Monthly Archives: January 2014

Generate More Buyer and Seller Leads Using Targeted Facebook Real Estate Ads

Targeted Facebook real estate ads are a hot topic in many real estate forums these days.  I see many “gurus” regurgitating basic methods of geotargeting users to increase engagement, but there is another way to more precisely target buyers and sellers that you have probably never heard of.

Let’s say that Maria is an agent working in an area of the country that has a strong military presence like Norfolk, Virginia.  It’s just been announced on the local news that a Navy aircraft carrier is being relocated from San Diego to Norfolk.  That means several thousand sailors, their families, and numerous support personnel are going to be relocating with the ship too.  Maria recognizes this as a great sales opportunity, but how is she going to market her relocation services to those families?  Yep, you probably guessed it…very targeted Facebook ads!

Like Maria, at this point you’re probably wondering how to go about targeting a very specific group of people on Facebook.  The key here is the word “group”.  If you didn’t already know, Facebook has thousands of groups based on interest.  Facebook groups can have open or closed membership.  An open group means anyone can join, while closed groups require approval by the group administrator in order to join.  What’s interesting about Facebook groups is that you can obtain the unique Facebook ID (UID) for each member, regardless of whether the group is open or closed, using a very cheap software tool like Facebook Group Snatcher.

So Maria downloads and installs the Facebook Group Snatcher browser plugin, and the Facebook Ads Power Editor.  With these two tools she now can get to work making a very targeted list of users.  The first thing Maria does is watch the short training videos provided by Facebook Group Snatcher.  A few minutes later Maria is searching for groups that are relevant to the aircraft carrier.  She finds that their are 20 different groups (e.g., ship spouses, ombudsmans, family support, chiefs, etc.).  Maria makes quick work of harvesting the UIDs from each group. When she finishes she has 4670 Facebook users who have a highly relevant connection to the ship that’s relocating.

Once Maria has cleaned up the list of UIDs and removed any duplicates, she logs into the Facebook Power Editor and sets up a new Audience.  The Audience feature allows Maria to display her Facebook relocation ads just to the 4670 people she has entered into her new audience.  In addition, Maria uses Facebook’s tracking pixel on her website so she can track conversions and precisely measure ROI.

The example of military relocation is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how you can employ this targeted marketing method.  Another obvious aspect to this method is that it allows you to craft very specific ad copy that speaks to your audience, which will result in higher click thru rates, more conversions, and an overall higher ROI.

real estate ppc lead generation

DOMINATE Real Estate Lead Generation With An Advanced PPC Strategy

Have you wanted to DOMINATE pay per click real estate lead generation?  Well I’m going to pull back the curtain and share one of the techniques we use to generate real estate leads from Google PPC ads.  Let me digress for a second.  Why would you even want to run PPC ads, or furthermore dominate them?  First, according to a research study conducted by WordStream back in 2012; “Clicks on paid search listings beat out organic clicks by nearly a 2:1 margin for keywords with high commercial intent in the US. In other words, 64.6% of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online!”  Based on our testing and experience we have found that the most common searched keywords buyers and sellers use are of “high commercial intent” too (e.g., chicago homes for sale).  Second, the organic results for high commercial intent real estate keywords are EXTREMELY competitive.  You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on search engine optimization (SEO) and wait months upon months, if not years, waiting to rank for just a single keyword.  You’ll also be competing with the likes of the ZTR powerhouses, which have far more SEO resources at their disposal than any single real estate agent, team, or independent brokerage.

After reading all of that are you still interested in generating a ton of real estate leads with PPC ads?  GREAT!  So let me layout in broad terms this advanced PPC strategy.  For any given Google search engine results page (SERP) there are up to 10 or more PPC ads.  Three at the top of the SERP, and 7+ down along the right side of the page.

real-estate-ppc-lead-generation

When you run an Adwords campaign Google limits you to running a single ad for a given keyword, but…but what if you could run more than one ad for a keyword?  Well, you would have a much higher likelihood of capturing a click, right?.  Especially if you were running two ads within those located at the top of a SERP.  Now for those of you who are seasoned PPC marketers you’re probably saying to yourself…yeah that would work, but you’d be competing against yourself, and potentially raising the cost per click (CPC) artificially, and you would be right.  No doubt, you have to be acutely aware of how each campaign is performing, but the management trade offs are well worth it in terms of the volume of real estate leads this strategy can produce.

To execute this strategy you are going to need to complete a number of steps.  You will also need to have a real estate website like BoomTown, TigerLead, RealGeeks, or MarketLeader already up and running to collect your leads.  A spin-off of this strategy is to use two or three of these portals as lead collection points and aggregate your leads using Follow Up Boss, which is an AWESOME service, by the way.  In any event, lets assume you only have one website and at least one domain pointing to said site.  That being the case, you have to purchase a number of additional domains so that you will have a 1:1 ratio of domains to Google Adwords PPC accounts.  In the example that I am sharing, it will require a total of three domains.

The next step is to navigate over to Unbounce and open a “New Business & Entrepreneurs” account.  Unbounce is a landing page builder/hosting service that doesn’t require you to code anything.  It’s all point and click, easy peasy.  Once you get your Unbounce account setup you will need to setup two unique landing pages.  Each of these landing pages needs to have a unique domain pointing to it.  These two landing pages will have a call to action button like “Start Searching” which when clicked should take the visitor to a search specific page within your real estate website.
real-estate-ppc-lead-generation

The last step is to set up three Google Adwords accounts.  Each will require a unique Gmail address (DO NOT USE EXISTING GMAIL ACCOUNTS, SETUP NEW ONES), you can however use the same payment method for all three accounts.  Within each Adwords account you will need to set up a campaign and within those campaigns a new text ad.  Your three separate ads need to use the same keyword(s) (e.g., chicago homes for sale).  Note, the ad copy you use for each campaign should be unique too.

real-estate-ppc-strategy

It’s safe to say that many nuances associated with this PPC strategy have not been covered here, and would require a book’s worth of information to do so.  However, if you are interested in setting up an internet lead generation system like this one, and want to avoid all of the headaches, we’d be more than happy to help you.  Setup a call with us now!

real-estate-business-systems

How to create systems to grow your real estate business

If your goal is to build a successful real estate business, then it’s imperative that you make systems development a priority.  Owning a successful real estate business is really about developing and owning successful systems, then leveraging others to work within those systems.  Effective efficient systems make a real estate business highly profitable, scalable, and sellable.

When it comes to developing real estate business systems there are many approaches.  These are three ways to accomplish systems development:

1. Self Development

Working in real estate is a juggling act.  There are many aspects of the business that have to be balanced simultaneously.  Naturally, this causes agents to work intuitively to get things accomplished.  However, in order to have a system it’s critical that the steps and procedures used to accomplish tasks be documented from beginning to end.

A great way to get started is to pick a process that you could have someone else complete and write down step-by-step directions how to complete the task (e.g., transaction coordination).  Document everything regarding which software you use, how files are named and saved, and how decisions are made.  The more comprehensive you make your documentation the less time you will spend in the future answering how-to questions from employees or outsourcers.

Many processes in real estate can have associated problems.  If the process you’re documenting is problematic, make sure you develop a methodical set of problem solving instructions.  Don’t assume solutions are obvious (i.e., common sense), or that the person working on them has good deductive reasoning skills.  Spell it out very clearly for them!

2. Hire A Coach

Ever wonder why world class athletes and organizations have coaches when they already have so much talent?  They hire coaches because they realize a coach already has blueprints for success.  Coaches save you immense amounts of time and money, show you the pitfalls along the road to success, and help hold you accountable to your goals.  If you’re willing to follow the guidance of a coach, the time savings and intelligence they can provide you with is extremely valuable. If you’re interested in coaching you can setup a free call with us to see if coaching makes sense for you.

3. Join A Successful Team

If self development and coaching are not options that appeal to you, then joining a successful real estate team may be a good alternative for obtaining business systems intelligence.  It’s like one of my favorite sayings; “To get better, you have to play better.”  While you will have to give up part of your commission to the team, the value and education of working within effective systems, along with mitigating risk of all out failure, is well worth it.

Get Started Today

Creating successful systems can involve a lot of trial and error, and it can become very costly. What’s even more expensive is the associated opportunity cost from not taking action.  Developing systems for your real estate business is imperative to capitalizing on growth opportunities.  The great military philosopher SunTzu said “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”  By starting today you are proactively positioning yourself and your business to take the steps required to reach success.  At the same time you bring death to procrastination, a thief of your success.

real estate referrals

How To Get More Real Estate Referrals

The single most cost and time effective way to grow your business is through real estate referrals.  The latest studies show that real estate referrals are eight times (800%) more cost effective than other lead sources, i.e. cold calling, sign calls, duty, internet, and print advertising.  According to the National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2013 report, 80% of home buyers and 84% of sellers indicated they would recommend their agent to others.  That same report also found that 42% of home buyers and 39% of sellers found their agent through referrals.

Why are referrals so powerful you may ask?  The answer is simple.  People trust recommendations from friends or family.  This is substantiated by a recent Nielsen study that found 84% of consumers trust recommendations from friends above all other forms of advertising.  Naturally, when a prospect comes to you with a pre-established level of trust, your potential to convert them into a client rises exponentially.

So why do people refer?  First and foremost, because they trust who or what they are referring is not going to embarrass them by not living up to expectations.  This level of trust is developed or earned through:

  • Consistency of performance
  • Demonstration of proficiency
  • An overall great past experience

Second, people refer real estate agents because they genuinely want to help the person they are giving the referral to.

So, who are potential referral sources?  Just about anyone is a referral source waiting to be tapped.  These are a few to consider:

  • Current/Past Clients
  • Friends, Family, Acquaintances
  • Business Partners
  • Loan Officers
  • Home Inspectors
  • Pest Inspectors
  • Tradesmen
  • Advertising Representatives
  • Surveyors
  • Settlement Agents
  • Attorneys (Elder Law)
  • Financial Planners/Accountants

The million dollar question is how do you get more real estate referrals?  The first step is to develop a list of referral sources and place them into a contact database.  Your next step is to ASK for them.  Let’s face it, people in today’s society are very busy.  Even if they subconsciously trust you and believe that you are the best agent in the world, they forget about you if you don’t stay in their presence of mind.  One of the most effective systems to stay in contact with your referral sources is the Keller Williams 33 Touch System.  It’s widely popular, even with non Keller Williams agents, and many real estate database systems have an iteration of the system pre-built within them.  Ultimately, the easier (KISS) you can make your contact system, the more likely you are to use it and follow its guidelines for success.

With the growing popularity of social media, friending, following, and connecting with your referral sources can go a long way in helping you stay in connected with them.  At a minimum, you should have a personal Facebook page that you use in a professional capacity.  I advocate using a personal page rather than a business page because your Facebook friends will likely see more of your posts for free.  The latest changes to Facebook business pages have reduced their reach by more than 80% unless you pay to promote your post.  In addition to Facebook, you should consider having Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts, too.

Like any endeavor that increases your business, being consistently persistent and taking action is the foundation for success.