Selling homes is rarely an easy job. In fact, selling homes to people is quite a time-consuming task. According to Zillow, in the U.S. homes are sold after 68 days on average. That’s more than two months. And that’s just the average. Best case scenario homes sell as soon as 47 days (Olympia, Washington) and in unfortunate cases, they take as long as 148 days (Naples, Florida) to sell.
These numbers go to show that as a realtor you need to level up your game to lower home sales times. Sending out mass emails will not get you very far. You need a variety of real estate marketing ideas. And we have you covered. Try using them all, mix them up, or use them for inspiration to find your own ideas.
Real Estate Marketing Strategy
Marketing without a strategy is a fruitless effort. Realtors need to have a plan in which they have defined their audience, their message, and the channels through which they are going to address their audience. In this section, we will briefly go through the tips to have a solid plan for your marketing efforts.
1. Set Goals
While it might be pretty clear your ultimate goal for real estate marketing is to make money, you need to have defined some clear, actionable, and measurable goals. Goals like making money are too broad. For each campaign you run (ads, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.) your goals shape the marketing efforts you plan. You may have goals like:
- Increase website traffic
- Grow subscription to newsletters
- Increase lead generation
- Improve social media engagement
For each of these metrics, you need to have a baseline and also a target that should be achieved within a certain period of time.
If any of the requirements for the goal is broken, you will go awry. Having an ambiguous goal will result in you trying different things. A non-actionable (unrealistic) goal is a waste of time, and finally, a non-measurable goal will leave you in the dark about your progress and is as good as no goal at all.
2. Know Your Audience
Being ambitious tends to lead to big thinking but in marketing, this is not always the best way to think. As a realtor, you need to have a specifically defined and limited audience for your marketing efforts. You cannot target everybody at the same time. Different people have different needs and you can’t handle them the same way.
As a result, realtors should study their audience. The audience has to be chosen based on the expertise and experiences of the realtors. Once they are defined, then realtors need to dig deep and find out the main needs of their niche. The more defined a niche, the better, as marketing efforts, messages, and other measures will be tailored to fit the audience’s needs.
Try finding out the following about your niche:
- Demographics (age, location, sex, etc.)
- How and where they spend time online
- Hobbies and interests
Helpful Tools for Analysis
The information you acquire from these tools will allow you to customize your marketing efforts to fit your target audience and drive better results.
3. Reach Your Sphere of Influence Across Multiple Channels
If you want to increase brand awareness and make yourself the first person who comes to mind when your target audience thinks about real estate, it is a good idea to grow your SOI across multiple platforms. You need to be PRESENT where your audience is, so making sure you have an active presence on these platforms is a must. This way wherever they look, there you are. Website, print, social media, emails, etc. Be there which brings us to the next tip:
4. Combine Marketing Methods
Traditional methods such as print ads, open houses, and for sale signs are no longer enough. Digital marketing has changed our lives including the ways of business.
Although digital marketing enables realtors to reach more people with less effort, that doesn’t mean the abandonment of traditional methods. Your real estate marketing strategy still can include some old but gold methods for reaching people. After all, not everybody is fond of the online world and there are still some people who read the paper while having their morning coffee.
It is a good idea to have a simultaneous and parallel marketing process where you use both digital and traditional marketing tools for the same purpose. For example, if you are going to have an open house you can promote the event on your social channels and on print flyers in the region the house is located.
The goal of any business is to increase leads, convert, and grow. To do this you need to monitor and assess the progress you have made against the goals you have set and where you were (Baseline). If you have set a target of increasing your subscribers for X amount after the time window you have set is finished, sit down and see if you have achieved that target.
If you have failed to do as expected, try to find the problems which stopped you from achieving what you hoped for. Things you probably did wrong did not do well enough. Try to find and fix them. Learn from your mistakes. If the gap is too big, rethink the targets and set more manageable ones.
If you did fine, great. Keep up the good work and always try to improve. If you did way better than you expected, it means the targets you set were not good enough. Set stricter targets, but don’t go overboard.
Real Estate Marketing Ideas
1. Build a Professional Website
In the digital era having a website is a must. A website can represent your business, introduce you and your services, and provide valuable content alongside ways to contact you. However, having a website for the sake of just having one and forsaking quality will not do you any good. Try to keep these points in mind when designing a website for your real estate business:
a. Make Your Website Simple and Easy to Navigate
Designing a complicated website will confuse visitors and might discourage them. Use a simple, organized structure that easily shows the way for visitors.
b. Don’t Neglect the Technical Aspects Of Your Website
The loading speed, quality of media you share, design, and an aesthetically pleasing look of the website are the things to consider.
c. Include a Blog Section
The blog is where you should provide visitors with valuable content. the type of content. Update the blog often and have a consistent approach to publishing fresh and original content.
It is a good idea to keep your niche and target audience’s location in mind while writing in your blogs. This will reflect in your SEO game and although it’s smaller the competition is not as tough and you have a higher chance of conversion.
d. Present Your Listings
Your website should be the first place you present your listings. As your homepage will be the most visited one, it makes sense to put your listings there so that all your visitors see them. Try to highlight the most important listings separately.
e. Include Lead Capturing Landing Pages
Landing pages are designed for specific purposes and act as standalone pages within your website. Lead capturing landing pages serve the purpose of getting visitors to submit their contact info (willingly) in return for some free services like home valuation.
f. A Strong SEO
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing the content of your website to make it easier to find with a search engine. Without SEO your content may not show up in search engines’ results. Even if you produce the best content on the online space, it won’t matter if search engines won’t pick them in the search results.
SEO works by finding the keywords your audience is using in search engines to find the content you publish and including those keywords in a natural fashion within your content. Trying to cheat search engines by spamming and stuffing keywords (Black Hat SEO) will backfire and most probably your website will be black-listed. Keep it fair and you will be fine. There is no shortcut around this.
g. Be Mobile Friendly
It is no secret that most people are online on a mobile device. Killing time on the way to and from work, waiting for a friend, takeaway food, or simply browsing the net before going to sleep, cell phones are ever-present. Your website needs to sport a responsive design or you will lose a huge part of visitors to your website. People don’t want to struggle to read what’s on their phone.
h. Install Google Analytics
Having a website without knowing how it is doing is pointless. Google Analytics is a tool that gives your insight on how your website is doing, how many people are visiting, which pages are doing better than the others, your average session rates, and bounce rates.
Designing a solid and professional site is a hard and time-consuming task and it will cost you. Roomvu offers a dedicated real estate agent profile that includes all the features realtors need. Signing up is free and easy. Give it a shot here.
2. Join Online Forums
Online forums are where people ask their questions and try to help one another. There are lots of people who are looking for answers and could be your leads. By joining online forums, you can browse different threads and participate in the local ones. Whenever a member has a question, provide answers, and try to help them without offering your services. Be clear about who you are and do not make an attempt to hide the fact you are a realtor.
3. Professional Photography
Real estate is about showing properties to clients and convincing them to buy. Since you have chosen to go online, it is wise to invest in professional photography services and take a professional approach toward your real estate services. Although it is faster to grab your phone and snap a couple of photos and share them online, chances are homes and properties will not look good enough, or even worse they may not look as good as they actually are.
Roomvu offers real estate professional photography with exceptional value and competitively priced. Once booked, you are guaranteed a 24 hour turnaround time. Book now!
4. Make Video Content
As the internet becomes more and more prevalent in our lives and with the advances online and in telecommunications, it is now easier than ever to share big files like videos. People prefer videos to text and images, this should be taken advantage of.
The image above is taken from Deanna Barley’s landing page. You can also watch a market update here:
Creating video content as part of your real estate marketing is quite rewarding and generates leads more than the other sorts of content. there are many types of videos to make for real estate:
- Video listings
- Virtual live open houses
- Drone shots
- Agent intros
- Neighborhood guides
Creating videos for real estate is so vast that cannot be squeezed in this section of the article. We have published a comprehensive guide for using videos in real estate in the following link:
5. Go Pro With Virtual Tours
Virtual tours are another breakthrough in the real estate business. A virtual tour consists of 3D simulations of a house which allows users to browse through the screens of their cell phones or computers. Using cutting-edge technology and advanced equipment a 360-degree photography of the house is implemented and then a 3D navigational model is generated.
This technology might sound expensive but it is not. You can have virtual tours of your select properties for an affordable price and generate leads. Learn more or book a virtual tour today.
6. Email Marketing and Newsletters
One of the most effective ways of nurturing leads into qualified ones is email marketing. Right now 99% of people check their inbox daily and the number of email users in the U.S. will be almost 255 million by the end of 2020. Furthermore, email marketing scores higher in terms of conversion than searches and social media combined as they deliver $42 ROI for every $1 spent.
Take note of the following for email marketing:
Your emails should offer valuable content to make the audience keep opening them, trying to sell in the emails will result in flagging your emails as spam.
Target Audience Needs:
While composing emails remember that you are sending the email for your audience to help them. Don’t go bragging about what you have achieved. Target their needs and clearly state you are emailing to help them.
Videos go a long way in the email. Instead of writing long text, include a video message which is easier to watch and more likely to be opened.
Segment Your Audience:
Your audience is not all the same and therefore the should not be sent the same mail. Each segment of your audience needs a customized mail that fits their needs.
You have a purpose for sending an email right? What is it? What do you want the recipient of the mail to do? Whatever it is, state it clearly and ask them to do it. Assuming your audience will search and find what to do is a naïve assumption. They won’t.
Include an Opt-Out Option:
Your audience may decide not to receive your mails for many reasons. While that’s not the best scenario, always make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your mails. You don’t want them blocking your mail address as it will risk your address being blacklisted.
Do Not Overdo Emails:
Although it is a good idea to follow up with your recipients, remember that there is a thin line between caring and bothering. Bombarding your audience with a barrage of email not only will not make them happy but also will make them unsubscribe or even block you. Don’t push your luck.
7. Invest in PPC Ads
In order to show up in Google’s search results top items, you need to have mastered SEO on your website. But sometimes the competition is doing just as well and there are a lot of them. After all:
only 10 real estate websites are shown on the first page of Google’s search results for any given keyword.
In such cases, you might want to consider PPC ads (SEM). Pay-Per-Click ads are a practical way of driving traffic to your website to promote listings and once done properly, produce great results. They are called Pay-Per-Click because you pay every time someone clicks one of your ads and they work because they put your page on top of Google’s organic search results and marks them as Ads.
However, there is a catch. It is not cheap and if you don’t track your ads the way you should it could turn into a waste of money. Here are the key points before using PPCs:
1. Have a Clear Understanding of How PPC Ads Work.
Some elements determine if the pages to show up as ads:
- Maximum Bid
- Quality Score
On equal grounds, ads with higher bids win the spot for paid results on Google search results. However, even if the competition has a higher bid for the keyword you are targeting, you can still win the placement by having a higher Quality Score. How do you get a higher quality score? By using relevant landing pages to the keyword and offering the best user experience on your website.
Have a look the website for the 2nd search result for the previous screenshot, notice the astonishing graphics and the simplicity of the page:
2. Make Your Website Ready To Take Advantage Of PPC Ads:
- Your website should incorporate a user-friendly and simple format so that visitors through PPC ads are not confused and are directed towards the sales funnel you desire. If you fail at this step, they will leave without clicking on anything on your website and you have wasted your hard-earned cash. See the above screenshot.
- There will be some anonymous visitors to your website and you need to make them give up their contact information by using lead capturing landing pages. Here is an example of the landing pages through PPC ads.
- Complementary to the point above, directing visitors to your website without having a clear CTA (call-to-action) might leave the visitors confused and confused people don’t act.
Real Estate Marketing Ideas for Social Media
The role social media plays in our lives these days cannot be denied. The ubiquity of social media can be leveraged by business people, realtors, and agents in particular. Here are a few real estate marketing ideas for social media.
1. Create a Real Estate Facebook Group
Social media groups are one of the best places to engage and increase self-awareness by providing valuable content and helping troubled prospects. Although it is recommended that your realtors join relevant Facebook groups and contribute, you can also create a group yourself.
The point is, to share valuable content and try to help prospects and fellow agents to generate leads and referrals. Spark conversations and encourage member engagement. This way you will introduce yourself as an expert.
2. Use Instagram
Instagram has more than one billion monthly active users and is one of the most popular social platforms in the world. In January 2019, Instagram had 500 million daily active Story users worldwide. According to webstrategiesinc, Instagram has the highest social media engagement for brands, with 2-7% percent of users interacting with each post (depending on the follower count).
Instagram stories provide a very valuable feature for the audience. They can reply to the Story and directly contact you! How great is that? Here are some ideas for Instagram stories:
- Announce upcoming events, like live FAQ sessions, virtual open houses, traditional open houses, etc.,
- Share quick and helpful content
- Drive audience engagement y using polls, questions, etc.
- Share your personal life moments to create a friendly bond with your audience.
3. Start Your Own Real Estate Channel Series With IGTV
IGTV offers Instagram users a free and practical tool to create and host their own shows and educate and help their audience. The IGTV can be considered the YouTube of Instagram and allows long videos (15 minutes max). Realtors can take advantage of this feature and create and upload many forms of videos to provide educational content: Home buying process, how to make an offer without a realtor, FAQs, etc.
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Check out our latest video with tips on when is the best time to sell your home featuring our amazing client and agent Paula Malgueiro from @royallepagesignaturerealty ! #realestateToronto #gta #realestategta #torontohomestaging #torontorealtor #torontorealtors #mississauga #torontostagers #torontorealestate #torontobestrealtor #torontohomes #brampton #torontolife #bramptonrealestate #mississauga #toronto #oakvillerealestate #gtahomes te #caledon #burlingtonrealestate #torontorealtors #TorontoRealtorsTeam
4. Reach Out to Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are the people who have a large number of followers (audience). Collaborating with the right influencers is a great way to increase your reach.
Although influencer marketing can do magic, be careful who you choose. Just having a large number of followers will not do you good. The influencers should be in relevant fields of activity and their followers should fall within the criteria you have defined as your audience.
5. Use Instagram Ads
Instagram Ads are great for real estate due to the visual nature of the platform and the high engagement rate it offers. The ads allow users to select their target audience and choose an ad type (post, story, carousel, videos, etc).
As Instagram is owned by Facebook, the steps for creating an Instagram ad are the exact same as those for creating a Facebook ad. The only difference is specifying what kind of ad(s) you want the Facebook ads manager to generate.
6. Use Facebook Ads
As mentioned above, paid advertising is one of the best ways to promote content, services, and products to your target market and increase brand awareness. With Facebook’s built-in ad manager realtors can create ads for their market with ease.
A professional listing video or market update video for your real estate marketing can be used for advertising as well.
7. Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is usually used for networking and job searching. However, it is also a great platform for posting content. Based on a study by Hubspot, traffic from LinkedIn generates almost three times higher visitor-to-lead conversion rate than Facebook and Twitter. Groups on LinkedIn provide many opportunities to reach a targeted audience and increase profile views.
Offline Marketing Ideas for Real Estate
Although digital marketing offers many more opportunities to grow your business, it pays to employ some old-school offline methods to promote your business. In fact, a combination of digital and offline methods will provide the best results.
1. Make Your Clients Happy With Gifts
This one may not be the most interesting option but giving gifts to your clients after closing a deal guarantees a perfect testimonial and increases your chances of being introduced to your clients’ friends and family hence generating plenty of referrals. It is a personal gesture.
A helicopter ride around the city, a food tour, lawn care maintenance session, a comprehensive house cleaning, you name it. Get creative and think of some other ways you can surprise your client and create a perfect memory.
2. Create Special Events for Your Listings
If you are trying to sell a luxurious property, chances are your prospects will be some high net worth individuals hoping to be well received. Think of ways you can turn the property show into a special event. Why not have potential home buyers brought to the property in luxurious cars? Michael LaFido used his relationship with a local exotic car club and did that. The results were awesome.
3. Submit Articles to Local Magazines and Newspapers
You can talk to a local newspaper or magazine and have a real estate column. Send your real estate articles regularly. Always provide valuable content that is tailored specifically to the needs of people in that area. This way you will be known as the real estate person of that area.
Once the article is published share on your social media and if there is an online version share the link. Make sure you reach your target audience in that area.
4. Get Out There and Meet People
Approach FSBO’s and expired listings. Don’t try to sell them your services. Introduce yourself and provide valuable tips and advice. Let them know you are there in case they need more help. A word of advice won’t cost you anything but will offer many benefits in return.
5. Join Local Organizations
In order to get your name out there and increase awareness, it is wise to join the organizations you care and are passionate about to meet new people.
6. Reach Out to Local Radio and Television Stations
The internet has changed many aspects of our lives including the ways we are entertained. However, TV and radio are still there and have an audience despite online streaming platforms.
To increase brand awareness, you can try and email local radio and TV stations to host or attend programs about real estate to offer advice and information. They always have this kind of show. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it if you make it.
Start by searching local radio and TV stations online and then send emails introducing yourself and defining your good intentions with your free services for the sake of the community. Even better, record a video of yourself talking about real estate, to give the directors of stations a better idea of what you are offering.
7. Utilize a Moving Truck
Once you close a deal, your client, either the seller or the buyer will probably need to move their stuff into their new home. It is a brilliant idea to invest in a complimentary moving truck and offer it to your clients when they are moving. You can brand yourself on the sides of the truck which will be promoting you as the truck is moving around the city.
When you have no moving clients, you can park the truck in crowded areas of town where there is lots of car traffic and moving pedestrians. This will put your name out there and increase your chances of being called by passersby. You can also offer the truck to non-profit organizations helping others and promoting yourself at the same time.
8. Postcard Direct Marketing
In order to directly market to home buyers and homeowners in your area, you can use postcards which act as an eye-catching and affordable method. Direct mailers can be used to market a local property to prospect in a specific neighborhood. You can achieve other goals like promoting your real estate office through the postcards. There are a lot of postcard businesses around. Just google them in your neighborhood and you are good to go.
9. Use Unique Decor
Unique and exotic things linger in the minds of people. Unique décor does the same thing when homebuyers visit a property. Using a unique statue will draw attention and make the property special.
The reason behind this is that homebuyers visit many properties in a row. Featuring exotic décor will make them remember your house in particular.
Furthermore, realtors present a full inventory of the brands in the home; not just the appliances, everything from fixtures, to local name-brand architects and designers.
10. Handwritten Notes
Not many people bother to send handwritten letters and thank-you notes. This technique makes you stand out and shine among the competition. In real estate where personal connection plays an important role, leaving a kind memory will go a long way for future deals you might get. Show the human side of yourself to your clients.
Real Estate Marketing Tips
The list of real estate marketing is practically endless. Realtors find inspiration in established ideas and using their creativity to come up with new ideas. There are also some tips from experienced realtors proven to help the businesses grow.
Here are some real estate marketing ideas:
1. Don’t Describe the Property, Tell its Story
Most realtors describe the property using facts when trying to market it. These figures and numbers lack soul and will not stir emotions. Emotions are the main drive when buying something and realtors should remember this. That’s why it is recommended to use professional photography.
The point here is to present the house as a story, give it a soul that can be loved. Use the language to make it look alive.
2. Price Under Market Value
This is not how it looks. You are not selling a house for a lower price. When you set a slightly lower price for the house it draws attention.
Now you need to make the house look sharp and its best. Use other tips above to make it special. When there is a high demand for a house, people need to bid. The chances are you can sell the house for a higher price.
3. Limit Showings
The less time there is, the keener people. This old marketing technique works the same for real estate.
When realtors limit the time available for an open house or a showing, prospects feel a greater sense of need to go and visit the place. This way you will have more leads coming right to your door all by themselves!
4. Speak to The Perfect Buyer
If you could create the perfect buyer for the property, who would it be? What makes them perfect? That the spacious rooms fit their needs? Why? When you have the answers to these questions, picture this ideal buyer in your mind. Now talk to them as if they really exist. Write all the content about the property around this.
5. Present Properties at Their Best
The property should be clean inside out and landscaping flawlessly groomed. Go around the house and make sure there is no trace of dirt and the place is tidy and in its best condition.
6. Market to Millennials
According to a recent study, Millennials make up the largest share of home buyers at 38 percent. Therefore, you need to learn how to market and sell to them. They look at the home buying process differently and tend to be more tech-savvy. Failing at tailoring your marketing effort to fit this class of homebuyers will result in losing a large portion of potential leads.
7. Ask for Referrals
Word of mouth works. Always. Everywhere. People tend to believe others when it comes to rating a service or a business but are more skeptical when the business itself claims those qualities. Referrals work. In fact, 39% of home sellers found their agent through a referral from friends or family.
Though it happens naturally if clients are happy with your services, it never hurts to step in politely ask your clients to connect you to a friend or family they know of who may need help in real estate.
There are many real estate marketing ideas and the list grows every day. The point here is to find inspiration in these ideas and get creative.
Marketing is about thinking of the audience first. Their needs.
Too many realtors think of marketing as advertising themselves and letting others know how great they are. But nobody cares what you think about yourself. Show them what you can do for them.