Common Rookie Real Estate Marketing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
No matter the profession or industry, novice workers will make missteps. Real estate pros know this all too well. Ask long-time industry veterans about their first days, weeks, and even months on the job, and they’ll give you some expert real estate agent tips and tell you some horror stories — particularly about their marketing mistakes.
From not tracking social media activity, to blogging too infrequently, to not optimizing their real estate websites, beginner agents make plenty of marketing blunders. Given the vast role inbound marketing plays for real estate lead generation, agents can’t afford to continually mess up with these tactics. They’ve got to get with the times and master online marketing to generate real estate leads and grow their business.
You can avoid the same real estate marketing mistakes new (and some experienced) agents often make by checking out this list of common errors.
Your Real Estate Website
The Error: Not having a fully responsive website.
If you make mistakes with your real estate website, the rest of your online marketing simply won’t work. The reason? You won’t be able to bring in leads and new clients very effectively. One common error agents continue to make in the digital age is having a non-responsive website.
Responsive design essentially means your website looks and functions the same on mobile devices as it does on desktop computers. This is important to many consumers, as evidenced by data that shows most visitors will ditch your site on mobile if it’s not optimized for smartphones and tablets.
The Fix: Get with the times! Make your site responsive.
Simply put, a responsive real estate website is a must. Imagine buyers and sellers scouring your site for listings only to find the text is too small, the images don’t load clearly, and they can’t navigate the site well. Not a great user experience, right?
With a responsive website, your audience will be able to clearly view all of your content and take actions with ease, such as filling out forms. You can learn even more about responsive design here, including how to select themes and designs for your website, and, in turn, discover why it’s so important to your real estate marketing.
The Error: Your site’s not optimized for search engines (SEO).
It’s imperative to know all about SEO and how it helps your real estate website get found in search engine results pages (SERPs). Page one of Google’s search results accounts for 99% of searcher clicks, meaning if you’re site isn’t optimized accordingly, it’s ending up on page 2 (or worse) and not getting found by your audience.
The Fix: Focus on your keywords, content, and meta data across your website.
Research long-tail keywords in platforms like Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Difficulty and SERP Analysis Tool to determine what popularly searched terms you should use in your website’s content, including your blog, landing pages, and about page. Some factors to consider when selecting keywords include:
- Your local market: Think of popular real estate search terms like “homes for sale” and “real estate listings” and figure out the popularity of those keywords when your specific market name is attached (i.e. “New York real estate listings”).
- Keyword popularity/competition: Keywords that are highly searched are ideal to include in your SEO marketing, but avoid ones that are too competitive. Focusing on terms that get competing agencies ranked highly in SERPs may not help you do the same. Same goes for low-ranking keywords that aren’t searched often. Find a good middle ground for keyword competitiveness and popularity.
- Data analysis: Trial-and-error comes with the SEO territory. Find out which terms work best for your real estate marketing, which need to go, and what you can experiment with next. Optimizing for search is an ever-shifting strategy.
“Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes.”
— Oscar Wilde
Your Social Media Marketing
The Error: You set up your social media accounts but don’t post often or track analytics.
It takes minutes to set up Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts. It takes quite a bit more dedication, though, to actually reap benefits from the social media platforms.
Veteran agents all over use social media for lead generation and nurturing. Oftentimes, though, new agents just don’t realize how to best use the sites to their advantage (or simply don’t use them at all). And even if they do use social media, many of them don’t realize they can and should track the performance of their social media presence.
The Fix: Take advantage of all social media has to offer — much of which is free.
Create shareworthy content buyers and sellers will love and use in their real estate decision-making. Then, schedule those wonderful blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, and other content across social networks. Track which content performed well through each social network’s analytics so you can optimize those channels accordingly and expand your social reach.
In addition to knowing how well your tweets and status updates perform, you also need to engage with your audience regularly. Comments, retweets, favorites, likes, and other mentions of your real estate business on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks shouldn’t go unnoticed. Thank users for thoughtful comments and start conversations with those who share your content. Direct relationships are the key to social success and growing your customer relationship management (CRM) database.
Nearly 80% of small businesses get roughly a quarter of customers through social media, according to research by online directory Manta. If you’re not active on the site and researching your metric data, though, your figures are likely to be sufficiently lower. It’s time to join in on the social revolution.
Your Email Marketing
The Error: You only send sporadic emails to some of your leads.
Email marketing is one of the top real estate lead generation methods around today. There’s a reason nearly two-thirds of agents partake in the marketing practice: because it takes little time to set up and brings your brand and value proposition right to buyers and sellers. Unfortunately, beginner agents don’t realize the effectiveness email can have.
The Fix: Set up a segmented real estate email marketing campaign for all of your leads.
The phrase “email campaign” scares some real estate agents. They think a campaign requires a great big setup and, in turn, avoid even sending regular emails altogether in favor of randomly sent messages to leads. The truth is email campaigns simply require you to segment your audiences into a few key categories — generally, by where your leads are in the sales funnel — and creating emails for those segments.
For instance, newsletters can go out to new leads in your database, while digests with useful content, like a free buyer’s guide, can be sent to leads further down the funnel — perhaps those who have filled out a form on your site.
Whatever kinds of emails you send and campaigns you form, just be sure to optimize them accordingly:
- Emails with social sharing buttons get 158% higher clickthrough rates than those without, so add buttons for your Twitter, Facebook, and other accounts.
- Nearly 70% of email subscribers cited too many emails as the top reason they choose to unsubscribe, so be sure to test email frequency to find your sweet spot.
- Make sure emails look good on mobile, since nearly 40% of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets.
- Enticing subject lines are the top reason for opening emails, so pique recipients’ interests by developing engaging and enticing headlines.
To learn other types of emails to share with buyers and sellers, take a look at our post 5 Emails Real Estate Agents Should Send to Every Lead.
What real estate marketing ideas have you already used as part of your overall marketing strategy? Share with us in the comments below.
Published on July 28, 2014
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.