Digital Marketing Ideas for the Real Estate Industry
The real estate market has grown fiercely competitive. Real estate companies, agents, and marketers depends can be successful only if they market their products and services the right way. It is the era of digital marketing and social media. People search for properties and property rates online. Real estate companies and agents need to develop a strong online presence to get noticed. While success doesn't come overnight, it might come quicker than expected if realtors follow some important points related to the marketing of their real estate business. Covid-19 has hit the real estate industry hard like several others. However, the market is expected to revive faster as unemployment continues to fall across leading markets since the reopening.
Real estate marketers need to remain ready for the changing market scenario and industry dynamics. Several factors affect the real estate industry's growth, including demographic factors, interest rates, the local economy, and the overall economic situation in a given market, and government policies and regulations. However, while the other factors may keep changing, real estate companies and marketers need to focus on promotions to attract new prospects and gain a competitive edge. In particular, online marketing can be a sure shot method to find success quicker than the traditional methods. However, realtors are still depending on their tried and tested methods rather than innovating. It can hurt their business. While digital marketing can drive a higher success rate for realtors, it can also help them cement their position in the real estate markets.
Create a professional looking website:
Having a professional-looking and attractive website is crucial for any real estate company/agent. Make sure to use a minimal, fast, and easy to navigate website theme. Digital marketers in all industries understand the importance of having a fast loading and attractive website.
At least in today’s fiercely competitive era, it is impossible to market real estate services properly without having a professional-looking website. A website does not require a heavy financial investment and can be easy to maintain. It also makes showcasing your properties easier. However, apart from aesthetics, functionality also matters in the case of real estate websites. Make sure that your website looks professional, loads fast, and is easy to navigate. Visitors must be able to find the information they are looking for easily. A floating menu at the top can help you take your visitors to the most important pages directly.
You can also add a search feature to your menu to make it easier to navigate. A fast loading website engages visitors and leaves a good impression. All you need to do is to find a good hosting provider and use a lightweight theme for your site. If your webpages take several minutes to load, users will move on instead of waiting for the page to load fully.
Post good quality content regularly to stay at the top of searches and use good quality images to attract and engage customers. People also use image search when searching for properties of their choice. Therefore, your images' quality also decides how likely your visitors will stay on your website and check out the listed properties. The quality of the images you have uploaded will affect your visitors' choice. If more of your photos are indexed in Google search, the chances of being found by the right prospects are generally higher. You can hire a professional photographer/videographer for this job. However, the critical thing is that the more attractive these images are, the higher will be your conversion rates since no one will be interested in buying unattractive looking properties. So, you must use high-quality photos and videos to generate leads faster.
Start a real estate blog:
Blogging about real estate comes with its own benefits. While you might not be able to grow your audience in a day or week, its benefits can be really great over time. It will also help your website remain at the top in searches if you post valuable and useful content regularly. It would help if you took care of it right from the beginning. If you have not started blogging yet, you will find yourself lagging behind others over time. So, instead of losing time, focus on some useful topics and start posting. Blogging is also a great method to reach a highly targeted audience.
As you go on adding content, your readership will rise. It will also add to your website's credibility since good quality content helps you gain authority faster. If people find valuable content on your website, they are more likely to trust your business and recommend your website to others. To make your posts interesting and engaging, you can create videos and infographics. You can also share these videos and infographics on social media sites to gain attention and publicity.
People visiting your website might be interested in knowing about mortgage rates, home prices, and other similar things. Creating infographics on these topics will help you build your audience faster. Infographics are also more likely to be shared across social media platforms. So, you must include social media buttons for your visitors, who can share the videos and infographics they find interesting in their social media accounts. It will help you spread the word faster.
Leverage the power of social media and social media influencers:
Social media has become the core marketing channel for a large number of brands in nearly all industries from fashion to retail and consumer electronics as well as real estate. Due to its huge reach and vast audience size plus lower costs, it offers a one stop solution for a variety of needs of marketers from all industries. Apart from the other things, it is easier to reach your target audience through the social media channels. Things have changed a lot in the real estate industry due to the pandemic. However, now is the best time for the real estate marketers to leverage the power of social media to grow their market influence and audience size.
Leveraging Facebook for Real Estate Marketing:
Facebook is still the largest social media marketing channel with a vast audience of people from all demographics including the most important demographics for the real estate marketers - the millennials. You can use Facebook to reach your target audience easily. The platform also offers great tools to create and run advertising campaigns and reach highly specific and targeted audiences based on age, sex, occupation and other demographic factors as well as geographic and psychographic factors.
The first important step for a real estate marketer trying to utilize social media to grow his brand’s reach in a market region is to create a Facebook page for his business. Creating one is easy as ABC and chances are high that you can name your page the same as your domain name or brand name or with a little twist (if the name is already taken).
You can promote your brand, events and specific products through Facebook ads. However, you need to remain active on the social media platform to achieve faster results.
Post regularly on Facebook but make sure you are taking a clear and simplistic approach to Facebook marketing. Otherwise, things can sometimes get pretty messy and the results may turn out to be different from expected. Just make sure you are not bombarding your social media followers with too many ads or meaningless posts because while that can be distracting, they will also make your followers neglect your more important posts.
Social media marketing can help you find success but you need to be patient, composed and tactful to succeed in the longer term.
Leveraging Twitter for Real Estate Marketing:
Twitter is also a great tool for the real estate marketers. However, there are more benefits of using Twitter apart from building an audience for your blog and gaining new followers. First you need to create a Twitter profile for your business. Hashtags are great for reaching more and more people through Twitter and being heard. However, just like Facebook, you should avoid any form of clutter on Twitter as well. Instead of targeting too many hashtags at once, search Twitter and use the hashtags that are useful for reaching your target audience. You should not focus on your own content only but also share, retweet or comment on others’ posts.
Searching on Twitter will help you find useful posts and comments and interact with other real estate companies and agents as well as prospective buyers. Apart from these things, you can use Twitter to run advertising campaigns and reach your target audience. Twitter can also help you connect with the right influencers and find your target audience. From its exclusive conversation and event targeting capabilities, to remarketing campaigns and more, Twitter can help you connect with the people that matter the most for your business.
Twitter allows demographic targeting and audience targeting, which means that you can target based on demographics or audience types. You can target people through Twitter ads based on location, age, sex, and gender or serve advertisements based on conversations, events, interests, movies and TV shows, keywords, follower look-alikes, and engagement.
Leveraging Instagram for Real Estate Marketing:
Another important social media channel you cannot ignore is Instagram. Having an Instagram profile can help you reach millions of users and increase your brand awareness and market influence. A large number of brands are using Instagrams and Instagram influencers to grow their reach and acquire new followers. Several of them have also been widely successful at reaching a very large audience.
You need to create an Instagram page for your business and regularly post attractive content to keep your followers engaged. Instagram has gained huge popularity as a social media channel. It is also the mainstay of fashion, food, and entertainment brands' social media marketing strategies due to its high engagement rates and excellent ROI.
Apart from promoting your properties, through photos or videos, you can use Instagram to showcase your creativity in other ways. For example, you can select a theme and post related lifestyle imagery in your account to keep your audience engaged. Higher engagement rates lead to higher brand awareness. Use the platform to connect with other real estate marketers and to find out the strategies your rivals are employing on Instagram to win. Using hashtags you can also gain higher exposure and reach.
Following others’ accounts or some real estate magazines like Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the higher end real estate can also help you find ideas that will bring higher returns on investment and generate attractive results for your business. You can also learn from others when marketing through Instagram.
Grow your reach through social media influencers.
Usually, building a large audience on social media and getting popular takes a lot of time. Even if you work day and night, you may gain a few thousand followers in a few months using legitimate methods. However, in that case you might have to wait for years till you have an audience large enough to make your social media marketing count.
A superior option before you for being found by thousands or rather millions of users and legitimate prospective buyers is to reach out to the social media influencers. The social media influencers are people with a large group of followers in their social media accounts or simply those who influence others through their social media presence.
Just like in politics, technology or entertainment, there are influencers in every industry including fashion and real estate. It is not so difficult to find influencers in this industry. You will find that there are some influencers that deal purely in luxury or high end markets, while there are others that deal in everything related to real estate.
The only thing you need to do is to search for the right influencer on all the right platforms. Make sure you find influencers with legitimate followers. If done the right way, influencer marketing can yield huge profits for your business, especially when you do not have an elaborate marketing budget. Just examine the influencer well before approaching to make sure your efforts will yield results. Influencer marketing has been found to be highly effective since a large number of purchases are influenced by word of mouth marketing. So, if someone in your industry with strong market influence recommends you strongly, you know it will do magic for your business.
These influencers are the personalities that people trust highly, and if some influencer is willing to collaborate with you, your business could grow famous overnight. Suppose you are interested in marketing hotels; you know what kind of magic an influential travel journalist can do if he/she recommends your business publicly on social media. In a 2016 research study, Twitter found that around 40% of its users made a purchase decision influenced by a recommendation or direct tweet by an influencer on the platform.
Leverage the power of content marketing:
Content marketing has grown highly popular as an online marketing technique due to the high engagement rates and SEO value it offers. It can help you draw visitors to your site in very large numbers. While content-rich websites, rank higher in Google search, you can also build a large audience of loyal readers. Publishing a weekly newsletter that includes the best among your week’s posts can be a great way to keep your readers engaged.
Apart from your own real estate website/blog, you must find other high authority websites that accept guest posts to promote your content on them. While some of the best sites to promote your content (any industry sector) are Quora, Medium, and LinkedIn, there are many more sites that accept guest posts. You can easily find a large group of real estate bloggers on Medium who regularly promote their content on the platform and also have a large group of followers.
You can also create your own profile on the platform and start writing. Medium also offers a tool to republish your content that you have already posted on your website/blog. If your website still does not have a large audience, you must share/republish your content on Medium to gain more exposure.
Guest posting is also a great method to gain followers and build authority in your niche. In any niche, you can easily find a large number of blogs that accept guest posts. For example, in this article, you will find a list of more than 400 such blogs in the real estate niche that accept guest posts.
Use Facebook Live and Snapchat Videos to Drive Conversion and Sales.
Snapchat’s power as a social media platform for marketing has often been ignored by brands. However, if you want to reach a young demographic of users and prospective buyers (30-45), it is one of the most suitable social media platforms. The good news is that snapchat is getting a lot of attention from affluent customers. So, you can find a large audience and group of prospective buyers for luxury properties too on Snapchat in the 30 to 45 age group.
The custom geofilters make your task easier.
According to Hootsuite, geofilters are a simple overlay for a snap and available to users in a specific geographic area for a specific amount of time. A filter may include location information, emojis or just change the color of the snap. You can also create filters for your business using the available filters. In 2019, Snapchat also introduced the 3d camera mode for select users. It injects that extra life into your snaps and can be very useful for real estate marketers trying to engage users on Snapchat. A 3d image can show more sides of a product/property than the traditional images can.
Another major benefit of using Snapchat is that you do not need to be a pro to create content for the platform. You do not need to use a high-tech camera to shoot great pictures or have the pro editing skills to make your snaps stand out. So, it’s more like your own show, and you can do a lot without hiring a professional marketing agency or photographer.
You may need these skills and a high-tech camera for producing video content for YouTube to make it stand out but not in the case of Snapchat. You must go around the neighborhood and shoot everything that adds value to the core property, and your customers may find it useful. A nice smartphone would be more than sufficient for this purpose. It means Snapchat content is quite scalable, and even an average marketer can promote his content and engage users through snaps taken by an iPhone.
You can also leverage Snapchat ads for your business and expand your customer base faster. The platform has some exclusive features for businesses so that business owners can easily run and manage ad campaigns. You can even start with a small budget; as low as $5. Some facts worth knowing about promoting your business through Snapchat are:
- You can easily target the Snapchat Generation based on their interests, behaviors, location, and more and connect with the people driving new world changing behaviors and values.
- 265 million people use Snapchat daily on average.
- 75% of millennials and Gen Z use Snapchat daily.
- Snapchatters spend more than half an hour daily Snapchatting on average.
Snapchat’s self-serve advertising platform, Ads Manager, allows you to create ads, launch campaigns, monitor performance, and optimize towards your goals - all in one place
Facebook, apart from its unique targeting capabilities also offers much more. One of them is Facebook live; Facebook’s own streaming service. The popularity of Facebook LIve among individual users and marketers has grown fast. During the pandemic, Facebook Live feels even useful. Suppose you are a real estate agent, talking to prospective buyers from a property through Facebook Live.
Apart from being able to view the house remotely, prospective buyers can ask questions about the property in real-time that you can respond to. It can be a great move if not a revolutionary one. Right now, when the pandemic has put a halt on free and open lives, people are relying more on digital tools checking out products and shopping. Facebook Live could never be more useful for realtors than right now.
The problem is that when it comes to marketing, many realtors do not use digital channels and social media to their full advantage. Snapchat or Live Streaming platforms are still not trending in the real estate industry despite their usefulness in terms of accessing the 30-45 demographics. Many realtors cannot find time to innovate despite having the right tools at hand. So, the ones that start experimenting with Snapchat or Facebook Live might find themselves at an advantage compared to the ones that have not started yet.
Run Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is also hot, and even the largest brands in various industries, including e-commerce, media, and social media, use it to their advantage. No other brand has mastered the art of email marketing like Amazon. However, the social media brands like Facebook and Linked In also use it in plenty to keep users engaged.
Email marketing is not difficult and you can use tools like Aweber, one of the oldest and most popular among the email marketing service providers, to keep your readers engaged. However, do keep in mind a few things while doing email marketing to make sure your readers pay attention to those emails. First is the design and appeal of your emails and the second is the content of the email. While attractive looking emails with a nice heading are more likely to be opened and catch attention easily, unattractive or messy looking emails with unattractive headlines can repel the readers.
Create attractive landing pages on your website to collect emails. You can use attractive looking email forms to collect emails and then run weekly or monthly campaigns. Email marketing campaigns are effective and yield definite results if done the right way.
Create your Own Google-Business Page:
Setting up your own local business page on Google is also a wise step. You can create a page and use your description to target the keyword you want to. Fill in your description, including the locality in which you are active, and include your website’s name in your business description. That will make it easier for the people looking for realtors in your area to find you on Google.
You need to go to Google.com/business to build your own local business page. Start with entering your business’s name and location. However, one significant benefit of having a Google business page is that you can get reviews from your customers and showcase them in your profile.
Users mainly turn to Google to search for local information like local shops, local hospitals, markets, or real estate agents. So, once a user lands on your Google business page, he will look at the included information and the ratings you have received from your existing customers. If your ratings are higher than your rivals in the area, new users will prefer your business over others. You can include pictures in your business page to make your profile look attractive and stand out.
Once you have set up your website and blog, you also need to keep track of your visitors and the keywords that are attracting the most traffic. You will need to set Google Analytics on your website to do that. The good news is that keeping track of your traffic is not difficult at all. All you need to do is to go to Google analytics and then add your property to it. Then pick the tracking code it provides you and add it to all the pages on your website. That’s all and you are good to go.
Once your site starts receiving hits, Google Analytics will start showing the data on your account. You can keep track of everything from the visitor demographics to the locations from where you are receiving visitors and the time of the day when your website traffic is at the peak. It is good to keep track of your website’s performance. Personally, you will feel satisfied to see your efforts are yielding results. Another major benefit of having Google Analytics is that you can check out how well your users are engaged.
If the bounce rate is high, it means your visitors are leaving your site early. You can add more quality content or change your landing pages' design to improve your bounce rate. The more engaged your visitors are, the higher will be your conversion ratio. So, keep track of everything with a single and simple GA code. If you want more from your website, you can gain all the critical insights you need for your website/blog, like which pages are loading slow and need to be lighter (page speed has now become critical to landing higher in search). You will also know the kind of content that is attracting the most traffic on your blog to add more similar content to engage users.
Leverage Google, Facebook and Linked In Ads:
Success does not come overnight to digital marketers. However, there are a few critical things that can help you build an audience after. One of them is social media, which can help you drive traffic to your website before you have established your authority and start ranking higher in searches. Another is digital advertising. While Google is the king of online advertising, Facebook ads are also suitable for driving traffic and building brand awareness for both digital and physical businesses. Both are easy to set, and running an ad campaign will not require any specialized skills or knowledge.
Just go to Google Ads and open an account using your Gmail account. Running an ad campaign is very simple, and Google provides all the tools and guidance to make your task easier. You only need to set your goals and the location you want to advertise in any corner of the world. Once you have created your message and set the maximum budget for the campaign, you are good to go. Ever seen those sponsored ads at the top when you search for something online. Your ads will also show at the top of the searches when users in your targeted area search for the products/services you are advertising.
Facebook ads are also straightforward to run. The platform provides tools and guidance to run targeted ad campaigns. Apart from geotargeting, it also offers demographics-based targeting to target the right customer segment based on age, location, income, and other factors. You can also use Facebook’s psychographic targeting capabilities to reach your desired customers. Facebook ads are not very costly either. You have many ad formats to choose from, and measuring ad performance is also easy, which you can do daily. Moreover, Facebook ads are not only for the B2C companies but also form B2B companies. Facebook also offers the users a lot of control over the ad formats and ads, which means much more transparency, and you can manage your campaigns with higher convenience.
Linked In ads are also growing popular among businesses eyeing to target a young generation. It is the largest social group of professionals. You can use Linked In ads to drive traffic to your website, to build brand awareness and to generate leads. At least having a basic business account on Linked In for your business is a must. Next, you can leverage Linked In ads to reach a vast group of professionals (approx. 690 million). According to Linked In, 4 out of 5 members on Linked In are important decisions makers for their businesses. So, promoting on Linked In can have its own benefits and you might be able to reach corporate customers more easily on the social networking platform for professionals. Linked In also offers many ad formats like sponsored content, sponsored messaging, text ads and dynamic ads. You can leverage your desired format to grow your audience size and to market your brand.