14 PRACTICAL IDEAS TO TRANSFORM YOUR REAL ESTATE MARKETING
You have probably just passed the exam, gotten your license and you’re fired up. You just want to get your hands dirty and start doing stuff. Spurred by the prospects of enormous commission checks and the ability to work on your own terms. So, you start canvassing family and friends for neighborhood print outreaches. After 80 cold calls and no major traction, it’s easy to get discouraged. You need clients. They are out there. It isn’t too much to ask. But it’s happening too slow.
I guess this is how Chastin J. Miles, owner of FoundersRE group felt when he started as a real estate agent. For a year after getting certified, he was getting nowhere. Just one or two listings in a year, with high brokerage costs, leading to a small take-home cut.
Later on, he stumbled by chance upon some ideas, developed a winning mindset. He found out that he could create a personal brand online that’d lift his real estate career and that’s exactly what he did. He adopted Youtube and other inbound marketing strategies. Fast forward to now, Chastin J. Miles is a real estate coach, Youtube real estate influencer and owner of FoundersRE group.
The obvious truth is: getting new clients demand hustle. And almost everyone is putting in work. So why do some agents get millions of dollars in listings every year while others can’t seem to hold on to one?
Strategy. They have figured out how to direct their hustle with contemporary marketing strategies.
While many real estate agents are still tinkering with the old tactics, real estate agents that can adequately use new digital marketing strategies will gain a huge amount of market share.Real estate agents that can effectively use new digital marketing strategies will gain a huge amount of market share Click To Tweet
The ugly reality for most new agents entering this world of contractors, experienced negotiators, legal paperwork, desperate buyers and sellers is that there’s too much competition. Getting clients in this intense market isn’t going to be easy.
On a broader scale, the truth is that the world of marketing has changed and keeps changing with new discoveries and insights. Marketing and technology have intermingled, bringing a wide range of tools into the hands of savvy marketers.Marketing and technology have intermingled, bringing a wide range of tools into the hands of savvy marketers. Click To Tweet
Enough of outdated marketing tactics, here are 14 strategies savvy agents employ for top results.
IN THIS RESOURCE, YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO
Increase Ad Conversions with Retargeting
Have a nice website, great content (at least from your perspective) and good testimonials but visitors just seem to come and go? In some cases, they leave within seconds, sometimes within minutes. First, it may be because of reasons like slow page loading, poor content, poor design… But in themajority of cases, it’s a common psychological scenario that scientists have recognized for a long time.
The Familiarity Principle
In a well known research by Microsoft, scientists used electroencephalography (EEG) to record the brain activities of more than 100 Canadian participants who were above 18. They displayed different media formats and recorded the electrical impulses of brain cells. They measured attention in three parts: sustained attention (attention is maintained over long periods of repetitive activity), selection (attention is maintained despite distractions) and alternating (attention can be switched between tasks).
The Result? They found a decline in attention spans across all age groups and genders. According to the research, average attention span has now dropped to eight seconds. 45% of people get sidetracked from what they’re doing by unrelated thoughts. This explains why a visitor to your website is eager to check on the next search result. And once they close the tab, they are gone, potentially never to come back, leaving everything about you at the door.
A 2013 Nielsen report showed that customers would more readily engage with a familiar brand than a random one. And this works on the familiarity principle.
The familiarity Principle, to put it plainly, explains why repeated exposure to certain people or experiences will increase our attraction toward these people or experiences. It is more notable when making decisions. For instance, we’ll choose objects or people we’re familiar with over those we’re not. Polish psychologist Robert Zajonc conducted an experiment in the 1960s where Chinese characters were exposed for short periods to two groups of people.
The subjects were then told that each symbol represented adjectives and were asked to guess if each symbol held either a positive or negative connotation. The result: symbols the subjects had previously seen were consistently rated more positive than those they had not.
This process of making decisions is intuitive. Its what makes retargeting so powerful.
What is Retargeting?
Retargeting means that you leverage this sublimal commonality to create more engagement with prospects.
Keep in mind that for every 100% of visits to your website or landing page via either social ads, PPC or any other outreach system, only about 4% convert. This implies 96% of website visitors would leave without taking any action.
Fortunately, Retargeting allows you to follow up with the 96% and make your message visible. Invespcro puts the average conversion rate for businesses using retargeting at 70% – much better than 4%. See the latest stats on ad retargeting – by InvesPcro.
And retargeting advertising works because?
- It creates brand awareness. You can get more people familiar with your brand. Increased brand awareness means that you stay longer in a prospect’s mind.
- We love to be reminded of stuff. When people are reminded, they’re encouraged to work with you because they feel you’ve put more effort into getting their business.
- It feels more personal. Messages that speak to us directly catch our attention. Retargeting ads do this in a subtle way.
How does retargeting work?
Retargeting or remarketing means that ads are customized to users based on their interactions with your website. It works via cookies, which are designed to hold a tangible amount of data specific to a particular website visitor.
It began with Google Adwords remarketing in 2010 then Facebook’s FBX retargeting in 2013. Fast forward to 2018, retargeting has been honed and improved to target potential leads and serve them with customized adverts.
How to employ retargeting advertising for real estate marketing
- Send out direct mail to qualified leads.
As simple as it sounds, this retargeting strategy can be very effective – direct mail generates a response rate of 4.3%. With direct mail, you don’t have to deal with things like digital fatigue, ad blockers, and spam filters. Plus sending out direct mail allows you to take advantage of real-life personalization to create trust and brand awareness.
- Create beautiful listing ads and promote to leads.
You can create beautiful ads featuring one or more of your listings and send these out to people from a particular area (the area from which your site gets the most traffic and the persona type (demographics and work) that visits your website most). You’ll need to install cookies (shortcodes) that capture needed information automatically. Your ad platform should support remarketing pixels or have a similar audience feature. Retargeting platforms like Instapage or Adroll streamline this process and make it more efficient. You might also gain a number of potential seller leads as this shows you’re putting in more effort into marketing listings than the run-of-the-mill agent.
- Make your brand conspicuous.
The point is to create brand awareness. Even if your ad doesn’t lead to an instant sign up or conversion, folks should be able to recognize your brand. Put your logos in all your marketing materials including printed ads. Impress with your ads and don’t forget to showcase your unique value proposition.
- Reach out to past clients.
Past clients are easier to convince than new leads. Retargeting presents a great way to stay top-of-mind with your previous clients without appearing too pushy. They see your expertise in action. This could prompt them to revisit your website or engage with your brand again.
- Create lead magnets.
Lead magnets are content offers that require a visitor to your website to provide an email or some other information about themselves. Once you get this information, you have acquired a new lead. Start nurturing immediately via email and crm.
Best practice for retargeting ads
- Segment your visitors.
When you segment your visitors, you can deliver personalized ads to users based on the stage of the purchase cycle they are in. You can use remarketing lists to add users to specific groups. Google Adwords recommend creating lists like “homepage viewers”, “category viewers” and more. You can create a list based on people who viewed your listings.
You could also target people who have already filled a form on your website and enter that list into Facebook ads (lookalike audiences). This allows Facebook to use this list as a reference point to search for users who have good conversion potential. Make sure your message is personalized for each segment of your retargeting campaign.
- Have a clear call to action.
While there are many reasons why a user may not want to perform an action on your website. Retargeting allows you to follow up with an offer that may catch their interest.
For example, if someone visits a home valuation landing page, what are their objections? They may not be looking to sell at the moment. Your retargeting offer would address this objection probably by promising “free information that could help them determine the value of their home in a few minutes on their own.” In return, you get an email subscription. The essential thing is to have a clear call to action with your offer.
- Don’t ignore timing.
You should consider three things when thinking about the timing of your ads. According to an Instapage article, these are:
- The time duration between a visitor’s website visit and when they see your first ad.
- The frequency with which visitors see individual ads.
- Duration between the visitor’s first visit to the website and the time he or she stops seeing the retargeted ads.
You’ll need to determine how often you need to send out retargeting ads and space your ads efficiently within a time duration for list membership. After this time is past, prospects would have your cookies removed automatically from their browsers.
In both Google AdWords and Facebook, the default time duration for list membership is 30 days. Although you can change this as you wish, it’s important to note that most conversions would take place within the first 30 days of your campaign.
- Target the right people.
To avoid inefficient spending, it’s wise to map out your buyer persona and exclude age segments that are less likely to engage with your offer. Google AdWords and Facebook ads allow this. For example, Gen Zs and seniors are probably not considering buying a new house.
Also, integrating with Google analytics allow you to examine the time spent on page for each visitor. Visitors that spend few seconds on your website, don’t click on any link on your page, are likely not interested in your offer. A visitor who reads your content, browses other pages, might be interested in your offer. You want to spend more effort on ‘interested’ visitors.
- Display ads in the local language.
One reason why retargeting ads work so well is that they sound personalized. Trying to remarket ads in English as a real estate agent based in Spain would make your ad less effective. While you may get some traction if your ads are catchy, you would likely achieve much better results by displaying ads to users in their native language.
Get Personal with Direct Mail Marketing
Real estate investors are very familiar with the use of direct mail to grow their client base. In a forum post on Biggerpockets, San Diego multi family investor and founder of Dealcheck.io, Anton Ivanov, describes a direct mailing strategy that earned him 4 new deals of 90 pitches (with a 20% response rate). Anton within 5 years built a portfolio of 35 rental units, generating $10k+ in monthly cash flow. It’s a long post but here is the takeaway:
– Targeted direct mailing, done right, will garner an influx of new high quality leads.
The average direct mail gets a response rate of 5.3%. But Anton was able to get about 20% response rate on his campaigns. And this is what he did:
With his tech savvy and a focus on specific criteria, he was able to streamline a system for reaching out to 90 houses in KC whose address he gleaned off Google maps. Using the property addresses, he found each house’s property tax bills/information, including the owner’s name and mailing address by visiting the local county’s tax assessor website. Now, all that was left was reaching out.
Here are some elements of personalization that went into his direct mail campaign:
– He typed the main body of the letter in a regular white piece of paper, hand signing each one.
– He included a picture of each owner’s house on their letter by taking a screenshot from Google Maps.
– Started each letter with the owner’s name.
– He introduced himself at the beginning of each letter as a serious investor with a good portfolio.
– Listed their specific property address he wanted to buy.
– Finished the letter by letting them know he was ready to buy ASAP. He also listed his phone number and email address.
Out of 90 direct mail pitches, he got responses from 15-20 owners, clinching 4 deals. A really good outcome.
Stats show that direct mail produces an ROI of 29% and a 5.3% response rate. Better than email, paid search, and social media? Yes.
Is Direct Mail Marketing still viable in 2019?
Yes. And here are some interesting stats.
- Four in ten Americans enjoy checking their mailboxes. A personalized direct mail, accompanied by a reward incentive, can produce a response rate of up to 35%. Direct mail has a big impact because it offers a tangible experience for the customer.
- Direct mail response rates for house lists in 2018 was up to 9%.
- Direct mail marketing material that is kept by a prospect has a higher chance of generating a purchase.
- 76% of consumers trust direct mail when they want to make a purchase decision.
- Direct mail is one of the best ways to nurture existing leads and customers. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% vs the probability of selling to a new customer, which is 5-20%. You can use direct mail to keep your brand top-of-mind with past customers and prospects through retargeting.
Real estate direct mail campaign ideas
- Use direct mail with digital ads.
Again returning to retargeting. You can boost conversions on your digital marketing ads by supplementing with a direct mail strategy. According to Nonprofit PRO, direct mail with digital ads yield a 28% higher conversion rate. For example, when a prospect who visited a listing page or landing page gets one of your postcards in the box, they would be more inclined to keep it. There are services that offer direct mail retargeting relatively cheap online. For example Reachdynamics or Modernpostcard
- Create full-page listing flyers.
Have a beautiful listing that prospects would like? Create a colorful flyer featuring attractive images of your listing. Full page flyers allow for more imagery and a better sense of space. Plus a well-designed large sized print is prone to get people’s attention.
- Show off just sold listings.
These are a form of social proof. When you display your just sold listings in the area, someone looking to sell is persuaded you have market experience and they’d be more inclined to list with you.
- Reach out to past clients during the holidays.
Former clients represent referral opportunities. Ensure to keep your brand top of mind with them. Reaching out to previous clients on birthdays and holidays is sure to make a good impression in a non-salesy way.
You can configure your CRM to remind you of these dates. Then send them a personalized card. Most of your past clients will appreciate this. After a sale or purchase, you should also consider sending out a personalized letter with a customized “thank you for your business postcard”. Handwritten letters of gratitude make a great impression because they are unique.Reaching out to previous clients on birthdays and holidays is sure to make a good impression in a non-salesy way Click To Tweet
- Display your market expertise by sending out market reports.
Potential clients want a realtor who can supply them with relevant information. An easy way to get their attention would be creating and sending out market reports. You can give information about homes selling in the market, median prices and average days on the market. You can also outline tips that can get their home sold fast or for more money.
- Create Formal open house invitations.
You can increase attendance at your open houses by creating formal real estate mailers to send out to your leads in the area. The invitation must be personal, containing the name and address of your prospect. Invitations are a great way to make people feel important. You can also send out invitations to a community event or seminar you’re hosting. Don’t forget to make your invitation personal.
Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing Tips
Keep your message short and simple. You don’t want to bore readers or your mail winds up in the thrash fast. Hence, use more colorful pictures instead of swarming the space with content. Concise and direct copy works best because it doesn’t bombard your prospect with much information. If you’ll be sending out reports, use more of charts and stats to display market expertise.
And don’t forget to make your call to action clear and unmistakable. If there’s no call to action, your direct mail is just another piece of attractive print. What would you like prospects to do? Call? Visit your site? Scan a QR code? Make the information easy to notice and understand.If there's no call to action, your direct mail is just another piece of attractive print #realestate #directmail Click To Tweet
Note, direct mail doesn’t produce overnight results. According to oncarrot,
“All marketing endeavors, including direct mail, are a long-term play. You won’t send your first postcards and, overnight, spike your sales. But you will steadily increase your brand awareness and lead generation.”
Keep in mind that it takes about five follow-ups after an initial contact to close a potential client. 90% of people give up after the 3rd contact. A study done by the Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) found that after the fifth contact, response rate on direct mail campaigns increased to 81%. This shows why it is essential to have a follow-up system that spaces your mails efficiently. Read about Lead nurturing through emails. Want to save time when sending direct mail? Here’s a tool that helps. You’ll be able to generate targeted mailing lists and send out scheduled direct mails within minutes.
Convert Leads with Relationship Focused Cold Calling
How about we envision how a cold call feels at the prospect’s end? You are the prospect. It’s been a tough day at work. Your boss wants the accounts done earlier. So you probably had to go home with the unfinished work. It’s going to take two days of brain racking at least. Thankfully, the kids are on a vacation. You just reached home and can’t wait to take a long nap before you get cracking. And suddenly the phone rings. Who is this strange caller? You’re greeted with a self-obsessed pitch, “Hi. I’m calling from …”. You want to slam the phone, but just wait in patient politeness for the pitcher to get the script over with. And sadly, this is how cold calls feel from the prospect’s perspective. It’s interruption. And nobody likes it.
The Telemarketing Sales Rule
In 2007, it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today, it takes 8 attempts. Sure it’s hard but It’s a bold approach and it does work when you put some skin and some personality into the game. Since cold calling is basically telemarketing, it is necessary to be familiar with some federal telemarketing rules that apply. Ignoring these might result in significant fees for your real estate business.
- There is a National Do Not Call Registry, which is updated every 31 days. You need to be familiar with this list and search the registry every 31 days, as the fee for disregarding it might be up to $40,000 per call. However, if a person who is on the Do not call list submitted their number to you or has established a relationship with your business, you have the right to cold call for up to three months.
- The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) prohibits telemarketing calls before 8 am or after 9 pm
- The TSR also demands full disclosure about the identity of the seller and the nature of the business. You are prohibited from lying about any terms of an offer. You can read more about it here.
Having said that, if you don’t have a wad of cash lying around for PPC ads, Facebook ads, direct mails, then you want to pick up the phone and actively cold call prospects. Keep in mind that cold calling isn’t a sustainable strategy because it delivers lesser conversions than email marketing and direct mail. But the more you practice, the better you get. Check out these nine valuable cold calling tips for real estate agents.Cold calling isn't a sustainable strategy because it delivers lesser conversions than email marketing and direct mail. But the more you practice, the better you get Click To Tweet
9 Valuable Cold Calling Tips for Real Estate Agents
- Don’t follow scripts by the book.
Cold-calling scripts have become a common theme among sales professionals. A quick search online and you’ll get a script for whatever type of sales scenario you can think of. While sales scripts are a good thing because, in most cold calling cases, the same questions and objections would rear up their heads continually. Yet they make the call feel less personal. They could sometimes make the person at the other end feel uncomfortable.
Here’s what you want to do instead: use cold calling scripts as guidelines when you make the call. Since each of your prospects has a different personality and might be in a different situation, you’ll need to adapt your script to fit. For example, a pushy sales script would aggravate someone who has just had a busy day.
- Research the prospect.
How do you make the other party interested in you? By being interested in them. The Dale Carnegie quote rings true “We are interested in others when they are interested in us.” A prospect is definitely not interested in your business. But displaying in a non-spooky way that you know more about them than the average cold caller will fascinate them. A cold call that dives a bit deeper than other realtors would go, can be more convincing.
You can use a service like Thatsthem to research prospects. If you can, try to find out their motivations for either selling on their own, removing a listing or making some other move. The more you know about your prospect, the more confident you will likely be in your approach.We are interested in others when they are interested in us - Dale Carnegie Click To Tweet
- Have a goal.
The objective of your prospecting would usually be to set up a meeting with your prospect. You should keep this end goal in mind right from the introduction. Having a goal keeps you focused when the conversation seems to float extraneously.
On a broader scale, you should have a prospecting goal. How many people would you need to reach to hit your monthly quota? How many calls would you make each day? You can use this interactive cold call spreadsheet by Yesware to set your target.
- Create specific times for calls.
Much like sending emails, there are times when your prospect is going to be more responsive. Across the board, more people would be responsive to pitches in the morning rather than late evening. Studies found that the best time to cold call prospects is between 11 am – 12 pm OR 4 pm – 5 pm.
You want to have a specific time for calling prospects. During this time, you must eliminate distractions and focus on the task at hand. You can experiment with different times of the day to find out what works for your prospects.
- Use mirroring to create rapport.
Mirroring is a psychological term, describing behavior in which someone emulates the gesture, speech pattern or attitude of another person. As the two individuals in the situation display similar gestures, they may believe they share similar attitudes and ideas as well.
Expert negotiators have mastered this psychological skill. By mirroring a prospect’s speech patterns and tone, you make them feel more comfortable talking to you. A good example of this would be if you were talking to someone who speaks slowly, you slow down your talking speed to match theirs.
- Have “a reason” to create persuasion.
Nothing creates persuasion like giving a reason. In fact, it doesn’t matter if it’s a dumb one. Once you give a reason, you help the person at the other end justify why they are listening to you.
Harvard psychologist, Ellen Langer, proved in 1978, that every time a “because” is appended to a request, compliance increases by over 50 percent, regardless of whether the request is sound.
This makes sense because the first thing a prospect wants to know is why you contacted them. You need to put this out there promptly. And again, you probably would like to set up a face to face. Why should they agree to meet with you? You’ll have to answer that. Adding a “reason” in your closing and opening line can cause an increase in your conversions.The first thing a prospect wants to know is why you contacted them. You need to put this out there promptly Click To Tweet
- Create your own script and Rehearse it.
While you don’t want to rely on cold calling real estate scripts, it would be a good idea to adapt one for yourself. Cold calling real estate scripts give you the chance to plan ahead what you’re going to say in different situations. You can collect a number of cold calling scripts and use these to create yours.
Write up a quick (30 seconds or less) cold call script that you will reference when conversing with prospects. Anticipate objections also and write out your responses. But again, you don’t want to depend on your script as that’d leave you dry and hanging when the conversation doesn’t go as planned. Use your script as a guide to help deliver your message clearly.
And once you create this, rehearse until it becomes more like a natural dialogue. You can work with a colleague and rehearse your script until you internalize it and can flow with the conversation.
Senator club’s Ian Adams presents an example of a good and bad script for b2b businesses which could also be adapted for real estate:
Me: Hi John. My name is Ian Adams. I’m calling from Acme Company. Are you looking to grow your business by 30% or more this year? (or any other request).
Prospect: What are you selling?
Me: We specialize in reducing companies marketing spend while boosting conversions across 10 of the top social media sites. Does that sound interesting to you?
Me: I can stop by to meet next week either Tuesday or Wednesday, what time works best for you?
Me: Hey John. It’s Ian over at Acme Company. How are you?
Prospect: I’m ok. What can I do for you Ian?
Me: I noticed a number of your ads on facebook and twitter promoting X product, and felt you could really boost your conversions by making just a few small changes. (or some reason)
Prospect: I’m sorry, what do you guys do?
Me: We work with eCommerce companies like Harry’s to manage their social media ad campaigns. In fact, after only 1 month of working with Harry’s, for every $1,000 they spend now, they get a 30% increase in conversions. (social proof)
Me: I’d love to learn more about your ad campaigns John and also share some ideas that have worked really well for us. Can we find a 15-minute window next week for a brief call?
- Don’t beat yourself up.
No one likes rejection. It’s painful. Yet, it’s an unavoidable reality with cold calling. Conversion rates for cold calls are typically about 2%. That is, 98% of your calls wouldn’t lead towards a sale. It’s easy to beat yourself up and let the nos affect the yes opportunities. Success in cold calling ultimately will depend on your ability to trudge on in the face of the many nos.
Rejection is guaranteed. You would meet people who would rather not hear what you have to say. Instead of beating yourself up. See rejection as part of the process. It helps you improve. Learn from it and move on.Success in cold calling ultimately will depend on your ability to trudge on in the face of the many nos #coldcalling #realestate Click To Tweet
- Smile – Get in the right state.
People can sense confidence right from your intro. When you sound nervous, prospects can feel your poor energy. When you smile, you put yourself in a confident state. Research shows that smiling affects how we speak, to the point where listeners on the other line can pick up on the facial expressions we use.
Smiling, whether genuine or not, according to science, lights up the mirror neurons in your prospect’s brain, creating a “feel good” sensation in their own mind also. It compels your prospects to lower their guards. Aside from this, smiling affects your internal emotions, makes you feel happier and puts you in a good mental state.
Where do you get cold-calling prospects?
- Expired listings: Listings that are about to expire are a good way to start i.e the seller’s contract with their existing agent is about to expire and the home is yet to sell. The easiest way to access these listings is through the local multiple listing service (MLS) or through a real estate prospecting platform like Redx.
- FSBOs: For sale by owner listings are not usually hard to find. You could do a quick search on Craigslist or Zillow to find these. Or just drive around your neighborhood and check out FSBO listings. Call and attend their open houses if you can.
- Rentals: You can get rental leads through Craigslist. Although most real estate agents avoid rental properties as they usually involve much more work. Yet they could add to your portfolio and present referral opportunities when you’re just starting out.
What is relationship focused cold-calling?
It is essentially seeking out a common ground while engaging a prospect. Making use of empathy, mutual understanding, and good conversation to create a connection. It is focusing on the long-term and connecting with prospects where they are instead of trying to literally hard-sell them.
Relationship focused cold calling works because the person you are reaching out to is someone with things going on in their minds and a world of things going on around them. Telling them about your services might just get them downright annoyed. But trying to build a relationship helps them feel comfortable with you.Relationship focused cold calling works because the person you are reaching out to is someone with things going on in their minds and a world of things going on around them #coldcalling Click To Tweet
Ultimately, cold calling is a numbers game. The more people you can reach, the better chances you have of closing a client. Keep these cold calling tips for real estate in mind; Anticipate objections; demonstrate empathy; make conversations instead of hard selling prospects. And don’t forget to follow up with your prospects.
Answer Questions Online
Imagine building your own forum, similar to “The BiggerPockets Forum”. Well, that’s a stretch. The point is, with Facebook groups and forums, building your own network isn’t such a big deal anymore. Imagine if you could build such a network of people who trust you as an authority? A much wider personal network. You’ll be surprised at the amount of sales opportunities that fall into your laps.
You need a Bigger Network
You know the old “reach out to friends and family” idea. It doesn’t fill the gap anymore. For most people (myself included), we don’t have a “big” personal network. If we do, we don’t always have people seeking our services. Or at least, not at the moment. Time is of the essence. We need to make sales.
So, what do we do? We need to build a new network. A much bigger one. That means, if I were seeking people who needed to stage a home, I search out places where folks who need to stage a home hang out. If I come around a lot and I offer considerable value, then people start noticing my face. If I keep offering value, responding to their comments, being around a lot, they check out my website, order my service. They’ve become part of my new personal network. And that’s the idea with Forums and Facebook groups. They’ve made it easier to interact with potential buyers and answer the questions they have.It's easier to interact with potential buyers and answer the questions they have Click To Tweet
And even though you can’t monetize your audience on platforms like Quora or City data, accumulating a great number of views on your posts can potentially be a consistent wellspring of traffic to your website. Apart from the SEO advantages, when you give out real, valuable information, you garner the attention of the right audience.
Where to start Forum marketing for real estate
Quora is a question-and-answers website launched by Adam D’Angelo, former Facebook CTO in June 2009. It has grown to a large community of 100 million active monthly users. Hence there is a great opportunity to not only get a lot of views to your answers but also connect with other professionals. Answers on Quora are usually in the form of blog posts.
Since 2003, City-data has been a valuable source of information on US neighborhoods. City data displays stats about US cities – relating to real estate, relocation, colleges and more. But they also have a highly traversed forum – over 1.5 million active members. For city specific searches, city data forums tend to come up on the first page of Google. This presents a chance to get your answers featured on the first page whenever someone searches for city-specific information.
Biggerpockets real estate forums present a chance to network with local investors and other professionals. These forums are arguably the most active real estate forums online. And it’s not just for investors. There are active real estate agent forums, where realtors can discuss marketing strategies and ask questions from other licensed agents.
Real estate investors are always looking to work with Realtors. There are also periodic real estate investment meetings and events. This might be a good place to connect with people in your farm area and build your portfolio.
Forum marketing tips for real estate agents
- Create Insightful posts.
Don’t provide half-arsed answers. You want to interact with people on topics that you’re passionate about or have a lot of knowledge about. And don’t just be generic in your answers. Be inventive. You can make a quick search to gather ideas but make sure your answers present your unique take as it applies to the question.
- Ask smart questions.
Forums are good learning platforms. It’s not just about answering other people’s questions. Ask niche-specific questions on trending real estate topics. This can help you establish connections with authority figures in real estate. When asking these questions, keep them simple but smart. Use proper spelling, grammar, and capitalization. Forums allow you to get enlightened; see other people’s perspectives about important issues as they apply to your business. So try to put your best foot forward and make your questions worth answering.Forums are good learning platforms. It's not just about answering other people's questions. Click To Tweet
- Stop Self promoting.
There are so many people online, and you’re anxious to spread the word about your business right away. Don’t! Aside from the fact that you may be instantly banned from the forum, it’s interruption and people hate it. You need to take your time to interact with interesting posts and people, build relationships and be helpful. Instead of blasting out sales pitches, work on your profile and make it catchy. If you provide enough value, more people would check you out. That’s your chance to make a good impression.
Facebook and LinkedIn Groups
Facebook Groups: Facebook, over the years, has been an incredible asset for marketers. Groups present a way to create awareness for your brand- even if you’re a beginner. You can also learn actionable insights from the pros to help you scale. Think crowd-sourced advice from a variety of experts, networking events and sometimes just banter. One good Facebook group to join is Lab Coat Agents, which explores “the science of real estate”.
LinkedIn Groups: The basic purpose of LinkedIn is to help grow your professional network. As a member of a LinkedIn group, you can make new business connections, learn insider tips from professionals and establish yourself as a local authority. A good starting point would be the ‘Inman – Smart About Real Estate‘ group which has more than 90,000 members.
How to capture targeted leads through a Facebook group
With social media groups like Facebook groups, there are two ways to go: either create your own group, share your own content and make your rules. Or join an existing group, leveraging someone’s following to share your content and build your brand. Obviously, the latter is easier as it would take considerable time to build a following. But the idea shouldn’t be building a following that doesn’t convert but growing your email list through your Facebook group. For that, you’ll need to create your own group.
Yet, there needs to be a balance between providing valuable information and generating conversions. Of course, if you’ve not been providing value, most people won’t pay attention when you try to get them to sign up for something. Anyway, here are four ideas by Nate McCallister of SocialMediaExaminer for growing your email list through Facebook groups:
- Post Links to a lead generation page: You create a lead magnet – something that solves a problem for prospects, then post something about this on the group. Members who would like to access the information fill out a simple form on an existing page.
- Set up questions for anyone who requests to join your group: If you’ve created your own closed Facebook group, you’re allowed to ask three questions of anyone who wants to join your group. You can make one of these a request for an email address where you promise to provide free, valuable information. These emails should be imported to your CRM tool for lead nurturing.
- Create an attractive group cover Image for your lead magnet: Make a good impression by designing a high-quality image for your offer and put this up as your group’s cover image.
- Add a Call to Action in the Facebook Group description: Your Facebook group description can be seen by people who aren’t even in your group. You’re allowed to add a link to a landing page or resource. If you make your call to action catchy enough, your group description should provide a consistent stream of new leads.
Automate Real Estate Follow-Ups with Email and CRM
Most people who visit your website are going to visit once and forget about you. Read why here. What does this mean? You need a lead capture mechanism. Majority of real estate agents would agree that getting a consistent stream of new clients is the hardest part of being an agent. The issue is: without a solid leads process, the next paycheck isn’t guaranteed. So lead nurturing is certainly a crucial skill for real estate agents.
There are a number of ways to build an email list, most of which have been covered in this resource. But most marketers agree that the best way to acquire new leads is setting up a custom landing page because they produce higher quality leads. SEOMoz generates $1 million per year from a single landing page.
Marketo discovered in 2018 that strategic landing pages are used by 68% of B2B businesses to acquire new leads. But those are B2B brands, right? Do landing pages work for real estate brands?
Yes. Landing pages are an effective real estate marketing tool. A fairly large number of agents and brokerages now use home valuation landing pages, buyer or seller guides landing pages, specialty property listing pages and more. In fact, the more landing pages you have, the higher your chances of acquiring new leads. Hubspot says that companies using 40 or more landing pages generate 120% more leads than those using fewer than 5.The more landing pages you have, the higher your chances of acquiring new leads Click To Tweet
Why Landing Pages Work better
Landing pages work because they help qualify leads, advancing an offer which would speak to your prospects’ objections. Colin Ryan, brand manager at Placester defines landing pages simply as “any standalone web page, disconnected from the main navigation, that is built to get visitors to take a very specific action (sign up, download, call, etc)”
Yet it isn’t just about acquiring leads through landing pages or any other lead acquisition strategy. You need to consolidate with an effective lead nurturing system. With InstaPage, you can start building conversion-optimized landing pages within minutes.
Nurturing Leads with Emails
A real estate drip campaign is a common way to nurture leads through a series of emails “dripped” to your leads in periodic intervals after they filled out a form on your page. Emails are a powerful way to stay in touch with prospects and former clients because:
- About 91% of users check their emails daily.
- It has higher open rates and consequently, higher conversion rates than social media or blog posts.
- It has a greater reach than social media and other marketing platforms. Active email accounts are expected to hit 5.6 billion by 2019, according to Statista. Gmail alone has 1 billion active users worldwide.
- Econsultancy stated in 2016 that three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to good “ROI”
- Mobile users check their email three times more than non-mobile users (Campaign Monitor, 2018)
So if you have ticked the first box by building an email list, next is finding a good CRM tool that allows you to import your email list easily.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management(CRM) software are tools that make it easy to reach a large number of your real estate clients or prospects from one single platform. CRM tools help you get more organization in your real estate marketing by integrating well with other platforms e.g your email or social media platform.
You can create and monitor email campaigns, track email open rates; nurture leads; upload documents and contracts; track important dates from one single CRM platform.
Be that as it may, email marketing for real estate agents isn’t just about building a list of contacts. You’ll have to capture people’s interest. How do you make your emails sound engaging and keep people’s attention? It’s not about pestering them with your new listings. It’s about understanding their needs and proving you can meet these.Email marketing isn't just about building a list of contacts. You'll need to capture people's interest Click To Tweet
5 kickass Email Marketing tips for Real Estate
- Segment your leads.
You probably already have an effective lead generation system. Yet, not all real estate leads are the same. Your leads are most likely at different stages of the conversion cycle.
HubSpot defines three stages in a typical buyer’s journey:
- Awareness stage: The buyer realizes they have a problem (need or want).
- Consideration stage: The buyer has already defined the problem and now considers options to solve the problem.
- Decision stage: The buyer decides on a solution.
This applies to b2b brands in a major way. But it also finds use in real estate since most home clients are basically trying to solve a problem/fulfill a want (or need).
By segmenting your leads, you can tailor your messages to buyers at different stages of the sales cycle and take advantage of sales opportunities. You could segment leads by responsiveness. At each stage, you could have hot and cold leads based on open rates. A good CRM software makes it easy to segment leads, helping you identify people who are ready and motivated.
- Schedule your emails right.
Most people are busy and wouldn’t open your email if it interferes with work. The difference between high email open rates and low open rates might just be scheduling your emails right. So avoid sending emails when your mail would probably be ignored.The difference between high email open rates and low open rates might just be scheduling your emails right Click To Tweet
A good starting place is not sending emails at wee hours of the night or very early in the morning. You can send emails when your subscribers would be most responsive. The best way to determine this would be to review past emails through your CRM analytics to find out what time people open your emails. On a wider scale, Coschedule recommends scheduling emails to go off at 10 am or 8 pm.
- Focus on just one call to action.
The rule of one or power of one is a common guideline among copywriters. It means focusing the energy of your copy into one big idea. Instead of juggling together different CTAs or ideas in your email, you want to focus on just one. This doesn’t leave buyers confused. They know what you want them to do and why.
Realtors often confuse their email readers with too many calls to action. They want prospects to do it all at once: like their Facebook page; check out their new listings; read a new post on the blog. When you do this, you’re bombarding prospects with too much information, which is both demanding and overwhelming. Your CTAs compete with each other without a main theme. By focusing your copy and subject lines to lead up to one main idea, your emails become more convincing. James Loftus, a veteran advertising copywriter says,
“the more points you try to cover, the less effective each point, and therefore your ad, will be. An effective ad will actually have only one central focus, even if you discuss it from two or three perspectives. If your points are too diverse, they compete with each other, and end up pulling the reader’s attention in separate directions.”
- Make emails short and succinct.
Your prospects are busy. They’ve squeezed time off a busy schedule to skim through your email. You therefore need to make your emails skimmable. This also means your message is relevant and superfluous analogies or stories are left out. A study conducted by Sinan Aral of NYU, Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT and Marshall W. Van Alstyne of Boston University concluded that, “the shorter your email, the quicker the response time, and the higher your productivity.”The shorter your email, the quicker the response time, and the higher your productivity Click To Tweet
- Write catchy Email Subject lines.
The more compelling and personal your subject line sounds, the more people open your emails, and the better your conversions. The email subject line is the first thing a prospect sees. They haven’t had a connection with you. All they did was fill a form on your website. Your email subject line makes the crucial first impression. You either catch their attention or lose it completely.
The best way to get people’s attention is to write personal sounding headlines that drive home a major point. Prospects are asking, “how might this benefit me?”. If your email subject line answers this, they are compelled to stay a while longer.
Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers suggests thinking about it this way,
“Nobody actually wants to hear from me. They only want to hear from their friends. Your task, then, is to sound as much like their trusted friends, colleagues and/or clients as you can… without being tricky… or gimmicky… or lame.”
Keep your email headlines short. Around 50 characters long to avoid truncation. And don’t forget to make them sound personal.
Email Marketing Content Ideas for Real Estate Agents
There are few things that work best for a new real estate business like developing a process to stay in contact with new leads. And this would prove even more effective for building customer relationships. However, it can be hard to brainstorm email marketing content ideas as a real estate agent. But it shouldn’t be. You can be as creative as you want in a way that your audience finds engaging. Below are some ideas to kick off:
- Drive subscribers to New Posts on your website. If you are proactively creating new content for your website, your email list can be a potential traffic generation tool. You can constantly give your email list exclusive tips and ideas that are not available to blog readers. This helps build trust.
- New Listings. Show prospects you are an active player in the market by telling them about new listings. Let your subscribers know these are yet to hit the open market. This creates some form of exclusivity.
- Birthdays and Anniversaries. Send personalized emails to past clients on important days like birthdays, wedding anniversaries.
- Market Watch Alerts. Motivated prospects want some insider information about happenings in your market. So, if anything could affect price, probably a new company moving in; new housing developments; tax changes; your audience should know about them.
Getting conversions has gone beyond one-time random emails. Just like content marketing, the goal should be to generate a degree of trust. Hence a one-off email strategy leaves a lot of money on the table for competitors. You need to consistently reach out to prospects and clients with the latest offers and information that’ll be of interest to them. And track your stats. Your CRM should come with intuitive analytics to track open rates, click-throughs and responses. Knowing the stats, you can tweak your strategy accordingly to generate better results.A one-off email strategy leaves a lot of money on the table for competitors Click To Tweet
Win Local Clients with Geofencing
Geofencing is one of today’s controversial marketing discoveries. And rightly, because it creates a sort of privacy breach. Privacy breach, which has been a subject of high profile court cases as of late. Primarily, any technology that allows you to create a fence around a particular area and target users within those constraints uses geofencing. In actuality, a technology that had been used to monitor and track moving vehicles for a long time has now been enhanced to keep tabs on prospects. Sounds creepy but its great news for real estate where location targeting is paramount. Without talking about the pros and cons, geofencing is set to grow as a marketing tool in coming years.
Global Markets released a report in January 2018 that assessed the growth and potentialities of geofencing as an Industry. According to the report, increased penetration of mobile devices and the rising prominence of location targeting among marketers will lead to a compound annual growth rate of 28% from 2017 to 2024 in the geofencing markets.
A lot of real estate agents who can’t leverage this type of technology waste marketing dollars pitching the wrong leads.A lot of real estate agents who can't leverage location based technology waste marketing dollars pitching the wrong leads. Click To Tweet
And agents who can effectively use targeting tools get better conversions. Increasingly, new tools are being discovered to target prospects by net worth, demographics and most especially, location.
While geofencing isn’t mainstream yet for many real estate brokerages, when used right, it can be a potent tool for connecting with local leads.
How Geofencing Works
An app or software utilizes location tools like GPS, WiFi, RFID or cellular data to enforce a pre-programmed action whenever a cellphone enters a specific location. For instance, when a prospect’s phone comes close to your office, they are served an ad or offer from you. The most common type of geofencing advertising is delivered via push notifications, where a user gets a notification once they approach your service area if their phone’s location monitoring is switched on.
Geofencing ads can also be sent via text messages, alerts or social media once a geographic area is defined to an accuracy of 100-200 meters. The fact that they don’t need permission from a user before delivering information makes them seem invasive. Hence before employing geofencing ads, ensure to check state laws as regards location-based advertising.
Why use Geofencing for real estate?
1. Target people by location. Geofencing lets you reach users who live in particular areas instead of running generic ads. You can optimize your message for them and figure out a marketing strategy based on your prospects’ location data.
The improved GPS accuracy of most mobile phones enable marketers to determine a prospect’s location more accurately. This guarantees that the leads generated are high-quality leads.With geofencing, you can optimize your message for prospects and figure out a marketing strategy based on your prospects' location data Click To Tweet
2. Personalize your Marketing. You sidestep random ads that many people find irrelevant for more personalized offers. 71% of consumers love personalized marketing experiences. As a real estate agent for example, when someone comes close to one of your listings, you could display a short carousel ad showing the best views of the property.
3. Compete aggressively. Geofencing ads allow you to send ads to your competitor’s customers. For example, when someone visits your competitor’s location, they might be served a tempting offer from you. This is not an ‘ethical practice’ but it can be effective.
4. Analyze customer purchase trends. What kind of ads or offers appeal to people in a particular location? With the right information, you’ll segment your ads more effectively and reach people that would be more valuable to your business. You’ll gather more accurate buyer persona data to help your marketing efforts.
5. Automate lead generation. You don’t need to individually send ads to prospects. You might be away from the office, your geofencing ads would still get delivered to anyone entering your fence area. This ensures new lead generation opportunities are not lost.
How to generate real estate leads with geofencing
The concept of geofencing in its basic form means you are targeting users or prospects based on location. And some social media apps already allow you to do this. For example, Facebook ads geolocation feature or Snapchat geofilters.
But aside from social media, there are applications that deliver geotargeted or geofencing ads, for example, LocalPagePop. Your display ad can be any of the following:
- Targeted video: A very short 10-30 seconds video clip showing the best views of one of your recent listings. This is a good idea since video ads have the best conversions.
- Community promotions: When a buyer enters your fence area, you can deliver a customized welcome message that subtly features your brand name and logo.
- Offer promotions: Are you running an offer, why not serve up your new offer to people in your competitor’s location?
- Amenities: Are you trying to get people’s attention to a condo listing? You can feature the amenities you offer, for example, gym, pool, spa, etc.
- Leverage contextual location-based data: You can serve up useful information to help home sellers in your location looking to sell in winter. Or feature testimonials from some of your past clients in the neighborhood.
- Use interactive ads: Interactive ads capture people’s attention by asking a specific question. And then looks to meet the need. For example, a question like what feature is most important to you in your next house? Once a prospect enters an answer, you serve them with potential houses that probably have the feature they seek.
Beacons work on the same idea as geofencing. The slight difference is that the target radius is much smaller. They can be used to display location-based messages or display special features to people who visit your open houses. Brightdoor, a provider of beacon technology provides a good illustration of the application of beacons in real estate.
Geofencing is set to grow massively in the next few years as 77% of Americans now own a smartphone, up from just 35% in 2011. Brokerages that can employ this early on and strike when the iron is hot would gain the advantage. It is an effective form of marketing because prospects are not reached haphazardly but targeted with personalized messages to deliver high ROI. Yet since there is a potential for these unsolicited ads to infringe on people’s privacy, you need to check your state’s location-based marketing rules.Brokerages that can employ geofencing early on and strike when the iron is hot would gain the advantage Click To Tweet
Get Creative with Real Estate Door Hangers
While hinging your real estate career solely upon door hangers and flyers might not be a smart move in this day and age. Don’t throw the idea away just yet.
The fact is: people trust print. Your prospect can touch and feel your marketing effort. It’s more alive than texts and images on a screen. This is why a large number of agents depend largely on printed ads. It has always been a great tool in the hand of old-school, hard-headed real estate marketers. And who knows? Your prospect, looking to sell, might just stumble upon your hanger any time in the future and give you a call.
But, considering what goes on in the mind of the prospect may be nice: She comes back from work, mutters to herself “I don’t like seeing these ads on my door.” (Takes a quick glance at it and throws it in the thrash). Money and time wasted. It’s not always the case though as a few people would keep your print ad.
Broadly speaking, real estate print marketing generate an average response rate ranging from 1 to 3 percent. That might be considered low, considering the effort. It means for each 100 door hanger, one to three people would likely call or message back.
So obviously you might not always get positive ROI with print marketing as production costs adds up. This means you need to come up with an effective distribution strategy. How do you make your door hangers stick out, improve your door hanger conversions and adequately catch your prospect’s attention? Check out these real estate print distribution ideas.You might not always get positive ROI with door hangers as the cost of print adds up. This means you need to come up with an effective door hanger distribution strategy Click To Tweet
- Outsource distribution.
It’s hard to reach your community effectively when you’re a one-man band. Take advantage of nationwide or local distribution companies. Some of these have different outreach plans to cover your area. You can even track your campaigns with GPS to see your reach in real time. The great thing about outsourcing door to door hangers or flyer distribution is that you reach more people with much less effort. And they don’t cost an arm and leg.
- Communicate with prospects.
A door hanger is a potential conversation starter. It’s a way to make a connection with your prospect. You want to leverage this. Wherever you have the opportunity to chat, discuss with your prospect without selling them. Most people are wary of salesmen/women.
You should try to make a personal touch with your prospect. Being a resourceful member of your community would also work in your favor. So, be an active member of a local charity, team, association or club.
Again the familiarity principle. The more your face or name pops up, the better the connection you make with prospects. Here’s an idea to implement this: Insert your flyer or other marketing material in a free local publication going out to schools, businesses or other institutions.
Publications are always looking for people to buy advertisement spaces. You can reach out to them and have them offer you a deal. This means potential buyers or sellers in your area will receive your ads in different formats. In this way, you create more local awareness for your brand. Another idea is to make your printed material complement your digital ads. Make your logo and face conspicuous and use the same color scheme to create a familiar impression.
- Make it attractive.
Impeccable design speaks well about your brand. People love and would keep creatively designed paraphernalia. You should hire experts to create attractive designs. Images and graphics should be placed strategically. Use the right colors. It’s a wise idea to use the same color codes for your branding i.e your website, logo, print materials… This way, your brand can be easily recognized. And make your fonts legible and attractive, using white-space to your advantage.
- Respect their time.
Most people are busy. They probably have a lot of stuff going on in their minds and in their lives already. They don’t need to listen to your hour-long sales pitch. Don’t do it. You want to present valuable bits of information in your door hanger without cramming in too much details. Just the right amount to provoke interest.People are busy. They probably have a lot of stuff going on in their minds and in their lives already. They don't need to listen to your hour-long sales pitch. Don't do it. Click To Tweet
And if you get the chance to communicate with them, be fun. And make your introductions brief. The fact that you respect a prospect’s time will help you make a good impression.
- Target the right people.
Increased ROI on your door hangers will depend on your ability to market to the right people. Those who will be most interested in your service. Describe your ideal buyer by age, net worth, relationship status, education…, then reach out to them.
This would take some research time and guesswork but it’d mean better ROI. You don’t want to waste marketing spend. Hence you need to distribute your door hangers to neighborhoods and houses that will potentially be responsive to your message.
- Follow Up.
Repetition works in marketing. The more we hear or see stuff, the better our recall. You should have a plan for following up with prospects. Your door hanger already provides material for conversation. Try to reach out to these homes and introduce yourself.
Build Beneficial Relationships for your Business
“A great many new real estate agents never make it through their first two years. They underestimate expenses and overestimate income, a deadly combination. Or they rely too much on old industry truisms that aren’t as valid in the real estate world that has developed in the internet-driven decade since the 2008-09 financial meltdown.”
And there is one more: connections. A differentiating factor for most successful agents is that they have built a long network of relationships over the years. They have consistently built and gained trust, not only with clients but with investors, realtors, lawyers, inspectors, title companies, loan officers, appraisers, inspectors and contractors. It has taken years to build but they’ve picked up a great deal of business and referrals through these connections.
Here’s a great quote from Brian Tracy:
Building great relationships is crucial in real estate. Because when the supply of new leads wane, the relationships you’ve built with past clients, other agents and professionals are what you’re left with.
When the supply of new leads wane, the relationships you've built with past clients, other agents and professionals are what you're left with #realtor Click To Tweet
“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie
Grow your Real Estate Network
While many sales people focus only on the lead generation and selling or buying process, there is a lot that could happen after the completion of a transaction. Clients who are impressed could leave a review, refer a friend or just help promote your brand to friends via word of mouth. This is why successful agents prioritize building a long-lasting relationship with their clients.
By providing quick and useful information, they solidify their status as someone who has answers to client questions. And by actively listening to customer needs, they keep the focus on relationships rather than a simple buy-sell trade.
The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing - John Russell Click To Tweet
- Other real estate agents.
As in most professions, synergy is a powerful tool. Having a network of active agents who are ready to work with you will go a long way in boosting your real estate agent career. You need to consider joining associations like the NAR, CAR, NYSAR. They keep you on your toes as you have to adhere to rules that keep you accountable. Plus being a member of these associations add to your CV and credibility as a real estate agent. Developing good working relationships will keep you abreast of new tricks of the trade and help you get random real estate referrals. Obviously, you must also be willing to give out referrals.
- Hard money lenders or loan officers.
Mortgages are an important part of the home buying process. Agents that not only provide useful mortgage information to clients but also create convenience by directing their clients to useful sources of information will create great experience. Since mortgages are an almost indispensable aspect of real estate transactions, it makes sense to build relationships with hard money lenders or loan officers.
Aside from the fact that you can benefit from a sort of business referral exchange, mortgage rates are changing on a daily basis. The rules and requirements also change. You would be able to keep abreast of these. It’ll save a lot of time for your client.
- The Community.
You have to get yourself out there. Attend town meetings, HOA meetings, support local events and charities, volunteer whenever you can. The fact that you care about your community would be a good selling point. And you shouldn’t need to emphasize this. Let prospects see for themselves.
Yet you want to connect with people not just to hand out flyers showing you’re an agent but to make some valuable friendships. When they hire you as a real estate agent, they are committing to you as a person, not just as a real estate agent.
- Other service professionals.
Different professionals are involved in the home transaction – home inspectors, lawyers, structural engineers, appraisers, real estate investors. A seller or buyer might need any of these services. Plus they want someone vetted. They might be new in town without the right connections yet. An agent is expected to have a network of connections with service professionals in their farm area. Guarantee that these services are screened as recommending people who are unprofessional to your clients may put a dent on your own service delivery.
Tools for building great relationships
Professionalism, especially with clients is a winner. For example, if you promise to meet a client by 3 p.m, then you need to be there by 3 pm. When people find out they can take you at your word, they trust you. It’s a great foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship. An aspect of being professional is also making use of cutting edge technology. New gadgets are being introduced into the real estate industry constantly. You should be using a few of these. For example, leveraging 360 video technology for your video listings would impress most clients.
Real estate agents must be good communicators. This means they should be able to listen and take in information, clarify comments to get a visceral understanding of what the other party needs.
This means you need to be an attentive person, not just listening for what to say. Empathy means that you put yourself in another person’s position for a bit to get an idea of the thoughts and emotions they feel. Essentially, when you have empathy, any solution or recommendation you provide would be more personalized.Empathy means that you put yourself in another person's position for a bit to get an idea of the thoughts and emotions they feel Click To Tweet
When making connections, you need to be a source of value. Real estate agents are expected to have knowledge of the local real estate market and rules. Flaunt this when you can in a non-salesy way. We all love people who don’t just try to sell us but bring value into a conversation.
The best producing agents find it easy to make important connections because they have significant market experience. Plus a track record of successful home transactions under their belt, which makes them valuable to other professionals and clients.
But providing value goes beyond being able to supply good information. It means mutual respect and understanding. Drop random compliments, send out birthday cards or gifts and give good solicited advice if needed.
Build Online Real Estate Presence with Google
One of the goals of having a website is getting on Google’s first page. But getting on the first page of the biggest search engine in the world is a tough game.
There are only 10 spots on Google’s first page (90% of searchers won’t check the second page) and you’re probably competing with 1,000 other real estate websites (maybe more). A portion of these presumably have better content than you. And it gets even dicey because Google is constantly updating its algorithms, prioritizing random search criteria.
Yet, 83% of all home buyers are searching online. 99% of Millennials search for homes online compared to 89% of Older Boomers and 77% of the Silent Generation. Since the majority of online searches would be done on Google, it would still be wise to include a Google SEO or PPC ads strategy in your marketing.
First, you’ll need to have these in place:
- A nicely designed website. Real estate agents without a website might be killing it offline but they will be losing about 51% of potential customers to the competition. Plus having a website, updated with an insightful about page gives you more credibility.
- Top Notch Content. Creating great content is essential to building trust. You’ll need a real estate content marketing strategy that works for your brand.
GoogleMyBusiness is a sort of directory service that gives people more information about businesses in their location. And this is ideal for industries like real estate because potential real estate clients are doing location-based searches. Instead of the generic traffic which Search Engine Optimization may bring, it’s almost a given that people who contact you through your GoogleMyBusiness listing are qualified leads.
There are two major perks of having a GMB account:
- You appear in local searches. These kinds of searches will include a map so folks making real estate searches near you can find you. Apart from location details, they can also check your opening and closing hours, call your phone number and see your reviews online.
- You appear in brand-specific searches. Whenever someone types in your brand name on Google, information about your business is displayed on the right hand side.
To set up a Google My Business account, you’ll need to verify your business with Google. To do this, go to the Google My Business set up page here.
Enter your business name.
Next, click on Add location. Input location details and select your location on the map. You can add more than one location.
You’ll be taken to the next page where you fill in your business category and contact details.
Lastly, Google requires a verification process that usually takes minutes or as long as 14 days, depending on the method of verification. A verification code could be sent by mail at the business address you provide. It takes 10-14 days for your code to arrive. In some locations, verification is done by sending a code to the business phone number you listed. This type of verification is easier but less common.
Once your business has been verified, you can start customizing your Google My Business Listing page. Since this page forms part of the first impression of your business, ensure to use high quality, regularly updated images of you or your office space. Also, request for and include positive ratings of your business from past clients.Since your GMB page forms part of the first impression of your business, ensure to use high quality, regularly updated images of you or your office space #realestate #SEM Click To Tweet
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Getting on Google’s first page is tough. First, because Google is constantly updating its search algorithms. What worked 2 years ago may not work now. And also because there is so much competition than ever.
Yet, being on Google’s first page will give you an edge. Google processes billions of searches every day. When someone in your area is searching for a home, they probably go to Google and type in a search term. If your website and content are suitably optimized for this search term, you appear on the first page of the search results. This means you get a steady stream of traffic for the keyword and possibly new leads.
But it’s not that basic. There are many other websites looking to appear on Google’s first page. You’ll be competing with a lot of real estate service providers, agents, and brokerages in your area. They’d likely also be trying new techniques and tricks. What’d make the difference is your content. Are you just stuffing your website with keywords or providing value in a way that meets peoples’ needs? It’d be counter-intuitive to boost organic traffic through search engine optimization but chase people off with poor keyword stuffed content.It'd be counter-intuitive to boost organic traffic through search engine optimization but chase people off with poor keyword stuffed content. Click To Tweet
Across the board, here are five SEO tips that work for real estate SEM:
1. Limit your bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who close your website tab only after viewing a page. You’ll need to have an intuitive website design plus helpful content to keep users attention and compel them to stay longer on your website.
2. Avoid keyword stuffing and keyword cannibalization. Keyword stuffing can get your website flagged on Google. Cannibalization means you optimized different pages of your site for the same keyword. This confuses search engine bots and would lead to lower website ranking.
3. Optimize your website for mobile. NAR revealed in 2017 that 58% of millennials and 46% of generation X found their home on a mobile device compared to 33% of baby boomers. Mobile optimized websites rank higher on Google.
4. Optimize your website for speed. Slow loading websites have higher bounce rates and subsequently lower search rankings.
5. Use local, long tail keywords with less competition. Real estate searches are usually location based. So, while you shouldn’t stuff your website with keywords, you want to include these local keywords in your website’s content in a way that search engines understand what your page is about. Take note of long tail keywords (having three or more words) with good traffic as these are less competitive. You can use Google keyword planner to find keywords and Semscoop or SemRush to analyze your keywords.You also want to use LSI keywords (keywords that appear in the ‘searches related to’ section of Google search results).
Don’t want to be bothered with the technicalities of SEO? Outsource to an SEO specialist on PeoplePerHour or Upwork. However, don’t hire just anyone who could send a bunch of spammy links to your website. Hire someone who would work with you for probably a month to make sure your website ranks for the right keyword(s). Check out this advanced real estate SEO guide containing some unique local market domination and SEO strategies.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Apart from the free ranking tools, Google and most search engines offer PPC advertising. With PPC ads, you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad. These ads are not cheap though. The more your bid, the better your ranking for competitive keywords.
Generally, your ad appears at the top of search engine results, at the bottom of results or on banner ads for third-party websites using Google Adsense. To learn more about search engine marketing, check this article by Eric Doty of RealEstateWebmasters. You could also outsource this aspect of your marketing. There are a number of real estate SEM companies that can help create and manage your Google Adwords PPC campaigns. An example is BoomTown.
Market Listings with Targeted Facebook Ads
Almost every realtor is familiar with Facebook ads. But not everyone gets the same results with it. Here’s how AgentFire has been able to generate 2,371 high quality leads for their clients at a cost per click rate of $1.125 and cost per lead of $5.45.
The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can always replicate, generating consistent niche leads. Dave Queen, client experience manager at AgentFire describes the strategy in brief in this post. The crux is that it’s all about going niche. Targeting the micro as is AgentFire’s value proposition: “Let Zillow and other agents battle over the macro, while you feast on the micro, with the only truly HyperLocal real estate website solution.”
By featuring the most engaging element of a home and boiling down their audience to high net worth buyers, they target buyers with aligned priorities. For example, a campaign with the title “Single Story Homes with Garages in X Neighborhood (a desirable part of town)” only costed about $0.4 per click and less than $2 per lead. It was targeted to folks who earn $100,000 per year. Obviously, a campaign like this was only going to appeal to qualified buyers seeking single story homes with garages in X neighborhood.
With Facebook ads, it’s a level playing field. According to Queen, “Different people want different things. It’s your job to understand what is valuable to them and then get that message in front of them.”
Hubspot’s 2018 statistics show that content consumption on Facebook has increased by 57% over the past two years. The average user spends about 35 minutes on Facebook every day. An average American spending 58 minutes every day. With a reach of 2 billion, Facebook has definitely grown from just a social media tool for connecting with friends to a potent marketing tool for advertisers and brands. Facebook ads generate a conversion rate of 9.21 across all industries.
Nonetheless, exploring Facebook’s ad features have become a bit more complicated with new updates that prioritize engagement; punishing clickbait and false information. This means real estate agents who want to get new leads via Facebook ads would need to dig deeper into the arsenal and make their messages interactive.Real estate agents who want to get new leads via Facebook ads would need to dig deeper into the arsenal and make their messages interactive. Click To Tweet
Most marketers already know how profitable Facebook is. 2 million businesses used Facebook for advertising in 2018.
Without wasting time on reasons why you should leverage Facebook for getting new real estate leads. This article should present some tips to help you create the types of interactive real estate Facebook ads that speak to the right audience.
Getting new leads with Facebook real estate marketing requires sifting through the multitude and streamlining your ad for the right people.Getting new leads with Facebook real estate marketing requires sifting through the multitude and streamlining your ad for the right audience.#Facebookmarketing #realestate Click To Tweet
Targeting the Right People
Facebook’s Audience Insights
You can use Facebook Audience Insights to view the snapshot of people who are likely to engage with your brand. If you have a page, Facebook will create targeting criteria based on the interests and characteristics of people who already like your page. You get useful insights on education, net worth, interests, age, and gender. To access this tool, click on Audience Insights on your Facebook page’s dashboard. You’ll select from three options:
- Everyone on Facebook: Use information from people on Facebook to create a snapshot of your ideal audience.
- People connected to your page: Uses insights from people who already like your page to determine your ideal audience.
- A custom audience: Upload a list of custom audience from which Facebook displays simulated buyer persona information.
PS: As at Mar 2019, it’s impossible to target real estate prospects via race, gender or ZIP code. However, this doesn’t apply to custom audiences and page likes
Split Testing Ads
You can test variations of your ad, running them to different groups of your audience to see which one performs best. Here is Facebook’s guide on creating split test ads.
The best way to create a split test is to test variations of whichever ad currently delivers good results. You can test different headlines for different groups. You can change descriptions or images and see which of these variations perform best.
Facebook Remarketing Pixel
The Facebook ads pixel tracks your website’s conversion information to target new users. For example, people who took an action on your website. What targeting criteria can be gleaned from existing prospects? A pixel targets new leads based on these criteria. Simply insert the Pixel code into your website’s backend and it monitors particular user behaviors to help you target the right people, improving ROI on your ads.
This is a very important targeting tool for real estate. Location targeting allows you to deliver your ads to people based on their location, probably by city or region. You would be presented with four targeting options. You can also select targeting radius to outline how far you want to target people in a particular location:
- Everyone recently in the location: Your ad is delivered to anyone who has recently visited the area or who live in that location.
- People who live in the location: Your ad will be delivered to anyone who has listed the area as their home.
- People recently in the location: With this, you’ll be reaching people who have been in the area recently.
- People traveling in the location: This determines people living in the area who are currently traveling.
You might want to create split ads using two of these criteria. And if you have more service areas, you can target different areas on a seasonal basis to avoid spending too much on bids. Ultimately, you should spend more on better performing ads.
Creating Engaging real estate Facebook ads
After navigating through the array of targeting options and tools, the next thing you want to do is create a captivating Facebook real estate marketing campaign. Your potential buyer is bombarded with a lot of information on Facebook, how do you make your ad stand out from the mass? Note that the new Facebook update focuses on interactions. This means that Facebook real estate marketing gimmicks that may work in the past would probably not work now. So your messaging needs to be bold and interactive.
A Facebook ad has four major text fields. Apart from your link, video or image, you’ll have a headline, news feed link description, and the main text.
The headline is the boldened part that appears under your image or video. The news feed link description would describe what you offer on the page you’re linking to. The main text is a short captivating piece of text that should appear over your image or video. Your CTA tells users what to do next. You’re free to customize it as you like.
- Make your headline short and sweet.
Adespresso, after analyzing over 752,000 Facebook ads found a constant variable in high performing ads. They found that the most popular headlines on Facebook are five words long.
They also dissected the text, description, and CTA of these ads for engagement and they found that the best ads contain
- Just 19 words of text. Effective Facebook ads are succinct and on point.
- 13 words link description. Longer link descriptions get truncated by Facebook’s 30 character limit.
- CTAs should depend on what you’re planning to do. Using no CTA at all could also work.
- Be creative with CTAs.
For most ads, a CTA would always redirect viewers to a landing page or form. But some real estate companies are seeing better results with CTAs that redirect users to chat via messenger. These “click to chat” CTA can help drive more conversions. You can even experiment with the ‘Call Now’ button which brings up a dial so viewers who are sold can call you directly. The ‘call now’ feature is fairly new and it’s only available with ‘local awareness’ or location-based ads. This GIF from advertisemint shows how it works.
- Don’t neglect mobile.
There is a broad shift towards mobile and mobile platforms. The Facebook app is the second most downloaded app all over the web. And Facebook messenger is the top mobile app by number of downloads. What this means is that you have to optimize your ad and content for mobile.
You have the option of targeting users on five different platforms, including Instagram and Messenger.
A good idea would be split testing the same ad and optimizing for two different device types. You can choose both mobile and desktop and see which of these convert better. Mobile would probably perform better. Based on Facebook’s fourth quarter 2018 earnings, Facebook boasted $5.84 billion in earnings. Of that, $4.5 billion came from mobile devices. This means that more people are viewing Facebook via mobile.
- Optimize your Images.
With so much content on Facebook, you only have a short time to capture people’s attention. Each visit to Facebook lasts 10 to 12 minutes. You want to get and keep a user’s attention within this time frame. It’s a bit tough. But a way to try would be to use stunning images in your ads. If you’re opting for mobile ads, you might consider using carousel images, which allows you to show off multiple images in the same ad.Each visit to Facebook lasts 10 to 12 minutes. You can capture people's attention within this short time frame by using stunning images in your ads. #Facebook #marketing Click To Tweet
- Engage with Video Ads.
Videos have the best engagement rates on Facebook. However, as with posts and headlines, you want to make your video short and sweet. Videos longer than 60 seconds may get ignored. Kinetic Social’s report of 2 billion ad impressions found that 44% of 30-60 seconds videos were viewed to completion.
What do you offer?
You probably already have some ideas for your next Facebook ad. But the decisive point would be your offer.
What product are you selling? Where is it? And have you made it attractive enough? This could be an offer on your Facebook page, your listing page, a lead magnet or just great content.
Before you create ads, you need to have an engaging offer. Even if you’re using a messenger or click to call CTA, you should answer these two questions succinctly before creating an ad:
- Where are you driving people to? and
- Why should they care?
What’s your budget?
Be clear on how much you’re willing to spend to run your ads. How much you spend should depend on your goal. Trying to create brand awareness? You might need to run a low-budget, long term campaign. If you want to drive new leads, you should be prepared to spend some more. Also, the cost of running ads will depend on how long you’re planning to run ads, how many people you plan to reach, your target location if you’re targeting by location and possibly the time of day your ads will be running. You can use this calculator by adespresso to determine a potential budget for best ROI on your Facebook ads.
Is it working?
You might have to test some ad variants (A/B Testing) to find out what works best. Importantly, keep an eye on click throughs and cost per click. Measure your conversions using Facebook’s analytics. See how to track Facebook ad performance in this post.
Collaborate with Influencers and Micro-Influencers
Big brands, be they automotive or energy drinks, have for years paid for celebrity endorsements. Social media now allows ‘middle-of-the-road’, small league brands to do the same.
Influencers with 50,000 to 500,000 followers can ask upwards of $400 for posting a single tweet, around $1,000 for an Instagram or Snapchat post, and (for video creators) $2,500 to produce a YouTube video. It’s a big market and it plays on how we think as humans. The more time we spend viewing someone’s content, the more likely we are to be influenced by their recommendations.
According to Seth Godin, “we are tribal animals”. That is, humans are wired to draw to people they connect with. The connection might be just an idea or in the case of celebrities, a lifestyle.
74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. This means a single recommendation from a trusted brand or influencer can have a far greater impact on sales than a traditional ad campaign.
Ideas for Crafting an Influencer Marketing Campaign for real estate
Interview your staff
Influencers don’t always have to be outsiders or people with large followers. You can interview selected people within your workforce. These people know much about your company, what’s going on and what you want to achieve. Hence, your influencer marketing will integrate seamlessly with other aspects of your real estate marketing strategy. For example, Bedrock’s About Us video educates people about the brand. But it goes further to show how passionate their workers are about what they do at Bedrock.
Partner with or invite influencers to open houses or events
Here is a way to use the classic influencer post that gives an influencer a taste of your product and encourages them to write about their experiences. Micro influencers (influencers with 5k-25k followers) might have better local reputation than macro influencers. Some people attending your open houses might fall into the micro influencer category. Why not leverage this by encouraging or incentivizing them to post a video or photo describing their experience?A single recommendation from a trusted brand or influencer can have a far greater impact on sales than a traditional ad campaign. #influencermarketing #realestate Click To Tweet
If you’re hosting a small event, you could also hire many micro influencers to attend. When these real estate micro influencers post a photo, video or a story about your event, you can potentially create a buzz for your brand. However, make sure you’re truly delivering a great experience.
Get Influencers in on your Hashtags
Branded hashtags are a cute way to grow your following. It’s easy to create a buzz on social media and get people talking about you with a branded hashtag. Instead of going it solo, you want to hire many real estate micro influencers to create tweets or Instagram posts with your hashtag. This could potentially create a chain reaction where a lot of people see your branded hashtag and start posting with it.
Interview local or niche influencers
You want to identify some local influencers in your community. They may be top ranking real estate professionals, professional home stagers, executives, artists, etc. You should reach out to people engaging with your target market already. Connect with these people and schedule an interview. You would be able to get a lot of shares and the great thing is that you’ll be reaching your target market directly. Real estate coach Tom Ferry uses this strategy a lot. His video with BombBomb CMO Steve Pacinelli is a great example of this.
Create video commercials featuring Influencers
Here you should probably give your influencer free rein over how best to present or promote you. They know how best to present your brand to their audience without appearing awkward. For example, this Douglas Eliman video works. It aligns with the influencer’s brand and it pushes a unique story.
Influencer Marketing Tips for Real Estate
1. Not every influencer is right for your business: You probably should have a list of influencers you would like to work with. A great place to find micro influencers and connect with them is Dealspotr. They have a database of thousands of influencers you could chat up right away.
However, you should keep in mind that an influencer who posts on healthy eating might not be the right fit for your real estate brand. You want to work with influencers who are reaching your target audience.
2. Micro influencer recommendations carry more weight: Micro influencers are influencers with a small but targeted following. As such their posts generate higher engagement. Micro influencer campaigns have a 60% higher campaign engagement rate than influencers with larger followings. So, spending a chunk of money hiring influencers with larger followings doesn’t necessarily lead to better results. You might actually spend the same amount of money hiring a number of micro influencers with a targeted following and get much better results. According to Leadfuze, influencers with 10 million followers have an average engagement rate of 1.6% per post while micro influencers have an engagement rate of 8% per post.Micro influencer campaigns have a 60% higher campaign engagement rate than influencers with larger followings #influencers Click To Tweet
3. Choose the right platform to reach your target audience: Influencer marketing isn’t just another real estate marketing fad. It’s a way to reach the right people with your ad campaigns. This means that to get better results, you have to approach the right influencer and engage with your audience on the right platform.
You can determine the right platforms to use by figuring out how people engage with you on your existing social media platforms. The best social media platform for your influencer marketing campaign will be one where you get the most engagement on your posts.
4. Set campaign goals and ensure your influencer understands them: As with any campaign, you need to set measurable goals. Are you hoping to increase your following? Get more leads? Or create brand awareness? Your goals would help you and your influecer determine the right approach. They can offer their creative input to make sure targeted goals are or will be reached.
5. Consider turning influencers into brand ambassadors: Once you find a good influencer, seek to build a relationship instead of just hiring them per need. In fact, when you reach out, your goal should be to make a personal connection. This will give your influencer space to creatively and continually represent your brand.Once you find a good influencer, seek to build a relationship instead of just hiring them per need #influencermarketing Click To Tweet
6. Check your influencer’s engagement rates: Nowadays when shares and followers can be easily bought, it’s not surprising that influencer fraud is on the rise. Point Norths Group revealed in a recent study that “up to 20% of mid-level influencers’ followers are likely fraudulent.” That is, have fake or bought followers.
So instead of checking follower count, you need to have your eyes on engagement rates. Check your influencer’s feed to see how well their followers interact with their posts. If they don’t get enough engagement on their posts, it’s unlikely that they can deliver the results you need.
7. Calculate your ROI: If you’ve set your goal(s), then you should be able to calculate how well these goal(s) are being reached. While it’s important to check the number of shares or likes on your posts, the most important thing to determine is ROI. You need to compare your results with how much you’ve spent on the campaign. With sales, this is easy. You simply subtract how much you spent from what you earned overall.
But with impressions and leads, measuring the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign can be tricky. Depending on your goals, you should include a lead capture form which can help you build a list for email marketing. The more folks sign up, the better.
When creating brand awareness, the number of shares on your post can be a key performance indicator. Here is an article by Influencer marketing consultant, Kristen Matthews that explains how to measure ROI on your influencer marketing campaign.
Publish Market-specific Information on LinkedIn
Stats show that 76% of all registered users on LinkedIn have incomes above $50,000, with 44% of these people having incomes over $75,000. This fact explains why LinkedIn boasts a higher conversion rate than Facebook.
- LinkedIn allows you to upload endorsements and reviews which are potent forms of social proof.
- You can take advantage of peer-to-peer connections. This means you can easily connect with other professionals who probably know someone in your personal network. In this way, you increase your professional network.
- Folks that engage with you on LinkedIn are more likely to open up their wallets. B2B News network estimates that approximately half of all users on LinkedIn are likely to purchase from a brand they engage with on LinkedIn.
Setting up your real estate brand on LinkedIn
Upload a slick headshot
You can have a laid-back appearance on other social media platforms but you want to be seen as a professional on LinkedIn. You want to have a high-quality headshot of you looking confident.
Work on a compelling Tagline
Your tagline should catch people’s eyes the first time they get to your profile. While it’s easier to go with generic taglines like ‘selling homes since 2009’, profiles with these kinds of taglines may be easily passed over. You want a tagline that sparks curiosity and makes a visitor interested in what you do. Essentially, you need to flaunt your USP here. What is your unique value proposition and why should a potential buyer or seller be interested in you? Here is an example of a LinkedIn profile with a tagline that draws people in.
Design a LinkedIn Banner image that works
Canva has a lot of templates for high-quality LinkedIn banners. You can choose any of these templates and customize to fit.
A professional looking banner image will help you create the right impression and form part of your branding. If you don’t want to fiddle with anything design, you can outsource this to professional designers on Upwork or Fiverr.
Create a Unique Summary
Write a compelling summary that clearly explains what you do, why you’re qualified and what buyers stand to gain by choosing to work with you. Unlike an about page, this should be a third person narrative. But make it short and compelling. Essentially, you’re writing for an audience, not yourself, so try not to dance too much in the “me” and “I” zone. Don’t forget to talk about what you offer to your clients.
Add Qualifications and Achievements
Now it’s time to brag. How long have you been in the industry? Talk about your work experience and qualifications. Note however, your LinkedIn profile is not a resume. Instead of a boring description of duties and work experiences, focus on specific things you have accomplished for clients, for your brokerage and for yourself. That should work better.Instead of a boring description of duties and work experiences, focus on specific things you have accomplished for clients, for your brokerage and for yourself #LinkedIn #marketing Click To Tweet
Get Recommendations and Endorsements
LinkedIn hosts about 500 million professional profiles. This presents a great opportunity to increase your network and get social proof. Connect with past clients through LinkedIn and encourage them to write testimonials about your services. You can do this through its recommendations feature.
Apart from recommendations, you should also get endorsements. Endorsements allow your connections to approve skills you’ve selected on your profile. Check out people you know, connect with them and endorse some of their skills, some of them would reciprocate by endorsing yours.
Linked-In Best Practices
1. Reach out to the right audience: LinkedIn makes it much easier to add people who might be real-life connections. You can target people based on interests, geographical location, current company, school, industry. This easy targeting option makes LinkedIn an essential tool for marketers. While a part of the work is done for you, you want to ensure your marketing efforts are directed at this streamlined audience.
2. Optimize your profile and posts for SEO: Since a lot of people are not doing this, it’s easy for your LinkedIn profile to come up in searches when you optimize for a targeted keyword. According to IgniteVisibility, LinkedIn is one of the top 5 networks that Google indexes regularly. You want to optimize your LinkedIn posts for search. But don’t stuff with keywords.
3. Hide the “people also viewed” section: You don’t want visitors checking out your competitors immediately they get to your profile. Hence you should hide the display that lists “people also viewed”. According to Neil Patel, “this keeps the focus on you”. Visit the Privacy and Settings section of your profile to do this.
4. Update your profile regularly: Your LinkedIn profile is your storefront. Hence you have to keep it looking clean and inviting. Are there new reviews, accomplishments, courses, add these to your profile. Keep updating your profile to reflect new achievements and reviews you’ve received.
5. Join Local LinkedIn Real Estate Groups: LinkedIn groups are a great resource for finding networking opportunities and learning more about trends in the industry. You can simply search for a group using a local keyword. When you are approved in any of these groups, ensure you are contributing valuable stuff rather than spamming them with your links.
What should you post on Linkedin?
LinkedIn supports both micro and macro content. You can create short Twitter-like posts from snippets of your blog posts. Or create a full 2,000-4,000 words post through LinkedIn’s inbuilt publisher.
LinkedIn Publisher is one of the innovative features that make LinkedIn different from other networks. A major advantage is that it doesn’t require that you build followership from the ground up. You simply post your content, optimize for search and leverage LinkedIn’s organic traffic.
One of the issues people have with LinkedIn is the fact that unlike Facebook, LinkedIn users are business minded. They are not interested in a picture of you holding two margaritas by the beach. LinkedIn is more b2b than most other social networks. This makes it a bit difficult to come up with engaging content pieces. So here are some real estate content ideas to help you get traction on LinkedIn:
- Market information: This is one of the best places to display your knowledge of the market. Presenting your unique take on the state of your local real estate market will not only help you prove expertise but you might also be able to capture local leads. You can create consistent market review posts on your website to give clients an insider look into the local real estate scene. Then publish these through your LinkedIn feed.
- Recent closings: Your closings prove your credibility and competence. So you want to put these on LinkedIn. Don’t just post the listing address. Add a nice caption summarizing the buyer’s experience or how short it took to sell the home or any other peculiarity. Odds are a potential client looking to sell in your area will view this post. And it will definitely get their attention.
- Neighborhood information: How well do you know your area? Publish news and events about your neighborhood, attractions and festivals, school information, commuting and other things that potential buyers want to know.
- New Listings: LinkedIn is a great place to build your local network. This means that most of your connections would likely be first degree connections, that is people whom you’ve engaged with in real life or online. So while you don’t want to have your listings displayed all over your feed, you want to make sure visitors to your page see that you’re still an active player in the market.
- Educative content for buyers and sellers: You can leverage the LinkedIn publishing platform to generate leads. A Hubspot stat claimed that LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter. This means your inbound marketing efforts may be more effective on LinkedIn than most other platforms.
LinkedIn is a great place to build your local network. This means that most of your connections would likely be first degree connections. When they share your content with their own connections, you reach more local prospects. Click To Tweet
But don’t make it only about you and your content. Take advantage of the LinkedIn share button to share other people’s interesting or entertaining content. Post links to interesting articles, upload gifs, other people’s videos, memes, etc. Leveraging other people’s content is a great way to create filler content while helping these folks get more exposure. It’s a win-win.
You should also add LinkedIn share buttons to your website posts. Make it easy for your readers to share your content with their followers.
Note however that growing your network takes consistency. Don’t expect overnight results with LinkedIn. As you build your credibility and consistently publish informative articles and posts, you gain people’s attention and potentially make valuable connections.
Leverage Video Marketing with a Youtube Channel
A 2012 Mashable article proclaims, “Through video and other forms of brand content, luxury brands have become media companies and content marketers selling a vision of an exclusive lifestyle attainable only by a select few.” A recent version will substitue “luxury brands” for “brands”. Every brand is now a media company. The hermetic metropolis of TV advertising has been opened up for small brands. Instead of expensive TV ads, retail brands are partnering with influencers and pushing out sponsored video campaigns.
64% of people are likely to make a purchase after watching branded video content.
And Youtube is where the action is. According to NAR stats, Youtube is the most popular video medium home buyers use to search for listings.
You should be creating Youtube videos
1. Embedding a Youtube video in a blog post can rank the post higher in search. An interesting yet disputable stat from SearchEnginePeople: Including a video in a post increases organic traffic from search results by 157%. Also, videos are ranked on Google based on other search ranking criteria than written content. Who knows? Your post might not get on Google’s first page but your video might.
2. Youtube has the most viewership of all video content networks. With over 1 billion monthly visitors, Youtube has become the No 2 search engine in the world. Obviously, you can’t reach all one billion users at once. But there is a chance you might reach a large portion of your target market on Youtube.
3. It’s easier to brand yourself as a real estate business and build a following through real estate Youtube channels than on other video networks. The popularity of Youtube and the ability to create your own channel in a way that’s consistent with your overall branding makes Youtube a powerful branding tool.The popularity of Youtube and the ability to create your own channel in a way that's consistent with your overall branding makes Youtube a powerful branding tool. #realestate #Youtube #marketing Click To Tweet
Practical tips to get you started with Youtube real estate Marketing
- Create a channel.
Creating a Youtube real estate channel passes the impression that you mean business. It’s not just a one-off thing. But a part of your personal or company brand. As such, you should display the visual aspects of your brand through your channel. Add your headshot, about page and contact info so visitors to your page know more about you. CroatCode, a channel dedicated to Youtube tutorials shows how to create a Youtube Channel in 2018 as a beginner.
- Be consistent.
Just like creating blog posts and updating web content, make sure you’re consistently producing new video content for your Youtube channel. Essentially, you want to create a content marketing plan that includes video. This should answer questions like what themes are currently important to our audience? what kind of videos do we create? what promotion methods do we employ? Since this wouldn’t be a one-time thing and it shouldn’t be, you need to have a long term strategy in place. Here are some types of videos you could plan for:
- Educational videos: Videos that educate buyers and sellers on the details of home transactions can’t go out of vogue. These type of videos will position you as an expert and a go-to real estate agent in your locality. You could also create educational videos for other agents and investors.
- Listing videos: You periodically want to feature your best listings, emphasizing what makes them great. However, this type of video tends to get the least views because they are outright salesy.
- Market watch: What’s the state of your real estate market? Are there new opportunities, limitations that buyers or sellers need to know? You can create videos or interviews that enlighten your visitors about current real estate trends in your local market.
- Neighborhood reviews: Buyers are curious about your neighborhood. You can shed light on those things they are curious about. Review neighborhoods and outline those things visitors or buyers could expect.
- Successful transactions: This is a form of social proof. Folks want to know about transactions you’ve completed before engaging with you. You want to feature these successful transactions once a while. If possible, you can also interview clients about their experiences working with you.
- Create high quality.
While you can kick-start videos straight from your laptop’s webcam or phone’s camera, a long term video marketing strategy demands better tools. Cutting-edge quality videos tell on your professionalism and what you can bring to the table.While you can kick-start videos straight from your laptop's webcam or phone's camera, a long term video marketing strategy demands better tools Click To Tweet
Apart from good equipment, you need to pay attention to image stability, lighting, picture composition, and sound quality. Ensure to record videos in a low ‘noise’ environment with plenty of light. You can invest in a tripod for image stability and a high-end microphone for better sound quality.
- Check Analytics.
Measure how your videos are doing through Youtube analytics. You should promote videos that are getting more engagement. You can tweak titles and descriptions for videos that are not doing well. When you consistently produce enough videos and keep checking the performance of each, you’ll start seeing patterns that can help you generate better results.
One of the important metrics you need to check is retention rates i.e how long a user stays on your video. For example, when a lot of users are leaving after a min, it means you might be doing a great job with your titles but not with your content or delivery.When you consistently produce enough videos and keep checking the performance of each, you'll start seeing patterns that can help you generate better results. Click To Tweet
- Use local keywords.
Creating videos is one thing, but getting found is another. What would separate your video from the mass of youtube videos that do not get seen is the right keyword. So, you want to optimize video descriptions, titles, and tags with high traffic localized keywords. You can also do the same with playlist titles. This means that anyone searching for your keywords on Youtube or Google might come across your video. You’ll find this Youtube Keyword tool really valuable.
- Brand your channel and videos.
- Hire a video editor to edit your video, adding your logo and a nice intro and outro.
- Create a catchy cover image that aligns with your site’s color scheme.
- Shoot high-quality videos.
- Upload a catchy about snippet.
- Use Canva to create attractive Youtube thumbnail images.
- Add Calls-To-Actions.
Annotate your videos with links to your website. Video can be a great way to drive website traffic. You’d be able to do this by annotating your video with links to relevant pages on your website (probably a landing page).
Sunny Lennarduzzi, entrepreneur and Youtube coach encourages having two CTAs.
“The first call to action comes at the end of the video when you let your audience know that you’ve taught them exactly what they’re looking for with your content and you have a bonus lead magnet, relevant lead magnet, that they can download and grab below the video. Then when they go grab that they get added to your email list.”
“The second step is you need to get engagement on your YouTube content to get it seen by a bigger audience of your target customers. So in order to do that, you have to ask for engagement.”
Ensure to make your CTAs succinct and easily understood.The more videos you create, the better your chances of reaching more people. #youtube #realestate Click To Tweet
Importantly, don’t forget to share your videos on all your social profiles. Also ask friends to share them. Without promoting your real estate videos, you limit their potential to get seen by a larger audience. It might take years but video marketing with real estate Youtube channels will help you build that solid online reputation and market leader status if you stick with it.
Create Great Customer Experience
Real estate is a saturated field with high turnover rates.
“I believe there is a net increase of approximately 50,000 NAR members per year nationwide. That does not count licensed agents who are not members of NAR. There is a lot of attrition in real estate. Approximately 80% of new licensees will be out of the business or inactive after two years or less. The business is a lot harder to break into and earn a decent living than most people think.”
So, essentially as a new real estate agent, you’ll either have to create a unique experience for each client or lose to the competition. 47% of customers will likely switch after a single instance of poor service.As a new real estate agent, you'll either have to create a unique experience for each client or lose to the competition. Click To Tweet
Here’s what good real estate customer experience means for an average real estate client:
- My agent is always on the ball with me about new market trends and changes. As a new client, possibly someone who doesn’t know much about the real estate industry, my agent takes the time to demystify the hubbub. S/he breaks down what’s going on in the market and puts these in terms I can understand. I also have a go-to person for references on mortgage, home renovations, etc.
- I don’t need to call 20 times before my agent picks up. In fact, sometimes I don’t even have to call. I’m always updated via email, call, text. At times, I think s/he doesn’t even have other clients. But I’m sure s/he does. I know what’s up with my listing or purchase offer. This takes away all the worry. Listing my home seemed a cloud hanging over my head, but now I just can’t wait for what’s next.
- My agent is not overbearing. S/he calls only at specific times I have specified. Also, emails are spaced in a way that makes me anticipate them. I’m not getting burdened with too much unnecessary information.
- S/he understands technology and its role in real estate marketing. I don’t need to explain the perks of Instagram to my agent. Or do a background search because s/he doesn’t have a website. S/he gets tech. Even has an app too. I believe s/he is going to put innovative resources into marketing my property.
- My agent listens when I talk. S/he doesn’t interrupt with suggestions on staging or stories of past clients that s/he helped. The fact that s/he carefully listens when I speak signals that s/he cares about my unique needs as an individual.
These are some thoughts I believe go on in many clients’ mind. And an examination of realtors across states will reveal that the best realtors are adept at meeting these needs. Here is an article I wrote for Influencive that sheds more light on customer needs.
Real Estate Customer Experience: How to Re-engage Existing customers
Repeat clients and referrals are the soul of service businesses like real estate. You can literally never run out of clients when you provide clients with a great experience. The fact, according to the American Express 2017 Customer Barometer is that a customer will tell 11 people about a good experience. While conversely, and even more impactful is the fact that customers tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience.A customer will tell 11 people about a good experience. While conversely, and even more impactful is the fact that customers tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience. Click To Tweet
The probability of selling to an existing happy customer is up to 14x higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.
In the same vein, it’d be easier to get existing happy clients to do a particular task compared to folks that haven’t engaged with your brand. Groove HQ stats show that businesses that grow their customer retention rates by as little as 5% typically see profit increases ranging from 25% to 95%.
Therefore closing a sale shouldn’t justify disappearing totally from a client’s radar. Potentially, if your client is really happy, you can be sure they might be able to recommend you to friends. But you don’t want to leave all that to chance. This means that while you work on getting leads and converting new clients, you need to work on your customer retention strategy.
So how do I get folks so interested in my brand that they help spread the word?
- Always get feedback.
Now, let’s talk about reviews. In a connected world like ours, before a client shows up at your door or calls you, rest assured that client read or heard something positive about you. Social proof has grown more important than ever. It’s a major way to grow brand reputation.
Leverage social proof by displaying testimonials on your website, social media pages, real estate platforms like Zillow. However, asking for reviews can get awkward sometimes. Plus you don’t want to seem selfish.
A subtle way to remove the awkwardness is by incorporating this early on. At each step of the real estate customer journey, you want to probably send an email or survey to request for feedback. Apart from providing you with social proof and helping you with much-needed insights, this makes clients feel their opinion is valued. So get in the habit of regularly requesting customer feedback.At each step of the real estate customer journey, you want to send an email or survey to request for feedback. This makes clients feel early on that you value their opinion. #realestate #cx Click To Tweet
- Set up compensation for brand ambassadors.
Some real estate agents set up referral programs that compensate existing clients for spreading the word about their brand. In this way, they turn customers into brand ambassadors. Stats by Nielsen revealed that 84% of consumers trust recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues about products and services – making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness.
- Send them a handwritten note via direct mail.
As mentioned before, personal mails, have the best open rates. Sending past clients a handwritten note, accompanied by a free valuable material is a great way to give them a reason to think about you positively. The free material could be something like an industry newsletter or a brochure containing a couple of your new listings with some useful neighborhood information. Ensure to hand-write the address on the envelope and the enclosed note to give your mail a personal touch.Sending past clients a handwritten note, accompanied by a free valuable material is a great way to give them a reason to think about you positively. Click To Tweet
- Remember birthdays.
A birthday presents an opportunity to reach out without seeming awkward. CRM tools make staying in touch with past clients easy. So you want to enter each past client’s birthday in your CRM. This would ensure you get a prompt every year on their birthday and send them a personalized text. You can take this a notch further by sending them a personalized birthday postcard.
- Interact with them on social media.
Follow your clients on their active social media channels. Check out and engage with their posts via comments, likes or shares. This puts you in their radar. Following past clients on social media also gives you context for personalized emails since you know what they’re up to. This presents an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell without being obnoxious.
The point is that the most important thing isn’t getting leads or showing new listings. The most important thing is making people happy.
An interesting study by the National Association of Realtors showed that 73 percent of buyers would likely use the same real estate sales agent again or recommend them to a friend.
Great real estate customer experience is about seeing the bigger picture. What will your client remember about you after you’ve made the sale?Great real estate customer experience is about seeing the bigger picture. Click To Tweet
Real estate marketing is fun. Trying to get leads is great. But getting satisfied clients is thrilling. Moreover, creating good customer experience will form the cornerstone of your reputation and help you cut down on marketing efforts in the long term.