4 Effective Digital Marketing Ideas For Real Estate AgentsJune 20, 2017
When real estate is already a lightning-quick battlefield, it is important to get ahead of the competition in any professional way possible. In some real estate markets, the time between discovery and offer can be less than 24 hours—not a lot of time to attract and make an impression on potential buyers. Speeding up the buying process is the role of the internet. According to a recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey, “90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process.” That means buyers can access entire inventories, listings and, you guessed it, find an agent in minutes.
Thankfully, there are ways to fight back and better market your services online or otherwise improve your current online presence.
Make a website
Give in to the peer pressure: everyone has one. Considering how many user-friendly web development tools exist, there is no excuse not having a personal site. Tools like WordPress, which offers built-in blogging, Squarespace and Wix are good options; however, it may be worth your time to try them all and see which works best for you.
Whichever avenue you decide, separate yourself from the pack by making your website visual, mobile friendly, easy to navigate and optimized for generating leads. Do not overload visitors with info or jargon. Keep text simple and easy to digest so potential clients will feel your content is accessible and useful.
As for leads, make sure your contact information is predominately featured throughout. That way users will not have difficulty getting in touch once they decide to work with you. Furthermore, you can offer “free” content like downloadable ebooks or brochures in exchange for emails and phone numbers, which you can use for remarketing purposes.
No idea where to begin? Here are some examples to get you started.
Blog your expertise
Another way to get noticed online is writing a blog. Keep in mind that this is no MySpace journal but rather a professional-yet-casual way to market yourself and (hopefully) rank on search engines. Typically, having your blog attached to your personal website is ideal, as it centralizes all your content, but maintaining an off-site blog is by no means a deal breaker; it is just a little more work on your end.
Well, what should you write about? That answer depends on your current market conditions. A good rule of thumb, though, is writing content that provides answers to questions buyers in your market may have. A typical post should be structured as such: 1) Pose a problem 2) Create a need for a solution 3) Provide a solution (or point in the right direction) and 4) Include a call to action (e.g., call now, learn more, subscribe today or whatever is most useful for your needs). Along the way, be sure to include helpful links and any relevant photos.
Keeping a regular publication schedule will only increase the likelihood a buyer finds your content. Meanwhile, Google algorithms will see your new and authoritative content and help boost your blog’s authority.
Get on social media
Hopefully by now you have had some exposure to social media experience with sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But wait, there’s more! Sites like Pinterest can also be used to promote your brand. Ideally, you should keep personal and professional accounts separate, unless you are disciplined enough to not post personal photos and other content that could undermine your credibility. Otherwise, use your social media accounts to share your most recent blog posts, videos and listings.
In addition, social media becomes a less formal way for buyers to contact you directly, either through a direct message or in comments. If buyers like what you have to say, they may even share your content on their personal pages, thus becoming marketers for your brand.
Caveat: unlike some of the other tips listed here, using social media may require some financial investment to help get your posts seen by the right people. This process is called boosting, which puts your content higher in news feeds. If you have the budget, you can also create targeted ads that appear in feeds as if they are regular posts (what the pros call native content). Ads are useful for driving traffic to your social pages and/or personal websites.
Focus on video
The numbers do not lie: 85 percent of buyers and sellers want to work with an agent who uses video.
Regardless whether you are camera shy, it is imperative that part of your marketing strategy includes a video portion. Too many marketing studies show that users spend more time on web pages with videos than traditional copy. Unlike text, videos engage more of the senses and make the content more memorable. Videos can consist of house tours, “How-To” instruction, simulated one-on-one discussions, or even introductory material to introduce buyers to the kind of realtor you are. Whatever your heart desires, really. Just make sure your content has purpose or a desired result, whether that is promoting listings, increasing call traffic or something specific.
Putting videos on YouTube is a great starting point, especially if you are looking to advertise your services or market educational content, but do not overlook placing videos on your personal website. Unlike YouTube, you can optimize videos for lead generation with tools like Wistia, much like you would an ebook or brochure.
Another way to set yourself apart from the pack: team up with quality homebuilders and co-produce content together. Collaboration may give you access to resources you may not have otherwise. Plus, it is a great way to build up your reputation with an excellent agent-builder relationship.
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