Harness the Power of The Internet to Sell Your Home
You’ve worked closely with your real estate agent creating the perfect property listing to sell your home, and it looks great. You’ve taken high-quality professional photos and crafted an alluring home description that should get buyers lining up to make offers.
But have you considered how will these buyers will find your new listing among the millions of properties already calling Google home?
If your agent doesn’t have a fast and firm answer to that simple question, it’s time for you to familiarize yourself with some basics about digital marketing and real estate SEO.
Search Engine Optimization Makes a Huge Impact.
Selling your home is all about timing and presentation and SEO—or search engine optimization—is a great tool to ensure your property is presented in the most timely manner possible, to people looking to buy a home!
Basically, if you’re property isn’t at the top of the search engine results, you’re losing views, showings, and sales to competing listings.
When it comes to real estate, SEO makes all the difference. According to the National Association of Realtors:
• 90% of prospective homebuyers search for homes online.
• More than half all homebuyers start their search online.
• Since 2008, Google searches for real estate have grown at a clip of 20% year over year, each and every year.
Did you know that organic listings, not AD’s, receive 90% of all clicks on Search Engine Result (SERP) Pages? Additionally, the first 3 organic positions on Google receive 61% of the clicks, and only 10% of online users even go to page 2 of results!
Find a Realtor Who Understands SEO
Similar to Google, real estate websites act as search engines to help buyers quickly and easily find the home of their dreams. Two great examples include the MLS and Zillow.
The Brevard County MLS, or the multiple listing service, is an electronic database that offers up-to-date information about property listings. Zillow, the most highly trafficked consumer real estate website in the world, acts as a search engine for home buyers.
When a buyer goes to the Zillow homepage, they can search in a desired geographical area then use filters such as price range, school district, and square footage to help narrow down their search.
These are truly revolutionary tools for the average home buyer, but for individuals looking to sell their home these sites produce big challenges, such as standing out from the crowd or highlighting selling points that Zillow and the MLS simple cannot.
That’s why partnering with a Realtor who understands digital marketing and the impact of SEO is so valuable.
SEO is not a quick or cheap undertaking, so real estate firms that have invested in their online footprint provide an inherent advantage to property sellers right out the gate.
Many homeowners, who have-not partnered with a Realtor that understands the importance of SEO are beholden to the MLS or Zillow, inevitably having their property grouped in with a variety of similar properties, providing limited advantage or discernment in a competitive marketplace.
A digitally prepared real estate partner will have the ability to provide a tailor-made landing area, on page one of Google, to highlight a property and give it the best chance to sell it quickly and at the highest value possible.
The Majority of Today's Home Buyers Are Millennials
Guess who’s taking the over as the most common home buyers? Yep, millennials are taking over as the highest percentage group for new home sales. They are getting older, settling down and stable in their careers. Their household income has increased to an average of $88,200 and they’re looking to buy homes in middle and upper-middle class neighborhoods.
This is especially true in growing markets like the Space Coast.
What More Millennial Home Buyers Means for Sellers?
Here are three important words: Know your buyer. Millennials are internet savvy and do their research before house shopping. They are accustomed to convenience and easy online shopping. The home search starts online for millennials, so you need to make the best possible impression on the internet to get their attention. Make sure you invest in high-quality photos, videos, virtual tours, drone videos, and most importantly ensure these photos and videos are found by placing it on a page that ranks highly and is optimized for search engines.
Consumers are all about the visuals these days, and they want to know everything they can about a home before visiting it. Having features like 3-D virtual tours and high-resolution photos can enhance your property presentation and catch more customers.
Consider these statistics from the National Association of Realtors:
• 62% of home buyers want to be able to tour a home virtually online.
• 89% of home buyers find photos on a website extremely helpful.
• 79% of homeowners prefer to list with a real estate agent who uses video marketing to advertise their home.
• 36% of home seekers used online video in their research process.
Local Search SEO
Real estate is a hyper-competitive industry, as you no doubt are aware. Thousands of firms and individual agents are all vying for the attention of a small pool of potential buyers.
Even if your real estate agent may do business across several cities in a market area, it’s better to start optimizing for local keyword phrases one-by-one rather than trying to tackle their entire service area in one fell swoop. Why?
Because over two-thirds of home shoppers begin their research with a local keyword phrase such as:
- Cocoa Beach real estate company
- Brevard County homes for sale
- Cocoa Beach land for sale
- Melbourne real estate agent
For instance, at CENTURY 21 Ocean, we serve the entire Space Coast real estate market and surrounding areas but have an office based in Cocoa Beach. Because our team understands the importance of local SEO for our sellers, we have optimized to be found on page one of Google results in Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Viera, Rockledge, Merritt Island, and more.
This helps our customers listing to appear in location-based Google search and Google Maps when buyers search for homes for sale in their desired location. It also allows us to provide optimal landing pages for our listings regardless of town or city.
Use Video Marketing
Prepare your marketing efforts for 2019 and embraced video marketing. It’s impossible to ignore the impact videos are having on the real estate market. Videos drive organic traffic and feature lifestyle stories to help sell your home for top dollar. Sell your homes special features, show your home in its best light and sell the lifestyle of living in its location, but most of all make sure the video is found with SEO!
If you haven’t embraced video for your real estate marketing, you’re going to get left behind in 2019. Don’t worry though, there is still time to catch up. Remember, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is today.
Provide a Virtual Tour
Today, buyers are not typically driving around looking for their “perfect” neighborhood or dream home. Instead, they’re online scouting Google Maps, Zillow.com, Trulia, or the hundreds of Facebook or Google Ads that they are inundated with at all times.
A professional listing with a virtual tour will help your property rank higher on searches.
Master Mobile First Optimization
Most home buyers these days use their mobile devices to search for properties online, especially millennials. Make sure to work with an agent who understands this and optimizes your listings to be viewed on mobile devices of all kinds. If your Realtors website isn’t designed to adapt responsively to cell phones and iPads, then you will be missing out on most of the web traffic.
These days, millions of property listings are at every buyer’s fingertips and without a strong online presence, your real estate agent could be missing out on a huge opportunity to get your home sold quickly at your initial asking price.
Thanks to the convenience of mobile devices, the power to buy and sell is quite literally in your hands at all times! Statistics from the National Association of Realtors has shown that 58% of Millennials and 46% Generation X found their home on a mobile device.
Visuals, Visuals, Visuals
We cannot overstate the importance of high-quality MLS photos. Your listing photos are the online version of “curb appeal,” high-quality photos can be the difference maker in getting a sale. Even if your property is immaculately manicured, perfectly remodeled, and listed at a great price...a mediocre online listing will drop it to the bottom of the list. Great photos, video, drone footage, and virtual reality tours have become an integral part of the buying and selling process, especially for millennials.
Maximize Social Media to Promote Authenticity
If your Realtor is not using a social marketing strategy, you might be missing out in 2019. Share your listing on social media. The more shares you get to your listing the better and the more upvotes likes and retweets the better. Social signals refer to a web page’s collective shares and visibility on various social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Improving these metrics often correlates with better rankings on Google search. Studies show that social media expands the reach of a webpage and improves brand awareness for a particular product or service. Sharing your homes listing on social media sites will increase the exposure of your listing and help improve your placement on Google. From Twitter to Instagram and Facebook, social media has revolutionized the way we spread the word about properties.
Other Factors That Affect Your Homes Listing
Make sure your listing is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Include high-quality images, video, virtual tours and lifestyle stories that excite your potential buyers. Most importantly showcase why they should choose your property over all the others.
This is especially important in highly competitive areas such as the Space Coast, where standing out could mean the difference in a sale or further waiting.
If you’re listing your property on your real estate agent’s website you should check their client reviews. The presence of client reviews helps their website-and your listing-rank over their competitors. Google takes positive reviews into account when determining which websites and property listings to showcase in the top results.
Their website should also be updated regularly with fresh, informative blog posts, articles, tools, and local resources to keep visitors coming back to and engaging with their site, thus increasing the exposure of your listing. Interaction is one of several key factors in Google rankings.
Does the title of your property listing highlight primary features?
This element of your listing is easy to optimize and can help you rank higher than other sellers you’re competing against. Titles are an important consideration for both search engines ranking and buyers browsing homes in the search results. Make sure your title calls out your home’s biggest sells and features. These same keywords should also appear through your listing’s content. SEO-wise, use a catchy title ‘Rarely Available Executive Oceanfront Single Family Cocoa Beach Home, Will Go Quick,’” It needs to be catchy and contains the keywords you want to rank for, not just a regular, “nice four bedroom beach Brevard County home for sale.”
Are the images in your property listings using keywords?
If you hover your mouse over an image, it will often show the title of that image. Be sure that the image on your property listing is optimized to include a description of what is pictured and doesn’t just list a series of random letters and numbers. Search engines are able to look at those the images as another clue to determine what your home listing page is about and rank it accordingly.
Additionally, you will want to think about local search terms that buyers might be looking for as well. For example, Brevard County Schools, Space Coast beachfront condos, that are around your property and will capture the attention of buyers looking for these features.
Take Control in 2019 With a Top-Notch Realtor
Most importantly hire an experienced pro.
Last year, 90% of millennial home buyers used real estate agents to purchase their homes. Think they’re onto something? You bet they are!
Don’t try to sell on your own.
Get the help of a professional so the home selling process is smooth and trouble free. A firm using SEO best practices will increase traffic to your property listing and ultimately help you sell your home faster at the initial asking price. To make this happen, work with your real estate agent from the get-go to talk about your SEO game plan.
So, whether you’re selling or buying, you can take advantage of the current real estate search trends by partnering with a real estate agent with a strong online presence and great SEO.
Call or Email us at CENTURY 21 Ocean today and learn more!
321.323.1212 | firstname.lastname@example.org