Posts Tagged ‘ Google ’

4 Quick Tips to Maximize Social Media in Real Estate

Real estate has always been, and will continue to be, an industry centered on relationships. As such, real estate professionals are poised to exploit social media to further build relationships and their engagement of sphere of influence. However, many agents use Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and the other social media sites merely as platforms of ‘marketing’ – and by that it’s merely spouting listings without any real value to the audience.

Here are a few tips based on observations of social media successes and failures:

  1. Be REAL. Don’t just talk about your latest and greatest listings – that’s a surefire way to get your audience to tune you out. Show your personality, relate to people, and be genuine. Be the real you, for better or for worse (hopefully for the better), and customers will respond accordingly.
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Posted by: Alex Cortez on December 5th, 2012 under Best Practices, Technology

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HomeGain Survey Finds Top Real Estate Marketing Practices and Preferences

by Louis Cammarosano

Based on responses from over 500 real estate agents and brokers nationwide, referrals ranked as the number one marketing preference among real estate professionals for acquiring new clients, with an overall score of 8.95 (out of 10) for effectiveness. Referrals also ranked number one in the 2011 and 2010 surveys.

Leads from brokers (scored a 5.6) and Events (5.26) ranked second and third, respectively, as most effective marketing strategies, which remained unchanged from 2011.
Online lead generation services (5.19) ranked fourth, jumping four positions from the 2011 survey. Email Campaigns (4.92) and Featured Listings (4.91) swapped positions from the 2011 survey and came in fifth and sixth, respectively.

Postcards and Mailers (4.9) were bumped down from sixth in the 2011 survey to seventh. However, it scored half a point higher in 2012. Craigslist (4.3) and Youtube (4.1) ranked eighth and ninth, respectively. Youtube scored 0.6 points higher than in 2011, helping it jump three spots.

In the 2011 survey, Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter were grouped into one category. In 2012, each site stood on its own. Overall in 2011, Social Media scored a 3.8. In 2012, Facebook (4.0) ranked 10th, Google+ (3.7) ranked 12th, LinkedIn (3.61) ranked 14th and Twitter (3.43) ranked 19th. The average of these scores is 3.69.

Blogging (3.91) ranked 11th in 2012. This represents a 0.62 increase and a jump of two spots from 2011.

“Despite the hype of social media as an effective marketing outlet, real estate professionals once again voted referrals as the most effective and most preferred form of marketing,” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain. “Also coming in ahead of social media were in person events, like open houses, mailing of post cards and online lead generation services.”

Top Effective Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Professionals in 2012:

(Cumulative Averages, 1=least likely to use/10=most likely to use)

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on October 29th, 2012 under HomeGain Surveys

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Should Google Pay Its Users?

Now that giving away products and services for free is a viable business model, will a profitable model of paying consumers to use products emerge?

by Louis Cammarosano

In any transaction two parties assign relative values to what they are exchanging. A purchaser of a cup of coffee at Starbucks values the coffee more than the three dollars in his pocket and Starbucks values the three dollars more than the coffee it is selling.

The pricing of goods and services has been established in this manner for centuries. Some people will not pay three dollars for a cup of coffee, but others will. Starbucks determines how much it will charge and consumers how much they will pay through the price discovery mechanism of the free market.

In recent times, a new form of exchange has emerged that the price discovery mechanism of the free market has not yet fully tested.

These new forms of exchange involve companies giving away products and services for free.

We can refer to these business practices as the freemium or freeluxe models.

Freeluxe/Freemium

Under the freemium model a company gives away a product that is either feature, time, capacity or customer service limited with the goal of eventually charging the customer for full use of the product. Examples of this model include Pandora and Flickr.

The freeluxe model, in contrast, starts with no limitations on product usage and its business model does not depend on ever charging the user. Examples of freeluxe business models include Google, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. The user has full access to all features of the products and never pays the company in exchange for their usage.

Gmail- A Freeluxe model that works

Under the freeluxe model the company offers the product and the consumer “exchanges” his use of the product in return.

The consumer deems the value received from using Google’s Gmail sufficient to his consent to use it.

Google in turn through the consumers’ use of the Gmail product receives a plethora of information about its users that it can then employ in the individual and in the aggregate to determine user behavior and preferences to sell advertising.

The relative monetary value that consumers place on their consent to use products like Gmail is nothing. But should it be? Should the consumer ask to be paid to use products such as Gmail?

Sound ridiculous? Perhaps Google one day WILL pay consumers to use its products-especially in areas that he has not gained market share-think Google Plus or the defunct Google Buzz.

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on August 16th, 2012 under Blogging and Social Networking, HomeGain

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Be Careful Buying Links

If you have spent anytime learning about search engine optimization (SEO) then you know about the importance of links. Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web page, directory, website, or top level domain from another web site. If you want to rank well in Google for any remotely competitive phrase then you need links from other websites. Plain and simple.

Getting links to your website raises your search engine ranking, ideally getting you more visitors (which hopefully translates into more cash). So where do you get more links?

Matt Cutts of Google has provided a valuable video on how to build links. You can view it here.

In a nutshell here are a few of the ways to build links:

  1. Controversy
  2. Participate in a community
  3. Original Research
  4. Get a blog
  5. Run a service (or create a product) that people find useful and give it away for free to the community.
  6. Website architecture
  7. Make videos

One thing Matt Cutts didn’t mention is buying links. Yes, you can buy links. If you poke around a little but you will find websites willing to add a link to your site for some cash. This is frowned upon by Google.

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Posted by: Marc Rasmussen on April 3rd, 2012 under HomeGain, Website Strategies

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Succeeding in Google’s Post-Panda World

In response to feedback from search engine users, Google took a major step in improving the quality of sites listed on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) with its Panda/Farmer Update. Since then, I’ve heard from many real estate professionals who feel that this algorithmic change actually made it increasingly difficult to rank well for competitive terms. With that in mind, here are a few actionable steps for those looking to stay ahead of the pack:

* In an industry on which webmasters rely so heavily on IDX data for the majority of their content, it is even more critical to provide unique content that others with the exact same IDX feed do not have. The key emphasis being on UNIQUE, which can translate into providing local area/neighborhood information from YOUR perspective, YOUR analysis of statistics and market trends, real estate advice from YOUR view point (this could be easily achieved with Q&A section, driven by questions from visitors). There is a plethora of methods by which to generate unique content, the only limit would be lack of creativity.

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Posted by: Alex Cortez on June 6th, 2011 under Website Strategies

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10 Ways To SEO Your Real Estate Twitter Page

Most people think about social media in terms of socializing and don’t realize that Twitter can be a powerful tool for SEO. Your Twitter account can be optimized for search engines so that you get the best possible value out of your profile. There are a few very simple tricks and a few not so simple tricks that can help you to get the most out of your Twitter account in Google searches. 10-ways-improve-seo-twitter

Here are 10 ways to turn your Twitter account into an Internet searchable masterpiece:

1. Choose an Actual Name and a Relevant Username

Use a Twitter username that includes the keyword you want to rank high for. If you want people to find your Twitter profile when they search for Real Estate, make sure that ‘Real Estate’ is in your name. For example: @EGrealestate.

Do not use dashes, and make it short and easy to remember. You can use your actual name for this or include the keyword again (this does not help with personalizing your account, though).

For current users, you can fix this in your Twitter account by going into “Settings”.

2. Shorten Your Website URL

To accommodate Twitter using only the first 20 characters of your URL, shorten it with bit.ly and get rid of the www. This will allow people to see the link before they click on it. For example: http://bit.ly/BETArealestate.

To change this, go into your Twitter account, click “Settings”, then go to the “Account” page, and then scroll halfway down the page.

3. Write a Short Bio

Create a bio that is short and to the point, but also shows your personality. With only 160 characters to make your personality shine, you can’t waste your time with words that have no search value. Your bio should represent who you are and how you want others to perceive you. This will affect peoples’ decisions for whether to follow you or not. Include your location because sometimes Google will include this. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Mary McKnight on April 1st, 2010 under Twitter

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