Real estate marketing has always been a little different. Your clients are spending vast sums of money on a property that will potentially stay with them for the rest of their lives. This is not jumping onto e-bay to buy a new camera – the rules of engagement are different! With the inevitable shift towards digital and social media in the last ten years, customer behaviour has changed and real estate has had to move with it. Thankfully we now have a range of practical digital tools at our disposal to attract customers, build relationships and eventually, increase sales. Some of these methods are discussed below to help you get the best out of your real estate digital marketing campaign.
Your Foundations Are Your Website
Despite the dominance of social media in almost every facet of life (and more on that later) one element which is vital for any successful real estate business to set themselves apart from their competitors is a professional looking, functional website. Your website represents you and your brand; but it needs to be more than just somewhere your customers come to browse local properties. Once they’ve landed on it, you want to engage with your customers, gain their trust and provide them with further relevant information which will encourage them to revisit the site at a later date and ultimately to make their property purchase with YOU.
Search Engine Optimization
We strongly advise you to work with a skilled website designer. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t easy but will mean your site will feature prominently in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more leads to your real estate business. It also requires regular attention so we recommend a specialist to help you get this part of your digital marketing strategy right from the beginning.
Almost half of online browsing is now done on a mobile device so your website must not only look great on your laptop, but also fully functional on a phone or tablet as well. Many leads are lost because of a site loading too slowly on a phone and the customer becoming frustrated before looking elsewhere. This is easily avoidable with the right advice and as you’ve probably already realized, finding a good web developer will be a worthwhile investment.
Blog Your Way To The Top
One low-cost way to improve your site’s SEO is to create regular, relevant and engaging real estate blog content. Sites with an effective blog are far more likely to rank higher on the main search engines (Google, Bing) as well as giving potential clients the impression that you’re knowledgeable and happy to share that knowledge with your community of buyers. Blog posts are also great to link to from your social media channels meaning both new leads and returning customers have a reason to revisit your site.
All successful businesses have a strong social media presence and real estate is no different. Yes, direct people to your website by sharing blog posts and posting photos of new properties; but also go the extra mile to generate new leads. Consider hosting a free webinar on ‘Buying Your First Home’ and give customers an insight into the people behind your team. We keep returning to the idea of trust but people really want to feel that they’re engaging with a person when deciding on their real estate purchase and social media can help you achieve that by becoming an active member of your local online community.
One additional use of social media is its ability to run targeted digital advertising campaigns. ‘Pay-Per-Click’ (PPC) options mean you can place your ad directly in front of people genuinely interested in buying real estate, and only pay when they click on it. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all offer competitive PPC options which are worth investigating; then use their advertising analysis tools to work out which parts of your campaigns have been successful and which have not, to inform future campaigns.
There are a huge range of tools available to ensure your real estate business benefits from a digital marketing campaign, so embrace the changes and watch your business flourish.
Author Bio: Martha Jameson is an educator at Academicbrits.com. Before she chose writing as her calling, she was a web designer and a manager.