A Quick Guide to Real Estate Digital Marketing
As a real estate agent, you’re probably always looking for ways to increase your business. Generating new leads is critical for you to have success in real estate. Unless your client is a flipper, it’s unlikely that he or she will buy another piece of property for years after you sell the individual a home, after all. Even if you sell commercial real estate, you need to establish a pipeline of fresh leads because most businesses won’t change locations on a regular, bankable basis.
Whether you’re a new or seasoned residential or commercial agent, digital marketing can be an effective way for you to generate new leads and stay connected with your existing clientele base. That is, real estate digital marketing can help you do these things if it’s done right.
Set Up a Professional, Mobile-Friendly Website
There are approximately 400,000 real estate agents in the United States. Out of the individual realtors who made at least $150,000 in 2016, more than 80 percent of them had their own real estate website. Even if you already have a website, it doesn’t mean you’re getting the most out of it.
Your website will be a critical factor in the success you have with digital marketing. That’s because it’s a direct reflection of your brand, it’s where people will search for listings and, ideally, it will drive conversions. In order for your website to do all of these things, it needs to have certain characteristics. Making sure your website is SEO-friendly and follows best practices is important to allow your site to rank for relevant, locally-focused keywords. If you are a real estate agency in Chapel Hill, NC, you will want to rank for keywords that include your location and service, like chapel hill property management.
With 76 percent of consumers who search for a local business on a smartphone visiting that establishment within 24 hours and with mobile searches now exceeding desktop searches, it’s vital that your website is responsive and user- and mobile-friendly. This means your website’s content must be easy to view on a mobile device and it must be optimized for people using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Your website must also be IDX-enabled for property searches. The majority of IDX providers allow you to incorporate what’s called “delayed forced registration” into your website. If you have this on your site, your visitors will have to enter their contact information before they can look for their dream home or business location using your website. This feature can help you capture valuable leads.
The @properties website includes robust community pages that highlight characteristics of the neighborhood, local schools, nearest transit, and photos.
Your real estate website should have content written for hyper-local SEO as well. You can achieve this by making individual pages for the neighborhoods in which you already sell real estate and the communities in which you’re hoping to establish a foothold. After you identify the keywords you want to use, make a dedicated page or neighborhood guide for each community in your area.
It’s important to understand that the “rules” and best practices for SEO are constantly changing. In many cases, it’s best to let an experienced digital marketing professional handle your SEO for you because the person will be familiar with the current best practices.
While your website will be a big part of your digital marketing campaign, there are other marketing channels you should pursue, including online advertising. Here are some of the online advertising channels you may want to use:
Although display advertising isn’t as effective as it once was, it’s still something you may want to incorporate into your digital marketing campaign. Display advertising involves buying ad space on various websites on a cost per impression basis. As a real estate agent, it’s wise for you to limit your display advertising to local websites that provide news and information related to specific neighborhoods where you list property.
Pay Per Click Advertising
When you do this kind of advertising, your ads will appear much like they would with display advertising, meaning they’ll appear alongside other content on multiple websites. The difference is that you’ll pay for this kind of advertising on a cost per click basis, which means the cost of your pay per click ads will be determined by the number of clicks your advertisements get instead of impressions.
This kind of marketing involves sending information to the contacts on an email list you’ve already created. Email marketing can be quite successful because you’ll typically be sending content to people who’ve chosen to receive information from you. DRIP email campaigns, which are automated series of pre-set emails, and property updates powered by an IDX provider, are great ways for realtors to use email marketing effectively.
Social Media Marketing
Being successful in real estate requires your name to be the one that comes to mind whenever someone is thinking about buying, selling, or leasing a property. For this to happen, you have to position yourself as the go-to realtor by keeping your brand fresh in the minds of consumers. Social media marketing can help you do this.
Dream Town, a Chicago-based real estate company, has a huge following on Facebook. They regularly post photos and videos and run photo contests to actively engage their fans.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat are great places to share videos related to your business. With more than 50 percent of marketers saying video is effective at increasing brand awareness, generating leads and engaging others online, creating targeted videos for your social media followers can help you build your business.
Here are some ideas about how you can use video on social media to drum up business:
Use Live Platforms
Live video is expected to be popular for years to come. Luckily, Facebook and Twitter have live video platforms that enable you to broadcast to your followers in real-time. Did you just get a hot new listing? Why not use a live social media platform to tell people all about it now?
Create Virtual Reality Property Tours
Virtual reality property tours are a great, efficient way to show people your listings and generate interest in them. Be sure you share your virtual property tours on your social media pages and encourage your followers to like, share, and comment on them.
Make Authentic Videos
With video consumption on mobile devices increasing 100 percent per year, it’s obvious that viewers are interested in authentic videos that are designed to both entertain and inform. You can create videos that are authentic by doing things such as interviewing satisfied clients or even some locals who live in the neighborhoods where you list property most often.
The popularity of Mid-Century Modern design and furniture has lead to a new appreciation for the era’s homes. This video tour highlights a Pasadena home designed in 1950 by Architect Eugene Weston.
Many businesses across industries have experienced measurable success with digital marketing. With real estate being such a visual field, it’s clear that realtors have a great opportunity to create online marketing campaigns that are highly successful.
Now that a majority of homebuyers use the internet to shop for houses, it’s more important than ever that your real estate business stands out online. Build a user-friendly site, optimize for local traffic, and crosspost your property photos and videos to social platforms to capture leads.