"If You Write It They Will Come!" The Long Tail In Real Estate


Some of you are sick of hearing about the ‘long tail.’

Some of you still have no idea what it is.

It’s finding a way to leverage the long tail is what keeps it interesting. The long tail phenomena can be read about here. However, it is best understood by example.

The mainstream music scene crams their latest releases down our throat as the must have, and they will certainly sell millions of records, cd’s let’s go with units.  The long tail effect is that there will also be millions of units sold by thousands of other less popular artists combined.  The tail may very well out-sell the mainstream.

Online companies offering millions of titles such as Napster, iTunes and Rhapsody experience enormous success because they offer the whole tail.

You can see the long tail in real estate as well. The internet traffic to sites like Zillow and Realtor.com is staggering.  But the number of personal real estate websites that litter the web is awesome as well.  The traffic the small guys generate as a conglomeration is assuredly huge.  In fact Google says that nearly half of all its searches are unique.

…being found online by your next lead doesn’t have to depend on which searches are most popular.

The long tail phenomena that’s most relevant to the Tomato is how online real estate searches in your area are not always as obvious as “San Francisco real estate.”  Showing up in the top 10 for such a search is not happening for the little guy.  Not to worry, being found online by your next lead doesn’t have to depend on which searches are most popular.

Real estate is a very broad subject and Realtors wear many different hats.  Getting exposure online is as easy as writing about your industry on your website. By discussing your services and experiences on your website, you are naturally going to cover many topics as your content develops.  The broader your efforts, the larger the net you have to capture leads from traffic looking for real estate answers.

A solution to getting more search engine traffic to your site that is relevant to your industry is to post regular articles (written by you) in your website.  These articles need to be about subject matter that has to do with your industry and would be deemed interesting by your potential audience.  To steal a saying from Mike Levin at HitTail.com: “If you write it, they will come.”

Getting exposure online is as easy as writing about your industry on your website.

The value of attracting niche and unique traffic to your site with ever-growing content is greater than just the visit.  By being a relevant result for such uncommon searches makes your site that much more appreciated.  This is an immediate trust builder and will improve the quality of your leads.  Generating hundreds of these niche visits to your site is so much more effective than being one of thousands vying for exposure with the most popular search terms.

A few of months ago Dustin at Rain City Guide expressed a similar sentiment regarding the effect of the long tail and niche attraction by way of the blog:

“I happen to think that blogging is a great way for agents to get out from under the “red” [top portion] of the curve (where most real estate websites live… and die) and out into the long tail where their niche knowledge will be appreciated and rewarded!”

June 6th marked the launch of a new company (HitTail) that is aiming to help website owners determine what the most effective ‘long tail’ keywords are for their business.  An informative and entertaining demo video can be watched here.  This is a fantastic idea and I will be paying very close attention to their product and growth.