How Lead Generation Begins
“Does anyone have a great real estate agent to recommend?” John asks at the weekend BBQ. Four people reply to John and he writes down the names of four local agents.
But, John doesn’t call any of the four.
Where’s The Trust?
Would you trust a stranger with $1? Maybe. What about $5,000 in cash? Probably not. Then why would you trust a stranger with your $200,000 home, plus your personal records and a 1-36 month commitment with that stranger? John wouldn’t either. So, he’s going to research those names to see if any look trustworthy or legitimate before he makes his first contact.
John, like most people, turns to Google, Bing, MSN, AOL and other search engines to do a little recon before picking up the phone. He wants to know who you are, if he can find you, if you have any track record, professional experience – anything at all – that he might not have known from your name and number written a napkin from the weekend BBQ.
Who’s “Googling” You?
Today’s internet users are more likely to trust the facts and figures available on Google’s search results because they are more legitimate than what “so-and-so” said about their “great-uncle’s-best-friend’s-dog’s-vet’s-twice-removed” agent. And the results allow the user to form their own opinion based on facts and figures.
So, How Do You Compare?
If you are the real estate professional whose name is on John’s list, the way you present yourself online is now your concern. To be the person John calls, you first need to show up in the top six of John’s search results. But, how do you do that (and how, on a limited budget?)
But…I Can’t Afford…
You may think you need a mega website with all the top widgets, fully up to date social channels and hundreds of dollars pushed into pay-per-click marketing campaigns to put your name at the top of the list. But even then, as a single agent, chances are that you are competing with the big dogs like Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and many others for top placements for top key terms – even under your own name as it pertains to real estate. What you can do instead of fighting the masses is let the masses do the work for you – to your advantage. How? By using social profiles.
The top sites in the search results may have a profile waiting for you already, but in an unconfirmed state. You need to make sure the profiles exist, are up to date and accurate.
Where Do I Start?
Realtor.com and ColoProperty.com are a great place to start. Facebook, Linked In, Twitter are also good to have at the very least, a page with your contact information. If you just want to compete for top results and be found by potential clients on a name search, you need to start with these profiles and social media avenues. If you already have rankings and profiles, nice work! You are on your way.