Vancouver SEO Consultant – What to Look for in a Great SEO Expert

You Deserve a Talented SEO Consultant

Vancouver BC Canada and the lower mainland is a hot economic zone.  Vancouver companies have the opportunity to be treated as world class businesses and deserving of center stage visibility.  This is a window of opportunity for BC businesses to be seen by American audiences and to tap into that growing market. With the Trump presidency, the US will become more important to everyone and California is vital to Vancouver companies wanting to export and grow.

Finding and hiring a talented SEO Consultant is one of the most important priorities of your business because Google is still the number one provider of online exposure. Some SEO consultants are also content developers, content strategists and social media whizzes. Strategizing the right content, right keywords, and social media push is pretty well the main thrust of digital marketing. An expert SEO/Content Strategy boost can improve your email, PPC advertising, and content marketing campaigns. There’s no end to the value produced.

Check out my epic blog posts on reverse content engineering, search engine optimization, creating content with impact, improving engagement, using social media listening and link building.  Many of my clients approached me as their messiah after the common marketing strategies didn’t pan out. They were in trouble and needed a talented SEO consultant. I don’t play with technical SEO nor seek small wins. I’m hoping to help you win, dominate and create a massive return on ROI.

Explore some insight and tips on selecting a good SEO pro below.

Vancouver CEOs and SMB owners should try keep their mind open regarding a search for a Vancouver SEO consultant.  SEO is much more important than it’s treated. When it’s done well it’s impressive. I’m going to explain why expanding your search just like a major corporation or successful startup would do, is wise and well informed. Find the best SEO and bring him in.

Vancouver is a major world city and Vancouver businesses need to look beyond the local pool of talent for SEO consultants. The best consultants/specialists can make your dreams come true. Because Success is the Goal, not local fulfillment.

There are plenty of SEO consultants available for hire, in fact, in Vancouver alone their could be as many as 10,000 people who may offer to do SEO for you. Are they experienced, talented, capable, trustworthy, and determined to create the best value for you? That’s a rhetorical question. Any mathematician or wise man will tell you the odds are that your perfect match is likely not under your nose. You will need to source them.

Most of the high ranking SEO consultants on Google search results will push your project off to low paid assistants — That’s the only way they can make it work financially.

Just a note though that I’ve hired and worked with many of the top noted experts in SEO and link building and some were absolute fraudsters and hypesters. They’re still working the beat and you’ve probably heard about them or visited their site. I lost thousands of dollars and am wiser but I’m not going to bitter and blow whistles because people deserve a second chance.

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Typical Advertisement for SEO Consultants (print advertising)

I know from experience that confident successful clients will look far and wide to get the exact SEO consultant for them. I’ve served clients in Russia, China, UK, US and even the Maldive Islands. SEO expertise may be their priority yet a good SEO expert has to be proficient at many things to generate top rankings now. It’s competitive out there and a strategy needs to be tightly integrated, something it is often not when performed by a marketing company or big SEO agency. Time and skill are lacking because they all hire cheap workers — sometimes doing all the work in India — not Vancouver!

Beautiful Vancouver – Not a Minor Town Anymore

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Photo courtesy of Tber on Panoramio https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/13140889

Top Vancouver, Los Angeles, or Toronto Corporations Don’t Look Locally

Big companies look for the best and the wise ones will usually look for reliable overachievers, because to win top rankings on Google is an over-achievement. It means an SEO pro who has the gall to think he can actually rank high and build huge traffic. I’ve done that, and I know it’s possible but the odds will scare you unless you have a well formulated plan with sufficient funding. Your specific industry might take a month or two to understand, but it’s worth it to find someone really good with a fresh, objective view of your industry.

It’s true that with SEO, it is all about words or text. That’s all Googlebot reads, but the human aspect is important too. We need to fascinate your visitor right from the Google search results all the way to the phone call or buy button.

An SEO Plan that Actually Works

More marketers and companies in Vancouver fail at SEO because their plan is childlike and not built on what experience dictates is needed. They make SEO an afterthought instead of treating SEO as a guide to high level conversation, branding, and personal sales strategy. I believe SEO is that valuable and any consultant who doesn’t believe it, is highly suspect. These are customers eagerly, intently looking for your product or service. They are the best possible customer prospects!

Even after getting the desired traffic, your search engine optimization and content strategy may not convert to real customers and clients. Why? Because your provider didn’t pay attention to and optimize the search experience all the way through to the end. The visitor is on a search quest for the best solution.  Too many companies ruin the effort by presenting their brand like a commodity, and they turn the prospect off and make them price-conscious shoppers.  That’s the most common end to SEO campaigns other than underfunding.

It’s so competitive, you have to be the best

What is a Superior Level SEO Process Anyway?

It’s high level. And it’s hard to separate SEO strategy from Content strategy and social media strategy. They’re intertwined and need to be integrated. All 3 of these digital marketing components work together to persuade customers, supporters, fans, and industry influencers along with Googlebot the indexing/ranking machine. An SEO guy has to support a lot of different masters. It’s so competitive, you have to be the best.

What are the keys to making that happen?

  1. Take your time and understand your personalized, significant unique value proposition and how you can communicate it with digital content – don’t dump a bad brand with no UVP on the SEO guy because the value of your brand/product/service could kill your SEO results
  2. Consider how your content will create prospects, supporters and achieve link building goals – why will other people gladly share your content and include it in their blog posts, pdfs, and videos?
  3. Eliminate magical thinking: take inventory of the assets you possess and how you’ll create what you don’t have (e.g. expert SEO copy, video, infographics, engaging social media accounts, research statistics, inbound links)
  4. Research and pursue the correct keyword phrases for your strategy/goals/brand and understand that the obvious keywords aren’t all your customers and Google are evaluating
  5. Write compelling copy using the right wording and semantics – if your content doesn’t convince, you’ve failed
  6. Write text and video scripts to engage, inform and excite the audience – be bold, creative and stand out
  7. Ensure the content is in a desirable format and done well – high quality is costly so do what you can
  8. Conduct search engine optimization in a creative way that Google respects
  9. Research, assemble and produce enough epic level content
  10. Create consistent fresh content that keeps Google aware of your quality and consistent high value
  11. Create and distribute the right content marketing material – pdfs, infographics, photos, social media shares
  12. Spend enough time to develop positive relationships with supporters, followers, and connections in your targeted niche – this is another reason top flight SEO takes time
  13. Understand and respect the latest Google algo factors such as Trustrank, the quality update, and the Rankbrain update — Older updates such as the penguin update refer to avoiding content or linking that looks low quality.
  14. Don’t starve out your SEO effort while pouring money into paid advertising and lead generation

Forget the Hype, Buzzwords and Promises

There was a time when newbie SEO consultants would brag about their SEO training certificates and throw around new buzzwords and jargon like best practices, rss feeds, and duplicate content penalties. Thankfully that’s dying down somewhat in the SEO community. Customers have wisened up.

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RankBrain is the 3rd Most Important Signal

The truth that’s hushed by newbie SEOs is that there really haven’t been too many changes to the intent of Google’s ranking algorithm. They’ve only been around for 5 or 10 years, so how would they possibly know? A couple of notable Google algorithm updates are the reduced attribution of ranking power to a domain and they are paying a lot of attention to individual page quality or authority. Google’s become very page specific and just because a site has a lot of inbound links pointing to their homepage doesn’t mean that ranking power will be distributed evenly to all the pages on the site. In fact, it doesn’t distribute well at all, which is why the newbies started crying that “SEO is dead.” It’s not dead, it’s just a little more involved and complex.

High Quality Content is What Google is Looking for: Don’t use Thin Content

Rise of EPIC Content in Google Rankings

I’ll give you advice right away on your campaign: research and patiently create EPIC level content pages. Treat each page as though it was a website. Make it rich and resonate with quality information on a topic. Make your wording and linking clear and trustworthy. Give topic paths that let the reader learn progressively and ensure a variety of content laid out in a visually compelling way. Your page doesn’t have to be focused on one topic only as the newbies suggest. A page can serve multiple roles and rank even better than a single purpose page. Yet that turns up the complexity gauge doesn’t it?

You do need a good web/SEO copywriter, not a print magazine/advertising type copywriter. The copy you need is multi-purpose with complexity and SEO focus being primary (because you need top rankings before anything else works) and then in a convincing, engaging fashion, help the visitor make a decision. Lot’s of companies waste their time with old fashioned copy that is flat, dry and overly proper. It’s good to get messy because that excites visitors.

Top SEO Portals and ezines

If you go to popular SEO websites you’ll see a good volume of content in the form of posts, videos, and news stories on search engine optimization and social media. That’ll give you a taste of how complex it is. So hiring a newbie or a former web designer or marketing assistant thinking you’re going win the Vancouver SEO battle, it’s just a tad unrealistic isn’t it?

That’s why you should hire the best SEO consultant you can find. Look outside to experts who have been around and ensure that this expert himself or herself is devoted to your project, because most of the high ranking SEO consultants on Google will push your project off to low paid assistants. That’s the only way they can make it work financially.

Here’s a great video by Rand Fishkin of Moz.com who presents lessons in an entertaining video format. He’s quite detailed and explicit about SEO techniques which is fun viewing. He doesn’t cover all the little tricks and strategies that an SEO expert might use. The depth of SEO strategy especially at the level of text and words (semantic SEO/siloing) is complex.

Vancouver is a fascinating city, and many consider it the best in the world. I like San Diego and Banff too but I won’t argue about the new Vancouver. Your company deserves the best, most innovative and creative SEO consultants to compete locally and nationally.  The world is Vancouver’s oyster whether you’re exporting software, technology, travel, or consulting services.

 

Let me be your professional SEO consultant. I will enjoy visiting you and living in Vancouver. I’m mobile and ready to help you develop the best UVP, digital content, and powered up copywriting to make Google consider your site the authority of your niche. You’ve got every reason to be confident when you have me working for you.

Please, stop looking in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Downtown Vancouver, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Squamish, Surrey, West Vancouver, or Whistler. I’m the biggest Vancouver fan and I’m looking forward to meeting you and working with you to create monumental victories.

When you’re ready to really excel online, choose an experienced SEO Consulant who can magnify the impact of all of your digital marketing. Call me at 416 998 6246 and let’s get this started.

Related posts: Vancouver Condos |  Vancouver Real Estate Marketing | Vancouver Housing Forecast | SEO Tips | Exporting to the US | Advanced Link Building | Whistler Mountain Biking Video | Rocky Mountaineer | Content Strategy | SEO Specialist | Social Media Listening | Predictive Analytics | Building Trust Through SEO | Lead Generation | Canadian SEO Consultants | Blogging Strategy |  Reverse Content Engineering

Why a Real Estate Agent is So Important for Buyers

The Biggest Gamble of Your Life – When you Buy a House

If you’re selling your home in Vancouver or Toronto, the danger of losing your investment is minimal. Your Toronto realtor or Vancouver realtor has insurance, licensing, has accreditation from TREB or REBGV, and your bank will likely insure you don’t get victimized by a fraudster.

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Buyers get nervous at signing because they’re not sure what the risks are.

Your only concern is how much you’ll get and your realtor oddly enough is going to help you get all you can for your property. He or she will even give you advice on letting go of your old home emotionally and help you prepare for your new life.



The realtor/bank/buying agent represent a triangle of safety. Licensed TREB or REBGV Realtors don’t just handle the paperwork, they’re looking out for your best interests.

If you’re considering buying a property, there’s way more risk. The Toronto market is hot and its a buying frenzy via the MLS. You could be buying into something horrible with pitfalls you didn’t even know existed. And we’re talking way more than knob and tube wiring, wood rot, and cracked foundations.

You’re on Your Own – Hope it All Works Out Okay

You probably thought your “Honest Abe” home inspector was sufficient to cover an examination of the property and warn you of dangers, but there’s lots of stories of home inspectors that didn’t do their jobs or who countered that they can only do so much to assess a property (and they’re covered legally).

When you’re signing to purchase a house and sign a mortgage to boot, that’s a scary moment, especially if you’re a first time buyer and you’re involved in a bidding war in Vancouver or Toronto. Maybe your real estate investment is sound and almost fail-safe. What are the chances Vancouver or Toronto will drop into a recession? Even if they do, the values will recover in a few years. But no one can forecast about a specific property – except maybe a realtor.

9 Buyer Pitfalls that Could Ruin You When Buying

Here’s some of the major pitfalls your Vancouver or Toronto realtor (and San Diego, Los Angeles, or Boston realtor) could spare you from:

  1. being too emotionally involved and nervous means you may lose your objectivity and the selling agent could exploit your situation (that could translate to 10’s of thousands of dollars)
  2. you don’t know what the seller’s obligations are in disclosing the state of the property
  3. selling agent knows you aren’t knowledgeable and takes advantage of your naivete
  4. you don’t have someone with a strong residential real estate background to advise you about the real value of the house or what could happen with a duplex or fourplex
  5. saves you from buying a money pit – you see it all the time on HGTV when they open up the walls of the houses they bought – in a sellers market you may even consider buying as is. You won’t have Mike Holmes around to “make it right.” The realtor focused on homes available on the MLS System.
  6. you wander aimlessly looking at homes that don’t meet your criteria
  7. you have no one to help you negotiate the best terms of a purchase – you end up getting kicked around because there are so many competing buyers
  8. you aren’t sure what’s in store for the neighbourhood, what it’s really like, and what taxes might be looming in years ahead
  9. you consider buying a pre-construction condo even they could go bankrupt taking all your money with them
  10. Was the house a grow op, did the owners smoke, when will the roof need to be replaced, and are the neighbour’s unpleasant, and did the current owners meet all the zoning bylaws?

There’s more dangers than these 10 of course.  I hope you keep your eye on the big picture when you’re spending $600k on a home.  You could fall into a situation that could end your marriage, take your money and health, and push you into bankruptcy.

Buying a home is serious business. Don’t ever go it alone just because you can find info online. Yes, people are excited about the Uberization of real estate, but their enthusiasm will undergo some tempering when it actually happens. There will be some horror stories.

 

Gord Collins is a digital marketing strategist serving clients in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Boston, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Denver in the Real estate and insurance industries.  His professional skills include SEO, content development, content strategy, link building and social media strategy.  Realtors should read up on prospecting, best sources of real estate leads, web site optimization, and check out the Toronto real estate and housing forecast for 2017.  In the market for a home loan and new car insurance policy?

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.

12 Tips to Make your Homepage Magnificent

Your Homepage Might Be Killing Your Business

Business owners take a lot of care in ensuring their brick and mortar location has “curb appeal” and an enticing entryway.  Ensuring they have a website with curb appeal is just as important. Although visitors arrive through many pages, the homepage plays a big role in creating a great customer experience. It welcomes and sets the tone.

Not much is written on the role, power and design of a good homepage, so let’s get some real insight into how visitors experience a home page.

The homepage is more than an introduction and welcome page.  It’s the epicenter, an orientation setpoint, even if visitors come in through a subpage. It helps visitors reset themselves so they can understand your value proposition in an effortless, pleasant way.

The homepage is a key part of the customer experience and if it sucks, it’s a disappointment and not the experience they were hoping for

Looking for a Good Experience and a Good Relationship

Visitors also arrive because they’ve Googled you or your company and want to know more about you and what your relationship with them will be. And that often starts with what they see in the Google search results. Whether B2B or B2C customers, they’re trying to visualize the relationship they want, which might be: (a) let’s work together, (b) I’d like the expert to handle it, or (c) I’ll tell you what I want.

Your homepage indicates which type of provider you’re going to be and whether you believe in the relationship they want.

wavescoffeehouse2

This homepage screenshot above is from a Vancouver company called Waves Coffee House. Their homepage suggests: “You’re going to have a superb, fresh cup of coffee.” The fresh, clean design tells you right away it’s about the coffee (and the cream). This isn’t Tim Horton’s or Starbucks (I’ll tell you what I want). It’s a different and more compelling brand (Let’s work together).  And it’s visual because coffee drinkers don’t want to read — they want a coffee experience – to taste it visually.

Their logo should have some vertical squiggly lines to represent the steam rising from a cup and perhaps a few more curves fused into the webpage design.  The site should have social media posts and it’s Twitter is good. It could use a game or more interactivity. Visit their site right now.

Dear Customer — Today’s an Adventure – Let’s Start It Right!

Right off the bat they give you their Toonie Tuesdays/Thursdays – a cheap latte, showing their generosity and customer appreciation. Their coffees, menus, and locations are easy to find. All you have to do is mouse over the location link and you get an instant view of their locations in Vancouver. They even tell you how to brew your own coffee using their Specialty Grade product:  the top 10% of coffee beans from Costa Rica and Columbia.  All of it is quickly accessible from the homepage navigation.

The value proposition really accents on good coffee, yet they have free wifi, good food and you can book their meeting rooms. What an interesting coffee house!  The only thing missing is a gallery of nice photos of the interior showing customers relaxing and enjoying their experience. I’ve never visited Waves, but it looks like a hip place to be in Vancouver.

In this case, the customer experience begins on the homepage. It creates a good impression of Waves Coffee House. For contrast, here’s Tim Horton’s and Starbucks homepages. For these companies, the relationship is more like you’d have with a vending machine (which is what quite a few consumers want).

timbucks

Oh oh, My Homepage Sucks

Before your eyes go red and you strangle your web designer, consider that you shouldn’t have put it all on their shoulders. They’re not marketers or sales psychologists. Instead, try to understand what’s going on. Actually, there’s a lot going on and you should work with them to create the customer experience you want to deliver.

Make your customers believe in your business and that this relationship is going to be the one they want.

Let’s go over all of things your homepage should do:

  1. welcome visitors and make them feel comfortable
  2. build credibility and relevance (Relevance is King): prove you believe what they believe and are the best provider of what they seek)
  3. build trust and and wipe out uncertainty (use sensible conversational style and be transparent and open)
  4. build desire for your solution and your brand (identify and show the satisfaction they’ll feel when they use your service/product)
  5. build urgency and intent (indicate why they should contact you right now)
  6. communicate your unique value proposition quickly
  7. promise satisfaction (imply the delivery of the benefits they want)
  8. build curiosity (links to interesting content)
  9. make a visual impact and be attractive
  10. present a few key benefits for them
  11. make the navigation understandable and have a purpose for all your pages
  12. route traffic to specific key sub pages (services and contact pages)

I’ve worked in every industry from health supplements to pharmaceuticals to online casinos and sports ecommerce, however I’ve developed particular expertise in real estate marketing. If you’re not in real estate, still look at these observations, because they apply to any industry.

A Great Home Page Needs a Good UVP

Your home page tells them who you are, what you do and what it means for them: that’s all about your Unique Value Proposition. You absolutely  must understand your unique value proposition. If you don’t, you’re operating your business in a fog with essentially guesswork about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. A good UVP matches you to the customer perfectly. That’s the best result possible.

12 Tips to Improve Your Homepage

  1. Outline your value proposition point by point (what is the essence of your offering and why you’re relevant to them)
  2. Get a modern mobile friendly design (html5 design and fast loading)
  3. Outline the key points about your brand/product/service (quick summary of top 5 features)
  4. Define your customer experience and outline the key benefits customers want (quick summary of top 5 benefits)
  5. Create simple navigational cues to your best content (pop up helpers on links)
  6. Make your page scannable with headings that speak your promise of value and satisfaction (smooth orderly progression of your benefits they can take in)
  7. Use original photography that evokes emotion and depicts the experience your customer dreams of
  8. Use headlines, subheads, small pics, bolded text to smooth out the flow of the reading experience and build your value proposition in their mind
  9. Include social proof – the number of likes, followers, and shares can influence readers and create trust, respect, credibility, and comfort
  10. Build urgency, capitalize on their impulse/intent, and have a call to action
  11. Build curiosity with teasers for your content pages where they can explore some topic that’s of vital interest to them.
  12. Have one key benefit idea that “hooks” them (e.g., cheap taste of a premium product)

There is no one perfect homepage design. You can only design after you’ve gone through the 12 steps above. The photos, fonts, layout, navigation, and headings you use all depends on what experience your targeted customer wants. That begs the question: Do you know your customer:)

See also: The Ultimate Business Owner’s Guide to Create a Great Homepage

How to Make a Great Impression with your Home Page

The Anatomy of a Great Homepage

A Great User Experience Leads to Conversions

What Should You Put on the Home Page?

How to Roll Out the Red Carpet on your Home Page

9 Steps to Write Your Ultimate Home Page Headline

How To Create Your Perfect Realtor Brand Image

Personal Branding for Real Estate Agents

Competition in real estate sales is intense. There’s one sale for every agent. So how do you separate yourself from the hoards and avoid anything that pushes you back into the pool of unknown agents – the realty clones?  If you think it’s sexy to be one of the clones, well, it may actually be killing your personal brand image — the thing customers are buying.

clonesmallBuyers and sellers make a lot of assumptions based on what they believe about you — that’s your Realtor Brand Image. It’s time to create a unique significant professional brand image for you only.

You are special, you are the most significant and a brand guided by your Realtor marketing strategy leads to creating that special feeling about. Check out my new book which is about creating a laser clear brand, one that creates one single emotion in your audience – feeling good. And that’s when they call you.

You may have read my posts on SEO, Social Media, unique content, prospecting tips, the customer experience, top realtor skills, ambition and drive, and powering up your lead funnel. I know, they imply that digital marketing success is all about brains and real hard work. Yet this post tells you it can be fun and fulfilling too.

you
It’s not just to stand out. It’s in being relevant and making your client feel happy, satisfied, and secure.

There’s one thing as important than all those tactics, techniques and strategies — branding and how to build your own personal brand image.

It’s possible to have tons of traffic coming from Google, Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook, and even more from email to read your fantastic content, and still get no clients. If that’s happening, it’s almost certain your professional brand image is the killer. It could be poor or confusing.

This epic post should alter and modernize your views about branding. Hopefully, it’ll culminate with you understanding good things about yourself professionally and enjoying sharing them with your audience. They’ll love it because ironically, it’s all about them.

Do You Know What a Brand Image Is?

Your brand image is the message or promise of value and relevance you give to your visitors and clients. Upon arriving at your pages, they make an immediate judgement of your ability/promise to create value for them based on the impressions they receive.

Brand Image = Brand Promise = Unique Value Proposition

lamb
The Lamb theme looks funny, but Brad Lamb has done well with it. How would you run with that brand image?

If your website site sucks, is ugly, has no listings, is tough to read and navigate, offers dull, trite or cliche info, and doesn’t offer anything relevant to them, they’ll make this decision — you are irrelevant. And if your content is confusing, then this is where you discover how to align it with your professional brand image.

Your website is a key element in your personal branding and you get to build your brand on your personal/professional strengths on that living document.  You can identify the images, words, topics, and layout that tells them you are the most relevant real estate advisor. And they’ll believe it because collectively, you’ve made sure all of your online content is sincere and speaks to their beliefs and values.

Laurie Weston Davis of The Geeky Girls offers a general explanation of how real estate agents should create a unique value proposition online to establish their brand. As you’ll learn though, in the rest of this post, is that there are actually 14 key benefits you need to touch on to create your brand promise and big idea. Branding is very complex and the end goal is to simplify all the details you’re about to discover.

One Goal: To Make them Feel Happy, Satisfied, and Secure

In my last post, I talked about 18 benefits buyers and sellers want and that they can be congealed into a key emotional benefit — a feeling of satisfaction, happiness and security. All of your experience, skills, connections, and strength mean nothing unless you can register an emotional impact that reassures them they will be satisfied, happy and secure. It’s the same for a job hunter, home renovator, or a guy asking a girl to marry him. Each had their chance to get their “value proposition” across.

Trust is a big component of a great realtor brand image. Debbie Murray of Dallas created an excellent video that focuses on building trust, relevance and her capabilities.

Neil and Scott Higgins got their brand makeover from Agent Makeover

agent-makeover2

Your Unique Value Proposition is the same as your Brand Image

Your UVP is a compact statement of words and imagery that tell them how your services are relevant to them. The UVP or brand promise is your guarantee of value, results, customer experience, and a good relationship.

To make the best impact, your brand image needs to be consistent. In fact, it should be laser clear. If visitors aren’t contacting you, they may be confused. That’s why the “less is more” mantra became popular. Marketers felt they were better off saying and doing less so they’d avoid confusing customers.

However, if you can’t create longer, dynamic content, covering important benefits, it will be tough to prove you’re better than 40,000 other realtors in your city. How can you make your value proposition stand out if you don’t go into some detail? If your value proposition is well thought out, simplified and expressed creatively and with laser clarity, you could vaporize your competition. You’ll create such a connection with your audience that they’ll believe no one else exists.  You are the one — the only one.

How To Create Your Compelling Significant Brand Image

The benefit they want: a feeling of satisfaction, happiness and security. Simply list all of your strengths, assets, experience, style, attitudes, energy and knowledge and for each, make a statement of how that helps your target clients. Clients seek a realtor who is meaningfully different to them. That’s what we call significance.  You have to convince prospects of your significance.

And if they feel you’re irrelevant or not significant because of some criteria such as age, gender, race, or your website colors, your brand image must overcome that challenge.  The realtor market is crowded yet you’ll create a brand image that’ll launch you ahead of all of thm. Whoever does branding best, wins.

 

Just like your prospects on your website, you’re in a learning mode. You’re in between “I don’t know anything about this branding stuff” and “Can Gord realistically make my brand promise crystal clear.”  After, you read this article, you’ll know more about personal/professional branding than 99.5% of the population.

Who’s Doing a Good Job of Branding in the Realty World?

Here’s one real estate guy’s brand image that’s easy to comprehend and looks like he’s having fun. Ian Brett looks like a safari guide as he helps buyers wade through condo jungle. He’s converting your anxiety into a fun and painless adventure. Fits the type of service perfectly. That’s fun!

vancouvercondos-condo-jungle

Jason Soprovich greets you right away on his homepage. He communicates very quickly that he is all you need to buy or sell a luxury home in Vancouver. He’s almost larger than life, looking confident, experienced and belonging in the world of luxury, so much so that you forget all about details and nagging doubts. He’s going to make it happen, in style too.

The house  in the background too, helps convey uniqueness. The curved glass, the roof, and the hedge along with driveway are all excellent visuals, as is the muted cloudy blue sky background. Here, less is more. There’s no pressure, only a simple statement that he’s available should you have some questions. Elegant, understated, and credible. Of course, that’s the first impression. The job of communicating the value proposition or promise, continues in your main pages, blog, social media, and listings, and then in emails. It never ends.

jason

Jade Mills is a top Los Angeles realtor. In this video she speaks of integrity, customer service and a passion for helping buyers/sellers and building good relationships through networking. She’s likable, hard working, down to earth, gets results, and takes away the pain, even for other realtors.

The 14 Key Elements of Your Personal Unique Value Proposition or Brand Promise

  • Trust
  • Skill
  • Dedication
  • Determination
  • Honesty/Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Relevancy
  • Experience
  • Likability
  • Intelligence
  • Similar/congruent beliefs
  • Value that is clearly differentiated from your competitors
  • Understanding of their aspirations/values
  • A sense of familiarity/comfort

All of these attributes should be fused together with laser focus to move prospects to believe in you and hire you. If you thought your brand image was your photo and a few brags about sales, and your media appearances, you now know that clients are looking for something else.

The Final Piece: Do Your Homework — It’s Fun

What hampers most people in building a great brand image is themselves. We all need to monitor our thoughts about ourselves and counter our own negativity and others attitudes about us, and just enjoy being us. You don’t need permission or props. You deserve to feel good. Like the the 3 people you just met, you can be whoever you want to be. Create the image that represents your passions and values.

I’m going to borrow from the book , Branding Yourself by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy.  Their 5 principles of personal branding in the digital age can help you begin the process of how to create your brand:

  1. Discover Your Passion
  2. Be Bold
  3. Tell Your Story
  4. Create Relationships
  5. Take Action

1. Discover your passion.  I’ve written about passion extensively in this blog – about knowing why you do what you do (It’s the thing that makes you fascinating to other people. Believe you are fascinating).  What is that hope that gets you out of bed every morning? Who are you really doing it for? What is it you will do for them? The things we do most passionately, we do for other people (even though we behave like it’s for ourselves). What is the feeling you want? What is the lifestyle that will give you the social, material and personal things you crave?

What is it about real estate and helping others that drives you?  If it’s money alone, you won’t last long. You may want personal warmth, a sense of connection to your community, being a contributor to a better economy, making friends, a commitment to supporting and protecting others, or achieving an important role expected by others. If you know why you do what you do, and you commit to your passion for doing it, your customers will love you. There’s no doubt. I’ve seen it with numerous professionals who display their passion in how they celebrate every part of their lives.  They started with little (unemployed, bankrupt, uneducated), followed their passion and life just kept getting better. Their journey was interesting and colourful.

My favourite example is from Myhang Gibson a mortgage agent. She nails the social and celebration element of branding. Community, friendship, family, fun, and a full life are powerful images. Her brand is personal, helpful, knowledgeable, and she reflects beliefs and values that most people share.

myhang

2.  Be Bold. When you feel committed and certain about your passions, it’s easier to be bold and brave.  You develop a powerful urge, belief, and magnetism toward your goal. It’s not a hunger or deservingness either. It’s an internal, natural, personal direction that compels you to do things.  There’s an inner intelligence that tells you to keep going even though you don’t know why.

Do something new at home and work. Talk about yourself, promote yourself, and tell people who you are and what you’ve accomplished. It’s not to brag, it’s just to tell them who you are. If they’re real, they’ll appreciate your honesty and they can be certain about what you’re capable of and will likely do.  If your brand image is a good one, they’ll develop tremendous confidence in you. If you back up your brand image with appropriate action, you’ll soon get a reputation as someone who fulfills people’s needs and wishes.

3.  Tell a Story. When you have lots of connections, experience, and knowledge, you don’t have to tell people everything explicitly often. You communicate your personal brand image and your brand promise through your stories.  Your stories relate to how you help other people and the value they received. and stories are about your daily experience, passions, doubts, insecurities, and pursuits. It’s the real you, but expressed in a way that is relevant and valuable to your prospects and clients.

With one image, you can tell a compelling story. But please don't do this, you might hurt your back.
With one image, you can tell a compelling story. But please don’t do this, you might hurt your back.

Richard Branson has plenty of stories to tell and everyone one of them tends to be compelling. Just a picture of him makes you expect a story. Just as he does, you need to grow your experiences so you have more stories to tell. Strive for those experiences that give you the best stories to tell and ways to tell them.

Richard Branson for instance tells his stories using his entrepreneurial and travel experiences.  It’s nice to have extensive experience and a colourful imagination, but even if you don’t, you can work with what you have.

Stories are powerful anecdotes, stuffed with rich messages about behaviours, values and intentions. Stories speak strongly about our highest principles and best results.

Good storytellers can be persuasive, especially when their message is backed up with explicit material on a website, blog, etc.  When the stories match the statistical type stuff and other evidence, prospects will see you as being very credible. The stories and pictures will make you desirable.  And when you hit on the very things they believe, you create a powerful bond with them.

4.  Create Relationships.  By networking and talking about things others believe in and want to know more about, you create new contacts.  Meet people with genuine interest in knowing them, and know that they have connections too. These are people you can help. And you want to find ways to help them first.  In business, it’s very important to be a go giver.  Prospects do see your intent, your generosity of spirit and communication, your transparency, and the amount of value you can deliver to them. By shaping your personal brand image, you’re presenting an optimized value package to them. When your image and value is clear to them and they trust you, you’ve got a new client.

5.  Take Action.  When you’re clear about yourself, your skills, passions, and your market opportunities, and you’ve done your networking, taking action is not so hard. If you miss out on the previous steps, then action will be difficult. Nevertheless, no one is perfect and you just need to feed your passion and build an unstoppable belief in your mission.  The “Faith” everyone  talks about is actually a faith in yourself.  With that belief and confidence, there’s not much that can stop you. The first action, you’ve already taken. You’ve begun tackling the difficult process of finding your unique personal brand image and expressing it to your customers.

Discover and Focus to Find Your Main Idea

Once you figure out what types of digital content will work for you, and how you’ll present that to prospects, you need to find one main idea that becomes the focus of your branding. This one thing will help you stay aligned in your content and present yourself consistently with laser like focus. Your audience needs simplicity and you need to make an impact.

It’s the focus of your value proposition and image which etches you in their brain. When your significant, compelling UVP is clear in their minds, that’s when they call you. Your main idea/theme is the subject of my next post! Make sure you return for more useful, significant, relevant ideas 🙂

If all this is too complicated for you, hire someone to help you. It’s just a simple process. You can do it.

Agent Branding Resources

If you’re in Vancouver, you’ll be delighted to know Agent Makeover is in Vancouver. Lori Wiens can help you visualize and build your personal brand image. Check out the excellent work she’s done for her realtor clients.

agent-makeover

And, check out Tonya Eberhart for Brandface Real Estate.  Here’s what Tonya highlights with respect to important traits for realtors in personal professional branding:

  1. Character – being authentic and having a personality
  2. Confidence – knowing you believe in what you’re doing
  3. Clarity – achieving focus in your business
  4. Customization – be your brand – your unique value
  5. Being a Thought Leader – create good content
  6. Contacts – network and marketing to reach clients

Additional Resources:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-marketing/a-strong-personal-brand-will-enhance-your-life-no-matter-what-you-do-for-a-living/article29586510/

The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand

 

 

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Luxury Home Sales in Canada Continue Record Pace

Toronto and Vancouver Sizzling Hot Realty Markets

Although the US markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Miami are glowing brighter these days, Toronto and Vancouver are actually the hottest markets in the world right now. The Forecast for housing sales and combined with higher condo and home prices means realtors can raise their earnings considerably.

internationalhomepricesBoth Toronto and Vancouver are keeping pace for new sales records this year. And it’s a great time to be selling a $1Million+ home in these 2 cities. Excellent for those who have positioned themselves to sell these properties. Take a look at the sales Jason Soprovich is enjoying in Vancouver.

US and foreign investors are keeping their eye on the Canadian market as the Canadian loonie stays down at 75 cents US. There’s still time to get onboard the rising tide.

The globe and mail reports that in the first two months of the year sales of Vancouver homes valued at more than $1-million increased 23 % year over year. Toronto luxury homes were up an unbelievable 63% year over year. Overall in the GTA, home prices rose to about $720,000 on average.

Depicted at right are the world rankings of property prices around the world. Knight Frank’s most recent  world wealth report   shows “prime” property prices in Canada are rising at a rate that’s 4 to 14 times faster than the average of the rest of the world.

“Luxury home sales in Toronto and Vancouver will continue to defy gravity this spring. Both markets have the potential for significant gains and we expect heightened demand and insufficient inventory to drive price escalation and sellers’ market conditions.” — from a statement by  Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, reported by the Globe and Mail.

Toronto Soars

TREB reported 7,621 home sales in February, up from 6,294 — a rise of 21%.  That’s despite the fact supply is actually very limited. More homes are sneaking above the $1 million mark thus giving them the tag of luxury homes, when in fact, some of them aren’t really luxury homes at all. Is it time to refer to luxury homes as those above $4 Million? The forecast for 2017 sales and new construction are positive. It’s been record growth recently.

Vancouver Rockets

Sales of detached homes rose by 37% year over year and the average price of a detached home in Vancouver has also risen 37% to $1.3 million.  Most luxury home sales in Vancouver are from 2 to 5 Million dollars. New listings in Greater Vancouver increased 7% so clearly homeowners are starting to get the itch to sell.  Ironically, the total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,299, a 38.7% drop compared to February 2015.

vancouver 5 year trend

It’s common knowledge that few Vancouverites can afford to buy a home. We have to ask who buyers are now in both Vancouver and Toronto?  Clearly, Millennials can only afford lower end condos in most areas of greater Toronto and Vancouver. The desperation of the market has increased the use of shadow flipping, which the BC premier says she intends to clamp down on. However, she also stated she will not do anything to affect homeowner’s equity– clearly signalling a “hands off” attitude that will appeal to luxury home and condo investors around the world.

vancouverluxury

As the white line above shows, Vancouver condos still haven’t taken off in price. Maybe this will be your investment opportunity? (Call me if you need a tenant — me. Don’t let that luxury condo sit empty when I could be minding it for you:)

With migration into Vancouver on the rise, the government will have to act fast to promote new home development. With low interest rates, investors and developers are eager to get into these fantastic market opportunites.

Luxury Home Realtors Having a Great Time

Vancouver area luxury real estate agents are enjoying a rare period of exceptional sales and income.  It could be another record year in 2016 for Sutton Group West Coast Realty who are clearly enjoying the fruits of being top dog in the current residential and commercial property boom.

Luxury home realtors may have to shift their marketing to the International investor and buying audience of Saudis, Chinese, Hong Kong, Australian, US and European buyers whose currency exchange rates given them a decided boost in purchasing power. Asian investors are buying globally, but nowhere do they feel more comfortable and welcomed as in Vancouver.

Additional Luxury Real Estate posts:

Who’s buying properties in Vancouver in Toronto?

What makes a better luxury real estate agent?

Are the most beautiful condos in Vancouver lifting the market even more?

What do home sellers really want from a realtor?

What’s up in Realtor marketing today?

 

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8 Key Skills/Habits of the Best Luxury Real Estate Agents

What Truly does Create a Successful Luxury Realtor?

Realtors who specialize more in the luxury market likely have a few unique personal and professional traits that bode well for them. The stars in this niche might not match our picture of them however. They could actually possess negative traits.

As long as they have these 8 professional traits/activities listed below they may overcome anything and build an insurmountable edge in selling the most high priced luxurious condos and estate homes.

merrily-hackettWhat separates elite realtors from the rest?  It may a belief in themselves, that they can do anything and are quite happy to do whatever it takes to improve their business. After they eliminate all the stuff that they’ve discovered doesn’t work, they focus more on what will.

And they have that joyful optimism that says “I can do this.

Success in real estate does take time, however top realtors know they must take what does work and accelerate it. Sure, human relationships are organic and it takes time for everyone in the community to get to know your reputation. So anything that accelerates your reach, credibility and familiarity is worth doing.



In luxury real estate, poise, trust, and presence in the upscale communities are important. Are millionaires more exposed to fraud or bad transactions than the less wealthy? Not really. Rich homeowners want a realtor that “belongs or looks like they belong in their circle”, whom they can trust and will take all the pain away.  They consider their circle a prestigious club. If a Vancouver millionaire wants to sell their $2 to $10 million home, they’re likely going to contact one of the top realtors such as Merrily Hackett (over $15 billion in sales volume and 22,000 real estate ends in 2015!) and Jason Soprovich. They’re the most visible and reputed millionaire realtors in Vancouver.

Jason has been involved in over One Billion Dollars of Residential Sales and was ranked West Vancouver’s #1 Realtor for 2011 based on a record setting $265,000,000 Dollar Volume of Sales for a single calendar year.  Jason has earned a wealth of professional expertise, knowledge, sophisticated resources and unique skills along with an understanding of the Marketing and Promotion of Luxury Real Estate down to every last detail.

“I believe there is no substitute for aggressive promotion, networking, and a deep comprehension of market conditions and honed negotiating skills. Success is not measured solely by sales, but by relationships built, continually communicating with clients and by responding to their individual needs; as well as, appreciating the special qualities of their property.”  Read interview in the Vancouver Sun with Jason.

jason-soprovich

Top 8 attributes of a great Luxury Real Estate Agent:

  1. Actively prospects 3 hours per day. Countless studies show successful Realtors are ardent prospectors and salespeople. Merilly Hackett is quoted as saying her priority is prospecting and sales. And smart realtors don’t doddle with social media and content marketing either. Instead, finding someone really good means saving their precious time.
  2. Focuses on more Listings. This entails finding homeowners who want to sell, thus they’re putting more time into networking and meeting people to create more touchpoints with people in communities. Word does get around and they’re actively invested in the communities, businesses, and upscale residents where million dollar listings are prevalent. They also create a presence on the lifestyle and real estate websites homeowners frequent. Online and off, they focus on reaching people with homes to sell.
  3. Uses Sales Scripts. Using their tested best selling conversation means finding a conversational and inquiry process which they’ve found works for them. This improves engagement with prospects and leads to higher closing rates. This conversation with prospects continues online and off. If the first contact goes well, it puts the relationship on sound footing and that tends to continue, ultimately leading to sales transaction and a long term professional friendship.
  4. Hires a Digital Marketer and an Assistant. Though some agents hire an realtor assistant who may free up considerable time, that person is not an excellent digital marketer. Online reach and impact are very important now to help support the realtor’s real world networking and communications. And using SEO, Social Media, email, content marketing, and even paid advertising are all part of what’s now called omnichannel marketing, is necessary because it maximizes the collective promotional value. Combining roles creates double mediocrity.
  5. Networks with other Successful Realtors. Other realtors may often be your best clients and it never hurts to know the best in the business. Realtors from other areas of the city, country or world might send clients your way if they know about you, or find you online. This means making an effort to create conversations with other realtors — they refer to who they know, trust and might benefit from. This is business. Here’s where digital marketing, SEO and content marketing pay dividends. It makes you visible online and creates touchpoints with other realtors — the touchpoints that mean something to them. They are an important customer prospect.
  6. Builds a strong local presence.  Visibility via outdoor advertising, digital advertising, and community activities and perhaps some timely print material gets you known. And yes, getting your lawn sign in a great neighbourhood is always a key goal. This is where active networking and interpersonal time comes in too. Nothing makes an impact better than connecting with people face to face whether at sports events, community events, or other social activities. If your face and name are all over the place, it makes it easier for people to approach you.
  7. Delivers Wow Factor. Realtors that use drone video, interior video, superb photography, beautiful staging, and an amazing fun experience on their website impresses homesellers. They may bring a large tablet computer to show how they can improve their home and landscaping for even more value add. They can’t help like a realtor who brings out the beauty and full value of their home online. Who wouldn’t be impressed. Being listed on a site such as Dream Homes Magazine or the Robb Report adds even more prestige. And let’s not forget the value of being highlighted in the media.
  8. Understands the local market exceedingly well. A property is worth whatever buyers think it’s worth. A hovel in Toronto or Vancouver has sold for an obscene price. Luxury realtors such as Jason Soprovich know how to buy and position a high value property for sale. There’s a lot more play in the luxury market thus allowing for more creativity in presentation of value and negotiating a price. Knowing which features are most important to specific buyers allows them to clinch a better price. This impression of competence gives them a lasting reputation as a master of sales.

By following these top sales professional traits, you’ll push yourself into the elite category and focus your time on the activities that truly do bring the best long term results. If it takes time to build a regular real estate career, it takes even more effort, strategy, and resources to become the next Merilly Hackett or Jason Soprovich.

Who do you feel is the most notable luxury real estate agent in your city?

 

Affordable Leads for Luxury Realtors

What’s the value of realtor leads for the next 5 years? Immense, and when you create them yourself, they’re not cold leads which is you receive from lead generation companies.  Today’s best luxury real estate agents develop their own unique and impressive realtor brand. These impressions have a powerful effect on buyer/seller attitudes. 

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8 Crazy Good Lead Generating Tactics You Need to Use this Selling Season

It’s 2016 and the Outlook is Excellent

We’re getting close to the 2017 spring selling season where 60% of your sales happen. It’s crunch time! Try these Top 8 Lead Generation tactics to grow your contacts and build a buzz about working with you. Ramp it up and one day you may be running your own brokerage.

Any luxury realtor, whether selling presale condominiums or million dollar mansions, can amp up their sales prowess by strategically adding on sales tactics and honing them within a more skilled strategy. The payoff for some might be millions in new commissions.




2016 is already off to a near record breaking start.  There’s plenty of economic factors in the Canada and US markets that will drive sales this year. And a surprising amount of demand is coming from China. It turns out that only a small number of realtors are pursuing Asian buyers. That leads us to tactic #1.

  1. Offer to pay Asian and Arab investors travel expenses if they visit and buy a property with you. You can set up a travel itinerary for them using Air Canada. They pay the airlines fee and a hotel room in your town. You pick them up at the airport. Ensure the accommodations look good online. You can dress this invitation up as a wonderful vacation of a lifetime. Many Asians would love to visit cities in the US or Canada. Places such as San Diego, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto have drawing power. You can leverage that.

chineseTreat the prospects trip like a vacation and let them know they have an opportunity to park their investment dollars into something with potential. San Diego is becoming a hot market, and Vancouver, BC, and Alberta properties are a bargain because of the 40% exchange rate.

A few realtors have gone to China to arrange visits by the plane load. It’s not hard to see the potential in 300 Asian investors landing in your city. They’ll be buying something. If they don’t buy, they have to pay their $5000 bill themselves.

Because the Yuan is depreciating, Chinese investors need to buy a property or something here as soon as possible. Build a new website in Mandarin and make your special offer. Add investment advice, and a little about how wonderful it is to live in a free country with lots of room.  A firm can make your site visible in Baidoo and Google.cn and other popular Chinese websites. These investors are often looking for big luxury properties.

  1. Use Google Adwords. Really? Yes, Adwords has incredible reach to people who are hunting for real estate or selling. Can’t beat it. But you need to do it well. What I’ve learned about Adwords is that you must test, test, test. Your quest is to find the best ad wording, landing pages and value proposition. Even after you optimize your ads and have amazing landing pages, you must have the best value offer.Analyze your UVP and your hook, and ask others what’s weak about them. Get lots of feedback. If you optimize your lead funnel, it will pay off despite the cost. Marketers are discovering that even with PPC, content marketing tactics are necessary to build prospect’s interest.  Buying real estate is a high involvement purchase and good content is something that increase comfort and and increase desire.
  1. omnichannelmarketoUse all Digital Channels. Yes, it is a lot of work, but one or two channels doesn’t cut it.  When you increase touchpoints with customers, you give them more emotional justification for working with you. And the repeated exposure is good. Omnichannel digital marketing works best with lots of content – infographics, long and short blogs, downloadables, whitepapers, case studies, videos, persuasive emails, and PPC advertising. Keep throwing value at the prospect and eventually they’ll break and give in. Persistence.
  1. valuepropositionbookImprove your unique value proposition. Are your tactics, brand and value proposition the same as thousands of others? That’s not good. You can run a fantastic marketing campaign, but if your UVP sucks it will bring everything to a halt. Every agent has a UVP. It’s what your prospect believes about you and your ability to make things happen.You must be compelling, relevant, and unique.  Your UVP is you and your offer of professional help. What can you add to your UVP to push you by your competitors. What will the others not do? Do that. Tell prospects they are going to get some special, wonderful treatment, other than hellos and smiles. That’s not enough.
  1. Create new original interesting types of content and optimize them for Google search rankings. Don’t say you know how to do this. I’m an SEO guy. I know how to do it. I see agent’s blog and pulse posts all the time and they get no traffic and don’t generate value. People don’t have time to read unless you get it into an exciting format such as a video, infographic, downloadable pdf charts, graphs, or photos. It’s not easy but it does set you out as someone to remember. Part of your content should be for use on other people’s websites, which creates inbound links to your website.
  1. Blog about, network with, and even promote other agents/brokers. Other agents can bring business to you. Coopetition has been a good tactic for a while. Link with as many other agents as you can on Linkedin, and retweet their tweets on Twitter. Create a friend as they will last longer than any other relationship. Work together like sheep dogs! Linkedin is a great tool. I’m linked with thousands of real estate agents.
  1. retweet-elmerBuild your email list and do direct marketing. A lot of agents don’t nurture their email lists. Build unique, valuable, and entertaining content to stay top of mind. email is still a powerful lead conversion tool. Set up an account with Constant Contact or MailChimp. Within your email campaign, run a contest for a 4K TV for men or a new wardrobe for women — use it to grow your contacts.
  1. Setup multiple Twitter accounts and a Facebook account to reach diverse local audiences on topics they’re interested in. Most people don’t want to talk real estate. It’s boring, stressful, and they’re so distracted today. Create accounts or even websites on interesting topics such as investment, travel, retirement, health, local sports, and health and wellness.Hire a great copywriter like me to fill these sites with relevant, engaging content. How about a site that is constantly updated with local sporting and events activities? Whenever they wonder about what’s happening in town, they’ll go to your site where it’s all laid out.
  2. There’s other services such as Follow Rocket that can help you get more followers and reach more people.

That’s 8 of the most powerful tactics you can use within your superb digital marketing strategy. As you get into this, even more opportunities will appear. They don’t appear until you get into it. Winners and leaders are more nervy and creative. Don’t be ultraconservative, old school, or burdened under the weight of your own skepticism. Get started.

Your future in business is completely in your hands. You decide right now what direction your business, income, and lifestyle will take. Make a good decision.

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I have experience in every industry from real estate to hotels to travel to medical services. You’ll be my next success. Let’s talk now at 416 998 6246.