NEW YORK -- When the internet replaced newspapers as a primary way to advertise homes and other property for sale, real estate brokers learned they had to be increasingly strategic about marketing online. That has meant adapting evolving digital marketing trends to attract people looking to buy or sell homes.
The most basic strategy is to fill a website with content designed to get a high ranking in search results, a process called search engine optimization, or SEO. Brokers choose words and phrases that their target buyers and sellers are likely to look for, such as "lakefront property."
Other strategies brokers are using:
— Videos. Although photos and floor plans have become standard visuals in online home listings, brokers use videos to give prospective buyers the feeling of walking through a home. Broker websites can allow visitors to search for and see only listings that have videos. While many videos show only the property and no people, broker Debra Goodwin in the New York City suburbs has had videos made showing her cooking in a home that has a particularly noteworthy kitchen.
— Blogs. By writing blog items on topics of interest to home buyers and sellers, brokers can capture the attention of would-be clients. Readers are then more likely to visit the broker's website and look at listings. The blog items aren't necessarily about buying or selling — they can be about neighborhoods that are popular now or up-and-coming. Blogs are also part of search engine optimization strategies.
— Social media. Brokers post listings to their own friends and followers, and can also target specific potential buyers through advertising.
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