In the digital world, you’ve progressed beyond perusing the local classifieds for home listings or calling a real estate office in your new town right off the bat. Today, when you’re looking for a home, you start your search online.
As real estate brokers, it’s our job to make sure our listings are easy to find and easy to navigate online. So, if someone looks up “ranches for sale in Colorado,” your listing is one of the first they find, and it keeps them captivated once they land on the listing post.
To ensure maximum views and engagement on your listing, every post should include four essential elements: search-engine-optimized copy, quality photos, a video walkthrough, and an interactive map.
SEO Refined Copy
When your copy supports SEO best practices, it’s easier for potential buyers to find online. You have to strike a balance between engaging copy and keywords.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the practice of using keywords and phrases in your copy to align with what people might be searching for. For example, if I have a hunting property for sale in Western Colorado, I include as many variations of that description in my copy as possible to account for different search terms. These may include “Colorado hunting properties for sale,” “where to hunt on the Western Slope,” and “hunting property on the Grand Mesa.”
I prefer writing my listing copy as I would if I was writing it for a print medium. Then, once it’s written and organized, I go back in and see where I can add keywords that don’t detract from the message I’m trying to communicate.
Sharp Listing Photos
Great photos of a property can be the difference between someone picking up the phone to schedule a showing or clicking onto the next property. With poor quality photos, you’re showing a property to someone who said, “Maybe it looks better in person,” as opposed to, “I have to see this property in real life!” Which level of enthusiasm is going to help you close?
You must have a large collection of quality photos to keep potential buyers to increase listing views and engagement. Show multiple angles of every room, the exterior, and the property to elevate the narrative of what it might be like in person.
I use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos, but I don’t go overboard. Instead, I make simple adjustments to change the levels of light, shadows, and vibrancy so you see the property in its best light no matter what.
Listings with videos reach more buyers, because, like photos, video offers buyers an inside look at the property before they ever see it in person. Next to Google, YouTube is the largest search engine in the world so uploading videos nearly doubles your exposure.
As an FAA-certified drone operator, I use drones in addition to my other video equipment to create beautiful videos of my listings. Drones help me capture smooth movements, aerial shots, and even photos that give a professional edge to my listing content. Yet, despite the proven fact that properties with drone imagery sell faster than without, only 9% of all realtors use drone technology in their content creation.
Interactive maps give buyers a complete picture of the subject property and surrounding area. They can zoom in and out to get an idea of where the property is located in reference to towns, schools, streets, neighborhoods, etc. They can also familiarize themselves with certain features on the property like boundaries, perimeter and cross fencing locations, and improvements like houses, barns, corrals, wellheads, springs, driveways, trails, and more.
I use a program called MapRight to create maps with interactive features like map views, map layers, 3D viewing, and mobile app tracking. Since I started using interactive maps about 5 years ago, I’ve seen a noticeable increase in the amount of time people spend looking at a listing.
Why Does a Good Listing Matter?
Whether you’re reading this post as a broker who wants to increase engagement or as someone considering selling and shopping around for listing agents, marketing and presentation is a huge part of successfully selling properties. You must include elements in your listings that help people find them, keep them engaged, and lead to showings.
Want to see how all of these essential listing elements collide? Check out some of my posts to see copy, photos, videos, and maps in action.