The Housing Hour - Best Practices in Real Estate Digital Marketing
Monday, July 16, 2018
How to Better Compete in the Real Estate Industry
Technology has been a gift for those who want to market their business and it seems logical that if you are selling or promoting something you want it on as many websites as possible. In many industries, including real estate, this includes relying on third-party syndication. You list a home and then send it to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc. Is this always the best approach? Yes, you get your listing out there, but you haven't done anything to build your brand. To be successful in the long term as a real estate agent, you must focus on local branding and have a solid digital marketing plan in place. You won't see results overnight, but if you put in the sweat equity and implement consistent marketing strategies, you will reap the rewards. Here are digital marketing strategies and best practices to help you build your brand and help you sell homes, even when the market slows:
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
It's a given that in today's business climate you have a professional website, but you need to take it further by making sure that potential clients can browse listings from their phone and/or tablet. Studies have shown that 80% of consumers use their mobile devices for online browsing and purchasing. Take advantage of this by making your website readable on all types of devices, using a responsive website design.'
Use a Matterport 3D Camera or Hire a Matterport Professional
Professional photos, panoramic views, and virtual tours for real estate listings are a must, but consider moving beyond these and embracing the latest technology to truly set yourself apart from the crowd. A Matterport 3D camera scans the inside of a home and puts the pieces together so potential buyers can take a virtual tour. This isn't your standard virtual tour, but one that a buyer can walk through in virtual reality.
Ramp Up Your Social Media Presence
If you are an agent and you aren't on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, you will never get the engagement that you need to be successful in the long run. A long time ago, word of mouth used to be the best way to make something go viral and build a strong reputation. We have now moved into the technological era of social proof. When someone is looking for a contractor, an agent, a lawyer, or any type of service they go on social media and ask for a recommendation. If you have a strong social media presence, you will be the go-to agent for friends, family, and those who have already done business with you.
Inspire Engagement with Awesome Content
Having social media accounts and a professional website does nothing to build your brand if you aren't adding content that makes potential buyers and sellers want to engage with you. You can post listings, but don't give away the farm—instead, post teasers that include a few pictures and limited facts. If someone is browsing and they want all of the information, build in a form asking for an email and/or phone number that you can add to a marketing list. Yes, you can use the Matterhorn stuff, but don't be afraid to take selfies and make your own walk-through videos with your cell phone. Also, create a blog to inspire engagement—you can cover useful topics like tips for first-time home buyers and sellers, neighborhood guides, and decorating ideas. If you are going to be on six to eight different platforms, make sure they are building your brand. Syndicate yourself, instead of putting things on Zillow, Trulia, etc.
Use Listing-Specific Websites
Highlight your properties by dedicating an entire website to each of them. These single-property websites, also called listing-specific websites, allow you to showcase each property and pack it with more and better information than what you can find on the MLS. Once you have a dedicated web address, which is usually the street address, you can fill the site with information that includes property details, a virtual tour, videos, seller information, area map, MLS info, listing data, a printable brochure. You can then use the domain in newspapers, magazines, rider signs, and social media sites to attract people to the site.
Add Social Sharing to All of Your Content
Whether it's a single-property website, a blog post, an Instagram video, or property photos, add social sharing to all of your content. Make it easy for potential home buyers to share things with friends and family or for a really great blog post to go viral.
Optimize Your Website and Blog
Real Estate SEO is difficult and it requires patience and persistence, but if you take the time, the rewards outweigh the costs by a bazillion. The underlying philosophy is this: you use tools on and off of your website that lets Google know your website content. The better you become at "speaking" to Google, the more visitors Google sends your way. Internal linking is the most important part of real estate SEO. You should aim to link to 3-5 other internal web pages or blog posts in every longer piece of content that you write. If you use neighborhood pages as anchors, you can link any new content that you write to those pages. Further, make sure that you link deeper by linking to your oldest content page. You should avoid linking to your homepage and your contact page. Technology has made a significant impact on the real estate market. Social media platforms have changed the way that real estate agents and brokers reach potential clients. Companies must be more interactive with their audience. Some think they can throw up a basic website with a few listings and this will be enough, but in this day in age, you have to do better if you want to go far. When you follow best practices and enact strategies that set you up for the long run, you may get frustrated in some cases. Remember that building your brand, which includes a solid web presence, requires consistency. Your persistence and hard work will be rewarded if you stick with it. If you’d rather outsource these time-consuming digital marketing tasks to an expert, contact us today.