The outbreak of COVID-19 has greatly affected the real estate industry, and as social distancing regulations become the norm and individuals think (and rethink) purchase decisions, property viewings have decreased substantially. This is because potential property buyers have become more cautious and apprehensive with spending as well as in-person meetings and property viewings. Due to these lifestyle shifts, it has become vital for property agents to adjust their real estate marketing strategies to reach the highest quality audience, at the right time, through the right channels, with the right message.
In 2021, if you want the edge over your competitors, you need to change with the times and adapt to a more digital marketing environment to ensure your strategy suits the new normal.
In this regard, we have compiled a list of the top 10 real estate marketing strategies for 2021 to help you gain success in 2021.
10 of the Best Real Estate Marketing Strategies for 2021
1. Create a User-Friendly, Informative and Easy to Navigate Website
It almost goes without saying, but all real estate agencies require a high functioning and informative website if they want to gain quality leads and drive them through the sales funnel.
What your real estate website should consist of:
- Search Engine Optimisation: Consumers will search the internet to investigate a product or service before even considering a purchase. Creating a Search Engine Optimised website ensures that your agency will be present at the top of the search engine results when individuals are actively searching for your offerings online. This means that you are attracting high quality leads as they are in the process of researching your offerings. Once you have attracted awareness through SEO, you need to educate, nurture and gain the trust of prospects with quality website content.
- Valuable Content: By having a professional website you are able to increase value for clients by providing valuable information to help guide sellers or buyers through the selling or buying process. Part of this comes down to ensuring your website has updated property listings (with high quality photos and videos), resources, FAQs, blogs and contact information. When creating content for your website try to add something a little unexpected to set your website apart and establish trust between your business and a prospect. For example, a mortgage calculator will quickly add value for visitors, making them more inclined to trust your business and reach out to your agents.
As you build on your website you can begin to collect leads through your content creation. For example, you can create an informative e-guide that is designed to inform prospective customers about the real estate industry.
Website visitors will have to download this content to access it and in order to do this, they will have to provide their contact information. This information can then be stored on your leads list and used for further lead nurturing through email campaigns, social media marketing and more. Essentially, your website is a hub for information sharing and lead generation.
2. Build a Powerful Blog
Promoting your real estate listings and business takes strategy and digital savvy and blogging should not be underestimated. By creating an informative and helpful blog on your website you have the power to keep prospective clients interested in your insight while promoting your business and building trust.
The Benefits of Blog Posts for your Real Estate Business:
- Search Engine Optimisation: By posting relevant and helpful industry related blog articles, you will also increase website traffic as content helps with your search engine optimisation efforts.
- Build Community Trust: By providing website visitors with information that adds value to their lives in regards to real estate and property, you have the power to spread word about your business through social media shares and establishing your business as an industry thought leader.
- Establish Industry Authority: By sharing helpful content through your blog posts you can build a solid reputation as you share insight and perspective with your target audience.
As stated previously, the importance of blogging for real estate cannot be underestimated under present digital and marketing circumstances. Even with the emergence of digital marketing tools designed to support your visibility and push forward your services, it does not diminish the value of what a blog can do for your brand. You see, a blog post is the ideal tool for creating a solid stream of website traffic, growing audience, and nurturing prospects.
3. Email Marketing
Social media, search engine optimisation, Google AdWords... all these other channels of marketing speak to a wider audience. That is: those in the awareness and research phase of the purchasing process. When a potential buyer or investor emerges from social media, landing pages, content marketing, lead forms or SEO, you need to nurture them and drive them through the customer journey. This is where email marketing and lead nurturing comes into play.
For example, let’s say you have collected lead data through a landing page and a prospective client submits their contact information through the call-to-action of this page you need to use this information to your advantage - without overwhelming the prospect. With a customer relationship management tool such as HubSpot, you are able to segment these contacts and send out automated and personalised emails that match their interests and where they are in the customer journey.
Benefits of email marketing:
- Segmented emails are responsible for 58% of revenue for businesses that use this tactic
- Businesses saw 174% more conversion rates via personalised email marketing
- 73% of millennial customers prefer email marketing for business communication
- Email marketing is cost-effective with a high return on investment when it comes to digital marketing
- By creating personalised emails you develop trusted experiences, increase engagement and nurture trust with prospects and current buyers or investors
- Email analytics help you gain valuable insight into your leads and help you develop stronger email strategies going forward
Nurturing leads and buyers with personalised, informative and segmented email marketing ensures continued communication and keeps your business top of mind at all times.
4. Leverage off Social Media Platforms
Social media marketing is vital for real estate agencies and real estate agents. Without an active, informative and engaging social media, potential buyers will not have the instant communication they expect in the digital age - and they will quickly turn to your competitors. There are a variety of social media channels real estate companies should focus their efforts on.
Facebook for Real Estate:Facebook is a staple for real estate marketing as Facebook demographics represent the target audience for most real estate businesses - essentially, this is where your audience would probably be hanging out. What makes this such a powerful platform in this regard is Facebook's highly targeted lead campaigns and Facebook also allows businesses to publish list-related updates, communicate with prospects and curate reviews all in one place.
LinkedIn for Real Estate:LinkedIn offers the perfect platform for Account-Based-Marketing in real estate. That is: you are able to target your marketing efforts to key accounts or individuals that you believe are the ideal target market for your real estate offerings - from buyers to investors. As a primarily B2B network, LinkedIn is not necessarily for clients - but for investor opportunities. It also offers a great place to network with those in your industry and can build your business as a thought-leader in the industry.
Instagram for Real Estate:This is where imagery comes into play. Stylish and high quality property photos go hand in hand with content creation - and what better place to display these images than Instagram? If you have a luxury and high-end real estate agency then this is the ideal platform for your business to show off your offerings and works well as a “secondary” social media channel - Facebook being number one. Facebook also integrates with Instagram in terms of advertising and lead generation campaigns - expanding your targeted reach.
Social media is a great way to create awareness while engaging with potential customers. With lead generation advertising on these platforms growing, you are also able to direct consumers to take specific call-to-actions to drive them through the customer journey.
A Chatbot is an application that replicates spoken or written human speech for the purpose of establishing interaction with a real person - essentially, Chatbots are a new age conversational service agent. A Chatbot can be placed on your website and related applications to ensure website visitors are able to communicate with your organisation at any given moment - instant communication is vital in the digital age.
Why Website Chatbots are important for real estate:
- Operational Efficiency: Chatbots are designed to handle 80% of routine customer questions which assists in your customer service. This is why real estate agencies should invest in a chatbot - it provides customer service 24/7 which in turn, stops leads from falling through the cracks as they can have any of their questions answered immediately - without taking extra steps.
- Better Customer Experience: As stated previously, today’s consumer expects instant communication and timely responses. A delayed response by your agency can quickly result in a potential client turning to a competitor. By integrating a Chatbot to your website, your business can provide immediate and time sensitive information to potential buyers and investors.
A Customer Relationship Management platform such as HubSpot is able to integrate Chatbots into your website smoothly and efficiently - ensuring customer satisfaction and ultimately, increased sales.
6. Google AdWords
Google is one of the most powerful tools out there - we touched on the importance of organic ranking when we mentioned Search Engine Optimisation, but Google AdWords is also a great marketing tool. Google AdWords provides a straightforward approach to helping your real estate business stand out from your competitors in the search engine results.
What is Google AdWords?
Google AdWords is an online advertising platform, where advertisers bid to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users. It can place ads both in the results of search engines like Google Search and on non-search websites, mobile apps, and videos.
Why Google AdWords is Effective for Real Estate:
- Effective and Efficient: Google AdWords works well for real estate as it is a simple and easy digital marketing tool to implement. Your marketing team will create simple text and images for your advert and you only pay when a user clicks on your advert. This allows you to test out different ad campaigns and evaluate their effectiveness - and because you pay per click - you essentially only pay for what works. This gives your marketing team the flexibility they require to define your keywords and your target audience.
- Quick Results: Although necessary, SEO does not work as fast as Google AdWords as it is a long-term strategy designed for long-term effectiveness. AdWords will get your ad to the top of the Google search results in no time and will help you gain the winning edge over your competitors if you do not yet rank high in the search engine results pages.
- Quality Lead Generation: Because you are creating advertising campaigns that appear when a user is actively seeking your service offerings, you will attract only the highest quality prospects.
Google AdWords provides real estate businesses with a quicker and easier way to gain leads compared to long-term SEO efforts. But in order to gain real results, you need to work with AdWords professionals who are able to analyse your campaigns and amend them when necessary.
7. Customer Relationship Management Software
By aligning marketing and sales processes, real estate businesses are able to understand the buyer's journey in greater detail and reach out to a lead at the right time - with the correct message. This kind of marketing strategy eliminates low quality leads and ensures that every call and follow up email has value and can contribute to the growth of the business.
In order to do this, real estate marketers need to invest in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software. CRM is a strategy that businesses use to manage interactions with customers and potential customers, helping organisations streamline marketing processes, build and nurture relationships, increase sales, improve customer service and ultimately increase the bottom line.
Quality CRMs such as HubSpot provide a single place for marketing and sales teams to implement, manage and track all their efforts. Not only can your marketing team run all digital campaigns through the platform, they are able to track the success of every campaign in greater detail in order to learn what is working and what is not working.
As mentioned previously, a quality CRM will also be able to send out automated and personalised emails and communications to leads based on their behaviour, sending them the right message at the right time - making for better customer service and more conversions. This automated service also saves your real estate agents time, and instead of typing out personalised emails, the system will do the work for them so that they can spend time making sales, instead of focusing on time-consuming tasks.
The benefits of HubSpot CRM for Real Estate include:
- Digital Marketing Integration
- Quality Lead Generation
- In-depth Lead Tracking
- Digital Marketing Reporting
- Marketing Automation
- Sales & Marketing Alignment
All the tools that you require to run a great marketing campaign are available within the HubSpot software, and these tools work together to attract, engage and delight potential and current property buyers and investors.
8. Publish Testimonials
By nature and especially in the digital age, consumers will not do business with a company or person they perceive to be untrustworthy or deceitful. This is why online reviews and testimonials are so important for business success - especially when it comes to real estate - purchasing a property is not the same as buying a laptop for your home…
By publishing testimonials of happy buyers on your real estate website and social media platforms you deliver “social proof” that establishes trust between your business and target audience. And displaying testimonials on strategic parts of your website and other platforms can encourage potential customers to move on to the next stage of the conversion funnel.
In addition to your website, other great platforms for testimonials include:
- Marketing emails
- Social media
- Your profile on popular real estate listing sites
Benefits of testimonials:
- Trust: If a potential buyer sees that people are happy with your service, they are more likely to become willing to use your service and contact your agents. Essentially, testimonials work like traditional word-of-mouth marketing - amended for the digital age.
- Legitimacy: It is important that you also display the name or job title of the individuals leaving reviews or testimonials on your website or social platforms - you can even provide a link to their business website if they would be open to that. This gives users a chance to see who your customer is, which establishes even more trust.
Today's consumer needs to TRUST you completely and in order to gain their trust you need to create content that builds it - from thought-leadership blogs to client testimonials.
9. Video and Virtual Tours
Videos are vital for real estate - especially in the time of Covid-19. Real estate agents and businesses that use video as a walk through virtual tour of a property have created a safe way to gain awareness and delight potential buyers - which can then lead to greater conversions.
Recent statistics regarding real estate virtual tours and videos have proven just how important this tactic is for the industry:
- Marketers that use video grow their revenue 49% faster than those who do not use this tactic
- 51% of marketing professionals have named video as the content that provides the best Return on Investment
- 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching a video, in regards to real estate, videos are a great way to convert potential buyers into strong leads. And through video you will see a rise in requests to view property (especially important in the time of Covid-19).
By creating high quality videos and sharing them on your listings, website and social platforms, you encourage engagement with potential buyers, build trust and gain the attention of high quality leads who would like to view a property in person.
10. WhatsApp and Messaging
With 1.6 billion monthly users, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world. With that in mind, WhatsApp can be incredibly powerful for businesses when it comes to customer service and converting leads. When it comes to real estate WhatsApp (similar to Chatbots) has the power to answer client queries and like email marketing, nurture relationships. Of course, this has to be done in a "non-spammy" way and has to be GDPR compliant at all times - this is why it is important to work with a professional digital marketing agency in regards to WhatsApp marketing.
How a WhatsApp chatbot tool can help the real estate industry:
- Lead Qualification: Once you have collected lead data, WhatsApp chatbots can help ask leads targeted questions that help your business segment the customer. This is known as lead qualification and helps your agents identify high-value leads.
- Property Viewing Scheduling and Confirmation: When a lead qualifies as a potential buyer, said lead is able to schedule a site visit through WhatsApp communication - ensuring streamlined and effective customer service - cutting out the middleman.
- Relationship Building: Similar to email marketing, WhatsApp chatbots or messaging can build relationships by sharing important information or links with a potential customer or current client.
- Track Conversions: You are able to log all conversation and communication between a potential buyer and the chatbot to help keep your sales team informed about a lead's specific interests and queries.
Communication is key - and instant communication is vital for business success in 2021.
If you are a realtor or developer in the real estate industry, you will have seen a major shift in the last decade as clients begin to purchase property in a different way, beginning the buyer's journey online through market research.
This is why digital marketing has become imperative to the real estate industry, from generating new leads to completing a sale, the real estate industry needs to go digital in order to find success.
With years of experience in digital marketing for the real estate industry, Nexa is here to help real estate professionals reach their target audience online, generate quality leads and convert those leads into customers.
Our experience in Real Estate marketing stems from our work with CBRE, JLL, Savills, Sotheby's, DAMAC Properties and countless other agencies and real estate developers. Contact Nexa for all your real estate marketing needs, today.