Your online presence can make or break your real estate small business. Customers no longer stroll into their local real estate agency for help buying or selling a home. Most buyers or sellers begin their research online before even talking to an agent. They’re on real estate sites such as REALTOR.ca and relocation forums such as City-Data.com learning about neighbourhoods, schools, and individual homes for sale. Many of these people end up hiring an agent they run across online. Therefore, it is vital for real estate professionals to have a website and social media presence. Most agents already know this, but, the following list features more specific online marketing tips that real estate professionals can use to ramp up their business.
The ideal real estate website is easy to navigate whether the user is on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. For a website to recognize the device on which it is loaded, it has to be programmed using something called responsive web design. Responsive websites automatically adjust their design to fit cleanly onto any size display. A site that features a sidebar on a large desktop display might fit this content under the main column on a smartphone. With more than half of web searches conducted on mobile devices as of 2017, it is vital for real estate professionals to have websites that operate smoothly on any browser. Studies indicate that responsive websites convert visitors to customers at a much higher rate than traditional websites.
The internet gets more cluttered with content every day. This can make it difficult for a real estate professional’s content to stand out and get noticed. Even important or compelling blog posts and tweets sometimes get lost in the cacophony. Like the old saying goes, “sometimes you have to make some noise to be heard.” This doesn’t mean to do something outrageous or controversial to get attention. It does mean, however, that agents should try to make their content memorable. A viral video has the potential to spread to millions of people and explode an agent’s brand recognition overnight. Studies have identified the three types of content most likely to go viral as funny, amazing, and heartwarming.
Email List Building
Not everyone who looks at a real estate website is ready to buy or sell in the immediate future. Sometimes, they’re in the early stages of research and simply gathering information. Some people aren’t even that far in the process. Maybe they’re just curious about the local market but could potentially be homebuyers down the road. For these reasons, real estate professionals should be looking to capture as many email addresses as possible with their websites. People who are just looking can turn into legitimate customers at any time, but chances are, they won’t remember the name of the real estate website they visited two months ago without regular reminders. Building an email list lets agents keep up with these people and establish relationships so the agent’s name springs to mind first when it is time to buy or sell.
Anyone can hire a designer to build a beautiful real estate website, and anyone can talk themselves up on that website, touting their years of experience and accolades in the industry. For customers, all of that talk turns into noise when they’re reading it on site after site. What sets an agent’s website apart is sincere customer testimonials. These offer social proof that an agent is good at his or her job and leaves customers highly satisfied with the process. Real estate professionals should be asking every satisfied customer to take five or 10 minutes to write a thoughtful review for their website; very few happy customers are going to say no. Even better than written testimonials are video endorsements, which allow viewers to hear the sincerity in customers’ voices as they sing an agent’s praises.
Instagram and Snapchat Stories
Facebook and web marketing have become so ubiquitous that many users are jaded to them. However, Instagram and Snapchat represent two growing social media platforms where agents can get in front of viewers when they’re highly engaged. Both platforms offer a story feature, with which a user can create a short video clip and broadcast it to followers. A real estate agent can use these stories to advertise new listings, or alternatively, show off a unique aspect of his or her personality. It doesn’t have to be all business all the time. One of the great things about social media is it allows for connecting with potential customers on a personal level. People want to do business with those with whom they feel an actual connection. Giving your real estate business an online presence with social media and mobile marketing that appeals to viewers who are browsing, or ready to sell or buy, makes you more relevant than other real estate agents on the internet.