In today's fiercely competitive online mediums, there's no shortage of potential ways to market real estate. However, like any other online marketing discipline, getting in front of the right customers is posing more and more difficult. As real estate agents and homeowners realize the steep uphill battle needed to be climbed, they turn to professionals to assist them in this highly complex and convoluted field of online marketing.
The truth? Unless you're an agent, investor or owner with a large platform online, getting in front of the right audience takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. Yet, as lucrative as the real estate market is for potential fixer-uppers and agencies looking to move homes quickly, there are some proven methods and so-called secrets to success in business, that allow them to sell a home faster and more efficiently than before by using the right real estate marketing strategies.
In short, there are 23 proven methods and ideas for marketing real estate online that will give you the most bang for the proverbial buck. Focus on these 23 methods and you'll find success in online mediums such as search engine optimization, blogging, social media and video. Ignore these, and you might find yourself floundering in a sea of competition, unable to attract the right clients.
1. Build a Professional Website
Those that have mastered the mediums of online marketing, know quite well how important it is to have a professional website. However, this idea for marketing real estate marketing isn't a new one. Still, there is a big difference between a regular website and a professional one. For agents and agencies looking to move properties, this is more important now than ever.
When building your website, focus on both aesthetics and functionality. Ensure that you address things like the overall speed of the site, ease of navigation, quality of the content, sharpness of the photos and so on. Don't bombard visitors with too many ads all over the place, and ensure that it's a site that people want to continue to check back on with fresh content and properties added regularly.
2. Conduct 3D Matterport Scans
The Matterport 3D camera is one of the most effective tools you can use to market any type of real estate. The system will stitch together a three-dimensional dollhouse of an entire property that the buyer can fly-through, even in virtual reality, giving an accurate depiction of the space no matter how far away the buyer might be.
This is by far the most forward-thinking idea for marketing your real estate. This applies whether you're simply a private owner (you can hire Matterport professionals through the company's network of photographers to assist you), a real estate agent or even a large agency. Ultimately, all of our interactions with the digital realm will be in 3D and VR, so ensure that you stay ahead of the curve with technology like this.
3. Hire a Real Estate Photographer
Photos have always been important when it comes to real estate. However, not as many owners and realtors understand the importance of this single concept when it comes to marketing a home or condo online. The truth is that people will judge a book by its cover, especially when browsing through hundreds or thousands of listings.
What you want is something that will be appealing and catch the eye of a person that's sifting through countless listings in their area. It needs to aptly convey a quality space through professional standards with the usage of things like a wide-angle lens and careful (but not too doctored) Photoshop editing.
4. Create Video Walkthroughs
While not as immersive as a Matterport 3D scan, video walkthroughs offer more insight into how a home is realistically represented. This doesn't have to be a professionally-shot video where you spend thousands of dollars. It could simply be something you shoot on a high-quality smartphone or even with your own drone.
This strategy for marketing real estate will really give a better sense to the prospective buyer to allow them to understand what a space truly looks like in person. You could also splurge on a drone video by hiring someone or simply purchasing one and doing it yourself. This is a great way to save some money if you plan on doing a high volume of these videos.
5. Create a Popular Blog
You can opt to start a blog in the real estate industry and deliver enormous amounts of value in an effort to build a platform or an audience over time. Not overnight. Over time. However, if you're in the real estate field, you should start blogging immediately. The more time that passes without blogging, the further behind you'll be.
Create a useful blog about real estate and post in there often. Deliver enormous amounts of value on a regular basis and watch as your readerships soars. Create infographics about mortgage rates or home prices or anything else you can find useful. Integrate videos and other media and start sharing it everywhere you possibly can. This is one of the best ways to build an audience to market real estate to.
6. Engage in Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to draw in visitors to your website and blog. To do this, you need to identify external sites where you can market your content. This involves building useful and relevant content on popular authority sites, which link back to similar, but unique, useful and relevant content on your site. You can learn more about content marketing here.
In short, you should leverage sites like Quora, LinkdeIn's publishing platform, Medium and others to market your content. However, you'll first need anchor content, or content that's built on your own site to draw visitors to. That's one of the main premises behind content marketing.
7. Install Google Analytics
Clearly, marketing real estate involves analytics. If you don't have analytics installed on your website, you're really shooting yourself in the foot. Setup Google Analytics so that you can track all sorts of metrics as they relate to your content and website's visitors over time.
This is a terrific way to understand whether or not your efforts are actually working out for you or not. How well are your posts doing? How many people are visiting your site? Have you set goals? What is the average session rate? What about the bounce rate or exit rate? It might sound confusing now, but as you learn about analytics, it will all make sense and come together.
8. Create a Lead Generation Tool ("Squeeze Page")
One great tool for marketing real estate is to create a lead generation page. To advanced marketers, this is called a squeeze page. Why a squeeze page? Because you're trying to squeeze an email address out of visitors who might incline not to provide it to you. This will help you with your email marketing efforts down the road.
So, what's a good lead generation tool? You can build a home appraisal tool or some other tool to assist in the real estate process. When the form is completed, you can simply ask to email the results to the user. Any type of real estate tool that would be helpful to prospective buyers or sellers would work here, along with sendable results after the user completes the form.
9. Implement PPC Advertising
PPC, which stands for price-per-click, is a way of drawing in traffic to your site to market any home or condo or any other form of real estate you might be offering. However, it isn't cheap. You're essentially paying for your website's visitors. How much will it cost you to draw in those people? How many of those will actually result in leads or sales?
What you'll come to find is that PPC is incredibly expensive, and if you don't track it properly, it will feel like a waste of your money. This is also why it's important to have an analytics system installed. You want to know where the user came from and whether or not it resulted in a sale or a lead.
10. Get Social on Instagram
Instagram is a great resource for reaching droves of users that are on a wildly-popular social media platform. While it's no longer as simple to reach those users on Instagram, due to the algorithm changes that have removed the chronological ordering of posts and geared them more towards popularity, you still need an Instagram profile when it comes to real estate marketing.
Use this as an opportunity to post photos and videos of real estate or to capture some other relevant lifestyle imagery that will help you to get the word out. Connect with others by searching for popular or relevant hashtags and check out what your competition might be doing on the platform as well.
11. Use Twitter Hashtags
Twitter is another great medium that you should be involved in. Clearly, you need a Twitter profile for your business. Beyond that, you should be searching Twitter hashtags to find relevant content and areas that you could try to saturate and target. Don't try to target too many hashtags at once. Take it one at a time.
Simply use Twitter's search tool to find relevant and trending hashtags that you can use in your posts. You can also use this to find posts to comment on, like or to interact with other popular agents or real estate companies and even prospective buyers that are looking to sell or purchase real estate.
12. Reach Out to Social Media Influencers
Who are the social media influencers in the real estate market that you could reach out to? There are plenty in the luxury sector and there are plenty in the purely real estate segment as well. Your job is to search for the right influencers on the right platforms that you could collaborate with.
If you have a small budget, this is a terrific way to market your real estate because you can get in front of hundreds of thousands or millions of prospective users without having to wait years and years to build up a big profile. However, be careful to vet the influencers well and ensure that their users are legitimate.
13. Build a Free Offer
One big component in marketing real estate online is to build a free offer to collect those lucrative email addresses. What you'll come to notice is that the most popular real estate agents and real estate websites have free offers that pop up a short time after you visit the page.
These free offers help to collect email addresses. However, the offer needs to be good enough and you need to have enough established authority for users to give up their email addresses. What will you build? Will it be a free report? Maybe it's 10 tips on how to market real estate online or how to stage a home or something similar to that. Decide what it is and create it.
14. Use Email Marketing Campaigns
By using a popular email marketing system such as Aweber and also installing LeadPages, you can establish a way to collect email addresses and market to those users. LeadPages will allow you to create landing pages that will be enticing for people, so you can use it to collect email addresses that you will eventually market to through Aweber.
It might sound confusing at first, but email marketing is definitely where the money is. The money is most certainly in the list, but it needs to be done the right way and you need to attract the right people first. Use your email campaigns to add lots of value constantly over time and watch as the results ratchet up quickly.
15. Become an Expert In Your Niche
One great way to market real estate is to simply become an expert in your niche. When you're an expert, you'll command authority. You won't need to sell, you'll simply be attracting buyers to you. This clearly doesn't happen overnight nor does it happen easily, but it does happen over time.
Ensure that you share lots of useful content and that you set yourself up as an expert. Don't try to come off as someone who knows more than they do. Always be investigating and learning, then share those things with the world through the proper social media channels, and eventually people will look to your advice and you'll attract more and more buyers and sellers this way.
16. Reach Out to Local Radio and Television Stations
Local radio and television stations are always reporting about the real estate market. Why not reach out to them and offer up your opinions on air? You don't need a costly PR company to do this. You can simply search for radio and television stations nearby, using the internet.
Find stations that you often tune into and send them a letter or an email. You might want to send them a video of yourself speaking about real estate or pitching your ideas to them. It's not simple and it's not easy, but it is well worth it if you're able to gain the attention of the right reporters. You can also use a system like HARO to identify yourself as a source in the real estate field.
17. Build a System for Referrals
One way to supercharge your real estate marketing efforts online is to build a system for referrals. You could integrate this into your email signature so that it becomes more passive than active, but at the outset, it doesn't hurt to simply ask for a referral. Once you've completed a few successful transactions, network with your clients and ask them to refer you to their friends.
You could also offer something in exchange for referrals. Maybe it's an Amazon gift card or maybe it's a Home Depot gift card, or just maybe it's something else. Whatever it is, come up with a unique way to pitch this to your clients and then ensure you treat all of those people the right way.
18. Ask for Reviews on Yelp
Yelp is a great resource for building up your reviews as a real estate agent or an agency. Ask for reviews on a place like Yelp by integrating your Yelp profile into your email signature and also onto your website. Once you've completed a successful transaction, ask those buyers or sellers to post their feedback about the exchange on Yelp.
As you build up your reviews on Yelp, you'll increase your business. Ensure that you deliver a lot of value and you always take care of your clients and you'll eventually create a great profile here.
19. Build a Profile on Zillow
Anyone in the real estate industry knows the importance of Zillow. Zillow is one of the primary resources that many buyers and sellers are turning to these days to research the market and even search for prospective properties. You have to ensure that you have a strong presence on Zillow.
Create a profile here and also ask for reviews after each successful transaction. You'll be surprised at just how much more traffic and contacts you'll get through Zillow once you've built up a great profile. You could, of course, also run ads on Zillow as well, but you should only do this once you have a respectable profile created.
20. Setup a Local Business Page on Google
Setting up a local business page on Google for your real estate marketing efforts is definitely prudent. If you can, target the right keywords in your business page as well. For example, you can use "Los Angeles Real Estate Agent John Doe" to target the right keywords or "New York Realtor Jane Doe" and so on.
To setup a local business page on Google, just go to google.com/business where you can begin entering your business's information, starting with its location. This is a very important step in the process, and you can also solicit reviews on Google once your profile has been established as a local business.
21. Leverage Trulia Ads
Trulia is another big resource when it comes to real estate marketing. If you aren't on Trulia, then you're doing yourself a disservice. Clearly, people are turning to sites like this in droves. Ensure that you first setup a profile on Trulia, then you can leverage its ad platform to spread the word.
If you have a prospective home or condo that you're marketing, why not run a few ads and track their effectiveness to see just how well it pans out. Like any other type of ad, you have to judge just how well it's working for you by tracking how many leads it actually generates.
22. Focus on Brand Awareness
Building your brand in the real estate field is important. Do you have a professional logo? How well does your brand convey your message to your clients? Have you gone ahead and done other important business related things such as setting up your mission or creating a business plan?
These are all important as they provide the basis of your brand. Go through and higher top-quality designers on sites like 99Designs, Logo Bee and others where you can create a professional brand that will help you better appeal to a larger group of individuals in your demographic.
23. Build a Facebook Page
Facebook is still the biggest resource with the largest subset of users that you can target online. Creating a Facebook Business Page, then advertising that business with Facebook is one such approach that you can take to marketing your real estate online. This is a terrific resource whether you're new to the business or you're a veteran in the field.
Once you've built your Facebook Page, ensure that you're active on there and that you continuously deliver a good deal of value in every post. Don't spam your fans by trying to pitch them at every turn. Do things with tact, decorum and composure if you want to succeed in business in the long term.
By R.L. Adams