20 years ago, when the average Joe went to buy a house, he might have first looked at a business directory and called up the realtor.
Today, when the average Joe goes to buy a house, he goes first to the internet.
In 2017, the NAR published a major study on real estate in a digital age and found that 95% of home buyers utilized websites for their search. Make that 99% if you are looking at millennials.
While real estate professionals remained an important part of the house search for most prospective buyers, a visit to a real estate office was hardly ever where the story began.
For 44 percent of buyers, an internet search for eligible properties was the first move when they became serious about buying a new house. Another 13 percent began their search by looking online for information on the home-buying process.
Making it Concrete: Five Steps to an Effective Presence
What does that mean? Although our job descriptions as realtors may not have changed much in the last 20 years, everything about the way we connect to potential clients has changed.
Marketing ideas for realtors are not what they were. The key to relevance in this digital age is accessibility; that, and an online presence. Hanging out on Facebook may be taking the place of manning a telephone line, and populating an Instagram feed can be as important as placing out flyers.
Here I’ll look at five ways you can build a presence where it counts: real estate marketing on social media, through quality photography and videos, during real-life interactions, and on mobile
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A Social Presence for a Social World
Life is busy. But in days filled with work, family life, and social engagements, the average internet user manages to spend a full 144 minutes every day on social media. That’s over two hours.
Be it on Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok, social media marketing offers the biggest bang for your buck when trying to reach out to a modern audience.
The key is to establish a presence on social media, then post consistently, with engaging, share-inducing posts that showcase the best of your real estate brand. Use online graphic design software like PosterMyWall to create graphics based on your own images and the properties you want to feature.
An extensive library of real estate templates makes design easy, and you can resize your finished images to use across a variety of social media channels.
Focus on Quality Photography
While you can create your social media images with photos you snapped yourself on your smartphone, utilizing professional photography can give you a big edge in the real estate market.
Not only do professional photos draw in potential buyers, but they also establish your page as a source of aesthetic inspiration that can help a consumer visualize their own needs and wants.
Because people passively notice images that are presented to them, you need your photos to be shared frequently on Facebook. One way to do that is to buy Facebook page likes so that your photos are suggested to users more often.
Positioning yourself as an industry expert may be as simple as a well-curated feed of fine home photography on Instagram and your website. That name recognition is all it takes to be the first professional considered when one of your casual followers decides it is time to buy a home or commercial property.
Go One Step Further with Video Tours
A virtual tour of a property can invite prospective buyers to imagine themselves there in a way that static photography does not. A YouTube channel, IGTV videos, and Facebook or Instagram Live are all potential streaming platforms for these tours.
If you played around with video editing in high school, bring out those dusty skills and put together a scroll-stopping tour for social media.
But if video editing is not your thing, no worries: you can create something just as good (or maybe even better!) by plugging your mini-clips into a PosterMyWall video template.
This way, you can easily showcase the video along with any relevant information you want to share with viewers.
Again, these videos can be resized online with a one-click process that makes it easy to create posts for multiple social media channels in a minimum amount of time.
Make the Most of Your In-Person Meetings
In spite of the new emphasis on digital presence, personal meetings and in-person interactions remain an important conversion point and an important part of your real estate marketing tools.
Even when you and your potential client have gone their separate ways, you can make sure they remember you by sharing a professional, well-designed business card that not only summarizes your contact info in a concise, easy to reference format but also serves as a reminder of your professionalism and your readiness to help.
You can produce high-quality business cards in your own office using an online graphics editor like PosterMyWall: in fact, an extensive library of free business card templates means much of the design work is done for you.
Choose a style that represents you well, then customize it so that it accurately reflects who you are and your brand.
Be Accessible Anywhere, Anytime
While most families own laptops or desktop computers, that’s not where the bulk of their browsing takes place—it’s on their phone. By 2018, 52% of all web traffic was on phones—and since then, it’s only been trending up.
The average consumer expects information to be right where it is most convenient: in their hand. Being accessible in 2020 means being accessible on mobile.
The good news is that your social media channels will be automatically resized for the mobile device a visitor uses. All you need to concentrate on is your website. The key here is to have a quick loading, mobile-optimized website that provides all the information you’d like a casual visitor to be aware of.
When I say quick, I mean quick: google research shows that up to 40% of consumers will leave a website if it takes more than four seconds to load.
Better safe than sorry. Optimize your website’s loading times by choosing the right image formats, the correct levels of compression, lazy loading media, and more.
Stay Relevant in a Changing World
If 2020 demonstrated anything, it would be that the world changes fast. The real estate market can be unpredictable, but the need for housing and property sales—and, consequently, the need for qualified real estate professionals—will never go away.
Staying on top of these five real estate marketing techniques can position you for optimal success in your community, enabling you to bridge the digital divide and reach prospective clients right where they are.