Now more than ever, the Internet has become the primary method used by home buyers when looking for a new home. Online searches and listings have made it easier for prospective home buyers to find their dream homes.
In 2013, 90 percent of home buyers did research online before choosing to buy their homes. Additionally, 76 percent of home buyers actually drove by homes that they found on the Internet.
It’s clear that the Internet has become a staple in the world of real estate. This is great for home buyers and realtors too.
However, this paradigm shift has created new challenges for real estate agencies and realtors. The advent of social media and content marketing has given everyone a voice. Realtors no longer have to rely on traditional advertising to gain exposure.
While this has made it easier for agents to market themselves, it has also brought new challenges. Since any real estate agent can build a website and begin spreading their message online, it’s now become harder for firms to differentiate themselves from their competition: How do you stand out from all the other real estate firms in your area?
This post will provide you with some sound online marketing techniques that will help you distinguish your firm. With hard work and focus, you can successfully build a viable and prominent brand in your community.
Online Marketing Rule of Thumb
The main rule of thumb that online marketing firms should follow is simply this: you must provide as much value as possible.
Your online efforts will be pointless if they don’t provide a distinct benefit to your readers. Everything you do online should be done in a way that provides useful information, solves a problem, or answers specific questions.
Create guides that help your readers better understand your market. These free guides should give value to your readers.
Here’s some examples:
- A definitive guide to the local nightlife in your area.
- A guide that discusses the most kid-friendly places in your city.
- Annual guides that discuss the changes in your local real estate market.
Guides such as these can help you provide relevant and helpful information to prospects that may be looking for a real estate agent in your area. They are also a great lead generator.
If you offer the guide in exchange for the reader’s email, then you will be able to help them while earning the right to reach out to them.
Create a Brand that Stands Out
It’s not enough to use online marketing only to offer your services. If you want your firm to stand out from the others, you have to create a winning brand that makes your prospects want to engage with your firm.
Creating an effective brand isn’t easy, but if you do this right, you will be able to position yourself as the authority that your readers need. Creating a great brand involves several components:
- Personality — Are you funny? Authoritative? Hard working? Every real estate agent has personality traits that make them a great choice for a prospect. Figure out what those are and make sure they show through in your online marketing efforts.
- Voice — What does your brand “sound” like? What tone will you take when you’re engaging with your readers? This is related to your personality. Use a voice that will resonate with potential leads.
- Story — What’s your brand’s story? Why did you decide to do real estate? What do you stand for? An essential component of a great brand is a great story. Craft your brand’s story, then make sure elements of your story are present in each piece of content you create.
Real Estate Newsletters
A great way to keep your clients engaged (even after you have already helped them) is to have a regular newsletter. Creating a newsletter will further position your firm as an authority in your area.
As a real estate agent, you can use newsletters to provide relevant and helpful content to your audience on a continuous basis. Your newsletter should provide timely information about your community, information on events going on in the city, and other useful content. You can also use it to alert your audience to new blog posts.
Real Estate Blogs
As a real estate agent, your primary online marketing tool should be your blog. Your blog is where you will share your most relevant and informative content on a regular basis. When you maintain a blog that regularly features unique and interesting information, it shows prospects that you are the expert at what you do.
Your blog will help you set yourself apart from the other real estate agents in your area who aren’t taking their online efforts seriously. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining a successful real estate blog:
- Post on topics that your prospects will care about. Answer commonly-asked questions. Give updates on the community. Spotlight local businesses. Educate your readers on your city.
- Write in a friendly, casual tone. Don’t be too wordy. Your blog isn’t the place to show your reader how brilliant you are. It’s where you will provide as much value as possible.
- Do not use your blog to promote your services or try to sell yourself. There are other places on your website for that.
- Try to make sure that your brand’s message comes through in each blog post you create.
A sure fire way to build authority and influence is to share your content on other blogs. This gets you more exposure and shows potential prospects that you are an expert in your field.
Find blogs that are relevant to your profession and become involved in the community. Then, pitch a blog topic on which to write.
Not only does guest posting give you a platform to showcase your expertise, it can also increase your blog traffic and provide useful backlinks. This is great for your readership and SEO. Try to do as many guest blog postings as you can.
If you’re a real estate agent, effective online marketing is essential to your success. When you’re engaging in online marketing, there’s one key point to remember: it’s all about providing value. It’s likely that one of the main reasons you decided to become a real estate agent is because you had a desire to help people. You get to be a part of one the most important decisions a person can make: choosing a home.
Your online marketing strategy should flow from this desire. When you’re creating content, it should be designed to make it easier for your prospects when they are considering where to live. If you create content that actually helps your prospects in their search for a home, they will be more likely to hire you. In the end, a successful online marketing program will help you generate and convert more leads into actual clients.
Related reading: 30 Real Estate Marketing Tips
Real Estate Agent Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Online Marketing
I think that this is what most real estate agencies are forgetting- the brand. They should create a brand with a USP to make them stand out from the rest.
Great point Aira…sometimes it seems like people think that building a brand is only for large companies. But it’s not true. Any business needs a compelling brand if they are going to attract as many clients as possible.
Real Estate is one of the most successful industries in the mobile marketing world. Think about it– you’re drive through a neighborhood and see a “For Sale” sign next to your dream house. All the sign includes is a number and a keyword. By texting a keyword into that particular short code, you are not only inquiring about the property, but you are being added to the agent’s database for future properties like it. It’s instant communication.
You make a great point when you say that mobile marketing is instant communication. Savvy real estate agents will realize that this instant communication provides a great opportunity to provide value to their prospects. That’s what will get them more clients. Thanks for the comment!
It’s great to see an article discussing tools real estate agencies can use to create value for their firm. It is essential that real estate agents remember that they are not just selling a house but that they are selling a lifestyle. Utilizing online resources is a great way to do this.
You make a great point when you talk about the fact that real estate agents are selling a lifestyle, not just a home. When real estate agents create content that reflects this, it makes them more attractive to prospects who are searching online for realtors. Thanks for the comment!
Today, the most successful real estate agents use digital marketing in a successful manner. It’s very smart that you’ve placed emphasis on being active in your community; potential buyers search for communities, not street addresses, so this is a great idea to grow your business for the long-term.
I couldn’t agree more. A real estate agent who creates content that focuses on the community is more likely to get more clients than agents who only talk about houses. Thanks for the comment!
Just as a follow up to this, what if you could do email marketing and SMS marketing all in one hub? Create a keyword for your real estate listing. Place it on your sign and allow drivers to text in to receive a link to your real estate module (or mobile website). From there, they could find all of your contact info as well as pictures of the property. Communicate with your database at a later date through email for a more in-depth and detailed correspondence. Check out http://www.avidmobile.com/blog/sms-marketing-on-the-rise.php to learn more about the rise of SMS marketing.
Awesome article – Blogs, social media, email newsletters are wonderful (and cost effective) ways to get the word out. At HomeWebo, we’ve found that pairing these strategies with single property websites is highly impactful. Many real estate agents direct people to a generic website with lots of competing listings or to their agency website where interested buyers have to search around, and often drop off. Links to single property websites give properties direct hits through all these different mediums.
A very informative post, Here is what I have considered for real estate marketing – a well responsive website, Local real estate websites listings, Regular website update with photos and images, latest listings etc, Effective Social Media Campaign, Enlist business in Top Online directories
I don’t even know how people shop for homes without the internet anymore! I can believe that 90% shop online. We’re lucky to have so much information at our fingertips these days. It sounds like it’s a lot of social networking for sellers. I’m glad there is though, because it makes real estate so much easier to find.
Your blog is very unique in every way, the tips and information in this article is great and reliable. Indeed this tips are the most convenient way of marketing real estate properties. Thank you for sharing this information it’s really great.
I have some question and I’m sure you can help me. I work as a third party partner for a reputable company and now I want to start up my company. Here are my questions? How can I increase my visibility in the marketplace? Do you have a plan for newcomers like me? How much should I spend for it?
My target market is real-estate brokers who need professional sites.
Your earliest response in this regard would be highly appreciated.
I love your tips on creating a real estate blog. I totally agree that it should be a place that is self-promotion free, so that it seems unbiased and professional. It would be cool to allow people to subscribe to it and receive some sort of email or text notification that a new post was up!
You’re absolutely right. You don’t want to overwhelm your prospects with sales pitches. Blogging, like other forms of content marketing, should be used to earn trust and build credibility. Then, you will have earned the right to pitch them. Thanks for the comment!
I believe that one of the most trending and useful things for Real Estate owners/companies is the Virtual Reality tours which could be imported easily into their website and that page would have to be promoted by different online marketing tools.
One of the hardest things about putting together an Internet marketing plan, regardless of how successful it has or hasn’t been in the past, is trying to figure out where to allocate resources for the future.
Real Estate business can use Mobile marketing strategies like Bulk SMS,Cloud IVR services to reach out the customers. To know more about How to boost sales for Real Estate: https://sandeshlive.com/casestudy/real-estate/