If your real estate business does not have an online presence, then now is time to take the plunge. While classic methods like print marketing and word of mouth advertising have their benefits, the technology we have today makes it easier than ever to get your property in front of more potential buyers than ever before. The widespread success of websites and mobile apps like Zillo and Trulia is proof alone that this works.
With some planning and knowledge of current digital trends, your business can jump on the bandwagon and make a splash like never before. Let’s look at the advantages of online marketing and how to make it a reality.
Benefits for Business and Your Customers
Studies show that people are on the internet an average of 6 hours and 30 minutes every day, and if they are looking for a new house, the chances are good that they are going to go to their favorite search engine to find properties in their area. If you played your cards right, your listing will be one of the first that they see. There are multiple methods you can try to reach more people, and they include search engine optimization (SEO), social media, Twitter ads, and your business website, among others.
While these methods will work on their own, there are other new forms of technology that will only become more popular in the future. One such advancement is augmented reality, which allows you to give virtual tours of the property, so the customer feels like they are really there at the touch of a button. Implementing this tech in your digital strategy is a good idea for existing houses and those that are under construction. With augmented reality, you can show the prospective buyer what the house will look like when it’s done.
By advertising your business online, you also have more tools that can do the work for you when you are busy with other clients. For instance, many marketers are utilizing chatbots, which are essentially messaging apps that can answer questions and provide contact information to help close the sale.
Another benefit of digital marketing is that customers can see all the information they need at one time, including the potential mortgage payment. This benefit can be especially important for customers who have been previously denied for home loans due to bad credit, as they can see the cost and start working towards the goal of owning the home of their dreams. By marketing online, you give everyone an equal shot.
Tips for Success
The decision to move some of your advertising efforts to the online space is a great idea, and by implementing smart strategies, you can increase your chances of expanding your audience. If you are new to this idea or not so technologically savvy, then you may consider putting some money towards a marketing expert that can set up your website, create some social media accounts, and help get your business to the top of web search listings. Marketing costs should continue to have a place in the budget on an ongoing basis, so your company is always in the mind of the consumer.
Many real estate agencies focus on spreading their message on social media because just about everyone has at least one account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the many other options out there. To do this, you can turn to automation to send out your posts and advertisements a couple of times per week at designated hours when most people in your audience are online. You will still want to craft high-quality content, but once you do, you can set it and forget it.
It is also a smart idea to start compiling customer and client reviews of your business and post the best ones on your website and social media accounts. This can be especially important if you work in a high-traffic area and competition is tight. When it comes to choosing your company over your competition, customers will tend to favor the company with the higher ratings. If you do get some negative reviews, don’t ignore them. Respond and make the situation better and that bad review could turn into a 5-star comment.
While digital marketing may seem like a real estate agent’s dream come true, there are some disadvantages to this approach, especially for potential buyers. One of the dangers is being too pushy and annoying consumers with an oversaturation of ads at any given time. This can happen a lot with automated tweets. The agent should set these messages up carefully so potential homebuyers aren’t seeing endless promotions day after day, which may make them want to unsubscribe and go elsewhere. Instead, fewer high-quality tweets or posts will spread a much more desirable message.
Another disadvantage to digital marketing is the existence of cybercriminals and scammers, including those who put up fake listings that deceive customers for financial gain. While many people may be able to detect these fictitious real estate deals, those who see a good deal may get pulled into the scam. Unfortunately, this gives online real estate a bad name, and it can hurt the efforts of legitimate agencies. Part of your digital marketing strategy should be informing your customer base of the warning signs of these scams, which can include listings full of spelling errors, offers that promise no screening process, and the lack of a lease agreement.
The other downside of online marketing is that you will not see results overnight. Even with the best marketing expert on your side, it takes time to build a following and see your company at the top of the Google listings. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t working. With patience and effort, you will start to draw in new clients.
Now is the time to get your real estate company onto the internet with the help of digital marketing. With a smart approach, the sky’s the limit for your earning potential.
Guest Article by Ainsley Lawrence
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer that lives in the Northwest region of the United States. She has a particular interest in covering topics related to good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. You can follow her on Twitter @AinsleyLawrenc3
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