Introduction You can’t afford to miss out on digital
Agents and brokers can no longer deny the influence of the digital world on real-world interactions. Every aspect of the real-estate business – from lead generation to final sale – is impacted by the internet. Real estate professionals who don’t make a move to incorporate digital marketing into their business strategy won’t just miss the boat on attracting today’s home buyers and sellers. They’ll also be behind the curve when it comes to reaching the next generation of clients. Home buyers 36 years old and younger account for 34% of home buyers; this is the largest share of all generations. Additionally, a massive 93% of this age group say they frequently use the internet during the home buying process. These young customers grew up online, and the internet is often the first place they’ll turn when they want to research neighborhoods, browse available properties or find a real estate professional to help them along their journey
Are you ready to move into the hottest area of real estate?
The online world is constantly growing and evolving. This can make it confusing for real estate professionals who are trying to figure out where they should invest their money and time.
The key is:
- Identifying your needs
- Determining which digital marketing channels best suit those needs
Luckily, getting familiar with the expanding digital neighborhood is easy if you have the right map. Let’s start exploring!
Play Number 1
Exploring the Digital Neighborhood
Before you move into the digital neighborhood, you need to know why you’re attracted to it in the first place. Are you looking for increased exposure? Driving more leads? Greater client loyalty? Regardless of why you’re interested, keeping your marketing goals in mind is crucial. Otherwise, it’s easy to get lost or distracted by passing social media fads, fall down a rabbit hole of marketing options, or pay for unnecessary technology and tools. Ask yourself these questions to determine what’s driving your move to digital marketing:
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to gain out of your increased online presence, you’ll be better suited to figure out what tools, strategies and platforms are the best fit for your needs.
Play Number 2
Your IDX Website, Yourself
The home base for all your digital marketing activities is your real estate website, because you’ll be directing leads there through word of mouth, social media posts and search results, as well as printed materials like flyers and business cards. There are several basic things that should always be featured on your website, including:
- Your contact information (phone number, email address, and physical office address)
- An “About” section that introduces visitors to your experience, qualifications, and past success
- A form that allows visitors to share their contact information and describe their real estate needs
- A description of the region where you focus on helping clients buy or sell their homes
You can consider the elements listed above to be the exterior of your digital marketing house; to truly optimize your website for lead generation, you also need a solid internal foundation so things don’t collapse over time.
These are the Keys
to long term marketing success
A searchable MLS database An IDX website allows you to integrate listings from the MLS database so that people who are searching for available properties in your area can do so while they’re on your homepage.
Integrating the MLS database onto your site gives you a massive leg up on your competitors. With an IDX site, you can appeal to visitors searching for their next home by providing them with accurate, up-to-date information.
Elements for better SEO
A major factor in determining whether your website will appear near the top of search results is search engine optimization, or SEO. Because online audiences tend to choose the first few results that pop up after they search in Google or Bing, it’s important to make sure your site appears early on in search results.
For real estate professionals, an important factor of SEO is a strong local focus. Interested buyers and sellers will already have a specific region in mind when they conduct their search, so you need to ensure that your business is synonymous with that area. When optimizing your site for SEO, don’t neglect local SEO in the process.
Content that addresses visitors’ needs
Content won’t just improve your ranking in search engines; it can also help you generate even more leads by addressing initial real estate questions, concerns and challenges that your future customers may have.
You don’t need to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist or marketing master to create content for your website. Try writing a few blog posts that answer common questions you receive from clients, or explain emerging trends in the real estate industry that may impact your readers’ home search.
You can also create different types of content for your website, such as a downloadable checklist that guides new home buyers through the process.
To make sure you get the most mileage out of your time spent creating these pieces, always include a lead capture form that asks for a visitor’s name, contact info, and real estate needs before they can download a particular asset.
Information about your community
Your website visitors won’t just be interested in you as a real estate broker or agent. If they’re looking to buy a home in your region, they’ll likely want to learn more about local schools, activities, culture and attractions.
Provide them with this information by adding a robust community page to your website.
With a community page, you’ll frame yourself as the ultimate source of knowledge for home buyers thinking of moving there.
Play Number Three
Sliding Into Social Media
By now, you’ve likely heard of the power and popularity of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These social sites let people share cat videos and engagement photos, but did you know that they can also help you drive leads and sales?
If you’re already creating content, social media is the perfect place to share it! You can also use social media as a channel for engaging with potential leads by answering their questions or sharing interesting articles.
Since there are multiple social media channels to choose from, it can be difficult to tackle each one at the same time. To avoid burnout, try increasing your presence on only one or two social networks to begin with. Then, as you grow your audience and your experience, you can branch out.
Before you invest too much time, make sure that the content you post is suited for each platform.
- Twitter enforces character limits, so you should keep your Tweets short, catchy and concise.
- Instagram is primarily a visual site, so make sure that you share eye-catching content, such as stunning properties or images from your area.
Play Number Four
Venturing Into Video Marketing
Video marketing has taken the internet by storm. In 2017, over 81% of internet users in the U.S. accessed video content. Video has become a cornerstone of the internet, so you need to incorporate video elements into your digital marketing plan if you want to stay relevant.
You don’t need a film degree or piles of expensive equipment to start weaving video into your digital marketing. All you need is a phone and some video guidelines!
Because real estate is a visual industry, it’s easy to figure out where you can make room for video in your daily marketing activities. In fact, many real estate videos are already a natural extension of your other real estate marketing efforts.
Taking promotional pictures of a property? Whip out your phone and record a walk-through to provide viewers with a true 360-degree view of the home. Or, use video to give potential home buyers a tour of your neighborhood or community.
You can also use video to introduce audiences to your skills as a real estate professional. Try sharing video blogs offering insider advice on home buying or selling.
None of these suggestions require anything more than a smartphone that can record video, and a free platform for posting the finished product, such as Facebook or YouTube.
Sharing your video?
Follow this checklist:
- A brief run time Online viewers have a short attention span, so videos that drag on for too long or take a while to get to the point will quickly be abandoned.
- An informative title Online audiences need to know exactly what they’ll gain by watching your video before they hit play. Make sure they can easily learn what your video is all about by reading your title and description.
- Clear audio and visuals You don’t need to invest in expensive cameras or lighting to achieve this, but you do need to make sure viewers can clearly see and hear what is happening in your video.
- A call-to-action Once viewers finish watching your video, you need to provide them with next steps, or else they’ll move on without becoming a solid lead. If you’re using video to show off a property, guide viewers to a contact form they can fill out if they wish to visit the home in person. Or, you can direct them to your website, downloadable guides, or your blog. Regardless of where you send them, make sure the next step is a logical extension of your video, and helps lead them down the conversion funnel to become a viable prospect.
The idea of creating a real estate marketing video can seem daunting, so the best strategy for getting started is to just dive right in. The sooner you begin practicing your producing skills and experimenting with different hosts and formats, the sooner you can be on your way to winning prospects and sales with dazzling, memorable videos.
Getting Started on Your Digital Journey
The digital marketing neighborhood is massive, and growing more every day. But real estate professionals shouldn’t be intimidated by staking a claim to their digital property. There are plenty of opportunities to try out techniques and expand your online territory.
Now that you’ve taken a tour and familiarized yourself with what’s out there, you can take the first step: building a beautiful website that shows off all your newfound marketing knowledge.
Don’t forget: If you get lost, we’re always here to help guide you!