This is Part II on how you can get local media attention for the things you likely already do on a daily basis for your business. Getting positive media attention is easier than you may think.
By understanding the basics of creating a press release, knowing your local reporters and being aware of all activities taking place at your agency, you can create positive media attention for your business.
How many sports teams has your agency sponsored in the past year? Have you conducted any pancake breakfasts to support a community cause? Did you make any charitable donations? Did your employees take paid time off of work to volunteer in the community? Did any employees run a marathon or celebrate milestone anniversaries? Did any employees retire? Did you hire anyone?
Here’s how to turn these everyday occurrences into news that your community reporters will want to know and report.
Your business is a success. Congratulations! And why wouldn’t it be a success?
You’ve worked hard, faced and overcome many challenges, added some blood, sweat and tears, and worked many nights and weekends to ensure success.
You have professionally-designed ads throughout the community that promote your business. But, what does your personal Facebook page say about your business?
If you have crazy spring break pictures, online gaming stats, political messages and/or colorful language and extreme opinions posted on your public Facebook page, it’s likely to damage that business reputation you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Here are some best practices for your personal Facebook page:
Utilize the privacy settings. If you haven’t done so lately, take a tour of Facebook’s privacy settings. You can choose who can view your page, as well as your posts, comments and images.
Would you want current or prospective customers to see each post, comment and picture on your page? If not, make the appropriate changes. Use the privacy settings wisely.
Know what your kids are doing on your page. Do you allow your kids to play games through your Facebook page?
Or, perhaps you are playing all those farming, candy-gathering and other trendy games on Facebook. If so, update your settings so that Facebook doesn’t notify and invite all of your friends to play, too.
And, sorry folks, your Facebook friends don’t care that you plowed a new field in FarmVille.
Chain letters are still frowned upon. Don’t. Just don’t. On behalf of all your Facebook friends and future Facebook friends, please don’t send out requests for people to “share this post to 10 other friends to avoid extreme misfortune.”
Think how your clients would feel receiving all those messages from you.
Be mindful of the opinions you share. It’s true. You don’t have to share your political beliefs, Vegas trip pictures and current mood on your Facebook page.
You can also disagree with someone else’s post without actually commenting on that post. Again, keep in mind the message these posts are sending to your wide range of clients, and use the privacy settings sensibly.
One additional note: Keep in mind your employees likely have personal Facebook pages that may pose a danger to your business reputation. You should ask them to read this article.
Don’t let your personal Facebook page scar your business reputation.]]>
Wouldn’t it be great if your title insurance business could land one extra real estate closing every month? Better yet, what if the cost to acquire that deal was slim to none?
By now you’ve heard the benefits of having an online presence on sites like Yelp and Facebook, but have you considered Angie’s List? Like all the others, the cost to create a basic business profile is free – minus the time it takes to claim your business page and add content, including links back to your website and information about your title agency.
Many title insurance businesses overlook Angie’s List, which means there’s less competition for visibility on the platform (for now). People who pay for an Angie’s List subscription are more likely to be in immediate need of the services. While the quantity of leads may be fewer, the quality is as good or better than other review sites.
Angie’s List provides more information about your title business operations than other platforms do, such as how much the customer paid for closing and title services and a report card that scores your agency’s responsiveness, punctuality and professionalism among other things.
Because all the members leaving reviews are paid subscribers, and only paid subscribers can read the reviews (business owners can read reviews on their own page), Angie’s List doesn’t necessarily rise to the top of a Google search. On the other hand, the audience on this site tends to be highly motivated to buy.
Online reviews are a window into your title business, and Angie’s List provides another opportunity to rack up the reviews. Studies show consumers are more likely to contact a business if it has a 5-star rating, and improving your title agency’s star rating from 3 stars to 5 stars, for example, can yield as many as 25% more clicks to your business profile.
Many title agents are reluctant to explore customer review strategies because they are afraid of negative reviews. But ignoring platforms like Angie’s List doesn’t mean the negative reviews will go away. They are still impacting your title agency’s online reputation and possibly steering prospective customers to a local competitor with better reviews.
By developing a strategy for acquiring online reviews and targeting satisfied customers, you can mitigate the risk of a negative review torpedoing your star-rating.
And by expanding your scope to include Angie’s List, you provide your title business with an additional pipeline for new customers that can potentially net you one more real estate transaction every month at a lower cost of acquisition as compared with paid advertising.]]>
While the millennial generation is now the largest homebuying cohort, they aren’t the only ones who Google everything. We all like to know as much as we can about who we’re doing business with, and we all tend to rely on the opinions of others (our friends, or even online reviews by strangers) to help us make the best decisions.
As a title agency owner, it’s important to put yourself into the shoes of a prospective customer so you can provide the information they are seeking when they perform a Google search – as well or better than your competitors.
For homebuyers and sellers, a real estate transaction is likely an uncommon experience and they may be feeling anxious about exchanging such large sums of money. If the customer is a lender, there are always concerns of tolerance violations. And if the customer is a Realtor, settlement delays or other customer service issues may be a top concern.
Online reviews are a window into your title business. Studies show consumers are more likely to contact a business if it has a 5-star rating, and improving your title agency’s star rating from 3 stars to 5 stars, for example, can yield as many as 25% more clicks to your business profile.
Your title agency’s online reputation may be the deciding factor between whether a prospective customer reaches out to your business or contacts the competitor down the street. In today’s world, managing your business’s online reputation is essential – here are four platforms that should top your priority list.
With more than 123 million reviews to date, Yelp is no longer just a place for reviews of the new sushi restaurant that opened down the street. Realtors discovered the benefits of having a Yelp presence years ago, and now other professionals involved in the real estate transaction are jumping aboard the Yelp bandwagon.
The search engine behemoth holds roughly 75% of the Internet search market, and it’s no coincidence that Google reviews are one of the first things to pop up when a prospective customer Googles your title agency. Google reviews appear not only in Web search, but also Maps search.
With nearly 2 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the largest social network on the planet. Users spend an average of 15 minutes on the site, which means you have ample opportunities to connect with your target audience in a forum where they interact almost daily once you’ve claimed your title business’s Facebook page.
Many title insurance businesses overlook Angie’s List, which means there’s less competition for visibility on the platform (for now). People who pay for an Angie’s List subscription are more likely to be in immediate need of the services. While the quantity of leads may be fewer, the quality is as good or better than other review sites.]]>
Title insurance isn’t exactly top of mind when consumers think of Yelp. While the review site has been a topic of discussion at many recent marketing workshops for title agents, including ALTA Bootcamp, many agents are still skeptical as to whether Yelp offers any benefit for their title insurance businesses.
But that skepticism could wane as title agents come to realize how many new leads they can gather by maintaining a healthy and active Yelp page: healthy as in a page that contains mostly 4- and 5-star reviews, and active meaning someone from your business engages with your customers by responding to feedback and messages.
Just how much business can a healthy and active Yelp page produce for one local title agent? At least one extra deal per month, or more. It may not sound like much, but those deals add up throughout the year, and the cost to acquire them is quite low. Having a Yelp business page doesn’t cost anything, and maintaining one takes minimal time and effort.
It’s increasingly common for consumers to research every aspect of their homebuying experience. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, through their Know Before You Owe program, has all but ensured the trend won’t be reversed in the title insurance business any time soon.
The millennial generation especially, who’s grown up with technology at their fingertips, tends to Google everything, and they know exactly who they want to do business with before they ever call or email. Your title agency needs to be on Yelp because your business needs to be where tomorrow’s customers go for information.
When a prospective customer Googles your title agency, you can bet your Yelp business listing will appear on the first page of search results. While a Yelp page is an excellent opportunity to market your company’s services by uploading photos, posting links and completing the company information section, a Yelp page that is ignored or unclaimed also says something to the would-be customer about your company.
The stronger your business’s Yelp page is, the more opportunities you will create for new business. Elevating your title agency’s star rating from 3 stars to 5 stars can yield as many as 25% more clicks to your page, while studies show consumers are also more likely to contact a business if it has a 5-star rating.
Many title agents are reluctant to participate on Yelp because they are afraid of negative reviews. But ignoring your business’s Yelp profile doesn’t mean the negative reviews will go away. They are still impacting your title agency’s online reputation and possibly steering prospective customers to a local competitor with better reviews.
Don’t fear negative reviews. By developing a strategy for acquiring Yelp reviews and targeting satisfied customers, you can mitigate the risk of a negative review torpedoing your star-rating.