We've made Social Media a large part of our marketing strategy. Like a lot of the more indirect marketing done online, it's difficult to track the results and point to specific buyers who came through specific sources. I can say that an overwhelming majority of our buyers in the past two years have come directly from the internet and most of those came throgh our company website. Social Media and our other web based marketing helped drive many of those clients to our site.
In order to have any sort of confidence in any advertising venue, you need to be able to track results. We use Google Analytics to track the use of our website. We can see how many visitors come into our site from any other site and how long they stay and what they look at while they're there. Facebook has quickly become one of the leading sites that drive traffic to ours. The other sites that are huge drivers are national sites like Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Homes.com. We also grab a lot of buyers from links within our local real estate board websites.
The key for effectiveness is to have the best website once people find you. If you lead them to your company site and it's not easy to use and offers advantages over your competitors, you're not likely to turn that lead into an actual client. You can actually benchmark your site vs. all other sites through Google Analytics to see how well you're doing. On the average website, for example, the average visitor looks at 3.5 pages per visit. On our site, the average user looks at 25 pages per visit. Once they find our site, they become a customer. When a user comes in through Realtor.com for example, they look at 24 pages per visit once they find us. I know they're now our customer and will most likely contact us when it comes time to buy.
No social media or other web based advertising can be effective if the potential client isn't impressed with your company website when they get there. If you don't have the best site in your market, you're likely to loose a tremendous number of potential bueyrs. We know from our analytics that 65% of the vistors on our site last month were returning visitors. That's remarkable considering the average site only has about 35% of returning visitors on their site in a given timeframe. That means that 65% of the people who visited those sites decided to go elsewhere with their next search.
We rely heavily on blogging as well to drive traffic to the site. In addition to our company blog, some of my agents have their own blogs that direct traffic to the site. It's basically a huge net thats sole purpose is to help people find our site and hopefully become a customer from there. If you're making use of Social Media properly and other online marketing, but not seeing results, it may be due to an ineffective company website.
What most brokers and agents fail to recognize is that our business is no different at its core than it was 20 years ago. In order to be successful you still need to be among the most knowledgeable, personable and customer service oriented agents to choose from. The main difference is the difference in the mediums we use for communication. Instead of an office walk-in, buyers sit down at their computer and decide who they want to work with. Instead of grabbing the real estate book in front of each office, buyers search for the website where they can find the most complete information with the least amount of effort and the firm, agent, or broker who seems to have the most expertise. If your not communicating these qualities through the internet, you're going to have a heck of a time making it.
Best wishes for a successful 2010!!!!!