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Real Estate Marketing Companies – 10 Best Things To Know!
As REALTORS, we are always on the hunt for new marketing techniques to do what…generate more leads, duh! Well, I don’t know about you but I see ads, videos, articles, from real estate marketing companies about how they’ll 10 X your business! You name it, I’ve seen it. As a REALTOR who also has a background in digital marketing, web design and development and social media marketing, I’m going to give you a list of 10 things to look out for when choosing a marketing specialist. Let’s face it, these real estate marketing companies are sharks and we need to be armed with the knowledge to hunt them.
1) What does their online presence look like?
If you’re looking for a real estate marketing companies, you definitely want to find someone who knows what they’re doing, right? One of the easiest ways to vet a company is to search their online presence. Make sure you visit their website, pull up their Facebook page and other social media accounts, and most of all read reviews and testimonials. If the company you are considering doesn’t even have a professional website or social media presence, how are they going to help you?
2) Real estate marketing companies costs.
I know as real estate agents we already have a ton of costs. I myself have the MLS Michigan, my brokerage monthly bill, REALTOR dues, and so on and so forth. However, We’ve all heard the phrase, you get what you pay for. Although, this doesn’t always hold true in the digital marketing world. Often times, you will find real estate marketing companies over charging for the services they provide, simply because they know you don’t have the time or the knowledge to do these tasks yourself. Make sure you are vetting their pricing against how much it would cost you to do the same tasks. If they are going to charge 3 times the price it would cost you to run that same Facebook ad set for a week, why not just take 30 min to learn how to do it on your own? Social media marketing is the worst when it comes to over charging. Sometimes these ads only take 10 minutes to set up, they run for a week, you pay the ad spend fee, and don’t get a single lead from them. Don’t waste more money by paying someone else double or triple this cost.
3) Content creation is king!
I know, it sounds like I’m bashing on digital marketing companies, but they’re not all bad. In fact, there are some really great ones out there. I often use the content question as my top qualifier. This is because, creating content takes the most time and effort to do, and by far the most creativity. As real estate agents, we are as creative as we can be, but it doesn’t always mean we know what people want to consume. I say this because we generally focus on real estate stuff. Find a company who is able to market you as a person fist and a REALTOR second. This will help you build an audience who is loyal to you and not what you do. This helps with the best leads of all, say it with me, REFERRALS! Yes, those awesome referral customers who will work with you and only you. This has to come from people getting to know you though, and not just your listings you have or pictures of houses you’ve sold.
4) How big are they?
Real estate marketing companies come in all shapes and sizes. You need to find one who supports your business size as well. If you’re a large agency, then you need large marketing dollars. If you’re a smaller agency or a single realtor, you need someone who is focused more directly on you. I know as a single agent you may be saying, “why not use the large company?” Simply put, you don’t mean anything to them. That’s right, your account is so small to them, they don’t care if you stay or go. This means they are not putting their best efforts into your needs. You’re better off finding a marketing company that isn’t going to just make you buy real estate leads, or make some social media posts for you and call it a day. You want to find a company who is going to build your brand, get you visibility, and help you grow the right way.
5) How do they currently market themselves?
You should be asking how they currently market themselves. Of course, marketing a real estate company is going to be different for a marketing agency, but most of the same rules apply. If you ask them what they are doing for their business and it sounds completely different from what they are proposing you do, that is a big red flag. Either they are not willing to take as much time and effort on your business as their own, or they think they have a mastered a different set of marketing without believing in it themselves. Either way, it’s difficult to produce results for a company if you don’t walk the walk themselves. It would be like buying a home from a real estate agent who believes renting a house is better. This is especially true with real estate marketing companies who believe in buying real estate leads.
6) Do they use a ton of marketing slang?
If your first interaction with a potential real estate marketing company is spent with them trying to impress you with a bunch of digital marketing terms, run. The true professionals in this space understand digital marketing can be very confusing. Especially when you delve into the SEO side of things. Terms like meta data, dofollow links, canonical tags, and so on are good to know, but are just used to try and prove they know about what they do. It’s the consultant who understands how confusing the marketing can be, and has taken the time to simplify what they are doing for you who is really looking out for your best interest. They don’t want you to be confused, and to have transparency in their business.
7) Reporting, reporting, reporting.
Do not, and I mean do NOT, get wowed by what real estate marketing companies say they can do for you up front. Always ask them for how they report what they are doing back to you. Most will say something like, “We have a dashboard for you to use and track what we’re doing.” This is not good enough! Make them show you the dashboard, the results they have delivered for other clients, their reports on how much time is takes to achieve those results, and so on. A good company will have this information ready to go. When you run into these companies who just buy real estate leads and deliver them back to you, often they don’t have in depth reporting. Rather, you’ll have a dashboard with a few bar graphs and demographic metrics. Look for companies who show the content they create for you, where that content is placed, the tracking they use, and month over month results in real time.
8) Full-Service digital marketing agency.
Often times you’ll find real estate marketing companies who are really just a CRM company who claim they can do digital marketing for you. Or, you may run into a lead generation company who says they will do SEO for your website they provide, only to find out they use a templated webpage with very little SEO capabilities. Sure, these companies serve a purpose, but they will never be as good as a full-service digital marketing agency. They will only get you so far, and typically the leads they generate for you are not very hot to begin with. Let’s face it, a lead coming to your website from a Google search is a million times more valuable than someone who responded to a bogus Facebook ad and then was passed to you and 5 other real estate agents. Find a company who will build your own custom content and website, even if it costs a little bit more.
9) Do they do video marketing?
Real estate video marketing is now king! Online video marketing is becoming the preferred form of digital marketing by far. People are so busy these days, or busy on their phones, and what are they doing? They’re watching videos most of the time. So, finding a full service marketing agency who offers custom real estate video marketing is ideal. There are so many ways to do real estate video marketing these days, you’re marketing company doesn’t even have to be in the same area as your business. You can do web shares, shoot your own videos and send it to them, or have them create something for you. Whatever it is, you really should be using the power of video to market your real estate business.
10) Let’s talk backlinks.
Finding real estate marketing companies who can do on page SEO for you is easy. It’s locating the ones who have a proven method for completing the off page SEO that is difficult. Sure they will all tell you they know how to get you organic backlinks, but do they really? You’ll want to have them show you proof of getting backlinks for other clients websites, and you’ll want to ask if they were bought or created organically. Why does this make a difference? Well, most of the time when backlinks are bought they are from a PBN which is a technical term you may want to look up if you haven’t heard it. This strategy comes with some risk involved, and could land your site in Google’s sandbox. What this means is Google could pull your site from their search results all together. So, find a real estate marketing company who is able to get you organic backlinks by being a blog guru, guest posting, and direct outreach.
Let's close this thing up...
I know there was a lot of focus on SEO for real estate marketing, but it is the longest lasting and most worth while marketing on the web. If you’re planning on being in business for quite some time, then take it directly from a Mid Michigan real estate agent and SEO expert, invest the time and money building the base level first. Get your floor built before you try putting on the roof. When your web presence is set and your site is ranking on the first page of Google for major industry keywords, it makes your other digital marketing efforts much more credible. Of course, you must market on social media as well; it’s just too easy and cost effective not to.
Let me know what you think of this list and if it was helpful by commenting below! If you have any other tips to help other real estate agents in their digital marketing endeavors, please share them. Thank you!