Can digital marketing help grow your real estate business? In this article, we’ll take a 30,000-foot view of digital marketing and whether or not it can help you get more prospects, close more sales, and grow your profits. So let’s get started.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the promotion of services or products using digital devices and the internet. As a real estate agent, you can leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and your website to promote your services, build your brand, and connect with existing and prospective customers.
Why Use Digital Marketing
It’s should come as no surprise that the majority of homebuyers begin their search online. Here are some statistics from the National Association of Realtors ‘ report: “Real Estate in a Digital Age 2017” (you can read the complete PDF here). These are all 2016 statistics.
- 44% of buyers looked for homes online first.
- 88% of buyers worked with an agent to find their home. So while the initial search began online the buyer turned to an agent to finalize the search and complete the deal.
- 93% of younger buyers used the internet to search for a home (36 years old and younger).
As a real estate agent, you need to be utilizing digital marketing. Here is just a partial list of the benefits:
- Increase traffic to your website
- Connect with prospects
- Close more transactions
- Increase your brand awareness
- Stay connected to existing and past clients
Most Common Digital Marketing Tactics
Below is a list of some of the most common digital marketing tactics you can use to grow your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the process of optimizing your website or blog to drive free (organic) traffic to your website by ranking for specific keywords. SEO includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Keyword research
- Content optimization
- Optimizing your header tags
- Optimizing meta description
- Correct alt image tags
Content truly is king and the more quality content you can put out the better for your brand and for your business. Content marketing includes creating content for your blog, writing ebooks, infographics, and brochures.
There is one content marketing strategy that many real estate agents fail to take advantage of and that is property listing content. Not the listing description that goes into your MLS but the property description you can place on your blog and social media. This strategy encompasses many ideas that we’ll discuss in a later article.
Social Media Marketing
Agents spend thousands of dollars marketing on social media such as Facebook. Social media can be used to increase brand awareness, drives traffic, and generates leads for your real estate business. This is a list of the most common social media channels:
PPC is a way to drive traffic to your site by paying publishers to place adds on their site. When the ad is clicked by one of their visitors you pay the publisher a pre-determined amount. Google Adwords is the most common PPC channel, however, there are a few other channels you can use:
- Facebook ads
- Twitter promoted Tweets
- Instagram Ads
- LinkedIn sponsored messages
- Pinterest ads
Email marketing is NOT dead as some have announced. With a Return on Investment of almost 45 to 1, email marketing is effective, but it has to be done right. Email marketing can be used to:
- Promote your listings
- Announce special events
- Welcome new prospects
- Send valuable tips and information
- Connect with your prospects and existing clients (very powerful if done correctly)
Video marketing should be a digital strategy every real estate agent should employ. Videos are one of the best ways to connect with prospects, promote your brand and your listings. Not surprisingly, YouTube is the worlds second largest search engine with over 3 billion searches per month so it makes sense to be marketing on this channel.
Marketing automation is the software platform that is used to automate many of the repetitive tasks found in digital marketing. It allows your business to plan, coordinate, manage, and measure your digital marketing campaigns. It will help you evaluate what is working and what isn’t. Some of the platforms available include HubSpot, which a paid services, and Mautic which is both paid and opensource.
Digital marketing is going to be the most effective and least expensive way to reach prospects, stay connected to your clients, promote your brand and grow your business. Digital marketing has been very effective for other types of businesses and it can be just as effective in real estate.
In subsequent articles, I will dig deeper into each of the digital marketing channels mentioned above. I also plan on creating tutorials on marketing automation.