Category Archives: Client Spotlight

Online Marketing for Real Estate Agents – Tips & Tricks

Editor’s Note: There are numerous books, websites, and other mediums devoted to assisting real estate agents who want to grow their business. Few of these mediums, however, provide substance when it comes to leveraging the possibilities of online marketing. Mary Beth Downing is a Dayton, Ohio real estate agent who has gotten off to a fast start in her career by leveraging the web. In the article below, she shares how she has achieved early success.

Breaking in as a real estate agent is incredibly difficult. This difficulty is the reason why so many agents quit within their first few years, out of frustration. I’ve seen realtor discussion boards in which many agents say that one should only expect to sell three to four homes in their first year. As of this writing, I’ve had my license for slightly over five months and I’ve put eight homes under contract. The most exciting part is that each month has been better than the previous. I’m excited to use this article to share how I’m going about growing my business.

The biggest thing that has surprised me, early on, is the extent to which many new agents entirely devote their time to trying to meet people face to face as opposed to leveraging online resources. These online resources can include paid ads as well as things which you own outright (more on this below). It’s understandable that many new agents don’t want to put money into building a website or into online listings. In my opinion, however, there’s a flaw in refusing to do so. If you take the approach that “I’m not spending any money and I’ll spend my time networking and trying to meet people” then you’re only saving money if you value your time at $0. Given that time is valuable, and can’t be replaced, I find online marketing to be highly effective.

In my first five months I’ve focused on three main areas: my website, my blog, and video. I’ll discuss each of these in turn.

Real estate agents can use their website to attract and capture leads

Most agents don’t invest the time or money to create a website for themselves. This is the first mistake as having a web presence helps to validate you in the eyes of potential clients. Simply, having a website, however, isn’t enough; too many agents build a basic page for the sake of having one, but don’t truly leverage their site. You can use your website to attract clients who would have never heard of you otherwise. You can then use it to capture more of those leads and turn them into signed contracts.

I didn’t want a website that simply said “Hi, this is me. I’m a real estate agent.” I wanted something that would actually provide value to potential clients. This is why I had my webmaster integrate the MLS (through third-party software) into my site. This allows people to search listings of homes for sale through my site instead of through a service such as Zillow. One of the big benefits of this has been that individual home listings tend to show up well in organic search results on Google and Bing. So when people see a for sale sign, and search for the specific address to get more information, my site’s listing of the property shows up. People then land on my website and call me from there. This results in leads with no additional time or meaningful financial investment on my part.

Another big benefit is that the MLS integration into my website allows me to automate the follow-up process. The software I use, to integrate the MLS, allows me to add a lead’s email and other information to a database. That lead will then receive automated emails whenever a new listing, which meets their desired criteria, comes on the market. This means that, instead of me having to call someone about a new listing, they receive it automatically. This helps people to be informed of listings they may be interested in and, importantly, ensures that the information is coming from me. I could spend hours, every day, researching listings and calling people or I could have an automated system which handles this task. I prefer the latter.

My blog is crucial to my strategy of driving seller listings

As I mentioned above, most realtors don’t create a website. Of the ones who do, very few create a blog and maintain it. Blogging is crucial to my strategy going forward. The thing about a blog post is that it can be the gift that keeps on giving. Say, for example, that I write an article on “how to price your home for sale” and it gets clicked on just five times a month in search. That’s five clicks every month that I pay no money for and spend no time on after I’ve written the article. In other words, investing a little bit of time provides me with web content, which I own outright, that will continue to give me indefinite exposure to potential

clients. This is why I wrote a comprehensive series on the subject of “selling your home.” I see my blog as a crucial component to obtaining listings without expending extensive time or money.

Video is important to helping me convert leads into clients

One of the first things I did after starting my business is hire a videographer to make the following “intro” video:

This has been vital in terms of helping me convert leads into clients. This has happened in two ways.

First, the client with the highest dollar contract I’ve signed so far explicitly mentioned my video when they first contacted me. In other words, these clients found me on the web and were considering calling me. They watched my video and it helped clinch their decision. Second, and interestingly, is another call I received. I market heavily on Zillow for a given zip code. My video appears on my Zillow profile as well as on my website. I received a call from a homeowner in the zip code I market to. She stated that she had been receiving letters from realtors offering to assist with selling her home (a common tactic for obtaining listings). She went onto Zillow to get an idea of what her home may be worth as part of deciding whether or not she wanted to sell it. Since I market to her zip code, she came across my Zillow profile and watched my video. She then contacted me regarding the listing of her home and, again, explicitly mentioned my video.

The foregoing are two examples of how my video introduces me to clients and helps me to convert more leads into signed contracts. I own this video outright. That means it’s another gift that keeps on giving. It’s another way that I’m getting clients, on an ongoing basis, without having to expend large amounts of time or pay ongoing amounts of money.

I strongly believe that many real estate agents are missing out on their opportunity to leverage the web. This is actually good news. The fact that agents aren’t leveraging the web means that it’s not as competitive as one may think. In my humble opinion, this is the best way to leverage one’s time and money when growing their business.

I owe a big thanks to Amanda Clark and the team at Grammar Chic for inviting me to write on this topic.

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A Quick Guide to Enterprise SEO

Every company wants to be found by search engine users; for this reason, every company should have an interest in search engine optimization. It’s been said before, but warrants repeating: Any company that can’t be found by the Google algorithms might as well be invisible.

But of course, specific SEO needs vary greatly from one business to the next. A small, local brick-and-mortar store has a radically different SEO agenda than, say, an international conglomerate.

This brings us to enterprise SEO, a subset of search engine optimization that caters specifically to the needs of very large businesses. But what does enterprise SEO really entail—and what makes it different from other SEO endeavors?

Enterprise SEO Defined

Essentially, when we talk about enterprise SEO, we’re talking about search engine optimization activities for Fortune 1000 companies—big brands whose needs are more robust (and whose budgets are typically bigger) than, say, mom and pop shops.

Enterprise SEO needs are varied. On the one hand, there is a need to be discoverable by everyday consumers—especially in localized contexts. At the same time, enterprise SEO must preserve online reputation while advancing global branding. A good enterprise SEO campaign will balance these different concerns, and will take an interest in both granular and big-picture issues.

Hiring an Enterprise SEO Company

Enterprise SEO companies—which typically work closely with existing marketing departments and CMOs—must bring some unique skillsets to bear. A few of these include:

  • Search engine trends can turn on a dime, and it’s important for big enterprises to be able to pivot accordingly.
  • It’s simply impossible to do efficient enterprise-level work without automation. A good enterprise SEO company will be certified and experienced in key technologies.
  • The volume of content that’s needed for effective enterprise SEO is typically quite large; it requires someone who’s able to keep up with this work.
  • CMOs want to see that their efforts are paying off—and the only way to prove this to them is to furnish them with advanced data and analytics.

Embracing Enterprise SEO

For companies that are large in size, the work of SEO can be daunting—but with the right partner, it’s possible to achieve great results. Engaging an enterprise SEO firm—complemented with a strong content campaign—can be the critical first step in that direction. Consider whether enterprise SEO is right for your company’s needs.

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Client Spotlight: Kuester Companies

One of my favorite Grammar Chic clients is Kuester Companies—and in particular, their Association Management group. I say this with sincerity, and perhaps just a hint of wonder; to be sure, this isn’t the first thing you’d think of when you think about a literary consultancy and professional writing and editing service like Grammar Chic, Inc. We work with authors, with people who write for a living. What could we possibly have to do with an HOA company like Kuester?

The thing of it is, though, our work isn’t just about words. It’s about ideas, and it’s about facilitating effective communication. Kuester is a company that places a high premium on both of these things; they’re nothing if not loaded with good ideas about property management—ideas meant to provide the best service possible to their many clients—and so it’s pretty easy for us at Grammar Chic, Inc. to help put those ideas into words.

Kuester is at once a big, ambitious, and expanding company, but also one with tight-knit values and a familial sensibility; indeed, it is a family business, and though it is constantly growing, it is still run as such. Kuester provides management services to residential areas—including condominiums, apartment complexes, and neighborhoods—throughout the Carolinas, yet they pride themselves in the value they place on their employees, and on the team spirit they embody. They work with some of the industry’s top talent and collaborate with some of the finest vendors in the area, yet they are adamant about the fact that it’s the customer who comes first, and that, at the end of the day, their job is really just to keep their many communities happy.

Kuester Association Management’s function is to provide a stable, guiding presence for local association managers and also to ensure that the needs of the different community members are being met; as you can imagine, their work lives or dies on their ability to communicate effectively. On that front, Grammar Chic, Inc. is all too happy to help—whether it’s with web content, articles, or blog entries.

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Client Spotlight: Dr. Yvonne Corppetts Motivates Readers

As editors, we get to work with a variety of authors that are looking to polish their work and publish their books. Recently, Grammar Chic, Inc. had the pleasure of working with Dr. Yvonne Corppetts, a speaker, author, and educator that specializes in motivating others to fulfill their potential. Her goal? To help people live life as best as they can.

Dr. Yvonne Corppetts’ new book, Take Charge for Major Success: A Guide to Living Your Best Life, is a tool that she has added to her motivational arsenal. Published by Manassas, Virginia-based EDGE Publishing Company, Dr. Corppetts has developed the content of the book through truths she has learned from both her education and her personal experience. Dr. Corppetts guides readers through the task of understanding who they really are, pinpointing what they want in life, achieving major success, overcoming challenges, and freeing themselves of people and situations that present obstacles to their well-being.

Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. Corppetts has grown her brand quickly. Between speaking at events, working on her book, consulting with a variety of organizations, and making appearances, she has made the time to develop a new blog, which is scheduled to be launched next month.

To learn more about Dr. Yvonne Corppetts and the positive impact she has had on her community, and the many people who have attended her events and read her book, visit her website.

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Author Spotlight: Al Baird North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers: From Kitty Hawk to Sunset Beach


Al Baird grew up fishing the North Carolina coast and to this day remains loyal to its many piers. When his family first started their annual vacations to the coast, Jennette’s Pier was their location of choice. Since then, Al has been casting his line over piers regularly and has made it his mission to ensure that other kids have the opportunity to experience the same tranquil yet exciting interaction with both nature and other fishing enthusiasts. As the founder of the North Carolina Fishing Pier Society, Al has done massive amounts of research in his efforts to preserve the piers along the North Carolina coast and to get people excited about pier fishing. His new book, North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers: From Kitty Hawk to Sunset Beach, chronicles the dangers the piers have faced over the years and shares the triumphs of many fisherman, young and old, who have held their own against the waters of the Atlantic and taken home their prize.

Published by The History Press, North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers will be released to the public in March of 2011. The History Press is a publishing house located in Charleston, South Carolina, and we here at Grammar Chic, Inc. are delighted that such a great press recognized Al’s wonderful work.

Grammar Chic, Inc. is excited about the upcoming release of North Carolina’s Ocean Fishing Piers and is so proud of Al Baird for the success he has achieved. Congratulations, Al!

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Client Spotlight: Lea Shulman Interiors

We recently had the honor of working with Lea Shulman, of Norwalk, Connecticut-based Lea Shulman Interiors. Lea is a highend, luxury interior designer specializing in new construction and kitchen remodels. Her portfolio is truly one-of-a-kind, but she was looking for help with conveying who she is and what she does for her clients on her website. We were able to work with her to develop unique web content that truly expressed her background, expertise and what her company hopes to accomplish when working with clients who have an interior design vision, but who need a helping hand in making that vision a reality. Now that her website is “remodeled,” Lea can get on to the important work of making the homes of her clients’ true works of art. Check her out online at: http://www.leashulmaninteriors.com.

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