How To Build Your Own Digital Ecosystem in Real Estate

Written by Posted On Monday, 31 January 2022 19:52

It’s no secret that the digital space within the real estate industry has become increasingly centralized over the past decade.  Tech giants have emerged as the primary source for lead generation for most agencies.  So unless you’ve been working hard to carve out your own digital real estate to promote your business, you’re likely reliant on one or several of these portals to keep leads rolling in.

So is it possible that a digital David can gain independence from a tech Goliath?  It is absolutely possible if you're willing to learn new concepts and work hard for it.  It won’t happen overnight, because like anything worthwhile, it takes time.  In this article, we’ll teach you how to build your own digital ecosystem that will grow and engage followers, generate leads, and wow clients.

Step 1 - Build Out Your Social Profiles

The first step in building your digital empire is claiming your own digital real estate.  There are certain social media and directory pages that you must have.  Think of these like digital billboards.  You’ll want to get your name, business, phone number, address, and eventually website out there in as many relevant places as possible.  These include:

  • Facebook Business Page (not just your personal profile)
  • Google My Business Listing (Google Maps listing)
  • YouTube (if you have plan to have video content)
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

There are many more you can consider that have niche audiences like Pinterest and TikTok.  Consider your target audience to determine which social media platforms are best for your business.  If you focus on rental properties in a college area, you’ll want to consider newer video platforms like Tik Tok. 

There are also dozens of industry real estate directories you can and should become listed in, such as Zillow, NAR, and Realtor.com.  Be sure to look into any industry organizations you’re affiliated with and take advantage of any digital real estate they provide for members. 

Don’t skimp on details in your business profile.  It doesn’t help your business if you have a bunch of empty social media pages with nothing to offer.  Be sure to make those profiles stand out.  Include professional headshots, images of listings and business descriptions that highlight your value proposition.   Think of it like your real estate listings on a website - the better the images, the richer the descriptions, the more leads they’ll generate.

PRO TIP - Take some time to write out keyword rich business descriptions for your online directories and social media profiles.  Also, be consistent when you enter your business name and contact information on social media and directory websites.  This will have a big impact on your ability to rank in search engines.

Step 2 - Build a Website

This is one that is a head scratcher for many agents.  How can you build a professional website with little or no coding ability?  You don’t need to be a computer programmer to get a website up these days.  There are many platforms like Wix and Squarespace that allow you to create beautiful professional websites with pre-built templates and drag-and-drop features.

Think of your homepage as your digital storefront.  It should have your image, logo and contact information visible at the top of the page.  You’ll want to have your value proposition and unique differentiators somewhere prominent at the top as well.  You should feature your listings somewhere on the homepage and on an interior page as well.  You should also consider starting a blog.  More on that next.

Once your website is built, go back to all those social media profiles and add your website URL to the listings.  This will help your SEO (Search Engine Optimization - ability to rank in search engines for target keywords).  

Step 3 - Draw Out a Content Strategy

Now that you have these beautiful web properties built, you’ll have to fill them with rich, educational, and inspirational content.  This is by far the hardest and most important step in the process.  It is also the step where most agents fall short, not because of lack of wanting or even laziness.  Most agents just don’t know what kind of content to post. 

The answer to the content conundrum is different for every agent.  It depends on your value proposition, your target audience, and your abilities.  If you're bad at writing but good with video, focus on building your YouTube channel and promoting your video content instead of writing a blog.  If you're great with spreadsheets but bad with taking pictures, focus on creating a MLS data feed and monthly market reports instead of an instagram account. 

Your content strategy must address what type of content you’re going to produce and where you are posting that content.  Here’s a table to help with some ideas and suggestions on what type of content to create and where to curate:

 

What Content to Post

Where to Post It

Listings - get a unique URL for each listing on your website

Website, social media, newsletters, GMB

Images - headshot, listings, recently sold, clients

Website, Instagram, Social Media updates, directory listings, GMB Profile, Newsletters

Articles - market predictions, how to’s, first time home buyer advice, local top 10 lists

Website, social media posts, newsletters

Video - virtual tours, client testimonials, how tos

Website, YouTube, TikTok, social media pages, newsletters

Market Reports - monthly or quarterly market snapshots, average rent prices, median sale prices

Website, social media pages, other websites (guest posting)

Graphics - logo, banner image, infographics

Website, social media pages

Testimonials - client reviews, recommendations

GMB, Yelp, Facebook, Website, LinkedIn

Memes/Status Updates - funny industry related stuff, stories, surveys, questions, etc.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

Newsletters - all of the above

Website, email (Mailchimp and Hubspot)

 

Step 4 - Create Your Digital Library

This is where you put in the work and execute on your content strategy.  You should commit to creating and curating at least one piece of quality content weekly to your digital properties.  When it comes to competing for digital real estate, the quality of your content is just as important as the quantity.  That’s especially true when trying to compete with large brands. 

If you think about it, you’ll never beat a national portal at the quantity game, but you can produce better quality content.  Arguably the biggest advantages agents have against the tech giants is local knowledge of their market and close relationships with their clientele.  The agents that showcase these advantages in their content creation will win the content battle against the big portals. 

Ultimately what you’re trying to achieve in creating all of this content is 3 things:

Educate and Inform Clients 

Sell Your services and expertise

Create Linkable Assets

The first two are self explanatory.  Let me explain the third.  If a piece of content you create is of high quality, others will click like, subscribe, share and link to your content.  When that happens you begin to trigger the algorithms that all platforms use to rank content.  Whatever content gets the most user engagement has the most authority.  This is the secret sauce to building your own digital ecosystem.  

Step 5 - Automate Your Marketing

Ok by now you're halfway to becoming a digital marketing expert in real estate.  You’ve built your directory listings, you’ve built your own website, and you learned how to create killer real estate content.  The last step is to automate as many of these processes as possible to free you up to create more content and handle all the leads that will be rolling in. 

The beautiful thing about today is you don’t need to be a web app developer or programmer to integrate platforms and automate content curation.  With websites like Integromat and Zapier, you can easily connect applications for sharing content.  You can even setup and run complex marketing automations with easy drag and drop templates. 

Using these apps, you can do things like post an article to your blog and have it posted to all of your social media pages automatically.  You can also post a yearly market report to your website or social media pages and have it automatically uploaded into Mailchimp and sent out in your monthly newsletter.  You can even set up complex multi-step marketing automations like email drips and lead funnels. 

In Conclusion

Building your own digital ecosystem will take some time, but the juice is worth the squeeze.  The process will cost you more time than money upfront, but once it’s running smoothly it will earn you money, and it may even save you time if you can automate your marketing processes.  Being able to generate your own leads organically will bring in revenue for years to come, and declaring digital independence from the tech giants will allow you to take full control of your business.  

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Zach Parker

Zach Parker is a proud dad, husband, and Owner of ProSource Media, a real estate marketing company specializing in SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and business automation.  He's also Marketing and Communications director for Boston Pads, New Englands largest real-time rental database.  

https://prosourcemedia.net

Search by State:

Agent Resource

How to capture your next prospect - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.