Until the last decade, real estate marketing revolved around advertising your property in newspaper classifieds. You had to pay more to get a coveted position in the newspaper to grab the attention of the buyer. If you had more money, you could advertise on the front page of the newspaper and do outdoor advertising in the form of hoardings and banners.
Advertising was expensive, untrackable, and rarely guaranteed marketing qualified or sales qualified leads. Real estate companies had to rely on agents - the greatest influencers in the real estate industry to sell properties.
Today the scenario has changed dramatically.
Agents still play a significant role, and listings have moved online, but real estate companies have finally found a way to connect with the home buyers directly.
Real estate companies are using these digital marketing trends to reach buyers directly.
Why do you need real estate digital marketing?
In 2017, Real Estate Webmasters surveyed to know how the real estate industry does marketing. The survey revealed that just 26% of the respondents advertised in local newspapers and 10% advertised through magazines and flyers. 70% of them had a website, and 38% of them actively advertised on social media.
Source: Real Trends
So, what has brought this transition from conventional marketing to digital marketing?
#1 - Less Expensive
Digital advertisements are less expensive than print or outdoor ads. A print property listing could cost you $1000 on average. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is more transparent and cost-effective. The average cost per click (CPC) for real estate is under $2, and it brings an average conversion of 10%.
#2 - Trackable ROI
How often have you been able to track the ROI of your print or TV ads? In most cases, you can’t point a finger to what worked and what did not! Digital marketing is an altogether a different ballgame. It tells you precisely how many people saw your ad, clicked on it, came to your website, etc. You know if your digital marketing strategy has worked.
#3 - Close deals faster
Purchasing a house is a lengthy process, which can’t be made on a whim. Home buyers see multiple ads and hop from one property to another before zeroing the right one. This can lead to a lot of persuasion and follow-ups from your sales team and agents. It can even get difficult to predict who will buy a property. Digital marketing simplifies the complete process. Tools like Facebook lead generation forms tell you exactly who could be interested in your property and equip you to target them through Facebook ads, Google ads, etc. It helps your sales team to do lead scoring and close the deals by targeting people showing high purchasing intent.
#4 - Tell your story
Diane Johnson, the Operating Principal at the Austin Keller Williams Realty Southwest Market Center, said, “Investing in our web presence is important because it gives me stories I can tell.” It’s difficult to tell your story in a limited space of print ads and hoardings. Websites and social media gives you the platform to share your story with the buyers and establish trust in them.
So, you see digital marketing scores better than conventional marketing methods in cost-effective lead generation. But remember, everyone including your competitors are going the digital marketing route. So, if you want to reach your buyers, you have to develop a fail-proof real estate digital marketing strategy.
Let’s see how to make one for your business.
How to create a real estate digital marketing strategy?
To create a successful digital marketing strategy, you need to be with the buyer right from the time they look online for properties to the time you close the deal. Here’s how you can create a successful digital marketing strategy for your real estate business.
1. Create a buyer persona
Before you even begin your marketing activities, determine what kind of buyers you are targeting. Who will be interested in purchasing the property? Will the IT professionals be interested because the property is very close to an IT park? Will people with a moderate budget be interested in purchasing your luxury apartments? It’s important to get your target audience right because that would form the foundation of your strategy. A buyer persona helps you to create a semi-fictional outline of your ideal buyer. Creating a buyer persona will help you to create the right type of communication to attract your buyers.
Need help in creating a buyer persona? Use our ready-to-use buyer persona template to get started.
2. Create an end-to-end real estate digital marketing strategy
Typically a customer goes through three stages - awareness, consideration, and decision stage. Awareness is the stage where the buyer will come to know of your property. The consideration stage is where the buyer considers your property as an option and take a tour before deciding. After exploring a few options, the buyer may find your property the best and decide to purchase your apartment. This is called the decision stage. Now, you cannot use the same content at every stage. The content you show a first-time website visitor will be different from what you show a person who is in the consideration stage. Here are a few content options that you can explore at every stage.
Brand awareness: This is your chance to cut through the clutter and grab the attention of your user. Invest your time and resources in creating high-quality videos of your property. Also, spend time on creating an SEO-friendly website for your property. Use channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to give your buyers a virtual tour of your property.
Lead generation: The first step is to create a good landing page with details of your property and a contact form. A video can be a bonus as it increases the chances of capturing leads by 86%. Ensure that the content is concise and lucid, the design is attractive, and the page loading speed is fast. Once the landing page is created, use Facebook and Google ads to lead the buyers to the landing page.
To know how you can use Facebook advertising to your advantage, check out our previous blog.
Engagement and re-engagement: So, the buyer liked what they saw on your landing page and filled the contact form expressing interest in seeing your property. What’s next? You call them to show the property. Most likely, they would have booked similar tours at other properties in the neighborhood. Some may have even expressed their interest in purchasing a property and kept the decision on hold for some reason. This means that you have to pursue the lead until they decide to buy your property or buy elsewhere. Some tactics that you can use to engage or re-engage your customers include - doing remarketing ads on Google and Facebook and drip email marketing campaigns.
3. Keep testing
Finally, keep testing every aspect of your digital marketing strategy to know what’s working, and what requires improvement. The more you experiment, and the faster you fail, the easier it will be for you to fine-tune your strategy. Define your KPIs for every stage of the marketing campaign and keep monitoring and testing them to achieve your goals.
You probably know by now that creating a real estate digital marketing strategy is not rocket science. However, you have to dedicate a good amount of time to make it successful. You need experts in the team to steer your digital marketing efforts in the right direction.
For example, our client VBHC lost a lot of money on using the wrong keywords in Google Ads. We helped them reduce the cost per lead by 150% and increase the leads by 300% using the right keywords.
So, if you need help in getting your digital marketing strategy right, get in touch with us. We will help you to generate leads in a cost-effective way.