The real estate industry is picking up again after the slump witnessed in the last two years because of diminished sales due to the pandemic induced lockdowns and job losses. As the incomes are returning and getting stable slowly, prospective buyers have been keen on investing their money in properties for living and investment purposes alike. After the 2008 US housing collapse, real estate picked up sweetly over the next few years and eventually became one of the most competitive industries yet again.
Realtors face fierce competition from their contemporaries because everyone is willing to provide great services for making more and more profits — given the sizable profit margin that is possible in the real estate industry. As the competition between realtors has heated up over the years, a need for newer, more effective marketing ideas and strategies have arisen. Today, when we are at the pinnacle of the digital age, with the internet and mobile devices becoming an inseparable part of our lives, the focus has been constantly shifting on digital marketing — to stay in the now and attract the attention of a tech-savvy generation.
It has been observed that buyers are increasingly gravitating towards the internet for their research before involving expert real estate agents. No doubt that real estate agents still play a key role in the property buying process, but the increasing dependence on digital avenues for procuring first information and comparison has necessitated realtors to invest in a sound, effective, and eye-catching digital marketing strategy.
If you want to learn more about digital marketing for the real estate business, keep reading.
In this article, we will discuss what digital marketing is for the real estate industry and why it is important today. We will learn about different digital marketing strategies for promoting real estate businesses and bringing in more leads — for better conversion possibilities. Lastly, we will look at some tips for designing and executing a successful online marketing strategy for realtors. Let’s begin.
Digital Marketing in the Real Estate Industry: Why is it important?
Quality content is a must in any digital marketing endeavor, because as they say, “content is a currency for marketers”. People love stories, and well-made content can be a great way of telling a good one. Real Estate provides great opportunities to weave engaging stories through content designed to evoke emotions in the prospective audience. Good-looking properties with happy and content looking home buyers make for compelling and aspirational visual stories that can be told for marketing. Not just that, given the amount of stress attached to home buying or selling, buyers want valid and helpful information and guidance, creating the avenue for valuable content creation. Digital marketing combines both aspects, visual storytelling and content creation, to design an impactful marketing strategy.
Digital marketing is vital in building brand value, disseminating brand awareness, standing out from the competition, and attracting the attention of internet users. Since more and more internet users have started depending on the information they can get from online sources, for most of their requirements, the need for focusing on digital marketing has become a necessity for all industries. Similarly, the real estate industry cannot stay behind this trend and risk being left behind when it can leverage it for gaining more leads and increasing conversion rates. There are various reasons why digital marketing is important for a real estate business, such as:
Increasing dependence on the internet for information
As we have discussed above briefly, as technology is seeping into our daily lives, the internet has become the go-to troubleshooter for most people with a device running an internet connection. Such dependence on the internet has provided a great opportunity for digital marketers for capitalizing on it. One reason for this is the reluctance of people to waste time asking around instead. Therefore, real estate businesses can augment brand visibility by taking advantage of this dependence. They can attract more leads by appearing on their searches.
Effectiveness of mobile marketing
Mobile ad campaigns have emerged as more effective than other online marketing measures. The reason for this can be attributed to the fact that more and more people are now using smartphones, and it has become easier to show them ads for a business right on the smallest screens in their palms. Mobile ads in video form have been seen to increase conversion rates for businesses. The real estate industry can also benefit from these promising trends.
Ease of finding the target audience
Realtors generally place banners, posters and billboards — at hefty prices — in their local areas, and that too doesn’t guarantee adequate attention from the target audience. Online marketing solves this problem to a great extent by offering the ease of reaching prospects at their fingertips. With just a few clicks, a realtor can reach prospective buyers within and beyond their locality. Tools like paid digital ads, based on the browsing interests of users, can be deployed by the realtors to reach the right audience at a fraction of the cost of setting up real-life billboards.
Proficient performance tracking
Tracking the conversion rate of physical posters and banners of real estate projects is not practically possible because of the obvious reason that no real log is available for the same. On the other hand, digital marketing provides many ways in which the performance of various marketing campaigns can be measured in terms of the leads generated and conversions achieved. Strategies like pay per click(PPC) ad campaigns help in tracking the performance of ads placed online — from the source of the traffic to the elements that work or don’t.
Multidimensional creative advertising opportunities
Digital marketing allows for taking your creativity to the next level. It provides options for designing multidimensional content for marketing campaigns, from videos, infographics, images, blogs, micro ads, etc. With such a wide range of creative options to choose from, digital marketing is a revelation for reaching the target audience in ways not possible with traditional models of marketing.
Staying ahead of the competition
Most realtors and real estate firms are either implementing or pondering on the possibility of digital marketing. To remain competitive, it’s not just a choice but has become a requirement to start building a digital marketing strategy and implementing it in full force. Changing with times pays rich dividends sometimes, and this is one such instance.
Importance of online reviews
Digital marketing also allows for getting online reviews from the target audience. Online reviews are vital in building trust and gaining credibility among prospects. Positive reviews give confidence to prospective buyers to approach a particular real estate firm. Trust and credibility go a long way in converting leads into buyers, and long term relationships are built.
Strategies for Real Estate Digital Marketing
Obtaining as many leads as possible is the goal of a successful marketing strategy. When leads are guided well and made aware of the various offers and specialities of a property, the chances of persuading them to make an investment become very high. But the first step is the most tricky i.e., generating leads, and makes all the difference. Knowing how to approach digital marketing for better lead generation is crucial. Here are some tried and tested strategies for real estate digital marketing:
Develop a mobile and user-friendly website
A website is the first step towards establishing the seriousness of your real estate business. Professionally developed websites command the attention of the target audience and make them attracted to your properties. A well-made website leaves a good impression and establishes credibility. There’s a catch with websites that they must be mobile-friendly and adaptive.
Since most internet users today access it through their smartphones or other mobile devices, it’s imperative to design a website keeping in mind the same. There are a couple of basic requirements for an effective mobile-friendly website: pictures adaptive to various mobile screen sizes and fast loading speeds. In addition, there must be a feedback mechanism on the website with prompt query resolution so that the user feels valued.
SEO Optimized Content Marketing
Once you set up a responsive, mobile-friendly website, make listings of all properties you offer using good quality content and professional photographs — depicting every property from all viewing angles, this will form a vital part of your content marketing plans. Content marketing plays a crucial role in a digital marketing strategy, because of the various purposes that quality content can serve, for example, educating prospective buyers, adding value to the lives of the target audience through relevant content, and as a result, driving more concrete leads home. Content marketing is also a crucial part of SEO(search engine optimization) and paves way for better indexing and ranking of your website on search engines. Good quality content is a precursor to building reputation, connections, and credibility with the audience.
Writing articles that inform the audience about home-buying best practices allows them to make better decisions. Making these articles visually appealing is another important factor to keep in mind — with the addition of relevant images, videos, etc. To make this content effective, always use relevant keywords after thorough research on the same; follow SEO best practices, and aim at getting as many relevant backlinks for your articles as possible. You can use a free backlink checker to get information on the backlinks and take the required steps to improve their number.
Host Virtual Tours
Investing in a property is a big step for buyers, and they need guidance at every step of the way to make it easier for them. Hosting virtual tours to a property is a great way to help prospects streamline their home buying process. Many digital marketing experts in the real estate industry have been batting for virtual property tours because it provides a sense of acquaintance to home buyers without having them step out of their houses. Moreover, virtual tours have assumed more prominence and necessity in a post-pandemic world where buyers only want to risk visiting a property physically once they are sure about it.
There are some basic principles to designing and executing effective virtual tours:
- Ensure the responsiveness of your virtual tour video and audio, across all devices, like smartphones and laptops.
- Don’t rely on creating an illusion, instead ensure using actual footage of a property to avoid embarrassment at later stages of the buying process.
- The tour must be user friendly and can be highly effective if it’s three dimensional.
- Adopt campaigns to promote your virtual tours on social media platforms for greater visibility.
Email Campaigns never get old
Even in a world replete with multiple marketing techniques, classic email campaigns still stand tall as one of the most converting digital marketing strategies, especially in the real estate industry. Emails are a great way of connecting to, engaging with, and persuading new leads. Emails also help maintain cordial and running relationships with existing customers. A recent survey revealed that 86% of consumers prefer receiving emails. The only caveat for a successful email marketing campaign is the relevance of the content in accordance with the needs and interests of prospective buyers.
You must invest in SEO
SEO is the backbone of digital marketing because without implementing sound SEO practices, it’s virtually impossible to achieve the required online visibility for successful lead generation and conversions. Search engine algorithms are designed to list and rank websites with the most impeccable SEO practices first. SEO requires proper planning and knowledge of the technicalities involved in it. For instance, relevant keywords being an essential part of SEO best practices, it’s crucial to spend time researching thoroughly on the most effective keywords.
There are multiple other SEO elements to be considered, like backlinks, online directories, title and META descriptions of a webpage, readability, snippets, Core Web Vitals, social media pages, etc. Given the technicality involved in the task of SEO management, it’s highly advisable to invest in hiring an online marketing agency to help streamline your SEO and set you up for success.
Some tips for making a winning online real estate marketing strategy
We have a fair idea of major strategies for devising a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for your real estate business. Now, we would like to supplement your understanding and knowledge by discussing some valuable tips for giving an edge to your umbrella online marketing strategy.
Set up social media profiles
Social media marketing requires setting up social media profiles on all popular social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. When the target audience can connect with you on social media, it makes your business more approachable and visible to them, especially young adults — who generally use social media more than their older contemporaries.
Provide easy options for contacting you
Your website must have your contact information on all pages. When a prospect has easy access to your contacts, it paints an approachable picture of your real estate business. Also, add contact information on the social media handles of your business.
Hire professional photographers for clicking images of your properties
The biggest mistake many realtors make in their content marketing strategy is using low-quality images, often clicked on their smartphones. Such images leave a bad impression in the eyes of prospective buyers and make your business look unprofessional. Therefore, it’s imperative to always hire professional photographers.
Focus on important local web directories and get listed
It’s very useful to command search engine authority for better visibility. Getting listed on multiple local web directories helps your real estate website reach more potential buyers. Aggregator websites have a good reach because they provide the information of all similar businesses in the same place.
Create Pinterest boards
Pinterest boards are a great way of providing images and information for your property listings. Pinterest boards can combine many properties in one board, or separate boards may be created for each one of them. Pinterest boards educate your target audience visually and therefore create more impact.
Design a Newsletter for Email Campaigns
Having a newsletter allows you to send regular updates and information to the leads in your contact list. Newsletters help in maintaining regular contact with leads and increase their chances of becoming buyers. Not just that, they help in cementing relationships with pre-existing buyers.
Set up Google My Business Page
Google searches are the most common way a lead might find your business. Setting up a Google My Business Page enhances the chances of being seen by prospects and also increases credibility. Be short and crisp while writing a GMB post.
Implement Emotional Storytelling through website content
As we have already touched upon the value of appealing to the emotions of prospective buyers, you need to understand that an amalgam of content and emotions compels like none other. Therefore, always incorporate elements like the visuals of a happy family residing in one of your properties, etc.
Webinars can be a great way to garner attention and educate confused prospects. Host webinars highlighting the features of your properties and solve queries of prospective home-buyers around reasons for investing in real estate, loan options, etc.
Add free online tools to your website
People regularly try to access many online tools for various calculations related to property buying. Adding plugins to these tools help your website appear in more web searches and thus, increases the visibility of your website. These tools may include mortgage calculators, investment calculators, home loan calculators, etc.
The real estate business has picked up pace again as the economies around the world are returning on track after a long duration of lull caused by the pandemic. With realtors leaving no stones unturned in promoting their listings among prospective buyers, it’s imperative to formulate an effective digital marketing strategy. Hopefully, this guide will help you make one for your business.