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Profitable Real Estate Internet Marketing Strategies

February 23rd 2006

Profitable Real Estate Internet Marketing Strategies

Using the Internet to Market

More and more people are turning to the Internet to find local resources. At the top of the list is the search for real estate and agents. The experts predict the next wave of the Internet will be local marketing.

Currently the real estate industry is leading the way with estimated online marketing expenditures exceeding $1 billions for 2005. That amount is expected to grow substantially over the next few years. There are those realtors who have figured out how to successfully market online, and are reaping the rewards. What are those rewards?

A source of new customers at a much lower cost per acquisition. As a realtor here are some facts that you simply can’t ignore: More then half (56 percent) of all consumers now use the Internet when buying real estate, which is up from 28 percent in 2000. When asked where they first learned about the home they purchased, 24% of buyers identified the Internet.

That is an increase from 15% in 2004. Buyers who initially do their research online tend to be better informed. Equipped with their knowledge gathered from the Internet, they spend significantly less time with their realtor, and preview fewer houses then traditional buyers. In other words, you get an ideal buyer that requires less of your time and resources in making a purchase.

What is required to profit on the Internet? In addition to having a functional and effective web site, realtors need to aggressively market their business on the Internet. You must have a presence where your customers are searching. One of the most effective methods for marketing online is Pay Per Click advertising. The two major players of PPC are Google and Yahoo. It works as follows:

1. A person searches on a keyword or phrase like, “Evanston Illinois Real Estate.”

2. As an advertiser you bid for ad positioning on that term (1st, 2nd, 3rd position, etc). Obviously you bid on terms that are relevant to your business and would be used by potential real estate buyers in your area. There is no limit to the number of keywords or phrases that you can bid on.

3. When the search results appear your ad is displayed at the top or right hand side of the page. These ads are often referred to as "Sponsored" links. If a person clicks on your ad and goes to your site, you pay a price per click that you designated. The appeal of PPC is that you control your costs by specifying a cost per click and a daily expenditure. In addition, you are only paying for performance. You only pay when there is a click to your site.

What makes PPC so appealing is the fact that it is so targeted. If you select the right terms to bid on, you end up with prospects coming to your site that are actively pursuing your services. That is the primarily reason it is much more cost-effective than offline advertising.

I recently set up a PPC campaign for a realtor in my area. It took a couple of hours. The Google ads went live immediately, and the Yahoo ads started two days later. In about a week I got a call from the Realtor. She said, "I don’t know what you did, but we are suddenly swamped with leads." It is that simple if done right.


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By Fred Waters
Fred Waters is co-founder of the Local Online Marketing Association, where you can get the Free Ebook, “The Indispensable Guide to Local Online Marketing.” Learn how your real estate business can profit on the Internet.

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