Even though the amount of housing inventory has reportedly shrunk, the market for selling homes is still incredibly competitive. It is only expected to become more competitive in the near future. So what are some real estate marketing ideas for real estate agents, investors and regular homeowners that want to sell their houses and do it faster? The following is a comprehensive list of proven real estate marketing ideas:
What are the best real estate lead generation options today?
Where and how can real estate agents, investors and other related industry professionals generate more leads for buying, selling and renting properties? What are some of the little known benefits, and pitfalls of common real estate lead generation channels today?
Here are 12 ways for real estate investors and Realtors to bring in more leads:
Some popular real estate gurus have said that direct mail is the fastest and easiest way to generate new leads. It can still be very effective. In fact, as others have turned to online marketing, direct mail may have become even more effective and profitable. However, direct mail success does rely on volume and testing to hone messaging and delivery.
Cold calling on a large scale, such as using call centers, might face many challenges with regulations today, but it has still been proven to generate an effective hourly income of hundreds of dollars for Realtors. Simply picking up the phone can be one of the fastest ways to generate real estate business. It is also one of the lowest cost ways to generate leads, and can help professionals stay on top of their sales game.
Many fantastic real estate deals and listings can be uncovered by simply driving neighborhoods and knocking on doors. There are obvious obstacles in doing this, but when it comes to getting the jump on competitors, it can be hard to beat.
Google may have made reaching consumers via their inboxes more challenging, but email can still be one of the best ways to reach both the masses, and highly targeted contacts. Email lists may be rented from data companies versus buying them. Subsequently, real estate investors and agents can take control of their own email real estate and build their own lists.
Buying Internet Leads
Buying internet leads has been popular for a variety of real estate and mortgage companies since before the last housing boom. These individuals experienced somewhat of a bubble, but have now been improved with enhanced data and targeting tools. There are various types of these leads ranging from ‘aged’ leads, to live exclusive leads, and non-exclusive leads. Make sure you do your homework and understand exactly what you are getting, as well as the difference in these types of consumers, in order to maximize ROI.
Buying Lead Lists
Lead lists have been a staple of the real estate industry for many years. An almost endless array of filters can be used to laser target the best prospects with these lists. However, newer individuals and real estate companies need to recognize that they may not legally be allowed to have, or market to some of these lists depending on how the data was generated. Watch for junk, and be sure lists aren’t being fluffed out with bogus names.
Real Estate Blogging
Real estate blogging remains one of the most powerful and profitable forms of lead generation, but also one of the most underestimated. A regular blog can ensure real estate pros and companies are not held ransom by other platforms, and can go on helping to generate leads for years after posts are written. A blog can be used to draw regular internet leads, feed email list building, and fuel social media efforts.
While this medium changes constantly, social media platforms can still be a fantastic way to generate leads in real estate. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and even Pinterest are all great options. There are many debates over calls to action, the amount of engagement which is right, and how much should be invested off-site, versus on a real estate company’s own websites, but with the right funnel strategy, it can be fast, affordable and enjoyable.
Signage & Outdoor Real Estate Advertising
Even the simplest yard and ‘bandit’ signs can be incredibly affordable ways to generate real estate leads. With the right message, these and other outdoor advertising solutions can be used to generate a steady stream of local leads. New technology can make this even better. Call capture, QR codes, interactive augmented reality signs, text messaging options, and even links to virtual tours can be used to boost outdoor advertising performance.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be one of the best methods of predictably and consistently driving in real estate leads on demand. PPC solutions, like Google Adwords, offer the ability to drive in leads on command. This can be tweaked to be hyper local, or reach global buyers, investors and homeowners right where they are now. With a little strategy and education, real estate marketers can significantly drive down PPC costs. With a large enough budget, they can even dominate, and starve out the competition by buying every lead for a given keyword. Aside from the big platforms, more affordable online leads may be gleaned from purchasing image, text and banner ads on other websites directly.
Don’t forget print. Beyond the traditional line up of real estate mags, consider other industry magazines that will reach the same prime prospects, and even leveraging online magazines.
Referrals and Affiliate Marketing
Personal referrals can be both a compliment, and the most valuable form of lead generation. Savvy real estate CEOs are taking this to a whole new level by using technology to scale and organize referrals on a national and global scale.
What if the world of real estate advertising and marketing, as we’ve known it for decades, was irretrievably broken? What would it mean for real estate investors and agents? What would it take to get real estate leads and retain clients? What level or care and quality would it require to stay in business and keep growing?
In a recent interview with Inc. Magazine, Seth Godin alluded to the idea that marketing and advertising, as we used to know it, has been broken in large part to too much noise. Perhaps ironically of course, Seth Godin is revered by many as one of the greatest marketers of our time. Seth has recently posed a couple of important thoughts. The first, which can be found in the respective Inc. interview, referred to paying for marketing as a losing strategy. The second, via his blog, asked what if there were no more customers to be had? What if this was the last generation of potential clients – how would you treat them differently?
There may absolutely be challenges in real estate marketing, more competition for attention, and platforms like Facebook may constantly be upping the premium to reach your hard worked for fans, but thankfully traditional channels aren’t dead yet.
Traditional real estate marketing (phone, SMS, yard and bandit signs, direct mail, email, PPC and SEO, print and display advertising) is far from being outdated. All of these types of real estate marketing may have their own cycles, just like the property market as a whole. However, attention is undoubtedly becoming more valuable, as are loyal customers. Few could argue that working with referrals and repeat customers isn’t the highest ROI and most sustainable type of business. So in order to maximize ROI and avoid being held ransom by marketing agencies which control the costs of so many of these channels, what does it take to make your budget go further, get free business and keep them coming back?
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, real estate companies and independent pros have to realize it is about the customer, not themselves. You have to really, really understand this, and keep it in mind with ever move you make. So make your messaging more about helping consumers, home buyers and sellers and renters and investors, and a lot less about you. Stop bragging and show them what you can do for them. Think creatively. In order to get more out of a real estate marketing budget, it needs to be highly effective. It needs to have viral capability by itself. Consider any paid boost to get it in front of others a bonus.
We are also seeing a return to personal connection. The internet isn’t going away, and in many ways this can actually augment relationship building if engaged accordingly. To cultivate referrals, close new business, retain customers and benefit from repeat business, relationships are important. Seth Godin suggests focusing on building ‘tribes,’ communities and groups that really care about something. This could be helping each other succeed in real estate, or rebuilding their community or beautiful design. It can be done on Facebook, Google+ groups, Twitter, via email, and in person at events.
The bottom line is that paying for marketing is still a reality in the real estate world and can have great returns. It’s just better done with same level of care and quality as if it was the only single message you could afford to send. Sincere marketing is hard to fake, and even harder to stick with. However, those that care enough and care about the long term will find these things helpful.
Print advertising appears to be making a rebound in the U.S. housing market, but what practices and tactics can help companies get even better results? More importantly, how can real estate investors increase their ROI with effective print marketing? How can you maximize your marketing efforts?
The current resurgence of real estate magazines suggests print media is back. During the downturn they thinned out, many went broke and others merged together. Now, housing is booming along with the offers made for print ad space. Experienced marketing and real estate pros know that all media, just like the property market, is cyclical. However,, no one wants to gamble or take chances with their advertising budgets. So how can real estate investors, agents and companies improve their ROI and ensure better results from print?
1. Credible Contact Information
Without accurate contact information, minimal response and action can be expected from any advertising campaign. The more options that real estate marketers provide, the better the odds that response and conversion ratios will go up. However, having credible contact information is equally important. For example; would you respond to a magazine ad that only had a gmail or Yahoo email address?
2. Research the Competition First
Don’t launch your ads until you’ve researched what the competition is doing with their ads. There is no sense in burning your budget and opportunity with an inferior ad. For example; if one mortgage company is advertising 2% interest rates and no closing costs, those offering anything less are likely to be overlooked or discarded. Make your ads count. By knowing your competition you can give yourself an advantage.
3. Split a Page
Having control of a full page in a magazine is great, but that doesn’t mean innovative real estate marketers can’t slash their costs, boost ROI and build relationships with strategic partnerships by splitting the expenses. Perhaps a mortgage, title or insurance partner will be willing to chip in? As long as it benefits both parties, why not?
4. The Back Cover
The back cover of a magazine can be just as valuable to real estate agents, investors and companies than the front cover.
5. Negotiate Better Deals
While demand for magazine and print advertising may be headed up, everything is always negotiable in this industry. Can you get a better deal if you commit to several months or multiple pages? Can you negotiate additional perks or discounts for referrals and links, or simply print ready ads versus having the publisher put it together?
6. Augmented Reality Ads
Augmented reality is the next big space for marketing, especially print. In fact, it is AR that has probably saved and revived the print industry from the brink of extinction. New statistics show a significant percentage of top print publications and ads in those publications turning to augmented reality, with as many as 80% of readers downloading AR apps and engaging across digital boundaries. If more money doesn’t excite you, it looks really cool too.
7. Print +
There is no denying that most real estate pros today are more interested in growing their online business. For those that are going to do print, try negotiating with the publisher to have them send out emails on your behalf, post social updates with back links and look for active back links in digital copies of magazines. These perks could far exceed the print value. Just make sure you know what their online traffic numbers look like in addition to the number of magazines left around which may be a poor reflection of readership numbers.
What are the best real estate blog strategies for those investing? More importantly, do real estate professionals even need blogs or websites anymore? If they do, is the best blog theme still real estate, or something entirely different?
Blogging continues to be a hot topic. In fact, blog industry experts and some of those with the most popular blogging platforms on the planet have already predicted that this median is only just getting started. We haven’t even begun to realize its hidden potential. At the same time, there are many new real estate agents, investors and related business owners contemplating the best strategy for setting up a blog. However, more than a few are wondering why they aren’t seeing the magnificent results that they hoped for.
There is no question that many are suffering the consequences of their own mediocrity. As the U.S. real estate market heats up, there will be a lot more real estate agents getting licensed, more brokerages being launched, real estate teams being formed and investors setting up businesses. Subsequently, each of these new entities will require a means of standing out from the crowd that they were so eager to become a part of. With hundreds, if not thousands, of choices of online destinations for consumers to get their real estate education and tap into resources, there is a need to give them a reason to choose yours.
Some sensationalists have recently posed that real estate agents should be focusing more on apps and social, as to not get lost in the sea of choices made available to consumers. There may be some wisdom in this, but few will want to take the risk of going without a real estate website and especially a blog. Even before most consumers or other parties will even consider doing business with a Realtor or real estate investment firm, they are going to try and look up their website online.
Neglecting to even provide a website is a huge red flag. A simple website, whether it is one or five pages, is far better than nothing. Short and sweet, but attractive, might be better than expansive and ugly. In other words, it is important to provide consumers with some form of online presence.
A blog is far more valuable than a website. It is a living real estate lead generation machine, with a potential ROI from each blog post that could far exceed what most real estate players can fathom. Of course, this doesn’t mean that sticking to stale blogging practices is what is best for your business. You might need a core focused real estate blog that deviates from tradition. For those looking for an outside the box alternative, consider taking an alternate approach or launching a unique blog on a new angle.
Some ideas might include focusing more on providing neighborhood information. Inman News and other real estate platforms have been talking incessantly about neighborhood experts. So why not incorporate some real keyword rich, SEO juiced neighborhood blogs that cover everything someone could want to know about moving and living in the area?
Other ideas might include architecture, interior design and home improvement themes. Regardless of what you right about, make it original and relevant to your particular profession as possible. Looking at innovative blog strategies may be just what your company needs to gain traction and establish a loyal base of consumers.
Are you constantly wondering what to post on your real estate company’s social media profile? With the endless supply of social media platforms your company can take advantage of, it is important to be proactive. Social media is an ever increasing presence that must be embraced and has the potential to propel your business to the next level. However, it may be easier said than done. There is a particular approach that must be taken to facilitate its progression.
Here are 60 social media ideas to help your real estate marketing: