Free Lead Generation for Real Estate Brokers

What’s Wrong with My Real Estate Site?

Why doesn’t my site produce traffic or leads?

3 Reasons:

  1. it doesn’t have reach via Google, Ads, Facebook, or Linkedin
  2. it doesn’t create value or appears you offer no satisfaction
  3. it doesn’t engage and generate emotion
  4. it doesn’t persuade or convince

Let’s Take the First Issue: Google

A good chunk of a realtors traffic and leads should be coming from Google. If your pages aren’t accessible to Google or strategically optimized, visibility in Google’s search listings will be low. Creating Google traffic is the most critical problem to solve.

Here’s a common example:

Re/Max Tropical Sands is the typical broker site. The coding in it makes it inaccessible to Google’s Googlebot, thus this site has no mls listings in Google’s indexed pages. Only 27 information pages are indexed. There are a number of technical reasons for an SEO unfriendly site. Javascript is usually the culprit, however these types of websites often have other issues too, that extend from their programming architecture.


The bottom line is that this type of site will never produce for them. They need a whole new IDX site provider. There are plenty of them such as Real Estate Webmasters, who have excellent realtor websites. You would never rely on REW for your digital marketing, but their websites are very search engine friendly. They provide the basics and it’s up to you to be competitive.

A good portion of real estate agents have what Amy Strand of Century21 has. It’s an agent subdirectory on the broker’s site.  But on these sites, Google won’t index mls listings on it, and the agent’s section is cookie-cut pages that make all the agents look the same. It doesn’t appeal to visitors nor Google.


Calgary Home Boys uses an REW website. These search results shown in the graphic below reveal the site has 8200 pages indexed in Google. The listings are segmented by neighbourhood, condo name, and price. This is good for visitors and Google rankings. There’s plenty of creativity possible in a REW site for SEO. A site like this, with good content writing and link outreach, can dominate a city market.

A closer look at the listings though show the title tags and meta descriptions aren’t optimized. The listing really doesn’t tell the homebuyer viewing it, much about the home. And there’s no info or attention building other than the street address. It also doesn’t contain much that would help Google understand what the page is about.


If you click through to one of the listings, you’ll see there is some text and property data. In order for this page to rank well and draw visitors, it needs search engine optimization. It’s not enough to get pages indexed. That’s just the start. And all the pages work as a team to boost each other’s rankings. What’s amazing about premium REW sites is that they enable optimization if you have someone like me to do it for you.

There are other excellent IDX site providers available who cover your MLS district. Just takes a little research and you can set up a site as good as

Remember that you’re competing with other agents, brokers and entrepreneurs who want all that Google traffic.  You’ll see in the listings a lot. They’re new to the scene but are grabbing up a good chunk of traffic.  Alexa’s data shows keywords they’re ranking for and how long visitors are staying on their site.


Here are the basics of a SEO friendly realtor website:

  • all pages are easily accessible to Googlebot (not just through a sitemap; sitemaps are a very poor way to get your pages indexed)
  • all title tags and meta description tags are editable
  • all pages are interlinkable
  • all pages have editable text sections above and below the property data
  • site has a blog which links to specific property listings and to your Twitter and Pinterest pages.
  • pictures use correct text in alt tags
  • copy in pages uses keywords, synonyms, related words and stemmed variations
  • use links in your text since this is what Google pays attention to
  • create high value content since Google is watching how people use your site
  • don’t use your brokers content; you need unique content throughout your site

Read more SEO tips and the context regarding search engine optimization. SEO is an art. Please ignore the thousands of brand new SEO peddlers trying to sell you a story about SEO friendly and technical SEO. As the algo increases in complexity, so does the optimization techniques.

When you create your main pages, you should choose a special page, well SEO’d, as your main goto keyword optimized page (e.g., homes for sale San Diego, or Vancouver Condos for sale). This is because homepages aren’t particularly good for being the center of your SEO efforts.

SEO has changed and key pages aren’t as important anymore. Google began considering them as “honey pots” and they discounted them. Now the focus is on individual pages, which makes it more challenging for SEOs to make internal SEO work. On a trusted website, it still does work.  Believe me, over 18 years you see techniques come and go. It’s a matter of constantly adapting to Google’s algorithm.

Integrate your Social Presence

Ensure you have your social feeds place directly into your listing pages and your regular web pages whatever topic they’re about. It’s more important for visitors to meet your personally, rather than them view a listing and just disappear.

View your digital marketing assets as a team. Your FB, Twitter and even Linkedin pages are vitally important to capturing prospect’s attention, interest and respect.

Choosing digital marketing is a big decision and investment. Yet without it, you’re not present in the dominant medium of real estate marketing. A strong presence on Google is just one more way to add value to your personal prospecting efforts, and to keep you top of mind with home sellers and buyers.

Good luck with your marketing campaign in 2016. If you have any questions, get in touch with me at or call me at 416 998 6246. I’m looking forward to speaking with you.

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Drones are Disrupting Real Estate Marketing

Real Estate is Going to the Birds

You’ve likely seen an unmanned drone helicopter somewhere in your city. I had one hovering above me, following me as I rode my mountain bike one day. These small helicopters are giving realtors a new more exciting way to showcase properties.

Realtors might not recognize that drones represent hypergrowth or a disruptive evolution in real estate marketing.  Using video to provide more captivating perspectives. Realtors could buy a 4K TV and invite visitors to their homes to show properties in splendid detail. A great excuse to create an event with you as the host.

Right at the time realtors are courting European, Chinese, and Middle East buyers, they have a presentation format that gives these distant buyers the meaningful perspective they need. Photos just don’t have the same impact.

dronetorontoBird’s Eye Views

Today’s drones are very stable in flight, and controllable. An onboard HD camera  allows the operator to fly the drone far from where they’re standing and take video and still shots from angles that are impossible to get any other way.

This might be a point where you need to reflect on your career and how you’re doing marketing.  If you haven’t yet adopted a high powered IDX, responsive website, with great content and social media engagement with video, then you’re not staying competitive.

Drones and video technology will disrupt traditional real estate marketing ushering in a new era of high definition home shopping.

Sky High Media serves the Toronto region with aerial photography. Explore their site to learn more about how it can help you sell more properties.
Aerial photography for a residential property can start as low as $249 per property.  This typically includes 5-15 high resolution aerial photos.  The number of photos depends on how many unique angles the property presents.  A 1-2 minute HD aerial video tour with music and 5-15 aerial photos can start as low as $399.

What are Drones?

They’re small electric powered helicopters weighing only a few pounds. They use 4 to 8 rotors that give them powerful speed and maneuverability.  The stability of their flight is surprising to anyone seeing them for the first time.

droneaerialFor surveyors, farmers, property owners, civic engineers, and others,  the drones give them valuable perspectives and information they need to monitor conditions and make decisions.  For realtors, the drone technology lets them capture stunning aerial fly-over videos of the properties they have for sale.

Perspective is Everything

Real estate buyers and developers can view the property, condo building, house, or neighborhood in amazing high definition on a big screen TV or their computer or smartphone. A realtor can deliver a bird’s-eye view of hillsides, swimming pools, landscapes, streets, and the whole neighborhood.    It’s easier for a realtor to find ways to ehance their presentation and increase interest in and leads for their properties.

The Advantages for  Realtors

  • allows a realtor to give homebuyers a better shopping experience
  • increases salability of home for home sellers
  • gives home and condo buyers a different visual perspective of their property
  • views destroy buyers preconceptions and that reduces sales objections
  • high def views of property and neighbourhood on their HD tv at home
  • no helicopter/photographer cost required
  • reaches buyers in China, Middle East, and across the US and Canada who can’t travel to the location and whom would never trust some photographs to make a decision to visit

If you’re a San Diego realtor, check out Real Estate Drones of San Diego and in Vancouver, visit Lift Marketing for some great info.

If you’re looking to seriously upgrade your digital marketing and need a pro with experience in real estate, including San Diego, Vancouver, and Toronto real estate, please contact Gord at Looking forward to speaking with you.

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What is Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Digital Marketing’s “Big Three”

The pillars of digital marketing are: SEO Strategy, Content Development/Strategy, and Social Media Strategy.  They’re interdependent and very powerful when they work together. This post is about how to develop a social media strategy — easy to digest, giving you the overview you need before you go about Tweeting, posting and liking.

Without a good strategy, it’s almost certain you’re wasting your time. No need for that. I’ve got a series of blog posts to help you build your value proposition, understand your prospects, create great content, use persuasive copywriting,  build your brand, and optimize your sales conversion funnel. Let’s begin with social media!

This graphic shows realtors are using social media, but are they using them together with content and SEO as a strategic force?

This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of  Overseas Property Professional
This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of Overseas Property Professional. Read his excellent account of how realtors are using social media today.

Social Media is the fastest growing marketing channel because it’s free (unless you’re using advertising), allows you to be very creative, is fun, and has tremendous reach into customer’s

Without a strategy, you’re very likely to get confused and frustrated with social media. This complicated medium needs a strategic path.  It’s simple really if you’re  a good marketer who can research, write, develop pictures and stories, network widely, and keep the conversation going.  If not, hire someone who is into it, create a strategy, and get this going.

Social media success doesn’t mean you have to go viral. A success is when you create prospects and engage with them, helping them understand your unique value proposition.

A good example is the realtor targeting the young millennial buyer who rents right now, then establishing themselves as “the realtor for millennials” is the right strategy. The content and dialogue should be focused on the millennial’s beliefs, pursuits and values, and their current situation — student debt, need for low down payment, renting, mobile, with parents who may have money to invest. Of course, you already know this.

Before we embark on this journey into social marketing strategy, let’s get our definition set first:

social media marketing strategy is a plan of action to focus and magnify the reach and persuasiveness of all the diverse content and conversations a company generates for social media, and to create the greatest impact for sales revenue.”

There has to be a bottom line goal. When marketers talk about brand impressions, they’re basically admitting that they can’t create a customer via social media. As Google chokes out its customer base via its algorithm, only social media will be available for SMB marketing campaigns. Social media is already producing customers, so we might as well jump on the bandwagon and start making real money with it.

Photo courtesy of Buffini & Company — Real Estate Coaching for Agents and Brokers – Carlsbad, CA

A Strategy isn’t so Difficult — Just one thing to the Next

SimplicityldTo use social media effectively, you’ll need a simple strategy to help you select the best channels and use them to gain real results. You don’t do social, you must be social. That’s the key mindset as you head into social channel use. The process isn’t all that difficult, however you may want to hire a social media expert who you can bounce ideas off of. It is a partnership.

Research shows that most businesses use an ad hoc social media strategy (shotgun or hit and miss approach) while a small portion use a defined strategy (rifle or narrow path approach). Either way, it should be driven by strategy not tactics.

Some businesses get too narrowly defined to the point where their content and conversation is stiff and unattractive. It’s better to be human, personable, generous, expressive, and engaging since social media is really not for business — it was meant for everything that isn’t business.

Create something Compelling about You through your Content and Conversation

If you’re a realtor, mortgage agent, landscaper, insurance company, mortgage broker, construction services provider, dentist, plumber, medical services provider or other professional services provider, you can post material about almost anything that your prospects and customers find interesting (opinions, reviews, statistics, photos, video, infographics, news commentary, personal stories, sports and cultural events, neighbourhood events, etc). If it’s relevant and gets your messages across, you connect in a deeper more relevant way with your prospects.

78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases — Forbes

And by messages, I mean your significant, compelling, unique value proposition. If you don’t know what that is, you can hire someone like myself to research and develop it. I can help you create a picture of more value and a brand that exudes trust, generosity and sharing; Excellent traits that customers like.

5 Step Strategy for Social Media Marketing

  1. Set your goals and objectives: how many followers do you want for each channel, and ideally what action do you want visitors to take? (e.g., sharing an infographic or video, visits to your website, comments, and actual leads). Do you only want to make branding impressions or get them to download something or get them to ask a question? Which metrics will you use to evaluate performance of your social strategy?
  2. Choose the most relevant channels: B2B marketers will likely choose Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. B2C may choose these plus Pinterest and Instagram.
  3. Who is your customer target? You’ll need to create a customer persona — a description of your ideal prospect, what they believe, what they do, and about their online habits. Are they older and sophisticated buyers who are all business, or young millennials who have broader interests?
  4. What content will you need to curate or develop that your prospects will feel passionate about? Your products may be boring and your value proposition might not be the most exciting. This is where imagination comes in handy.
  5. How will you interact with them? What will be the tone of your interaction? Will it be friendly, humorous, very helpful, participative, or a more detached, corporate voice?

A thorough strategy would drill down into the details of value proposition, content, interaction, and execution.

Good luck with your social strategy. When you’re ready to launch your presence with digital marketing, then it’s time to give me a call at 416-605-7026.

Here’s some further helpful info on social media for real estate agents:

How to Be the King or Queen of Real Estate Agents

Maximum Exposure, Maximum Engagement

Home prices in Vancouver continue their upward spiral. An interesting insight from an REW survey discussed in the Vancouver Courier suggests that wealth transfer from baby boomers to their Gen X and Gen Y kids is partly responsible for the demand and prices in the Vancouver real restate market.

“kids, we’re having a great time in Costa Rica. Thank you for coming up with such a wonderful idea.”

Add that to the scarcity of supply and increasing demand from desperate Chinese investors along with the low loonie, and you have an overheated market. Amidst all that, is high potential for real estate transactions. Are you getting your share of exposure and engagement with buyers and sellers?

As a realtor, wouldn’t it be nice for you to enjoy top exposure to all these new buyers? Who cares who has the money or how they got it? The fact is, there are plenty of buyers. Sellers however are a different story. I’ve got a solution that matches up perfectly with retiring baby boomers – a key market.

Sellers Don’t Sell unless they have a Better Life to Move Onto

Why would anyone leave their beloved home and neighbourhood without something better to go to? If they sell their house in Vancouver, they could move out to Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, or to the Okanagan, but maybe that’s not a dream life for them. You only live once. Are they just bored people waiting for a really great idea?

You Can’t Create a Customer, if you can’t Create a Dream.

Tax Free Costa Rica real estate 1I think the answer is even more extreme, and it’s a pleasant one for anyone retired or near retirement. The solution is to sell them on moving to Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Costa Rica, or Belize. It is possible for them to sell their million dollar home and then live in these locations like royalty.

The point is, to get people to leave their lives in Vancouver, you have to paint an exciting new life for them elsewhere (even if it’s Kelowna or Port Hardy). If they believe it, you’ve got yourself a new client. And perhaps their kids will need some new homes and mortgages too!

That’s why I’ve combined travel and real estate as a compelling duo. The two professions can work magic together. I intend to add in investing to complete a very compelling value proposition. You can do the same thing.

Real Estate + Travel + Health + Lifestyle + Happy Family = Success

A Healthier, Happier Lifestyle – Good for the Whole Family

costa ricaA new life elsewhere would be a life tonic for many people in Vancouver. These other locations offer warm weather, blue skies, and plenty of outdoor activities. And you know as well that restaurants and health care are a strong suit for these places. Costa Rica for instance has a phenomenal health care system that is affordable. That’s fueling the burgeoning medical tourism industries in these countries. It’s driven by the expensive US healthcare system, however our medical services are becoming more expensive everyday.

couplesellinghouseThere’s lots of potential in this marketing strategy. Perhaps you can align with a travel agency and an investment advisor to deliver a more persuasive communications strategy. You could also work with me to build a powerful content strategy that gives you presence in Google rankings, and on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin.

Content strategy is the hottest thing going in digital marketing. Because online, content is what people see and consume. Design your content to greet these sellers, get them engaged in your marketing material,and to convince them, and you actually can begin to create home sellers.

So if you’re waiting around for a call from a seller, you might be wasting your time. The best approach is a proactive one guided by strategy. Read a few other posts on my blog and you’ll gain some innovative ideas that break the tired old paradigms that still guide many real estate agents.

Think about how you will create a fascinating, persuasive, and compelling unique value proposition, and reach millions of homeowners/investors via social media and Google search. You’re as persuasive as you want to be.

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What Plagues Unsuccessful Realtors?

Practice a Successful Realtor System

To serve my realtor clients as best I can, I needed to know what successful agents do and what unsuccessful agents don’t do. What I’ve learned about agents, I can apply to my own real estate marketing service.  You can never be too good.

frustrated realtorAs the realtor in the video below talks about, you need leads. Other realtors say it’s a numbers game. Make more connections and you reach more people. But who are the best 20% of prospects who will create your commissions and how do you capture them as clients?

Connect via Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter and offer up great content that makes them feel good. Everyone selling a house will go online and visit realty websites. It’s so quick and easy, why wouldn’t they go online?

Word of Mouth + Social = Powerful Brand

Your neighborhood word of mouth network might die out too often, meaning your time consuming, physical ground work is wasted.  With a great Google and social media and advertising presence you can keep those fledgling leads alive. Power up your brand in their minds, and use all channels strategically — show up on their smartphones too.

Take a look. Here’s why many realtors don’t become successful:

  • don’t build enough leads
  • don’t have a system of identifying the top 20% of great prospects
  • lack the funds and marketing campaign to take it to a profitable level
  • expects broker brand/website will build enough leads
  • don’t prospect enough therefore don’t get wind of people who might sell
  • it’s a numbers game and they don’t get enough leads
  • procrastination — never taking chances and leaps of faith
  • don’t follow up
  • don’t take care of their clients – poor relationship and customer service skills
  • don’t treat the customer like a good friend
  • poor communication skills — don’t get their value proposition across
  • don’t maintain a friendly, courteous relationship with all contacts
  • lose confidence after some frustration such as losing a sure sale – better to be overconfident, optimistic and resilient
  • believe the job is too tough when they really haven’t made the decision to be great at it
  • react slow to seeing opportunities and acting on them
  • don’t use their imagination to generate a wider approach to collecting leads and making contact

Contact me today for a review of your online presence and about a new content strategy.  Now’s the time to ramp up and accelerate your digital marketing and lead creation.

PS, remember that digital marketing including Adwords is a bargain (this graphic shows how you can create a lead for less than $2!)


Condo Buyers vs House Buyers — Are they Different?

Are Condo Buyers Different than House Buyers?

Now in Spring 2017 we’ve seen house and condo prices in Toronto jump and should keep on rising   The era of the condo is upon us and they may represent the best capital gain and rental income for investors and new deals for most realtors.


With respect to your own sales: It’s not the market, it’s your marketing

Condo in downtown San Diego has so much to offer for younger buyers who like transportation, shopping, and restaurants close by.

Marketing Condos

If you’re a Realtor marketing condos, being aware of how condo buyers are different will benefit your web content strategy and improve your lead conversion rate and closed deals. Knowing these buyer’s personalities, circumstance and values should help you create better more relevant advertising and web content for your target audience. And on the web and in social media, you are your content.

When they believe you believe what they believe, you become their most relevant person on the planet. You’re the dream enabler.

If condo buyers are younger, first time buyers, they’re likely more wide eyed and impressionable. They may be more susceptible to visuals, strong headlines, and dreamy descriptions of independent living, sociability, and freedom from time consuming home chores. As you brainstorm great content ideas, you need to keep that buyer persona in focus.

Content that’s Relevant to Condo Buyers

Your stylized content might include flashy infographics, video of urban shopping and attractions, and a reminder of the social life and how it positions them for a more successful career.

Single family home buyers are in a different boat. They want the privacy of a house, the ownership of real land, and they may have kids or want them soon. Cutting lawns and planting flowers might be top on their list of fun things to do.

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My brother recently bought a large property in the country. He would not like living in a Toronto condo. His idea of a great life is having the property, trees, and room for his dog to run. The task of clearing the property, plowing and shoveling snow, cutting grass, and fixing things is his idea of meaningful, creative living. Clearly, this hard work is not appealing to condo buyers. Their dream world is different.


Lifestyles, Amenities, and Convenience

Most often it is carefree, social, urban, and prestigious lifestyles in the city that appeals most to these buyers.  And developers are taking innovation to heart with exciting new developments.

If you’re selling to condo buyers, here’s some points to keep in mind:

Condo buyers:

  • enjoy living in high density areas such as downtown Vancouver, Toronto and San Diego
  • enjoy the closeness of their neighbours
  • enjoy the shared amenities and ease of access
  • enjoy the lower cost of ownership
  • don’t mind underground parking
  • don’t want the challenge of yard maintenance
  • enjoy the excellent views from many condos
  • enjoy being closer to where they work
  • are often first time buyers
  • are a young person or young couple (except for empty nest buyers)
  • may like living near people like themselves (e.g., Richmond BC)
  • don’t want to have to repair or renovate
  • don’t have as much money as home buyers
  • often first time buyers
  • may not own a car nor want to own one
  • may not understand the risks posed by condominium associations

There’s likely many more key persona traits you know of yourself, in which case I’d like to hear your input. It’s an exciting time to be realtor in San Diego, Vancouver and Toronto. Three cities, rated at the top for livability and very attractive to condo buyers from around the world.

Selling isn’t easy anymore. The buyer market and marketing channels are more fragmented. Smart planning and strategy in developing your web and social content could mean the difference between mediocrity and outstanding success.

If you’re hoping for that top sales award, you should begin looking for a real estate marketing specialist who can elevate the value you provide to your market. Remember, it’s not the market, it’s how you market.

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How to Fund a Winning Realty Marketing Strategy

Adopting Team Thinking without Giving up Independence

If your first thought about digital marketing services is that they’re too much time and too costly, I want to show how you can easily do it. If you watch the NFL or NHL, you know about the team game. Some battles are too tough to win alone.  Teaming up with other realtor partners can help you market like a leader with 1/5th the cost.

Trying Harder: Going it alone might not work

Think in terms of small teams of realtors or mortgage agents. Your brokerage of 40 to 600 members is too big to work. It’s too impersonal. How do you get 600 realtor pictures on the homepage?

I’ve worked with solo agents as well as big agencies and a major International luxury home publication. Big agencies don’t really solve your needs since there’s not enough leads to go around. And going solo, it’s tough to stay focused and motivated. Perhaps that’s the top reason 90% of realtors never become successful.

The Future is Coming and it’s Connected

I’m linked with at least 1500 realtors in Toronto, San Diego, Calgary and Vancouver. Most of them don’t bother with digital marketing or social media, despite how traditional channels are drying up. A common complaint is the cost of digital marketing services by themselves and the ROI. You might have dabbled with some cheapo marketing services and came to the conclusion that it’s not worth it. It is worth it.  The key is finding someone dedicated.

If you join with other realtors and share the costs, you can fight way above your weight class in the realty marketing battles. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to partner with local realtors. It’s possible and perhaps advisable to join with realtors in other nearby towns or neighborhoods. They’re in the same predicament you are. Sound interesting?

Combine our Assets and Divide our Costs

If you partner with 3 or 4 other realtors, you not only combine marketing funds, and connections (think of the Linkedin and Facebook connections you have) you also:

  • bring more experience and market knowledge
  • create motivated team mates whom you can bounce ideas off of
  • have more insight and stories to lend to your team’s customer engagement strategy
  • work more effectively together
  • have better meetings
  • create more colorful and meaningful dialogue with prospects
  • inspire greater confidence and security in prospects
  • create a small team as a social unit which prospects can relate to
  • create 4 or 5 voices which can be much more persuasive

If you’re in a big city such as Vancouver, Toronto or San Diego, there’s plenty of leads available. By scaling up your marketing you will accelerate your growth and theirs.  If you’re in a small market city such as Markham, Burnaby, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido or Whistler, then joining with realtors in other nearby towns lets you combine funds yet still have your whole local market to yourself.

You become a more noticeable presence whereas before, you were almost invisible. When people say your town’s name, your name and face should also come to mind. That’s just a little of what I can do for you.

Calgary Home Boys is a great example of the team concept. They’ve combined the potential of 5 to 6 realtors to better leverage their collective powers.  They look like a modern, professional team you can rely on.


Danecker & Associates of San Diego is a traditional format for the team game. However, it would be better overall with a true together team picture! Still, this is the way to maximize the marketing budget and get the kind of results you’ve hoped for.  No more hoping, it’s action time!


Think Big Picture, and get Better Results

In my mind, it doesn’t matter so much who you partner with — you’re going to garner much more of the available market. And your results are likely to be better than if you went it alone. If you’re doing very well right now, then you can perhaps double your leads and better convert the leads you get by investing in realtor digital marketing techniques.

You might have one more argument that one realtor in the group will take all the sales, for whatever reason. That won’t happen because all prospects have their preferences and each will look for the realtor that best suits their taste. Everything can rotate if required.

The creative effort to build or modify your realtor persona will be a good exercise. Let’s say you want to appeal to first time buyers. We can help you fashion your brand image to make you the most compelling to them. It’ll help you get more focused to convert the leads that typically come to you and improve your brand image. Everything is converted into positive results.

Whatever your career and retirement goals are, you don’t have to do everything alone. Your associates have the same dreams. Coopetition can work wonders.

If you’re struggling alone to improve your business as a realtor or a mortgage broker, consider combining with 3 to 4 others. It’s the perfect number to maximize your marketing funds and get the maximum benefit in relevant leads.

Gord Collins has provided expert San Diego real estate SEO, Los Angeles real estate SEO, San Francisco real estate SEO, Vancouver real estate SEO, Boston real estate SEO, and Toronto real estate SEO for 18 years.  Check out his posts on prospecting tips, how to get people to sell their home,  real estate agent importance, and tips for luxury real estate agents. Gord can help you deal with the Future of Real Estate and thrive on change.

Condo Market Heats up in Toronto, Vancouver and San Diego

Realtors Looking at Strong Market for Condos

The market for condos in North America’s hottest cities is heating up as housing becomes scarce.  The low Canadian dollar is making all Vancouver and Toronto properties an attractive investment but condos are the hidden gem for investors. The market in San Diego too is also being driven by a lack of housing stock.

3 Cities Primed for More Price Growth

Vancouver is loaded with condos and Toronto has seen a huge growth in new condo developments in the last 5 years. San Diego’s condo market is poised for astonishing growth.

As this graphic highlights, the great recession barely affected rocketing prices in Vancouver since 2002. There is no more land in Vancouver which means the sky is the limit in Canada’s top city.


Explosive growth in the Canadian market is fueled by Chinese, Middle Eastern and US buyers.  Vancouver is the main target of wealthy Chinese buyers. The strong Yuan and weak Loonie means Chinese millionaires are finding plenty of bargains to move into or to use as investments.  Many of the units are sitting vacant but don’t expect to see them on AirBnb.

Toronto Sales Volume Rising Fast

Toronto’s condo sales volume grew 10% in August in the city and 23% in the region just outside Toronto.  No housing bubble is forecast for Toronto.

BILD CEO Bryan Tuckey says many potential first-time buyers are being priced out of the market. He says there’s a limited supply of new houses because of a lack of development-ready, serviced land across the region, which means “homes are being purchased faster than they can be brought to market.”

Foreign Buyers Helping to Drive up Prices in San Diego

San Diego’s real estate revival is in progress. Realtors are just getting positioned for the coming boom.  The graphic below from Jorge Castelon of Harcourts Pacific Realty in San Diego reveals the upward trend.


That’s an eye opening 50% rise in 5 years and the real estate market in San Diego still hasn’t taken off yet.

This graphic from August shows a shortage of units is lifting prices fast.


The US is the only country expected to excel economically, which means the US dollar will only go up. San Diego properties might be as good an investment as those in Toronto and Vancouver. As the world’s baby boomers begin looking for ideal locations to live the last decades of their lives, San Diego will be high on the list.

San Diego has 64 huge condo buildings and San Diego county has many more. The San Diego market is still marked by a high underwater rate so there’s plenty of hidden opportunity here.

The prices are outpacing wage growth, a trend that analysts say is only going to continue so long as the region sees its supply of housing remain tight. Mark Goldman, a loan officer and real-estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said home prices are appreciating faster than he expected — from the San Diego Tribue.

With mortgage rates remaining at such low levels, the condo market will be especially attractive.  The average homeowner in San Diego spends $10,647 per year on their mortgage. And the average renter in the city will pay a whopping 44% of their income on their rent. Either for rental income or as a capital investment, condos and homes in San Diego look awfully good.

Of course, we’re talking about San Diego. The luxury market is even more attractive to Chinese buyers who typically only look for $1 million+ properties.

$11.78 billion: The dollar amount in home sales in San Diego County in the first half of 2015, up 13.2 percent from $10.4 billion last year —  CoreLogic.

Photo Courtesy of Dream Homes Magazine

Prospective buyers around the world will see condos for sale like this one at right.

If this market potential doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. If you’re a San Diego, Vancouver or Toronto realtor with condo stock for sale, it might be the perfect time to do digital marketing right.

Contact me at to get started with a better digital marketing program designed for realtors that includes SEO, content strategy and social media engagement. Visit my linkedin page too










Note: the above content is not presented as a proposition for sales in real estate, nor advice about any realty investment. It is a commentary on economic and real estate conditions. All investors face uncertainty and economic factors beyond control and are advised to consult with a professional realtor before buying or selling.

How are Homebuyers Searching Online for a Home?

Important Search Trends in Real Estate

So nice to see the real estate markets recover after the longest stretch of poor performance ever. It’s wonderful to see sales volumes rising and the growth of buyers and sellers increasing. So it’s time to shed the negativity and start getting into what it takes to be successful online.

BrinPageZuckerThe growth of the economy is spawning new interest in home shopping via Google search. Buyers and future buyers are also searching on big real estate portals too.  In each case, a search algorithm determines whose website, social page, or  listings are seen. How you write your web and social content will determine how much search traffic you’ll receive.

In this post, we take an initial look at the importance of keywords. Organic search is still the number 1 source of digital leads for realtors. In my digital marketing audits, I include a keyword report to help guide topical development and SEO strategy. You should take time to consider SEO issues and how you can get your site going.

A few years back, my keyword optimization gave my real estate client about 600 visitors per day. Today, it’s a tougher challenge with Google’s tough algo updates and increased competition.  The goal is still perhaps the most important — conquer Google’s rankings. How? By researching and creating fresh, valuable and relevant content.

The Frenzied Search for their Dream Home

Web search has changed considerably in the last 7 years yet searchers are still loyal to Google and conduct billions of searches every year.

Local search has changed yet still requires keyword optimizationWhen consumers shop for a home, they’re amidst big life changes and buying other products and services. Those expenditures drove the economy in the past. That context means there are multiple ways to intercept them to deliver your message.

Searches on smartphones are growing considerably. Searches for real estate are a just a smidgen of what they were a decade ago, but it indicates the market ahead could be 3X what it is right now.  And young millennial buyers still have yet to enter the home buying market. They’ll require a slightly different approach in content and style.

All this has to be considered as you develop your market positioning strategy for the next 5 years.

And on the topic of search, Google’s homes report reminds us that prospective homebuyers begin their search 6 to 12 months in advance of purchasing. A long buy cycle which gives you a good amount of time to intercept them in mid-search. And they’re searching via smartphone. Is your content positioned to put you in the drivers seat?

House hunters used their mobile device most to search for listings and find directions while out looking for a home (Google Consumer Survey, April 2014).

What do the Keywords Tell Us?

These volume estimates below show generic searches for real estate are declining, yet more specific searches such as “homes for sale” have doubled in the last 10 years. It appears you’ll want to focus your keyword strategy around these more unique keyword phrases.

Although California typically dominates real estate, you can see interest rising in the southeastern states.

Houses for rent is the fastest growing phrase and probably one that realtors might want to target. Engaging with these future buyers is smart positioning.

Suffice to say, homebuyers are searching on Google (and Zillow,, and Trulia and a number of real estate portals) and the growth of searches will rise. An investment in search engine optimization and content development will pay off in time, and typically it is fruitful within a few months. Combine your Google rankings with excellent content strategy and engaging social interaction and you’re building the most solid marketing machine possible.

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