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[method] Selling SEO to real estate agents.

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Seankearns, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Seankearns

    Seankearns Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I've been a Realtor for almost nine years and the crap I've seen agents send good money on is amazing, so why not cash in? I'm too busy selling houses and ranking my own sites to really give it a go, but if you're looking for a new stream of income for your SEO service company real estate agents could provide it.

    Here's the most important, coles note's version of what you should take away from this post: A) Most agents don't know balls about SEO or how to leverage their online presence in anyway. B) The average age is over 40 so many agents either don't know where to start or don't want to learn.

    Get face to face

    DO NO EMAIL THEM THROUGH WEBSITE FORMS. (I just personally can't stand it and even if I was in the middle of looking for a SEO provider I'd never use you out of spite)

    Contact the manager or broker of the office you want to target and try and get in front of a bunch of agents at once by getting access to their office meeting (most office will have something like this, usually monthly). You're going to have to provide value to the agents/office before you'll get the nod so play up the fact that you have a number of SEO tips to present for free. Spouting off a few facts and ‘technical' terms will leave most managers thinking you're the master, even if you're fairly new to the game.

    This is probably the hardest step in the game. Most broker/managers won't let just anyone in their meetings so you could be chasing them for months (since most offices only meet monthly). If you bother them enough stress that you only need 10 minutes you'll get in eventually.

    Show the value of placement/the value of your services

    Many agents may not know how valuable placement is. Bring information on internet usage, click through rates, etc. If you're in North America you can use the National Association of Realtor stats on first time buyers found here: http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics and get nice and specific. Make all this information easy to digest for the non-techy.

    The second phase of your presentation should be much more technical. Now that you've sold them on the fact that this placement is valuable and puts their name in front of perspective clients you need to show them that getting there is no walk in the park that anyone can provide to them. Don't be afraid to go over most of their heads talking about Penguin, Panda, how damage can be done by companies that don't keep up to date with the latest techniques... basically anything that makes you seem like the expert when it comes to the complicated workings that is SEO.

    Talk competition

    Touch on the fact that there is only one first page of google. Real estate agents, like many sales people, are driven by competition and sometimes ego. Having a first page ranking may not be JUST a business decision.

    Showing that a well known agent from another office is obviously performing SEO on his site is a good idea too... agents don't want to fall behind.

    Mention that you only take one client per area/keyword so they can be sure that if they hire you, you're not also trying to rank a competitor for the same keywords.

    Closing:

    Keep things fairly short. Time is money in this business and you'll lose peoples interest if you drone on. Hit the high points and let agents know you'll stick around if they want to ask questions after the meeting finishes, but before you give up the floor make sure you mention pricing.

    Obviously you're not going to rank New York Real Estate for $200/month, so do your homework and find out what would be reasonable to charge depending on the competition and mention that. CITY real estate and homes for sale in CITY are usually going to be the most sought after terms. Maybe CITY condos is worth checking out as well. When quoting your prices give a quick rundown of what your clients get for that money, but ALWAYS bring it back to a value/real estate transaction. Meaning that if your average sale in the area is $250,000 and that equals at $6250 commission cheque you need to make sure they understand that if they only do ONE deal ever TWO years the $250/month you charge has already paid for itself.

    That's about it. Tweak for your own area, the first page competition you'll face, and price accordingly.

    I've thought about doing a little bit of SEO on the side specifically for agents because I honestly think they're ripe for the picking, specifically in the medium sized markets where ranking is still reasonably easy for many terms.

    I'm ranking my own sites and closing 12-15 deals a year from the web, which in my area is like $70k in commission. The money is out there... just sell the value and get paid.

    -Seankearns
     
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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  2. affarmy

    affarmy Regular Member

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    Solid post. Repped.
     
  3. hassan_isabad_subar

    hassan_isabad_subar Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Have really been thinking about playing this card for a few months. Definitely happy to see there's something there.
     
  4. seohamster

    seohamster Newbie

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    Awesome, thanks for the tips! I'm actually working very closely with a realtor here in my area to do exactly what you just mentioned :)
     
  5. xaknafein

    xaknafein Newbie

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    Good post. In my own experience, realtors are very social and enjoy face to face pitches. They're all crazy about 'social media' and 'web presence'. In my opinion (I know a lot of Realtors IRL), you're better off trying to sell this to the younger realtor crowds as opposed to the elder ones. Most older realtors that I know pretty much have enough on their plates and really don't need extra clients.
    A few days ago I actually met a realtor who looked to be in his early 30s (he mentioned he was a realtor for only 4 years). The guy LOVED technology and had a $600 dollar Android pad along with a $150 keyboard add-on for it (the whole convo started when he noticed I had a galaxy s2 and was wondering if i liked the phone).

    So yeah, I think you can almost exclusively make a living just catering to the needs of your local realtors.
     
  6. Seankearns

    Seankearns Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I agree, established Realtors are usually about as busy as they want to be, but new-5 years in the business is a easier sell. Since its a second career for a lot of people the new-5 year guys can be any age.
     
  7. contentcouch

    contentcouch Regular Member

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    This is one of the best possible strategies to get close with new clients, but I'm wondering, if it works in every part of the world or just the western countries. Cos, I think there will be many small time Realtors in countries like India, where I live and maybe more than half of them are not aware of these things over the Internet, so have any one tried doing this in a country like India.

    Thanks in advance for the reply.
     
  8. Seankearns

    Seankearns Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I'm afraid I only have experience with North America, but don't know why you couldn't use some of the techniques that are culturally appropriate. Sales people are sales people and selling to them is always a little different than selling to the general public.
     
  9. niggy

    niggy Junior Member

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    There's a lot of money to be made in housing. Good on you mate.
     
  10. Adam718

    Adam718 Senior Member

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    I've actually been considering this the past month! But my approach is a bit different

    I thought about just creating 1-3 sites, ranking them high in terms such as "2 bedroom apartments in new york", then selling listing space on the websites to the agents. The pitch would basically be showing the agents that the website is obviously well exposed to people in search of real estate, and having their listings up on this site gives them that much more potential clients.

    You can start out asking for $100-$200 a month per agent to keep a few of their listings up. I know a ton of agents, and they spend more than that advertising on craigslist.

    You'll have agents/brokers lining up to throw money at you if your site ranks high for something good.
     
  11. propertyse

    propertyse Newbie

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    Been doing this for a few months now ;)