Monthly Real Estate Marketing Review: Home Staging Stats, Google Analytics News, and More
By Matthew Bushery
About Agent Basics
You’re a real estate pro by day … but “behind the scenes,” you’re also a marketer. As such, you need to stay in the know when new marketing trends emerge, old ones fade away, and other updates occur in the digital landscape.
The best way to become aware of modern marketing ideas and updates — and remain up to speed on the latest and most pertinent real estate industry news — is to check out this very article series on the Placester Academy each and every month.
While we’ve already covered a sizable number of stories, studies, and surveys from the first half of the year, we’ve got plenty more to share with you — including in this August 2017 edition of the series, which features data and insights from the National Association of REALTORS®, Google, NPR, and other esteemed entities.
Let’s examine the latest happenings in both the digital marketing universe and residential real estate sphere you need to know.
Also, get even more business insights from the 16 esteemed agents, brokers, and other industry pros in this 1-minute video:
Home staging remains as vital as ever, according to NAR.
There are certain REALTOR marketing tactics that just don’t have any correlation to one’s online presence (or at least a direct one).
Take home staging, for instance. You can (and should) show off your latest listings and/or intriguing and appealing ones in your market via your real estate website … but it’s the actual act of traditional staging that, more often than not, is what wins over prospective home buyer leads/clients.
Two-thirds of home seller’s agents indicated staging helps reduce the amount of time listings spend on the market, according to a REALTORS® report. Meanwhile, 77% of buyer’s agents noted their clients can better envision what it’d be like to live in a home when it’s staged.
Regardless of which side of the deal you work, the odds are your clients will nearly always benefit from staged residences — in the form of higher and more bids for sellers and greater attraction to listings for buyers: a win-win for everyone involved.
if you’re a seller’s agent, though, just be sure you start and end your listing marketing with your website. Spotlighting every corner of the homes you represent digitally goes a long way in developing the offline traction (see: more private showing requests and open house walk-ins) needed to offload your clients’ properties.
More than 90% of brands have content strategies, per CMI.
Promoting a listing via your website, through email, on social, or by way of some other outlet isn’t the only way you attract more members of your core audience to your digital presence.
It’s the creation of unique and absorbing real estate content marketing collateral that appeals to your buyer persona(s) and, when crafted well, gets them to hand over their phone number, email, and housing preferences.
And as the latest Content Marketing Institute report reveals, content is the cornerstone of any brand’s promotional plans — including those for real estate pros such as yourself. The study’s data shows:
- 91% of marketers “use content marketing to market its products, services, or support to prospects or existing customers.”
- Content is viewed as a primary “business asset” by 92% of brands (with 80% of “micro” businesses noting as such).
- Email software is the most popular marketing tech used by companies today, with 76% stating they use this kind of solution.
Despite all of the eye-opening stats that show most B2C and B2B organizations place a big emphasis on organized content strategies, there were still some figures that show many of these entities still have a ways to go to make the most of content.
For example, just half of the marketers surveyed said their brands have customer personas and use analytics programs to track their online success.
So, if you’ve yet to develop your real estate buyer personas or implement data- (and lead-)tracking software for your agency, that’s an optimal place to enhance your content marketing blueprint (and overall marketing).
Without both, you’ll just end up throwing darts in the dark, so to speak, with your digital content — and not coming close to the lead generation and client conversion numbers you need to scale your firm.
“Ask a Question” is the latest update to Google Analytics.
Speaking of analytics, chances are you’re familiar with Google’s incredible and intuitive tool that makes monitoring your marketing performance a piece of cake (or easy as pie, depending on your dessert preferences).
Besides the main selling point of bein able to get an at-a-glance view of all of your essential marketing metrics with Google Analytics, the software offers yet another big value now: the ability to use natural language search to “ask” the platform data questions — and get instant answers.
It’s fairly straightforward, in terms of how to use the latest GA feature: Enter in the data point you want to unearth from the system, and Google handles the rest, using the same natural language tech it says is utilized in Android devices and its search engine.
Now you have absolutely zero excuses not to be using Google Analytics to keep tabs on your real estate website numbers — from pageviews and sessions to time on page and bounce rate — so be sure to set up your account today (which can be accomplished in mere seconds) and get to know the handy resource.
Smart speakers are now “essential,” an NPR report says.
The sheer number of apps, tools, and widgets available to you and all other real estate professionals today is staggering. Some seem like easy ones to incorporate in your online marketing. Others are more difficult to fuse into your digital tactics and channels.
Smart speakers (as of 2017, at least) fall somewhere in the middle. Brands are just now tapping into the yet-to-be-fully-revealed potential the smart-home items offer (and seemingly will offer down the line).
While the specific ways in which businesses can promote themselves via these devices, one thing is clear: Their popularity is growing by the day — and they’re already considered essential for the modern home.
According to a joint report by NPR and Edison Research, 65% of consumers who own a smart speaker said they wouldn’t want to revert to life without the contraptions. What’s more is 70% of these individuals say they listen to more audio around the house using the devices than they did prior to owning them.
Though there may not be a clear real estate marketing use case for these speakers in the near term, it’s more than worth your while to stay tuned, as they may become a viable, locally focused promotional tool for your agency.
Some SEO experts are even unsure as to the exact search marketing outlook for smart speakers and similar tech, but the point is it’s something to monitor closely for the foreseeable future.
Marketers share their online insights for 2017 and beyond.
Who better to learn about the state of marketing today (and, more specifically, which activities are worth an agent’s time) than to listen to those who work in marketing full-time?
Content marketing agency AudienceBloom has released a report which features ideas, insights, thoughts, and metrics from nearly 400 marketing professionals (with some business owners mixed in) to gauge how their digital strategies are working now and where they see marketing headed in the months ahead.
The consensus? Well, for starters, 75% of respondents relayed they intend to maintain their current marketing spend or increase it this year — thus proving it’s wise to invest in the right approaches that historically work for your real estate business.
Another interesting data point that emerged from the poll was that 88% of those surveyed use Facebook as a key cog in their marketing machines — the highest percentage of any social network (no surprise there) — with several marketers and entrepreneurs noting it’s their top channel for ROI.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that Facebook is becoming a central force in many organizations’ online promotion today. After all, Facebook advertising continues to evolve to the point that targeting precise audiences can be accomplished with amazing ease. Just ask agent Sean Kaplan, who earned a few dozen Facebook leads from his ads in a matter of a couple months.
Simply Measured notes the state of social is strong.
Of course, Facebook is just one of a handful of important social networks you need to integrate into your overall marketing efforts. Thankfully, these outlets all remain strong as 2017 starts to wind down, a report from analytics platform Simply Measured declares.
Some of the chief highlights from the company’s study show just how advantageous it is to set up, optimize accounts on the “original” social channels like Facebook and Twitter — and even the “newcomers,” like Snapchat:
- 59% of social media marketers stated ads on social networks are very important to the success of their brands’ marketings strategies.
- Three out of five respondents noted engagement (i.e. likes, shares, retweets) was the social media metric that mattered most for them.
- The number-one focus area cited by the marketing professionals polled was developing unique content for sharing on social networks.
Determining the ROI of all of these social marketing endeavors remains the top issue for organizations today, the report also said.
While you may not fully grasp the complete effects live streams, status updates, grams, and tweets have on your agency’s marketing, just know that these shares — when published consistently across your pages and accounts — will positively impact your overall marketing mix.
Watch our exclusive webinar to learn how to boost your real estate website traffic — and bolster your lead gen:
What are some other internet marketing trends or REALTOR news stories that caught your eye lately? Share them below!
Published on August 1, 2017
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.