It’s not just the real estate industry that’s going digital — almost every industry you can think of is taking the plunge. But digital marketing is especially essential for real estate agents because homebuyers are looking at websites like Zillow and Trulia as their first step toward finding a home.
They are also checking out social media to find inspiration for their dream home and recommendations for REALTORS®. That means you need to position yourself in front of these homebuyers online.
If you already have a real estate website and social media accounts, are you utilizing those spaces correctly in order to get leads? If you’re not keeping yourself abreast of how to improve your digital footprint, chances are you will get overlooked for agents that have a more robust online presence.
1. The Most Important Social Platforms for Real Estate
Some of the more important social platforms for real estate agents are Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you don’t already have a presence on these platforms, get on them today. Your potential clients use social media to find referrals for all kinds of services, including real estate agents.
Social media is also where you should showcase the best of the best when it comes to images and videos of your listings. Always post high-quality images that highlight the best features of the homes you’re selling. The standard for content is very high these days, so a few grainy images won’t cut it. You will get buried by competition using professional-looking photos.
When you post content on social media, make use of relevant hashtags. This will help you get recognized by more users and increase your followers. You can easily research hashtags by typing in some keywords into the search bar on Twitter — such as “open house” (#openhouse) or “real estate agent” (#realestateagent) — and see what popular posts come up and take note of other hashtags they’re using. Then you can incorporate those hashtags into your own social posts.
2. Paid Advertising to Promote Your Real Estate Business
Consider paid advertising using Facebook Ads or Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising.
Facebook makes it easy for you to “boost” a post, whereby you put a certain dollar amount behind a post. You choose your budget and the audience you want your post to target. For instance, you can target buyers or sellers based on location or demographics, or even their hobbies and behaviors.
Boosting a post on Facebook ensures that your message gets in front of the right people.
You should also consider Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for your real estate website. It’s a way of advertising your website on Google so that it appears at the top of the page when users search for different keywords, such as “homes for sale,” “local realtors” or “open house.” Every time someone clicks on your ad, leading them to your website, you pay Google a fee.
There are still things you want to do to get organic traffic to your site, which we’ll go over, but PPC is a way to bring in additional paid traffic through advertising.
3. Make People Come Back to Your Website
Make sure that your real estate website is easy to navigate and a place where users want to return. Start by making sure all your images look professional. If you have pictures of yourself or your business, these photos need to be high quality. First impressions matter, and potential clients will choose another Realtor over you if their website looks more professional.
Another way to keep people coming back to your site is to create content that interests them. You could post weekly blogs about the real estate industry or certain markets. You could also blog about open houses, listings, up-and-coming neighborhoods and more. Try mixing up the content with some charts, videos and infographics. Creating interesting content will keep users engaged.
4. Collect Emails
The purpose of your digital efforts is to get leads, so you need to give users the option to provide their email addresses. In marketing, a squeeze page or landing page is where you collect the email addresses of those who visit your website.
Make an Offer
A squeeze page should act as an offer to the user that requires them to input their email. This could be in the form of an e-book, e-newsletter or an estimate on the value of their home. Whatever the offer is, make sure it’s essential for them to give out their email in order to receive the special gift.
5. Use Website Analytics Tools
The only way to know whether your website is working is by tracking views and the behavior of users on your site. How long are they staying on your site? How many unique visitors are you getting a month? Are users visiting your site and then navigating away almost instantly? The easiest way to track this is with a tool like Google Analytics. Google makes it easy for new marketers to learn how to use their features, which you can read about here.
Once you understand some basics of website analytics, it’s simple to start developing your website around what users want to see. Perhaps your site isn’t user-friendly enough. Maybe your content isn’t as engaging as your competitors’ content. Tracking the analytics of your site will help you identify and fix these issues.
We always recommend making sure you have a digital footprint because most of your clients will hear about you through the web. A great way to get started is by following these guidelines and signing up for biweekly real estate email newsletters. We make it easy for you by writing email newsletter articles and sending them out to your sphere of influence on your behalf. Check us out today!
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.
Do you want your real estate clients to keep coming back to you again and again? Real estate agents need to employ good client retention practices, and the first rule of thumb is following up after a home sale. Never assume that the job is done after the sale – not if you want those clients to use your services again. Stay in touch. Follow up. Don’t let them forget you.
Buyers and sellers want to use the same agent for their next real estate transaction. According to NAR, 88% of buyers say they would use the same agent again.
So how do you make sure that they call you the next time they are moving? Communication. You need to keep yourself top of mind with your clients. That doesn’t mean you should email or call every day. Chances are they won’t use you again if you bombard them. Instead, aim to send them some sort of communication, be it by email, phone or mail, just a couple times a month.
If you want to ensure that your past clients don’t fall into someone else’s sphere of influence the next time they need to move, realize that the job isn’t over after you make the sale. There is an art to following up, but it’s not complicated. Here are the best strategies and practices for following up with your real estate clients.
1. Send Your Real Estate Clients a Survey After the Closing
Let your clients settle into their new home first. If you send them a follow-up the same week they move, chances are they will be too busy to give it any attention or respond to you. However, a quick five-question survey about three weeks after they move in is exactly what you want to do. This two-to-three-week time frame is the sweet spot because it gives your clients enough time to get comfortable in their new home so that a survey won’t seem like a chore. If you wait too long to reach out, a survey won’t seem as urgent anymore and they’ll be less likely to engage.
Include a personalized note at the top of the survey congratulating them and then ask for some feedback about how they thought the sale went and if they were satisfied with your service.
In most cases, your clients want to hear from you and will be happy to send you feedback.
2. Reach Out to Your Real Estate Clients on Their Birthdays and Anniversaries
Sending Christmas cards is a popular way for real estate agents to stay in touch with their clients. In fact, it’s a common practice for many businesses, so your card or flyer can easily get lost in the shuffle.
Be a little creative when it comes to mailers. Send a housewarming card and small gift. Send your past clients a card for their one-year anniversary in their home. No one else will remember that but you and them. You could do birthday cards and even pet birthday cards – anything with a little creativity that will set you apart from other business’s mailers is a good way to get their attention. Be sure to make everything you send personalized. Hand-write your cards, use their names instead of a generic, Dear valued customer, and try to put a personal anecdote in there if you can.
3. Be a Real Estate Resource to Your Clients
More than anything, people will come back to you if you position yourself as a resource to your clients. Be a one-stop shop for everything they need related to their home. Once they move in, be there to provide names of landscaping businesses, plumbers, electricians, roofers and more.
Follow up with something relevant to them every so often. You could send notices about home sales in their neighborhood, information about mortgage rates or new developments in their area such as a movie theater or mall. Your past clients will recognize your expertise and want to hire you again because of it. Also, being a resource of helpful information is much more effective than looking like a hungry salesperson. People see through that act. They want to feel like they are hiring an expert who also has their best interests in mind. So personalize everything and offer updates and advice.
4. Get Your Real Estate Contacts in Order – Otherwise Known as Your Sphere of Influence
You have no idea how many people you’re connected with who are moving or know someone who is moving until you get your sphere of influence organized. Your sphere of influence includes your friends, family, current and past clients, neighbors, and everyone you’re connected with on email and social media.
All of those categories combined leaves you with a huge pool of possible real estate customers. You should be reaching out to these people and making sure they know that you are not only a great agent but also a trusted resource for everything related to their home and moving.
5. Tons of Agents Are Utilizing Automated Real Estate Newsletters to Stay in Touch
You can stay in touch with your sphere of influence by sending out your very own automated email newsletter. Real estate email newsletters are one of the easiest and most effective ways of staying in touch with past and potential clients. Your newsletter can offer advice about buying a home, home improvement tips or information about your own listings.
An email newsletter is a soft approach to keeping in touch with your sphere of influence while offering them useful content about everything related to homes and moving. It’s also one of the best ways to position yourself as a real estate resource and stay top of mind with new and existing clients.
However, you will never be able to reach these individuals without organizing your sphere of influence.
A Real Estate Marketing Opportunity Awaits
Real estate agents are always on the move, so it is understandable that you might not have time to organize all the contacts you have in Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. HomeActions provides a twice-monthly automated e-newsletter to everyone in your sphere of influence by doing the organization part on your behalf. The setup takes no more than 48 hours, and you will be delivered an alphabetical list, organized by where the contact came from (Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), which will be used to automatically send your contacts a newsletter chock-full of great content. Once you have an organized sphere of influence, you can use it however you see fit, such as for real estate farming purposes.
HomeActions offers a set-it-and-forget-it product that you know is delivering your contacts valuable content on your behalf. However, there are tons of options to customize the content as you see fit, and we encourage you to feature your current listings.
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.
What will fill your marketing editorial calendar in the months ahead? It can be daunting to lay out writing assignments for your marketing efforts, but it does not have to be. With a bit of forethought and planning, you can tap into writing inspiration on a regular basis.
Focus your real estate newsletter writing.
Your first step should always be to consider your audience. To really craft meaningful lead-generating content, you need to focus on your target market. The goal is to keep your readers’ needs in mind while also keeping your business growth goals in mind when writing marketing content.
What are your goals?
Map out a hierarchy of what is most important to building you pipeline.
- Are you trying to build up specialty areas, such as vacation properties or retirement properties?
- Looking to generate more new opportunities overall?
- Seeking to improve client retention and nurture existing relationships?
- Want to stand out in a competitive marketplace?
- Growing a base of referral sources?
Lead generating content has a pain/gain approach. It is important to consider your goals when you begin building lead-generating content. Your articles should provide a path toward solving a pain point so readers naturally follow that path to seek out your services.
Think about how your services could tie into an article and offer an obvious connection back to you for help. Focus on providing just enough relevant advice to give your prospects the confidence that you are the expert source who can address their real estate needs.
The next natural step for your readers should be to connect with your firm to solve their needs.
When you have key articles focused on generating new opportunities and leads integrated into your strategies, be sure you’re setting lead alerts so you can follow up on new warm prospects.
What should you write?
Inspiration can originate partly from preparation and partly from borrowing existing ideas. It’s always good to have a stockpile of starting-point themes to fall back on when writer’s block inevitably strikes.
“Inspired” Ideas for Your Next Article
- Case Studies
- Client Features
- Q&A – Or “Dear Abby” Approach
- This vs. That Strategy Comparison
All of the ideas here could come from a single interview with a client. If you sat down and interviewed a client for just 30 minutes, you could get all the information you needed to create five articles with each of the above approaches. If you did this with just several clients, you could stagger that content out and have a full calendar of meaningful content for a year.
More Ideas to Inspire Creative Content:
- Trending Topics Following Current Events
- Common Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
- Spotlight Your Team Members
- Feature Events and Philanthropic Involvement
Don’t forget to invite a bit of the human element into your content marketing to help readers develop brand loyalty and keep your audience engaged. People stories for fun, and features focused on your staff members’ pets, babies and activities can be a delightful addition to your marketing.
Fun Topics to Consider:
- A dog day at the office
- Match the staff member with the baby photo
- Birth announcements – tiny tee shirts with your brand logo on new babies
- Take Your Child to Work Day
- Holiday or seasonal themes
- Office family picnic highlights
- “Where’s Waldo” theme following staff members on vacation snapping a photo at a noteworthy spot with your company mascot
When does timing impact my writing?
You should be following deadlines and seasonal trends to develop an annual content calendar for your firm. Take note of holidays and changing seasons to inject timely, fun themes into your writing. Incorporate these strategies to keep your content marketing fresh and engaging.
Get Started With HomeActions Today!