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In today’s digital age, we rely on the “Internet of everything” for nearly every aspect of our lives, from checking the local weather to buying real estate property, a dynamic additionally boosted by distancing and health guidelines as a result of the pandemic. According to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a staggering 97% of homebuyers used the Internet for home searches in 2020. As a result, and in response, firms encouraged buyers to send in e-signatures, sign electronic contracts and forms, schedule virtual meetings and complete other related tasks online. These real estate trends are likely here to stay, and agents must adapt, which means developing a solid digital marketing strategy that boosts visibility and gets listings in front of the right buyers at the right time.
Here are some digital marketing tips and strategies to help you generate leads and take your company to the next level.
1. Leverage geofencing
Location, location, location. You know the mantra, one that’s beyond crucial in real estate selling, and which can also be applied to honing in on a target audience. According to the same NAR report mentioned above, 76% of homebuyers use a mobile device to search for a home. This is why “geofencing” is such an effective strategy for targeting an ideal audience by delivering a relevant, impactful message. The term refers to defining a precise and targeted mile radius around a specific location, which makes possible the targeting of smartphone audiences once they enter that defined region. Once people do so, they’ll get a push notification on their mobile device based on interests. Depending on the particular neighborhood being marketed, you can geofence nearby shopping centers, office spaces and parks.
2. Build a local SEO strategy
Because location is such a key factor in selling, consider investing in local SEO. The goal of such a strategy is to rank for local search terms like “best real estate agent” or “homes for sale near me.”
Some ways to get started:
• Create and optimize a Google Business Profile.
• Consistently publish content through that Google profile.
• Build a backlink profile by gaining links from professional and general directories.
• Generate positive reviews on Zillow, Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc.
• Perform local SEO keyword research.
3. Invest in PPC advertising
SEO is a great tactic for driving traffic to your website and boosting visibility for listings, but you don’t have to rely on organic traffic to get leads. Another option is creating a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, which allows you to deliver targeted and relevant ads to people most likely to buy. PPC advertising is effective in real estate marketing because it allows you to target people who are actively searching for a home. Placing ads in front of the right people at the right time helps them, too — leads them to the exact information or services they’re looking for. This also means they’re more likely to turn into real clients and eventually buy homes using your services.
To get started with PPC, you need to:
• Understand your target audience to help select the right keyword phrases for the campaign.
• Set a max cost-per-click (CPC) budget — essentially how much you’re willing to pay per click for a specific keyword.
• Decide which ad platform is best for your PPC campaign (Google Ads, social media ads, etc.).
• Choose the right format (whether search ads, shopping ads, display ads, etc.).
4. Harness the power of social media
With their billions of monthly active users, social media platforms are a goldmine for generating real estate leads. This is especially true for millennials, who have represented the largest generation of homebuyers in recent years. In 2020, 37% of homebuyers were of that generational group, according to a 2021 NAR report. Not surprisingly, those aged 18 to 29 (millennials and Gen Z) are the most active social media users in the U.S., as reported by the Pew Research Center. So, by leveraging the power of social media marketing, you can reach an audience that’s currently dominating the real estate market.
A few tips and tricks to help you succeed:
• Use the right real estate hashtags to optimize your content.
• Educate buyers.
• Chat with followers.
• Respond to comments.
• Promote the neighborhood/town, not just the house.
• Share real estate success stories.
• Make video part of the strategy.
Real estate in a digital world
Many years ago, digital marketing was once a nice-to-have strategy for real estate professionals, but today it’s a must. Otherwise, you risk falling behind the competition and your business not reaching its full potential. As technology continues to advance and evolve, reliance on it will only grow. Whether a homebuyer views a virtual home tour or clicks a link to schedule a tour in person, they’re utilizing technology to complete an end goal, so why not meet them halfway and reach them on the channels they use the most?