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Change the Game: Modern Marketing for Real Estate Agents

February 22, 2016

Change the Game: Modern Marketing for Real Estate Agents

This article isn't about ways to get your client's home sold -- you've already had to adapt your listing and searching processes, to the quick pace of the current real estate market.  It's about getting YOU found as an agent, in the sea of possible agents. These marketing guidelines will help you create a solid foundation, and make you an impressive choice to a prospective client.

 

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Cover Your Bases

These are the basics that you should have in your marketing plan, as a modern real estate agent. Your savvy clients will expect to see the following:

 

Mobile-Friendly, Responsive Website

The cost of a website no longer has to break the bank. There are many clean, real-estate-friendly website templates available - offering current technology - for a few dollars a month (check out Weebly.com and Wix.com). Also, with the majority of searches being performed on mobile devices, you’ll want to have a responsive design that preserves the look of your website, yet transitions smoothly to the size of the device screen.

 

Client Reviews

Your reviews from past clients are the best FREE advertisements. If you receive written thank you notes from clients, transcribe them onto your website. You could also email clients, and provide them with a link to review you on your social media pages. Take videos of clients singing your praises, and start your own YouTube channel (you will earn extra points from Google search). Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn – everyone else is doing it, and it can convince a prospective client to choose you!

 

Social Media Presence

You can no longer run from social media! Set up a professional Facebook profile where you can feature your listings, client reviews, and evidence of your connections in your community. This page is NOT the same as your personal profile, where you share pics of the kids and debate politics. This professional profile should present your polished, yet individualized, business personality.

A Google-Plus profile, or Google My Business profile, is essential if you have a physical office and want to be found on a web search. Whether or not you are an active tweeter on Twitter, you should set up an account to reserve your name, or an otherwise recognizable Twitter handle.

 

Real Estate Search Sites

More homes are now being viewed on Zillow.com than any other search site, (with the majority of searches being on mobile devices), so it is advisable for you to have a presence there -- as well as Trulia (linked to Zillow) and Realtor.com. Make sure that any of your listed or sold properties are documented there, so that you have a history visible to prospects. Also, these sites are ideal places to direct your clients, when asking them to post a review for you.

 

Think Inbound

Inbound Marketing is a revolutionary new strategy to promote your business. It is not a fad, but a way to further develop your web presence in order to effectively reach your ideal clients. Instead of focusing on “Outbound” Marketing, like newspaper ads and cold calls, Inbound Marketing appeals to potential clients by publishing informative and entertaining content on your website. Essentially, you attract new clients to you by answering their questions, and offering solutions to their real estate problems. This content will show up on search engines as individual articles, all living on your website.

 

Blog

Your website visibility will be maximized if you add a blog page, featuring articles that you share from reliable, relevant sources, and/or articles that you craft yourself. Many of the website templates currently available have a built-in blog feature, or you can plug in a Wordpress blog page to an existing site. Having a blog helps you to add pages and searchable terms to your website, which increases the likelihood of your website being ranked higher on search engines. Also, a blog with helpful information, presents you as a credible resource in your professional field.

 

Content Offers

The other key aspect of Inbound Marketing is capturing the contact information from your website visitors. You can do so by adding forms to your website, as well as content offers. For example, if a visitor fills out a simple form, they will get access to a free download of your “Moving Checklist”. You now have a list of client leads that you can communicate with - which you can hopefully develop into fulfilling working relationships with over time!

 

Connecting One-to-One...Digitally

There is no doubt that face-to-face interactions are dwindling, and more communication is being conducted across wires and devices. So how do you create a personal experience, when you can only reach them by text and email?

 

Videos

With over 1 billion people watching YouTube, yet only 9% of U.S. small businesses posting to it, this is a bandwagon you should hop on! Shooting simple videos giving your home tips, or filming video tours of properties, are small ways that potential clients can get to know you, without ever meeting in person. And because YouTube is a Google channel, posting videos there can also help increase your search ranking.

 

Email Marketing

While you may think of email as being ineffective and spammy, it is surprisingly, nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers**. Sending a personalized email providing helpful resources, can help you connect with your clients, on their own time.

 

Targeted Facebook Ads

Don’t be intimated into not trying advertising on Facebook. It is one of the most affordable ways to target very exact groups of clients – by zip code, behaviors, and interests. For instance, you can choose to take one of your recent Facebook posts for an open house, and turn it into an ad that will run on Facebook during your open house days, allowing you to set your budget and the reach. Your ad may land in thousands of prospects news-feeds, for only $30! Facebook offers step-by-step tutorials in their Ads Manager & Help sections. Here’s a LINK to get you started.

 

New Avenues

There will always be new channels and mediums of business exposure in the market place. But these seem to be here to stay (for a bit), and can help you connect with clients in surprising ways.

 

Pinterest

This is not just a site limited to sharing recipes and hairdos. It is quickly becoming a search engine, where “Pinners” are searching for topics in the same manner as they do on Google. You can post pretty photos of your listings, but don’t stop there. Create Pinterest boards that focus on home decorating ideas, design inspiration, or “Things To Do In (your town here)”. Don’t forget to add a comment to your pins to personalize them, as well as a link to your website for more information.

 

Next Door

A free, private social network for your neighborhood and surrounding communities, you can post about your business, events, seminars, open houses and more. Because it is a direct, trusted connection to your neighbors, avoid abusing this format with “salesy” pitches. Instead, think of friendly offers and topics that your friends next door would consider helpful, such as finding out the value of their home, or news on nearby amenities. Neighbors on these networks also ask each other for referrals for different services, so this could be an excellent opportunity for word-of-mouth references.

 

Instagram

The fastest growing social media platform, Instagram is a mini-magazine for your phone. Use it as a great outlet to place listing photos (only interesting ones please!) or 15-second video tours of homes. You should treat it like Pinterest – keep the posts and topics beautiful and engaging. Where Instagram falls short, is in linking to outside sources. For example, if you want to post a collage of your cute new listing, you are unable to include a link to your website to “see more”. However, if you include a simple website address, you may still get some traffic from it.

 

All of this may sound daunting at first glance. But if you chip away at the list, and at least TRY some of the components that intimidate you, you will gravitate to the marketing methods that work with your personality, and connect you to your ideal client. Now get out there, and get found! 


 

Ready to assess and then grow your business? To help you get started you can download our FREE guide Social Prospecting Workbook - How to Use Social Media to Find New Leads.

 

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Lisa Morgan
Lisa Morgan

Lisa works directly with clients to keep the voice of their brand clear in the cluttered world of the Internet and social media. With over 20 years experience in Brand Development & Consumer Marketing, she has worked with national retailers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs to create branded advertising and marketing initiatives. Her hands-on experiences as both a designer and account director allow her to develop a creative vision backed by structure and strategy.