If you’re keen to try out a career in real estate, there are a few goals to tick off your ‘To Do’ list first. To start with, have you got the necessary qualifications? Are you a certified real estate agent or broker with a license to create and close property deals?
Are you not? Well, you’ll have to take an alternative route.
There is a different way to become a legally legitimate broker – a professional who helps people rent and buy homes – and it doesn’t require three years of industry experience. It’s called real estate affiliate marketing. Today, we’re going to explain how it works and what it means for the future of the property markets and budding brokers.
You’ll know, by the end of this article, how to earn money by selling and leasing properties from the comfort of your own home. For the moment, you need a reliable website. That’s the first step. Check out the advice at Dr. Housing Bubble for general information about investing in the real estate industry. It’s an excellent example of the kind of housing website you could use to generate cash.
Another example is the website, “Fodor’s Travels.” It’s worth a look; the platform is easy to navigate, fun to use and highly informative. It’s making a lot of money from the real estate sector despite, technically, being closer to a travel website. HomeToGo is another example it’s worth checking out. Like Fodor’s, it scrapes the internet for rental lists and generates revenue by passing this information on to customers.
Let’s take a closer look at how affiliate marketing could help you kick start a real estate career.
Getting to Grips with the Real Estate Sector
Currently, around two million people work in the real estate sector. While it’s a turbulent industry, with many ups and downs, there are opportunities to be had for bright entrepreneurs. It’s true the housing market is in recovery following a series of economic downturns. The good news is, it’s growing at a steady rate and has now reached all-time highs.
According to a recent study, a staggering 92% of home buyers now search for properties online. Around 69% end up on real estate websites after performing a search for local properties in their area. This is a significant change, compared with a decade ago.
What you need is a high-quality website; a real estate platform that can recognize and contribute to the shifting demands of millennial homebuyers. You need an intimate understanding of this particular market, and the way technology has changed the way people identify prospective properties.
You may want to conduct your research into the millennial market (and baby boomer trends, to a lesser extent). Then, start considering the purpose and tone of your future real estate website.
The Right Way to Conduct ‘Hot Property’ Keywords Research
The first stage of keyword research is getting all your niche seed keywords together in the right place. Don’t worry about categorizing them for now. You can do that later. For the moment, let’s focus on collecting keywords fast.
Seed keywords are words and phrases with enough search influence to help you rank on SERPs and start selling your services. They need to be reliable. The more relevant and popular your keywords, the easier it will be for your website to target valuable, money generating traffic.
Two of our favorite keyword research tools are Ubersuggest and Google Trends. To use the latter, open Google Trends and find the search box. Enter ‘real estate’ and look for sections marked ‘Related Queries’ and ‘Related Topics.’ Take the best seed keywords you find here for use on your website. These are phrase match keywords and targeted for answering user intent.
Using ‘The Balance’ As a Case Study for Affiliate Marketing
Before you dive into real estate affiliate marketing, we recommend you research a website called “The Balance.” It’s one of the most successful examples of real estate affiliate marketing. Technically, it is a money management platform (not a real estate company), but it operates a lucrative home buyers ‘match up’ system.
The Balance is a real behemoth of a website. Toting an unshakeable online presence that is supported by 26 million organic visitors (per month) and over 60,000 referring domains. Although it operates entirely online, it has positioned itself as a market authority on locating and buying properties. It’s an example you need to learn from if you want to build your affiliate marketing empire in real estate.
Look for an article called ‘Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home’ on The Balance. It’s not a new piece of content. However, it continues to bring in around 3,500 organic visitors every month. This page alone has 176 referring domains. The secret to its success is surprisingly simple if a little sneaky.
The Balance has driven huge amounts of traffic to this one article by using it as a ‘copycat’ table of contents for its property section. It is designed to look like a table of contents with ordered bullet points and links out to revenue-generating pages (‘what is the best mortgage for me,’ ‘where is the best bank to get a mortgage,’ etc.)
This particular website structure generates lots of money because it splits the conversion funnel into many smaller conversion ‘tunnels.’ There isn’t one money making a place to direct traffic; there’s a whole bunch of pages offering slightly different services.
Do not forget the role of high-quality content. The Balance is rather clever in the way it presents its information. Although, it also ensures every article and every buying guide is highly instructive to keep customers coming back for more. Fully certified real estate agents write most of its pieces.
This is a smart move, particularly when you consider the fact these real estate affiliate websites do not rely on qualifications. You could set up an affiliate marketing platform without any brokering certifications and gain legitimacy from links to those who do have them. Yes, it’s a little cynical but it works, and it could make you a lot of money. Which is a considerable portion of the revenue that the Balance generates stems from these referrals.
5 Steps to a Profitable Real Estate Website
1. Research Your Market Rivals
Building your website should be easy. Even if you do not have a lot of experience with web design, there are plenty of content management tools to get you started. The hard work comes when you finish building and begin marketing. Creating and sourcing highly targeted revenue generating traffic is hard work that takes time. It can be a particular, tedious job but it’s essential.
Start by exploring a range of authority sites on the niche. Consider combining this with your keyword research to form a personal strategy manual on inbound marketing. We recommend spending time on popular sites and even a few of the less popular platforms. That way, you can figure out what the successful websites are doing right, particularly when compared with less lucrative rivals. Take notes.
2. Start Attracting Free Traffic
In these early days, you’re going to want to drive traffic to your website as quickly as possible. Initially, it may not be the most valuable traffic around, but you can always optimize your audience later. For now, it’s all about getting eyes on your content.
Despite waning interest from content creators, SEO continues to be a beneficial form of digital marketing. It’s undoubtedly useful for capturing attention fast and getting visitor numbers to your website. It is crucial that any SEO techniques you use are strictly ‘white hat.’
Resist the urge to link farm or use questionable SEO methods. It could end up damaging your site’s reputation before it’s had a chance to build much of one. Simple, authentic SEO is inexpensive if done yourself and straightforward. You do not need black hat tactics.
3. Build a Social Media Presence
Overestimating the influence of social media is hard. It’s a powerful tool for the real estate sector because buying and renting properties is an inherently social process. People use social media to ask friends for advice on where and when to buy properties. They share pictures. They enquire about neighborhood amenities, crime statistics, and leisure pursuits.
For millennials, in particular, social media is now a natural part of searching for and buying a house. So, you’ve got to build a social presence. It’s pretty easy to do – there are plenty of guides and tutorials to help you – and it shouldn’t take you long. Focus on the most popular sharing platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
4. Fill Your Website with High-Level Copy
Copywriting is a piece of the marketing puzzle you cannot afford to ignore. Yes, it takes time and skill to craft relevant, engaging pieces of sales copy. However, it is always worth the effort. When you’ve got two almost identical companies, each duking it out for the top spot, the deciding factor is often the quality of their copy.
If you do not have the time or knowledge to write informational articles yourself, you can pay freelancers to do the job. Just make sure the copy is actionable; it should offer practical, real-world advice or tips. Try to balance this applicability with compelling, engaging narratives. In other words, don’t be afraid to add a little personality. People respond to emotion. Check out this article that goes into detail on 5 of the biggest benefits for content marketing.
5. Use Video Content to Engage Your Audience
Video marketing is another powerful tool in the affiliate marketer’s arsenal. It is well suited to the real estate sector because people buy properties based on their visual appeal. High-quality promotional videos can engage people who are not planning to buy as quickly as they do legitimate house hunters.
Video creates a ‘word of mouth’ buzz, and you end up reaching more homebuyers through indirectly lucrative traffic channels. That’s why it’s worth crafting original video content and sharing it on social media channels. DataCaptive has an excellent article explaining how video marketing influences purchasing behavior.