Most real estate agents would agree that their online presence has become more important over the years but with so many tools, platforms and strategies available, it can be difficult to know where to focus your efforts.
In this article, I will discuss five key digital strategies that provide opportunity for Realtors to grow their business, boost their profiles and encourage sales opportunities:
1. Email marketing:
Using email was one of the first digital marketing strategies and it is just as relevant today as it ever was. It has, in fact, evolved over the years. Instead of sending unexciting email blasts, there are a now a variety of easy-to-use email platforms like MailChimp and Active Campaign that help you to create beautiful website-quality emails and email sequences.
Email marketing is not just about sending a blast to your whole database and hoping that someone reads it and calls you to help them with their real estate transaction. It is more about using email marketing techniques to segment your list and to communicate with people in ways that they want, with content that interests them. For example, consider segmenting your list into “potential buyers” and “potential sellers”. Communicating with buyers should be different than communicating with sellers. Taking a cold prospect and warming them up through email sequencing strategies aimed at bringing them down the funnel to warm lead is the purpose of an effective email marketing strategy.
2. Pay per click ads:
You are no doubt familiar with pay per click (PPC) ads, even if you do not know the term or exactly how they work. PPC ads are the search results that you see at the top of the page that say “advertisement” under the link. Search engines such as Google and Bing list these ahead of the organic search results.
Realtors and brokerages can use PPC to their advantage. To explain how they work, you are essentially competing for ad space and bidding on key words that your prospects are likely searching – such as “Homes for sale in Hyde Park” or “Best real estate agent in the GTA”. Each time a user clicks on your link, you pay the amount of your bid.
PPC ads are a great form of lead generation. You will have a clear indication of what you are paying per lead and you can start measuring a cost per acquisition.
3. Content strategy:
While PPC helps to deliver paid traffic to your website, a strong content strategy helps to build your online profile and delivers organic visibility. For content strategy to be effective however, the content you deliver must be meaningful. This is less about making a sales pitch and more about giving your audience the information they want and need while building an engaged community.
Your content can take a number of forms, such as engaging social media posts, video tours of homes for sale or blogs with useful information such as “tips for staging your home”, or the latest news about the real estate market. By creating meaningful content, you will be positioning yourself as an expert and while many of your audience may not be ready to do business with you today, they will be more likely to remember you when they are ready to work with a Realtor.
4. Webinar or live events:
Webinars and online live events have been gaining popularity for some time, but they have skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic. People are hungry for human interaction and for many people, these online events are currently the only way to fill that need.
Live events such as virtual open houses, or webinars about important topics such as “An introduction to investing in real estate” can help you to attract potential clients while building your brand and online profile. They also offer that in-real-time interaction and engagement, providing opportunities for answering questions right then and there, and building relationships.
5. Database building activities:
Realtors and brokerages need to constantly build up their customer database. Fortunately, there are some simple digital strategies to help achieve this. If you have a newsletter, you should make it easy for people to subscribe – give your “subscribe button” a visible place on your website.
Another strategy to build your database is to offer a free digital product (known as lead magnets) in exchange for an email address. An example of a lead magnet would be “Your guide to investing in pre-construction in 2021” or “Get access to my staging cheat sheet”.
By getting a little creative, you will find that there are many ways to build your database.
We are fortunate to live during a time when there are so many ways to reach our target customers. The pandemic has definitely created some challenges and obstacles for Realtors and how they were used to conducting business. But it has also presented opportunities and strategies to broaden your approach and business.
Marly Broudie is the founder and CEO of SocialEyes Communications, a digital marketing firm based in Toronto. She works with several top-producing agents helping them with their digital marketing – everything from their brand, to social presence, data base building and lead gen.