I’m not a real estate agent. However, I really like where the industry is going now that I am seeing a lot more high quality real estate content being shared online. Below are a few real estate digital marketing tips that I put together that might help you generate exposure online. I’ve included some third party YouTube videos that I think do a good job at explaining some concepts, as well as providing examples. Additionally, I’ve added some notes with useful resources to get you started.
Here we go:
1. Post to social media
This one is straightforward however, it’s one that few real estate agents have fully adopted. Here’s a fact if you haven’t considered social media yet: According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, about 69% of Internet users in the United States use at least one social media platform. Convinced? Read on to see how you can get started.
To do this correctly, you need to know who your target is online. Is your target millennials? If so, you might want to consider Instagram. Is your target Generation X? In that case, stick to Facebook. Try out the social media platforms your target audience uses and see if you get any good engagement (likes, comments, follows, etc.). Posting to social media needs to be frequent. It has to be about 2-3 times a day on Instagram, once a day on Facebook and LinkedIn, and every few hours on Twitter.
You need to give this a try for at least a whole month to see any results.
- Experiment with different hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. Take for example a person that is interested in purchasing a home in Miami. If they check #MiamiHomes, they’ll be able to come across your post and in doing so, may learn what you have to offer. Similarly, the hashtag #MiamiRealEstate can bring in more attention to your post however, it may or may not get the attention of the people you are looking for (#MiamiRealEstate is very broad).
- Use high quality pictures, audio, and videos to get maintain a users attention.
- Schedule your posts with Buffer or Hootsuite. They both have great free versions available.
2. Build an email list
Email lists are extremely important. They’ll help you keep potential clients up-to-date on your listings, events, and more. Additionally, email lists can help increase referrals, generate trust, and retain clients. While you can buy email lists online, building your own at first can be a good way to learn about the process of finding quality leads.
Create a high quality piece of content that you believe home buyers or sellers will be interested in reading. Then, create a landing page. A landing page is a simple web page with a focus on one call-to-action. In this case, you’ll want your landing page to inform visitors that if they provide their email address, they’ll receive your PDF or other content in return.
Another good way to capture emails is at an event you host. As people show up to the event, make sure that they sign in with their email. This will allow you to follow up with your pitch as well as with information on upcoming events or deals.
- If you don’t use email marketing software, sign up for Mailchimp (it’s free).
- Share the events on Meetup, Craigslist, Eventbrite, Facebook, and other event platforms.
3. Conduct open house live streams
It’s 2017. People don’t have to travel anymore to get things done. Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Periscope now allow people to watch open house demonstrations from a remote location, on their smartphones. This digital marketing method for gaining leads is slowly gaining popularity among real estate agents (I’ve searched online, a lot).
You’ll want to send out a notice to your email list and social media followers about an upcoming open house live stream. This will make it possible for people to set aside some time to engage with your video.
- Refer to the hashtag tips under idea #1. You want to make it easy for people looking for homes to find your live stream reminders and videos.
- If you are using Facebook, Instagram, or Periscope, you’ll be able to save the streams. This is great as you’ll be able to make edits to the video afterwards and then re-post the edited content for greater reach.
- Ask and answer questions while you’re doing the video so that you can keep the discussion going. However, don’t prolong the video to the point that you bore viewers and they leave. Make it your goal to show the home around, and then create a call-to-action for those interested. For example, you might want to let people know to send you a direct message for more information, or to follow you for upcoming demonstrations.
4. Start a blog for new home buyers
Buying or renting a home for the first time is a big deal for a lot of people. They need to put down security deposits, sign lengthy contracts, and more. As an expert in the field, you can build trust online by giving away your knowledge for free. The idea is that down the road, after people view your content and learn what renting or buying entails, they’ll trust you enough to work with you.
Add a new post to your blog every week for three months. Make the blog posts detailed but friendly. Make sure to include videos to demonstrate concepts better, and to market yourself in a more welcoming way.
- Learn basic SEO (search engine optimization) tactics in order to make it easy for people to find your blog posts online when they search for real estate topics on Google or Bing. Here’s a good education tool: Ultimate WordPress SEO Guide for Beginners (Step by Step)
- You should also share these posts through your social media platforms in order to get greater exposure online.
5. Claim Yelp, Facebook, Apple, and Google business pages
A real estate digital marketing strategy wouldn’t be complete without adopting online review sites. The same way that people search for restaurant reviews before going to a restaurant, some people check Yelp, Apple, Facebook, and Google prior to choosing a real estate company. A strong rating can go a long way.
Adopting more of these platforms can increase the likelihood of someone coming across your company online. Claiming pages allows you to add pictures, hours, and other information to better inform the public about your business.
Yelp is free but keep in mind that they’ll want to try to sell you advertising when you claim a page. Just let them know you aren’t interested at the moment to keep them from making too many calls. To get started, follow this guide (it’s easy): How do I claim a business page?
Submit your business listing to Apple Maps so that when someone in the area searches for real estate companies near them, your company shows up. Visit this page to add your business: Add your business to Apple Maps. For more information, check out their help page.
For Facebook, you want to start off by searching for your business in the Facebook search bar. If it’s available (Facebook may have created one), you’ll need to claim it. To do so, follow these steps: Claim a Facebook page. If one doesn’t exist, follow these steps to create one: Create a Facebook page.
To have your business show up on Google search, visit this page and sign up: Google My Business.
- Use high quality images and videos in your company pages.
- Respond to comments, both good and bad in a timely manner. You want to show potential clients that you have a strong focus on customer service.
- Encourage your clients to leave a review after you work with them. This will help you build your online credibility. The more reviews, the better.
Real Estate Digital Marketing Considerations
I hope that these tips can help you market your business just a little better online. I’m a firm believer that if you give them a good amount of attention (e.g. at least three months), that you’ll be able to see some results. However, don’t be afraid to constantly improve your implementation. For example, different images (including colors, angles, etc.) should always be tested to see what works best with your audience.
Furthermore, as augmented reality and virtual reality companies continue developing their technology, I’m sure that we’ll see greater adoption of AR and VR in product demonstrations. These are two areas I want to cover in the near future, when there’s an easy-to-use commercial option available.
Let me know what you think about the real estate digital marketing tips I provided above. Should I add more?