Real estate digital marketing possesses its own unique challenges to overcome. However, much like the highly tailored approaches other industries have developed, it can be done successfully for real estate too.
If you are a real estate agent, competition is the name of the game. Anything to give you an edge in the market will only increase your earning potential. Reaching your goals through nontraditional means in a time-honoured and very established industry may seem daunting. It will require careful strategic planning. But with the entire population on the internet, real estate digital marketing is the only logical next step.
In the real estate industry, salesmanship is everything. No matter what your definition of salesmanship is, marketing should be an extension of your skillset. Adapting to the digital shift in the marketing landscape should be the priority when honing your craft.
What you already know & What you don’t
As a real estate agent, you are already versed with your local competition. You know that you are catering to a specific demographic of people that are or will become prospective home buyers. You also know that your business depends on your knowledge of the community and how invested you are into putting yourself out there.
What you should be made aware of is that a majority of people are flocking online to do their own research. With the abundance of listing services and home scouting sites, there has been a shift in the traditional paradigm. You have to fight harder than ever for a client’s business in the current landscape.
Now while this may not be news to a seasoned real estate agent as yourself, keeping up with real estate digital marketing trends in an ongoing development process. Trends are by definition, organic entities that will constantly progress.
With that said, the shift to the online medium will not completely require a complete teardown of what you hold to be true in marketing. More so, you will just need to understand new tools and philosophies going forward.
This is why we are here to help guide your crafting of a successful real estate digital marketing strategy.
Define Your Goals
Now, your first priority when developing your real estate digital marketing strategy is to assess what your goals are. Only then can you make an effective plan of attack. Your business goals should be focal points when devising your marketing strategy.
A hallmark of a business goal is how achievable it is. Now, there are two main components to an achievable goal:
- Your goals are specific.
- They are also measurable.
Being specific means the difference between ‘driving business growth’ and ‘generating prospective leads in my locale.’ Vague goals don’t do you any favours, so find what it is exactly you are trying to achieve going forward.
Being measurable, both in time and business metric is another important factor to define your goals by. Unrealistic goals are rarely attained. Everybody wants to be successful in their industry, especially in a highly competitive one such as real estate.
If you are unsure of how that’s okay. Our marketing playbook might help you realize pain points that can be remedied by an effective real estate digital marketing strategy.
Real estate agents know this fact best:
You are the brand.
What better way to establish your brand than through highly public social media profiles. Not only will you be using your social media accounts to interact with your real and digital community, but others will turn to social media to find out more information about their potential real estate agent.
No matter what kind of real estate agent you are, your consumers are active on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Having a social media presence will gain you credibility by individuals being able to connect a real person to your business. It will also help you gain traction through content marketing on multiple platforms.
Here are a handful of social media tips for real estate digital marketing:
- Educating your clients through quality blog articles
- Directly chatting with your followers to listen to their thoughts
- Promote your community, not just yourself.
- Sharing videos. People are much more likely to view videos if presented through social media. Live video is even better.
Having active social media accounts boosts your online presence which does wonders for your website’s SEO.
Your Website and IDX
Your website is going to be the face of your online business. Social media and third-party content platforms are important. But these are all in place to funnel people towards your website.
With nearly ¾ of home buyers using a mobile device to scout homes, you do not want to miss the mark with having a poorly optimized website for mobile. Not to mention how this will bite you in the back when it comes to SEO. Sometimes it’s not enough for your theme to be, ‘mobile optimized.’ Do the due diligence and run through your mobile site to see it from your client’s eyes.
You want your website to reflect yourself. Because real estate is all about captivating the buyer think about including quality photography on your website. A picture is worth a thousand words. So you don’t want to come across as a spammy, crowded site with information overload. In fact, MOST realty websites employ this tactic. While you shouldn’t just go with the flow in a highly competitive market, pick apart some design cues that have become the standard.
Using photography of your community or listed properties is a great way to show off your catalogue of work.
IDX is a great way to get people into your sales pipeline by storing their searched information. And you can also gain prospective clients by asking for their information before using the software. The biggest use case for IDX is integrating your MLS listings into a property search feature.
It has become an industry standard and you are only hurting yourself by not incorporating it. In fact, it has become so expected that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have actually laid down guidelines for how it can be implemented. Of course, you should contact your MLS for their specific policies before integrating them into your website.
Some guidelines include:
- Only posting listing’s where the seller has indicated they wish to be listed on an IDX.
- You must keep your IDX up to date.
- Supplying non-participatory third parties with listings and info from the IDX
- Providing false information to the IDX that is not in line with the MLS.
- Failing to adhere to MLS policies and listing properties not approved by the MLS or the listing broker.
Another thing to think about when employing data harvesting strategies is springing for an SSL certificate so that your URL is https vs HTTP. It benefits your SEO and also lets users know your website is secure to share information with.
While optimizing your website for the best search engine ranking will definitely help your case, you probably want a more targeted approach. You don’t want just anyone visiting your site. You want to target relevant, local traffic.
Google Analytics provides a comprehensive report on who is visiting your site. Through their tool, you can see if you are actually reaching an audience within your town.
Optimizing for local SEO should be a priority because this person will most likely be your prospective clients. To accomplish this, you need to establish a digital relationship between your location and your online assets.
There are a few ways to go about this:
- List your areas of operation on your website. Think about including an address or even embed a map. (If your territory is larger than average, you may want to refrain from being too specific. It could bottleneck results.)
- Make sure addresses across all platforms are exactly the same. This will eliminate confusion for the user and also the ranking algorithms.
- Include your city and target locations as keywords you rank for. This is especially helpful because prospective clients will surely make the search at some point, ‘real estate agents in [your location].’
- Get your past clients to leave testimonials on your website and social media. This not only builds credibility, but satisfied customers are more likely to refer you.
If you think you need expertise in gaining traffic or want to automate your digital presence, contact us. We offer a variety of services to help you establish yourself online, as well as services tailored specifically for real estate. From real estate search engine optimization to social media management services, to content creation from industry specialists, we are here to help you achieve this year’s goal.