You're definitely losing customers to the competition if you're not using the Internet to advertise your realty business. Even small town realtors can benefit from online advertising. Here are some ways to generate more sales using your computer:
A Real Estate Website
The starting point for your Internet advertising plan should be your website. There, you'll list your current listings, marketing and contact information about your business, and free resources for buyers and sellers. Always post a picture of yourself, because people want to get to know you before they'll let you sell their house (or ask for your help with buying property). The content of your website needs to be free of errors and well written. You can write it yourself, or find a freelance writer on Elance or FreelanceWritingGigs.
A Realty Blog
Adding a blog to your website can help make you to the "go to" person for what's happening with realty in your local market. You'll be known as the expert, which should be one of your goals as a realtor. For example, you can blog about what sellers can do to prepare their property for the best sale possible. You can blog about news and tips that impact your market. The trick is to post at least one 250-word post every day to provide fresh content for your readers, and to rank higher in the search engines. Serious realty bloggers post up to three times per day. If you need help, you can even hire a blogger on sites such as Problogger, to help you.
Pay Per Click Advertising
You website and blog does you no good if people don't know you exist online. One advertising strategy that should be used in a very limited way is pay-per-click advertising. This is where you buy keywords that potential customers will type in, and when they do, a small ad appears in Google (or a sponsored link in Yahoo!) with a link to your website. Each time someone clicks on your ad, you'll get charged a small fee, ranging from pennies to several dollars. For example, if you buy the keywords "Maryland Realtor", and someone types that in Google, your ad will pop up on one of the pages on the right hand side, such as "Maryland Realtor: Find the best deals on land lots." When they click on the link, your website will pop up. You want to place a limit on how much you'll pay daily for this, or you can end up paying a lot of money for clicks without enough of a return to make a profit.
Online Press Releases
Generating publicity online is another great way to advertise your realty business. If done right, you can use press releases to generate news content for other website owners and news organizations, while establishing yourself as a realty expert in your market. Your press release should be one page; it should include your contact information and it should be newsworthy. For example, you can write about the opening of your business, or you can comment on the trends in your market. When you write your release, you can submit it online for free using BestSyndication or similar sites. You can also use a paid site, such as PRWeb, which will send your release to thousands of outlets on the web.
You extend your reach and the ability to generate many more leads if you advertise on the internet. Any realty business that's not on the internet is missing out on valuable opportunities.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.