I didn’t know I was going to make money on my real estate agent website outside of real estate sales. I was building a website to grow my real estate business and suddenly I was able to monetize all of that work in other ways. Now, I can teach you how to monetize your real estate agent website.
Generating Leads Online
I’ve always generated most of my leads online. Well, it was direct mail before the Internet was what it is today. When I say the internet, I’m referring to generating leads through Google search engines and social media primarily.
Pinterest for business has now become my number one source on 4 out of 5 of my websites. Google is still number one for real estate, number two on the other websites and youtube is generally third.
My process is simple not easy. I create content around the Las Vegas Real Estate Market and blog about hyperlocal activities in my area. I’ve been doing this for years and the payoff for consistency is worth it.
While I’ve generated enough leads to build a real estate team to 15 people closing hundreds of units per year, it’s the duplicable process that I love the most and have been able to monetize in other ways.
I built a real estate marketing agency [Now owned by my brothers] with the same strategy, a ketogenic weight loss website with the same processes, a profitable lifestyle blog, and a 6-figure affiliate marketing business benefiting from search engine rankings through blogging and video. It’s a proven process.
The Vulnerable Real Estate Industry
I won’t lie.
As a real estate business owner myself, I’m nervous about what’s happening with the real estate industry.
Nobody wants to be scared. We all want good news. But I think we have to be watching what’s happening with the real estate industry.
We would be fools not to be paying attention to what’s happening with Ibuyers Isellers and Zillow, Redfin and all of the “buy or sell without a real estate agent” websites.
These real estate portals are working hard trying to displace the real estate agent. I think that it’s important that we’re paying attention to this now.
Real Estate SEO
I am so grateful today that I’ve done the work that I’ve done on my real estate website because I had no idea of how I was going to be able to monetize that website outside of real estate.
I want to tell you guys that it’s not too late to jump in. Last night I was watching a speaker on Youtube talk about E.A.T, Google’s quality guidelines.
This is what I do when I’m going to sleep. I’m watching Youtube.
I believe real estate agents don’t focus on ranking their websites on the search engines more because it’s hard.
I mean really, it’s simple, but not easy. I think the mental frustration that occurs from a lack of patience detours most agents. It takes work. There’s no instant gratification.
If you run an ad and you get 10 leads on Facebook, you’re thrilled to death. Right? But Google rankings, SEO takes longer. Ultimately I think real estate agents have been told that Seo is dead, or that it’s too late.
Yes. Is it going to be very difficult for you to go out and rank for the most competitive, popular keywords such as “San Diego homes for sale”.
Could you rank for long-tail keyword phrases that are more niche-focused such as “homes for sale in X neighborhood in San Diego with a mother-in-law quarters?”
Today, however, I want to talk about something beyond that. I want to talk about the opportunity that comes with generating traffic to pages like this outside of real estate sales alone.
I’ve been talking about building neighborhood pages forever [Link to video tutorial].
I now realize that there was something I was doing even better. I hadn’t understood the payoff until now. It was the result of hyperlocal marketing, which I often say is online geographic farming.
Google’s Quality Rating System
Google is focused on returning quality pages on the search engine results page for a particular query. When somebody types in keywords or a search term, the search engines want to return the best possible result for that search term.
They’ve established quality guidelines. I’m incredibly grateful for that because it’s so much harder now to “game” the search engines.
We really have to be focused on creating great content. The rating system Google refers to as E.A.T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Google has thousands of humans rating content. Believe it or not, you could actually apply to be one of these raters. These raters look at webpages and they assign a quality score. These quality scores then go back to Google and Google builds it into their algorithm to improve search.
Google has been rewarding websites based on their relevancy to the topic searched. The more relevant the website is to the webpage that appears as a match to a query, the better the page typically ranks.
For example, a high rise website might rank higher when somebody does a search for high rise condos then a general real estate website would.
Google considers the language on all of the other pages and determines the expertise of that website on that topic. Generally, the more laser-focused a website is the better it does.
Google is now taking that same principle of relevance and applying it to the actual author of the content itself.
It’s gauging our expertise on what people are saying about us on the Internet, what’s in our author biographies, and other reputable sources. It’s more important than ever to establish a brand identity and expertise with Google.
In recent years, Google created an algorithm that basically tracks a user as long as the person’s logged into Google, which we almost all are now all the time.
If you’ve got g-mail, if you’ve got chrome, if you’re signing into youtube, you’re probably logged into Google.
When somebody goes to Google and performs a search, Google returns a list of results. That’s called a SERP (search engine results page). Google starts tracking from that moment what the person is doing.
Once they click on a search engine result on the website that they pick, Google tracks what happens next to determine if that result is a quality result for the query.
They want to know:
- Do they bounce back to the search engine and perform another search? (pogo-sticking).
- Do they stay on this website for a while?
- Do they click on anything?
- Do they view multiple pages?
The analysis and results are now connected to that person and the website.
For example, when you log on to youtube and watch a video like ‘how to steam clean your carpet’, and you watch this guy and you really liked the way the guide explains how to steam clean carpet, And then a week later you’re looking up something about how to hang window curtains and you come across this guy again and watch, in the future, Youtube begins serving up his videos to you on the home page and in search even if you didn’t subscribe to his channel.
It’s similar to websites and search engine results pages (SERPS). Even if that person landed on your website and they didn’t look at houses or they weren’t there for real estate at that time, Google now believes your website is more valuable to them than your competitor’s website which they’ve never visited.
The more times we can get them to land on our website, the more likely we are to be presented to them when they actually do a search for homes for sale. That is a major reason to start getting these people on our websites.
I don’t want them on the Keller Williams website. I want them on my website and I want to have control over that and be able to provide value to that person so that obviously I’m the one that they choose to work with.
You can show IDX listings and sometimes they happen to be looking at houses or you could put in a home value offer or local guide.
People say E-mail is dead. It is so not dead. A strong mailing list still has massive value in 2019 as long as we’re providing that person with something that’s relative to them and of a quality to them. You might like to check out AWeber for mailing list and newsletters.
We could be creating local guides, home seller guides, home buyer guides, how to invest and so on.
We beat the portals by building the biggest sandcastles in our own sandbox. We need to be the local specialists.
Creating real estate market reports is easy. It’s gold. The data’s in our MLS and very few real estate agents are doing it.
I generate my leads through my real estate website and I don’t actually work with clients. I’ve been licensed since 2007. I’ll renew my license again this year, but I have not personally worked with a client since 2010.
I’ve got agents on my team that work with them and I just do all the lead generation. For me, that’s quality of life.
Adding Affiliate Income
I started ranking really, high for things related to Vegas, which in turn tells Google that I’m the authority on Las Vegas, which makes all of my real estate articles rank higher as well.
I thought to myself, one day, what if I put some ads on this website. And just like that, 500 bucks a month and we’re just getting started. And I only have like 40% of the ad space even being used right now.
And then I thought, well, let me see, let me go into some of these blogs and put in some items that might interest them such as Groupon, Travelocity, Expedia, you know, things about travel or visiting Vegas.
I had my first handful of sales days after I partnered with Groupon.
My “Things to Do For Mother’s Day” blog was a hit and I added Groupon deals to it.
Imagine this at scale. Imagine if you had the traffic and all of your pages had some kind of item of value that that person would find interesting.
I sell the Saint Joseph statue because I rank for how to bury the Saint Joseph Statue. I sell those statues all the time. Imagine what that looks like at scale when we’re blogging about real estate, but we’re also blogging about things to do around the house.
We’re blogging about the airport, or where to catch Uber, I’m an affiliate now for Uber.
I went and found affiliate relationships that would link into those.
An affiliate basically just means that you apply with these brands and promote their products, services, and offers.
These additional income streams offer security if something happens with real estate as dramatic as I predict it’s going to be. Is it five years? Is it 10 years? Is it 20 years? I have no idea. Is it going to affect us? Is it gonna affect our children? Is it going to put our grandchildren? I don’t know. But the writing is on the wall that we know this disruption is happening.
The technology is here and it’s happening. The fewer real estate agents are brought into the process, the more that technology is likely to move us aside.
But if you build a real estate blog, if you build a real estate website, if you build a youtube channel that is generating traffic that you can monetize in other ways, what does that do for your life?
With the content, you are accomplishing the goal, which is to be a real estate specialist. You’re now building an asset that can be sold or monetized.
I’m going to be continuing to test all of the great ways because I’m finding new things every single day and it just blows my mind.
Of course, I still want the real estate leads and real estate sales. We just had a closing today Lori Ballen team in Vegas and I’m excited about that, but I’m also excited about the additional monetization.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.