Bringing in leads. It’s an essential part of any successful real estate business.
It can be tough to make it happen, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel to get more clients!
Need some inspiration?
We’ve listed out the top real estate marketing tools and real estate marketing strategies to help you design a plan that will bring your business to new heights.
The real estate industry in 2020
When discussing the state of the real estate industry, no conversation would be complete without mentioning the ‘housing bubble’ that caused the Great Recession. While it wasn’t the only factor, the risky financial behavior that was going on within the real estate market was definitely a big contributor to the 2008 recession.
We won’t dig too much into the details, but suffice it to say that by the end of 2007 more than 2.5 percent of all American households were in foreclosure. This was largely due to risky lending practices on the part of bankers and other financial institutions – something they were incentivized to do as a result of record-low interest rates on acquiring capital.
Let’s just say it was a “perfect financial storm” that took many homeowners and real estate agents by complete surprise. The result was an economy flooded with debt.
Since the real estate industry tanked during the financial crisis of 2008 though, it’s been slowly but steadily recovering. Today the number of American households that are in foreclosure is below 0.5%. That’s a nearly 80% decrease in the number of foreclosures in a little over 10 years – impressive numbers to say the least!
Facing new competition
One of the effects of the Great Recession was that people with new ideas found opportunities to enter into those struggling industries – including real estate. For example, Purplebricks (founded in 2012) and Opendoor (founded in 2014) both started up in the wake of the huge dip in the housing market and are both aimed at providing “radically simple” ways to buy and sell homes.
In an industry such as real estate which has traditionally been focused on building a reputation through face-to-face communication, the newly successful online approaches are putting the pressure on their more old-school competitors. Similarly to the ‘brick-and-mortar stores vs online retail’ situation, it’s evident that even the most well-established real estate agencies are in need of new and creative approaches to remaining competitive in the digitalized world we live in.
Of course, part of the effort to remain competitive should be placed on developing a strong real estate marketing plan. If you’re looking for the best real estate marketing ideas, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to get the top real estate marketing strategies out there.
8 real estate marketing strategies to grow your agency
1. Optimize your SEO practices
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the reason why certain websites show up on the first page of a Google search and others don’t. The basic idea is the better your SEO practices are, the closer to the #1 spot you’ll come. It should go without saying, but you definitely want to be among the first few results when people search for you online.
Make no mistake – it will take time to improve your website’s SEO and ranking positions, but when you see the difference having a spot on page-1 makes to your bottom line, you’ll understand why it’s worth the effort.
2. Make yourself a website
We’re living in the 21st century – the digital age. If you don’t have a website at all, then you better change that as soon as possible! If you do have a website, but it looks like you last updated it in 1999, then you also have some work to do. Either way, this has got to be a key step in your real estate marketing plan.
Particularly since smartphones exploded onto the world stage, people search for services in their area online. Without a reliable and well-designed site for potential clients to find you online, you’re likely doing yourself a big disservice. Set up a website that provides all necessary info for clients, and also has a personal touch to it, and watch your revenues climb.
3. Develop a presence on social media platforms
Traditional real estate advertising isn’t always the way to get results. Billboards might make you feel good, but with millions of people active across the top three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), there exist enormous audiences that are accessible to you at the click of a button.
Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than just signing up. You’ll have to take a bit of time to learn how to best use the different types of social media and grow your number of followers. But once you get the ball rolling, you’ll see that engagement on your posts will grow and – ideally – bring in more leads!
4. Ask happy clients to write reviews
Let’s face it, some clients will be unhappy for any number of reasons. There’s always a chance that they’ll go and leave a not-so-nice review about you, which can take a pretty big toll on your business if not handled properly.
With that in mind, it should be clear why one of the best real estate marketing strategies is to simply ask your satisfied clients to take a minute and write a positive review about their experience with you. Word-of-mouth advertising carries lots of weight, so use it to your advantage!
5. Use social media paid advertising
Following up on the first step of developing a social media presence, you should also consider including social media paid advertising in your kit of real estate marketing tools. With a small investment, you can not only ensure that your real estate advertising will be seen, but that it will be seen by the relevant audience!
As mentioned, there are millions of people that are active across the different social media platforms. Having the ability to target specific audiences presents huge opportunities as far as growing and developing your business. Don’t underestimate the power of paid ads as part of a social media marketing strategy!
6. Nurture leads towards converting
Nurturing leads is a crucial step in anybody’s real estate marketing plan. Clients often have hesitations that can be easily cleared with a bit of guidance, so be sure to touch base throughout the process so demonstrate an open line of communication. Plus, people don’t like feeling like just another number – add a touch of personalization wherever and whenever possible, it can make all the difference.
Making initial contact with a potential client is possibly the most important step in communication. That said, if you don’t follow up with leads and ensure a positive customer experience, you’ll quickly find that a successful first-contact can end up being a fruitless endeavor.
7. Establish a reputation in your community
In the real estate industry, you’ll often times be working with clients that are from your surrounding community. For that reason, establishing yourself a good reputation in the local social sphere is one of the best real estate marketing ideas you can pursue.
You can donate to a local fundraiser or even contribute some funding to a local little league baseball team. Think about opportunities there may be to co-sponsor local events such as the town’s holiday festivals or high school graduation ceremonies. The list of ways that you could grow your reputation in the community is virtually endless – and even the smallest step can make a big difference.
8. Step up your small business branding strategy
Small business branding strategies come in many shapes. When it comes to real estate marketing though, your run-of-the-mill branding ideas might not cut it. That’s because, so much of the time, the “brand” of your real estate business is – you!
That said, creating a brand around yourself is not impossible. It’s going to be a lot more focused on developing a voice and an emotional response from your audience than it will be focused on a creative, colorful, eye-catching logo.
The goal? Appeal to emotion by making your client feel comfortable in your care. Make sure they know that you’ve been around the block more than once, and you can guide them along the way.
8 best real estate marketing tools
You can spend endless amounts of time searching for the best real estate marketing tools out there. For your convenience, we’ve filtered through them to present you with the top 8. Keep reading to get the full breakdown.
1. Mangools (SEO)
While you can go about improving your SEO on your own, it may be worthwhile to look for some help. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending money – take a look at SEO tools like Mangools that offer free trials to get started. If it seems like a good fit, you can then decide to pay a little on top to get even more out of their services.
2. Squarespace (web design)
You don’t need to be a computer coding expert to design a website. With online services like Squarespace, creating a website is as easy as clicking, dragging, and dropping. There are plenty of pre-made templates to pick from so that you can keep your website looking unique and stand out from the competition.
3. Hootsuite (social media)
Who has time to be active on social media all day every day? Probably not you, unless you’re a teenage high school dropout.
That’s okay – you can still build up your social media presence without having your phone in hand 24/7. You can use an online social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite to get your next few posts lined up in advance. This is extremely useful as a way to keep your audience engaged even when you’re not posting in real-time.
4. TrustPilot (customer reviews)
There are plenty of review sites out there that can be incorporated into a real estate marketing plan. For example, TrustPilot is one of the most trusted customer review websites nowadays with over 300,000 businesses reviewed.
Trustpilot is so well-regarded that Google even considers the TrustPilot ‘star rating’ when calculating the Google Seller Rating in organic search results. You can even qualify to have TrustPilot reviews appear beside your own website when it appears in Google search results, which will add a degree of credibility to your business.
5. Facebook Ads (social media advertizing)
Since Facebook has the most monthly active users of any social media platform (2.41 billion), it’s fair to say that Facebook Ads is one of the best real estate marketing tools you can make use of. Regardless of your budget or experience with advertising, Facebook Ads offers solutions that can help you reach your intended audience and start bringing in more leads.
Side note: If you need an extra boost to your budget in order to cover the costs of improving your real estate marketing plan, an unsecured business loan can be the solution you’re looking for. It’s an ideal financing solution for real estate agents since there’s no need to provide valuable assets as collateral. It goes without saying, but real estate businesses don’t typically have a ton of big expensive equipment that keeps their businesses running.
6. Manychat (lead nurturing)
Even the hardest-working real estate agents need to take a break. Manychat is an immensely useful way to give your real estate marketing a boost. You can create customized and automated message flows both for Facebook Messenger and SMS (and even combine them!).
This will help your clients feel well-tended-to while simultaneously working to gather all of the important information you need at those early stages of interaction.
7. Volunteering (community outreach)
While it might not qualify as a real estate marketing ‘tool’, per se, volunteering in your local community is one of the best real estate marketing strategies you can include in your broader real estate marketing plan.
Shaking hands and sharing smiles is always a reliable way to get people to remember who you are and what you do. While donations and the like are a great way to earn kudos, there’s no price tag that can be put on a genuinely pleasant face-to-face interaction. Get out there and rub elbows!
8. Smarter Agent (branding)
Creating a brand for your real estate business doesn’t require that you start from ground zero. Fortunately, there are powerful real estate marketing tools that you can use, like Smarter Agent, which provides a turnkey solution for your real estate branding needs. Get all of the essential functions you need to get up and running – plus the ability to personalize the app so clients can distinguish you from the crowd.
How to create a real estate marketing plan
If you want to become a successful realtor, then you absolutely must create a strong and effective real estate marketing plan. We’ve covered the top 8 real estate marketing strategies, but how do you put it into action? Scroll down and find out!
Important note: Putting a real estate marketing plan into action may place a toll on your cash flow. If you’re concerned that you won’t have the necessary funds, consider taking a real estate agent loan to get the financial boost you need to take your business to the next level. There are plenty of funding options out there to choose from, and with one application through Become, you can find out which of them you qualify for – for free!
Step-by-step guide to create a real estate marketing plan:
1. Define specific goals
What’s your goal? Do you want to be the top realtor in your county? Do you want to become a millionaire in 5 years? Whether you’re designing a real estate advertising plan, a pricing strategy, or any other business-related objective, having the big picture in mind is going to be necessary. If you start a project like real estate marketing without a clear goal, don’t be surprised to feel like you’re stuck running on a hamster wheel!
2. Determine your target audience
Are you looking to primarily work with buyers or sellers? Do you see yourself working in a quieter residential area or in commercial real estate? There are plenty of questions you can ask to help you determine who your target audience is or should be. The bottom line is, you’ll want to define an audience that is likely to generate the sales you’re aiming for.
You may want to consider:
- Level of education
3. Develop a unique approach
Just about anybody can describe a piece of property to a client – that simply won’t be enough to be a successful realtor. If you want to create an actionable real estate marketing plan, you’ll need to find a way to stand apart from your competitors.
Use your strengths. If you have a bubbly personality, flaunt it and make your clients smile. If you’re more prone to quickly getting down to brass-tax, then make it work for you. However you do it, make sure that you’re not blending in with the crowd. Leave a memorable impression!
4. Choose your mode of communication
You’ll want your clients to know how to reach you in a reliable way. Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook? You may ask them to reach out to you through Facebook Messenger. Are you on the move for most of the day? Then maybe a quick text message would be ideal for you. It’s not particularly important which mode of communication you rely on most – just make sure you’re available for your clients to reach out when they need you.
5. Communicate effectively
Depending on your target audience, you may find that communicating effectively is best done through certain modes than others. For example, if most of your clients are over the age of 45, you might not want to rely too much on communicating through text messaging – phone calls might be a better choice. However, if you have younger clients, phone calls can be seen as too time-consuming – you may be better off reaching them through text or email.
6. Lay out your action plan
The first step was to define your larger goals. But let’s not forget that a plan is put into action on a daily basis. Create a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule of shorter-term goals you aim to accomplish. Be consistent with your real estate marketing ideas, it will take some time to see results. Laying out your plan in advance will also help you budget your real estate marketing plan.
Side note: Your daily plan can change at a moment’s notice, and occasionally that can have an unexpected impact on your cash flow. For those moment-to-moment expenses, having a business line of credit can prove to be very useful. They can be used on an as-needed basis, so you only end up paying interest on the funds you actually use.
7. Create your real estate marketing budget
While there are real estate marketing ideas that won’t put a dent in your wallet, chances are you’ll want to invest at least some of your earnings into developing a strong real estate marketing strategy. Not familiar with how to measure your budget? You can use the formula for calculating profit margins to help you determine how much money you can put towards your real estate marketing plan.
8. Measure, assess, and optimize
Unless you’re keeping track of your finances, there’s no reliable way of determining whether your real estate marketing strategies are working as intended. And while it’s good to be confident, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your first shot at creating a real estate marketing plan was a bullseye. Measure how close you’re coming to your goals and assess your return on investment. Make necessary adjustments so that you’ll stay on target and continue moving your real estate advertising plan in the right direction.
If you’re really looking to get ahead in the real estate industry, it’s time to step up your marketing game! Stand out from the competition, stay focused, and watch the leads start pouring in. It may take some time for your real estate marketing plan to show solid results, so be sure to bookmark this page to refer back to as you continue to improve.