Digital marketing for real estate professionals isn’t just about investing in PPC campaigns.
Real estate pros have a lot of options when it comes to digital marketing; ad networks, banner displays, digital newsletters, mobile ads, blogs, and social media are all viable means of attracting eager homebuyers and sellers, but they don’t all yield the same return.
When you become a real estate agent, no one really teaches you how to market your business. You learn about depreciation, express contracts, graduated payment mortgages, mineral leases, and restrictive covenants, but you don’t get any formal marketing training, do you?
Becoming a boss at digital marketing will give you an edge over more established competitors with deeper pockets. You can learn how to use market data to help you make more informed decisions about how and where to spend your advertising dollars.
Digital Marketing: What’s The Point?
A real estate professional should have 3 marketing objectives:
a) Deliver the right message…
There are a lot of other things you can do for potential customers besides listing their home or showing properties. Can you connect your prospect with a fellow local business (dentist, accountant)? Can you provide them with information on the local market or a reliable contractor for a home renovation project? Think of the ways you can serve your prospects, and when the time comes, you’ll be top of mind for referrals.
b) At the right time…
Promoting your real estate expertise to someone who’s not looking to purchase or sell isn’t exactly a waste of time, but is it relevant? If your customers are usually busy during business hours, is your email at 9 am about record-low mortgage rates going to be of value? Emailing subscribers with offers that lack any relevance will only drive them away. If your communication appears at the right time, your relevance will make your offer more appealing.
c) To the right person!
Your email list should be segmented into appropriate groups so you can market strategically to the right people. Single parent families have different needs than retirees. Condo seekers won’t want information about semi-detached homes. By creating different email lists, you can craft relevant content that speaks to the unique interests of your audience.
1. Always Do Your Homework…Why You Should Use Market Research
Digital marketing is all about positioning your message or brand at the right time to the right people, but how do you do that?
To get the most out of your digital marketing efforts, it’s always best to start with research. Get on Google and research how consumers are searching for real estate, and how they prefer to be contacted. Look at regional, national, and global data to examine trends in online search.
You’ll find tons of free reports, surveys, and market data that will take the guess work out of your ad spend.
There are subscription services as well, offered by reputable market research agencies. For a nominal monthly or annual fee, you can have valuable marketing intelligence emailed right to your inbox.
2. Focus on Word of Mouth….
Market research conducted between 2011 – 2015 was released by statista.com to help shed some light on how North American consumers make their purchasing decisions. The survey, measuring levels of consumer trust in a range of advertising medium, proves once again that word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising:
- Word of mouth referrals: 82%
- Online Reviews: 66%
- Emails Subscription: 64%(up from 54% in 2011)
- Branded websites: 61%
Since over 80% of the leads, you’ll get will be word of mouth, you need to ask yourself one simple question: how is your ad, email, or other communication driving word of mouth?
3. Keywords are Key To Your Real Estate Success
Keywords are the search terms used by consumers to find content online. Search engines match users with relevant content based on keywords. If your web pages, domain, and content have the right keywords, you’ll make it easier for prospects to find you.
Some people search using the term ‘realtor’, others use ‘real estate agent’. There are also long-tail keywords, or phrases, that are more commonly used than others. Use a keyword research tool to help you pick the most popular, relevant, and effective search terms.
4. Online Reviews Of Your Real Estate Business Matters A Lot
Even if someone refers you by word of mouth to a peer, chances are they’ll research you online to make sure you’re the right fit. If they find positive reviews, you’ve made their decision a lot of easier. If they find bad reviews or nothing at all, they’ll be much more apprehensive and cautious about reaching out to you.
5. Build Your Email List & Database of Prospects
Driving traffic to your website is great, but you need to capture those leads so you can build relationships with them. Well-crafted landing pages, attractive lead magnets, and Facebook Lead Ads can help you attract clients before they have a need for a real estate agent or broker. Winning subscribers to your email list is a strong indication that your content is useful and relevant. It’s also the best way to cultivate your leads. As more people opt into your subscriber list, you’ll be able to target your communications more strategically to uncover new homebuyers and sellers.
6. Interview Local Prospects
Interviewing business owners and other potential prospects in your neighborhood or community is a great way to generate face-to-face meetings. Write feature articles about local businesses and publish them online to drive more qualified traffic your way.The interviews you conduct to help promote local businesses can generate online conversations through sharing on social media. Prospects who discover you through an online referral (Facebook post, YouTube, reviews) can become your most valuable leads.
7. Use Digital Advertising Cautiously
According to Statistia:
- Almost half of consumers (48%) aged 18-34 indicated that there were too many ads on their smartphone.
- 43% aged 35 – 54 agreed.
What does this mean for you?
Ad clutter is a major concern for consumers. Choose your marketing channels carefully. If almost half of potential homebuyers and sellers are annoyed by mobile ads, why are you investing there?
You may not have a degree in marketing or the budget of a global brand, but you can still be competitive if you focus your digital marketing strategy on driving word of mouth. Be mindful of contributing to ad clutter, and do your research before committing your budget to digital ads.
Keep checking with us regularly for more helpful digital marketing tips to grow your real estate business!