How to Blow Your Local Competition Away Using Internet Marketing

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Today is my third week of blogging for BiggerPockets, and I must say that the community is even better than I expected. You are wonderful people who take lots of pride in your real estate business. I would like to thank all of you who continue to read my blogs as they go live here every week. It feels good to know that I’m one of the people adding value to your real estate business.

Like I said from day one, I’m all about the teaching and the marketing side of real estate. Today those words continue to ring true as I talk about a subject that most people have no clue about. You see, last week I wrote about how a homeless guy found 8,300 buyers and sellers all from doing a little research. That post was written from my perspective; if I were homeless, this is how I would go about dominating my local market without any capital.

Today, I’m going to walk you through the doors of success only if you want to come through. I say this because there is no way in the world that you can compete locally if you can’t even do proper research on the local competition. Most people in real estate can’t even name off five of the local real estate companies that they’re competing with. Why?

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Marketing | 10 Tools to Generate Unlimited Leads

One of the main reasons is that we can all be lazy — and some just don’t know how to do it. People don’t care enough to put the work in to find out who they are competing with. What makes it even worse is that the local competition is pretty much the same, so we live by the “monkey-see, monkey-do” philosophy. No one is doing what they have to do to get that cutting edge over the next one, and this is the reason why everyone in real estate has the same profile.

Please believe that if I’m in your real estate market, I will know as much about your business as possible. Once I have that information in my hands, I will know whether or not you are a competitor or just some other real estate person in the city. Overall, knowing people that you will be coming across down the road will allow you to dominate. The information we find today will be used as fuel down the road.

So if you’re lazy and don’t want to do the work, all I can say is hire someone to do it for you. Just understand one thing before we get started — in this industry if you don’t stay hungry, you risk the smarter people coming into real estate market stealing a piece of that pie.

I’m Lazy, But I Have to Do It

Doing research on the local competition is really an easy process once you know how to do it. Now, that research will stem from online and offline work, of which the online portion I will be covering in detail today.

What we will do is continue to take my local market of Shreveport, LA as an example. This is a big city that has tons of real estate companies and investors, so the competition levels are very high. Today we are going to dig into how we find and record those local competitors so that we can use that information later down the road.

For this research you will need the following:

  • Internet
  • Spreadsheet or document form
  • Lots of motivation

We will be using two sites to perform our research, which are Google and Yellowpages.com. To be able to produce valuable online research, these will be the only websites that you will ever need. Google will continue to index new websites as they hit the internet, and Yellowpages will include new profiles of real estate businesses opened around the city. With these free tools, you now have the opportunity to spy on the competition and follow their every move.

What I want to do is to continue with my local market by going over to Google and typing in “Shreveport Real Estate.” As I said in my first blog post, this term gets anywhere from 1,300 to 1,600 searches per month. As an investor my business is all about leads, and the leads are literally right there in terms of buyers and sellers.

My thought is that if I want to dominate my market online and offline, then I must “be everywhere.” The “be everywhere” term is something that I will talk about later when I break down how to be found everywhere your leads are hanging out. If you can manage to do this, then there is no way in the world you will not become the #1 real estate business or person in your city. However, none of that is possible without doing the research, which starts today for those people who are not lazy and are ready for success.

The Search

Once you input your keyword term into the search engine, it will spit back maybe thousands of websites. The real estate industry is a little tricky when it comes to the results. You may see 10 results on the front page, as you can see below. I took two screenshots because I wanted you to be able to fully visualize them.

antoniocoleman-1

On this page, the average person would think that all 10 results are our competitors. Not necessarily true. No matter what city you do research in, there will always be sites that show up in real estate that are national websites, such as:

  • Realtor.com
  • Zillow.com
  • Trulia.com
  • Century21.com
  • Homes.com
  • Homesfinder.com
  • Craigslist.org

antoniocoleman-2

These are the site that will come up no matter what you search for in any city. If you search for “Atlanta Real Estate,” you will still see the big brands up on the front page. Now, why these sites show up is definitely something that I’m not getting into today, because it falls into the “SEO” category, which I will teach you later down the road.

Related: Real Estate Marketing: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Right now, let’s discuss getting your website into the search engine ranking for thousands of local real estate terms like the following:

  • Shreveport homes for sale
  • Shreveport homes for rent
  • We buy houses in Shreveport
  • Sell your house fast in Shreveport

These are all highly searched terms in my city, as well as across the country. If you know how the process goes on getting your website content in front of those thousands of people, then you look to become very successful in your local real estate market.

Today is all about the search, so let’s get back to the research of finding who my local competitors are. Now, the national websites are not our local competitors, so if you see them on the front page as of today, just ignore them. We only want to focus on the websites that are local so that we can record them in our spreadsheet.

What I found very quickly are two local websites on the front page that are doing business in Shreveport and the surrounding areas. I’m not going to list their names or websites due to SEO reasons. They are already on the front page, so I don’t want to give them even more rankings by listing them here. Like I said, I will get into the rankings of websites down the road, but just understand as of today I’m not listing them here.

I did a screenshot of the page, and you will see that I pointed out the two real estate websites. I only found two on this page but to find even more, I will have to dig a little deeper into the 2nd, 3rd and 4th pages to find even more. The deepest that I will go will be to page 20, knowing from here I’ve pretty much collected all the sites Google has decided to index locally.

Side Note: Just looking at the page and seeing who is #1 really makes me smile due to the fact that I know that I can come in and outrank them. Even the little research that I did already tells me a lot, so when I get into talking about ranking your real estate website, I promise that you will be amazed by how we do it. These websites don’t see me coming, which is the beauty of online marketing.

Just for today, all we want to do is go to every website that is local and record their information into a spreadsheet. The way that you will quickly know that a site is local is by their phone number, which should include your area code. Again, you know your city or town, so you can recognize whether or not it’s local.

Your spreadsheet layout should be set up like this (or any way that you feel comfortable):

  • Name
  • Phone#
  • Email
  • Website/SM
  • Responded

antoniocoleman-3

The above information is all that you need as of now to record them for safe keeping. All you want to do is enter the information as you go from one local real estate website to another. There is no guarantee to how many you may come up with; that is ultimately determined by the size of your city and town.

Finding Competitors on Yellow Pages

At the end of the day, this website will house more of the local competitors than Google for the reason that many real estate companies, investors, wholesalers and more don’t have websites, believe it or not. What most of them do is have business company names set up through LLC’s and more.

Yellow Pages goes out and filters this information onto their website, which makes it faster to search. No one really uses grandma’s big yellow book that she used to have by that old telephone from back in the day. Heck, that phone had a cord that could reach from here to down the road. What I’m saying is, those were the stone age days of looking up businesses. Today, it’s all done online.

One of the reasons I can come in and dominant any local real estate market is because of sites like this. I go out and find those people I’m competing with and plan my marketing around them. I know that all I have to do is what they’re doing but better, plus tack on creative marketing strategies to dominate the market.

antoniocoleman-4

The site is really easy to use; all you have to do is type in the industry that you’re trying to look up and the city. Once that is done, the system will spit back some results. When I did it for “Shreveport real estate,” it brought back around 300 or so searches from companies down to people who invest in real estate.

All you have to do for the next week is go through every single listing and record it if it’s a local business. Sometimes they will sneak in a national search on you, so make sure that you do your homework on that.

What To Do Next

Now, lets say that after a week or so of recording around 20 to 30 a day, you complete the task. You’ve gone through all of the Google and Yellow Pages listings. You have a solid 350 companies and individuals that you are competing with that you can analyze in order to tackle the market.

The information that you have is priceless. You don’t even understand what you have just done to help your business. You have all of the people that you can network with to get you to where you want to be. Not only networking, but you can also do tons of other things with this information that we will cover over the next couple of weeks or more.

There is no way in the world that I’m going into a market not knowing the power hitters in that market. Once I know who they are, then this is where the real fun begins when you get the chance to out-market them and build an online presence that far exceeds theirs.

And Now…Homework Time!

I’d love for you all to create a spreadsheet this week and start recording the local competition using the free tools listed above. This will be a fun game that we can play to see who can find the most local real estate companies and individuals. It doesn’t even necessarily matter who finds the most because all of our markets are different, but this will help to get you started on finding who you’re competing with.

So all I ask for you to do if you want to participate is to leave a comment telling us who you are and what type of real estate you are in and what city you plan on doing your research in.

This is just a friendly competition to see who can take action today. Plus, I would encourage you to post your results underneath your comments once you finish your task of finding the local real estate competition. We all would like to know your process and how the experience was in dong research on your own local market.

Next week we will get even deeper into dominating your local real estate market. Stay Tuned.

Do you plan on researching your local real estate competition? If you’ve already done so, what did you find?

Please join in the discussion below!

 

About Author

Antonio Coleman

Antonio Coleman is a real estate marketing consultant and CEO of the Coleman Marketing Group where he routinely gives high value to his clients and subscribers.

33 Comments

    • Yo Lawrence, You will be surprise the people who are fighting for the same properties as you until you do the research. Will love to see how many people fighting for those lease options properties as you finish the research.

      Also, will like to say your website looks pretty good. There are a few things I would change to make the experience for the visitor more engaging, but overall you took the right step in setting up a website. Won’t believe how many don’t have one, and think they’re going to be able to compete in this market.

      Antonio Coleman “Signing Off”

  1. My goal is to participate in this learning exercise. I’m working to increase my “buy and hold” positions and considering venturing into the wholesale market to identify potential properties for myself or sell them to other investors to build-up much needed cash for future purchases.

    I recently purchased a new personalized logo for my company to reinvigorate my brand. Next on my list is a new website. I’m very interested in finding out who my competitors are to make myself known in the Greensboro marketplace.

  2. Only one slight problem with this method.

    When you compile a list of hundreds, you’ll find most do not do enough business in a year to really be competition. Add to that, most internet people will not go farther than page three to find something. Three pages of ANYTHING on the net is the max. Even for your website. If it takes more than three clicks, they are GONE.

    So now you’ve chewed up hours for information that only 1% may even see and worse might only garner a tenth of a percent of the market.

    I would say stop at page three or any results. And only focus on that top-tier. If Ma & Pa Realty is on page 18 and they only have made a sale once in two years, you can rule them out as competition. Ma & Pa are asleep at the wheel. Pass them by.

    Focus on the big local dogs and then see how well they complete what they start. Exposure is useless if they are too lazy to follow through. They will get the client once and they will NEVER come back.

    Laziness can be good, if it is someone else’s laziness.

    • Dave you’er 100% right that most people don’t even need to go pass page two. But what we are doing is just completing our list of everyone in our local market who are doing real estate. Today they might be a little guy, but next year they can gain some steam. Plus like I said we are looking to put this list to work down the road so its good to just hang on to it even if they’re not doing much biz.

      Hey Dave, how is the competition in your local market?

      Antonio Coleman “Signing Off”

    • nettles mason

      I can see the value of going many pages deep just for this exercise or a couple of pages on each search term or keyword phrase you are going after.

      Ma & Pa might be on page 18 for “Atlanta Real Estate” but could be #1 for We buy houses in Atlanta, or we buy houses atlanta, or we buy houses atlanta ga, sell my atlanta house fast………….

      Each webpage is ranked per keyword and they may have intentionally neglected your search phrase because they found one with more relevant searches or more targeted to their audience of motivated sellers, not soccer moms looking for million dollar summer homes

  3. Antonio
    I’m taking the challenge. Our market here in San Antonio is highly competitive. I did a quick search for “we buy houses San Antonio” through Google and it contained over 20 pages of companies. In our city everyone and their mother buys houses. I’m already excited about the prospect of tapping into the efforts of many to create win win situations. Getting more leads from my website is a bonus.

    • Con

      I don’t even have to do the research to know that the competition level is tough. No matter if that is the case I have things in place down the road in my blog post that will allow you guys to out rank them. But as of today let just focus on the local competition and build our list of them.

      Antonio Coleman “Signing Off”

  4. I am very coachable and not one that will try to reinvent the wheel, especially a wheel that has proven results. I’m all in, and wanting to dominate the Reno NV market. After years of playing on the fringe it’s time to let the competition know that I’m here and ready and willing to do business….

  5. Antonio
    I finished my Google search using multiple keywords. I went through the Yellow Pages and noticed numerous duplicates. I omitted Real Estate agencies, even if they annotated “Real Estate Investing” in their description. I have a solid list of local companies. A sad revelation is my website was not within the first 24 pages of Google when searching for popular key words/phrases. Let us know when we’ll be putting this list to work.

  6. Just happened to stumble upon you. What a lot of valuable info . I am in the start up phase of being a real estate investor,. Recently visited my local REI. I need more info from you if possible. How canI get some help from you? I am not real computer literate but others on my team I am forming are..I need help in my marketing plan. Please let me know how to contact you so I can get my web site and direct marketing program working together.

    Thank You
    Paul Cyrus

  7. Jim Sakalis

    Antonio, Love to hear what we are to do with this list of competitors to increase our website. Please don’t keep us waiting. I currently work out of Michigan, but service all 50 states. I did start in my own back yard regarding your homework assignment. Please share what we do now that we have the list.

    Thanks in advance, Jim

  8. eric m.

    Antonio –

    I’ve done similar investigations for the company I’m employed by but didn’t think to do it for my own business!

    Thanks for sparking the idea and motivating me to do it for my local market – Rochester, NY.

    -Eric

  9. Peivand Atai

    Hi Antonio,

    I searched on google for terms in my local market and for the first 4 or 5 pages you see only classified ads websites, like craiglist and apartment construction sites that are selling their proyect. Just on the 6th page you start to see realtors pages,

    So i`m guessing that there is not enough serious competition on “we buy apartments”, my question is : having a great organic ranking web page which generates leads for me, combined with , educating potential customers via blog and youtube videos with the “how to…” and combined with google adwords and display network, should give me a huge advantage over my competion?

    i`m guessing is effective to have the google display network on those sites?

    Thanks in advance,

    Peivand Pérez Atai

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