Today, on average, 70 percent of the buying decision is made before a prospect talks to a company1. Yep, 70 percent.
In other words, before a real estate agent ever enters the picture, 70 percent of the selection decision has already been made by a home seller.
But if you go back 10 or 20 years, this was not the case. All the information about buying, selling or managing real estate, back then, was inside the four walls of a real estate office. People had to call you if they wanted answers to their questions. Today, they simply ‘Google’ it.
According to Google search data, 8 million Australians search for the answers to real estate related questions every month.
- “How can I advertise on realestate.com.au without an agent”
- “How to sell a property fast”
- “Home selling process step-by-step”
- “Legal steps to selling a house”
- “How much does selling a house cost”
- And many more…
These types of questions – someone just looking for an answer to their question – account for roughly 80% of all Google searches3. Fewer than 20% of Google searches are made with the intention of contacting a salesperson, or in your case, a real estate agent. And with roughly 10 million Google searches in Australia every month relating to real estate4, this research means that 8 million people are looking for answers to their questions about real estate – every month.
With so many people wanting to know more about real estate, you’d think that agents would be bending over backwards to help. Right? Google doesn’t see it that way.
Depending on which part of Australia you live in, the first page of Google search results for most real estate related questions – such as the ones above – does not include web pages belonging to agents or real estate businesses, but rather web pages belonging to the property portals, industry bodies, governing agencies, agent comparison and review websites.
But who are the best people to be answering questions about buying, selling or managing real estate?
That’s right… it’s YOU.
You are the one on the front line. You are the one with the insights. You are the one speaking to consumers every day. You have years of experience in real estate and all the knowledge in the world, but here’s the thing… Google doesn’t know you exist unless your knowledge exists online. On your own website.
“But we’ll never compete with the marketing budgets of those other platforms!”
When it comes to advertising spend, this statement is probably true. But I should stress at this point that we are talking about organic search results on Google, not the paid ads at the top (of which 95% of Australian consumers skip past).
While there are many factors that go into how a web page will rank in Google search results, proximity to a Google searcher is the new #1 ranking factor in local search results today. Meaning, if someone is located in Paddington NSW and they search for “how much does a real estate agent cost” – from either a mobile or desktop device – Google will prioritise web pages that contain the answer to that question from businesses closest to that person.
But under its latest algorithm update, Google are prioritising websites that publish regular and relevant content more than ever before.
Google and Facebook have made it very clear that they are all about fostering localised conversations among communities. They are even rewarding businesses who are producing content online, specifically for their local area.
If you publish what you know about real estate on your own website, consistently over time, I can assure you that you will rely less on other platforms for new business opportunities and you will drive more traffic, leads and sales as a result – at a much lower cost. But continue to rely on other platforms and digital advertising for new business opportunities and I can’t guarantee the same results.
Remember, Google doesn’t know you’re the subject matter expert on all things real estate unless your subject matter expertise exists online.
2 answerthepublic.com, Google autocomplete, Google’s ‘Searches Related To’ results
4 Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends