Buyers are increasingly turning to Google to search for homes and REALTORS®, according to Vanessa Fox, entrepreneur-in-residence of Ignition Partners.
One billion Internet consumers are using search engines worldwide, Fox noted. That makes having a presence on the web critical to future success, she noted.
Fox, who recently addressed REALTORS® at the Inman Real Estate Connect conference, said, “You need to think about the behaviors of your audience. For example, 59 percent of social media visits are to Facebook.”
The Internet has seen a 41-percent increase in search volume and a 60-percent increase in social media usage in consumers ages 35 to 44, according to Fox.
That’s why web site content becomes more important because consumers may not necessarily go directly to a home page, Fox said. “How well does each page of your web site work as a home page? Each page should be branded because people aren’t going to hunt around your site. You need to have a call to action on each page,” she added.
Fox advised doing a keyword search to see what comes up when consumers search: real estate, homes, homes for sale or specific local communities. “Dive in to see what people are searching for,” she said. “No one calls anymore. More people are searching for services online.”
Creating a brand awareness of the real estate company helps target consumers to the web site, Fox said. “Remember to have lots of information and good photos on your web site,” she added. Provide answers to consumer questions like “what neighborhood is the most walkable?” or “when is the best time of the year to sell my house?”
Fox reminded REALTORS® to review information on Google local and yellow pages to make sure their individual contact information is accurate.
REALTORS® should also be aware of the kind of traffic they’re getting on their site and how long consumers stay on the site. Fox also suggests having an Internet strategy so REALTORS® can track results.