Are you a real estate agent looking for a new online approach to getting more clients? Well, guess what? Online advertising and Google aren’t the only ways to be discovered by prospective buyers and sellers in the 21st century! Maybe it’s time you tried Parkbench.
We’re going to take an exclusive look at an exciting new digital marketing tool gaining in popularity among real estate agents. Founded in 2014, Parkbench is the fastest growing website of its kind and a digital marketing tool that has proven more effective for agents than any of the major listing portals.
Standing Out From The Crowd
If you’re currently investing in Facebook ads and Google campaigns, you’ve likely noticed how competitive it’s becoming. As more new agents enter the industry, staying visible in search results is becoming more difficult.
It’s common knowledge that listing portals such as Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia are popular destinations for prospective homebuyers. Their comprehensive listings make it easy for consumers to research the local housing market for their dream home.
Search engines have changed the way prospective homeowners find a home, but how do they find the right agent?
When it comes to choosing agent, consumers still prefer a referral from family or friends.
So how can you attract new clients and generate referral business online without Google?
Online Advertising: Is it Worth It?
In theory, advertising builds brand recognition. Repeated exposure to your name and face builds share of-thought with local residents, making you the most memorable choice when they are ready for an agent.
In practice, however, digital advertising often yields very low conversion rates.
Advertising with search engines can provide a temporary boost in website traffic. Converting that traffic into clients, however, requires a further investment in both time and money.
Brokerages with deep pockets can invest heavily in ad networks, retargeting and message bots. Dominating the top positions in search results requires keyword expertise and SEO skills that few agents are proficient in.
How Parkbench.com Helps Community Minded Real Estate Professionals?
Sponsored entirely by a network of over 1000 agents across North America, Parkbench is an online neighborhood search portal for local residents and businesses.
Each neighborhood website is sponsored exclusively by a single, licensed real estate agent or team. With comprehensive, hyperlocal content added daily, each site serves as an online information hub for anyone researching the community.
Users can search Parkbench each day for the latest in:
- Local deals
- Discount coupons (posted by business owners)
- Aggregated news stories
- Feature interviews,
- Event listings,
- Business directory
- Property listings
Anyone with an email dress can contribute content to their neighborhood website. Opt-in subscribers to the local newsletter receive a monthly email from their local real estate agent.
Turning Agents Into Digital Mayors & Local Leaders®
By providing local residents with a free, comprehensive online resource, real estate agents engaged on Parkbench seek to become community advocates, or ‘digital mayor’ of their farm.
Leveraging the power of the internet and a unique proprietary technology, the Parkbench platform helps their real estate professionals in three key areas:
- Prospecting (Prospect-Interviewing)
- Lead generation
- Client Referrals
Word-of-mouth is the #1 source of business for top real estate performers. Parkbench helps their agents do just that, using a combination of online and offline strategies.
As you share content from your neighborhood website to your social media pages, you build brand recognition online. Local residents who see your news stories, discount coupons, and event posts on Facebook, for example, will be motivated to share that content with other members of the community.
Business owners can upload offers to their neighborhood page for free. Residents who redeem coupons from your website or newsletter at a local store drive further interest from business owners, who in turn find value in the free advertising you offer.
They’ll also be more likely to subscribe to your newsletter, increasing your brand awareness further!
Local Leader Prospecting
Rather than relying exclusively on Google or SEO tactics, Parkbench empowers agents to build relationships in their farm using the Local Leader® Prospecting System.
Each month, Parkbench encourages and grooms agents to become recognized brands in their farm by interviewing local business owners and promoting them online. Agents are encouraged to meet with and interview as many local business owners as possible.
The interview can be conducted in a number of ways: video, live stream, audio podcast or blog post.
Piazza Presto Local Restaurant Interview
- Get to know the business owners in your farm
- Personalize your brand
- Create content that can be discovered online (i.e. youtube, Facebook, Google)
By promoting the business owners in your farm to a targeted local audience, you build relationships and generate reciprocity. business owners will appreciate the additional free exposure your interview provides, which in turn can lead to referral business for you.
What Makes Parkbench Unique?
Digital advertising allows you to be more strategic with your budget, but it can’t build rapport with buyers and sellers alone. Building trust and relationships are still the core of any successful real estate business.
Through a unique combination of training and digital tools, Parkbench sponsors win more listings through referrals than advertising. By helping business owners with added exposure, you establish your brand as a community-minded agent who invests in others first before asking them to invest in you.
Prospecting is a critical component of the Parkbench philosophy. Agents who seek to establish themselves as community advocates or ‘neighborhood specialists‘ are able to demonstrate their values and their expertise in a meaningful way.
By offering free exposure and information to local residents, you demonstrate your relevance, your expertise, and commitment to the community. the prospect-interview creates opportunities to network in person while offering value to your prospects.
It takes a savvy marketing expert to keep pace with SEO and search technology that often works against you. Used strategically, online advertising can increase brand awareness, but it cannot take the place of relationships.
Parkbench doesn’t invest in Facebook or Google Ads for its agents. Instead, they are given the tools, training, and support they need to build and cultivate relationships online as well as offline.
By being of service and demonstrating value to their community, Parkbench agents are able to brand themselves as neighborhood experts who are trustworthy, knowledgeable, and sincere.