What are the trends and developments that will drive real estate deals as we close out the last half of this year and eagerly anticipate the next?
CENTURY 21 Town & Country and the team at Intentional Marketer University (IMU) has prepared our 3rd quarter review of the latest real estate marketing ideas to help you stay ahead of the competition in the social media age.
Below is a full overview of the top real estate marketing tips to round out 2016 and into 2017.
Social media has created a momentous shift in how you are able to market your real estate business. Social media channels are now the great equalizer. Whether you are a small or large agent you have the same chance to build your personal brands, expand your business, and connect with your clients like never before – all using social media outlets.
The problem? Most real estate marketers are not getting it 100% right.
The realtors who are attempting to use social media are failing at producing compelling marketing content. Unfortunately, this means most “would-be commission leads” from social media, are being turned off by bad marketing. Long before they can even get started. Your clients are are overwhelmed with an excess of unsolicited marketing messages, and real estate professionals are no exception.
Now that we have identified the problem spots, let’s go over the good news: Emerging marketing trends in real estate. How you can finish out this year and move forward into the next, all while staying on top of your game as the best real estate marketer you can be on social media.
Pull Clients into You
Research found on NAIOP: Commercial Real Estate Development Association, most of your clients (or soon to be clients), are spending their waiting time (doctors office, in traffic, etc.) looking at social media pages.
Believe it or not, this continues to be an incredible missed opportunity for realtors. The common objection is “I have a great network, why do I need this?” or “I don’t have time!” (NAIOP).
Now is your golden opportunity to take advantage of your clients “wait time”. Starting now, put in the effort to develop a strong social media marketing plan and you will start pulling clients into you.
Pull clients to you by researching and then posting relevant content. IMU has recently launched our Instagram for Realtors Master Class that teaches you exactly how to do what we are suggesting. (CENTURY 21 agents can use coupon code CENT21 and receive 30% off at this link).
Social media audience members who are interested in your relevant content can visit your website, “friend” or “follow” you on the social site, contact you for listing information or a showing, and so forth.
Your content effectively “pulling” new clients toward you rather than “pushing” marketing messages to them.
Your goal will be to learn as much as you can about how to produce interesting content that your clients find useful. The next step is to understand how you effortlessly place it in front of them, (where they are already looking!). The difference is that you are now a helpful friend who is on their side, and not simply just another realtor with a marketing message.
Create More Videos (or Start Creating Videos!)
Perhaps now, more than ever, your customer is craving videos. How many times in the past week have you personally looked up something on YouTube? Our audience has developed a taste for watching short videos that tell us the facts.
According to InMotion, Real Estate Media, “Videos are a powerful medium that are still not very prevalent in the marketing mix of most real estate agents”.
A marketing video gives your audience a different kind of medium to interact with. Videos also encourage the audience to spend more time on your social media pages or on your website. Videos showcase your company, your properties, and make you stand out from competitors.
Blogging (in addition to your current website)
Perhaps you do not feel like blogging is a viable option for you. Maybe, right now, you are thinking that the real estate marketing gurus have gotten this one all wrong.
Take a look at the proof found on therealdeal.com. “Warburg Realty president Frederick Peters, who pens a weekly blog about his views on real estate, said the posts are a strong driver of business for his agents”. “It provides the firm with a particular kind of credibility,” he said, noting that the four-year-old blog gets about 1 million page views per year.”
In sales terms, that is 1 million potential clients visiting a blog site, per year. If in 4 years you could have 1 million or more clients looking at your real estate articles, what would that do for your business?
Now is the perfect time to consider blogging. If this intimidates you, start small. Do industry reviews. The more comfortable you become, the easier it will be to express your opinions and trend predictions in the future.
Re-visit Current Outreach Methods
Has it been awhile since you performed a marketing outreach diagnostics check? Now is the time. Finish this year with a clear plan and fresh action strategy for next year. Placester.com recommends “performing the same outreach (as you do to social media leads) to like-minded professionals directly or indirectly related to real estate — people who could help with job opportunities and new business down the line”.
What we teach you inside of the Instagram for Realtors Master Class is exactly what Placester.com recommends as well: lock arms with industry influencers. Inside of module 3 of the IMU Master Class you will learn how to find influencers that you can leverage for your real estate content marketing efforts.
When you lock arms with large social media accounts (ones with large followings); promoting your blog posts, listings, and marketing material becomes highly effective. Even if you feel intimidated at first, try to overcome the nerves. This one marketing trend can dramatically increase your lead traffic.
Social Marketing Trends Revolve Around Authenticity
Facebook and LinkedIn, are undoubtedly in the savvy realtor’s arsenal. However, one of the best social media options for authenticity (and one of the most underutilized) is still Instagram.
According to the National Association of Realtors, being authentic through (showing the ‘real you’) is a powerful way to “ramp up an online reputation. Choosing to showcase professional, but authentically you, posts are powerful because people see you and get to know you more personally.” “That helps build a relationship that means something to consumers, even before you actually meet them in person”.
Media personality Fredrik Eklund @fredrikeklundny via Instagram is a great example of showcasing personality on his professional page. Realtors who build up a social media brand based on authenticity are reaping incredible rewards. Eklund estimates that social media is responsible for almost a quarter of his business. According to therealdeal.com “There are actual transactions coming through”, he said. “People will comment on a post (showcasing a listing) saying, ‘This is perfect for us!’ and then they tag their husband or wife”.
Keep in mind that authenticity involves more than ‘old school marketing’ dictates. Instead of merely posting images and listing information, use new school marketing. Post images that educate. Useful tips, location attractions, do-it yourself home decorating ideas, etc. are good examples. Use anything that makes your audience feel like they know you (and trust you!).
The first step to re-working and ramping up your real estate social media marketing plan is to develop a plan that integrates with your existing business. Marketing your business is a highly personal step and should therefore be a strong commitment you make to the success of your business.
Some additional steps, as researched from InMotion Real Estate Media, include the following:
- Educate yourself. Training is key!
- Start small, follow a tested & proven plan of action. Use a phased approach.
- Define your goals and your strategy.
- Identify target clients/customers.
- Select the social media resources that align best with your objectives.
- Use time-saving tracking tools. These social media management systems allow you to post updates on multiple social networks from one dashboard. They also provide the ability to schedule your posts at different times, to optimize maximum exposure.
- Experiment, stay curious, keep learning.
Some realtors may choose to outsource their social media efforts, while others take on the task themselves. The decision is yours and one largely based on your size and resources.
However, placing your real estate business on social media (the correct and savvy marketer way) is not an either/or decision.
A social media marketing course will help you get started. Once you have a firm grasp on the immutable social media marketing concepts, you can seamlessly transfer all your social media accounts into an authentically you, personally managed marketing machine.