To optimize your online effectiveness in the real estate business, you need to think strategically. This is the kind of strategic thinking that WAV Group works with brokers and franchises on every day. When a company that does a great job at online marketing and search engine optimization focuses on a strategy like enhancing agent information, we pay attention. Typically, when Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, or homes.com makes a change, it is with intent to find improvement. It’s the way everyone should think.
Why Agent Profiles Are Important
When consumers search, they use keywords. In our broker website effectiveness study, we learned that most consumer keyword searches that direct them to broker websites involve the company name or the agent name. A robust agent profile increases the likelihood of a consumer selecting an agent.
If you have not Googled your broker name or agent name in awhile, you should do so, and look at the results.
Broker Name Keyword Search Trends
Brokerage Name keywords generally display the brokerage website at the top of the list. If they are a franchise, the franchise page for the brokerage tends to follow, then it becomes a bit random from there. Yellow pages, Yelp, and a host of other sites are fighting for top slots.
*The only portal that I recognized in my sampling of brokerage searches was homefinder.com. They build company landing pages on their site for brokerages that seem to get indexed quite well.
Agent Name Keyword Search Trends
Agent name keyword searches yield different results. If the agent has a website that uses their name, that is typically the top result. Beneath that, you will typically find social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Yelp, etc. Beneath that, you may find the broker website or the franchise website.
*Today, my testing did not yield any portals who display on the first page of Google search results for any of the names I tested (20 top producers from around the county).
Why Should You Care?
In 2008, if you used Google to search for a property address of a home for sale, Realtor.com, a franchise website, or the broker website appeared at the top of the search results. Today, broker websites rarely appear on the first page of Google for an address search at all. When you do see a broker, it is Redfin, ZipRealty, Wiechert, or a few of the mega brokers like Long and Foster or Howard Hanna. Today, Truila, Zillow, Realtor.com and Homes.com are dominating the search results for address search. Google a few listings to observe this.
What Should You Do?
If you are like many brokerages today that promote listings on Trulia, you will want to put your best foot forward and launch a campaign to have agents complete their profiles. It may even be to your advantage to do it for them. If Trulia outranks you for the brokerage keyword or agent name keyword, consumers will go there and an incomplete profile will negatively impact your effectiveness.
If you do not partner with Trulia, and you see this initiative as a threat that may redirect search traffic away from your website, you may want to use this article to explain to agents what is at risk.
About the Author
Victor Lund is a WAV Group partner that supports enterprise brokerages, franchises, and MLSs with online strategies and other strategic planning services. If you need help, call or write.