We have been telling you for a while that when it comes to becoming the go-to agent in your market, content is KING. Gone are the days of the company website that looks just like everyone else’s website with the same boring stock articles and general “one-size-fits-all” template. And don’t even get me started on the agent “website” that is merely a page on a broker’s corporate site (screams non-professional or newbie).
It is a brave new world out there and those who are going to stand out are the ones who contribute to the greater conversation — the online conversation.
I read an article recently citing a study indicating that when people are researching senior living communities, they go to a website at least 8-10 times before they ever fill out a form or make an inquiry. What are they doing during those 8-10 online visits? They are reading blogs, reviewing testimonials, and gathering information. Then, once they feel comfortable enough to take the next step, they reach out by filling out a form, emailing direct, or calling by phone.
Question... Are people visiting your site 8-10 times and then contacting you? How do you know? Do you have a way to capture their information if they do? And the more important question — how do they find your website in the massive sea of real estate sites to begin with? I mean with Trulia, Zillow, realtor.com, and all the other lead generating machines topping the list of search rankings, what makes you stand out? Or do you?
Here’s the truth.
People no longer need a real estate agent to search for homes online. There are plenty of sites for them to get their HGTV fix. They also have no need for agents when it comes to finding out the price of a house — face it, it’s all out there. The good news is that they DO still need you to walk them through the complexity of purchasing, selling, negotiating, and closing.
You have an edge.
As an expert in seniors real estate and housing, you have knowledge that other agents do not! You have the ability to educate people — seniors, caregivers, boomers, empty nesters, down sizers, adult children, etc. — on things that are important to them and questions they need answers to. Where are they going to find those answers now? Google baby. Yup. Indeed.
For you to be relevant and valid in the minds of the consumer and to stand out from every other Joe REALTOR with the tagline “customer service beyond expectations” (gag) you have got to PROVE that you know something they don’t know. Then you have to share this knowledge — in person, online, everywhere and with everyone.
Sound crazy? I know, right? Let’s teach the buyers and sellers what they need to know. Yes…very counter intuitive. But true nonetheless.
I have been teaching real estate agents how to build seniors real estate niche businesses for over a decade now. Through blogs, newsletters, classes, and conversations, I have literally outlined EXACTLY how to do it — a proven blueprint for success. Despite this information (much of it for FREE), many (actually most) still need a class, coaching program, or personal guidance on how to make it work. That’s not a slam against anyone, it’s just a reality and it’s true for me too.
I have read the Millionaire Real Estate Agent (MREA) at least 20 times and have studied it in multiple classes, seminars, and conferences. It wasn’t until I hired a personal coach that I actually GOT IT and was able to take the principles and put them into practice. Am I just slow? (I don’t think so, but my mother never had me tested).* Humor aside, the fact is that people need to be guided and they need their guide to be both experienced and knowledgable.
This is especially true for older adult clients, mature homeowners, and adult children helping mom and dad move. They aren’t just dealing with real estate. In many cases, beyond selling the home, they are navigating the complexities of senior living options, estate sales, medical care, support services, and all that goes along with being a caregiver with a frail elder parent.
What am I saying?
You are massively experienced and knowledgeable in a niche, but no one outside your direct sphere of influence knows it.
The only way to get the word out to more people is to educate them.
If you are stumped and trying to figure out a way to reach more people — specifically seniors and their boomer children — you need to learn about inbound marketing.
Whether you learn it through the Seniors Real Estate Institute or you leverage it through other reputable providers out there in the marketplace, you owe it to yourself to get up to speed on the benefits of inbound marketing.
*Reference to Big Bang Theory. I'm a fan!
|Nikki Buckelew is the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation. A veteran REALTOR® of over two decades, she holds a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. As a professional speaker, coach, and trainer, Nikki is committed to empowering, equipping, and educating real estate sales and senior housing professionals seeking to better serve the mature market segment.