You have heard that technology is a force for revolution. It has been touted as a way of changing the way that we operate. Evidence on the ground suggests that we indeed depend on technology for a large chunk of our daily activities including shopping for groceries and other necessities, keeping in touch with others and accessing news.
While the internet is of particular importance in seeking relevant information on a certain product, service, or project, it is also important to combine digital technologies with older proven business practices. It is important for companies to have a visible online presence to attract customers. This is the genesis of for many companies regardless of what they are offering. There are three major reasons why realtors marketing their products and services including:
- Building their brands through the creation of an online presence using blogs, websites, and social media to access public,
- Acquiring new customers through the conversion of visitors to online platforms to clients through acquisition channels such as social media campaigns, SEO, and email marketing, and
- Engaging with new customers to enhance customer retention and promote customer loyalty. Existing customers are also converted into promoters of brands by providing them with engaging content that they can share with others.
Our reliance on the internet has extended to real estate. Real estate is considered as an investment that is safer than most around the world. Real estate cannot be carried away, stolen or lost and with careful management, use of common sense in the purchase, and full payment, it guarantees you a safe investment and an asset that .
How the internet is used in homes
- >90% of people use the internet to search something at one point in their homes
- About 87% of individuals trust the agents they work with as reliable sources of information
- About 40% of home buyers utilized the internet as the initial search point
- About 15% of home buyers utilized the internet for information on the home buying process
There is a revolution going on in the real estate industry as a consequence of the internet. Many people are conducting extensive online research prior to making any purchase. Digital marketing for the real estate industry is made more lucrative as people search for dealers, brokers, sellers, and ongoing projects on the internet.
Buyers have a choice of the type of real estate they desire for a range of prices. Realtors also can measure their returns on investment with the use of different media. Digital marketing for most realtors started on social media through the purchase of ads on Facebook and sharing of photo albums of their listings.
There are 3 tried and tested business practices that are effective in the real estate industry including:
1. Ensuring high-quality content
There is no excuse in this day and age for poor quality content on a real estate agent’s marketing platforms. It is easy to take, edit, and utilize high-quality photos as an example. The smartphones we use have cameras capable of taking high-quality photos. You can utilize these pictures to create posters and brochures.
Customers seeking new homes do not desire grainy, blur, or pictures taken from strange angles. It is not necessary to contact a professional photographer as any realtor can take good looking authentic photographs of their listings.
2. Ask your clients and partners for referrals
Real estate sellers do not work in isolation. They work in conjunction with other professionals such as movers, lawyers, and other marketing companies. These groups of individuals should work together to create a network of customers.
Existing customers are also important for a real estate business. As a realtor, you should be able to convince your existing clients to recommend you to their friends, family members, workmates, and other acquaintances. Promotion through the word-of-mouth is a proven marketing tool.
3. Keeping in touch with clients
People do not buy and sell homes with much regularity. However, once in a while, a past customer may be seeking a new home or may be looking to sell their house. You want to be the real estate agent these clients call. If you are not in touch with your past customers, it is advisable that you contact them using different tools such as a newsletter.
1. Harness the power of emails
Even though mailing lists are an older way of contacting potential home buyers, they are still very relevant in today’s market. Emails help to maintain contact with existing clients and can be shared among client groups for third-party marketing. Emails have links that targeted individuals can follow to access more attractive digital content like a website. Creating a buyer profile and exploiting previous engagements is an effective way of funneling new clients to a realtor’s digital platforms such as a website or social media page.
2. Create a real estate website
Have you ever tried to open a website that loaded so slowly that you gave up on opening it entirely? Realtor websites can often be overwhelming due to the existence of large files and photos that may take a long time to load on a mobile device. Over half of all individuals searching for homes use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is important to utilize the services of a web designer for the creation of a website that is engaging and easy for the potential home buyers to understand. There is important content that should always be easy to see and access on a realtor’s website such as:
- A list of hot and well-packaged listings,
- A guide through the process of purchasing a home, and
- Various links to other related professionals such as home inspectors, movers, and lawyers.
Where possible, it is important to consider having a live chat feature that is supported 24/7. The real estate industry is very people-centric and the ability to directly connect to a customer service agent is a plus for any business.
3. Allow for virtual home tours
The use of Facebook to share online stories and videos is on the rise. Realtors develop posters, short video clips and GIFs that allow them to tell stories of their listings. Use of panoramic and 360-degree images is on the rise as realtors try to implement new and creative ways of attracting customers.
Virtual tours are an important tool as they allow potential buyers to experience their home from their convenient locations. Use of videos generates revenues faster than non-use of videos. Creating a video is an attempt at making the home buying process more convenient for the client, which can have numerous benefits. There are several inclusions that make home videos effective including:
- Use of real video footage of the home rather than a digital mock-up,
- Ensuring that the video is responsive and interactive on different platforms including the mobile platform,
- Ensuring that the virtual tour is user-friendly and 3D.
4. Harness the power of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing entails the use of creative media such as social media and blog posts. The days of distributing pamphlets and brochures are long gone. Inbound marketing is inexpensive and helps your listings look shinier, brighter, and more worthy of a buyer’s energy, money and time.
Occasional posting on Facebook is well and good but a comprehensive social media marketing campaign is what guarantees the results you are looking for. A fully-fledged campaign strategy entails:
- Success stories,
- Case studies,
- Team bios in case of a brokerage firm,
- Existing and new listings, and
- Blog posts relevant to real estate.
Creating and implementing a social media strategy is no mean feat. It requires simple and clear scheduling for relevant content. Sharing content that is varied is one way of ensuring that your social media campaign remains relevant. It is important that your strategy targets a large audience and not just leading to the sale of a single type of home.
What to do
Marketing is an invaluable consideration for real estate companies. To ensure that your company attracts new customers, is recognized as a reputable brand, and uses existing customers as brand promoters, you should develop buyer profiles, ensure that you post high-quality content that includes pictures, and ensure that you have relevant skills to be able to harness the power of digital marketing.
There are tried and tested marketing strategies that have been effective for a long time. The real estate market largely depends on connections with people. It is therefore important that realtors keep in touch with their existing and past customers to generate referrals.
If you have not invested in digital marketing or have not fully incorporated digital marketing in your real estate business, you are losing out. Implementing digital marketing in your real estate business will enhance your profit making capability. Not only will customers flock to your websites and consume your online content but your clients will inadvertently become your promoters, which will increase your business.