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Seven Secrets That Keep This Realtor Up At Night

Aug 17, 2007
Being a Realtor is not like it used to be a few years ago. Now, in addition to being experts in marketing homes, we have to be highly skilled webmasters, too. My day job is marketing my listings, my night job is marketing my web site. I go from closing to copywriting, from public relations to page rank, from BPO's to SEO. Why is this necessary? Well, its like this....

Secret # 1: Google must like you.
I depend on my web site for a constant supply of business. It works pretty well. People get to know us there, and they get to like us, and they are often motivated to call us for help in buying or selling a home. But before they can get to know us, and get to like us, Google has to get to know us first. And Google has to like us.

Secret #2: Google only likes you if other people like you.
So how does Google know if other people like you? Well, if they like you, or at least respect you, they sometimes put a link on their site pointing to your site. Well, after a while, a lot of people figured out that they could pretend to be in love, and just exchange links. But, rumor has is that Google has caught on to these marriages of convenience. So now reciprocal links may not be a reliable way to show how well liked you are.

Secret #3: People might like you if you give them something.
This secret has been out for awhile. But what can we give people? Well, we can give them some content for their websites. Not everyone can create content for their websites. Some people are content challenged. These folks presumably go to places on the internet where content is offered for free, and help themselves. There is a thing called RSS - real simple syndication - a tool folks can download onto their websites. Under a headline like, "What's New," a stream of fresh real estate news, blogs and articles can flow through their site. Pretty good for a busy webmaster. Here is where we come in. We can supply this material in the form of articles. These articles have our name at the bottom, and a link pointing to our site. We get their unrequited love and one-way link - and that is a good sign that we are, indeed, popular.

Secret #4: Google likes you better if people, who are in your same business, like you.
Over the past year, I have written eight articles. I sent these articles to some sites that are depositories of potential web site material - where people can come and help themselves. Of course, when my articles are placed on these sites I have a link back from them. But, they are not in the real estate business. So, a link from them is not so hot. They may like me, but they are not like me. What I really want is for some real estate related sites to borrow my articles and embellish their own sites. And, surprisingly enough, some have.

Secret #5: Google likes you even more if people, who are more important than you, like you.
So how do you find these more important people? Same way you find anything. Just Google on a certain phrase and see who is on the first few pages. I emailed my article on "real estate inspections" to the top 20 websites listed for this term. One responded. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors accepted it for their site. Now I have a link from an important site within my field. That emboldened me to send my eight articles to www.IRED.com - a very respected real estate site, and they were accepted there, too.

Secret #6: Some say that short articles are best, but I don't buy it.
I have read that you should not write more than 500 words, because people don't have time to read. They will read the top part and miss your name at the bottom. I say go ahead and write whatever you want. But, get to the point, and use short paragraphs, because fine print is hard to read online. My articles have been 1200-1400 words.

Secret #7: A catchy title is helpful, but not necessary.
Titles like the one I used for this article are supposed to be read a lot more than something like, "Viral Marketing for Real Estate." Frankly, I find titles like, "Seven Shocking Secrets..." vaguely insulting. (I used it here just for fun.) I think it is fine to use a title that simply says what your article is about, and move on. If it is a decent article someone may put it on their site. You don't have to stoop to tabloid level. In fact, a more straightforward title might be a better fit on someone else's website.

While this is mostly about pandering to the great machine, there is a possibility that a real human being might read your article and learn something. And, look you up. And email you about some business. You have to play to two audiences - robotic and human. Robots are easy to fool. Humans are not. You have to really have something to say. That is the real secret.
About the Author
Roselind Hejl is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker United in Austin, Texas. Her website - http://www.weloveaustin.com - offers homes for sale, market trends, buyer and seller guides. Austin Texas Real Estate Guide
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