Realtor.com the official website of the National Association of REALTORS which operates in the US. NAR as it’s known owns the copyright on the acronym REALTOR® and MLS® which stands for the association’s multiple listing service.
NAR as an association has 1 million members practicing across all states. NAR considers itself a facility for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members. It offers guidelines and training for realtors, and news about the state of real estate in all states and nationally. NAR offers member’s help in realtor marketing, home listing guidelines, and info on home prices and affordability in all states.
According to Wikimedia, Realtor.com has a relationship with 900+ multiple listing services (MLSs) and displays more than 3 million for-sale listings in its own database. These listings represent more than 97% of all MLS-listed homes for sale.
Realtor.com was purchased for almost $1 Billion by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. in 2014. The company owns move.com, and Top Producer – a leading marketing and lead generation system for real estate professionals, along with tigerleads.com an realtor lead generation company.
Ranked as the 100th most visited site by Americans, realtor.com has traffic above million per day and is an important source of realtor leads. Keyword Spy suggests the company pays over $31,000 daily on Google Adwords ads and that it bids on more than 111,000 unique keyword phrases.
Amazingly, Zillow.com has much more daily traffic as the graphics below reveal:
Consumers use the realtor.com site to search for homes and realtors use it to read news updates, learn sales and marketing tips, and read about home design and research statistics.
Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix, New York, Boston, Seattle, Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, and Charlotte all have their own local MLS associations and they feed their homes for sale listings into the NAR database. This is why many homebuyers go to realtor.com to search. Toronto and Vancouver are governed by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) at realtor.ca.
Although the association is well known realty site, it is still dependent on Google for a good portion of its traffic. This means brand strength and ranking power for SEO is an important asset for NAR and realtor.com.
The fact that home buyers search for homes for sale or condos for sale on Google, is a big reason for creating unique content and optimizing that content for high rankings. If your current realtor marketing plan is not leveraging the power of organic search lead generation, then you’re leaving money on the table, and underlying your long term sustainability in real estate sales. Check out my realtor marketing packages and discover a level of service you’ll be impressed with.
Relying on word of mouth networking today is really old school and providing diminishing returns. Other modern realtors will reach your old contacts and impress them with their value proposition. Your contacts and former customers are not a sure thing for future sales.
Outreach and Link Building are Seriously Underrated
In life as in marketing, some things don’t get their due recognition and respect. In the realm of digital marketing and SEO, outreach is the weak stepchild. That’s because it’s not understood well and doing it well is a challenge.
Admittedly, link building and outreach require confidence and tolerance for frustration. Don’t worry, if you begin studying the art, you’ll become good at it.
We’re all aware of how vital good rankings on Google are, and Google’s ranking algorithm is heavily weighted on the quality of inbound links to a website. Acquiring links from other websites is the singular most important aspect of high rankings and thus free traffic from Google. There’s nothing like receiving free prospects who are looking for your product or service. They may even be desperate to buy right now!
Pay Google. They Love the Cash!
Google’s purpose was to make search rankings difficult to obtain. By increasing businesses frustration in getting free organic rankings and traffic, marketers like yourself are forced to buy more Adwords advertising to get customers. Google’s revenues and stock value have shot through the roof.
Despite their disappearing ad budgets, many marketing managers refuse to take link acquisition or outreach seriously. In fact, many have given up on it. The reason for that is not just a lack of respect. It’s because they have no confidence in their own business value proposition and their ability to create value for those who might link to their website.
Outreach is a process of emailing, social posting, and content placement done with the purpose of getting people to link to your web site. How persuasive and effective it is depends on your strategy. It is a process of creating value, and personal networking and persuasion.
Link outreach is a demanding process requiring creativity, persuasion, and networking skill. Those who don’t know how to do it well can learn. And those without the time, resources and creativity will want to outsource to link building experts or outreach specialists. Because the end value is tremendous.
By doing it yourself, you avoid having to buy links and risk being penalized by Google.
Here’s my Top Ten Tips for supercharging your link building outreach efforts:
Create unique, compelling content of value to share with bloggers, journalists, top influencers etc. That might include data, infographics, photos, white papers, videos, or articles that generate good value. Your content has to be valuable to their customers or make them look good. Think of the targeted website owner as a friend whom you need to help.
Have a plan to spread the word about your company and its unique value proposition.
Use email to contact prospective targets and followup with additional emails (persistence)
Use blogger outreach tools and services to make bloggers aware and convince them to talk about your company/article
Find top influencers on social sites using followerwonk
Use Twitter ads and Facebook ads to gain more exposure to target people
Use Moz’s Opensite Explorer to discover who links to your competitor’s (or highest ranking) websites in your keyword category. Visit these sites and study the reasons why the site owner’s linked to your top competitor’s website.
Develop your social media channels so you can reach potential targets directly
Write content for various online news sites, magazines,
Leave sincere, intelligent comments on other’s blogs and blog posts
If you’re spending $10k per month on Google Adwords, it might make sense to hire and train someone in-house to do link building and outreach. That is, if you have someone creating quality sharable content. Otherwise you will have to find a link building expert. There aren’t many of them, so be prepared to pay a great deal for the services of the best ones. This is definitely a good entrepreneurial business opportunity for those with the talent and resources.
Even if your value proposition is weak, you can still do a good job of creating sharable content and communicating value.
This process of respecting link building and outreach should encourage you to work on your UVP and your digital marketing strategy and shore up those weak spots. Give link building and outreach their due respect and focus resources on the process. Even if you do it for 6 months, you’re going to learn a great deal about your product marketing and your target customer.
Link Builders Can’t Get No Respect
Check out the salary ranges for digital marketing pros and compare: Click to Enlarge.
In my last post, we found out why a unique value proposition is so important. You want to be the best you can be, and communicate your value expertly.
While your UVP also expresses your passion, remember that the bottom line is that it’s more about your customer (target market and what they want). Visualize one ideal customer and what they need.
Before I confuse you, let’s keep it simple by using a formula to help guide you. After you understand the basic formula, you will move onto personalizing it and really zero in on what makes you better than your hundreds of competitors. This is where you become an expert.
Simple UVP Formula: Result via Method for Whom
I or my business produces [relevant, desired, unique value you’ll deliver] by [how I create the specific desired value] for [your specific target market]
Let’s start with a personal career-oriented UVP statement, such as mine.
I‘m a content strategist who develops engaging informative content for progressive businesses. I want to produce the highest value possible for up and coming, rising stars, who are focused on fast growth because they have an urgency about profit, growth, and market leadership.
My readers are mid to senior level execs who want to know I am really “into it”, and that I possess the right attitude, dedication, along with unique skills in content development/content strategy and other digital marketing skills that are a cut above the rest. You don’t say you’re the best, you allude to it with your UVP, then back it up with your content strategy.
You’ll soon discover that your content is the voice of your unique value proposition. For the prospect, seeing and reading is believing.
Think about what you do well and who you want to do it for. Here’s my UVP:
Current UVP: I power up digital marketing results by developing original, personalized, compelling, relevant, and traffic-generating content for progressive, ambitious businesses.
Note about personality and likability: definitely project fun, contentment, sociability, harmony, and charisma into your content. Might be wiser to carry that via your Twitter or Instagram page (business or personal). Employers, partners, customers may not be looking for that first off, but it’s very important to your ability to convince.
Synthesize Your Features and Benefits into one Sentence
Clarity is everything. It‘s tough to pare it down to an elevator sales pitch, but you must. This difficult process forces you get laser-focused and it’s that laser engraved image that moves your target’s mind.
Sometimes you can’t express all you can offer in your UVP. So, you want communicate your value proposition and method through your content. It‘s all about getting them immersed in you, your product, your brand, or your company. Get your targeted visitor to your blog, Twitter page, Youtube page, website or published articles so they can see you in action. That’s much more powerful than a statement or marketing communication.
Richard Branson’s UVP
Let’s look at Sir Richard Branson’s UVP. He created the Virgin brand and spread it into airlines, cellular services, and much more. He’s most known for being an inspiration and no limits optimist. Being true to your ideas and being the best at something are worthy goals according to him. His UVP is different depending on who is interested. Here’s my interpretation:
UVP: I bring positive, progressive ideas, optimism, and determination to a difficult world which others might share to help create a better life for us all.
He doesn’t push his UVP. It’s so good, his followers do. The essence of success is to create so much value, that others promote you. He’s an excellent role model for that, even if you don’t like seeing him with naked girls on his back. And remember the power of visuals.
Real Estate Agent UVP
Let’s look at the value proposition of a real estate agent. These professionals help people buy and sell real estate. That‘s not much of a UVP. Think closely about what home buyers really want such as trust, likability, experience, local marketing knowledge, professionalism, helpfulness, good communication, and an ability to find some great homes where they want to live.
The Agents UVP: North Vancouver homeowner’s dreams of selling high and moving on happily to a new life, come true with my ability to attract, entertain, inform, and engage home buyers who love North Vancouver.
So now, the agent’s digital content will revolve around how vital North Vancouver lifestyles are and real stories of how he or she made buyers happy. Some agent’s drill down to specific demographics, lifestyles and neighbourhoods. You drill down as far as required to where you’re the big kahuna of your market.
That version of the UVP covers both his targets: buyers and sellers of homes.
Your content has to be consistent with your UVP statement. Otherwise your audience will not get the clearest message about how valuable you are. If your content is deep, persuasive, and your UVP is clear, you’ll get your desired action whatever that is.
If you have multiple markets, multiple products, and brands, you can build separate sub-UVPs for them too. More topics for us to keep exploring!
Have fun creating your UVP and there’s plenty of ways of writing it creatively. As long as the message is clear, we can write anyway we want. If you’re having trouble creating yours, direct message me on Twitter. I‘d be happy to help.
Is the speed of growth the most important factor in business success? I’m going to explain why that might be true.
Growth catches attention and may even override, in the moment, everything else you’re doing.
Putting an emphasis on accelerating your website visibility, improving content, engaging with prospects could help you overcome customer’s resistance to buying your product/service.
Change Draws Attention and Alters the Context
Consumers are very aware of who is or isn’t growing. It colours their choices of smartphones, travel destinations, automobiles and even social networks. For instance, have you noticed who is gaining the most new connections lately in your own Linkedin network? Have you noticed competitors that seem to be more noticeable everywhere and that there’s a lot more talk about them? And when their growth accelerates, how do you feel? Inspired?
The combined force of our growing enthusiasm and the customer’s new lower resistance to our value proposition means they may decide to become our customer. Only when we increased the pace did they begin to question their old perspective and start listening to our sales pitch.
As we increasingly stimulate emotion and begin changing their mental context, their stuck in the mud defenses begin to fail. Our force moves new goals, values, and attitudes in front of them. It’s a 2 pronged effect: 1. increase emotion and 2. change contexts.
Acceleration — An Irresistible Force
It’s instinctive that the speed of acceleration grabs our attention and we want to go with the flow and not get left behind. We’re most involved in a rollercoaster ride when we’re headed downward, when the pace is quickening and our mind wonders what’s next. When the tempo of our favorite song picks up, we get goosebumps.
And we all climb on the bandwagon when our favorite sports team goes on a winning streak. It launches conversations. We start forecasting a championship. That’s the way acceleration is. It activates the mind and increases expectation and makes us believe something great can happen. It’s a force in itself.
Consumers love the latest hot product or trend and sometimes that hot stuff sticks around for a long time. If people begin expecting great things from you, they’re fascinated and line up to receive it. And when the events or news quickens, they are riveted.
Anyone doing blitz marketing campaigns knows it’s not just the velocity of impressions on consumers, it’s the growth of velocity that commands attention. When we see more ads for Tide detergent than normal, and it keeps increasing, it intensifies emotions and makes us want to buy some Tide to ease the emotional tension. That’s why advertisers are so obnoxious.
It’s the growth in emotion that makes us pay more attention, and it changes our customer’s perspective or context — now our persuasive arguments become plausible and their sales resistance starts to erode. The combined force of our growing enthusiasm and the customer’s new lower resistance to our value proposition means they may decide to become our customer.
Why did you jump off the Apple bandwagon and onto the Samsung bandwagon? Because you kept hearing more great things about their product features, association with Google, etc., and you believed Samsung would offer even better stuff soon.
Using Acceleration as a Tactical Weapon
Acceleration can launch your business. Fast growth in your content quality and variety, growing appearance in social media platforms and Google search, deepening of engagement with website visitors, and quickening of customers through your conversion funnel: sends a message that your business is Number 1.
It’s human nature. That’s how the brain works. It looks for what seems to be working best. It is drawn to whatever is moving at a different rate than the rest. If your web visibility is growing fast, making more impressions, increasing in content quality, creating more responses, engaged activity, and sales, it will grab attention and create conviction about your business.
Acceleration is How you Maximize the Force of your UVP
If you’ve been into search engine optimization and chasing Google rankings and traffic, you might be aware that Google uses quality signals in its indexing algorithm.
One of its algorithmic factors is link velocity, the growth in new links to your site. That tells Google that a trend is occurring, that your site is becoming hot, desired, and more valuable. That will cause your rankings to rise much faster.
It’s the same with the quality of your content. Better content draws more engagement, lower bounces, and more social mentions. And increase of any kind is visible to Google, who seems to know too much.
Acceleration allows your business or website to reach critical mass faster. Critical mass is where the presence and attraction of your business explodes. It’s where your connections multiply at a dizzying pace and overcome all resistance. Critical mass is a fascinating phenomenon in any field. And in marketing, it could mean instant riches. Ask anyone who has had viral success. Viral people know about acceleration.
Excellent marketing content, SEO and Social Strategy
The Hallmark of winners? They take action. Now that you know how important acceleration is, you can re-examine your marketing by doing a marketing audit. Brainstorm your opportunities, examine your UVP, and discover what’s out there that you can merge or combine with, that will be your accelerant.
Discover which points of differentiation you can exploit best, what content to develop, which social channels to pump up, how other products/services modify your UVP, and what one piece of content you can create that can catch fire with your target audience. It’s time to start winning and make your business generate real profit.
In a previous post, I introduced hyper acceleration as key to big marketing wins and rapid business success. The success of Google is a case in point about how fast growth can create a wave of success. And there’s reasons why.
HyperAcceleration grabs attention, engages emotions, creates believers, and overcomes resistance. Profit at this critical phase also accelerates.
It’s a tactical weapon for massive profit — if you have the UVP, talent, content quality, energy, social channels and distribution channels to make it happen.
Earlier, we established that acceleration is a tactical tool that generates an almost combustible chemical reaction point called critical mass. Critical mass is a phase where everything goes nuts. It’s a firestorm explosion which common retardants can’t stop (sorry if I’m offending anyone). Everything seems to obey, fall in line and even promote its progress.
It’s where promotion is free, partners abound, and consumers throw their money at you.
What Happens Just Before that Explosion of Success?
Lots of people know about critical mass. Where they go wrong is they don’t do strategic acceleration — using the right UVP, the right content and the right message, enough of the right partners, and sequence it to create an avalanche of sorts. And they don’t orchestrate the “fever pitch” phase where the target customer’s emotions are pushed beyond their resistance.
Even when your UVP is perfect, you may have to weaken resistance. TV advertisers typically do that with blitz ads. No doubt you’ve suffered through them. But that’s not strategic, that’s just volume.
Experienced salespeople will tell you accelerating sales is a no brainer, but even they handle it in a clumbsy fashion. This is applied psychology. We’ll be selling online, so face to face pushiness isn’t going to help us make the sale.
Riding an Avalanche that Won’t be Ignored
Hard to ignore an avalanche. No one would believe the shocking speeds the snow reaches as it rockets down the mountain. That is, until it’s explained how snow and ice particles slide on top of each other, thus allowing the top layer to achieve unbelievable speeds that blows any trees and rocks out of the way.
If you want to use accelerated online marketing, you have to think about why your viral material is going to slide on top of other’s viral material. For example, GoPro cameras couldn’t achieve such shocking fast growth if travel and Xtreme sports weren’t around to generate the opportunity to use them. And they needed internet bandwidth providers who believed they could make a profit off of it, and the end camera users who needed the online ego boost from creating and starring in a YouTube video.
What technology or cultural phenomena will your product/service ride on top of? By itself, your stuff is boring and going nowhere, but combined with something else, well, now you’re the life of the party.
Take Your Foot off the Brake Pedal and Have some Fun!
Why did Twitter, Instagram, Samsung Smartphones, GoPro Cameras, Air BnB, Pinterest achieve success rapid growth? They rode the crest of cultural and technology changes. And probably because they didn’t try to stop their progress! Most business owners are their own worst enemies. If that’s you, you should let go of the brakes and just drive. You may find the journey exhilarating and surprisingly self-correcting.
If your UVP is right and you’ve got good processes and people, why do you need to ride those brakes?
Godaddy: Wide Distribution of High Value Hosting
Godaddy web hosting needs no introduction. They’ve accelerated their marketing efforts in the last year and have been very creative. It’s tough not to see a Godaddy commercial and they continue with a wide range of creativity. This hyper acceleration coincides with their attempt to go public.
Godaddy has a massive customer base, its marketing practices are second to none in the industry in terms of conversions. Most of the times the commercials feature celebrities and scantily dressed models and they are generally during high profile events. For instance, the Super Bowl commercial is carefully planned (and run) every year, and it seems to be getting the company a lot of money. From Guru Focus.
I don’t expect you’re the CEO of Procter and Gamble. More like you’re a small to medium sized business owner, investor, or marketing manager looking to discover a strategic edge. I suspect this blog’s contents will give you that edge and you’ll be fightin well above your weight class.
One thing about having less to lose, is that you’re free to give an accelerated growth strategy a good try. So that’s the first need: total commitment and focus.
Understand the Greater Value You’ll Create with Others
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many experts, apps, websites, and marketing opportunities out there. Just think about how your service or product will combine with others. What chemical reaction will happen when your company joins with theirs? How will it scale? What new opportunities will spin off of that?
Hot Technology, Cultural Waves
A good example would be someone with a drone helicopter and an HD GoPro camera, combining with a travel agency and real estate company in let’s say Costa Rica. Cost Rica is very popular and people want to know more specifically about it before vacationing or buying property. Why not hire a company that has a drone fitted with a GoPro HD Camera, and who can fly it in the area they’re interested in? The drone flies around and checks out beaches, roadways, developments, and properties and sends the video back to the customer.
It doesn’t need to be streamed live. People just want to see more than a couple of pixilated photos to know whether it’s of interest to them and worth travelling down there to see.
Such videos could seriously increase sales for US travel agencies and for realtors in Costa Rica. Demand for just Costa Rica video would be phenomenal, but then there’s plenty of other countries that could be explored too, including the US, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Canada.
What would accelerate the growth of this business? Well, it’s novel, new, and uses exciting new technology. Real estate and travel agencies might see it as something that could accelerate their own businesses. Costa Rica restaurants, ecotour operators, hotels, spa services, local artists, taxi services, zipline operators, and others would love it.
With some accelerated, viral, social media stimulation (nudge nudge, wink wink) they’d give it their active blessing. Of course, it would create a furor online with all the for-and-against arguments. Bloggers and journalists would love it. So much to talk about!
But are you too late? Some are already doing it such as Costa Rica Photographer John Williamson (beautiful photography).
That’s a nice example of the cultural, business and technology avalanche condition that exists for anyone with an imagination and clear committed passion for success.
The more people and businesses you can mix into your plan, the faster your business opportunity can scale for mega million success.