Top 10 Real Estate Marketing Tools of 2016
Have you ever purchased a piece of technology such as a phone, computer, or some other gadget only to find out 6 months later that your new toy has depreciated in value, or has quickly fallen behind the technology curve? Don’t feel bad; it happens to just about everyone and not only in the purchase of gadgets and toys.
Since the introduction of the internet, online marketing has been one of the fastest moving and quickest changing industries around. Fortunately, this has been a good thing as it actually forces real estate professionals and companies alike to continuously innovate to find the most cost-effective ways to market real estate.
This can be difficult, especially for the real estate professional, who ultimately wants to maximize their time helping clients and sell real estate, and not sit in front of their computer to learn something like Search Engine Optimization. We here at ReadyChat have compiled a list of the Top 10 Real Estate Marketing Tools of 2016.
1. Your Website
It’s no secret these days that you MUST have a website for real estate marketing. A marketing-oriented website that is well designed with “calls to action” can literally catapult your real estate business to the next level. Ninety-two percent of home buyers use the internet, and 50 percent use a mobile website or app at some point during the home buying process.
And, as a first step in the home buying process, 43 percent chose to look at homes online and 12 percent of home buyers checked online first to learn about the home-buying process.
What does a potential client look for when purchasing in a specific area? They are online looking for not only a specific type and design of home, but they want to know what amenities they will have access to in that community, what schools their children can attend, and even what activities the local community association can provide.
Realtors should include a blog on their site, the ideal platform, for sharing this helpful content. It will also help to generate awareness of you, to be first in the mind of your website visitors.
Your website should be a great resource for first-time buyers. They might conduct searches based on questions they could be asking such as:
“Why should I consider a real estate agent?”
“What costs do I need to consider?”
“What are the benefits of buying as opposed to renting?”
“What considerations do I need to keep in mind when shopping for a loan?”
“Which mortgage makes the most sense for me?”
Realtor websites help leverage local searches which allow home buyers to easily seek out agents and/or properties by location.
Your website will help establish your personal brand and is a great way to differentiate yourself from competing real estate professionals, allowing you to connect on a deeper level. In addition, realtor websites attract prospects allowing you to efficiently capture high-quality leads. A highly-effective real estate marketing tool such as Ready Chat is an ideal solution.
Your website will attract quality digital leads and ensure you are communicating with the right leads at the right time, and with the right message.
2. Implement an Effective Social Media Marketing Program
Did you know that the average small business owner spends 20+ hours each week on marketing? Next to an investment in your website, this is your most important area of focus, since billions of people use social media every day. Seventy-five percent of small businesses say that internet marketing brings customers in the door.
You should be using online marketing tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram as a way of generating traffic to your website. Do you have a well-presented and comprehensive profile on LinkedIn? If not, sign up today and get your profile done.
Of course, Search Engine Optimization is very important for your website but it`s only a start. Most websites don’t get noticed or indexed in the search engines unless a substantial effort is made to promote the site. Many thousands of people sign up daily for “run of the mill” websites, hoping they will get noticed and get discouraged when no one shows up.
Realtors and businesses that interact with social media bloggers and influencers enjoy a high return on their investment. More and more, and especially in 2016, the trend will be consumers asking their families, friends, and of course, influencers on social channels. If you know of someone capable of influencing others, contact them and request they promote your brand.
As an example, assume you deal in women`s fashions. Contact a women`s fashion designer who has a lot of followers on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and ask them to promote your products. Likewise, a Facebook page is a top real estate marketing tool for your real estate business, so start posting articles related to your area of expertise.
Consider making an investment in paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter, but be sure to utilize as many free promotional tools as possible before throwing money at social media marketing. Use Twitter, but before you ramp up your marketing efforts, always begin with a strategy.
Ask yourself the following questions.
What goals will Twitter help me reach?
What value can I bring to the conversation?
What type of people do I want to connect with?
How can I move people to other communication streams, like email, Facebook, Skype or telephone, in order to deepen the connection?
What tools should I use to collect data and measure success?
Hiring a digital marketing agency could help you in strategizing and implement a social media plan custom-designed for Twitter.
3. E-Mail Marketing Services
One of the best things you can do to market your real estate business in the most-targeted and cost- effective way is to utilize a well-planned email marketing platform. The days of using your hard-earned pennies for expensive mailers or print ads that have no built-in tracking ability are fast disappearing.
For the best real estate marketing tool, contact an effective and well-known email marketing service with extremely affordable pricing and simple interfaces that also has high deliverability rates.
4. Explainer Videos
An exceptional real estate marketing tool that will capture your audience is to install an “explainer video” on your website. It is a short, fun and informative video that is usually 2-3 minutes in length, but can be longer. Because it is light, entertaining and fun to watch, it captures your viewers more effectively than just text or boring “information” videos.
Explainer videos are used with exceptional results through many industries. Their cost can run to several hundred dollars, depending on the message you want to convey. As an alternative, a personalized video of yourself welcoming your visitors to your website can also be engaging, and if kept short, will retain and encourage that visitor to continue using your resource-rich website.
Videos are one of the best ways to market your real estate services, and there are several companies that will assist you with production and marketing them.
Keep in mind that any video placed on your website should be placed “above the fold”. This means that your clients shouldn’t have to scroll down the page to find it. It should be immediately visible when they first land on your home page.
5. Ask for Testimonials
When people pick a hotel or travel to their favorite travel destination, what do they usually do first before making their choices? They read testimonials.
Pick your five best clients, reach out to them, and ask for a written testimonial. Testimonials tell prospects and colleagues that you have a reputation for building long-term solid relationships with clients. Most people would be happy to provide this important marketing information to you.
You should have a visible link or section on your website specifically devoted to client testimonials. It will assist you in establishing good client rapport right from the beginning.
6. Mobile/Text Message Marketing
Personal computing devices and mobile phones are here to stay and are growing at an astounding rate. Let me say it again, personal computing devices and mobile phones ARE the future. Mobile marketing helps you reach your customers, any place, any time. You can make them feel special by regularly keeping them apprised of your new listings, deals or discounts.
It provides instant results as most people have their phones with them 24/7. These real estate marketing app’s usually garner a high response rate. Telecom companies offer SMS packages through which you can send hundreds of messages in a short span of one or two minutes.
This is a great marketing tool for real estate agents as no other real estate marketing technique can produce a room full of potential clients faster, and most are eager to hear what you have to say. Consider contacting your favorite home inspector or mortgage agent and collaborate with them to put on a joint home-buying seminar. There will be plenty of logistics involved, but the rewards usually outweigh the effort.
8. Host a Broker Event
This will help you network with the people in your industry about topics that matter the most. Networking on a regular basis with peers will help you keep your eyes open to possibly getting ideas for your new blog, filling any holes in your marketing strategies, and even coming to an agreement with your colleagues to find the clients you need, but they don’t.
9. Support Local Organizations and Charities
Contact your local college or university and offer a small scholarship for someone interested in learning the real estate business. Generally, this important real estate marketing tool is well-accepted within the academic community and more often than not, they will give you a valuable website link to their college or university website that you can place on your website. Google search engine robots love “Edu” links and you will see your website rankings improve substantially just from this little technique. Sponsor a local baseball team or adopt a local highway and establish yourself as a pillar in your community. Your name will instantly become recognizable.
These are immensely effective and your goal here is two-fold. To begin with, you want to get informative press releases out that establish your real estate brokerage as the “go to” firm in your area.
The releases need to be timely, well-informed, and address all of the latest topics and breaking news in the area. News and program directors at your local media stations will give you attention and may even lead them into contacting you for matters where your expertise is needed. These types of media appearances will make your agency a household name, and henceforth, build up your buyer confidence, increasing your sales and referrals.
In summary, your main goal is to drive everyone back to your website. Your videos, blog articles, email marketing, and social media marketing should all be working in conjunction with one another to get as many qualified, relevant visitors back to your website as possible. If you have designed your real estate marketing plan correctly and implemented several of the suggestions above, you should be able to generate more leads than you know what to do with.
Remember that your investment into your 2016 marketing plan should be working for you, not vice versa. If it isn’t, best to reassess your website and marketing strategies.