Real estate marketing strategies are everywhere. But as a real estate professional, you don’t have time to test a real estate marketing strategy to see what works. You need clear steps to generate leads, turn them into paying clients and help people sell and/or buy homes. When you have that you spend more time focused on what you love — real estate.
This 5 step real estate marketing strategy will get you there. Take the first step today to get more clients and make more money doing what you love.
Step 1: Get an SEO Web Design
Your website is the home base for your real estate business. It’s the place that each real estate marketing strategy leads potential clients. Here, people learn about how you help clients with buying and selling. They explore your methods and real estate specialties.
They get advice and learn to trust you — even if they haven’t met you yet. They hear from clients with reviews that you curated from other sites. Let potential clients get to know you. Dispel those myths.
Real estate developer David Zarrett shared (in this clever graphic) how client perceptions can get all mixed up when we’re not clear about who we are as a professional.
A great website design helps you tell the story of who you are and what you do in a way that people connect to you.
How well your website works will make or break the rest of your real estate marketing strategy. Running ads or building a social media following without first focusing on an optimized website is throwing money away.
Making sure you have a site that can effectively do all this is your first step in creating an effective marketing strategy for real estate. Within each of the steps in this article, we’ll explore the major components you need to know.
It’s not just about knowing your real estate marketing strategies. It’s about making a real estate marketing strategy generate more potential and higher quality clients for you. It’s about selling homes faster for more money.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. SEO is a set of strategies that you apply to become more visible in Google’s search results. It includes two major components:
- On-Page SEO – What you do on your website to provide a great experience (Quality Content, Easy to use, Fast, etc.)
- Off-Page SEO – What you do off the website to demonstrate that you are an authority in your industry (Networking with other important websites, Social media, etc.)
Retrofitting SEO vs SEO Web Design
The highest ranking SEO websites are built from the “ground up”, optimized through and through.
While you can apply SEO strategies to an existing site, it’s much harder. It takes longer to get results. And some things may not be fixable.
Retrofitting a website for SEO is a lot like building a 3 bed, 2 bath ranch-style brick house. Then after you’ve built it, you decide to convert it to a 3-story Tudor.
You’d be better off tearing it down and starting from scratch, right?
Here are some of the major elements to explore as you develop this step of your real estate marketing strategy.
When building an optimized website, look at what’s already out there. Who are your top competitors online and in your local area? Do they have a real estate marketing strategy?
From this analysis, see what’s working. What do you need to do better to outperform these websites? That’s where your real estate marketing strategy will come in handy.
User Experience (UX)
It all starts with user-friendliness. Build your website with the end user (visitor) in mind. Think about how they will use the site. What elements will they expect your site to have? What will they find useful?
Over 80% of time spent on social media is done so on mobile devices. Are you leading people from social media to your website? You should be, which is why it must be highly functional on mobile.
That means that everything is easy to see, click and use without mis-clicks.
In addition to just being easy to use on mobile, consider how you can integrate mobile into the home buying and selling experience with:
- Mobile apps and tools
- Mobile Virtual walkthroughs
- Mobile Chat
- Mobile-connected thermostats
- Mobile-keyless entry (probably for other agents)
- Mobile payments
- Mobile documents review
Remember, people today use their smartphone as an extension of real-life. Any way you can enhance the real-life real estate experience with your mobile website is worth the investment. These trends aren’t going away.
An optimized website is very intuitive. Potential clients and existing ones who can’t find what they’re looking for get frustrated and leave. A huge part of SEO is optimizing this navigation experience with streamlined menus, search boxes, and expandable text that guide people through the site.
Made for Speed
47% of people now expect a website to load in fewer than 2 seconds. For every additional second it takes a page to load, 11% of people will leave the site.
Here’s one more huge reason it’s best to build an SEO site from the ground up. It’s much easier to build a fast than it is to speed it up after its created.
Note the impact of a slow site on conversions.
While the highest performing websites are built from scratch for SEO, that doesn’t mean SEO is a one-time thing. As you apply this step in your real estate marketing strategy, recognize that you’ll need to maintain it to keep that increased visibility that your website achieves through SEO.
Google often tweaks its algorithm for how sites are ranked. Each time it does you’ll need to adapt. In addition this, Google begins to ignore websites, even optimized ones, that don’t appear to regularly update the site.
This process of regularly updating the site and adapting to changes is called ongoing SEO.
One way to consistently update your website is by regularly posting blog articles. Blogs are a great way to let a potential client get to know you without feeling like you’re directly trying to sell something. The more casual, friendly and authoritative environment keeps that natural guard that some people have from going up.
Websites that have blogs have 400X the indexed pages in searches. This means that as your website ranking goes up, it will appear in more searches for many more keywords. These are the kinds of real estate marketing strategies you can take to the bank.
Publishing regularly to your blog not only helps your website become more visible when people are looking for something like “Real estate agents in Atlanta”. It gives you something to share on social media that leads people back to your website.
There are many other kinds of content to explore like:
- Interactive content
Consider what kind of content your target clients will enjoy. Work to create more of it.
Now that you have your website in place, you’re well on your way to building its authority so that it ranks higher in searches. But you’re a busy real estate professional who likes to stay busy. You don’t have time to wait as your site continues to scale the ranks. This does take time.
That leads you to step 2.
Step 2: Expand Your Social Media Presence
You likely have a Facebook page. But as you’ve undoubtedly found, it takes some work to build your following with actual potential clients. That’s why social media management is so important to your real estate marketing strategy.
Choosing the Best Platforms
First of all, the platform you choose should be one that you understand well. Do you love Facebook and can’t live without it? Then Facebook is probably a great choice for you. Because you use the platform yourself, you better understand how your potential clients use it? What kinds of content do they like to engage with?
Also, consider who you’re targeting. Almost everyone has a Facebook profile. But they may spend more time on YouTube channels they subscribe to, Instagram, or even Snapchat.
Once again, it’s a great idea to take a look at your top competitors. Where are they? What are they doing? Your goal isn’t to mimic them. It’s to gather ideas. Then do it better.
Choose 1-3 platforms. But don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s hard to get a foothold among followers if you’re trying to manage too many profiles.
Filling Out Your Profiles
Fill out your profile completely. Make sure you have a business profile if there is a distinction. Before you begin trying to get more followers, really expand out this profile so that it represents you and your client base.
Building Your Following
When building your social media following, don’t try to appeal to everyone all at once. You wouldn’t turn down a client who doesn’t meet a certain profile. But at the same time, you probably have a type of real estate, person, area, price range, etc. where you’re really passionate and experienced.
Start there. Then work your way out if you find the group is too small or competitive.
Develop a consistent publishing schedule. Stay active on social media. Interact with potential customers. Join groups to network with other professionals. Share content that both entertains and educates your target customer.
Leverage social media ads to expand your reach among potential new clients. The fastest way to build a quality following is with a targeted ad campaign.
Engaging Your Followers
Building your following on a social media platform gives you people who organically see what you post on that platform. If that following is active, these individuals share your content with their friends. In this way, 1,000 followers can turn into 10,000 impressions for your posts fast.
Graphic courtesy of Lighter Side of Real Estate
But if those followers aren’t engaged, 1,000 followers is just 1,000 followers (and not very good ones).
Apply strategies here to get people engaged and keep them engaged like:
- Tracking what’s popular and posting more of it
- Regularly posting links to blog posts and videos that your target is looking for
- Sharing vibrant visuals that people like and share instantly because of the emotional impact
- Comment back when people comment to start conversations
- Run contests
- Post quizzes, surveys and other interactive content
- Share pictures of recent happy clients who closed on homes (with their permission)
- Share your latest listings
People have millions of accounts they can follow. Why should they be interested in yours?
Give people a reason to keep following and interacting with you. Social media real estate marketing strategies include utilizing many kinds of content that people will love and share.
Social media is great at reaching people and staying top-of-mind. But in order to turn a “fan” into an actual client, it helps to use a more personal touch. That’s why it’s important to use social media to not only engage. You need a clear path to convert them to a lead.
Every real estate marketing strategy needs this. Otherwise, it’s hard to get an ROI on social media. It’s nearly impossible to show how social media is delivering tangible results.
The typical social media lead generation funnel looks like this.
- It starts as a post or ad.
- It goes to a landing page on your website
- You offer the visitor something in exchange for an email and basic information
- You nurture the lead through email marketing
- You have a new client
Some clever ways to generate leads through social media include:
- Running a fun contest / Email in exchange for a chance to win
- Access to a helpful real estate estimator or tool
- Offering an eBook that shares proven staging tips every seller should know
- Run lead generation ads with videos
It seems so simple. But there are so many ways that you can make this your own to attract your perfect clients.
Step 3: Use Social Media Advertising to Target Potential Clients
You’ve got a great rhythm going on your website and social media profile. You have a publishing schedule. You create a certain number of pieces a week and share them. Now it’s time to start taking this to the next level.
This step involves setting up and running your social media advertising campaigns. But before you do you should understand the trap that many new to social ads often fall into. That’s targeting too broadly. Here’s why that’s not a good idea.
What is the Relevance Score?
Facebook Ads Manager, which also controls Instagram ads, uses a relevance system to determine how much you pay for your ads. If Facebook determines that your ads are not relevant to the people seeing them, the costs go up. Other platforms have similar systems. But Facebook’s is the most transparent.
You can end up paying much more for the same ad simply because you’re not showing the right ad to the right people. That can break your real estate marketing strategies and your budget fast.
How Does Facebook Determine Relevance?
Facebook looks at what percentage of people click the ad. They compare it to your real estate peers’ ads. If you’re outperforming your peers, relevance goes up. If you aren’t, it slips. If your relevance falls low enough – they’ll stop showing your ad.
Ultimately, Facebook wants to deliver a great user experience to people on Facebook. If your ad isn’t getting clicked, Facebook decides you’re not providing a good experience.
How to Keep Your Relevance Score High?
To keep your relevance score high:
- Learn about the different ad formats. Build compelling ads in those formats
- Target narrowly. Know who you’re targeting. Use Ada Manager to target these people & build your ad around them.
- Geo-Locate. As a real estate professional, you may have clients from around the country. But chances are that 90% of your clients are either currently residents of your service area. Or they are visiting the area. You can target people who have either been in your area recently or live there. You can target down to a certain zip code or a whole metropolitan area. But do limit your search.
- Test and Adapt. Some ads will be instant winners. Others will be obvious losers. Some fall in between. Test ads of on a small scale. Then up your budget on the ad that gets the best results.
Step 4. Use Search Engine Advertising to Reach Your Target at Precisely the Right Time
Search engine advertising is another way to get more real estate clients quickly. People who search for things in search engines are very high intent. They’re often ready to do something now.
If someone searches for “Open houses this weekend”, you have just what they’re looking for.
When people are searching for “what’s my home worth”, “Best Realtors in Atlanta,” etc. you’ll want to appear in these searches. Because SEO takes some time, search engine advertising is the fast and effective way to get to the top of these searches. Search engine advertising is commonly known as PPC (Pay per click). This describes how you pay for the ads.
Similar to Facebook ads, when a person clicks on your ad, you pay a small fee the ad platform. When someone puts “How to buy a house” into a search query, Google instantly runs an auction. They then show ads for those winners.
And just like Facebook, the more relevant your ad is to the searches it appears in, the less you have to pay to win the auctions. In fact, you could end up paying 400X more is you have 1 score. You could pay 50% less if you have a 10.
Google Ads calls this the Quality Score.
How to Keep Your Quality Score High
To keep that quality score high, apply these best practices.
- Do your keyword research. Choose carefully which keyword phrases you want an ad to appear in
- Carefully align your ad copy with the keywords you want the ad to appear in. If the ad seems out of place, it won’t be clicked.
- Create a unique landing page for each type of ad. A landing page is a page on your website that seamlessly continues the journey that the ad promised. You home page, about page or general information pages are not landing pages. If your ad goes to a search page then it should land on a page that shows the types of homes that the searchers were looking for.
- Split test your ads. Start with a small budget. But once quickly expand it when you find out which ad works best.
- DO add negative keywords. These are words that you don’t want your ad to appear in response to if they are attached to your targeted keywords. For example, if you’re targeting “Atlanta real estate agent”, you don’t want to appear in a search for “Atlanta real estate agent certification”. That would be a different audience. Watch your campaign closely to see which words are being used with your words changing the query. Exclude them quickly to keep a high Quality Score.
Step 5: Nurture Leads Through Email
In step 5, we’ll take the casual fan of your website or social media. We’ll convert them into paying clients so you get earn that commission. That’s the end result you’re looking for. And it only took 5 steps to get here.
The first important element of this step to discuss is where these leads come from. You could purchase lead lists from a company. This would more or less have you cold emailing people to see if they need your services. That’s really not the way to go.
The best way to build an email list is the polite way — asking for permission. Permission-based email marketing as part of your overall real estate marketing strategy has a 44:1 return on investment. That means, on average, for every $1 you put into email marketing, you’ll get around $44 out of it.
We’ve already discussed how to build this permission-based list under Step 2, so let’s look at how to get this ROI by nurturing through email.
Triggered Emails & Automations
Triggered emails are a form of email automation. They are pre-written emails that go out when a lead does something specific. If you have access to more advanced automation tools, these triggered emails can pull in very lead-specific information.
These are some of the most relevant emails you can send a person. Because of that, they have very high open rates. Definitely, use these kinds of emails to engage and re-engage your leads one step closer to becoming paying clients.
- Welcome emails — Welcome them kindly when they first sign up. Lead them to welcome video on your website. Offer them “insider” information or a discount on an ancillary service you might provide on the side to instantly begin nurturing this relationship.
- Information request emails — Do a house that meets their criteria, just go on the market? Send them an email with pictures. Send multiple people similar emails. But with automation, you can insert each person’s name automatically so they each seem personalized.
- Video reminders — If they started watching a video. But didn’t finish, send an automated email asking if they have any question or would like you to send them other videos.
- Re-engagement — Someone inquired about a house, but didn’t return your calls. You can set up automation to see if they’re still interested or they want to explore other options.
There are so many helpful and personalized ways to your email automation and triggered emails. And the truth is that people love these kinds of emails. In fact, 77% of people say they prefer email communication from professionals.
Email newsletters are a great way to keep your leads informed about the market. Each month share:
- Local happenings ( shopping center openings, new restaurants, festivals, marathons, concerts, etc.)
- Tips for buy or selling
- New listings in the areas for buyer OR recently sold for potential sellers
- Links to your latest blog posts
- Links to your YouTube videos
- Quizzes/Surveys or other interactive content
These newsletters can be short. But use email segmentation to divide your list up by 1 or more major traits. This allows you to always send the most relevant information to the right person.
Your Personalized Real Estate Marketing Strategy
Each real estate marketing strategy is personalized. It should represent your personal brand well. It helps you reach very likely clients. It all starts with a great SEO web design. Then start building your social media presence. Convert those followers into email leads to where you can nurture them in a personalized way.
Are you unsure which way to go with your real estate marketing strategy? Are you struggling to find the time to consistently engage people on social media and your website? We can handle it all, increasing your leads and clients. Give us a call for a consultation: 404-596-7925