Are you looking for real estate marketing tips. The real estate industry has definitely seen its fair share of interesting ups and down over the past decade. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) membership was at its all-time high back in 2006 before perilously dropping with the financial crisis. However, since it hit rock bottom in 2012, it has been steadily increasing, and with the numbers nearly back at their peak, the competition among realtors is heating up. In order to set yourself apart from the rest, you’ll need sharp online and offline marketing skills.
While agents are still crucial in the home buying process, buyers are looking to do more groundwork online before involving the professionals. A study from the NAR showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting journey, impressing the need for real estate agents to have an active and strategic online presence.
Here are our 10 best real estate marketing strategies to help maximize your visibility so that you can stand out from all the noise.
1. Build a Professional Website
Though this idea is not new to real estate marketing, it is vital; and those who have mastered the mediums of online marketing know how important it is to have a professional grade website. For agents and agencies looking to move properties, this is more important now than it ever has been.
When building your website, it’s crucial to ensure that you address things like the overall speed of the site, ease of navigation, the quality of the content and the photos, etc. You don’t want to bombard your site visitors with too many ads. You want to ensure that it’s a site where people continue to go back to with fresh content and properties updated regularly.
2. Make Use of Local Images
As a real estate professional, you know you’re not just selling a house; you’re selling a whole community and a lifestyle. It’s important to showcase the best that the area has to offer beyond just photos of the house, like high-quality beautiful photos of local landmarks and familiar sites.
And while we are on the topic, it might be time to check and see if you need to upgrade your photo quality.
Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between a high-quality professional photo and a hurried snap. If your photos are grainy, blurry, or at strange angles, your impression of the home isn’t going to be as positive as it could be. Professional photographers don’t have to be expensive, but if you don’t have room for that in your budget there are many great apps that come with our high-quality camera phones. Potential home buyers and sellers will take notice and appreciate this.
3. Actively Post on Social Media
Almost everyone uses social media to share updates about what’s going on in their lives, but as a real estate professional, you should be using social media to grow and nurture your business.
Meet your clients, current and prospective, where they are: online. A big mistake agents typically make is only posting home listings, which provides no real value to anyone who isn’t in the market to buy a new home. Instead, you’ll need to share more value-rich content (discussed below) on your channels. You want to ask your network to engage with you and share their own thoughts in the comments.
4. Starting a Content Marketing Plan
As a real estate professional, your primary focus is on clients who are in the market to buy or sell a home. However, for the in-between years where you have clients not actively on the hunt, seeing you post one listing after the next is not relevant or helpful. It is important to share and send content that is full of valuable information applicable to clients not currently in the buying or selling market. Having shareable content also increases your exposure with potential clients.
A good rule to follow is the 80/20 rule. 80% of posts are customer-centric while only 20% are about business, i.e., listings. The remaining 80% will be about happenings in and around your communities, such as local charity events, social events, school-related activities or even positive local neighborhood updates. This community-minded content helps to position you as a leader amongst other sellers.
This type of content marketing is a way of communicating with your prospects and current clients without selling to them. This way you will stay fresh at the top of people’s minds so they’ll remember you when they’re ready to make a move.
There are several resources around the web that can help you improve your content marketing.
5. Getting Involved with The Community Through Local Sponsorships
Consider helping sponsor local festivals, sports teams, or school events. Signing up as a local sponsor often provides opportunities to speak at the event, product placement in event bags, prominent articles on the website and in newsletters, frequent promotion on social media or a booth at the actual event or pre-events.
Market leader put out an informative blog post on the right sponsorships for your company.
6. Build Your Google My Business Page
While its true that paid advertising and SEO are the best methods to increase visits to a website, they take a long time to build momentum. Google My Business pages are a quick win to help drive the traffic you want to your site.
My Business is the latest in Google location-based pages. It is essentially the same concept as Google Places for Businesses and Google+ Pages and provides major advantages for real estate agents over those without one. Setting up this page for your company exponentially increases your visibility above the fold for branded terms (searches that include your company name).
You will also appear in Google Search and Maps when customers search for businesses within your specific industry. According to the NAR’s recent Digital House Hunt study, 69% of home shoppers who take action on a real estate brand website begin their research with a local term, i.e. ‘Houston homes for sale,’ on a search engine, driving home the vital need for real estate agents to have a Google My Business page.
And the best part? It’s free.
7. Host a Webinar
If you feel comfortable enough, hosting a webinar is a great way to garner attention for your brand, as they are still a quick and efficient tool to educate large audiences, especially when attendees are located in completely different cities or even countries. They also provide marketers with a great tool for business growth, boosting brand recognition, and sales.
Compared to other traditional video platforms, webinars give marketers the opportunity to present a wide variety of information in an easily digestible format. They can also be viewed at a later date, adding to your future value.
With no geographical barriers, webinars are a great digital tool for reaching wider audiences and new markets. Additionally, they can be great internal training tools. Reliance Network’s Digital Marketing team provides several resources for webinars, depending on whether you want help with strategy or full-blown implementation. Be sure to search the web for articles on how video marketing can boost your exposure and add to your brand.
8. Ask for Referrals
Referrals are essential. 89% of real estate agents reported that referrals from current and previous clients are one of their most successful marketing efforts, however, 41% of agents said they do not spend any money on referrals.
Don’t be a part of that 41%. Create a strategy to ask clients for referrals and make it your standard practice. When you’re short on time, the amount of effort required to generate referrals may feel daunting, but it’s important to remember how impactful they are to your business. A recent Nielsen report showed that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of marketing. So don’t be nervous about putting yourself out there and asking your happy clients to pass along your business card or make an introduction. Chances are they will be happy to do so and you’ll gain potential future clients from it.
9. Automate Your Marketing
One of the key real estate marketing tips is to focus on automation; managing a healthy pipeline of clients and prospects is key when growing your business. You have seemingly endless daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to-do lists, which means it can be hard to find the time for creating and sharing content and following up with past clients.
Automated email and social media marketing is a great way to reach your audience, especially when you don’t have the time. There are several tools that allow you to automate this on your own, but if you want content created for you from start to finish, and Reliance Network’s Digital Marketing team can help you set up those services to ensure you are getting the best content implemented by experts.
10. Keep In Touch
Last but certainly not least, stay in touch with past buyers. Send anniversary cards or holiday cards, even months and years later. You’ll want to stay fresh in their minds so that when they have a friend who is ready to purchase a home, they will be sure to pass along your information.