Google Base: Realtor’s Free Listing Tool, Lead Generator, Product Promotion Machine

Google Base “Shopping Bag” icon

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article June 28, 2008

If you do not want to take on the task of establishing a blog or website there still is a method to get your information listed in Google search results: Google Base. For Realtors this could be a key tool in listing your properties.

What is Google Base?

1. According to Google “Google Base is a free Google service that allows you to publish virtually any kind of information for inclusion in Google search results”

2. According to the blog chiefexecutive.wordpress.com’s, a UK site, article “Google has changed-have you?” Google Base allows a business to list it’s services or products in a different way-via an shopping bag icon and in a product search conducted by consumers:

The point is Google has changed, there are now opportunities to appear on the list (Google search results) in more relevant and striking ways than the conventional list of blue search engine links.”

Advantages of Google Base

1. You do not need a website or blog to publish your information
2. It’s a free service
3. If you don’t have a website to host your item(s), Google Base will create and host a unique URL (web address) where searchers can visit and view your content.

Google Base For Realtors

According to Google:

“Over 56% of all internet searches on “real estate” and related terms are conducted on Google and our partner sites, and the majority of those searchers are actively looking for listings or referrals to brokers and agents. Google Base makes it EASY for consumers to find your listings or services.”

How Does It Work?

People performing Google searches for Real Estate can refine their search results by adding specific property features (e.g., “4-bedroom”, “pool”, “San Francisco-Pacific Heights”) and seeing their results displayed on a map, focussed on the neighborhood and types of properties that they are most interested in

If a Realtor adds his/her listing(s) information to Google, it will ensure that the right (most qualified) potential buyers will be able to find the properties listed “right when they are most actively looking for them.”

Google Real Estate Tools Link (for more information!)

1. Brokers and Builders

2. Agents

3. MLS’s

4. IDX vendors


Independent Brokers Network Meeting: SEM vs SEO-Do You Have Money Or Time?

The IBNMarin, Independent Brokers Network meeting held Tuesday June 3, hosted guest speaker Steven Schneiderman the Online Sales Manager for the San Francisco Chronicle’s website SFgate.com. MC. for IBN, the indispensable Frank Sunshine, Sunshine Realty and Marketing, did another stellar job of bringing a speaker and topic of importance to attendees.

Steven’s speech was compelling as he explained Search Engine Marketing and search from a beginner’s perspective, explained and identified the value of a SEM campaign, and he provided a solid base for people to understand how Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com are the driving forces behind today’s online search marketplace.

While bringing forward some interesting and compelling reasons why a Realtor or broker would want to adopt a pay per click program, a case can be built for establishing an organic program utilizing a blog in conjunction with a pay per click campaign.

SFGate.com

1. SFgate.com: the website for the San Francisco Chronicle in fact acts more like a blog due to the fresh content placed on the site (writers’ articles) on an everyday basis

2. SFgate.com: is ranked by Alexa.com 836 most trafficked website in the world, ranked #229 in the US, 17% of it’s traffic is global with high rankings in Uk, Canada, India, and Germany

3. Pay per click: advertising campaigns on SFgate.com will provide any Realtor in the Bay Area or any Realtor looking to do business in the Bay Area from any location in the world another piece to a well rounded marketing campaign

SEM Positives

1. Only Guaranteed Method: to top of page placement if you are willing to spend the money
2. Pay: only when your ad is clicked
3. Tracking: ability to track your activity
4. Adjust: you can adjust your spending to drive “conversions” by choosing a higher priced placement or lower your costs by choosing a lower per click cost and placement
5. Proxy Technology: Steven’s terminology for how you can identify keyword popularity, keyword activity, measure your activity and set a strategy to convert clicks to sales

Why SEM vs Blogs For A Realtor?

1. Technology: the #1 hurdle to blogging is the technology learning curve and the time it takes to understand. Realtors who do not have the commitment fail at blogging
2. Writing: Realtors that do not write well will have a difficult time producing compelling content that would attract readers
3. Time: Realtors who do not make time to write 3-5 days per week will not blog effectively
4. Social Network: The #2 reason behind successful blogs is social networking within the blogosphere. If a Realtor is unwilling to spend time commenting on other Real estate blogs and building online relationships, they will fail to blog successfully
5. Commitment: Blogging is a commitment of time, energy, innovation, and pride. If a Realtor is unwilling to make the commitment they are harming their own reputation

SEO “Keyword Research” Module #2: Realtor’s Guide to Understanding Your Target Audience Language

Published on Active Rain for the Real Estate Community

Keywords, keyword phrases, and keyword research are the next step to understanding how to attract traffic to your blog. In our first Module “SEO Basics” we provided links to SEO information to begin your education into this very important step in your marketing campaign. Searchenginepeople.com writer Ruud Hein provides an excellent look at how important keywords and keyword phrases are to your business.

Audience Language

Your aim should be to identify the keywords and keyword phrases that your target audience will utilize in searching for information about your product(s), service(s), business, industry and the area you operate within

Keywords and Keyword Research

List of Keyword Tools To Help You Find Your Audience “Language”

1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool: Get fresh ideas from the leader in the industry

2. Free Keywords: Another place to find new keywords is at freekeywords.wordtracker.com site

3. Keyword Discovery: “Over 80% of online transactions begin with a keyword search” and according to NAR over 70% of consumers interested in buying or selling real estate begin their search online. This site is a fantastic spot to begin your search with the Keyword Discovery tool.

Bay To Breakers San Francisco’s Eclectic “Race” A Realtor’s Marketing Fantasy

sf.curbed.com illustrious San Francisco blog linked to this article May 19, 2008

Thinking outside the box never got more fun than “think tank” brainstorming. One of the most under utilized ideas is turning San Francisco’s Bay to Breaker’s race into your marketing bonanza. One example is Autodesk, a successful Bay Area software company. Autodesk has entered a team of runners dressed as the Autodesk centipede. Although this race is more fun and follie than serious sporting event, the television coverage Autodesk received was invaluable:

If you are Realtor, broker, or real estate affiliate sponsoring a team of runners, in costume, to run and advertise your company and your company’s cause is a great way to publicize who you are and what you do!

“Search engines like Google get you lost in all the links, but not Yahoo search”: How Not To Take On Your Market’s ‘Goliath’

Yahoo’s new radio campaign is both ridiculous and an obvious attempt at propping up what can and is being perceived as a sinking ship takeover target. David beat Goliath because he had a slingshot and guts. But Yahoo’s attempt at disparaging Google’s search model, a far superior and accurate model, is like Charles Manson winning his parole–it just doesn’t make sense. . . unless

Yahoo’s tactic may be the time tested “this bad ad” where an advertisement is deliberately created to sound stupid, bad, or completely out of touch. This is done solely as a tactic to help consumers remember the ad so they virally (talk) spread the word.

The following is from seoroundtable.com’s solid article “Will Yahoo’s Radio Commercials Help Take Market Share From Google?”

Yahoo’s radio campaign tagline:

“Search engines like Google get you lost in all the links, but not Yahoo search. . . You won’t find that on your Google page!”

Reactions about Yahoo from the Blogosphere via Webmasterworld.com’s forum:

“Dead medium for a dead search engine. Pretty appropriate.”

“I’ve seen Google Adsense ads for Yahoo on my website. Sad. . . they must be really desperate for traffic.”

“Oh dear. . . looks like their marketing department or (ad) agency has gone a bit crazy.

“If Yahoo concentrated on their search engine a bit more, they might have something to shout about.”

Why Google is Superior and Yahoo Does Not Get It

1. Consumer Choices: Google’s vast listing of links provides answers for consumers whether the answers come from a blog, website, or paid advertisement does not matter. We have the choice to click or to not click

2. Blogger Links: We bloggers are looking for links, authority which bolsters our Google “juice” moving us up the rankings on each page. Exposure leads to readership and readership leads to business, monetary gain, and recognition

3. Business Listings: Google is simply the future’s answer to the Yellow Pages. Businesses that do not have Google placement and search-ability are destined to remain hard to find, lose credibility with consumers, and lose revenue

The old trick of naming your business AAA or beginning your listing with the letter A so as to place at the top of the Yellow Pages listings is being played out everyday on Google. In today’s version of that tactic, businesses that blog have the ability to move up the rankings, lockout their competitors, answer their critics, defend their reputation, and further their company message.

As one blogger proclaimed “Yahoo should have waited until the Microsoft takeover and  new search capabilities were ready for market. . . why trumpet an old second place model?”

“Blog Networks Series” Part 1: The Most Powerful Marketing Secret Real Esate Brokers Must Understand

In the series, “Blog Networks”, we will illustrate the sea-change blogging is bringing to mass media and it’s effects on your business, identify why blogging is where you should be placing your monies, and finally present Blog Networks-the biggest first mover advantage to brokers who wish to generate and close leads while locking their competition out of the market.

Revolutionary, sea-change, “Purple Cow”, first adopter’s massive advantage, and monopoly are all striking yet appropriate descriptions of Pat Kitano’s Blog Network predictions for real estate brokerages in 2008.

But in order to understand why this tool will change the face of real estate marketing-advertising and lead generation, brokers must first accept the fact that what used to work in the past is quickly losing effectiveness today moving into the future.

The days of Yellow Pages advertising, local newspaper advertising, and magazine advertising are quickly losing ground to the online information revolution that is Web 2.0. Newspaper and magazine advertising will always remain a part of a Broker’s marketing plan but now and into the future it will have a decreasing role and effect.

How do we know this to be true?

Technology Director and author of mytechopinion.com Reggie Nicolay provides the following eye opening statistics:

1. National Association of Realtors state that “72% of buyers begin their search online”
2. California Association of Realtors states that “84% of buyers begin their search online”
3. 35% of buyers and sellers begin their search online at Google.com
4. 100,000,000 blogs are in the blogosphere yet real estate remains a open niche
5. Hyper local blogs,
theharperteam.com, are capturing valuable search engine placement ahead of small, local news agencies in their area

Sign of The Times

Rupert Murdoch’s decision to change the Wall Street Journal from a paid online subscription fee to an advertising revenue based business model (free to readers) was a defining moment in how blogging is changing the media landscape.

According to prolific blogger Tommy of therealestatebloggers.com’s insightful article “Note To Sellers, Buyers Are Looking Online for Homes Not the Newspapers” ad revenue is down in the print media due to the influx of blogs providing valuable, free, time sensitive information which allows the reader to interact with the source in a real time format.

Analysis

Consequently the first step to unleashing the unlimited power of your own Blog Network is understanding how the media landscape is changing. People are no longer going to their newspapers and magazines as a first step to search for real estate information.

Realtor’s Blog Video Tool #1: MakeInternetTv.org Your Complete Source For Video Production

Ben Cope of epicwebstrategies.com provided a powerful tip with his succinct post about one of the most valuable one-stop shop sites for information on how to produce your own videos:Make Internet TV.” In fact Ben, who bills himself as the “Internet Genius”, summarized the value of Makeinternettv.org:

“Interested in creating your own video podcast or internet TV show, but don’t know where to start? The MakeInternetTV guide has step-by-step instructions for shooting, editing, and publishing online videos that can be watched and subscribed to by millions of people!”

Included on the makeinternettv.org site are step by step instructions in the following:

1. Video Equipment: What to use and how

2. Shoot: Camera basics and techniques how to shoot your video

3. Edit: 3 rich video tutorials on how to edit video using PC, Mac, or Linux platforms

4. License: information on how to license your video work via Creative Commons or Copyright

5. Publish: How to publish your work on your blog using video services like youtube or blip.tv or utilizing video blogs a instruction manual on how to place your video on your blog.

6. Promote: this shows you how to set up your RSS subscription feed button and a very valuable piece onengage the network