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17 Ways to Use Real Estate Marketing to Attract More Buyers
Recent studies by the National Association of Realtors show that more than 40% of buyers start their journey before contacting a real estate agent for assistance. While this might seem like a rather worrisome statistic for agents, it also helps illustrate the immense audience that real estate marketing can target on the internet.
But how might real estate agents reach out and capture this audience?
It’s often an uphill battle for buyers when expertise is absent and this is the first reason why real estate agents are so important. However, you often need to communicate this with your potential customers and give them reasons to reach out to you in the first place. In this article, we take a look at how to use real estate marketing not only to reach your target audience and make data-driven decisions but also to convert new leads and build a better agency in general.
1. Build an Eye-Catching Website
For most people, Google is the quickest way to gather information in general and this is why a website is essential for real estate marketing. While this also saves you from having to answer many of the same questions, a website is a sign of credibility and one which enables agents to get prospective clients excited about a property. You can add photos, videos and dimensions of the buildings and even a “street view” from Google maps so they can get a better idea of the surrounding area. In addition, with a properly-optimized website you can show up in local search results which are the best kind of organic visitors you can possibly get to your website if you're planning on selling your house fast.
2. Create a Virtual Tour of Properties in Your Portfolio
Have you ever experienced a virtual tour? It might not be the same as an in-person viewing but a virtual tour can really bring a property to life. In terms of real estate marketing, a subset of B2C marketing, this is also one of the most savvy ways to attract interest from prospective clients that might not live within a reasonable travel distance of the property or whose schedules are too busy to visit multiple properties in a short period of time. It should also be said that creating a virtual tour doesn’t require a great deal of experience or investment and some real estate agents create and edit this video themselves. This is definitely a great strategy that will help you sell a house faster.
3. Make Sure the Property is Staged
Home staging is a super powerful visual strategy to increase the likelihood of selling a property and recent studies show that more than 80% of staged homes sell for up to 20% more than un-staged homes. Whether you decide to create a virtual tour or not, this really does point to the importance of home staging for real estate marketing success.
4. Use Social Media to Connect with Prospects
Social media is still the best place to engage with any target market and it’s often the first place that prospects check in terms of researching a particular agent. This is why it’s not only important to have social media accounts on various platforms but also to remain active so these clients can trust the responsiveness of a real estate agency. Instagram deserves a mention here because real estate marketing is all about visuals and this platform enables agents to showcase images of the property to clients. While Linkedin, Pinterest and Twitter are also suitable places to post, it must be said that Facebook groups are fantastic tools for building presence, authority and trust with a new audience. That is to say, joining Facebook groups is a great real estate marketing strategy that can help you tap into an existing audience with whom you can connect.
5. Deploy Ads on Facebook and Instagram
Any real estate marketing expert will tell you that Facebook Ads are still the best way to target and reach a specific audience. You can tailor these ads to reach users in a particular region or with a type of interest and the cost is reasonable in comparison with traditional alternatives. It’s also possible to run these same ads on Instagram where there is also the option of adding hashtags to further be even more specific.
6. Access an Immense Audience with a Presence on Zillow
Are you familiar with Zillow? This powerful marketplace allows prospects to view your listing for free. This means you will need to pay for listing on the platform but Zillow creates an incredible wealth of traffic for agents which means you simply cannot exclude this platform from any real estate marketing plan. It’s also rather easy to set up an account on Zillow and essentially connect with a highly targeted audience.
7. Sell the Area and Not Just the Property
In real estate marketing, it’s all about selling the features and benefits of a property, and location is undoubtedly one of the main factors. Showcasing the surrounding area will help answer many questions for clients but also enable you to direct attention to highlights that you wish the client to focus on. Drone footage is a great way to showcase property with beautiful surroundings and you should also consider getting high-quality photos of any nearby towns or natural features that look especially attractive.
8. Hire a Professional to Avoid Mediocre Photos
Speaking of photographs, there’s simply no substitute for a professional photographer and you might want to consider this a necessary investment. The truth is, mediocre photos (never mind bad ones) can do harm to real estate marketing efforts and potentially diminish a clients’ interest in the property. If you have confidence in taking these photos by yourself, by all means, go ahead but most often, the best option is to hire a professional that can ensure the property is presented in the best possible way.
9. Build Relationships with a Newsletter (Email Marketing)
You might think that email marketing is a rather lackluster way to communicate with an audience but the statistics don’t lie and email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to connect with a target market. In fact, real estate marketing plans will often rely on a newsletter to help build a relationship and let prospects know about any upcoming seminars or viewings in their local area. However, it’s equally important to link everything together and ensure a link to the listing is included in these emails and that you are at least asking them to answer your all-important call to action.
10. Build a Blog on Medium or Linkedin
You might notice that many agents have a blog on either the website or another platform and this is another great way to generate traffic. If not on the website, Medium or Linkedin are good for publishing articles with links to your listings, while building a presence on search engines. After all, creating SEO-optimized content (like this article) for Google is a way to reach the masses. You can also use software like Ahrefs, Moz and Google Analytics to identify keywords that will help you decide which topics to write about in the first place. Moral of the story? A blog can help take your real estate marketing efforts to the next level and attract target traffic toward your listings. Or you can use an agency like ours to get this going.
11. Build a Lead Magnet that Prospects Will Want
Can you think of a highly valuable piece of information related to your property that potential clients will want or need? Maybe you can piece together some information that might help these individuals when it comes to finding or choosing a property? This kind of information can act as a lead magnet and a way for you to collect email addresses from highly targeted traffic. You can compile this information in a small e-book or once-off newsletter but either way, you might decide to offer this e-book/information to customers in return for them providing you with an email address.
12. Take Advantage of Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) has been around for quite a while but not every business is yet to realize the importance of GMB for real estate marketing. It’s also pretty straightforward and basically combines Google Search and Google Maps to create a profile for your business. In the same way that you might want to check the location or details of a store, GMB is an easy way for you to make the agency easy to find online. You can read this guide we wrote for more information on this topic. GMB is also a form of free advertising and the profile itself can add a sense of credibility in the eyes of prospective clients who are new to your agency.
13. Testimonials and Reviews from Past Clients
Online reviews are just as important for real estate marketing as any other business out there. The signal trust and significantly bolster the reputation of an agency which is the first step toward building a relationship, not to mention making a sale. Previous clients that were happy with your service should also be willing to provide this testimonial and while you can add this short blurb to your website, you might also ask them to leave a review on a third party website. Just so you know, it really helps when people can put a real-life face to this testimonial so maybe ask for that too!
14. Invest in Business cards and/or Promotional Items
Promotional items might sound tacky but they actually work and serve a purpose to people who will likely use them. Whether this item refers to a branded pen or keychain or maybe even a coffee mug, people love free stuff and it’s a great way to remind them of your agency. Real estate marketing doesn’t need to be this costly either because printing business cards can have the same effect while demonstrating your professional nature. Both of these options can work wonders and tend to provide a return on investment that will remove any need to think about the cost of making them.
15. Referrals and Following up with Prospects
Referrals will often be the source of your next property and some studies show that almost 40% of sellers are referred to their chosen agent by someone they know. However, nothing happens if you don’t ask for these referrals so make sure to suggest or request in this respect. You should also know that word-of-mouth is completely free and a way to turn real estate marketing into a passive process. The very same applies to buyers and in case you might be asking yourself, a good way to initiate this process is to follow up with buyers several months later, ask if they’ve settled in, and then request they refer your services to someone in the near future.
16. Build Connection by Telling Stories about the Property
Storytelling is essential nowadays and it’s often impossible to stand out from the crowd without telling an interesting story about a brand. The same goes for real estate and you will likely have much more success should you be able to engage the client through storytelling. For instance, you might do this by referring to the history of a property or describing a favorable image of what it might look like to live there. This is obviously because stories affect the way people feel and the way people feel is what often drives the sale of the property. This is also why experiential marketing is on the rise as prospective buyers are likely to feel something on the actual property and this experience can nurture a long-lasting connection.
17. Hire a Real Estate Marketing Expert
If you really want to go to the next level with real estate marketing, it might be time to call in the professionals. An expert marketer can do everything above and more and ensure these tasks are done right and in a timely manner. They can also properly assess each individual situation and create a real estate marketing plan to address your specific needs. When you consider the time it takes to take care of this marketing, it might be worth investing in a professional and at least outsourcing this work will free you up to focus on other areas of the everyday business. Feel free to check out the services we provide to our clients in Chicago, San Diego, and Las Vegas for more details on how we can help.
Real estate marketing doesn’t need to be expensive but social media ads and expert assistance is certainly the best way to go. That being said, it’s possible for most real agents to take responsibility for the above suggestions and this is also necessary for things like referrals, storytelling or anything that happens in person. But there really is no one-best way to approach real estate marketing and the key to success is often about getting in front of your audience online before they have a chance to go it alone!