Competition for real estate agents is stiff, and having an effective online presence is vital. Here are real estate agent marketing ideas that will give you an advantage and get your name out there.
Today, virtually all new home buyers start their research process online. From Zillow to local real estate agent websites to social media, if you’re not online you’re nowhere.
Real estate agents often face a similar situation to car salespeople, which is that consumers are informed and well into their buying process before they engage with a professional.
Fortunately, real estate agents are still important when it comes to closing, particularly when they have an area of specialization that helps people narrow their focus.
Here are some tips and ideas that will get you known early on and place you in the right position when buyers are ready to sign on the dotted line.
#1. Develop a Sharp, Easy to Use, Mobile Responsive Website
Your real estate agent website is part business card, part sales banner, and part listings tool. It’s a safe assumption that most leads will check out your website prior to contacting you, so it’s your first impression.
Make sure your impression is a good one. Be clear about the areas you sell in, services you specialize in, and how you can be contacted.
Of course front and center will be your listings search so visitors can dive right in to their research.
Here is an example real estate agent website template from Marketing 360®:
This website has visual appeal, makes it east to check listings with advanced search and images, pictures the agents, and has testimonials.
These designs are mobile responsive so home shoppers can navigate and search on the site on their mobile phones without issue.
Your website is your marketing home base. Make it modern, clean, professional and functional.
#2. Get Listed on Zillow
Zillow is such a dominant player in listings and home shopper searches that you really can’t ignore it. Create a free agent profile where you can sync your listings, give personal and brand information, get reviews, and show your sales history.
The big consideration is if you want to pay Zillow to become a premier agent. The main advantage to becoming a primer agent is that you get listed along with the listing agent on properties in your zip code. If you have a strong profile with many positive reviews, it can earn you more opportunities that result in more exposure for your brand and personal listings.
A look through real estate agent forums shows mixed feelings about Zillow primer agent. Most people get the best leads from being the listing agent.
(Note that Trulia and Zillow are both owned by Zillow, with a lot of overlap on each. Do your primary work on Zillow then double check your Trulia info).
In addition to Zillow, there are listing sites like Realtors.com and Redfin that offer similar services.
#3. Build Your Online Reputation
One of the things that’s tough about choosing a real estate agent is with just a cursory look, most of them appear to be the about the same. They offer the same services, can work with buyers on the same properties, and charge similar commissions.
To generate new leads, one of the best things a real estate agent can do is build out their review profile.
There’s no shortage of sites where you can gather realtor reviews. Google, Top Rated Local, Yelp, and Facebook are places where customers leave reviews of all types of services. As we mentioned, real estate sites like Zillow focus on review content. In fact, a big part of Zillow’s content is agent reviews.
Because buying or selling a home is a big financial transaction and agents develop relationships with clients, it’s not as hard to get reviews as it is for other verticals. Still, it’s best to ask and use email follow ups to encourage happy clients to give you a review.
When you ask for a review, encourage the client to be specific about what they liked most about your services – even prompt them if needed. Most real estate agents are good enough at gathering reviews that the ratings can be kind of a wash (a look on most Zillow listings shows numerous agents with virtually perfect rating scores). When looking for a real estate agent, people will read the reviews to get feel for the agent’s personality and customer service.
Here’s a good example a real estate agent used as a Facebook post:
#4. Master Search Marketing
Many people looking for a real estate agent will start on their phone by asking Google.
The two mainstays of Google and Bing for paid and organic search are still important for your real estate agent marketing.
PPC advertising tends to work better as direct-response with short, to the point copy. Because you’re bidding on position, these ads will rank at the very top of search results. And because you’re paying for each click, you want to try to target people who are more likely to convert right away.
Use PPC for the most competitive keyword phrases and keywords that indicate the person is ready to hire a real estate agent. Link your ads to landing pages with a matching message and strong call to action.
For SEO, consider content meant to connect with the online researcher trying to figure out their home buying and selling options. Use blog articles to rank for longer, research-based keyword phrases. Showcase your expertise and use this content to develop a sense of trust. The more content you create, the better your website (including your Google local listing) will rank.
Set up and optimize your Google My Business page. This is a free listing that connects to Google Maps. It’s the primary way that Google knows where your service area is so you come up for local searches. Optimize your descriptions with keywords and try to get customer reviews to increase your ranking.
Be aware that many of the review and real estate sites we’ve mentioned rank on local searches, and in fact they’ll make up much of your main competition. You may have to modify your PPC keywords if big sites are offering high bids.
If you can outrank sites like Yelp or Zillow on organic, you’ll have a big advantage.
Pro Tip: Use Retargeting
Because the home buying and selling process can be very long, retargeting is an excellent strategy for real estate agents.
Retargeting is banner ads or videos you target to people who’ve already visited your website or social media pages. It’s particularly effective on Google and Facebook. Here is an example banner ad:
This keeps your brand in front of potential buyers as they go about their lives online.
#5. Develop a Specialization
One of the keys to standing out as an agent is to offer a unique value or specialization. This gives people a reason to consider working with you over other agents in the area.
Many agents focus on certain types of homes in certain price ranges. Others become experts in particular neighborhoods so they can fit homes to certain buyers.
With so much competition out there, you have to be explicit about something you do well. If you don’t give people a clear reason to choose you, you’re just another face in the crowd.
#6 Become an Information Resource
People have a lot of questions about home buying and selling. The answers can vary widely depending on location.
Become an expert on everything that pertains to buying or selling property in your area. Develop videos to put on YouTube. Write articles on your blog. Share tips on your social media channels. Create infographics like this:
Think of your blog like an ongoing FAQ page. Research the types of questions people have about real estate to get keywords and create topics. Answer the Public is a good tool for this.
As you optimize this content, you’ll do better on searches. This will be most effective if you use local landmarks, regions, schools, business, events etc. in the blog topics.
#7. Create a Marketing Video
A marketing video is a quick, effective way to communicate your value proposition. It’s basically a commercial for your agency that you can embed on your homepage and optimize for search on YouTube.
For some home shoppers, video is the better way to communicate the value of your offer. Use it on your Facebook page as well for maximum exposure.
Video tours of properties are also popular and effective, including drone photography of neighborhoods and apartment complexes.
#8. Social Media Marketing
Social media is great for real estate for an obvious reason: it’s easy to share images.
That means as you connect with clients, you can share images of new listings, offering lightning fast updates of what’s available.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all work well for this purpose. An easy thing to do is create a “listing of the day” that you share across these networks, such as:
With a phone camera and these social media platforms, you can easily take photos of new properties and share them across your network, updating all your followers with new listings they might be interested in.
Encourage new leads to follow you on social, and have a page on your website that explains how you update new listings on social on a regular basis.
A lot of real estate agents are still missing this opportunity to share info on listings, which is unfortunate because it’s neither difficult nor time-consuming.
As a real estate agent, the content people will appreciate most from you is info and images on the latest listings. Use the immediacy and visual appeal of these platforms to engage more leads.
#9. Use CRM Software
There are few types of businesses that benefit more from customer relationship management (CRM) software than real estate agents.
CRM software lets you track all contacts, communication, and deals with clients so you always know what was discussed and where they are in they buying cycle. It’s indispensable if you have multiple agents providing customer service to clients because it keeps everyone on the same page.
As you organize leads in your CRM, you gain an understanding of what marketing sources are working best, and you can track what interactions lead to more closings.
Marketing 360® offers our CRM free with our comprehensive marketing and email software, so you can manage everything on one interface. Hard to beat.
Real Estate Agent Marketing Strategy #10: Use Marketing Software and Work With Professionals
How will you know if your marketing is working? How do you make improvements to be more competitive while eliminating campaigns that aren’t working? What do your prospective clients really respond to?
With digital marketing, you can answer those questions. Marketing software like the Marketing 360® platform provides a powerful interface that tracks everything, from your search marketing to social media to a CRM.
There is no excuse for marketing in the dark with today’s digital illumination. A strategic use of data is your path towards optimal return on your marketing investment.
This includes the excuse of “I’m too busy”. With Marketing 360®, you also get a marketing executive and full support team to help you develop your marketing plan and collateral. We realize all this is complex, so having someone with their ear to the ground, ready for the latest evolution in digital marketing, is a major asset.
Contact us today to get information on our affordable marketing plans and website designs for real estate agents.
We’ll give you a demo of our software and discuss these concepts as they apply to your specific situation. We look forward to helping you!