The Simple and Fast Approach
Realtors have significantly changed the way they conduct their businesses within the past few years out of the need for survival. It’s mostly because digital marketing has become an essential tool for reaching real estate buyers online.
Potential homeowners are taking searching for their dream homes into their own hands more than ever before. With only 14% of real estate agents using social media, now is the time to get ahead of the competition and use digital and social media marketing effectively.
With almost every business, demographic and age group sharing information online, marketing trends show that social media is essential to continue growing the referral based real estate clientele. Even though the face to face sales approach will always be needed, you should be combining it with today’s social media marketing. This marketing strategy is a must in order to stay competitive and continue to grow your real estate business. Using digital marketing techniques such as video content will provide enormous value to your past, present and future clients.
It’s becoming outdated to plant signs in people’s’ yards. Don’t limit yourself to mundane marketing strategies that focus on print and become competitive in today’s 21st century market. At The Hub Palm Beach, we show Realtors® how to utilize digital marketing techniques to reach a broader audience and increase your value as a Realtor with an active online presence.
When it comes down to it, branding will always beat sales. Too many people are focused on short term sales over branding when it comes to closing on a home. With your company, it’s best to have a long-term strategy. This might mean taking lower commissions in the beginning.
Yet, the benefit of this is that you will significantly stand out over your competitors. While video content is becoming the #1 way to view content, it’s important to have the look and feel of your brand solidified first.
Focus on building quality content that clients get value from. When this happens, you will have an ROI (Return On Investment) with your brand that you’ll be able to of to clients and even other real estate businesses. With your content providing continuously passive value, it frees you up to be even more productive.
By focusing on your brand first and sales later, you will be the difference between being busy versus being productive and you’ll be making your business work for you instead of you working for your business.
What is your niche?
Knowing what your niche is important because it lets you to be specific about who your digital marketing strategy and online marketing campaigns. The most successful real estate professionals don’t try to appeal to everyone. Being too general can cause you to waste your resources. Instead, have a target audience where you can show off your expert knowledge to.
Here are a few niches that realtors have had success in:
Once you figure out your niche, do some research on keywords for your particular market. Use sites such as LSIGraph and SEMRush (included in your Member’s Tool Box) to help you see what the most popular words are. You should stay away from keywords that are too generic.
Use a combination of long tail keywords and somewhat popular keywords to create a list that’s relevant to your niche. Once you find what these keywords are, you will want to do some paid advertising to rank on the first page of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
By using the keywords of your niche, it will be less competitive and thus less expensive. You will dominate for that part of the search results when people look for your particular branding of real estate.
Don’t pander to likes or business results. When you focus on YOU as a brand, it allows you to have a different mindset from most of the other competitors. You will start to create content that is more unique and plays to your strengths. Whether it’s your 30+ years of experience or your journey from part time to full time real estate agent, everyone has a unique journey that they can use to play to their strengths.
Now that you understand the importance of building your brand, let’s touch on the basics.
Let’s take a moment to focus on the look of your brand. It is the most important representation of who you are. Here at The HUB Palm Beach, we emphasize on the importance of you as your business. People will buy into you before they buy into what you’re selling them. So, it’s important that the colors, fonts and icons you use reflect your personality, vision and mission statement. It also helps with audience retention when creating real estate digital marketing campaigns.
You can do research on what other realtors are doing for their brand, but why think small? When creating your logo, think big! Do research on large companies and how their brands look. You will see that they all have one thing in common. They’re minimalistic, easily recognizable, have an easily readable font and are unique.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when designing your logo:
Look at different logos and colors to figure out your aesthetic. Then, look for a graphic designer to see if it aligns with your style by reviewing their total body of work. Remember that you are investing in you and thus your brand. Yet, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Outsourcing your aesthetic to a designer to complete your vision is a worthwhile and long-term investment. Since design is their specialty, they will be able to focus on all of the things mentioned above. This saves you time on stressing over every little detail of your logo and allows you to invest your time on creating content.
You should only need to direct your graphics designer to execute your vision. Keep in mind that they should be creating a logo that motivates potential clients to become emissaries of your brand. Just as Nike and LuluLemon have logos that you want to wear, your logo should have the same effect.
Now that you have your logo figured out, it should translate across mobile devices all publications consistently.
When listing your properties, you are doing more than just showing prospective home buyers the cost of a home. You are creating a story. Creating your listing is one of the most important ways to create an impactful first impression with your audience. Yet, in today’s real estate market, it’s impossible to be a successful realtor without utilizing social media. Only 26% of Realtors are “Extremely Comfortable” using Social Media. There is untapped potential for realtors using social media marketing to increase their ROI and brand awareness.
A 2019 study found that 45% of prospective buyers toured a home after an online search while 26% drove by the home. This shows how crucial it is for you to have a strong real estate digital marketing plan. So you can get in front of these potential clients.
You want to create a sales funnel that is selling a community and way of life. With your prospects knowing the best schools, shopping centers, restaurants etc., it will make them comfortable with making a big change in their life. This not only helps with social media marketing, but allows you to build a sense of community that they will seamlessly integrate into.
When publishing a property, the overall goal is to create a consistent story that invokes brand recognition. Invest in your listing to be competitive in a highly competitive market. One way you do this is by investing in high quality imagery. The first thing that grabs anyone on social media are visuals. Consistency in your photos are crucial to establishing your brand recognition though. So, it may be wise to find a dependable and reliable photographer to showcase your property in the best way possible. Using the same photographer will keep your photos consistent and show sophistication and expertise.
*Listing Example: Look at the description of this listing. It is written in such a way that it makes the potential buyer wants to come in and see what it looks like when ” Technology meets functionality and creates Zen in this fully upgraded Estate Home.”
Don’t put a lot of photos. Less is more. About 10 high quality photos should be enough to make the potential buyer interested in wanting to come in. This creates a sense of urgency and mystery for prospective home buyers
Invest your time and resources into a couple of really good ads that can translate across all social media platforms. That way, you are reinforcing brand consistency and also maximizing the use of your time and resources.
You will also want to run two different campaigns for your ads. One for your company and one for the property listing. Promoting your company should always be a part of your digital marketing strategy.
Once everything has been posted, you need somewhere for people to click through. You should have your own website or landing page for potential clients to land once they click on your ads. This is essential for setting up your sales funnels. It doesn’t have to be a huge and elaborate website or landing page. Something that just shows who you are, services, featured properties and contact information. It is important to have your own website because you will be in total control of your brand and listings and won’t have to worry about regulations or sites suddenly disappearing.
Social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.) are now focusing on UGC (User Generated Content). Whatever the post may be, it is usually based around your interests, hobbies and tastes. Social media is good at connecting the world with like-minded people. Take crowdfunding for example. You may connect with someone via common taste in music. Through that, you find yourself donating to a cause that promotes music in schools.
So as a Realtor, you aren’t just connecting with people because they want to buy and sell but also because they have similar interests. They like the same shows, have the same hobbies, etc. This gives you an indispensable competitive edge over those just trying to make a sale.
People want to buy from others like them. Switch up your content once in a while and post something personal that you are passionate about and love. Maybe it’s a type of cuisine or an important cause. When you do this, it creates a deeper connection with your audience and allows them to see you as more than just an agent who wants to sell them something. Just be sure to still keep it “personal professional”. If a buyer can relate to you on a personal level, they will think of you first before your competitors.
America is the most mobile country in the world with the average citizen moving 11 times in their lives. So, it’s important to utilize social media marketing to put your brand consistently in the view of past, present and future home buyers.
SEO (optimize the content)
Today’s prospective home buyers begin their buying process online and on their mobile phones earlier than recent generations (and mortgage lenders and developers are noticing). Buyers can find everything from neighborhood comps, school ratings, walking-scores, real-time traffic data and receive multiple quotes from mortgage lenders with the click or tap of a finger. However, both buyers and sellers still rely on a real estate professional to help them buy and sell their homes. They also rely on the testimonials of real people familiar with these areas.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps to create organic traffic to your website. When people are looking for specific styles of homes, school districts and lifestyles, keywords are used to find these specific preferences. This means that it’s crucial to provide certain keywords in your listings that will attract search engines, and thus people, to your listing. Also add your listing to local community directories. Not sure what keywords you need? Start at the local level.
Gary V once said “If your work is great, that becomes your reputation, and that becomes the gateway to bring business into your sales funnel.” Focus on building your reputation and providing past, present and future clients with value. So, having meaningful reviews (that you also comment on showing your appreciation) will set you above your competitors in a lasting and tangible way.
New Age Home Owners
As Millennials begin to purchase homes, realtors will have to adjust their marketing techniques for a new target audience. Buyers 36 years and younger (Millennials) are the largest share of home buyers at 34% for the fourth year in a row. About 66% of these buyers were first time home buyers.
Buyers generally need help finding a home, settling on a competitive price, and negotiating the sale of their current home. Meanwhile, sellers rely on realtors to sell their home within a specific time frame and settle on a competitive price. So, as Millennials move into the home ownership phase, realtors should be able to take advantage of buyers and sellers who are starting to exercise their purchasing power. With the average American moving 11 times in their life, the numbers are still in your favor as a real estate professional.
Yet, this means that you have to put in the work to get your own unique leads since sites like Zillow sell theirs to thousands of people.
Visuals & Equipment
Depending too much on listings and expecting people to buy your properties right away is the typical formula of a Realtor. This is what everyone else is doing. Instead, the ultimate goal is making it easy for prospects to transition into a new area. When you do the work for them, by showing the area, they feel more confident and trust buying into your listing.
Equipment is essential for telling the visual story of your listings. Use equipment like a Gimbal stick and take a video of the area where the listing is located. Giving a visual tours shows an authentic sense of the community. Create a “day in the life of” video to show potential clients what it will be like once they move into their new home.
The use of video content should be included weekly in a realtor’s marketing activity. At the bare minimum, you should be creating two to three 20 minute videos that you can edit and use for different types of content. The videos should be designed for various platforms and be formatted to best fit in a landscape or portrait format. Think YouTube or Instagram. Landscape videos do best when more polish is given to them (walkthroughs) and vertical formats often work best when presented in an unpolished yet professional manner (a day in the life of).
Below is a list of equipment to invest in to produce the highest quality video content. When your videos and pictures feel high end, it will distinguish you and your real estate business as someone to take seriously. Consumers that are impressed with your content and feel like they’ve received what they need will contribute to your referral based network.
At The HUB Palm Beach, we teach solopreneurs how to build, optimize and maintain your online presence in a way that will define your market. All while curating your pool of prospective buyers to include people you can build great and lasting relationships with. We can teach you how to optimize your personal brand in a lasting and thoughtful way that will ensure that you adapt with the ever changing search algorithms.
By utilizing digital marketing strategies, you will have about 86% less competition and be able to establish yourself as a top real estate business. If you aren’t able to evolve and adopt social media into your strategies, you will be losing out on an incredible amount of opportunities for new leads, new prospects and new sales. Remember that you are your business and to invest in your marketing in an effective way is also investing in yourself long-term.