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Market Niches Can Equal Agent Riches:
The Long-Tail in Online Marketing for Realtors

In Real Estate, as in much of business, being all things to all people, is an impossible business model to chase.

The Long and Short of It.
In Business 'The Long Tail' concept states that you can sell more 'less popular' items than you can of popular items. A common example is that Netflix rents more niche movies than popular ones.

So what does this mean to real estate agents? That you can make a business in marketing niche markets and that it can be often times more profitable.

The #1 real estate related website in the United States is Realtor.com. Knowing the Google keywords people use to find Realtor.com will tell you a lot about online consumer behavior and will give you a lot to think about in your own online lead generation efforts as they relate to niche markets.

The Google keywords used most often to find Realtor.com are "Homes for Sale" and the location in which they are searching.

Why is this? Because people instinctively begin their home buying process by searching properties' to get a sense of the market.

Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Real Estate Companies etc ALL allow online consumers to search for almost all 'Homes for Sale' throughout the country.

So how are most agents trying to generate leads with their websites? By offering a small subset of capabilities and nothing unique or otherwise beneficial to people. In other words, agents are trying to compete with Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow with the proverbial 'one arm tied behind their back.'

Good luck with that.

Trying to compete head-to-head with a company with millions of dollars to spend on technology and marketing is a losing proposition!!

The Good and The Bad

The Irony is that local real estate agents are in the best position to capitalize on their local market knowledge, but they typically do the worst job at capitalizing this knowledge online.

Local agents know what local buyers and sellers are searching for (in real time! A showing is the most up-to-date search result and one that has immediate feedback capabilities....something rarely accomplished on a computer).

In the world of real estate online lead generation, the most obvious worst offender of this principle are the Real Estate Agents that offer website visitors the ubiquitous "Search the MLS" or "Property Search" as the defining features of their websites. Some of the more cutting edge agents even have "Search by Map" prominently featured as if searching real estate by map was invented yesterday. It wasn't and pretty much EVERY website offers it.

In other words agents are trying to compete with Realtor.com and all the other real estate websites by offering infinitely less data and capabilities.

How is that working for you?

Offering people and online consumers 'the same but less' is not a sustainable business model.

Grab the market by The Long Tail
Agents should focus their efforts on niches so that

  1. They have a better chance of being found and noticed
  2. That they have a better chance at being relevant to some people (a market) vs. not relevant to anyone (the market).

And this has important implications in all your online marketing as well.

"Search Homes for Sale" / "Property Search"

99.9% of agents allow online consumers to search for 'Homes for Sale' with the main segmentation being "My Listings" sometimes euphemistically entitled "Featured Listings."

To the online consumer this looks and feels like 'every other agent and website' on the Internet. When the people start thinking you are like 'everyone else on the Internet' that is not a good thing. In addition, they can go to one of over dozens of real estate websites and not only search every location in the country, they can typically do a lot of analytics that your agent website does not come close to offering. You are trying to complete with websites that have millions of dollars to spend in marketing and advertising.

Create a Niche -> Market the Niche -> Get Found -> Get Results
Local Real Estate Agents work in defined geographical areas. In every agent's 'area' there are geographical submarkets and property submarkets.

What geographical submarkets or particular property types are in your market that you know people buy and sell?

Identify some market niches, and then using either your MLS or website IDX provider's tools, create and save predefined property searches that return just those properties when clicked on as a link. In other words, give people what they want. You certainly know your market better than a corporate website out of New York, San Francisco or wherever it is that corporate is based!

A great example of this is Dave & Suzy Cardwell's pre-defined property search for Crow Canyon Country Club in the San Ramon Valley area of Northern California. While most all other agents in their area show "Search the MLS" (which Dave & Suzy have as well), they allow online consumers to One Click Search several key niche markets that they know people buying in their area are interested in (technology provider AgentAchieve).

Property Subtypes are also a great niche to market and let people One Click Search. Rick Miner, in Seattle markets several property niches such as Waterfront and View Homes at his website (Northwest MLS IDX, member of Michael Russer Online Dominance).

Easier, Faster and More Relevant is Always Better

Put yourself in the online consumers shoes. Let's imagine 'you' are interested in buying a property in Crow Canyon Country Club. Are you more likely to click on a link for Crow Canyon Country Club or Search the MLS? Or that you are interested in Waterfront or View Homes of Seattle....would you more likely click on Waterfront and View Homes or Property Search?

The beautiful thing about allowing people to One Click Search niche markets is, is that on the one hand you are giving people that want this information the information they want upfront, fast and easy. And secondly, you are not turning off 'everyone else' who just wants to search your general MLS listings.

If people have to search your website or click too much to 'hopefully get' what they are looking for, then you are going to lose a lot of lead generation opportunities.

The Funnel
Of all the websites on the Internet, only Craigslist allows you to post your listing (what the online consumers are searching for) along with a links to the tools and information online consumers also want at YOUR website vs. sending them somewhere else and to someone else!

By providing links to the tools and information that online consumers want around your listing that the online consumer is searching for, you create a funnel that will bring the online consumer to you vs. sending them to someone else like a sieve.

Surround your listing with the tools and information at your website and leverage online consumer interest and generate both website traffic and leads! Create your funnel!

Market the Niche -> Get Found

There are many places that you can insert live links to predefined searches for the niche markets in your area. Some of the best include:

  1. Your website (but how do they find your website?)
  2. Your online marketing including Craig's List and your eFlyers

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Success Stories

  • Mr. Clodgo, through this letter I would like to express my thankfulness for the time you spent with us, teaching us the basics of being a truly Realtor. All the instruction I received in those days ...
    Hector Yusti, Realtor, Keyes Commercial

  • Hello Mr. Reibel and Mrs. Aragon, I`m fairly new to Keyes, and definitely new to Real Estate, but I must say I find your emails, especially the "tips" incredibly helpful and more importantly, loaded...
    John Rojas, Realtor, Keyes Coral Gables

  • Hi Mike! I thought you might be interested in hearing about my recent trip to the FAR Convention in Orlando a few weeks ago. While going through the exhibit hall of nearly 150 vendors, I was continu...
    Kay Conageski, Realtor, Keyes Plantation

  • "This is such a great organization. I really became a Realtor when I started with The Keyes Company. The training and the processes for job improvement is really first class. Ironically I never spoke to any other Brokerage when I ...
    Carol Muir, Realtor; Coral Springs
  • "I joined Keyes because of its fine reputation and long history in South Florida. There were opportunities and doors which opened for me upon receiving my real estate license but I chose Keyes as the best alternative for my long t...
    Flor Blanchett, Realtor; Weston
  • I joined Keyes because of the professionalism and persistence. When I entered the Lighthouse Point office, I was greatly impressed with the facility as well as the staff. Don Willis and Sharon Benjamin conveyed the spirit of the o...
    Maria Strang, Realtor; Lighthouse Point
  • Dear Mr. Clodgo - With sincere gratitude and warmest thanks. Your excellent teaching skills and enormous proficiency in this industry has helped me tremendously as I begin my journey with Keyes. Your remarkable wealth of informati...
    Maria Colandrea, Realtor; Delray Beach
  • While I was studying for my exam, I met with several Real Estate firms to determine who I wanted to work with. As a new agent, I wanted a training program which would help me to get started. Of everyone I met with, Vanessa provide...
    Ann Ryan, Realtor; Doral
  • I am extremely happy that I joined Keyes Doral Plaza. I travel to Venezuela on a monthly basis and the staff has been extremely helpful to my needs. They are always ready, willing and able to go beyond their duties to help the age...
    Felipe Cuerdo, Realtor; Doral Plaza
  • My business has literarily changed since joining the Keyes family this last November. I met Eddie Tybuszynski a senior agent at Keyes at one of his listings. We instantly hit it off. Eddie set up an appointment for me to speak wit...
    Andrew Saporito, Realtor; Palm Beach Gardens
  • Keyes is the most professional brokerage we know and we ve looked at most of the competition. Since we joined Keyes we have benefited from many things and, when packaged together, they create a huge advantage for our business. Som...
    Marion Suro & Ida Mulvey, Realtors; Palm Beach Gardens
  • Thank you Keyes for 32 years of support, training and amazing friendships! When I began at the age of 21 with no Real Estate experience, I had no idea of the impact I would make in my community and company. Keyes has and continues...
    Marta DuPree, Broker-Associate/Vice-President
  • For many years, I was a licensed mortgage broker and actually ran my own company. I could see the mortgage business was beginning to decline. I wanted to make a career change but stay in the real estate field. Becoming a realtor w...
    Cindy Barron, Realtor; Coral Springs
  • I would like to express my appreciation to you and Keyes for investing the time to train in my new career. I was like a lost sheep before the Sudden Success Training and now I understand my job. I know there is a lot more knowledg...
    Dane Lalah, Realtor; Coral Springs
  • The reason I joined The Keyes Company is because I was looking for a positive office atmosphere in order to go to work each day. I was tired of working from home with all the distractions I had to face with a home office. I met wi...
    Dennis Cantlay P.A., Reatlor, Coral Springs
  • Barbara is a powerful asset as a Manager for the Keyes Company. She leads by example, provides excellent training, strives for committment and success for all, and can be counted on for sound advice and loyal support. She is the r...
    Mike Cunningham, Realtor, Palm Beach Gardens
  • Dear Phil, I want to thank you for the excellent training program you conduct weekly for new Keyes associates. Even though I ve attended many other nationally recognized real estate training programs, I found your training to be t...
    ELIZABETH GRECO, Realtor, Aventura
  • In your Sudden Success class you had directed the class to cold call For Sale by Owners . I had located the following home on one of the web sites you suggested. It turned out that the FSBO was in the process of listing with anoth...
    Chris Snyder, Realtor, Plantation
  • I wanted to take this opportunity to drop you a line so that I can express my sincere appreciation for everything you`ve done for my family and I. Relocating from Jacksonville is not going to be an easy move. Let alone, looking fo...
    Melissa Matos, Realtor
  • I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for continuing to pursue me over the last 2 years to join The Keyes Co. The interest you have taken in my success is truly sincere and greatly appreciated. Since joining, I have been ...
    Walter Wilde, Realtor, Palm Beach Gardens
  • I joined Keyes because of their support systems and level of professionalism. I have not seen and better at any other broker in our market in South Florida. And I love the fact that it is a family owned company with 30 offices (I ...
    Kimberly Joy Castellotti, Realtor, Wellington
  • The reason why I chose Keyes is because I wanted to be with a large up to date company with the family run atmosphere. Being a CPA, I have worked with some of the largest CPA firms in the world. Once I retired and became a Realtor...
    Esther Mantel, Realtor, Aventura
  • The Keyes Co. has helped me tremendously in my real estate career because of the integrity and professionalism they project through the community here. Our agents have the best tools available to anybody in town and therefore we i...
    Terri Jackson, Realtor, New Smyrna Beach
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