Real estate in the online world

In the not so distant past if you’d mentioned real estate and the internet in the same sentence people would have thought you were crazy. For a long time many even in the industry thought the two had nothing to do with each other. But how things have changed! Not only do the majority of home hunters head online as their first port of call to search available properties, but the majority of agents are now realizing the importance of optimization through activities like blogging, tweeting, creating a facebook or linked in profile – the list goes on.

  

Although I don’t profess to be an online guru by any stretch, as I get more and more involved with how the internet and real estate work together, I have become increasingly interested in how people search for real estate and property through the likes of Google. One argument that comes up often is the use of longtail keywords or general terms. At first glance, it would make sense that all the real estate agents are vying to rank highly for broad terms like real estate. But the more I learn about the crazy place that is online, I realize that it can be more rewarding to go after a very specific keyword or set or words or terms rather than it is to fight it out for something more general.

  

Obviously one of the biggest arguments against longtail keywords is that they can become so specific that a much smaller group of people are likely to search them. So the reverse is true for more general terms – more people search them more often, and one thing I know about branding is that you want to be in front of as many people as possible, as often as possible. So both options have merit. But sadly, not many organizations have big enough budgets to ensure they constantly appear for the general terms, and that’s where the longtail words start to make more sense – at least for me.

  

I believe that the more specific someone is when they search, the more serious they are, making them a more genuine prospect. And when it comes to buyers and sellers, that’s an ideal lead for a real estate agent. Someone searching very broadly for real estate in Bondi for example is less likely to be as close to buying as someone who searches for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in Bondi. When people know what they want, more often than not, it’s easier to assist them. So even if those longtail words are only searched ten times per month as opposed to the general searches that may take place ten times more frequently, that’s ten genuine, serious buyers or sellers that ended up talking to you because you gave them what they wanted.

And for many, optimization is such a new part of business that the way I look at it, it can’t hurt to try either way.    
Posted by Charles Tarbey on 24/08/2009 at 9:45 AM | Categories:

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