Like most others, the real estate industry has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past few years thanks to disruptive technologies. The current pandemic has only fortified this movement to create the new, improved and digitalized model of real estate operations that we enjoy today.
Whether it's researching listings on real estate aggregators, applying for financing options through online banking or even conducting virtual house showings in exchange for in-person ones, each stage of the real estate buying process has been aided by rapid innovation in 2020.
So it should come as no surprise that a rapidly changing industry like this one requires the most creative of digital marketing strategies for success. Here, we break down 8 of the most effective marketing strategies you can adopt to propel your business forward and future-proof it for good.
If there's one trend that's redefined real estate marketing in 2020, it's the move towards video content. Agents who want to stay ahead of curve in this competitive landscape have to develop a strong video marketing strategy.
Videos enhance every stage of the buying process in real estate. When it comes to attracting clients to your listed properties, photos and written content are a thing of the past. After all, listings that include a video receive 403% more inquiries than those which do not. Listing videos should be made professionally to entice prospective buyers by highlighting their most impressive features.
Videos are also an effective way to connect with prospective customers and build your brand as a realtor. Creating educational content that provides value to your target audience helps them gain trust in your knowledge. Since choosing the right agent to work with is an important decision for both buyers and investors alike, educational video content is an effective and personal way to present yourself as an expert on the local housing market. Thus, from the point of view of agents, educational videos are an excellent opportunity to showcase their knowledge and expertise.
The platforms on which you promote your videos are just as important as the content you include in them. For maximum exposure, agents should work towards building a presence on at least social channel. Whether that's LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, your following will help draw eyeballs on your content. Though the growth strategy for each social media platform differs, here are some tips to get you started on the channel of your choice.
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to hit the ground running faster, you can promote your content via Ads on social media platforms. This helps you cross the barrier of having to grow an organic audience and gets your videos in front of your ideal audience in no time. Here's a helpful guide to get you started with Facebook Ads.
Which brings us to our next point. Chances are, you already have business accounts on most or all of the social media platform. However, having an account and posting some content from time to time is not enough for social media success. You'll need an independent real estate social media marketing strategy to succeed in this increasingly competitive space.
It's important to recognise that each social channel attracts different types of leads and is suitable for different types of digital content. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use the same content over each channel, you can definitely adapt content based on the platform you're posting it on. For example, when you create an infographic to publish on your website, make sure to save it in a few different formats for each of your social media profiles.
Moreover, you should not just publish content but actively engage with users. Check for comments and messages from potential leads at least once a day and respond to them right away. Social media should be a platform for communication with your future clients rather than a tribune for you to show your business off.
To increase traffic to social media posts, include relevant hashtags in each one of them. In addition to generic hashtags such as #realestate and #housing, conduct research on those specific to your location and niche. This will help you bring more users to your posts and thus generate more leads through social media.
According to a study from Realtor.com, listings which offer virtual tours receive 87% more views than properties which don’t have any. Not a surprise considering how quickly virtual reality has taken over our lives, especially with the pandemic underway.
Creating virtual tours for your properties isn't as difficult as it sounds, even if you're not particularly tech-savvy. There are numerous online software tools that can come to rescue and help you create professional looking tours without pouring too many dollars into the project.
Bottom line is, in an increasingly digital world, simple property listings with photos and text descriptions just don't suffice.
While the importance of videos and virtual tours is growing, no real estate listing is complete without the use of attractive, high-quality images. When buyers conduct an online home search, the first thing that catches their attention is the property photos. Properties on the market with high-quality photography reportedly sell 32% faster than those without.
Hiring a professional photographer who specializes in real estate to shoot your properties will go a long way. You can easily find talented photographers in your area using platforms like Snappr and Expertise.
While real estate marketing is undoubtedly driven by visual mediums, this doesn't exactly make written content redundant in the industry. To the contrary, it still remains at the core of any digital marketing strategy in 2020 and beyond. Publishing a blog is a time and cost-effective way to create evergreen content that boosts your reputation and attracts leads.
When it comes to real estate blogging, there are a few chief factors which agents need to consider. First, to rank high on search engines, using the right keywords is of crucial importance. As an agent, you should not simply rely on your expertise and intuition but conduct keyword research to find the most popular keywords in your specific niche. This can easily be done using a free tool like Ubersuggest.
Once you've found some high-traffic target keywords, you should write unique and valuable content to address the queries that they represent. Though it's not a hard and fast rule, it's best to publish blogs that have a minimum length of 1,000 words.
Blogging is something which many agents can master. However, in case writing is not your forte, you can hire a part-time content writer to help you out. Remember, though, that it is important to maintain natural language and tone so that your blogs sound as if they were written by a real estate professional rather than a content marketing one. Consider using services like FatJoe, Upwork or CrowdContent to get the job done.
Having a lot of unique, high-quality content will give your website a boost and help it rank better in various online searches. This, consequently, means that more property buyers and sellers will be able to discover your website, your listings, and your contact information.
Webinars are gaining an increasing importance in the digital marketing industry as they provide regular people with access to top-level courses that used to be reserved for professionals only. Real estate marketing is no different; the ability to reach your target audience with valuable advice cannot be undermined.
This is because most aspects of the real estate sales cycle have an element of trust and reliability that needs to be established in order to gain the confidence of potential customers. Those that want to buy or sell a home need to be sure the realtor knows the rules, regulations and how to properly assist in the process of home sales.
Simply put, webinars provide you with the opportunity to reassure your potential clients that you know what you're doing. Moreover, they're an excellent tool to cater to the needs of those leads who prefer auditory content over written and visual content.
Webinars are particularly important for agents who work with real estate investors rather than home buyers and sellers. There are numerous topics which investors need to know about, which makes webinars the right ideal tool for agents to dive deep into the topics of their interest and ultimately market their business to this particular customer segment.
Many real estate websites provide free profiles for agents across the US housing market. Agents are able to claim their profile and fill in their information such as name, brokerage, contact information, area of expertise, and covered markets. Some websites even allow you to post blogs and share other types of content.
Agent profiles are a great opportunity to benefit from the authority and traffic of other websites which might be ranking higher on search engines than your own. Browse the largest real estate websites in your area to ensure that you have an updated presence. This is free exposure to property buyers and sellers looking for the top performing real estate agent in their market.
According to NAR, 81% of older millennials, 80% of younger millennials and 78% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device in 2019. Suffice to say, the importance of having a high-performing and responsive website is not just an option in 2020 - it's a necessity.
Thankfully, creating a responsive online experience is a lot easier than it seems. Using no-code tools (like Paperform), you can have a mobile-friendly landing page for your listings up and running in a matter of minutes, with zero coding required. You can even use some ready-made templates to get a jump start and simply customize it to match your branding.
Having a solid digital marketing strategy is a must for the success of real estate agents in 2020. Using these tips, you'll not only be able to draw more leads and establish a credible reputation, but you'll also be able to stay ahead of the curve in an industry that's particularly tumultuous during these tough times.
Daniela Andreevska is Marketing Director at Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics company which helps investors find lucrative traditional and Airbnb rental properties. She has previous experience in economic policy research and fundraising.
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