Real Estate Online Marketing Strategies, Tips, and Ideas
These days, people use the internet for everything. This includes looking for a new home. Online searches have made it easier than ever for a new home buyer to find a dream home.
In 2013 alone, it’s estimated that 90% of all home buyers did an online search before choosing to purchase their new home. Not just that, but 76% went to the physical location of homes they found online.
Given this information, it’s obvious that the internet is a major staple in the real estate world. This isn’t just great news for home buyers, but for realtors as well.
However, all paradigm shifts create new challenges, no matter how great it is. This applies to this change to a greater use of the internet. Social media and content marketing gives absolutely everyone a voice. Traditional advertising is no longer the only way a realtor can get exposure in the neighborhood.
So Realtors can market themselves much more efficiently. But even this has brought a slew of new challenges. Now that any realtor can easily sell themselves, the market has become a bit saturated. It’s become harder and harder still to get noticed. How does a realtor stand out from all the competition?
If you need some marketing tips, you’ve found them. By keeping focus and staying determined, you can build a successful brand and community trust.
Rule Of Thumb Of Online Marketing
The number one rule of thumb is this: you absolutely must provide as much value as you possibly can.
If you don’t make a clear-cut argument for the benefits you can provide, your readers will pass you by. Whenever you do something online, it is vital that you provide useful information. Make sure anything you post solves a problem, answers a question, or otherwise offers some practical benefit for your readers. Give them a reason to read it other than “because you want them to.”
Your readers will benefit if they understand your market better. The more they comprehend complex information, the better equipped they will be to see why you offer the best value. So create guides to help teach them. Make them free, that way your readers will get the information.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of guides you can create.
A practical, fully-fleshed guide to area nightlife.
A guide showcasing all the places in your city that are kid-friendly.
Yearly guides discussing the local real estate market shifts.
These sorts of guides can provide helpful information to your readers. After all, any of these things might be useful to convincing them to purchase a house. Not just that, but they’re ideal for lead generating.
You can even offer the guide in exchange for their e-mail address, I.E. “type your e-mail here for a free guide.” That gives you an extra lead!
Create A Stand Out Brand
You can’t use online marketing just to offer your services. You need a brand that stands out from the competition. There are dozens of real estate agents, what does your brand offer that the others do not?
It’s not easy to create an effective brand. It takes a lot of work and a lot of determination. But if you manage to pull it off, you’ll make yourself an authority for your readers. There are several components to creating a successful brand.
Personality – Can you define who you are? Are you authoritative or laid back? Hard working or a bit of a procrastinator? Every real estate agent has their specific personality traits that can attract customers. Figure out who you are. What’s more, don’t try to hide who you are just because you think it will attract more clients. Your clients will find out as soon as they meet you, and the ones that are put off won’t buy, anyway!
Voice – What does your brand actually “sound” like? What sort of voice, what kind of tone, will you take as you engage? This is related to your personality, but not quite the same thing. A hard worker can write a more laid back voice; it just sounds like someone who maybe writes guides to relax or as a hobby. A laid back person might have a more hard working voice to indicate that they want to take it easy, but they understand their job is important.
Story – What is the story of your brand? This is part history, part epic tale. How did your brand start? When did you decide to go into real estate? Does your brand have a personal message they stand for? Some aspect of the market that you stand against? Putting together a story for your potential clients to relate to is vital. Don’t just give a dry history. Help your clients feel and sympathize with how you came to exist, and feel connected to your brand so that they want to see your brand succeed. They want to cheer your success.
Use Responsive Web Design
Website design has changed over the years. Even as recently as five years ago, you could create your website for PCs and laptops and feel secure that your clients could use it. These days, more people use mobile devices to access the web. This means you have to ensure your website functions on mobile devices just as well as computers.
So what exactly is responsive website design? The answer to that is simple. Make a fluid layout. If the visitor’s browser size changes, the design needs to change, too. This means that the main column and sidebar design for a desktop design will display with the sidebar below the content for mobile devices.
So why do you need a responsive website design? As mentioned previously, a huge percentage of people use mobile devices to search the internet these days. This means that sites with responsive designs have a much higher conversion rate, as well as increased sales. Not only will it benefit you, but your clients will be much happier that they can visit your site via any of their internet capable devices.
Set Up Your IDX Website In Under An Hour
If you want to show off your listings, then you need an IDX-enabled website. An IDX-enabled website allows your clients to browse homes without ever leaving your website. It does this by pulling listings from the MLS and putting them onto your website. This fantastic tool is also straightforward and inexpensive, so make sure you look into it.
SEO Practices For Real Estate Featured Listings
Think back to the past few hours. What have you Googled? Every single second, there are over 40K search queries made on Google. The fact that people use “Google” as a verb should give you an idea of how often Google is used. Many of these searches involve real estate (in truth, many of these searches involve just about anything you can imagine!), which means many of these searches could find your site. So when’s the last time you thought about how SEO-friendly your website is? This guide will help you learn the basic SEO elements. These elements, when properly implemented, will help your site get far more traffic.
Create Local Content
You absolutely must create valuable content. There’s just no way around that. Whether your clients are buyers or sellers, they’re going to spend hours researching the process. If it’s their first time, then they’re going to spend exponentially longer!
This means you’ll want to cover more than just the basics. You’ll want to make certain you’re creating content for each of the locations you cover. That way, people considering moving into the area will have all sorts of great information. They’ll be able to learn everything from fun local trivia to information about neighborhood events. The more content on these topics your website offers, the more likely they are to stay on your website.
If you want to look at an excellent example of local content produced for real estate companies, look no further than Movoto. If you live in a major city, then you’ve almost certainly seen an ad from them on Facebook. Not only have you seen an ad from them, but it’s likely been an ad promoting content from the area in which you live.
Create A Viral Real Estate Video
You will find that viral videos are still incredibly popular. If you can grab attention with a clip that is insightful or funny, you have the ability to reach out to a much wider audience with great social shares. Everybody loves to share videos online that are entertaining with their family and friends. Even if you are not always hitting your target audience, the chances are incredible that they will send the video to someone who is.
Video Neighborhood Tours
This is an excellent way to show prospective buyers all about the neighborhood and what it is like to live in the area. Unless you have a major tourist area or big city you live in, the chances are that there are very few videos showcasing the area on YouTube.
Enhance Your Listing With Matterport Virtual Tours
Innovative Matterport technology allows architects, developers, and realtors to create amazing virtual tours of properties. Not only do potential buyers love to do virtual walkthroughs of spaces online, but this can also be a wonderful way to market yourself for seller leads. If you can show off a virtual tour that you had for another listing, it can give you quite an edge over any other agents that are looking for the business.
With the right tool, you have the ability to quickly build an email list simply by asking you and yours for quality updates on all of the new content in your area. This is powerful because the emails and Facebook ads that are signed up for will help to keep Movoto’s name in people’s minds. When it comes to either buying or selling a home, you will more than likely think of them.
Helpful Tip: You can set up the Zapier integration between CRM and email marketing to learn a good deal about all of your newsletter subscribers to hopefully turn them into leads for your business.
A nice way to foster client engagement, even once you have helped them already, is to put out a regular newsletter. The creation of a newsletter will contribute to positioning your firm as a real authority in the area. When you are a real estate agent, you can use your newsletter to put out relevant, helpful content to all of your subscribers on a regular basis. This should be information that is about the community, anything going on in the area, as well as other content that is useful. You can also use it as a way to alert the audience of new posts on your blog.
Real Estate Blogs
Your primary online marketing tool should always be your blog. The blog is where you will have your most relevant content and information put out on a regular basis. When you have a blog that is regularly maintained with interesting and unique content, it will show prospects that you are a real expert in what you do.
The blog is a way that you can also set yourself apart from all of the competition in the real estate field in your area, especially when other agents are not taking their efforts online very seriously. These are some helpful tips that you can use for maintaining your blog:
– Post about topics that prospective clients will care about, answer questions and always give updates on your community. Spotlight on local businesses and educating readers about your city will be crucial.
– Always write in a tone that is friendly and casual. Never be too wordy, as your blog is not the outlet for showing your reader just how brilliant you are. You need to offer value overall.
– Never use your blog for promoting your services or trying to sell yourself, as there are other areas on your website where you can do that.
– Be sure that the message for your brand comes through in every post that you put out.
An excellent way to build up influence and authority is to share content on another blog. This will get you, even more, exposure while showing potential prospects that you are a real expert in the field. Look for blogs that are relevant to your brand and get involved in the community. Pitch a blog topic for writing.
Guest posting will help to offer a platform that will showcase expertise, and it can increase traffic to your blog while also giving you powerful backlinks. This will be great for both SEO and readership, so try to create as many guest blog posts as you can.
Ask Review Us Online
You need to think about asking for reviews so that you can build up a gallery of commentary from your past and current clientele. Many of the top websites will have this information, which is a helpful tool to show potential customers what you have to offer them as a working experience.
Never be shy about asking to get reviews, especially when it comes to those that could be very valuable for your business. Whenever you receive a phone call or an email from a happy client, you should take the opportunity to ask them to go online to give you a quality review. If you go to a website such as Zillow, you can always cut and past the reviews that you are given and add them to your website to give further information to potential clients about what they can expect while working with you.
When you are a hard working real estate agent, you will see that effective online marketing will be crucial to your success. If you are engaging in online marketing, you need to remember that is is all about the value that you can provide. It is likely that at least one of the reasons that you decided to become a real estate agent is because you had a strong desire to help other people. You will have a chance to be part of one of the biggest decisions that anyone will be able to make, which is choosing the best home to suit their needs and their family’s comfort.
Whenever you are creating content, you need to think about making it easier for any of your prospects when they are looking for a great place to live. When done correctly, you can generate leads and a great following online for your real estate business.