Exploring Digital Marketing’s Role in Real Estate
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. It’s probably the most stressful one, too.
That’s because prospective homebuyers have to consider everything before pulling the trigger on their dream homes, including their finances, their feelings, and their futures. That’s a lot to worry about, but if you’re a professional working in the real estate sector, it’s also an excellent opportunity to lend your expertise and make the process as stress-free as possible. Fulfilling your clients’ needs builds trust with them, sure, but it’s also a clever way to market your services to others. After all, buyers want to do business with someone they can depend on. And if you do your job well, they’ll remember and refer you.
How’s all this possible, you ask? As a realtor, you’ll need a strong digital marketing strategy that prioritizes interactive content and active outreach.
Digital marketing has become a key cornerstone of real estate success
It wasn’t too long ago when realtors were cramming ads in local newspapers, fighting each other over billboards, and laboriously trudging through neighborhoods with briefcases and flyers in tow. But those days are over, and they likely aren’t coming back.
Technology has evolved and first-time homebuyers are getting younger. The homeownership rate among millennials is growing faster than any other generation since the Great Recession, especially in the last 5 years when the economy boomed quickly. Many first-time home buyers have degrees and won’t think twice about moving on to a higher-paying job. But perhaps most importantly, most millennials aren’t fans of old-school marketing techniques. Instead, they’re researching properties on Google and using simplified apps to collate information.
Since its inception, real estate content marketing has opened the door to a world of new possibilities for industry professionals. Agents can now provide virtual tours of available properties, for example. And thanks to digital convenience, the purchasing process isn’t nearly as painful as it used to be (brokers can retrieve paperwork whenever and wherever they want).
The top 5 most effective digital marketing channels for realtors
Believe it or not, blogging is a brilliant and cost-effective way to drive more traffic to your website. Real estate blogs are often overlooked, which is a shame because sharing consistently reliable information with people is an excellent way to establish credibility and capture more qualified leads down the road.
But finding something to blog about is hard, especially for realtors. Many think they don’t have the time or the skills needed to publish good content. If you’re having trouble getting started, make a list of topics that your audience might be looking for. Then type those topics into search engines like Google to see which phrases and terms appear automatically. These are keywords, and they’ll give you an idea of what people are looking for. Include as many keywords as you can in your blog posts.
You can turn each of your blog posts into landing pages, too. Since most of your blog traffic will consist of people who read one post and move on, designing each one like a landing page is a great way to keep readers around and convert them into leads. Decide on an action you want visitors to take, direct their eyes to it, and A/B test any changes.
The main goal of PPC advertising is to draw higher quality leads through paid search. It’s a form of advertising where advertisers pay a fee every time a user clicks on one of their ads. In real estate, PPC advertising lets you target the right audience at the right time. It’s grounded in the idea that people who click on your ad are doing so because they are currently searching for the services you’re offering.
More traditional forms of media advertising featured in real estate magazines or newspaper listings don’t always engage audiences. That’s why PPC advertising is such an attractive alternative. It lets you define your target audience and build brand awareness as you appear in search results.
Social media marketing
Of course millennials are flocking to social media, but they aren’t the only ones. Nearly every demographic out there is using it. More importantly, social media is affecting how consumers are making purchasing decisions. One study from the ODM Group found that 74% of consumers rely on social networks when making important purchasing decisions. Another found that people check Facebook more than they do their emails, news and sports websites combined. And 71% of consumers are more likely to make purchases based on social media recommendations. Just imagine all that traffic going to your real estate business instead! According to the National Association of Realtors, “social media was the tool cited as the best source for generating high-quality leads among REALTORS®.”
“For realtors, it’s important to stay in touch with people and to remind them on a regular basis of what it is that you do,” says Brandon Stewart—a prominent real estate agent in Dallas, Texas. “When the time comes that they actually need your services, you’ll hopefully be the first person they think of because of your consistent marketing.”
There are nearly 4 billion email users out there today, and email generates $38 for every $1 spent. Those are two very good reasons to jump into email marketing. Tie your marketing campaigns to any dedicated landing pages you’ve created so customers can sign-up and find more information on home listings. You can also create targeted emails from custom templates and automate campaigns so prospective buyers receive personalized information at the right moment.
A comprehensive CRM should let you segment your customer base, centralize all the information you collect from them, and deliver timely emails that promote your services in the best way possible.
Online magazines, brochures and flyers are fantastic marketing options for realtors. They’re instant—meaning digital content can reach its target in seconds—and tell visual stories in ways flat content never could. Interactive content gives buyers more control during the buying process as they explore homes and neighborhoods at their own pace.
Digital publishing platforms empower businesses to transform their existing PDF materials into interactive and dynamic online publications. A beautifully designed real estate magazine can showcase listings to potential homebuyers in eye-catching detail. With the right platform, agents are able to distribute their real estate listings to a wider audience, generate more leads, and leverage tracking data to improve business outcomes.
Digital marketing lies at the intersection of technology and real estate. In today’s fierce market, you’ll need a lot more than a license to edge out the competition. Consider every option we’ve listed above and find one that works best for you. Branch out to multiple platforms and provide value to home buyers who need your help.