Realtor Marketing in 2017: The Biggest Digital Trends to Watch
The real estate technology landscape is constantly changing. The latest and greatest apps that promise to simplify our lives are rolled out in a steady stream, and the newest versions of our phones, even how we search for products on the internet, are always being tweaked and improved on.
With plenty of new real estate software rolled out seemingly monthly and a number of new and interesting trends emerging practically every week, you need to stay informed so you can make the most of your Realtor marketing strategy. Thankfully, you can do just that by checking out the most popular trends, news, and updates below, so continue on to discover the “next big thing” that can enhance your IDX website, social channels, email campaigns, and other digital activities.
Live video is becoming even more essential, particularly on the biggest social networks.
There’s not a more surefire way to attract leads to your site than through video. It’s gone from being a reliable way to up your content marketing to a necessity for agents to leverage their brand.
More than half of marketers found video effective in increasing brand awareness, lead generation, and online engagement, which is great news both to new agents just getting their real estate marketing strategy up and running, and seasoned professionals who are interested in revamping their online presence.
Below are some of the ways video is expected to augment Realtors’ marketing efforts in the year ahead — and what industry pros such as yourself should do to ensure they keep up with the growing tactic:
1. Make use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter — both of which offer live-streaming platforms now. Live video will be all the rage for the foreseeable future, so use these tools to your advantage to showcase your listings and housing market.
2. Virtual reality home tours continue to grow in popularity among both home buyers and agents. They provide a more efficient way for agents to display listing properties.
3. Optimize your videos for search by including relevant descriptions, tags, and titles that are in line with your video subject matter so they can get found atop search results.
4. Authenticity is still the key to sharing videos with your leads. Video is the preferred method of content consumption for a large number of people, and since mobile video consumption increases 100% every year, your brief explainer videos or on-camera interviews with clients and locals need to be both entertaining and informational.
Targeted content remains a cornerstone to online real estate marketing success.
It’s no secret that providing your leads with relevant, engaging content is a must, but it’s becoming more important for real estate professionals to focus on a niche audience and create targeted content specifically for those people to consume, rather than churning out generic information that isn’t likely to really resonate with your particular prospects.
When creating content — whether in the form of videos, blog posts, or infographics — always keep your target audience in mind. For example, let’s say you work exclusively with first-time buyers in rural areas. This is a niche audience that will require specific information to prepare for and, ultimately, make their purchasing decisions.
Here are some examples of how best to focus content for this audience:
Share enticing information about the community with your leads. This could be a list of the top 10 outdoor attractions, profiles on local businesses, or the benefits of living in the country versus the city. Whatever the focus of the post is, include what makes the area unique.
Neighborhood video tour
Providing visuals of the community and its homes to your leads is the perfect way for people to engage with your content without spending a lot of their time trying to understand it. Since visuals inspire emotional reactions in people the same way stories do, a well-crafted video is even more likely to pique someone’s interest.
Market listings/mortgage guides
Once you’ve gathered more information on your leads from your buyer personas and conversations you’ve had with prospects centered around their must-haves in a home, you need to provide them with tangible information to consult. Any listing reports you’ve curated that will showcase similar homes for sale in the neighborhood or homes you’ve sold recently are ideal here, as well as guides on mortgages and refinancing to help your leads make a more informed decision.
No matter what kinds of content you share with your leads, it should answer the questions you know from past experience that your clients are curious about.
Hop onboard the marketing automaton train — many Realtors have already done so.
Take a step back and think of all the ways your leads interact with your content and your brand and you might be surprised: various social media platforms, emails newsletters, blog entries. Having so many channels of communication to manage makes it even trickier to decide which tasks to set and forget and which to still actively monitor to nurture your leads effectively.
But there is a lot to be said for automation, and it’s slated to become a big trend in realtor marketing. It’s been predicted that a few years down the line, machine intelligence will account for a larger part of overall marketing efforts.
Until that wave of the future hits, though, the benefits of automating the more mindless tasks of lead nurturing, like email campaigns and social media shares, in favor of honing in on your target audience and providing them with the content that will eventually lead to conversion is, of course, ideal.
Arranging for automated drip email marketing campaigns to be sent out to the database of leads in your CRM is a wonderful example of when this tech is a useful tool for Realtors. It allows you to still remain in consistent contact with your leads, while also freeing up your time for more personable tasks such as client meetings and showings and conduct your countless other real estate marketing tactics.
Responsive websites remain a top priority to enhance marketing for Realtors today.
People are rarely without their phones, and they use them to track just about every aspect of their lives imaginable. Mobile has even surpassed desktop as the preferred method to browse online. That means as a real estate agent, you’ll need to ensure all of your content and communication is easily viewable on, and optimized for, mobile devices.
Research shows that 88% of consumers who search for a local business, call or visit in the first 24 hours. To better prepare yourself for this trend and, in turn, continue to grow your online Realtor marketing presence, be sure to do the following:
1. Test page copy lengths and layouts.
Consider all of the content that already exists on your site, and ensure it translates well to a mobile device. Layouts should be simple, with your contact information on every page, visuals need to be engaging and clear. Test out any videos on your phone to confirm they play well.
2. Keep local SEO top of mind — always.
Any business with a physical location–like your office–needs to rank for local SEO. By adding your city and state to the title, URL, content, and meta description of your site, your name and office will show up in organic and map searches, which increases the chances that leads looking for a particular real estate agent in your area will find you.
3. Design your ads to be mobile-friendly.
As with going local with SEO, you’ll also want to take advantage of Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your site and increase the conversion rate of your leads. It’s essential that your mobile site offer localized ads with specific CTAs for buyer and seller leads browsing listings on their phones.
Published on February 13, 2017
Written by Elizabeth Christensen