Promoting real estate is the subject of a major marketing problem for real estate agencies. So how do you attract the largest number of customers to your properties? How do you convert people from visitors to buyers? What are the best ways to boost your sales?
Here are 14 steps that will help you perfect your real estate marketing tactics.
1. Before getting started, think about what objectives to attain
Establishing your long term goals will help you work out what’s important to you. Think about identifying the goals you would like to achieve. This will make it easier later on to define the steps to follow to accomplish the strategic vision of your company. Set realistic and consistent goals. For example, make the choice to help a particular partner gain a certain reputation, hit a target, etc. All accompanied by attainable deadlines.
Adapting to your clientele and personalising your communication will help you to deliver the best results. Who do you want your target audience to be? Sellers, tenants, or first home buyers? Identifying who you want to sell to will give you a very clear idea of how to approach your real estate marketing strategy.
“35% of all real estate buyers are Millennials”
According to Emile L’Eplattenier of The Close, 35% of all real estate buyers in 2016 were Millennials. This is up from 32% in 2014 and will only continue to grow. To maximize the impact of your marketing on millennials, L’Eplattenier suggests creating a brand that is authentic, informative, and sociable, by offering experiential marketing like, for example, in-person classes and events. This will help you get over the finish line with millennial buyers.
After setting goals, summarise the strategies you will use to achieve these goals. This plan will represent your various operational strategies (communication, HR, etc...) that will enable you to methodically achieve your goals. You will therefore move from a long-term goal to highly operational actions in the short, medium and long term.
2. Don’t underestimate the importance of your website
First and foremost, you must have a website. This will allow potential clients to make an informed decision about who to choose as their real estate agent. To make that agent you, you need to create an informative, easy to use site for your real estate business. To keep prospects coming to your site, include listings on your site and update them regularly.
There are several ways you can create your site:
By using a CMS (Content Management System) - a turnkey platform to easily create a website, little technical expertise is required and you can have the first few pages on the site in under an hour! Wordpress is the most used CMS in the world because it’s renowned for being easy to use.
Make your site easy to get around: If your site is a nightmare to navigate, then people will get frustrated and go elsewhere. It is imperative that your visitors have a good experience on your website, so take the time to brush up on user experience design skills and information architecture. It’s also a good idea to link your site to your profile page on other real estate sites so they can learn more about you and your business.
“80% of Internet users use their mobile devices for online activity” (Impact)
Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly: Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone and in our tech-savvy consumer society we spend more and more time on our mobile devices. It’s paramount that your website is mobile friendly. You can take this to the next level by creating a mobile app that potential buyers can use to review listings, etc.
3. Google My Business Page is a Must Have
Setting up a Google My Business account makes it easy for users to find you in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+, etc. Google My Business is the latest in Google location-based pages. It’s easy to set up and will definitely become a key marketing tool once you have an account - trust me!
Copyright: Google My Business
4. Look after your blog to engage clients
You can also start a blog and write content optimised for SEO. This ensures your posts show up in prospect search results every time. Using Semrush or Ahrefs as a tool to help you find search terms and keywords is an efficient way to target your clients. SEO will drive traffic to your website and expand the reach of your marketing. Certain keywords like “houses for sale,”or “for sale by owner” or “FSBO” have higher SEO value than other terms.
Be absolutely sure of your blog’s quality of the content because they help to reinforce the image of a real estate agency or your network. And this image is essential: it is the reason for being your digital real estate marketing, since this is what will attract prospects and give you the opportunity to convert them into customers (sellers or buyers). Another creative idea is to find new article ideas by asking the public! Get them to suggest creative, new ideas, or questions that they want answers to.
In a sector where trust is crucial, the content strategy has a special meaning. It is through this strategy that you will be able to convince your future clients and that you will be best able to meet their needs.
5. How to find new clients and retain existing ones using Email Marketing
A simple place to start an email marketing campaign is to send a newsletter summarising your blog content for the month. This is a no-pressure way to reach out to contacts as it gives you the opportunity to inform them of when new property listings become available without bombarding them with numerous emails. In these email marketing campaigns you should definitely include images, a video walkthrough of the property, or even a virtual staging of the home.
Email nurture campaigns will draw in your audience if you tailor your interactions to them based on previous actions they’ve taken. For example, if they first attended an open house with you, send them an email detailing other nearby houses on the market. If they attended your first time home buyer’s seminar, send them your “10 Things Every New Homebuyer Should Know “ article. Deliver content that will help your clients take the next step, depending on where they are currently.
Put your contact details on every page of your website. Ideally, make an great ‘Contact Us’ page to attract your clients’ attention. If you are easy to get in touch with, clients are more likely to want to use you and will see you as a reliable company who they can trust.
There are various tools available for sending massive emails such as Mailchimp, a simple to use emailing software and free for up to 12,000 emails per month. Another alternative is Sendgrid, which offers several rates depending on the number of contacts and the number of emails to send.
6. Get On Zillow
“92% of homebuyers house-hunt online” (NAR)
Zillow is the largest real estate website with more than 160 million visitors per month, so this should be your first port of call when it comes to real estate marketing! Zillow Premier Agent is Zillow’s platform that lets you advertise on local Zillow and Trulia listings. They estimate that for every $1 you spend, you’ll earn $2.60 in commissions.
Sites like Zillow account for 48% of all site traffic for real estate searches on the Internet.
Zillow also allows users to review real estate agents, people trust other people’s experiences. So if your clients have a good experience with you, you can get them doing the marketing for you!
7. Offer virtual tours as a sneak preview
“Already 77% of clients want to do a virtual tour before doing a ‘real’ visit”
Virtual staging will give your potential clients a sneak preview of what the house looks like. Online staging saves you the time and money of physically staging a property. It will also save you wasting time on showing people around who aren’t serious. If clients see the property online first, and then still want to visit the property you will know that they are serious and it’s worth investing your time in them.
“In 2018, 85% of staged homes sold for 6-25% more than unstaged homes”
8. Use drone photography
Taking sweeping shots of the home’s exterior and surrounding area using drones will enhance your site and add excitement to your listing. It will also, literally, give clients a fresh perspective. Drone videography can be used to supplement your virtual tours or walkthroughs and show exterior features like gardens, pools or patios. Call on the expertise of specialised sites, such as Meero, who offers an all-in-one solution to drone photography and videography.
9. Leverage all the features of Social Media
Learn the best ways to engage on social media. Don’t just bombard all forms of social media with the same content. It’s important to work out what type of content works best on which social media sites. For example, more casual videos might work best on a snapchat or instagram story, whilst polls, contests and other content might work better on Facebook.
Speaking of Facebook and Instagram… Millions of people use Facebook daily, so you would really be missing a trick not to optimise this social media platform. Don’t be afraid of paying for ads on social media, such as Facebook. Paid Facebook ads are often the most effective way to get in front of clients. Facebook has lots of awesome targeting feature to ensure that you’re only paying to get noticed by your key target audiences.
Live Videos on Facebook, for example, are a great way to introduce a new employee to your company, they also give the video 100% transparency as it’s live and unedited! This will engage subscribers and portray an innovative and natural image of your agency. Social networks are essential in increasing your local notoriety. The growing number of users on these platforms gives you the opportunity to reach local targets and publicise your real estate company in a given geographical area.
Chatbots are also a new feature that can really help you. These are based on artificial intelligence, and are able to answer questions asked by customers from the information they have. The user can then inquire about offers on Facebook by issuing a criteria on the chat. For example, number of rooms, distance from the workplace, etc... Everything can be exploited to make the search quicker than ever.
Instagram has 1 billion monthly users and its popularity is growing as other social media platforms plateau. To optimise your real estate marketing, use Instagram Stories to promote your listings in a more casual way. This will give your audience an insight into your day-to-day life as an agent. Maximise this feature by incorporating polls or using the Highlights feature to promote specific listings.
Another new feature that Instagram offers is permanent stories. As shown by Knightfrank’s site below, it is now possible to pin your stories permanently under your profile. To do this simply select the one you want, add a story name and a cover photo to add it to your profile!
Add social sharing to property pages. This is a simple, but effective way to facilitate home buyers to email and share properties online by adding social sharing buttons.
10. Make a Viral Real Estate Video
Try to capture your target audience with a funny or insightful clip, this may, in turn, also help you to capture a wider audience through the power of social shares. Everyone loves sharing funny, entertaining videos on Twitter and with family. Even if the audience isn’t your target, they may send your video to someone who is your target audience. Here’s an example of a cringey, yet successful real estate marketing video...
11. Ask for Testimonials From Former Clients
Testimonials are tremendous trust signals. They show that real, live people endorse your services and this means the world to potential clients. When a homebuyer has had a great experience with you, ask them to do a testimonial. If possible, try to get a photo of them as well, as this will humanise both the former client and your company. The next step is to strategically place these testimonials on your site and share them now and then on social media sites.
12. Hire a Photo Pro
There’s a strong correlation between successful real estate and high quality, professional photography. Bad photos will diminish interest and make your company look unprofessional. Hire a professional photographer as it really does pay to bring in the professionals. To compete with even an average listing agent, you have to create a story that compels buyers to take the next step. That story most often begins with a picture.
According to the NAR (National Associations of Realtors) 2017 Real Estate Digital Age Study, ads with professional photos receive 118% more online visits and ads with professional photos sell 32% faster. So, take the time to find a great professional photographer.
To promote your real estate, you must look at different marketing strategies. It begins by developing a plan with the goals to attain, then increasing its presence on the Internet using quality content, with particular emphasis on providing beautiful, professional photographs.