Real estate marketing online is the wild west. There are good guys, bad guys, and plenty of ugly.
Real estate marketing is all about building your personal brand and creating an environment where your prospects feel comfortable reaching out to you, or “converting,” as they say in the biz.
Unfortunately, there are many real estate agents who completely missed the memo. There is no shortage of real estate agents getting into fights on social media, posting low-quality photos, typing in all caps, and making other generally hilarious blunders on the internet.
Trying to dive into real estate marketing, especially without any background in digital communications, is a remarkably tough thing to do.
Linkedin and other social media outlets are overrun with self-proclaimed marketing gurus full of inspirational advice, but have little content for scrappy real estate agents trying to do their own marketing, especially from the ground up. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
At Indulge, it’s crunch time 100% of the time. Indulge agents do all of their own marketing, social media, and also manage most of their own sales pipelines (with the help of assistants.) In the real estate marketing space, they’re the real deal.
Why is real estate marketing important?
Real estate agents are marketers whether they realize it or not.
Marketing is the process of converting unaware prospects into fans, and eventually into buyers. This is also known as a “buyer’s journey,” and each step on that journey is reflected by a stage in the marketing funnel, and a good real estate agent will manage this process every step of the way.
In 2016, a reported 80% of buyers were looking for homes online. Furthermore, 42% of buyers list searching online as their first step when looking for a home, and a whopping 68% of first-time home-buyers are generation Y.
For digital marketers, this is a dream come true. For real estate agents, it's a reason to start relying heavily on technology.
Maryann’s real estate marketing pro tips:
The top of the real estate marketing funnel is where you build your audience, and you don’t build an audience by being starchy and corporate.
Be yourself, be sarcastic, be funny. Your prospects are connecting with a human being, not a corporate entity. This means it’s okay for you to talk about things on social media outside the realm of real estate.
It’s your personal brand, meaning your audience is literally connecting with you as an individual. And individuals do more than just upload photos of property all day.
Most importantly, you have the freedom to speak your mind and be yourself, which will attract like-minded people and keep them coming back for more of your originality. Nice!
Make fun content
Real estate content is a goldmine. You’ve got a bunch of different properties, tons of potential content to be made, and it’s up to you to get it in front of people’s eyes.
It’s all about making content that is easy for people to engage with. If you create a quiz that requires users to click a few links and register with their email address, no one is going to fill it out. Social media is all about fun, and most certainly not about asking your users to do heavy lifting.
- Speak plainly, the way you normally would when speaking out loud.
- Respond to comments, DMs, tags, etc. Don’t leave your fans hanging!
- Share stuff that’s relevant to your target audience, which is most often in the form of properties in the neighborhood.
- Use as many pictures and videos as possible. Visuals give your users something to engage with and subconsciously speaks to them before words ever can.
Answer real estate FAQs upfront
Do your customers know that the property seller pays for you, and not them? They should.
Not understanding down payments, having a high debt ratio, not understanding the housing market, the list of reasons buyers never pull reach out to an agent goes on and on. Answering some of these questions upfront in videos, written, or graphical form, can show the buyers that you’re worth reaching out to about this stuff.
Upon being invigorated with real estate knowledge, buyers might even come up with questions of their own and ask you on the spot. Get those answers out there and bridge that gap so that your buyers don’t have to.
Don’t try to win everyone over
Your audience is its own demographic, and should be addressed accordingly. However, it’s critical to understand that not everybody out there is going to be won over by what you’re putting out, and that’s perfectly fine.
If your real estate Tiktok challenges alienate a couple people, for instance, it’s their loss.
By speaking to a specific audience, you’re able to draw them into the “circle of trust” by really speaking their language. Being able to shed certain demographics in order to resonate with another generates a specific trust that can’t be generated any other way. It shows your audience that you’re all-in with them.
Trying to appeal to everyone will result in posts that sound corporate and lame. They are connecting with you as a human being, not a corporation.
Growing your audience
It’s totally cool to turn your personal social media accounts into your business accounts. Instead of starting from the ground up, this way you’ve already got an audience and engagement built right in.
Plus, if anyone on your friends lists is looking to buy a house, you’re instantly bumped to the front of their queue simply by existing.
Just be sure to let your overly-opinionated relatives know that your social media accounts are now officially off-limits for conspiracy theories and general political mayhem.
Marketing real estate on different social media platforms:
Facebook is a surprisingly viable platform to market real estate opportunities. The fact that visual content performs well on Facebook, combined with its accurate demographic advertising makes it specifically ideal for real estate content.
Thanks to Klick for this awesome graphic
In a big win for real estate marketers, Facebook allows advertisers to filter by metrics like zip code, age, homeownership, income, and even something called “likely to move.” This guarantees your real estate content gets the laser accuracy it deserves.
Facebook is trying its hardest to be a good platform for businesses, providing business pages with a bunch of free marketing features including competitive analyses, business analytics, retargeting opportunities, A/B testing, insights, and much more.
The biggest advantage of marketing real estate on Facebook is that the platform is ubiquitous. There are currently over 2.6 billion Facebook profiles, with the average U.S. adult logging 38 minutes of Facebook activity a day.
Some people call Linkedin “Facebook but professional.” Some call it “corporate social media.” With a colossal average conversion rate of 6.1% on U.S. Linkedin advertisements, real estate marketers prefer to call it a goldmine.
Photos tend to go on Instagram, updates tend to go on Facebook. Linkedin, however, sees lots of marketing, selling, and thought-leadership, making it a great place to post real estate content.
Videos speaking directly to your audience, photos of properties, polls and questionnaires, are all perfectly normal on Linkedin.
Twitter is an incredibly viable platform for social media marketing. A recent Twitter study by Omnicore finds that 80% of users are “affluent millennials,” with 56% of Twitter users earning $50,000 or more annually.
Millennials comprise the growing majority of home buyers, and following them over to Twitter is a pro move for real estate marketers.
Functionally, Twitter is similar to Facebook, but the platform’s philosophy behind content and interaction is different. Twitter doesn’t offer much of a “timeline,” taking focus from individual personalities and shifting it towards the content.
Because of this, users are quick to engage with content and reshare it, and the entity behind it matters much less than on other platforms.
If your content is cool, fun, and isn’t just another “click here to buy a house” post, it’s easy for the post to take off and get visibility.
Instagram is a visual platform for video and graphical content. Instagram provides its users with a range of content formats, including slideshows, visual stories, carousels, and videos, making it ideal for showcasing properties.
The Instagram story feature is phenomenal for real estate marketers who are looking to keep their audience engaged. Stories are pieces of micro-content that expire after 24 hours, and don’t require tons of effort to get right.
Instagram stories also allow marketers to create lightweight and engageable polls, questionnaires, quizzes, and other gamified content, which is totally ideal for real estate marketing content.
Tiktok is a great platform for video content. The benefit to Tiktok content is that it can be shared and embedded across all other platforms and even on your website.
Tiktok has a great feature that allows users to view your content even if they’re not a member, which eliminates a big hurdle in content visibility.
The ROI on Tiktok hasn’t been thoroughly established yet. Some marketers can’t stop raving about Tiktok as the newest frontier teeming with marketing opportunities. Others aren’t so sure, calling it a platform for teens to do Fortnite dances and get their phones taken away in school.
Regardless of the general consensus, Tiktok offers a phenomenal way to create, edit, and share videos across other platforms, and the pro real estate marketers are already all over it.
Real estate marketing essentials:
A good CRM. Lots of people use “real estate CRMs” and overpay for an identical set of features.
Keeping your contacts and communications managed with a solid real estate CRM is easy stuff, and it’s totally necessary for getting the most out of your marketing impact.
Photo editing apps like Canva, Picsart, and Picasa. Being able to edit photos quickly from a mobile device is a game-changer.
Photo editing app are primarily used to make property photos look more appealing, but can also add some "zazz" to social media posts.
A video editing app like InShot. Anything lightweight that allows real estate marketers to add text, trim videos, and supports basic video editing functionality. There are lots of opportunities to use videos in marketing, and not having a video editor in your back pocket means you’re missing out.