In this digital age, realtors are turning to market their properties online. A greater number of consumers and businesses are shifting their attention towards digital marketing to help their bottom line.
With the rise of technology, online communication has grown to become an important method to reach any target audience. Digital marketing shares information to people faster than ever before. The reality is that even if you are not leveraging digital marketing tools, someone else – your competitors – are utilizing it to improve their businesses.
Traditional vs. Digital Marketing Strategies
First of all, what is the difference between traditional and digital real estate marketing strategies? Traditional marketing involves physical elements and human interaction such as flyers or brochures, letters, phone calls, and in-person meetings. Digital marketing includes anything online, including your website, social media, email marketing, and Google Analytics.
Digital Marketing Tools for Real Estate
In addition to these platforms, there are other marketing tools which are uniquely created for the real estate industry. For example, a 3D Open House is essentially a virtual tour which enables potential buyers to walk through your property online, boosting interest and engagement.
Top realtors are adding 3D Open Houses to their listing presentations to convince sellers they are Digital Marketing experts. If you are looking to do the same, we strongly recommend you download this free e-guide on how to integrate 3D Open Houses in your listing presentations.
Another technology is a virtual staging software which allows clients to envision what an empty home would look like with furniture. All of these marketing strategies contribute to improving a realtor’s business. For example, making a sales pitch over the phone or in-person is a way of gaining sales. Open houses achieve the same purpose, because they attract potential buyers.
Other practices like sending handwritten letters to clients or communicating over social media also contribute to growing a realtor’s business. These actions foster relationships and enable engagement with customers, which achieves differentiation from competitors and creates a superior customer experience.
While it seems that all realtors are using traditional marketing methods, a small proportion is using digital marketing to maximize their impact. These people have identified new and effective avenues of reaching clients to grow their business.
Real estate marketing strategies can take shape in many forms, but we will focus on essential digital marketing tools:
Your website is at the heart of all your online channels – all digital marketing efforts should direct visitors back to it. This contains your contact information, information about your core business and other resources.
You should have a separate website to market each individual listing. The next section will explain ways to increase traction and awareness on these two sites.
Google collects data from your sites and channels. It is crucial to access these insights and track your metrics across your platforms to better understand your customers. With Google Analytics, you can analyze the effectiveness of your strategies. You will get a better idea of what works and what needs to be changed.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also essential. Yes, you may have great content, but can it serve its intended purpose if people are unable to find it? Of course not, the message would be lost. Promoting your content is just as important as creating it.
Everyone is aware of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn, and the value that these platforms can bring. However, not everyone is able to develop a successful social media page that can get views and engagement.
It can be difficult to consistently post relevant and quality content. Regardless, social media is a powerful tool that can aid in creating a positive brand image and boost awareness of your business. It allows you to better connect with your customers through relationship building and stay top of mind.
There are two main types of emails that realtors will send out to their customer base: CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ESP (Email Service Provider).
CRM is more personalized and is geared towards existing clients, aimed to maintain and cultivate existing relationships. ESP is sent to the masses and typically consists of promotional campaigns. It is important to send different emails to current and potential clients, tailoring your message, as you would have different goals to achieve for each segment.
Should realtors abandon traditional strategies?
So what does all of this mean for realtors living in today’s digital age? Should you abandon traditional marketing strategies in favor of digital marketing strategies?
The answer is no. Although we can recognize that the industry landscape has changed over time, successfully marketing your listing requires you to identify the optimal mix of both traditional and digital strategies.
What is important for you to understand is not that you should stop distributing brochures and move your entire business online, but for you to recognize that there is an additional dimension. Online marketing can bring more value to your business and complement traditional methods.
For example, you can use email marketing and social media to communicate information about your upcoming open house. There is huge untapped potential if you have yet to implement digital marketing.
By expanding into digital marketing, you can increase your chances of finding the right client. Ultimately, you can gain a competitive advantage among the thousands of other realtors in the GTA.
Renata Harton, Growth Catalyst Intern, Odyssey3D Inc.
Day, C., Books 24×7 – York University., Books24x7, I., & Executive Blue Prints – York University. (2012). Virtual real estate: Using the Internet to expand your business. [Norwood, Mass.]: Books24x7.com.