Are you taking advantage of today’s best real estate marketing tools?
Like the real estate industry, the world of marketing is constantly evolving. If you’re not keeping up with today’s marketing trends, you’re leaving leads (and money!) on the table.
Here are five effective real estate marketing tools you should be using to maximize growth in 2020 and beyond.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing has been expanding for the past several years, but it’s still severely under-utilized by real estate professionals.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the promotion of informational “content” such as articles, infographics, and checklists. It’s all about educating your prospective clients. And when it comes to real estate, there are major opportunities for educating your audience! Consider all the questions your firm gets from buyers and sellers every single day:
How do I get preapproved for a loan?
What do I need to do to prepare my house for the market?
Wouldn’t going for-sale-by-owner save me a lot of money?
By answering these questions through blog posts, interesting visuals, and engaging videos, you’ll be marketing your services in a way that’s truly appreciated by your future clients.
Content marketing allows you to:
Provide real value to your future clients
Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise
Build trust before you ever interact directly with your prospects
Expand brand awareness
Promote your services in a non-aggressive, non-annoying way
Content marketing is also less expensive than many other forms of marketing. In fact, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, but generates three times as many leads!
The trick to content marketing success is to host your content in a permanent location (ie. the blog section of your website). This helps funnel prospects to your website where they can learn more about you, sign up for your email list, and contact you when they have questions or are ready to take action.
So before you invest the money in another generic mailer about your latest sale, consider investing a little time in writing a few blog posts to answer your prospects’ most pressing questions.
2. Video, Video, Video
Search engine algorithms have started giving special priority to video content, making video one of the most effective marketing tools for 2020 and beyond. By 2021, video is projected to represent 82% of all online traffic.
Unlike general content marketing, you don’t want to host video on your website. There are simply too many potential technical issues with hosting your own videos. Instead, upload them first to your YouTube channel (it’s easy enough to create your own channel) then embed the YouTube video to your website. This will save you a lot of time and technological troubleshooting! And since YouTube is effectively a search engine, your videos will be indexed and can be found through online searches.
So how can you incorporate video in your real estate marketing plan? Here are a few ideas:
Give personal video tours of each new listing. These can go on your YouTube channel and the listing page(s) on your website.
Record yourself answering common buyer and seller questions. Simply make a list of your most common questions and record a short video response to each question.
Offer video tours of your neighborhoods. Simply mount your phone to the dashboard of your car, camera facing out, and drive around the neighborhood, explaining the points of interest. Perfect for the neighborhood pages of your website.
Ask your former clients if they’d like to be guests on your YouTube channel. You can interview them about their experience buying or selling.
Edit your videos into 15-30 second clips, perfect for social media!
You can also re-use the audio to create your own podcast!
3. Digital Catalogs Through Catalogs.com
Digital catalogs are one of the no-brainer real estate marketing tools for today’s top producers.
Like the Home Hunter paper catalogs of a bygone era, digital catalogs bring a little fun and a sense of leisure to the potentially stressful process of finding a home. These catalogs are filled with jaw-dropping photos of the latest listings and articles of local interest.
Unlike the old-school catalogs, these digital catalogs are branded specifically for your brokerage. That’s right; the catalog will look as though it’s professionally produced by your own in-house publishing company! Your readers will see your brokerage on the cover and full-page promotions for your brokerage throughout the catalog.
And the digital catalogs will be automatically emailed to your subscriber list every month with zero fuss on your end. This regular contact with your email list keeps you top of mind with past clients, increasing referrals and repeat business. And it keeps you top of mind with prospects and current clients as well, helping you convert more leads to closings.
While you might expect this type of customized, professional marketing publication to cut seriously into your marketing budget, you can actually completely offset the cost of this publication by selling ad space in the catalogs to just a handful of local businesses!
4. Social Media
Social media can be a little tricky, but when used correctly, it’s one of the most effective real estate marketing tools available to today’s agents and brokers!
To make social media work for you, you need to understand your target market, meet them where they are, give them a reason to like, share, or comment on your posts, and (most importantly!) be consistent.
Is your audience most likely to be on Facebook (typically the 40+ crowd), Instagram (generally the Millennials and Gen Z), or LinkedIn (mostly just investors)? Twitter, frankly, requires posting more than 10 times per day to be effective, so it’s generally not worth the effort.
In addition to sharing your blog posts, videos, and digital catalogs on your social platform(s), you also want to create posts specifically to increase engagement. Ask for opinions, invite people to tag a friend who would love your post, and publish candid photos of yourself on-the-job to get more shares, likes, and comments.
Then consider a few outside-the-box ideas for further effectiveness:
Facebook Live: Invite your audience to a live Q&A where they can ask all their real estate questions and get real-time video answers. People can participate in your live recording session or watch it back later.
Stories: Stories are only available for 24 hours. This is good for content you don’t necessarily want to have a permanent home on your profile. And you can post several times per day without being penalized by the algorithm for overposting.
Social Media Ads: Ads are a good, cost-effective way to make sure your message reaches your target market. Include some interesting information in your ads to make them more valuable and more effective.
Messenger Ads: You can now advertise through Facebook Messenger! To avoid seeming spammy, only use this for information truly relevant to your audience.
5. 3D Home Tours with Matterport
With 73% of buyers using cell phones or tablets to search for homes, you need your listings to stand out online. For this reason, 3D home tours have become one of the top real estate marketing tools for 2020.
Matterport 3D home tours present your listing in virtual reality. Buyers will be able to view an accurate representation of the home’s space and layout.
This service also makes a great competitive advantage in your listing presentation!
But you should know that less expensive homes may not generate a large enough commission to justify the 3D tour expense. In that case, skipping the high-tech 3D tour makes sense. But don’t skimp on the professional photos. Professional photos make a world of difference in getting your listing sold faster and for more money. So today’s real estate professionals are investing in pro photos at every price point.