The real estate market is vibrant, bustling, and highly competitive. You’ll need marketing strategies that speak directly to your target audience to stand out from your competitors. Better still, have them spread the word to friends and family who may, or may not, be your potential clients.
- Real estate marketing 101 for real estate professionals: Home buyers
- Cornerstones of your marketing strategy
- Understanding your client’s journey
Real estate marketing ideas to support your strategy
- Create a website
- Use floor plans in your listings
- Invest in your SEO strategy
- Be active on social media platforms
- Run ads to drive traffic to your website
- Email nurturing
- Utilize traditional media — newspapers, print magazines, tv channels, and billboards
- Collect and display testimonials
- Add a personal touch wherever you can
- In a nutshell
Selling and buying a home would be as easy as online shopping in an ideal world. A seller needs to upload an available property and wait for sales to come in. A buyer, on the other hand, only needs to browse for their perfect future home, select, and purchase within a click.
But that’s not the case. Listings can end up staying on the market for way too long. Meanwhile, buyers end up settling for a less-than-ideal home because they were either too exhausted to continue the search or had the wrong perception of the home layout.
From the above scenario, we can already establish two groups of people on the market with very different needs i.e. jobs to be done.
- Home buyers: Purchasing their future home
- Home sellers: Selling a home
There are also other niche audiences within the real estate business such as first-time home buyers, renters, holiday home investors, etc. You get the idea.
Whether you’re a real estate agent, broker, marketer, listing coordinator or photographer, your job is to help YOUR target audience achieve what they set out to do. But where do you start?
The answer is straightforward: At the very beginning of their journey.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of marketing in real estate, what it means to put your clients first, and some real estate marketing tips to get more clients.
Let’s dive in!
Real estate marketing 101 for real estate professionals: Home buyers
Properties involve larger sums of investment and don’t come with a refund policy. It’s the reason home buyers and sellers meticulously choose the agents they work with — it’s all about trust.
According to this study (2020) by the National Association of Realtors, 88% of buyers purchased their homes through a real estate agent or broker. Approximately 73% of buyers exchanged dialogue with only one real estate agent throughout their search.
What it means: It’s important to build awareness and get in front of buyers as soon as possible. The more presence and referrals you have, the better. This is where marketing comes in.
Marketing creates a distinctive long-term brand and attracts the right clients. Once you’re in front of the right people and successfully establish rapport, voila! The sales process becomes much easier to close.
Cornerstones of your marketing strategy
Before we dive into marketing ideas, let’s look at the cornerstones of your marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is a long-term plan that takes you to where YOU want to be.
Having a strategy also helps you narrow down the marketing tactics you use to reach your target audience. Think of it as a vision or an anchor.
These are the four cornerstones of a real estate marketing strategy:
1. Ideal clients
Your ideal clients are your ideal clients and is the key to your success. Instead of casting a wide net and hoping for the best to happen, you only need to focus on a handful of the right ones.
For example, who are your ideal clients? Are they:
- First-time home buyers
- Luxury homeowners
- Holiday home investors
2. Value proposition
A value proposition is your competitive advantage — the reason clients choose you over your competitors. Start by describing how you want clients to perceive your business in the market, and ways you intend to pursue this position.
3. Listing strategy
Buying a house is stressful, even for non first-timers. The more information you can provide to help your clients reduce friction, the better. This is your opportunity to serve as a guide who will help them find their perfect future home. Some of the items to consider are:
- Where will you be listing properties? Will it be easy for your potential buyers to access these listings?
- How will you describe listings to help potential buyers make their decision?
- What type of information and content will you share?
- What is the process from start to finish?
Visuals are critical in real estate marketing — photographs of the home, 3D images, videos, and 2D floor plans.
In 2020, approximately 63% of real estate clients made an offer without visiting a property. It means that investment decisions were mainly driven by accompanying visuals on the listings. Any kind of visuals you use should always be well-lit and capture the property’s appearance well. Some of the other things to consider are:
- Will you be working with a photographer?
- How many images are you adding to your listing?
- Are you using a floor plan to help clients grasp the home layout?
Once you have all your cornerstones in place, it’s time to take actions that will take you one step closer to your vision.
Understanding your client’s journey
Remember, your marketing effort takes place at the beginning of your client’s journey. This is what a home buyer’s journey typically looks like:
A home buyer uncovers an opportunity to buy and begins their passive search. They typically also start searching for an agent to work with.
As mentioned earlier, approximately 73% of buyers exchanged dialogue with only ONE real estate agent throughout their search.
This is your opportunity to get in front of the right people. How you present your value proposition and listing strategy determines how you compare to your competitors.
A buyer typically starts their active search online, and reaches out to an agent when they understand the market better and sees a house they think they can afford. During this stage, the buyer will determine their needs for the new home and the timeline for it to materialize.
They will also need your help deciding which open house viewings to attend based on their needs. A typical viewing session takes approximately 40-45 minutes (excluding commute time).
As a real estate professional, you’ll gain brownie points for helping your clients narrow down their viewing options based on their needs. On top of existing images that are part of your listings, adding 2D floor plans that give a clear overview of a home layout will do the trick.
Having floor plans available online is a win-win situation for both parties especially with clients who end up being very picky. While you helps clients decide which listings best meet their needs, you’re also eliminating appointments that are not likely to yield results — it’s about protecting your own time too.
Your clients are now closer to making a decision. It’s time to narrow their field of choices and make an offer.
During this stage, your clients need assistance in the negotiation and appraisal process to determine the types of mortgages they can receive — gathering accurate information on the property is crucial to ensure fairness for all parties involved.
4. Closing: Finalize the deal
Here comes the final stage, closing the deal! However, your marketing efforts don’t end here. It is essential to maintain a good client relationship and gain referrals from them to friends and family who may end up as your future clients.
Some of the best-performing agents take a step further by helping their clients build a good relationship with their surrounding neighbors after a deal is signed. The more you can help your clients settle into their new homes, the better.
It’s all about the personal touch you can bring to the table.
A good marketing plan takes care of your clients throughout the funnel from the start to the end, and beyond. However, your clients need you most during the discovery and research phase to help them solve their biggest problem — purchasing their future home.
Real estate marketing ideas to support your strategy
Buying a house is a stressful process and requires a lot of effort from potential clients. It is your job to make it as easy as possible for them to help with their decision-making process.
The more brainpower they need to piece things together and make sense of information, the less attractive the buying opportunity becomes. In other words, providing your clients with all the information they need along the way reduces friction in the buying process.
Here are some practical marketing activities to help you sell more properties and earn more revenue.
Create a website
It’s no secret that home buyers turn to the internet as a first choice to investigate properties available for sale. Having a website that includes your listings for your real estate business will show potential clients what you have to offer.
Your website should include:
- All your listings and relevant information about them
- Value proposition of your services
- Background information of all agents
- Information on the entire home buying process
- Clear calls to action
Use floor plans in your listings
Visual elements are crucial to real estate marketing. Including a floor plan in your marketing campaign has been proven to reduce time on the market by up to 50%.
While virtual tours are useful features, it still lacks the immediate overview of a property’s layout. Most buyers use virtual tours to get a rough sense of the layout but don’t complete them. And this is where 2D floor plans come in handy — they complement listings to provide an overall understanding of the design in a glance.
Clients benefit from having a simple floor plan to refer to for things such as room layout, remodeling, or interior design needs.
Having that information beforehand helps them decide if the property is worth a visit. Otherwise, they may end up spending 40-45 minutes at each open house viewing only to be disappointed.
In the past, measuring a property and delivering a floor plan was a time-consuming effort. Those days are behind us now with tools such as floor plan apps that can be used by photographers and real estate professionals.
Invest in your SEO strategy
Your SEO strategy is a non-negotiable in digital marketing. Invest in this area from the get-go. Optimize the content on your real estate website to make it easier for your clients to find you through search engines.
Some of the top-performing real estate professionals utilize their social media platforms strategically. Maintaining an online presence is a great way to position yourself as an authority in your space and a trusted advisor to your existing and potential clients.
For example, join relevant groups online and participate in answering questions related to your field of expertise when they arise. Share helpful content and tips with your followers.
Run ads to drive traffic to your website
Boost your online marketing efforts with paid advertising. Ads with messaging that hits the nail on the head are a great way to draw attention.
Contrary to popular belief that paid advertising is an expensive option, it is beneficial to get in touch with home buyers, promote your listings, and grow your brand.
Most social media platforms allow you to customize your marketing campaign based on your target audience, budget, post type, and promotion length. A well-crafted targeted campaign puts you in front of the people you want to reach.
The best action plan is to market your brand across multiple channels, including the website, direct mail, social media, and email marketing. You read it right. Email marketing is not dead.
It is an excellent way to stay on top of potential clients’ minds. Create a monthly email marketing program. Some content ideas to include:
- Relevant articles about the real estate industry
- Reports on real estate news
- Video messages, and updates on your listings in their area
Utilize traditional media — newspapers, print magazines, tv channels, and billboards
All of the above ideas are great for your online marketing efforts. However, your potential clients (and, including yourself) also exist outside an online world. Utilize traditional media to share your expertise.
For example, team up with local publications for a monthly or quarterly real estate column. Be the community expert by creating relevant content. Remember that most publications now exist on multiple platforms as well. Once your content is published, you can continue to distribute the link on your social media platforms.
Collect and display testimonials
As we’ve mentioned at the very beginning of this article, to stand out from your competitors, you’ll need marketing strategies that speak directly to your target audience AND the people around them.
Your reputation in the real estate industry is not an overnight gain (unless you make an appearance on a reality television show). It takes time and effort to establish your real estate business and gain trust.
Approximately 41% of real estate clients using a real estate agent use referrals from friends and family to seek for an agent. As for prospects who have not had the first contact with you, displaying client testimonials is the best way to build an initial rapport.
Add a personal touch wherever you can
Remember that your marketing efforts don’t end at the final stage of closing a deal. Become a contributing member of the community you serve. Show up at local events to continuously build and maintain client relationships.
But more importantly, you don’t have to be selling or marketing your listings all the time. Focus on building relationships and rapport instead — people relate better to individuals like themselves, not the salesperson who wouldn’t stop knocking on their doors.
In a nutshell
Real estate marketing is not a new area and is no different from any other marketing efforts in various industries. It boils down to helping your customers achieve what they set out to do.
Before you start implementing any kinds of marketing ideas, make sure you nail down the cornerstones in your marketing strategy. The four cornerstones include:
Once you have all of the above in place, you’re ready to market and conquer your real estate sphere. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to implement a thousand marketing ideas. Instead, choose the ones that work best for you.
From the above list, we recommend adding a floor plan to your existing listings to start with.
Here’s a fun fact: 93% of buyers say they are more likely to spend time looking at a property with a floor plan. It’s a quick win that generates results, fast.
Real estate marketing tips for photographers
Real estate marketing tips for real estate professionals
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