Introduction to Inbound Marketing for Real Estate
By Colin Ryan
About Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing has changed the way people do business, not just in the real estate industry, but in just about every industry. Hereâ€™s how it works. Rather than cold calling or posting billboard ads to potentially unqualified leads, inbound marketing focuses on getting your message out to receptive leads who are already searching for what you have to offer. In the old process of outbound marketing, you spent most of your time sifting through cold leads. These are people youâ€™ve never met or spoken to, who donâ€™t know anything about your company or product. The goal is to take those cold leads and â€śwarm them upâ€ť by convincing them that youâ€™re trustworthy and that you have something they want–in this case, real estate listings. There are a variety of ways to go about warming up leads; traditionally, cold calling via telephone and advertising via print publications and mailers were most common.
Naturally, the conversion rate for leads like these isnâ€™t very high. When it comes to the real estate industry, most people arenâ€™t inclined to be sold something they donâ€™t already want by people they donâ€™t already know, and even if theyâ€™re willing to listen, thereâ€™s a good chance they arenâ€™t in a position to buy. Because of this, volume in every sense of the word was key to the sales process. In a nutshell, the mantra of traditional outbound marketing might be, â€śshout it loud, shout it often.â€ť Though salespeople accepted this as a way of life, the fact remains it was a costly, time consuming, and often painful process. Breaking down a cold lead took hard work and a thick skin. Watch films like â€śBoiler Roomâ€ť or â€śGlengarry Glenn Ross,â€ť and youâ€™ll get a sense of just how difficult this could be.
The advent of the Internet, however, changed all this. Consumers now have access to all kinds of information that was previously limited to professionals, and they can parse that information without having to sit through conversations with overeager salespeople. Consequently, the flow of the entire process has been reversed. Suddenly, an effective marketing strategy wasnâ€™t just about finding the right people–it was also about making it easy for the right people to find you. Instead of pushing your message out, youâ€™re drawing your clients in–hence, inbound marketing. Still, this process presents its own challenges. Outbound marketing can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill, but at least you control which direction youâ€™re taking it. With inbound marketing, you can create the path, but the consumer ultimately decides which direction to go. The task, then, is to build a path thatâ€™s smooth, straight, scenic, and most importantly, well-maintained.
The five key components to creating an effective inbound real estate marketing strategy are:
4. Social Media
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Published on January 1, 2012