I have been working with my share of realtors lately and finding ways for them to self promote better in there local communities. Here is a short list of things every realtor should consider.
1. Get some NEW professional photos done.
Find a photographer who can shoot you on a white or grey background. Delete all those “Sears Portrait Studio” style images. These pictures have no flavor and look like they were shot in 1982. Have fun with your images, be yourself, you don’t need to look too serious. The more approachable you look in your pictures, the more friendly you appear to potential clients. One of my clients Kari Clark is in the middle of her transformation to professional online marketing. Here is an example of her 2 images. Who would you rather call?
2. Build a local portal sponsored by you.
This could be something simple like a website where locals can find menus for all the restaurants, a community events calendar, local business and charity directory, public chat forum or even a local news site. The realtor runs the bsite (or pays someone to) and uses available ad space to promote their personal realtor website. My friend Ross Hughes has a good example of a sponsored local portal site here.
Spend some time promoting this site around your town using signs, flyers, etc. Additionally you should promote your portal in all your print ads.
3. Update Your Slogan.
If I see another realtor with “Thinking of buying or selling?” in their ads I am gonna puke. You have all been put on notice to dump this overused garbage.
I don’t want to give too many examples but here are a few I just thought up that may work for you, try to be memorable and maybe even funny. “Your Change Agent”, “Your Key To New Possibilities”, “Moving on up!”, or “Keepin’ it Realtor” 😉
4. Rebuild your personal website
Most realtors already have a personal website. However the majority are using “some system” their office gave them which looks ugly and makes them not want to promote.
Step 1 is to get your site off “some system” and get it onto “wordpress” WordPress is a free CMS (content management system) that makes updating your website as easy as sending a hotmail.
Step 2 Hire a designer or buy a template. Depending on your budget and individual needs you can either hire a wordpress site designer, or buy a premade template and modify it. The best templates to buy and modify in my opinion are: http://www.studiopress.com or http://www.woothemes.com
Step 3 Make sure you or your designer understand WordPress SEO basics
5. Get on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
I know, these things seem like a waste of time, and if used incorrectly they may be.
Use YouTube as a place to upload educational videos. Things you would want your clients to know. Maybe some first time homebuyer advice, mortgage education, cost calculations, local construction projects, new schools and anything else that you think is relevant. Your YouTube username should contain the name of your town or region and real estate, realtor, your name is not as important here.
Make sure to customize your profile page with your new photos and links to your website. Your designer can help. Also put a link to your website in every new video description.
I have a great tutorial on how to use Twitter to gain a local following here. You will want to make a custom twitter page as well. Your designer can help.
Most people use facebook for personal contacts only. I personally mix business and personal contacts on facebook. The other way to utilize facebook is by leveraging their ad portal. Facebook ads is a really cheap way to put your face in front of the people who live in your service area. A recent campaign we did for a client cost him $154 to get 1.3 million ad views and 321 clicks.
Use your new photo and your name in your facebook ads. Promote your Youtube videos and blog entries, not just yourself. Every ad should mention you as a Realtor.