Online marketing is now an essential tool for every real estate agency. But complex tools and changing platforms can make it difficult to create a marketing plan. Learn these 5 important digital marketing concepts to create a vision for your marketing and advertising that leads to sustained success.
You’ve research online, looked for tips, ideas, and strategies to help your market as a real estate agent through your website. You’ve found plenty of lists, advice columns, and tutorials on winning clients and closing more deals.
But you may still feel like you’re swimming in murky waters. How do you get your mind around digital marketing as a whole?
Below are five concepts that have an underlying influence on digital marketing today. Use them to gain a better understanding of the process at a conceptual level, then apply them to your real estate agency’s marketing and advertising campaigns.
First, some tips and ideas from real estate agent marketing executive James Frambrough:
Real Estate Marketing Tip #1: Satisfy User Intent
When it comes to search and website marketing, users rule.
This means your content needs to be as user-centric as possible. Online consumers are selfish, impatient, and task-focused. They engage with content that fits the need of their search, and ignore business-centric content that boasts and tries to sway them with chintzy sales pitches.
For the real estate website, this means you need a design that facilitates house shopping with detailed search features, as James suggests in the video. You will tie into IDX listings. Your website needs detailed search features based on home specification.
The other thing you can do is match your area of specialty with what home buyers are shopping for. This gives your website a unique feel and offers prospective buyers a reason to work with you.
We have agents who specialize in types of homes, like condos, large luxury, on single family with a small amount of acreage. Other specialize in second homes or mountain vacation properties. Some choose neighborhoods or geographic regions they know well and have connections in. Info on schools, recreational opportunities, and area lifestyles make great website content.
The idea here is to meet the user’s intent as specifically as you can, and to facilitate their search journey with accurate details. When you provide that content, the search engines will reward you with higher SEO rankings.
Real Estate Marketing Tip #2: Information vs Advertising
With the digital marketing space, it’s worth considering two content types.
The first is the information you provide, as alluded to above. With real estate agent marketing, much of what you’re doing is providing information to help prospects select properties they’re interested in.
When you provide useful, relevant information, you create awareness and earn people’s trust. These are two essentials with online marketing.
But you’ll also use advertising campaigns and content. This is the content that’s more direct-response and sales focused. For all your information and useful tips, you still have to convince people to work with you.
Don’t overlook using online ads and calls to action in your online content. You still need to persuade people and motivate them to act. You need the value of your unique services as a real estate agent to come through.
In short, you still need to “ask for the business”. Work your call-to-action.
If you get too caught-up in just providing info, you’ll be the best information source in your market who never gets contacts that lead to showings and closings. Plan how you’re going to capture the lead’s information and follow through to turn them into a client.
Real Estate Marketing Tip #3: Roll With Technology
Changes in technology influenced real estate agency marketing and will continue to do so.
The vast resources of website platforms, IDX listings, and “virtual tours” of properties let people zero in on homes they’re really interested in without having to physically visit dozens of properties.
As we discussed in the video, social media plays a big role today in how an agent can update prospective buyers, engage with the community, and gain trust with helpful information and tips. Visual tours of properties now start online.
What’s next? Real estate agents deal with clients in a dynamic, highly communicative relationship. Today, digital technology underlies much of how that communication takes place.
The agents who win are the one’s who stay ahead of the curve with technology. Today, some agents are winning new clients by updating them with Instagram images. Others are asking what Instagram is.
Some agents saw mobile technology coming and developed mobile responsive website design. Other let their sites linger and have content nobody can access on a phone.
Which type of agent you are will have a lot to do with your future success.
Real Estate Agent Marketing Tip #4: A Matter of Trust
The crux of lead-generation and online marketing is trust. All else considered, if you’re not getting leads from your online material, you probably have a trust issue.
Everything discussed here relates to trust. The set-up and content of your website engender trust by respecting the needs of users and meeting them effectively.
Providing information that’s genuine, intelligent, and helpful engenders trust. You answer questions, save people time, and help them become better informed home buyers.
Your use of social media and transparency about yourself earn you trust. Engage with the community, share insights, and make connections.
You also need to consider your online reputation and reviews. Your clients will leave comments about you on review websites and on social media, and the better you can control this to lean towards the positive, the better for your marketing.
Get testimonials from happy clients and put them on your website, including as videos. Encourage them to leave reviews on Yelp, Top Rated Local, and Google Business. Ask them to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinerest and Instagram with comments about your services and pictures of their awesome new home, then like that content on your social media channels.
If you get negative reviews or comments, respond to them and try to remedy the situation with the client.
Overall, look at your online content from the trust perspective. You can be doing many other things right, but if people don’t get the sense you’re professional, reliable, honest, and trustworthy, you won’t hear from them.
Real Estate Agent Marketing Tip #5: 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!