Oct 18, 2018

How Realtors Can Use Digital Marketing to Boost Sales

by Digital Marketing Institute

As a realtor, you may have experienced a major shift in the last ten years or so. Clients are beginning to buy houses in a different way, often beginning with online market research to form a clear vision of precisely what they want out of their future home. 

For best-in-class realtors, digital marketing has come to the forefront of their efforts. From generating new leads to completing successful sales, the real estate industry is now heavily reliant on digital marketing.

Real Estate and the Importance of Digital Marketing

Social media was one of the first game-changers for realtors seeking ways to get noticed online. From purchasing Facebook advertising to sharing photo albums of new listings, various social media platforms allowed real estate professionals to build a brand and a booming business.

With 84% of real estate professionals using social media platforms, how can modern real estate brokerages and realtors in the US further differentiate themselves in a saturated market? Your digital marketing strategy can actually have a much greater impact than traditional marketing strategies.

The Methods

To jump-start your real estate digital marketing strategy, use the following eight methods to get the results you’re seeking.

1. Develop an Email Campaign

No matter what the industry, an email nurture campaign is a valuable tool in connecting with new leads and staying relevant with past clients. Ideally, a well-rounded campaign will funnel potential clients through predetermined actions, based on their buyer profile and previous engagements with you.

According to Smart Insights, the average open rate of emails for real estate businesses is around 27%, with a click-through rate (CTR) of 3%. However, the more relevant your content is to a client, the more likely they will be interested in opening the email to see what you have to say.


2. Create a User-Friendly Website

How many times have you opened a website only to close it because it wouldn’t load fast enough? With so many photos and links, realtor websites can sometimes be a web developer’s nightmare. However, with the help of a professional web designer and a knowledge of what your clients are looking for, real estate professionals can develop a responsive website that is optimized for mobile browsing. 

Around half of all web browsing is completed on a mobile device, so if your website is not designed to be responsive, your clients will not be able to browse your site comfortably. Your mobile-friendly website should include the following content in order to give your clients the best experience:

- A list of all new listings

- Content that will guide them throughout the home buying process

- Links to relevant moving-related services such as lawyers, movers and home inspectors

In addition, consider implementing a live chat feature on your website. Your real estate business is extremely people-centric, meaning that it’s important to be available when they need to ask questions. Investing in live chat software allows people to connect 24/7 and schedule appointments without necessarily speaking directly to you. 


3. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC advertising is an excellent strategy for realtors looking to generate new leads, based on ads that they pay for every time the ad gets clicked on. 

PPC is a great digital marketing option for real estate professionals seeking potential clients who may genuinely be interested in their offering, as they only pay when someone clicks through their ad.

PPC ads can be targeted toward individuals who have searched for relevant keywords in Google or another search engine.


4. Create and Post Valuable Blog Content

Responsive websites that have a blog often have far more indexed pages, helping real estate professionals achieve better online profile.

A blog is a fantastic way to level-up your search engine optimization (SEO), build a positive reputation online, and provide your clients with actionable advice on buying or selling a home or another piece of property. A real estate professional's digital marketing strategy is nothing without valuable content, whether it's shared on your website or social media.

In addition to your responsive website, make sure that you regularly write content that buyers and sellers can come back to for answers to their most pressing real estate questions.


5. Host Virtual Tours

Virtual tours of a home are incredible pieces of content in a successful digital marketing strategy. By sharing this video content, a potential client can get an idea of what a home really has to offer them. 

Purchasing a home can be difficult, and as a real estate expert, your job is to make the home buying journey as easy as possible for your clients. Andrew J Carr shared some of the more critical qualities realtors should try to include in successful virtual tours, such as:

- Using real footage of the home, as compared to digital illustrations

- Ensuring the video of the tour is interactive and responsive across all viewing methods (mobile and desktop)

- Making the virtual tour 3D and user-friendly


6. Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy

It’s one thing to post real estate-related content on your Facebook account every once in a while, but a full-fledged social media marketing strategy is what truly yields the results you’re looking for. Some ideas of useful content to post on your social media channels include:

- New or existing listings

- Team bios (if you run a real estate brokerage)

- Case studies

- Relevant blog posts

- Success stories

If you're experienced in digital marketing, you may realize just how difficult it can be to create a social media strategy and to post regularly across all channels. However, tools like Buffer are designed to help make social media content development and scheduling simple and clear.

The most important rule of thumb for developing a social media strategy for your real estate business is to share varied content. Although sharing listings is an important factor of your digital strategy, you want to make sure that your content is useful for a broad audience, not just leads in the market for a new home.


7. Host a Webinar

Sharing all your expertise as a real estate professional is vital for successful digital marketing. Thankfully, techniques such as webinars and online workshops make it easy to reach a large audience and stay relevant in the industry. 

GoToWebinar is a webinar hosting tool designed to make creating and hosting webinar events easy, and it is extremely user-friendly from both ends of the operation.

Digital marketing for real estate professionals relies a lot on generating inbound leads, so getting your name and expertise out there is vital for a successful digital marketing campaign. 


8. Ensure You Spend Time on SEO

SEO is a critical technique to drive leads to your website. When done correctly, your website and web pages will show up higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) during relevant searches.

However, Google and other search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, so it's critical to focus on your SEO more than one time. Keywords are a basic aspect of SEO that can make a significant difference, but there are other key elements of a strong SEO strategy, including:

- Backlinks

- Meta titles and descriptions

- Social media pages

- Online directories

Because content is such a valuable asset to a good SEO strategy, make sure that you update your blog regularly. Typically, the material that is ranked highest on Google is between 1,140 words and 1,285 words, so it may be a good idea to publish high-value, long-form content on a regular basis. 

Digital Marketing Improvements You Can Make Right Away

Develop buyer profiles: Buyer profiles are the ideal clients that you are trying to target through your content. From new homeowners to existing agents, take the time to map out who your audience is, what they do, their average salary, and other characteristics that might impact their decision-making processes.

Start posting relevant content: Whether it's from your blog or another trusted real estate professional in your brokerage, high-value content is what attracts readers and builds your reputation for being a well-informed expert online. Try to update your company blog once a week, and include valuable content for a variety of buyer profiles.

Work on your SEO: Improving your search rankings isn’t as hard as you may think. Take a couple of minutes weekly to review popular industry-related keywords on Google Ads and make sure to include them in any copy you develop.

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