In today’s fiercely competitive online mediums, there’s no shortage of potential ways to market real estate. However, like any other online marketing discipline, getting in front of the right customers is more and more difficult. As real estate agents and homeowners realize their steep uphill battle, they turn to professionals to assist them in this highly complex and convoluted field of online marketing.
The truth? Unless you’re an agent, investor or owner with a large platform online, getting in front of the right audience takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Yet, as lucrative as the real estate market is for potential fixer-uppers and brokerages looking to move homes quickly, there are some proven methods and so-called secrets to success in business, that allow them to sell a home faster and more efficiently than before by using the right real estate marketing strategies.
In short, there are 21 proven methods and marketing tips for marketing real estate online that will give you the most bang for the proverbial buck. Focus on these 21 methods and you’ll find success in online mediums such as search engine optimization, blogging, social media and video. Ignore these, and you might find yourself floundering in a sea of competition, unable to attract the right clients.
Build a Professional Website
Those who have mastered the mediums of online marketing, know quite well how important it is to have a professional website. This isn’t a new real estate marketing idea. However, there is a big difference between a regular website and a professional one. For agents and brokerages looking to move properties, this is more important now than ever.
When building your website, focus on both aesthetics and functionality. Ensure that you address things like the overall speed of the site, ease of navigation, quality of the content, sharpness of the photos and so on. Don’t bombard visitors with too many ads all over the place, and ensure that it’s a site that people want to continue to check back on with fresh content and properties added regularly.
Conduct 3D Matterport Scans
The Matterport 3D camera is one of the most effective tools you can use to market any type of real estate. The system will stitch together a three-dimensional dollhouse of an entire property that the buyer can fly-through, even in virtual reality, giving an accurate depiction of the space no matter how far away the buyer might be.
This is by far the most forward-thinking idea for marketing your real estate. This applies whether you’re simply a private owner (you can hire Matterport professionals through the company’s network of photographers to assist you), a real estate agent or even a large agency. Ultimately, all of our interactions with the digital realm will be in 3D and VR, so ensure that you stay ahead of the curve with technology like this.
Hire a Real Estate Photographer
Photos have always been important when it comes to real estate. However, not as many owners and REALTORS® understand the importance of this single concept when it comes to marketing a home or condo online. The truth is that people will judge a book by its cover, especially when browsing through hundreds or thousands of listings.
Photos must be appealing and eye-catching to the person who is sifting through countless listings in their area. It needs to aptly convey a quality space through professional standards with the usage of things like a wide-angle lens and careful (but not too doctored) Photoshop editing.
Create Video Walkthroughs
While not as immersive as a Matterport 3D scan, video walkthroughs offer more insight into how a home is realistically represented. This doesn’t have to be a professionally-produced video where you spend thousands of dollars. It could simply be something you shoot on a high-quality smartphone or even with your own drone.
This strategy for marketing real estate will really give a better sense to the prospective buyer to allow them to understand what a space truly looks like in person. You could also splurge on a drone video by hiring someone or simply purchasing one and doing it yourself. This is a great way to save some money if you plan on creating many of these videos.
Create a Popular Blog
You can opt to start a blog in the real estate industry and deliver enormous amounts of value in an effort to build a platform or an audience over time. Not overnight. Over time. However, if you’re in the real estate field, you should start blogging immediately. The more time that passes without blogging, the further behind you’ll be.
Create a useful blog about real estate and post often. Deliver enormous amounts of value on a regular basis and watch as your readerships soars. Create infographics about mortgage rates or home prices or anything else that adds value. Integrate videos and other media and start sharing it everywhere you possibly can. This is one of the best ways to build your real estate audience.
Engage in Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to inspire others to visit your website and blog. To do this, you need to identify external sites where you can market your content. This involves building useful and relevant content on popular authority sites, which link back to similar, but unique, useful and relevant content on your site.
In short, you should leverage sites like Quora, LinkedIn’s publishing platform, Medium and others to market your content. However, you’ll first need anchor content, or content created within your own site to draw in traffic. This is one of the main components in effective content marketing.
Install Google Analytics
Clearly, marketing real estate involves analytics. If you don’t have analytics installed on your website, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Setup Google Analytics so that you can track all sorts of metrics as they relate to your content and website’s visitors over time.
This is a terrific way to understand whether or not your efforts are fruitful. How well are your posts performing? How many people are visiting your site? Have you set goals? What is the average session rate? What about the bounce rate or exit rate? It might sound confusing now, but as you learn about analytics, it will all make sense and come together.
Create a Landing Page (“Squeeze Page”)
Landing or “squeeze” pages are great tools for marketing real estate. Why a squeeze page? Because your goal is to “squeeze” an email address out of visitors. This aids your email marketing efforts down the road.
So, what’s a good landing page that generates leads? One example is a home value estimate tool to assist in the real estate process. When the form is completed, you can simply email the results to the prospect. Any type of helpful real estate tool for prospective buyers or sellers works here, along with a deliverable once the lead completes the form.
Get Social on Instagram
Instagram is a great resource for reaching droves of users on a wildly-popular social media platform. While it’s no longer as simple to reach those users on Instagram (due to the algorithm changes that have removed the chronological ordering of posts and geared them more towards popularity), you still need an Instagram profile when it comes to real estate marketing.
Use this as an opportunity to post photos and videos of real estate or to capture some other relevant lifestyle imagery to spread brand awareness. Connect with others by searching for popular or relevant hashtags and check out what your competition might be doing on the platform as well.
Use Twitter Hashtags
Twitter is another useful social platform and you should have a profile for your business. Use Twitter’s search tool to discover relevant and trending hashtags that you can use in your posts. However, be careful not to target too many hashtags at once. Take it one at a time. You can also use the search feature to find posts to comment on, like or interact with other popular agents or real estate companies. You may even run into prospective buyers who are looking to sell or purchase real estate.
Reach Out to Social Media Influencers
Who are the social media influencers in the real estate market that you could reach out to? There are plenty in the luxury sector, and there are plenty in the purely real estate segment as well. Your job is to search for the right influencers on the right platforms who you could collaborate with.
If you have a small budget, this is a terrific way to market your real estate because you can get in front of hundreds of thousands or millions of prospective users without having to wait years and years to build up a big profile. However, be careful to vet the influencers well and ensure that their users are legitimate.
Build a Free Offer
One of the best ways to market real estate online is to create a free offer that collects those potentially lucrative email addresses. You may notice that some of the most popular real estate agents and real estate websites have free offers that pop up a short time after you visit their pages.
These free offers help to collect email addresses. However, the offer needs to be compelling enough, and you need to have enough established authority for users to share their email addresses. What will you build? Will it be a free report? Maybe it’s 10 tips on how to market real estate online or how to stage a home or something similar to that. Decide what it is and create it.
Use Email Marketing Campaigns
By using a popular email marketing system such as Aweber and also installing LeadPages, you can establish a way to collect email addresses and market to those users. LeadPages will allow you to create landing pages that will be enticing for people, so you can use it to collect email addresses that you will eventually market to through Aweber.
It might sound confusing at first, but email marketing is definitely where the money is. The money is most certainly in the list, but any successful email marketing campaign needs to be executed the right way. You’ll also need to attract the right people first. Use your email campaigns to add compelling value to your audience over time and watch how your engagement grows.
Become an Expert In Your Niche
One great way to market real estate is to simply become an expert in your niche. When you’re an expert, you’ll command authority. You won’t need to sell, you’ll simply be attracting buyers to you. This doesn’t happen overnight nor does it happen easily, but it does happen over time.
Ensure that you share lots of useful content and that you position yourself as a specialist or expert. Don’t try to come off as someone who knows more than they do. Always be investigating and learning, then share those things with the world through the proper social media channels, and eventually people will look to your advice and you’ll attract more and more buyers and sellers this way.
Reach Out to Local Radio and Television Stations
Local radio and television stations are always reporting about the real estate market. Why not reach out to them and offer up your opinions on air? You don’t need a costly PR company to do this. You can simply search for radio and television stations nearby using the internet.
Find stations that you often tune into and send them a letter or an email. You might want to send them a video of yourself speaking about real estate or pitching your ideas to them. It’s not simple and it’s not easy, but it is well worth it if you’re able to gain the attention of the right reporters. You can also use a system like HARO to identify yourself as a source in the real estate field.
Build a System for Referrals
One way to supercharge your real estate marketing efforts online is to build a system for referrals. You could integrate this into your email signature so that it becomes more passive than active, but at the outset, it doesn’t hurt to simply ask for a referral. Once you’ve completed a few successful transactions, network with your clients and ask them to refer you to their friends.
You could also offer something in exchange for referrals. Maybe it’s an Amazon gift card or maybe it’s a Home Depot gift card, or just maybe it’s something else. Whatever it is, come up with a unique way to share this with your clients and then ensure you treat all of those people the right way.
Ask for Reviews on Google or Facebook
It never hurts to ask. Write a post or contact your clients and ask them directly to give you and your brokerage a review. 9 out of 10 times your clients will be happy to. Be sure to make it easy for them and include a link to where you would like their review to be seen.
Complete Your Zillow Profile
Love it or hate it, Zillow is one of the primary resources buyers and sellers use these days to research the market and search for properties. Ensure that your Zillow profile is complete and up-to-date.
Ask for reviews after each successful transaction.
Setup a Local Business Page on Google
Setting up a Google My Business page for your real estate business is important! Make sure to target the right keywords in your business page as well. For example, you can use “Los Angeles Real Estate Agent John Doe” to target the right keywords or “New York REALTOR® Jane Doe” and so on.
To get started, go to google.com/business and enter your business’s information, starting with its location. Google will verify your business and you’ll be up and running. Now you’re ready to ask for 5-star Google reviews that also help with your search engine optimization (SEO).
Focus on Brand Awareness
Building your real estate brand is important. Do you have a professional logo? How well does your brand convey your message to clients and prospects? Have you completed other important business-related tasks such as setting up your mission statement or creating a business plan?
These are important and they provide the basis for your brand. Hire the best marketing firm you can afford that specializes in real estate marketing. Hint, hint… Maybe someone like Agent Operations®. Just sayin’.
Build a Facebook Page
Facebook is still the biggest resource with the largest subset of users that you can target online. Creating a Facebook Business Page, then advertising that business with Facebook is a great way to expand your real estate marketing. This is a terrific resource whether you’re new to the business or you’re a veteran in the field.
Once you’ve built your Facebook Page, ensure that you remain active and add value with every post. Don’t spam your fans by trying to “sell” them at every turn. Do things with tact, decorum and composure if you want to succeed in business in the long term.
Resource: R.L. Adams is a software engineer, serial entrepreneur, and author. He runs a wildly-popular blog called Wanderlust Worker and contributes to Entrepreneur, Engadget and the Huffington Post.