Differentiating yourself from other real estate agents can be a challenging task. And so is finding various methods to grow your real estate business. However, if you put some good marketing to good use, you can go a long way. And since almost 90% of prospective clients start their home-buying journey online, you should definitely focus on digital marketing!
To build a strong online presence, you must put in place a well-considered marketing strategy that spreads across several digital channels. Having a website, a blog, engaging on social media and sending newsletters to your customers are just a few of the approaches to be mixed and matched. This helps to cover more ground and garners more exposure, thus driving more leads and eventually more clients.
But the world of marketing does have its ways, so it’s important be wary about the rules that apply to these different channels. It can be a bit overwhelming to delve in all of them at once, so to give you a few preliminary pointers, we put together a list of 11 things you should NEVER do when it comes to real estate digital marketing:
1. Never have inconsistent branding
You want to become the go-to professional for all housing-related inquiries and especially, all real estate deals. To get there, proper branding is a must. Your branding.
And since you’re present on several channels at the same time, you need to be consistent on all of them. So, don’t use a different logo on Facebook than you do on your website, don’t have a tag line for email campaigns and another completely different one for online banners, and don’t use various fonts for various occasions. Create a solid real estate brand and build on it by being consistent! You’ll know you’re doing it right when people recognize it’s you on various channels without actually seeing your name.
2. Never settle for a non-user-friendly website
There’s no point in telling you that having your own real estate website is crucial in this business. It’s important to have an online hub where prospective clients can find out about your listings, your track record and your know-how. Aside from having a professional design and being as inviting as possible, your website must be user-friendly.
In this day and age, that translates into being mobile responsive. More than 50% of internet searches worldwide happen on mobile, so the only way to stay in this game is to adapt to these devices.
3. Never disregard SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the new kid on the block for most, and you may be having doubts on how to tackle it, but know it is one of the most important aspects of your digital marketing strategy. After all, when potential buyers are searching for properties or agents on Google, you want your website to be the first result they get, don’t you?
From your site’s architecture to the keywords that you put in the content that you publish, SEO covers many aspects, so you should definitely invest time in learning more about it. Should it become a bit overwhelming, know there are professionals out there who can always lend a helping hand. Another thing you could do is start with an already search-engine-optimized website and take it from there.
4. Never neglect writing useful content
Having a busy schedule comes with the job, we know, but that doesn’t mean you should not invest time in providing good-quality content to your prospective customers. And we’re not talking about just putting up some nice descriptions for your listings, but actually taking the time to give your audience helpful advice in their house hunting journey through blog posts.
This not only adds to your SEO efforts – see above – but it also makes it easier to get more leads. A potential client is more prone to reach out to a real estate agent that publishes useful housing-related tips on their blog.
5. Never avoid engaging on social media
You’re already social in real life, so it pays to also be social online. From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, there are many channels for you to be on.
Refrain from posting solely listings on social media, and really take the time to connect and engage with prospective clients. This way you’ll not only make yourself known as a true real estate professional, but you’ll also stand out as a nice person to talk to.
Best practices tell us there are so many things you could do on social media. If you ever run out of ideas, you can always visit other real estate pages and share interesting posts from there. See the Point2 Homes Facebook page and Twitter profile, for example.
6. Never buy likes for your Facebook page
Never, and we mean NEVER, buy likes for your Facebook page. Buying likes translates into getting fake and non-relevant accounts to increase your fan base. And that doesn’t help business at all because these “people” will never convert!
On that note, yes, you should have a Facebook page if you’re serious about your digital marketing strategy. The number of fans on your page is not important, but their quality is. What you should focus on is building a solid network of potential customers with whom you communicate on a daily basis through useful and engaging posts, and who will likely think of you when they’re ready to purchase a home.
7. Never target the wrong audience in online ads
When in real estate, you can go a long way with paid online advertising. Whether it’s investing in Google Ads, Facebook ads or perhaps Twitter ads, there are quite a few options out there. Whatever you decide to go for, your targeting must be precise. After all, that’s what paid advertising comes down to.
So, don’t opt for wider audiences when setting up your ads since you will lose at your own expense, literally. Target only those users that are genuinely interested in real estate in a certain area that you specialize in.
Paid online promotion can be a bit intimidating but rest assured that it can pay off if you’re doing it right. Even so, if working those ad platforms really isn’t your thing, you can try a different approach. On Point2 Homes, for instance, you can advertise your listings and your real estate agent profile and take advantage of the precise targeting as well as the huge exposure in front of users who are specifically browsing for homes.
8. Never forget to capture contact details
Want to obtain more leads that you will, later on, convert into clients? To do this, your website must be a contact-info-capturing machine.
Make sure you jazz up those contact forms and even go above and beyond and invest some time in putting together a valuable resource for your potential customers (such as an ebook or a moving checklist), for them to download from your website in exchange for their email address.
Also, make sure you encourage users to subscribe to your monthly newsletter. If you’re producing quality content for potential customers, which you should be doing, you’ll want to let them know about it, and you’ll want to keep them close and engaged by sending out email campaigns on a regular basis. More info on non-spamming tactics below.
9. Never send out spammy emails
Don’t like getting spam in your email? Neither do prospective clients.
Besides sending out newsletters with links to your useful blog posts, you can also use autoresponder messaging services to get back to them with a reply as soon as possible. Whatever the case, the emails that you sent should have proper targeting to them.
So, if a person is interested in Ottawa real estate, make sure you only send them Ottawa listings, info on up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Ottawa and Ottawa real estate stats, for example. And all with moderation! Ten emails per day won’t make prospects happy even if you include relevant information in each.
10. Never use low-quality photos
Having blurry, small and unprofessional images on your digital channels, whatever these might be, is by all means a no-no. It decreases your credibility in front of your audience. Go all-in and use high-quality visuals when promoting your business.
You can either invest in a good camera and take pics yourself, or you can opt for a collaboration with a professional photographer. For generic images, you can also use photo sharing websites, such as Pixabay or Shutterstock.
11. Never stop gaining knowledge about digital marketing
You know by now that it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to acquiring real estate knowledge. With digital marketing, you should be doing the same thing!
Read online articles tackling different best practices and even sign up for courses when you have the time. Take things step by step and once you’ve got a better grasp on one channel, move on to the next.
The more you know, the easier it will be to find more ways to promote your real estate business, target your specific audience, increase those lead counts and ultimately get more clients!