Homebuyer’s Pains – The Long Commute to Homes They Can’t Afford

California Homebuyers – Who Understands their Pain?

A little empathy goes a long way. Our clients have hopes, needs, dreams and sometimes a frustrating reality. If you’re a realtor, mortgage agent, home renovator, home developer, building product supplier, or financial services provider, you probably need to get intimate with the pain of home buyers in LA, San Diego, New York, and San Francisco.

Understanding their real lives is a powerful way of connecting way with them online.

In this post, I’m going to help you reach into that emotional realm where they live to build a brand and content strategy that will appeal to them, and make them adore you.

It’s all about empathy (and a little humor). Owning a home is a still strong value in California culture even if fewer feel it’s possible. Donald Trump pointed out how few people own their own home. In Los Angeles, it’s the worst because of limited housing stock and wickedly high prices. This stress and feeling of helplessness is a key thing you can help them with. It has to be dealt with before any of them will buy a home. Trump struck a chord by identifying American’s severe frustrations, but his lack of humor didn’t win everyone over.




 

5 Key Sources of Frustration:

  1. feeling of falling behind – can’t buy a home the right time or place, have insufficient income, rising debt, and mounting costs they have little control over
  2. life/work balance out of whack and less enjoyment of anything – out of shape and feeling guilty they can’t see the kids or their spouse and family and friends enough
  3. tiredness, lack of sleep, and exhaustion from work and commuting – worries about health that joga and healthy food won’t fix
  4. can’t make enough money and are unable to build equity in their lives – no hope of owning a home and saving money
  5. can’t find a cheaper/better apartment so they can save money and time in order to one day buy a home and start a family

Californians are Pessimistic about Owning a Home

The latest report from Fannie Mae shows the Home Purchase Sentiment Index has dropped significantly across the nation. Even though prospective homebuyer’s incomes are up, it seems they’re more pessimistic than ever. Will the new President Elect Donal Trump come to the rescue as he’s suggested in his campaign promises? We’ll soon see.

Is this the right year to buy rental income property?  Find out more about the best investments in 2017 including investing in real estate.

Fannie Mae’s 2016 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased again in October by 1.1 percentage points to 81.7. Overall, the HPSI is down 1.5 points since this time last year.

  • Only 30% of Americans say now is a good time to buy a home
  • 15% say this is a great time to sell a home (up 4%)
  • Homebuyers expect mortgage rates to rise

The Theory: According to Fannie Mae, only 34% of California home buyers could afford to purchase the $465,280 median-priced home (in the first quarter of 2016, up from 30% in fourth-quarter of 2015). 41% of home buyers were able to purchase a $389,910 median-priced condo or townhome. An annual income of $77,575 was required to make a monthly payment of $1,939. But if mortgage rates and fuel prices rise, and the economy blips, those numbers will fall.

It’s a seller’s market, particularly in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco regions. The pessimism of buyers is reflected in their belief as well that home prices will rise and affordability drop, and their stressful commute to work will worsen.




Californians Fight Long Commutes

dogangerOnly Washington DC commuters suffer a longer daily commute, and now that Donald Trump is going to drain the swamp, LA will likely to rise to the top spot as the toughest commute in the country. L.A. has 6 of the 10 most packed roadways in the country and let’s not forget the heat and smog of driving very slowly on Los Angeles highways.

The pain of a long commute is a headache for a lot of homeowners in LA, SD and SF.  Not that new home development will solve the lengthy drives to work. LA may be in the market for more commuter trains.  Even California pets get a little edgy behind the wheel!

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Commuting Times rising dramatically in the last 3 years promises to grow much higher.

Where LA Area Workers Are Commuting to

This is such as cool animated gif created by the California Association of Realtors showing LA drivers daily commute.

Los-Angeles-Commute

To purchase fictitious median-priced homes, LA, San Diego, Central Valley or SF Bay Area workers are having to live further away and that’s clogging already congested highways. Does anyone want to drive in from Riverside, Sacramento, Oakland, San Bernardino, Anaheim, or Vista?  As this commuter infographic shows, LA drivers need to be innovative to get to work on time.

Commuter Infographic Los Angeles California
Commuting Infographic Courtesy of http://beagreencommuter.com/driving-in-los-angeles-infographic/

Here’s an exerpt from the LAist.com regarding perhaps the biggest pain homebuyers have in California: Commuting. And this was several years ago.

“While the numbers are slightly dated, rewinding back to 2006-2010 and 2011, they’re still relevant today. 11.9% of workers ages 16 and over in L.A. County suffered a commute of 60 minutes or more in 2011, which was slightly above the 8.1 national percentage. Another area where L.A. topped the national average was in commute time. The average commute time for county residents was 29.4 minutes in 2011, compared to the nation’s 25.5 minutes.”

Along with the deadly commute is perhaps frustration of needing to move away further from where they want to live. They may resent the relocation and have a negative attitude to their new community, and are more even more tired and stressed when they return home every evening.

In the Los Angeles housing forecast report, we discovered that the commute situation will probably worsen. Will improved highways ease the commuter nightmare? Will cheaper gas prices and electric cars make the pain go away? Will higher wages resolve the problem or make it worse?

Will the California government begin to open up more land to development and provide incentives for companies to move out of LA, San Diego and the Bay Area to ease the commuter problem? Likely not until the next elections bring forth Californian’s smoldering fury. LA and the Bay area have the same growing pains as any other major city, however mass transit actually contributes less as a solution.

roadcrewhumor
Road Crew Humor from https://johnlinkoblog.wordpress.com

Creating Empathy and Giving Compelling Solutions

You can gain a lot in terms of appearing informed about homebuyer’s situation and look to have viable solutions for easing their pain, including finding a home at a great price.  It’s important to remember that as a business person online, you are your content. If it’s irrelevant, unresponsive to their pain, and doesn’t appear to offer the solution, they will not only leave, they’ll consider you irrelevant.

10 Vital Topics you should explore on your website:

  1. how to ease commuting stress
  2. how to lower financing costs and find starter homes to build their equity
  3. where to buy a better commuting vehicle
  4. how to find a new job farther away from the city
  5. how to find a great community in rural areas for their kids
  6. how to talk their bosses into telecommuting for at least one day a week
  7. mention local elected officials and what they’re actually doing to ease homebuyers purchasing and traffic congestion and commuting pain
  8. showing homeowners how they can sell their homes for fortunes and find a better life elsewhere
  9. how finding a home in your community with precisely the key features that will make their lives better
  10. how to relax and enjoy their homelife in a distant community
teslamodels
Is the Tesla Model S the most comfortable commuter car for your LA commute?

By building content that relates specifically to homebuyer’s pains, and demonstrates concern and solutions, they’ll see you as the most credible professional, someone they will look forward to hearing and doing business with.

Californian’s have plenty of other dreams, pains and frustrations, and perhaps we can research them all and give them some comfort. Researching and writing good content that ranks well in Google and converts like crazy isn’t easy. You’ll need some help!

Read more on how to create impact, why high traffic is better, use powerful custom real estate video, why SEO is still the best value in digital marketing, and on why now is the right time to sell a home. Read up on the key Luxury Realtor Skills.

 

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Gord Collins Los Angeles Real Estate Marketing —  I generate leads for realtors in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita, Temecula, Stockton, Palm Springs, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, and more. Find a LA Real Estate Agent who actually wants to work with you.

First Time Buyers — A House or Condo is a Great Investment

First Time Home Ownership – It’s Time to Buy Your First Home

Your dream of owning your own home is a smart investment and it’s doable. It’s been that way for a century. With all the negatives you hear about the economy, home prices, huge down payments, and the cost of living, you may have been pushed  into a state of denial and apathy.

First time homebuyers, it’s time to wake up and get your slice of the housing market.  But, before you contact a real estate agent and mortgage agent, let’s get you pumped up!




real-estate-salespersonOne of the keys to happiness and success is the belief in limitless supply, personal ability, investment opportunity, resources and potential wealth. Believing this way puts you into a great frame of mind that help carry you through no matter what home buying frustration you face. It’s a buffer against the negative insanity the system throws at you.

There are no limits, only what we impose on ourselves through our beliefs. So if you’ve given up on home ownership, you’ve accepted a unworthy, negative and potentially harmful belief. Time to get positive about real estate investment and home ownership.

To succeed at anything, we need to dream up all the paths to our goal. If you don’t have money, you could borrow it, partner with investors, find government home ownership programs, earn it, or get your relatives to help you out.

You don’t necessarily need 20% of the purchase price of a home to buy. How many people have $100,000 to put down on a home purchase? There are mortgage and financing solutions available.




californiapricegrowth

If builders are building, and the economy isn’t going to tank, buying a home is likely a good investment from New York to San Diego.

Owning a home is usually a great idea even if prices are high. Prices on homes will always go up and they rarely go downward. There’s plenty of demand because a so many millennials and baby boomers need a home for one reason or another. That’s why prices are high. They’re also high in many cities due to a lack of development land. If legislators in your state or municipality are eager to suppress development, then there will be strong demand for the few homes there. And if they open to development, the influx of new buyers will drive up land and home prices.

Check out mortgage rates on a $600,000+ home in Beverly Hills for a buyer with a ordinary credit rating and less than $20,000 down.

lendingtreerates

Buying a Home has Infinite Benefits

That’s right, infinite benefits. If you’re between 25 and 35, ownership of a home represents an excellent long term investment. Having a home (large investment) also helps keep your life focused, stable and productive.

This is a key reason why older generations have pushed their kids into buying homes in the past (when homes were cheap).

Renting in contrast, has an aimlessness about it that keeps renters floating along never setting their feet on the ground and never building equity. Instead, they see all their hard earned money siphoned off by landlords and they find it hard to get a feeling of putting down roots as they say.

When they’re older, renters can’t help but look back with severe regrets about the hundreds of thousands of dollars they gave away. Picture yourself at 60 with nothing to show for a lifetime of toil in 9 to 5 labor.



Great Tip: If you have a work at home business, you can write off your business expenses which helps pay down your mortgage sooner.

The Smart Choice is to Buy a Home

But not you. You have a choice to make right now to keep your hard earned dollars and invest them in something that will have an immense value 30 years from now. Many buyers in the 70s and 80s are now selling their homes for 3 to 4 times what they paid for them. Some in the 60s might get more than 20 times what they paid.

Whatever your house or condo is worth in the years ahead, it’s yours. That’s the point. You will feel more comfortable every day of your life, more secure and confident knowing you own the property you live on. That sense of security, belonging, and confidence is important.

In California, Texas, Illinois and New York state you don’t need a down payment. You can borrow for the entire purchase. If you have credit card accounts, you may be able to ask for a raise in your CC limits to use for the purchase of a home.

 

Remember, that renter’s don’t get tax credits, but homebuyers do! Visit market watch to discover what tax credits you might qualify for .

The Downpayment Problem — Solved!

Having money for a down payment is always good. If you’ve got a bank of mom and dad, use it if you can. On a traditional home mortgage you will need 3% down payment. If you can raise 5% for your home purchase, a wider array of financing options become available because of how you look better to lenders. If your loan amount for the home purchase is above $417,000 for a single family home, you’ll have to raise 10% using with conventional financing. This will be called a Jumbo loan.

If your downpayment is zero or a low percentage, you’ll need mortgage insurance. The FHA or Federal Housing Administration insures mortgage loans with as little as 3.5% down payment. In California, the loan limit is up to $520,000.




See what your loan limits are in California:

californiahousingfinanceagencylogoVisit the California Housing Agency to discover education and home loan programs to help you buy a home. They have assistance, advisors, first time buyers education courses, info and guidelines to learn on program eligibility and property eligibility.

Don’t forget local county programs. Most cities and counties in California for instance have homebuyer assistance programs designed for their residents. These may include loans for first time buyers, down payment assistance, and funding for property rehabilitation.

The USDA offers programs to help buyers in rural areas. USDA loans don’t require putting any money down, however USDA has eligibility requirements, including income and property size.

usdalending

Check out Freddie Mac’s HomeSteps program of homes for sale.

freddiemacbuyers




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9 Reasons Why Rental Income Investment Property is Hot for 2018

Real Estate Investments with the Highest Returns

Looking for the best cities to buy real estate with the highest return on investment? How about one with an ROI of 30% to 40%?

Yes, those numbers are possible when you consider how real property delivers multiple streams of income, including tax savings, and a higher resale value when you want to divest.

There’s so much to learn about property investing such as financing, where to invest, hiring an agent if necessary, choosing tenants, renovation, and when to sell outright if the price is right.

Most investors are too convervative, especially those who are buying a home. Although buying a home is a sensible purchase, a better approach is to let someone else pay the mortgage.  Visit the number one real estate investing youtube channel and you’ll find out how how to purchase multiple properties, and manage them efficiently with online rental property software for even greater returns.

Real estate management is better when it’s visual. Property management shouldn’t be done on spreadsheets — Managecasa.com

If you can handle the risk, the key to even bigger profit is to leverage bank money to buy multiple properties. And how can you top that investment?




By selling the property to someone else who believes in its value more than you do. They’ll pay a speculative premium to have this great income earning asset. Just like a start up business where a buyer may pay much more than you’d expect to take that business to the next level.

I guess the rule here is, get it started, develop the full potential, and you could end up with a big winfall, which you can take with you to a new project, or if you want, just take off to Costa Rica.

For regular single property investors, the key to really powering up returns is in living in that property. So before you decide on a real estate agent and mortgage agent, consider how you can ramp up the full potential of a real estate investment. This will affect the type, location, and size of property you choose to buy.

And those agents will love to work with you because you may be doing additional deals. Get ready to be popular when you get creative with real estate investing.




Check out the rental investment potential in the Los Angeles real estate market, San Francisco real estate market, New York real estate market, or Toronto real estate market. These markets have intense conditions that support high rental prices and limited chance of price depreciation.

Here’s 9 reasons why rental income property is ideal:

  1. you can charge rent from the people who live in it
  2. you can live in your investment
  3. you can write off home renovations and improvements
  4. you can write off the cost of new appliances, insurance, realtor and mortgage agent commissions along with legal fees
  5. you can write off your capital gains using tax breaks/retirement tax benefits
  6. huge demand for rental units from younger generations and immigrants
  7. huge demand for homes from millennial aged buyers
  8. home prices are expected to increase
  9. you can borrow and leverage the banks’ money

If you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in rental income property, there are other avenues you can follow such as various reits and investment funds. They’re lower maintenance investments but don’t offer huge rates of return. You’re in this to make money not invest in something that pays like a bank savings account.

One hot investment opportunity is student housing investment. Foreign students and domestic students in places like San Francisco and Vancouver have a very hard time finding rooms or condos.  The situation is critical. Take a look at this post on student housing investment in Vancouver for starters. You’ll learn of one company, CIBT Education listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They are the leader in this space in Vancouver BC, and you can invest without actually buying properties and maintaining them yourself.

 

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Online Home Valuation for Homeowners

Market Value Appraisal for Homeowners

Well, if you’re reading this blog, then you may be considering selling your home, and the market appraisal is one of the first tasks to get done. You’re wondering “what will we get for our old place anyway?” And then that will beg your next question: how do we increase the selling price of the home?

mjs-house
A Beautiful Home with incredible character, but was once a condemned property. The best house in the neighborhood by far, but will it be appraised as such?

Welcome, and I hope you’ll surf around and learn all about choosing a great real estate agent and getting the best results, in terms of price, professionalism, and moving onto the next phase of your life.

The essence of real estate is feeling good and finding the very best lifestyle for you.  Having a home appraised well is key to establishing the right selling price. And it’s the funds you’ll be starting with on this next exciting phase of your life.

Were you aware that you can actually get a free home market evaluation online? See the one below from Zillow. Or, you can do a Google search for [Realtor + market evaluation] and find a realtor who is interested in providing that service for you.

What’s so nice about about using Google to explore real estate topics, such as finding reputable realtors who are motivated and fun to work with, is that this is part of your journey. Google is making it easier, giving you endless education and insight into the real estate world.

If a Realtor ranks at the top of the results, it’s a good sign they want to work with you. It’s not easy to appear at the top of Google search results so you know they’re confident, put the hard work into it, and want to be successful. That desire for success is a good sign, not a sign of greed.




I Want to Get the Best Price Possible for my Home

And you should get the best price. That home and property represent a lot of daily toil on your part for year on end. Never forget that. Don’t give away value you created. You worked hard for years to make your mortgage payments and it is your investment. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you want to sell it for maximum price, you’ll want to use a realtor who has a habit of selling homes for over asking price. In today’s market, you’ll probably get it.

Thinking about Selling your California home and hiring a California Real estate agent in 2017? Check out the real estate  predictions for the US, and forecasts for apartment rentals and home construction in San Francisco, San Diego housing outlook and predictions for home sales in Los Angeles.

Preparing for the Maximum Selling Price

You’ll need a realtor and perhaps a renovation/designer to determine what could be fixed up to create an even better price and be sure to get it sold fast. The speed of the sale might save you some misery.

Once you get a ball park figure or Zestimate®, you’ve got a good number to work with. Realtors criticize Zillow mostly because they’re such an aggressive competitor online. Their Zestimate® tool is a little off the mark, sometimes low by $20,000 or more.  Yet as Zillow collects more information on homes across the US and Canada, they’ll become more accurate. But this number is just a number to rally on. You can raise the value of your home with your realtor’s advice and help. Appraisals are often based on comparables which could be the wrong comps, so you may want to go out and carefully find your own comparables to show the buyers the real value.

zillow-estimate-los-angeles

 

How do I Raise the Value of my Property?

Now you’ve got your base price often based on comparables in your neighborhood. What can you upgrade that’s worth doing? Homeowners tend to be way too passive about fixing the place up, as doing so could raise the selling price considerably, especially if your realtor manages to bring in a boatload of buyers who might compete for it.  It’s the simple pleasure/pain response. It may be very effective to get rid of everything that could offend or turn off the buyer, such as dirty toilets, broken light switches, dirty stained carpet, or some of your old nostalgic art items.

A Los Angeles Real Estate agent gives some insight into appraisers and how appraisals will affect what buyers might be willing or able to offer for your home.

Here’s 10 of the Best Ways to Raise and Get your Asking Price

Fix/Renovate the Bathroom – Home buyers want all memories and evidence that you lived there gone. The bathroom is a sensitive topic and they likely want the fixtures like the toilet, basin, shower replaced. Freshening it up with new fixtures tells them it is clean and ready to be used.

Fix the Roof – If there’s any signs the roof has had it, they will not even give you a bid. Here’s an opportunity to get rid of the old shingles and put in new solar shingles to create added value for them. Free hydro could be very excited for them.

Open Concept Kitchen – Just knocking down the walls could open up the buyer’s mind to the warmth of your kitchen. Most buyers insist on a kitchen/living room connection so try to make that happen.  Don’t buy new appliances, just look for some cheap used ones that still look good. Replace the obvious stuff that hints of poor hygiene such as grimy looking countertops, worn kitchen sinks and faucets.

Get Rid of the Old and Broken – Old just means old style, and items that have no relevance to the life they’re going to live.  Although you love your statue, antique furniture, or old small deck, they might really turn your buyer off. Broken things could get your appraisal reduced by $500.  Just one broken faucet or wall socket that doesn’t work could cost you $5k in appraised price because appraisers work in $500 increments.

Improve Exterior Features – Put in some exterior lighting, LED, for security reasons and for aesthetics.  The lights warm things up and create an evening presence that would otherwise be cloaked in dreary, scary blackness.

Try some New Window Shades – These are an inexpensive upgrade that can pick the windows up and help block bright sunlight and give privacy. These buyers don’t know the neighbors yet.

Remove Dirty Carpets – replace them with the new cheap linoleum based engineered flooring.  It looks like wood, feels like wood and it’s easy to keep clean. Make cleanliness a theme if it suits your ideal selling strategy.

Improve whatever the Realtor tells is wrong with most of the houses in your Neighborhood – If your house is the only one that doesn’t have the common problem, it will give them an emotional lift.

Make sure your top home Feature really Stands Out – there’s no point in going half way with the best thing about your home. If it’s got a rooftop deck for instance, make sure it looks like something they will be compelled to use. A rooftop deck or pool or large ensuite bathroom that they won’t use much is actually a waste. Everything being sold has a top benefit, so ensure this is 100% fantastic.

Have the Home Staged – having the right style, furnishings, and dressings for the intended buyer is important. Sorry, your style of furnishings only reduces the value.  Appearance is so important, from the condition of the lawn to the art on the walls. Let the realtor’s home stager make the place look immaculate.

Then comes the issue of how to choose the right realtor. There are almost 2 million real estate sales people to select from.

Choosing the best realtor is important. Some are motivated and some are not. Some are optimistic, some are not. You need to take some time doing a search of the best on Google. Take the top ten you find in the search results and assess their skills, strengths and weaknesses

A good realtor will be very optimistic, encouraging, and imaginative about how to help you get the best home selling price. That’s perhaps the most important criteria you should consider. Please don’t treat this like it’s just another transaction, and that you’ll take whatever you can. Your realtor will be making a good commission on the sale. You can expect them to come up with a brilliant online marketing strategy to capture more and better prospective buyers for your home sale.

How does their online marketing presence look to you? Would you buy from them if you were about to buy? What about their website and the image they project? Does it seem to speak to you and put them in an exclusive class of quality realtors?  Do they really look like they care?  Is there much content on their website? Can you see anything about their character or personality?  Of course, you can call a brokerage and take whoever is next on call, or you could interview whoever is willing to come to your home to be interviewed.  Save some time and do a pre-screening of their website. Their website is a tell tale representation of their professionalism, skills, and commitment.

If you get a Good Real Estate Agent – Stay with Them

It’s an interesting statistic that most sellers don’t use the same realtor to help them buy the next property, even though they’re buying in the same city. Your selling realtor will be helping other buyers on other deals so why not you? Either you believe in your realtor or you don’t. Choose a great realtor and use them for everything.

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Residential Solar Power Systems – What you Should Know

Are Solar Roofing Installations a Powerful Selling Feature?

We know how expensive hydro is becoming for the average homeowner. Power generating companies are in big debt and will have to keep raising prices to their diminishing user base chasing more homeowners offgrid.

And power companies are highly polluting which does not jive well with the mandates of the carbon credit regulators. It looks like solar will be prominent.

dowpowerhouseshingles
Dow Powerhouse Shingles are said to be a wise replacement system on a new roof installation, but many homeowners are really liking them for their aesthetics. — from pv-magazine.com. Pic courtesy of pv-magazine.com.

Yet we wonder if buying a $7000 to $30000 solar power generating system for a home is really worth it. Apparently, the savings range from $400 to $700 a month, or around $6k a year.  Right away you’d say no, however the prices of solar systems are falling and there might be other benefits to consider including higher selling prices.




I was speaking with Seattle entrepreneur Andrew Schumake who installs these solar systems.  He comments that the incentives created by the Obama administration in the US were very generous and how manufacturers and installation providers are clamoring to supply this burgeoning market in the US, and also in Canada.

It makes you wonder what the actual impact of all these new products is on the US housing market? Andrew warns though that some companies make shoddy products so homeowners should be careful and wise.

 

If you’re a builder or commercial real estate developer, you may want to check out the incentives offered by the Madison Energy Group of Phoenix, who Andrew works with.

As a realtor or property investor, or a homeowner with a big mortgage loan to pay, you may be wondering how much these systems raise the value of a property if at all.  The issue isn’t just a matter of electrical power savings, it’s also a matter of aesthetics and whether solar is a feature sought in particular neighborhoods.

Solar Shingles in Hot Demand

And new systems that use solar shingles are in hot demand. Most systems that we see on homes are solar panels which are mounted on top of the the roof. That can complicate roofing issues and fixes if a problem in the roof occurs. With solar shingles, you have a solution that is part of the roof so the old ceramic or tar paper asphalt shingles aren’t needed. And as you can see in this video below, the new solar shingles actually look pretty good.

The systems produced today are cheaper, better designed and should last longer. So the results from this Berkeley study from 2013 should be more positive today in 2016 and into 2017.

This woman in Florida is ecstatic about her new solar power installation.

Dow is a big maker of the new solar power shingles for residential roofs.  If your prospects are going to reroof their house, should they go with solar shingles and save on the costs of the conventional roofing?  There are a government incentives could make this a sensible purchase. Here’s a video that discusses that issue:

certainteed-solar-brochureBut could a new solar shingle roof help to get a home sold faster at a higher price? Studies seem to show that this is so. You might be familiar with Certainteed, the roofing products manufacturer. They provide a solar product brochure that might give more insight into the advisability of recommending a solar roof as a home value raising strategy.

The number of homeowners “going solar” has increased by an average of every year for the last 10 years. About half a million homeowners in the U.S. have determined that solar makes sense.” from the brochure.




What is your experience with solar energy installations in the homes you’ve been buying and selling? Are buyers enamored with the systems or are they mentioning wishes and disappointments? I’d like to know. Please leave your comments below.

 

Related posts: Solar Power Forecast 2018 |  Real Estate Market Report | MLSIDX Websites for Realtors  | SEO Consultant Los Angeles |  Los Angeles Housing Predictions 2017 | Toronto Housing Forecast | Toronto Housing CrashSan Diego Housing Outlook | Vancouver Housing Forecast | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Real Estate SEO | Digital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding Tips | Toronto MLS | Merrily Hackett Sutton Group | Real Estate SEO Specialist | Top Real Estate Lead Generation Sources |   Calgary Real Estate Forecast  | Homes in Aurora | Aurora Newmarket Real Estate Outlook 2017

I welcome all inquiries from green energy and solar power businesses in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu.

SEO Consultant Los Angeles

LA’s Housing Market is Hot – Do You Have the Best Leads?

Are you content with the leads you grind out every month?  You’re doing okay but you need to do better. Only digital marketing and SEO can give you that kind of success. And wouldn’t your life be infinitely better with plenty of high quality leads? Use an SEO consultant to build your online presence and lead capture process — strategy should come first.

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Amazing, fast and search friendly Websites optimized by me give you a huge advantage online. You deserve one this powerful

The leads you’re getting through online lead generation companies, your contact list, or through local print listings probably aren’t great. It’s not a big enough funnel, and it’s not optimized to deliver value to them as your visitors need it. It’s a game of numbers and only digital marketing with SEO can deliver those big numbers.

The real estate sales landscape in Los Angeles is diverse which you already know.  The reality is that you get to choose what type of buyer or seller contact you from whatever neighborhood in LA county or around the world. Your marketing and your content dictates who you acquire and what brand impression you make.  And your rankings and social visibility determine your reach.

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I strongly recommend listing with my former client Dream Homes Magazine as every elite Los Angeles realtor is showcased on DHM.

If you want to dominate the Google rankings in prestigious markets in LA such as Beverly Hills, Malibu, greater Wilshire, Silver Lake, Hermosa Beach, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Hermosa Beach or Bel Air, you need to have the best, experienced, and innovative SEO Consultant working for you.

There may be some good SEO consulting companies in LA, but what happens is the resident search engine optimization expert doesn’t plan the strategy or do the integrated work needed. They pass it off to low paid interns and disappear down to the Caribbean. That’s how they afford those fancy offices and vacations. There’s nothing wrong with big earnings and fancy offices, but if you need to maximize your SEO investment to dominate the LA market, you need someone like me who puts in an honest days work. And a quality effort too.

Look further, outside of Los Angeles for top flight SEO experts. I live in Canada and our cost of living and dollar are cheaper, and you can buy my services for much less than an SEO consultant in Los Angeles. You want results not local fulfillment, and I’m ready to help you climb to the top! Take a good look at my elite program service menus. They’re designed for elite realtors who want incredible results in traffic and leads.

Professional SEO Consultants:

  1. do the market research to understand how consumer demand matches your unique value proposition
  2. help you build a real realtor brand with substance and value not flaky cliches that people hate
  3. create a SEO strategy and content plan that will create the kind of assets Google likes and supporters love to share
  4. implement an immediate lead generation program because you don’t want to wait
  5. optimize the MLS listings as assets, not just let them lie unseen and unindexed in Google
  6. build high quality EPIC level content that’s way better than anything anybody else is putting out
  7. patiently take time to understand your targeted buyers
  8. build a useful and engaging social presence for you and listen for cues as to buying selling intent
  9. optimize your conversion process from content pieces to your landing pages
  10. use social media as your lead nurturing system

uvp-bethebestThe more successful agents and other business people become, the further away from Los Angeles they look to find the perfect digital marketer. Quality, custom work, responsiveness, reliability, exceptional results, and a habit of developing leadership positions are their forte.

As a Canadian SEO Consultant who has specialized in real estate (I’ve optimized SEO campaigns for casinos, hotels, manufacturers, 1 branding firms, 4 digital marketing agencies, brand name sports companies, moving companies, and more) I can help you develop high quality leads in your targeted LA neighborhoods.

LA’s Top Real Agents Building Relationships First

Too many agents ruin their leads by not preparing them well online. That bad beginning right from the Google search results could result in the lead not following through.  The whole point of a lead conversion process is to continue building intent as they discover you and your great approach to buying and selling. If you want to enjoy the success of superstars like Jade Mills, Tami Pardee, Santiago Arana, Joe Babajian, Blair Chang, Tracy B Do, Jane Essex Harvey, Mike Glickman, Sally Forster Jones, Peter McKenzie, Polly Watts, and David Woodruff. They’re doing from 40 to 200 deals a year.

Tami Pardee’s beautiful website shows the respect she has for her brand and business, and for her clients. She sets the tone right away with dreamy relevant images and background video.

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LA Realtors with No Limits – Positive Inspired Healthy

Tami Pardee and Santiago Arana talk about their $1 billion sales year. Keep in mind Merrily Hackett in Vancouver had $12 Billion in sales! Santiago talks about positive attitudes and ridding yourself of limits and hesitation and how he built his amazing success. He started in 2004.

And how about this amazing video from Santiago Arana featuring Alex Mcleod the former TV host. Is it your dream to be her realtor?

Are you pumped up and ready to move your realty career ahead? I’m looking forward to helping you excel in leads, sales and revenue.

 

Related posts: Housing Market | SEO Consultant VancouverTREB Market ForecastRental Housing Market Outlook |  Los Angeles Housing Predictions 2017 | Toronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing ForecastDigital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Toronto MLS | Merrily HackettReal Estate SEO Specialist | Top Real Estate Lead Generation Sources | Zillow Leads

Gord Collins — Real Estate SEO Expert for realtors in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Sacramento, San Jose, Long Beach, Anaheim, Fresno, Oakland, Bakersfield, Santa Ana, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Chula Vista, Irvine, and many more cities in Californa. Call now and let’s get started!

Big Successes in Traffic are Real – Here’s Some Stats you Should See

How Does 16,000 Visits/Month for a Realtor Site Sound?

If you ask the average business owner or realtor about how many visitors they could capture online, you’d get some pretty low estimates. The reality though is Google serves billions of searches for 1 billion people worldwide. They’re still the McDonald’s of customers served. People are searching on Google, especially when they’re hot to purchase. And they can be reached via Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter too.

At this point, you may have done a little SEO on your website and posted on your social media pages and then waited for the tidal wave of traffic. Weeeeelll, you could have a tidal wave if the right digital marketing strategist is doing the work. My realtor client in Mississauga enjoyed 16,000 visits per month for an extended period. For an agent, that’s massive traffic.

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Toronto-based Real Estate Website enjoyed an average 16,000 visits per month over many years. How would you convert all those prospects to sales?

Curious about this blog’s traffic? It’s already massive and I’ just getting started. I can do this for you!

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A Major National Hotel Chain Doubles Traffic from Google

It happens in other industries too. My major hotel client saw their website traffic grow from 1.2 Million visits per year to 2.5 Million visits per year. If 3% of those visits convert x $400 2 or 3 night booking, it translates to $28 Million dollars per year.

A Digital Marketing Agency in Boston

bigMy branding agency client in Boston enjoyed almost a million visitors over 6 years from a variety of sources (mostly Google). They were the top performing digital marketing agency in Boston over that time period and the revenue and business results could have been much higher then if we’d known then what we know now. Even during the height of the recession, the site had 133,000 Google referrals per year, and 40,000 visitors per year from other sources.  One client was worth a quarter million dollars.

Wisdom Takes Time

Often it seems, only time reveals the complete truth. That’s why in my recent post I spoke about vision and ambition as so vital to sustain business clientele, staff, partnerships and revenue over time. If you’ve always accepted the notion that conservative values/practices denote an ideal, successful, sustained business, I know that this isn’t the case. Continued success in marketing is the biggest predictor of future business health. I’d encourage you to investigate this concept more fully.

Never coast or stop growing. It’s poison to morale, ends relationships, deflates employee’s dream of a better life, and it’s a failure of the original vision of your business

Big successes do happen, but because we tend not to brag or even talk about client successes, no one knows about them. If no one can see your big successes, how can prospects understand your value proposition? Now you know and I have the proof in Google Analytics reports.

Gord Collins | Digital Marketing Strategist | SEO Strategist | Content Strategist, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Diego

How Do You Build Such Massive Successes?

Here’s the keys to repeating these huge successes:

  1. Develop your unique value proposition fully – understand it deeply and personalize it to your audience and make it very relevant to them
  2. Develop plenty of original, useful, well-optimized content – that creates search engine traffic – understanding Google’s algorithm actually is important
  3. Create an attractive website – that’s simple and catches people’s imagination
  4. Do outreach and build links – to your site using engaging content such as infographics, blogs, stats, videos, and other things people like to share
  5. Show thought leadership — do not be solely a follower — great creative thinkers with lots of connections are credible and powerful leaders in the digital realm
  6. Do not do “best practices” – which is code word for mediocrity – do the right thing instead
  7. Be very inventive and creative – in providing value to customers/clients because customers generally trust and respect providers that find ways to deliver value
  8. Be transparent – trust is a big factor online and if people can’t see you and know you, how could they possibly trust you?
  9. Be open to growth and new opportunities – because they’re the path to your goals — growth means following your original business plan in exciting new ways. The journey will be fun.
  10. Be social – enjoy the banter and thoughts of your customers and colleagues as it shows you are genuinely interested in them and it makes your day a lot more fun.

There’s my top 10 list of big success habits you can use right away. The 1th tip, is that you should not go it alone. Digital marketing is too complex and challenging now. Stay active and find the right employees, contractors, consultants, business partners and investors for you. That normally happens as you go so this last one is vital. Chances are you have a good business or marketing idea yet you lack the funds to make it competitive today. Keep your equity and create value for all these people.

If you want ridiculously big traffic to your website, then I’m the person you need to know. If growth and ambition are a part of your vocabulary, we’ll work together spendidly. I’m looking forward to speaking with you soon.

Check out the Bay Street SEO Relaunch!

 

Gord Collins is a Toronto digital strategist who engineers content to dominate Google rankings and engage prospects on social platforms.  His clients come from every industry including real estate in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Phoenix, Chicago, Houston, and San Diego.  Get him working for you and watch everything from your unique value proposition to your Google rankings and social engagement grow strong. There’s no time like now to prepare for the future. Speaking of positive outlooks, see the Toronto housing market outlook for 2017 post.

How to Get People to Sell Their Homes – 10 Tactics and 1 Big Strategy

10 Tactics to Connect with Home Sellers

After you’ve grown tired of waiting for people to call you to sell their home, you may want to try something new, something that’ll create increasing, consistent touchpoints with home sellers.

Sellers, those ghostly inhabitants of your dream world.  This is about creating a fat pipeline to your top selling prospects and enabling them to become sellers.

There’s big reasons why people can’t get over inertia and sell their old house: dreams and details. Normally you wait for the details to take care of things such as: growing family, empty nesters, trade ups, moving to new city, house needs too much repair, and moving to the burbs. These are all tell tale signs that big data realtors are looking at to get the jump on a potential sale.

The one no one talks about is people’s dreams. Goals aren’t dreams. Dreams are symbols of the emotional rewards that we all seek, and it’s why buyers are coming to you. They don’t call you because they have a goal of owning a home, instead, they’re thinking a new home will fulfill their dreams and provide a rewarding emotional life. They want to be happy. That same quest for happiness is why they sell.

It’s a Perfect Time to Sell a Home

soldAs the Vancouver and Toronto housing markets tighten each month, realtors compete harder for housing stock as it comes available.  The variety/number of realtors selling in my town is unbelievable.  There’s 50 realtors for every homeowners that wants to sell. That’s crummy odds.



The waiting game: Too often, another brand or realtor gets the lucky call. I’ve got 10 tactics that can spare you the agony of waiting for sellers to get moving, and become their only realtor.

Homeowners Need a Nudge

Before sellers sell, they need clarity about their next move. They need a vision of the better life they desire.  They’re just missing pieces of the dream and when the final piece clicks in, they get on the phone and call Remax, Sutton Group, Century21, Sothebys or Royal Lepage.

I’m sure that in your training, you discovered it may be easier to reach buyers who also have a house to sell. That does seem easier since buyers are active online where you can intercept them. Intercepting them is good. However, if you adjusted your realtor brand image to be the dream maker, the one who can help restless homeowners achieve mental clarity and draw them into a positive, happy and expectant frame of mind, you’ll be top of mind when they think about moving.

No One Wants to Sell, yet Some are Selling

No One Wants to Sell: Listings in Vancouver and Toronto have dropped precipitously.  Yes, I’ve gotten lots of real estate agent paper flyers in my mailbox. There’s 50 agents who could list the house for sale. None of their messaging moved me at all. Entirely forgettable.

costacoupleAgents need to discuss the change in lifestyle, not just selling a house. Maybe the homeowner has a new job, needs a bigger house, needs to downsize, get out of the city, wants to retire on Vancouver Island or Kelowna BC, work in the US, or settle in Phoenix or Panama. Just selling the house doesn’t make you relevant, but being a facilitator, coach, supporter, friend in their lifestyle change does make you relevant — even after the sale. If you become part of the dream, the action, and the result, how can they not pick you over those other 49 agents?

“The Only Reason they Sell is because of the Big Price”

Prices are pushing some to finally sell and they’re getting an extra $50k or $200k on the sale. For those selling in Vancouver or Toronto, the price is just the last straw that gets them to pull the sell trigger. If they were really committed to that location, they wouldn’t leave for any price. You can’t buy happiness right? Okay, getting an extra $200k is a big nudge out the door.

However, the same voice that urged them to sell because of price could also tell them to sell to go live in a more exciting location, or to travel, or just revitalize their stale, stressed lives. You could sell in Toronto and move to San Diego, Costa Rica, Kelowna, Belize, Panama, Spain, or maybe Haliburton. There’s enough land there to accommodate them all and the lifestyles are amazing.

Let’s open your imagination beyond dull. What if you evolved your approach to introduce home sellers to the solution they wnat? What if your website and social content wove a particularly delightful introduction to a better lifestyle? You’ll plant the seed and then get them to return weekly to build their interest and then utilize the opportunities it creates.

Realtor/Travel/Investment sites are a great combo. These sites have a full dimension of interesting, engaging lifestyle content that creates a focus for these vague, anxious feelings they endure daily.  The more content you have, the more touchpoints you have with prospects, the more reason for them to interact, and more opportunity to close the deal later. Patience is needed, but the payoff should be huge. In fact, there’s no reason why you won’t get responses soon.





 

10 Tactics to Connect with Homeowners and Get them to Sell!

  1. Knock on their door and ask them if they know how much their home is worth. Ask them to do a free appraisal, and give them your business card which will beckon them to your Facebook page. Why Facebook? Because Facebook is more personal, connected, and interactive — they use Facebook more frequently.
  2. Give prospects/homeowners a flyer that has a travel/lifestyles theme. This is more interesting and relevant. The flyer will have the URL of your lifestyles section where they will begin clarifying their need to move on with their lives. The content will take them from merely travelling to actually moving to be immersed in the new lifestyle at their dream location (Try to be sure about their dream destinations. I dream about San Diego, but they may not).
  3. Build a lifestyles section in your Website and fuse it with Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. See these 4 sites as one interconnected Web magazine. Build sections on each dream destination and have a writer fill it with excellent content about homes, activities, health, food, and happiness.
  4.  Create a new realtor brand image for this website/social pages above. This image is somewhere between a stiff collared professional realtor and cruiseship social coordinator.  The content must be entertaining, informative, and create a need to react, such as asking questions and getting direction to more specific content elsewhere. The whole point is to create a touchpoint with your new customer, to begin the conversation, one they believe is leading to something fantastic.
  5.  Get that lawn sign up. Do door to door and tell people you’ll give them a fantastic bonus for listing their home — if you sell it. A free ecotour adventure trip to Costa Rica is one example of a rare enticing benefit they’ll find hard to resist. They’ll get the full details on your Facebook page, which is why they’ll share it with their FB network. Getting a lawn sign up on a street is gold. Do what you have to to get one.
  6. Build a travel section on your website. Travel and moving are indirectly related. Just the word travel is both soothing and agitating for restless homeowners.  Talk about places like Florida, California, Australia, Costa Rica and other places where there’s plenty of ex pats. If they know there are plenty of Canadians or Americans already there, it takes a lot of anxiety about those locations (even if it’s Victoria BC, or Kelowna BC).  If they get hooked on moving to Kelowna or Costa Rica, it may addictive for them. I have friends who moved from Calgary to the Okanagan to retire. They had no idea they would end up in that area, but most Calgary people like the Okanagan. It’s the same anywhere. San Diegans love Hawaii and Mexico.
  7. Build a sports section on your website. You can cover any type of sports, but mostly those your prospects are into, but a sport that will take them away from where they are. Your goal isn’t to cover sports to make them feel better about staying in their community and learning to love it again. Cover golf in Arizona and Texas, or fishing off the California coast, or hiking in Costa Rica. Anywhere but here.
  8. Build a big renovation to sell section on your Website. The focus is all the things you can do to upgrade their house and get it sold for maximum price. It’s just one more topic that gives them the confidence that their vague dream is doable.
  9. Read up on others tip’s and ideas on how to get people to sell their house https://www.google.ca/#q=how+to+get+people+to+sell+their+house. the more you know, the more psychologically effective you’ll be in shaping your brand image and your web content and inbound marketing efforts.
  10. Hire a really good content and SEO guy to get all your content ranking high on Google and visible via social platforms. Right now, you have no touchpoints with your prospects. Hiring an expert gives you first class access to these people online.  There’s nothing better than top rankings on Google’s search results. An SEO pro will get your posts placed on top travel, retirement, and lifestyle sites and connect you with 10 million mommy bloggers!

There’s your top 10 tactics. Sounds like a big project but once you get going on it, it’ll get easier and you’ll get better. If you’ve got some funds, you could outsource all the above to someone like me.  That is excellent overall value. And remember, that I can help you rank for phrases such as “homes for sale Vancouver” ‘condos for sale Toronto, or “luxury homes San Diego, etc.  There’s more value than you can imagine with SEO and social outreach.

Work less on sales, and more on being a dream maker — the type of prospecting that attracts excited, interested prospects and creates endless touchpoints with them. Your digital marketing content strategy should revolve around helping them find their dream life. With this material backing up your personal face-to-face meetings, you create a picture of integrity, that you really believe in what’s best for them. You’re not just a salesperson anymore, you’re now a friend who understands their greatest dreams.

They’ll be calling you to find out how you can help create their new dream life. Guaranteed, they will be selling the house and you will be their realtor.

Need some cheer? Just read the Toronto housing outlook and the Aurora Newmarket Forecast for 2017. Things are great.

Related posts: Housing Market | Los Angeles Housing Market | Toronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | Real Estate Agents | Future of Real Estate | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Real Estate SEO | Vancouver Condos | Toronto Condos | Vancouver Housing Forecast | Affordable Leads | Digital Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Bidding Wars | LA Real Estate SEO | Realtor Growth Hacks | Realtor Skills | Realtors Benefits | Home Search | Richmond Hill SEO | Boston SEO | Vancouver SEO | Rental Income Housing | Real Estate Lead Generation Services | Retiring in Costa Rica | Luxury Homes in Costa Rica | Costa Rica Adventure Vacation

Real Estate SEO Specialist – Toronto Los Angeles San Diego San Francisco

The Art of Real Estate SEO

Real Estate SEO has been affected by a number of new technologies and by the growing use of social media to hone in on people’s conversations and online habits. New technologies help discover potential deals, but it’s good old high quality content and Professional Grade SEO that generates lead conversion.

From Los Angeles to San Diego, providers rely on automated messaging because it’s cheap. I’ve worked with 4 digital marketing agencies and I’m very familiar with the “cheap” formula. But it never works and it discourages clients. This is when they give up on SEO and go back to traditional marketing alone. Thorough, professional SEO strategies can actually work well with traditional channels. Given how long it takes to convert prospects, you need good exposure on Google combine with a good drip email campaign to nurture them.

Real Estate SEO advantage today is to get personal with readers – to make a connection that automated marketing can’t make

What is it that we focus on to make your site soar in the rankings? I’ve authored a ground breaking book on SEO and continue studies of Google algorithm changes including RankBrain, Trustrank, Mobile, and engagement factors. And I’ve provided San Diego, Los Angeles, Oceanside, San Francisco firms with high ranking and high traffic results. Big traffic and big reach makes things interesting.

Is Automated Messaging Killing Internet Marketing?

My quick answer to that question is yes. From obtrusive persistent ads, to autoplay video, to content that visitors aren’t even interested in, automated messaging is turning everyone off and threatening the viability of digital marketing. Digital marketing is heading for a crash.

If you’ve read automated social media posts, automated email you receive, and waited for ads to download on your smartphone, you’ve seen this blight first hand.

Powerful Online Marketing Solutions: LA Real Estate Marketing | Boston Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Marketing SF Bay Area | Real Estate Marketing Company Toronto | Real Estate Marketing in San Diego | Vancouver Real Estate Marketing Company | Real Estate Websites

The Solution is Personalization and Emotional Connection

Automated marketing is rarely personal or engaging. What is effective now, are topics of interest written and presented in a unique way that adds value to your prospect’s experience. And those messages are person to person so they can be sent at odd times.

The key to all of this is whether you’ve chosen the right topic for the right audience — the topic they need to know about and a topic that gives you a special top of mind presence in their life.  It’s a crowded, congested, and over-competitive environment online and you must target the right people.  By taking your time with a good content, keyword, and SEO strategy, you’re going to take seriously. That’s when your prospects are eager to hear from you.




What Does Google Want in a Real Estate Website?

  1. Google wants lots of high quality, original content that is on topic and written in a flexible way that makes them think it is natural and not written for search engines.
  2. Trust is important which is why the TrustRank algorithm was created. Google’s system checks for spam, and other misrepresenting, poor quality content and links. You won’t see much spam via Google anymore so they’ve cleaned it up. However, if you have thin content that looks like everyone else’s — Google thinks that spam. When you have high TrustRank, Google will trust the links and words on your site more.
  3. Google wants to see lots of incoming links to your site. If you have quality content, are active on social media and do a good job of marketing your marketing, you’ll likely get those links (maybe some extra help here too).

Here’s Rand Fishkin of Moz in his video speaking about basic page SEO which is some of the work an SEO specialist must do. Rand’s an interesting guy and I don’t know how he remembers all that!

Ignore the Ill-informed Myths Floating Around out There

Pagerank is not dead. Google stills needs a number to rate importance and popularity of websites and webpages. An algorithm is simply a complex equation that generates or results in a numeric value. To rank things you need numbers. However, Pagerank is much more filtered now.  The new Pagerank is closely tied to Trustrank and keyword relevance (for instance, if you get a link from a site that is not related to your specific topical area such as a blog on a music site, there may not be much ranking juice awarded to your real estate site.

Instead if you get a link from a major, popular and trusted real estate portal such as Realtor.com or Remax, it may give you more Pagerank and Trustrank factor than you ever dreamed of. Almost inappropriately!

I’ve got a few SEO techniques here that might help a real estate agent understand what to look for in a Real Estate SEO specialist provider. There’s skills, tactics, creative innovation, semantics, and an understanding of what a good user experience is.  SEO isn’t simple when you want to be the number one ranking site. If you want to optimize like the rest of the common SEO herd, you’ll find yourself down the results page where searchers don’t  go.

There are a lot of ranking factors (Google still says 200) however these are the big factors you need to understand:

1 High quality, well written content with an intelligent flow to it appeals to Google’s quality filter
2 Content on your site flows well from a progressive learning perspective appeals to the Rankbrain Algorithm
3 Rich content that includes video, bulleted text, graphics, statistics, and other visuals that make it a more complete experience for visitors
4 Long form content – pages over 1000 words in length such as what you’ll see on my site (content that offers chances to link out and is what people like to share socially)
5 Long form content with more to read increases engagement and is more well shared on social media — Google is watching whether visitors stay on your pages
6 Content that uses synonyms, related words and stemmed variations of words in an intelligent way that Google reads as on topic and relevant
7 Websites with lots of content pages that have inbound links coming to them (not just to your homepage)
8 Keywords near linked items
9 Keywords within anchor text
10 Keywords in title tag of page
11 Content that is segmented or siloed to produce more power to capture high volume competitive phrases and long tail phrases (e.g., real estate agents in Los Angeles would have separate silos for real estate, real estate agents, and los angeles. Google even processes the word “in” so you work that into your page linking structure)
12 Google likes original, unique copywriting and linking – this is customized, personalized content generation that does well
13 Content that uses related words in links and text which helps Google determine precisely what your content is about (e.g., homes for sale 90210 or houses for sale in Beverly Hills, tells them with more precision than if you plastered your site with LA homes for sale). The words in your other page’s content will affect what Google believes about your page.

That’s the subtlety and complexity that applies to every word, link, and page on your site.  And Google is much more page-centric and on topic than ever. In the past, if you had a popular, authoritative, and trusted website, then all of your pages were given a golden halo. Not anymore, Google has increased its damping factor which means ranking juice doesn’t go very far through the links.  Sort of like the Colorado river. By the time it gets to the mouth, there’s nothing left.

gord2Do You Need an SEO Specialist to Review Your Site? Call me at 416 998 6246 and let’s talk

You Crafty Devil You! You Did that On Purpose!

An SEO Specialist is very crafty, sneaky, strategy-minded copywriter who wants to write some beautiful prose on your website and social media pages to hypnotize and capture your visiting prospects. Yet, we speak to Google in a way you won’t understand in how we read between the lines of Google’s stated algorithm to romance Googlebot and all of Google’s database filters. We run a gauntlet of nasty algorithm demons who doubt our every word, action and even our identity.

Google says it wants only the best stuff and a highly skilled SEO content writer is the one to make sure Google’s receives with wrapping paper and a bow on top.  A good specialist will be an expert on content strategy too. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have specialized expert contributors on staff creating copy. It may be best to let these writers research and create their in-depth expert pieces and to focus on what their content needs to express — the unique value proposition and benefits. A content strategist needs to ensure the content experience is fun and gets the brand message delivered.

Getting “On Brand” Means Having the Right Content Strategy

Yet these expert contributors will often not be “on brand” and true to the value proposition, meaning they’re not creating copy that sells you. In the end, all of your content has to create a customer for you, not for the top earning agents such as Merrily Hackett, Josh and Matt Altman, Jade Mills, Donald Trump, Melissa Wu, or Jason Soprovich, or for some cliche real estate agent image.

Your SEO copy and inter-page linking are all part of a branded experience in content. Your content is you. Reader’s weigh your content’s promise of value vs the benefits they want. Your content constantly speaks about the value you promise to deliver. It’s not enough to be pretty, you have to be effective in getting your significant, personalized, unique value proposition (your brand) across to visitors. But visitors love keywords and related words so they’ll be gobbling up our copywriting and calls to action.

I like what Dave Keys says about creating real leads via Real Estate SEO. We have to keep in mind that any exposure to buyer/sellers at any stage of their search is good. If they see you on Google in November, and then they see you again in May, they may feel comfortable enough now to call you. Visibility at any time is good.

If all those visitors don’t call you, it’s because your content doesn’t get your UVP across laser clear that you offer what they’re looking for.  In fact, your SEO copywriter can make it look like you do, when in fact you’re not the best agent around.

With a great real estate SEO specialist writing your web and social media content, you’re creating a weave of powerful content they can’t resist. It speaks to what they want with the words they love to see, and the wording that Google respects.

Why SEO is Still the King of Digital Marketing

Customers Looking for Your Product/Service

SMB owners have 3 key digital marketing vehicles to generate new traffic and sales prospects: Social, PPC, or SEO. SEO doesn’t have the ongoing costs like PPC does. Searchers click on the natural search listings and you aren’t charged a penny. SEO has the reputation of zero cost, high revenue, however it does have a cost. It’s an equity investment cost that creates excellent returns over and over.

When you compete in SEO, it necessitates competing in content and conversion strategy. SEO traffic is the truest indicator of customer attitudes and preference. That’s excellent feedback.  Optimization isn’t just keyword manipulation then, it’s optimizing the whole process of converting these excellent prospects are actively seeking solutions.



Discover the Top 12 Factors for creating top rankings and big traffic.

ROI is difficult to measure and very often SEO isn’t given credit for the full value it generates. You’ll find your direct traffic increases along with your Google referals.  Google doesn’t track referals very well, but we know most direct visits are actually Google visitors.  Despite that, a few surveys show marketers do believe SEO underpins their success.  When you consider the lifetime value that SEO produces, it is clearly a great part of any sustainable marketing effort.

Kiss Metrics conducted a study and this graphic shows that sales are attributable over a certain time period. Tracking over many years is more difficult because tracking cookies get deleted. A top notch tracking system lets them track revenue back to the keyword phrases typed in by customers.

KM-Revenue-Search-Terms

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Why is SEO Considered Most Impactful to Sales?

bottlePeople search when they’re highly motivated and interested. Google searchers feel they’re being given the best sources for information and products and they’re on track to fulfillment. What Google knows is that search is like selling a bottle of water to a desperate, thirsty man in the desert – at the right time and place to get the best price. SEO is responsible for getting products/services exposed at the specific time customers most want to see them.

Think of how Coca Cola is everywhere to quench our thirst. This post describes how SEO is key to an omnipresence strategy that increases the value of PPC and social media.

Speaking of omnipresence, my national hotel client needed help with Google local rankings and in regular organic search rankings. I lifted their Google traffic from 1.2. million visits per year to 2.5 million visits.  And I didn’t ask them to divert funds from their PPC campaign to organic search. I regret not being more assertive when in fact, my plan would have created much more benefit for them. Yet, no need to regret. They received incredible value for what they spent and as well, gave their competitors maximum hardship.

More than Keywords: SEO + Content Supercharges your Digital Marketing

In B2B marketing SEO is by far the most efficient from of promotion. To not do SEO is leaving a lot on the table.  And by encouraging interesting and relevant content, SEO actually improves the performance of social media leads and ppc advertising leads. The spirit of SEO is an important driver in healthy digital marketing. PPC has no soul.

Google recently made some changes to Adwords because sales conversion has plummeted. They recently launched their band aid program called “smart goals” to help customers improve their poor conversion rates. The bigger problem is that PPC is a cheapskate’s ad tool. Adwords is all about getting something you didn’t deserve, and all too often the ads aren’t relevant. The top issue now is that advertisers have no money left for high quality engagement and conversion. It’s all down to a single minimalist landing page. Similarly, advertisers avoid social media as well.  Now they’re stuck in PPC Hell.

That’s why doing PPC, email, SEO, and Social Media together in an integrated or Omnichannel strategy works best. Each channel supports the others and is able to create a variety of touchpoints with prospects in any industry.

Building more useful, relevant, engaging, and sharable content helps support your outreach and link building efforts. If you rely on one channel (e.g. Adwords) you won’t generate enough natural touchpoints with customers. Especially in B2B where purchase cycles are longer and highly involved, these multiple channels keep your company top of mind. And they give prospects multiple angles on your business. If your UVP message and branding is consistent, omnichannel can really make a strong impression. Omnichannel is where successful companies are headed. If you’re not there, you may be drowned out in all channels.

The Searcher Likes the Organic Search Experience

A search is a quest or an exciting adventure to find satisfaction. Searchers enjoy the control that Google organic search provides which other media don’t provide. SEO can lead to so many sources of satisfaction including a trip into social media. As a business serving customers, you should have very relevant, high quality content since it’s the essence of their search, whether it’s new home floorplans, neighborhood profiles, or maybe a retirement home in Central America and the medical services available there.

ppcpricesTake a look at these Google Adwords PPC per click prices on insurance related keyword phrases. The most expensive keyword phrase is mesothelioma lawyer at nearly $300 per click.

Even if your clicks cost $5 and you convert 1% to a sale, your cost is $500 per customer acquisition.  1% is an excellent conversion rate for most sites with a good value proposition.  Yet conversion rates are falling because consumers are shopping around for the solution that matches them best.  Your prospects have more options even if those options are a fool’s paradise. Your plan now has to be about getting them back after they’ve been brainwashed and misinformed by 10 other competitors.

 

SEO is Complex

SEO is a process of creating and shaping content on your website, blog, or social media pages which Google will deem useful to searchers.

It’s also an active process of engaging with other web publishers and encouraging them to share your content.  Good Value + Distribution + Persuasion = Viral Success. I have to tell you though that you can go viral without any SEO success.

8 Keys to SEO Success

  1. Seek deep, thorough customer research – customer pains, UVP, and web analytic insights. An SEO must understand the company’s marketing goals, UVP, branding, target customer, industry dynamics, and how targeted customers can be reached and engaged.
  2. Do Thorough accurate useful keyword research – discovering relevant keywords and keyphrases to target. This is normally done via Google keyword tool and SEMrush keyword tool and Google analystics. Keywords, related words, and topical themes are woven into content in a sophisticated way (in headings, in links, near links, and in how paragraphs are constructed) and the messaging used determines how other web publishers will provide links and citations about your company. It’s all in the SEO’s hands.
  3. Create Imaginative, fresh content – this is where plenty of reading, web surfing, social surfing, and brainstorming exercises come in. Your SEO needs freedom to explore, surf and opportunities to connect with influencers.  An SEO/content developer needs to be active and a big consumer of content themselves.animated
  4. Well Planned Content infrastructure –  Googlebot, which is Google’s anxiety causing indexing robot actually experiences your content too. How it navigates and understands your content and its quality is solved with a well planned layout of themed content.  Your content is for users, but you need to recognize how a robot interprets what it collects. A subtle but expert optimization gives Google the right picture but also avoids spam filters. Moderation is important but don’t shy away from pushing the envelope. The key is whether Google trusts your site. If trust is good, you can optimize all you like.
  5. Integrated social media engagement – Although most businesses only utilize two or three social channels, they must coordinate social messages to capture attention, bring engagement to critical mass and then encourage an action. This is where understanding the customer’s emotions and how to appeal to them is important. If social visitors like your content, they will share it, and that creates more valuable inbound links to your site.
  6. Mobile consumption –  B2B and B2C customers are using smartphones and tablets more frequently. Mobile content is delivered differently because of the limited bandwidth and customer attention. No one reads long on their phone, so mobile content must be brief, fast loading and impactful. Being mobile friendly isn’t enough. Google is watching whether your site sucks for mobile users and your rankings will fall if users aren’t engaged with the content or leave fast.
  7. Aggressive outreach campaigns – Google is dependent on inbound links to determine trustworthiness and keyword relevance. Web publishers and bloggers and tweeters aren’t necessarily motivated to say anything about your product/service/company or link to your web site. A campaign of connecting with them, especially key influencers, and engaging with them can generate big ranking and traffic results. And, they will want valuable, helpful, popular content to share and promote, so your content developers must create fascinating, compelling copy, stories, graphics, videos and comments that impel them to share it online. It is other people who make your business successful and outreach makes you appreciate that fact.

The success of SEO usually comes out of good knowledge of your customer and a desire to create good content experiences for them. Google will recognize when your content is “HOT” and whether you are converting those visits to sales.  Heck, they can see everything.  Forget about cheap PPC and email tricks and put an honest effort into SEO. I’ts the only approach that’s sustainable.

These 7 essentials of SEO help you understand what really still is the core of omnichannel marketing.  SEO is still a dominant channel for any digital marketing strategist. Contact me if you’re a mortgage agent, insurance broker, or lawyer. I can connect you to leads.

 

A much desirable alternative to hiring an agency or in-house college grad, is to hire a dedicated digital marketing strategist from Toronto Canada. As an 18 year veteran digital marketer, I offer the best possible digital marketing advice and have consulted with companies in Los Angeles, Boston, Vancouver, San Diego, Dallas, Denver, and Phoenix.  I can help you compete head to head with realtor.com, homes.com and remax.com. As an experienced and versatile digital marketer, I can help build your knowledge of SEO, Social Media, and content marketing. I build impressive, qualified traffic via high quality, relevant content and outreach strategies. Let’s get started!