Claiming Your Digital Real Estate 


Heat Level:  Mild: These tips are beginner-friendly.

Bottom Line: If you want to be taken seriously by potential buyers and sellers, you should get serious about your online brand.

Do This: Give yourself a free digital checkup:

  • Find all of the places your company is listed online

  • Keep messaging, contact information, business information, etc. consistent on all platforms

  • Learn what you’re doing well and where you can improve online

  • Decide if there are any new platforms you want to join

Brokers and agents alike can stake their claim online.Home buying starts online. In fact, the National Association of Realtors found that 95% of all buyers cited using a website at some point in their search! With the vast majority of home buyers looking online, your company's online presence is crucial. 

This goes way beyond your website. There are countless online spaces you can take advantage of, but we’re focusing on a few key places to establish your digital brand.

Your Website

Having a website is the most important part of your online brand. We’ve talked about the crucial role websites play before, but it’s worth repeating. People find everything online.  Having a website allows people to find answers to all of their questions:

Info about your business
Clients want to know that they’re agreeing to work with a reputable, current firm. One of the fastest ways to prove legitimacy is having a site to direct them to.

Info about you and your agents
Sure, your business may seem solid, but what about the people behind it? Real estate is a relationship-first business, so buyers and sellers want to learn about the people they’ll be working with.

Properties for sale
The internet has made property searching infinitely easier with the magic of IDX sites. Buyers want to know if a property seems like the right fit for them before taking the time to tour in person. 

Other agents
Real estate is a constant recruiting game. Agents will look at your online presence as an indicator of how potential clients will perceive them if they start working with you.

Because buyers and sellers often use these questions to decide which professionals to work with, most of your potential clients start their search online. Of course, sites like Zillow and allow buyers to access a lot of this information why do you need your own site? 

For starters, these sites aren’t going to give buyers as much information about your company. If buyers want to know about your culture, values, team members, and more, directing them to your own website will provide a much better picture. You've got to be your own advocate in the digital space.

Sites like Zillow and are also a wild west of advertisements for other agents and brokers. Dedicated broker or agent IDX sites allow your clients to do everything they want, like:

  • Search listings based on area, price point, size, number of bedrooms, school district, and so on.

  • View details about any listing, like on Zillow or, since the information is pulled from the same MLS systems.

  • Always have access to the most current information since the listings update on a regular interval.

  • Compare their options through tools like a mortgage calculator.

And finally, we don't need to tell you how wildly inaccurate some of ZIllow and Realtor's data is. You already know.

Bottom line: having your own IDX site gives buyers the ease and functionality they’re looking for without all the noise that sites like Zillow and bring. 

Social Media

Social media is another essential tool in building your online presence. While a website can provide buyers with a lot of information, social media plays a key role in fostering client relationships. Working with an agent to buy or sell a home is a big commitment. People want to know more about you as a person and professional. Social media is a perfect venue to highlight the human side of your business. 

Use your social media to engage current clients, reel in potential clients, and expand your reach online. Your social media presence can achieve all of this by:

Selling neighborhoods just as much as individual listings

Why should people want to live there? Showcase what makes the area great!

Answering questions that help buyers and sellers

What would help first time home buyers? What should people know about the process? What are common issues that come up during closing and how can you prevent them? Use your expertise to help your followers whether they're buying, selling, or just considering their options.

Sharing videos 

Videos are a valuable choice for social media content. Think beyond sharing virtual tours or videos of houses for sale. Try sharing informative videos like tips for staging your house when selling. Try streaming live and holding a virtual open house for potential buyers looking to move from out of the area. The possibilities are endless!

Engaging with followers and comments

Good or bad, when people comment and post reviews you should reply. By actively replying and being attentive to your online audience, you demonstrate your commitment to the people you work with.

Go beyond Facebook

Or Instagram, or LinkedIn. There are so many new platforms to reach people! Planning to get your company involved in a local event? Try creating a Snapchat filter for the day and location of the event. Don’t just share photos on Instagram; focus on filling your stories with new and meaningful content. Find out where your target audience is and go there.

Google My Business

When you Google your business name, a box with a description of your business should appear on the right hand side. If you haven't claimed this or don't see one for your business (or yourself as an agent), stop everything and do it right now

Neglecting to list your business on Google makes it much harder for people to find you online. Claiming your listing on Google My Business gives you control of the details about your business, like your phone number and hours. Without claiming the business, people can suggest changes to these details, which might not always be accurate. Once you’ve claimed your listing, changes won’t be published without your approval.

Reviews are also a powerful aspect of listing your company on Google.  A little effort up front on claiming, using, and maintaining your Google My Business listing can save you from a digital identity crisis down the line.

Other Sites to Remember

I know, you’re already tired from trying to remember all of the places you should be online. BUT, there are a few other places it’s worth taking the time to spruce up. Ideally, clients will use your website and social media channels to learn about you. But how are they getting there? Google is one option. It’s also worth taking a few minutes to find all of your other online profiles. 

Do you have a profile on Zillow? Yelp? Google yourself and see where you appear. Google your competitors and see where they appear. If you find profiles you don’t remember setting up, claim them (there is usually a button that says “Is this your listing?”) If you don’t find yourself in all the places your competitors are listed, get on their level and set up a page!

Taking a quick audit of the places people are likely to find your company is essential. Update those listings with links to your new website, social media pages, and current contact information. The more online connections you can make between these platforms the better! When potential customers search for you on any platform, they should all end up on your website, regardless of their starting point.

Bottom Line

In today’s digital-first market, having an online presence is as essential as having a phone line for people to call. Claiming space online in multiple places helps you reach the right customers on the channels they’re already using. And by having a presence across several platforms, your company builds legitimacy and authority with the people that matter most: your clients. 

Jess Clair self-portrait on Mount Washington
Jess Clair is the Marketing and Sales Project Manager at Joyce, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA.
Working with ListingManager allows Jess to explore an alternate reality where she could one day own a house instead of renting. When she’s not focused on her daily to-do lists, Jess enjoys HBO binges, gourmet lattes, and playing with her dog.

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