[Case Study] Steve deGuzman: Placester’s Real Estate Advertising Program Top-Notch
By Matthew Bushery
Business: Broker and License Partner, Engel & Voelkers Front Range
Starting a real estate advertising strategy is clearly atop many agents’ and brokers’ priority lists. Take the latest report from ad research firm Borrell Associates, for example: The company’s research shows agents and brokers are projected to spend nearly $14 billion on their real estate advertising in 2015 — 75% of which will be allocated to online ads.
Colorado-based broker Steve deGuzman of Engel & Voelkers Front Range can attest that spending money on real estate advertising has worked wonders for his real estate marketing. He utilizes Placester’s Marketing Plays program, which helps agents and brokers create and manage successful pay per click (PPC) advertising campaigns using Google Adwords.
Since getting started with Placester’s real estate advertising platform, deGuzman has seen substantial growth with his online exposure and lead generation.
“Within three weeks, we were able to increase our site traffic by 290% and increase lead volume 192%,” deGuzman said. During the first week in the ads program, he noted his real estate website secured 112 site visits and generated 13 leads. One month into the program, those totals rose to 437 visits and 38 leads — growth that prompted him to increase his use of Placester’s ad services.
DeGuzman provided more detailed insights into how Placester has aided his firm’s real estate lead generation efforts and how Engel & Voelkers Front Range stays ahead of the competition with its online marketing strategy.
Tell us about your background in real estate. How did you get started?
I have a real estate degree from the J. Mack School of Business at Georgia State University in Atlanta. It is a CCIM-based degree, in principal. I entered the residential market as a broker in 2000 after being in the restaurant industry for 23 years. After my wife and I had our first child, I decided to get out of the restaurant business and move back to my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.
How did you end up working with Engel & Voelkers Front Range?
Our decision came down to several things. First, the brand is very well known internationally and their attention to the smallest detail is remarkable. The firm also provides an array of software applications, guidance, and training that’s simply unprecedented in our industry. And finally, Engel & Voelkers is the only real estate franchise that actually offers a vertical opportunity for its advisors. All other real estate brands are really just lateral moves. I believe Engel & Voelkers offers the only step up in our industry.
How did you hear about Placester’s real estate advertising program?
I have been blessed with meeting a lot of innovative people since entering the real estate industry. I have held several webinars and conducted regional speaking engagements and was fortunate to meet Seth Price (Placester’s Vice President of Marketing) at the Inman Agent Reboot event in Denver. I did a webinar on predictive analytics in the real estate space featuring SmartZip Analytics. I was really impressed with Seth and the entire Placester platform. When they offered the pay per click (PPC) beta services, of course we jumped on board.
How beneficial has working with Placester been for your real estate marketing?
I don’t know where to begin on this one. The Placester team has provided so many additional value points that go unadvertised. It’s really been priceless to us. Courteney McDonnell, Placester’s Marketing Genius who helps with our advertising campaign, has provided insight, technical assistance, and support every step of the way for us. The knowledge base Placester brings to the table would otherwise take an enormous team to replicate.
What goals has the Placester ads program helped you accomplish?
We wanted to generate internal real estate leads for both our e-advisors (buyer agents) and our experienced advisors. We do this in order to provide an additional revenue source for experienced advisors. The Placester ads platform is a plug-and-play service in that experienced, high-volume advisors can plug in to our tested platform and expand their businesses by as much as their budget and time allows. The Placester PPC platform can scale from 80 to 1,000 (or more) leads in just a matter of minutes.
What other marketing tactics do you implement to drive real estate website traffic and generate leads?
We are constantly looking for new technologies that add value to our clients’ experiences, and one of the hottest ones we found recently is HomeTrackr. They offer unprecedented insight into homes’ histories, prior to making an offer to purchase or listing a house for sale. This has the power to potentially save clients tens of thousands of dollars, much like Carfax saves money for those looking to purchase vehicles.
The service also provides tools that help us find prospective buyers before they show up on our competitors’ radars. You can’t just wave a flag and ask if someone is ready to buy a house or not. You have to give them unique tools and content in a steady stream until they say, “I think we are ready to buy a house!”
What other marketing technology helps you promote your business?
That’s an easy one to answer: SMS technology, which is connected to our MLS board’s mobile IDX and is GPS-enabled. We are currently testing ads via SMS with Placester’s help. The open/read rates and response rates are just unheard of. We are definitely dedicated to leading our market area in utilizing this technology for real estate lead nurturing.
What does the future of Engel & Voelkers Front Range look like? Where do you see the business headed moving forward?
We feel we offer a client experience that is unmatched in our industry. We provide premium service at every price and are leveraging the fact that Engel & Voelkers is known to almost all of the local advisors and customers in order to tell our story. With almost 40 years of international experience, E&V is expanding at the fastest rate possible in the U.S. With the opening of Beverly Hills, as well as the flagship office in Manhattan on Park Avenue, operations are literally going up coast to coast.
Published on February 27, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I’m the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.