Digital marketing for real estate—6 strategies realtors should know (combine them!)
The following is a starter’s guide for smart realtors who know they need to be marketing more online and building a larger, more professional digital presence, but don’t necessarily know how or where to start. As in most things marketing related, and certainly with digital marketing for real estate, there isn’t one silver bullet here. But our direct experience has shown that just a bit of sustained, consistent love given to these strategy categories produces real results with some of the best ROI’s out there.
Generally, think numbers—digital marketing is all about increasing the numbers of people exposed to you and your content. And combine strategies. They feed each other.
Good pictures. Good video. Everything is visual these days. Well, everything always has been visual, but now we have tech and bandwidth to capture and distribute visual media. Take pro photos. Learn how to do it yourself. Invest in equipment, or hire someone to do this for you. Something like 90% of buyers are looking for homes online, which means scrolling through hundreds of home listings at a time, and judging each one within milliseconds. This is based in large part on visual appeal alone. iPhone pictures with blown-out windows and crazy shadows don’t stand out. Today’s savvy consumer (who’s on Facebook and Instagram all day looking at high-quality photos) might dismiss your listing if it doesn’t pique their refined visual tastes.
Video. Huge. Viewership rates, engagement rates, click-through-rates, everything … all are higher with video content. Find a way to start incorporating video into your stuff online… your Facebook page, Instagram account, on your website, and attached to your listings. Learn how to do it yourself with available tech (a new iPhone for instance), or develop a relationship with a videographer. You don’t need to become an actor or a video producer, but again, consistent video content will engage your client base even more than mere words or still pictures.
Website & Content
A website is yours—your space, yours to design, yours to control fully. Your own website won’t one day arbitrarily change the rules of content distribution or (important!) client data collection or face a congressional probe or suddenly go bankrupt or be bought out by some other social media platform. Websites establish credibility, and they also allow you to collect detailed and valuable data on the folks most interested in your services.
Search Engine Optimization. Make your website visible to Google. Rank higher in results when people search for “Colorado Springs Realtors.” Real estate is a little different in this regard, though. We’re honest with clients here. Realistically, the space is so crowded that a realtor with a new website is never going to rank really highly in general searches like the one just mentioned. BUT, there are some exciting, untapped opportunities to dominate really local and specific searches — when people search for real estate in really specific areas or neighborhoods. “Colorado Springs Real Estate” might already be dominated by Zillow and Redfin and Realtor dotcom, but “Old North End Colorado Springs Real Estate” or “Pinecreek homes for sale” probably aren’t. We have seen dramatic increases in our clients’ website search rankings when they target specific areas, their listing “farms.”
Some people are skeptical of the effectiveness of email. Our answer to them is pretty simple—we show them numbers. Skeptics point to the FLOOD of marketing emails we all experience in our inboxes these days. While this is true, rarely have you ever met the CEO of Amazon personally, or even spoken with an employee of that company marketing a 50% Off sale this Friday, only. The point is if you have a relationship with people before you send them email, the response rate is actually really, really good—the best, actually of any of the individual strategies here. On a recent realtor client email campaign, 45% of the recipients opened the email and 7% actually “clicked through” and left the client reviews on Zillow and Facebook. When most digital marketing campaigns consider a 1% “click through rate” a success, this figure obviously stands out.
You should be collecting emails of every client you come in contact with, and you should be keeping in touch with them regularly in as many ways as possible—email included.
Pay Per View. Pay Per Click. This is more direct digital marketing, “traditional” digital marketing, if you will. Pay a platform or an ads network to display ads (video or static) for specific listings or for you or your brokerage. There’s still a place for this and opportunities for realtors and small businesses to further take advantage of ads-marketing online have seriously increased with more advanced but relatively new, available, relatively easy to implement technologies like customer tracking and remarketing (where a visitor to your website will see your ad on another website or social platform after they’ve left your site).
Each of these strategies on digital marketing for real estate represents a piece of a larger whole. Each, by themselves, will result in some marginal benefit but to really knock it out of the park realtors need to consider some effort and energy devoted to each, holistically. This might seem daunting, but the good news is that there are huge opportunities here as very, very few realtors in any given area are marketing in the digital space as effectively as they could be. Cheers!
Will Burcher is a videographer, photographer, writer and all around good guy. He’s the founder of FēD.
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