Two weeks ago, I wrote about the first stages of growing your real estate business online by building an online presence without paying for ads.
What we learned was how to recognize if you have an online presence or not. All you need to do is Google “Your Company Name” and go through the listings to see which sites are related to you.
What you should find are what I call profile/citation websites that list your company information. For those of you who are not familiar with the difference in a profile site versus a citation site, I would like to explain that in full.
The Difference Between Profile Sites & Citation Sites
These are the sites such as Facebook Pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, as well as the many other social media sites that allow you to set up a profile. There are literally thousands of these types of websites online to put your business on. You will just have to search them out.
Now, this category encompasses sites such as Yelp, Manta, Yellow Pages, and Google Places to name a few. These sites are directly centered around businesses. Their overall goal is to put your business name online, coupled with tons of information about your business, so that people can learn more about you.
Online Presence vs. Advertising
If I were to go out and talk to a business owner in real estate and ask them how they would like to grow their real estate business — by using free or paid services — which one do you think they would choose?
Ninety-nine percent of those people would love to gain more leads the free way, but they focus more on the paid version. Why is that? Well, the truth is that most people in real estate are taught one way of marketing, and that way is to advertise your business to get in front of the potential leads. I have even talked about the key elements of getting highly targeted leads all for free.
We usually focus on the following (paid) advertising solutions:
- Yellow Pages Ads
- Local Newspaper Ads
- Local Real Estate Magazine Ads
All of these elements are the norm in real estate, whether you’re an investor, realtor, broker, wholesaler or anyone who is looking to buy or sell real estate. These are likely the most used forms of paid advertising to get exposure for your real estate business.
With all that being said, if you use these types of advertising, you’re pretty much throwing your money against the wall to see what’s going to stick. There is essentially no knowing how many people will be targeted proportionate to what you will be paying.
Another thing about advertising is that it’s something you must do until the end of time. You can’t stop because if you do, then you risk losing those potential leads. So you must continue to spend tons of dollars per month just to keep the engine turning.
Before moving on, let’s break down the monthly expenses of the forms of advertising listed above:
- Yellow Pages Ads (Online or Offline) – $250 per month
- Local Newspaper Ads – $200 per month
- Local Real Estate Magazine Ads – $250 per month
- Billboards – $350 per month
TOTAL: A whopping $1,050 per month on advertising
Now, these are not 100% accurate numbers due to different rates across the world and country. But this is a general average of them all, proving that pricing can get a little steep.
Sad to say, even with those outlets of advertising, you still may not get the great response you hoped for. So at the end of the day, I would suggest that you explore other methods can you implement that are more targeted and a lot cheaper — about $1,050 cheaper, to be exact.
Building an Online Presence is Smart
When I talked about the homeless guy who found over 8k buyers and sellers online, it was to let you know that the power of marketing your real estate business was through research. By knowing the numbers now, you can go out and start building your online presence around your company name and keywords.
Here’s the formula…
First thing you need to do is to sit down and write out a little information on your business. I’m going to enter some demo information below that will need to be used to set up every profile/citation page.
Remember: All of this content must be the same throughout all of the profile/citation pages you set up. If not, then the search engines will start to get confused regarding what’s related to your business versus another one.
If you can stay consistent by adding the same information to every profile/citation page, you will start the process of building your online presence and having dozens, if not hundreds, of places online that will be listing your business. The more places that people can find what you offer, the more likely you are to gain more potential leads without breaking the bank.
The overall goal is to have our business names posted to hundreds of websites and to go after the targeted keywords that we found some time ago that thousands of people in our local real estate markets are searching for online.
Mike RE Investment Group
1234 House St
Shreveport La, 71003
Mike RE Investment Group is a well known real estate company located in the heart of Shreveport, Louisiana. They focus 100% on the Shreveport real estate market, which is one of the top places to live and raise a family.
Have at least a logo to upload and maybe 5-10 pictures to add to your profile/citation pages. These pictures make the profile pages stand out, and the search engines love complete pages.
Shreveport Real Estate, Homes for sale in Shreveport, Houses for rent in Shreveport
The Game Plan
When it comes to setting up all of these profiles, it’s going to take sometime to do so. Don’t be in a rush in doing all of them in a couple of days. Like I tell people in any industry, this is not a 100-meter dash, it’s a marathon.
That being said, I want you be consistent in creating as many of these as possible throughout the next 30 days. Our goal for all of the BiggerPockets community is to setup at least 300 profiles within the next 30 days. Seems like a lot, but it’s really not, knowing that you only have to do about 10 per day.
Make sure that you use all of the information that you come up with centered around your business. If they ask for tags or keywords, make sure that you use them because this helps people find you on their sites and throughout the search engines. This is what we’re targeting at the end of the day.
As far as those keywords that I listed above for my demo account, I know that they get a combined monthly search of around 5k altogether. So my goal is to create as many online profiles as possible in order to get my business in front of those people all for FREE.
Now, you can do this or have one of your employees work on this for about an hour each morning. Once they are set up, you don’t ever have to touch them again. All you have to do is to get them to rank themselves — and watch the leads come in down the road.
To get you jump started on this, I’ve listed the top 50 profile/citation websites to start off creating your online presence. Some you may already know, but there may be others that you might not have ever heard of.
This only lists 55 of them, so if you want more, all you have to do is Google “list of profile creation sites.” On that search page alone, you will find tons of more that you can put your business on, all for FREE.
My list of 55 FREE pages to list your business:
- Google Places (aka Google+ Local)
- Yahoo Local
- Angie’s List
- The Business Journals
- Insider Pages
- Hotfrog US
- Bing Places for Business
- Chamber of Commerce
- Best of the Web Local
- Local Database
Building your online presence is just the tip of the iceberg of growing your real estate business online. But it’s the #1 thing that I would do if I’m looking to dominate any market locally in any given city.
Next week, I would like to get more into how to promote these profiles on a massive level, as well as how to use reviews to stand out from the crowd to help get that phone ringing more often.
Will you use my list to spread your business throughout the internet? What steps have you taken thus far in your online marketing?
Let’s talk everything marketing in the comments section below!