How To Compete in the Very Competitive Online Real Estate Space?
The real estate business is primarily a marketing business. As a real estate agent or broker, you're constantly marketing your client's properties, you're marketing the benefits of your community and most importantly, you're marketing yourself. You're building credibility, trust and ultimately, relationships with your buyers and sellers – this is where a proper marketing strategy comes into play.
Real Estate is one of the most competitive niches in the digital marketing sphere. You NEED to stand out from the crowd to be successful. We spoke with 10 of the top real estate marketing professionals across the country and they spilled the beans on how to do it the right way.
1. Provide Real Value
“My best tip is to share my knowledge to the right clients and focusing on being valuable to them instead of showcasing how valuable I am. The internet is a large space and platform and it’s easy to get lost and not be found. My most effective marketing was when I started seeing a trend of whom my clients were and addressing their needs and speaking to them, providing education about the market. I use platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter more for a place for people to learn more about me and see that I’m real, but my main marketing is actually hyperlocal and in person. I believe in developing genuine and authentic relationships and nurturing these friendships and providing excellent service when needed.”
By Susan Chace of Compass Broker
2. Be Sure to Leverage Facebook Live
“We have found Facebook Live to be a great channel for marketing both our listed properties and our brand. Before every open house we stream a tour of the property on Facebook Live which receives a large number of impressions in that geographical area. We find that this results in higher attendance for the open house and acts as an effective form of visual advertising for those in our Facebook network.
Pro tip: After streaming the video we will use it to run a Facebook ad in that area. This marketing technique has resulted in finding buyers for nearly a dozen houses and many more new clients.”
By Evan Roberts of Dependable Homebuyers
3. Invest in your Own Digital Real Estate
“One of the best marketing recommendations I can make for real estate agents and brokers heading into 2019 is to take digital and social media seriously as a lead generation and sales driving channel. While many real estate agents have no problem paying for leads from places like Zillow and Trulia, the reality is that many agents will find a better return if they invest in growing their own digital presences. From a solid social media posting strategy to focusing on curating leads and growing a base of fans and followers, the savviest agents and brokers spend their marketing dollars growing their brands and names within the community, not just one transactional lead acquisition.”
By Matt Arceneaux of SocialChimp
4. Co-Branding is the Way to Go
“One of the hottest marketing trends I am seeing for 2019 is co-branding between Real Estate Agents and Loan Officers. Teaming up to co-brand is a great way to share in the costs of advertising, and work together towards a common goal. Posting on social media is a great, and low-cost way to start. Sharing common posts on Facebook and Instagram and tagging each others accounts. It doesn't take a lot of time and helps reach a broader audience.”
By Chelsea Stanton of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
5. Add Subtitles to Your Video Posts
“Add subtitles to the videos you post on LinkedIn, Instagram, and your website! Subtitles increase the engagement with your videos dramatically because most people browse social media with the sound off. You can embed the text directly in to your video so that everyone who watches the video sees them using a tool like Kapwing's Subtitle Maker. Even if your video doesn't have dialouge (because it's a montage or a video of the house/property), adding text labels helps to increase engagement on social media.”
By Julia Enthoven of Kapwing
6. Instagram Farming
“Farming may not be for everyone, but Instagram Farming for real estate agents is a BIG way to grow your listing reach. Here’s how you do it. In your account, feature and tag local businesses, hangouts, and things about town in the locations you’re highlighting. You’ll become a real-estate-secret-agent and go-to gal or guy. It’s similar to Pinterest Boards, except you can add video, features, photos, and filters to highlight the good stuff.”
By Becky Livingston of Penheel Marketing
7. Leverage Google My Business
“If you’re only using traditional SEO tactics to help drive visitors to your website, you're likely missing out on connecting with potential new customers due a major shift in how Google is serving up search results. Google My Business — a free tool that integrates with Google Maps — is now responsible for most of the “above the fold” results that are served up to users when they conduct searches. This shift to Google My Business is especially important for real estate professionals, since many of their new customers are searching based on location. As you build your marketing strategy for 2019, it’s time to assess whether you’re leveraging Google My Business. If you're not, it's worth investing some of your resources in building your profile or hiring a service that can help you optimize your results to help you stand out from the crowd.”
By David Hunter of ASAPmaps
8. Organic and Sponsored Instagram Marketing
“The best online marketing tip that I would recommend to real estate agents and brokers in 2019 is to focus on paid and organic marketing on Instagram. Instagram is the best social media channel for the visuals of real estate and is the second most popular platform among U.S. adults. By encouraging individual agents to develop their professional Instagram presence or even to create a company-specific profile, you can expose local Instagram users, who may be interested in a home or apartment, to your offerings through organic posts, Stories, or paid ads. Through Instagram's diverse video options, you can offer virtual tours of your properties, even adding the personality of one of your agents if they're dynamic and willing. Through image slideshows and ads, you can display the most picture-perfect images of properties and use effective local or popular real estate hashtags to expose images to a wider audience.”
By Nicolas Straut of Fundera
9. Use Click-Through Funnels
“Most agents have a contact form or some other type of form to get in touch. This form asks for details like name, address, phone, and email. While these are all necessary details for an agent to do their job, a lot of people are hesitant to commit to giving up all that information right away. A click-through funnel allows an opportunity for you to capture the same information from users, while also increasing their chances of filling out your form.
These funnels often time add a few additional steps in the way of qualification. Instead of asking for the information up front, you can have questions (one at a time) asking about buy or sell intent, type of property, price range. Each of these questions has a couple of options that simply require a button click as input, with the final form coming at the end.
The funnel reduces the cognitive load that comes with submitting information up-front, and also makes the user feel as though they've already given up a portion of their information, why not submit the rest. In addition, you also gain valuable information that you can use when you call back. This allows you the ability to qualify yourself and your experience based on their specified property type and price range, increasing the likelihood you can turn a qualified lead into a new client.”
By Andrew Schmeerbauch of Clever Real Estate
10. Not Just Images, Aerial Images
“Nothing turns away potential home buyers more quickly than poor quality photos in the online listing. To draw more traffic, many realtors hire us to professionally photograph their listings – including aerial drone photography. While professional photography is an added cost, it’s absolutely worth it! According to the 2017 MLS statistic reported by Real Estate Magazine, properties listed with accompanying aerial images are 68% more likely to sell than properties without.”
By Abby Clemens of Image Studios Inc.
11. Showing Up is Marketing
“Did you know showing up and being involved in community events is a marketing strategy? If you are there, you not only meet others, your network increases and eventually your net worth. You may hear about Mr. and Mrs. such a such who have split and now want to sell their home, or a local directory where you can advertise for free. Just being there places you above the rest. Some of your neighbors who were once strangers can in turn become friends or acquaintances who will refer you. When you show up, you are marketing now take something from the meeting and put it into digital form.”
By Chantay Bridges of Los Angeles Real Estate Now!
12. Big Data Strategies?
“What is your data strategy? If your company does not have a strategy to utilize big data, AI or machine learning, then you will be left in the dust by the end of the year. Real estate professionals can now reach highly targeted prospects at a fraction of the cost using the right data. This is a game-changer as you are no longer forced to pay a premium for your data or targeting from powerful suppliers such as Google, Facebook or Zillow. Data predicting who is in the market can uploaded as a custom audience to sites like Facebook or Google which allows you to squeeze the most out of your marketing budget by only targeting the people who are actively looking to buy or sell.”
By Taylor Fyhrie of Liberty AI
13. Don't Forget Voice Search
“According to Google one in every five searches comes from a voice search. This shows us that the rise in the digital assistant is real and is changing the way search queries are performed. Because of the rise in voice searches, it’s important to make sure that your SEO marketing strategy shifts to meet with this growing trend. This will mean needing to focus on longer keyword searches of a more natural and conversational tone.”
By Reuben Kats of Falcon Marketing, LLC