Giving cool real estate products, tools and news a Big Encore

Contrary to popular belief, LinkedIn can be used for social media purposes beyond that of a “virtual resume.” After all, if you do a Google search on your name, your LinkedIn profile is usually among the top ten results. What this means is that your real estate agency or mortgage brokerage can benefit from having its employees (or just yourself if you’re your own boss) sign up for and use this social media service on a regular basis.

Unsure of where to get started? Follow these four quick tips:

#1: Cross-link your profile and your blog feed

Not only is a blog the best way to promote yourself and your small business by showing what you’re capable of, but, by including its feed on your LinkedIn profile, you can attract new clients. Adding your blog’s feed to LinkedIn is pretty simple – just go through the steps on the site and it’ll be up and running in no time.

#2: Plan events and invite your network and clients

LinkedIn makes event planning — including open houses — easy. You can fill in your whole calendar so that you know what you have upcoming, or you can plan an event yourself. By making the event public, it will show up on your profile. Your clients will be aware of it, and you can even invite everyone in your network.

#3: Help Your Search Engine Optimization

Instead of filling in your profile the traditional way and using the included phrases, “My Blog” and “My Website,” choose “Other.” Then, fill in the blank with a keyword phrase that describes what you do. When someone searches on that keyword, your profile will pop up.

#4: Get Recommendations

One of the best things about LinkedIn is the ability to have others recommend you. Their recommendations show up on your profile and are seen by everyone who looks at it. Ask satisfied clients, as well as current and former co-workers to give you a big virtual thumb’s up.

Adding a few YouTube videos to your website, or going beyond that and creating your own YouTube channel, is a great way to promote your business. You can create a video tour of houses that you have for sale, get a few happy mortgage clients involved in a video testimonial, or even show potential clients around your office — everything from your neat (or rather messy desk) to the lunchroom can be featured.

Before you whip out your video camera and start shooting, make sure that you have a plan in place. There are a lot of videos available on the web, and the best way to guarantee that yours will be ignored is by uploading a fuzzy, unfocused 9 minute video that never gets to the point. Here are some great tips to follow:

Keep it short – Under two minutes is recommended, although you can go as long as five or six, depending on your subject matter. This is a promotional video, not a scene-by-scene remake of Citizen Kane, so determine how long it will take to get your point across and then stick to that time limit.

Make sure that each video has a purpose – Think of them as mini-movies. You should have a distinct beginning, middle and end, and can create “cards” with a title and list of credits with most digital video software. While you do not need to have a script to follow or even an exact outline describing each shot, you still should have a general idea of what will be filmed and what you will say before the camera starts rolling.

Pay attention of the background, setting and lighting – The last thing that you need is a promotional video for a house that you’re selling that features a large pile of garbage in the background. Neaten everything up as much as possible. It’s always best to shoot outdoors in real sunlight, but good indoor lighting will work as well. You just don’t want it to be too dark, or no one will be able to see what you’ve filmed.

Share the video – Post links to it everywhere (on your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook Business Pages) and embed it on your blog and main business website. If you create your own YouTube channel, cross link it with everything else in order to generate some traffic.

Here is an example of a video we like: Click on the Picture to View

Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is not impossible to do on your own. It may sound like it requires a team of experts and some Internet know-how, but it really doesn’t. Once you launch your website, and want it publicized for the world (and potential clients) to see, there are some tricks that you can do to help ensure that your site ends up in the top ten search engine results, all without having to pay for online advertising. Here are 5 to get you started.

1) Make your URL easy to remember. This may seem like common sense, but it needs to be emphasized here. It is much easier to tell people to “visit you on the web” if your URL is www.yournamehererealty.com, rather than a long string of odd numbers and letters. A simple web address is also easier for search engines to pick up on, and will lead to them sending more traffic your way.

 

 

2) Cross-link as much as possible. It cannot be repeated enough. You need to post links on your social media accounts that lead to your blog and, repeating the process, links on your website that point to your social media accounts. This will increase the traffic that comes into your website, making it look better from the point of view of the search engines.

 

 

3) Design a simple, easy to navigate site that includes a site map. Search engines use bots to crawl your site and pick up on the important stuff, like keywords, your web address, your name, what type of business you run, and so on. The easier your site is to navigate, the more these bots will come away with, which will add to your search engine ranking. This also helps out the people who come to your site, since they will be able to find out what your business is all about and how they can contact you.

 

 

4) Update your content regularly. Search engine bots pick up on how updated your content is. You don’t need to post a new blog article every day, but you should update it a few times a week. Updating the content on your other pages at least once a month is helpful as well. You don’t want your ranking to fall due to having stale content on your site.

 

 

5) Submit your site to search engines. This may seem like the simplest step of all, but it is also commonly overlooked by many people. The large search engines (Bing, Google and Yahoo) will not find your website unless you submit your site to them. Doing this is free, and, in the case of Google, takes mere seconds. There is a new set-up that Yahoo and Bing both use, but once you have mastered the 3 step process, your URL is submitted to both sites at the same time.