 

Real Estate Branding–Sounds complex–but hopefully a little easier now. To get your toes wet in real estate branding for realtors, just give us a call or click the LiveChat button below.  We can help you choose a good place to start. And we’re seriously honest–if you haven’t looked at our pricing yet you can see that we don’t gouge our clients for $50 a month for our websites, we don’t charge for LiveChat when its free through Zopim (they’re seriously great!)–and we offer honest, clear advice about real estate technology. While we may not be real estate branding professionals, we have the technology to get you there.

 

If there is one piece of real estate website design branding advice that we offer our customers—it’s to be themselves. The cheesy-or-sleazy salesperson image is no longer what the public wants (although we’re not sure its what the public ever wanted). What they want now is genuine, strong, intelligent and sometimes funny realtors—which is also, no-so-coincidentally, what your viewers want.   So, what else do your viewers want? And what else should you include in your real estate website design branding strategy?  

Real Estate Website Design Branding:  

Create a Concept that is Uniquely YOU Nobody can be you like you can. Reflect that in your website. If you’re funny then be funny, if you’re powerful and intimidating then be powerful and intimidating. If you’re accountant-like with numbers, then look like an accountant. Come up with a powerful branding strategy by being you—then lay it on (reasonably) thick. For example, if you’re a cowboy agent at heart and you’ve decided to ‘wrangle your sales’ in a cowboy hat and spurs—then run with it. Have not only a cowboy hat on in your website’s portrait, but make the website background a barn pattern. Then make all your graphics cowboy-related. Then make your business cards to match (and all your other marketing materials). It is only through a repeated message that you become memorable to your viewers.  

Be Funny How many agents website do you think your potential customer has seen before yours? To avoid being just another quick click-through—give them something to remember. And nothing sticks in memories better than humour. Whether it is a cheesy line, a funny slogan, a pun or just a clever overall branding strategy, give them something to remember.  

Keep it Up Successful branding strategies for real estate website design branding don’t happen overnight. In fact, no successful branding strategy happens overnight (not even for biggies like Walmart or Kellogg’s). Give your branding strategy time, but don’t let it lapse in the meantime. Incorporate your strategy into each and every marketing material that you create. For some ideas about how to create an all-around (offline AND online) branding strategy click here. For some more GREAT branding tips click here.  

Ready? Not yet? If you’re nodding your head and agreeing but haven’t the foggiest where to start—never fear, we’re here. Give us a call, shout, ring, email, snail mail, or whatever it takes and we’ll let you know what we have in mind for your custom branding campaign. Check out our pricing to see how little it costs to get the high-level branding  you want (spoiler: its just $2500)

Posted by Robin in Branding, Uncategorized Read More

Why aren’t there more real estate marketing funny real estate ads?

Have you been on MLS these days? (Rhetorical question—of course you have). Pretty boring stuff right? Well, if you’re sick of hearing about “5-lvl bksplits” and “needs TLC” and “close to public transportation”–you aren’t alone. Your public is sick of hearing about properties in the same old ways too.

 

So—shake things up a bit. Try using real estate marketing funny real estate ads, or at least more-interesting ones.

 

Consider the following headlines. Which one would you click-through

 

  1. “Beautiful 4-bedroom home in great neighbourhood”or
  2. “Pulchritudinous human dwelling in a *rockstar* location”or
  3. “Human-owned home—been only reasonably lived-in!”

 

Or these:

 

  1. “This lovely 4-bedroom home comes with a state-of-the-art kitchen and an upgraded bathroom”or
  2. “This 4-chambered mini mansion is equipped with a newfangled food-cooking room and enriched lavatory”

 

Another real estate marketing tip: try humour. Funny real estate ads get attention.

 

Consider the following real estate marketing tips of humorous signs and funny real estate ads and the attention they create:

 

real estate marketing tip real estate marketing real estate marketing real estate marketing real estate ads funny 6 funny 4 real estate ads funny 2 funny real estate ads 8 funny real estate ads 9 funny real estate ads 10 funny real estate ads 11

For more funny real estate ad examples click here.

So–have we stirred the pot yet and lit a fire under you to create original, attention-grabbing headlines and funny real estate ads that will get attention? If so, don’t bang your head against the desk for 4 hours trying to come up with something–just let us do it.  For $35 an ad it is definitely worth taking the aggravation off your plate.

Not convinced on the funny approach? No problem. We can do serious too. “This ultra-sleek, modernized home comes with a top-of-the-line kitchen complete with Moen faucets–and a bathroom that needs a TV just so you can spend more time in there”.

To spruce up your real estate ad listings–give us a shout, we can help.

 

Article Written By: Author: Robin