Bill Gates hit the nail squarely on the head when he said, “the internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow”. The entrepreneur and Microsoft king always had a vision and a unique insight into the future, and yet no one could have known exactly how true his statement would become for real estate agencies.
Today, successful businesses are built on strong digital-first campaigns and plans. Even the most traditional-thinking industries are dipping their toes in the water, moving away from traditional marketing methods and toward digital concepts.
The real estate industry has long relied on print, radio and signage marketing and advertising forms, but business owners can no longer ignore the role digital disruption plays in the market.
Entrepreneur’s The Impact Of Digital Transformation On The Real Estate Sector clearly identifies key factors around the issue and urges industry leaders to adapt to the cultural change. The report suggests that with consumer behaviour and expectations shifting, many people now choose to use mobile or web searches to find a suitable property. Not having that strong online presence will place a business on the back foot in comparison to competitors.
Technological changes have also led to improved business techniques and efficiency. Automation, direct communication and marketing are necessities for any growing real estate business.
If you are ready to learn more about adopting a digital-first mindset, then read on.
5 Ways Real Estate Agencies Can Adopt a Digital-first Mindset to Marketing
There are proven concrete strategies that you can adopt to ensure your real estate business is not left behind in this digital world.
1. Invest in a User-friendly Website
It is time to think of your website as an extension of your business – it is a direct representation of your professionalism, your capabilities and your success. A well-designed and reader-friendly website will do more than simply provide a professional front; it has the potential to become a monetised communication tool. Having a user-friendly website can entice more visitors to your pages, encouraging them to browse through your services and review the content you’ve already put up. A clunky website can be off-putting and difficult to navigate.
So, what constitutes a ‘user-friendly’ website, and what exactly is the investment? Readability, a mobile-friendly design, quality content with a clear and concise message, navigation and fast-loading speed are all non-negotiable. As for the cost, it comes down to how much you want to spend. Like with all business investments (and treat this project as a smart investment!), source various quotes and be clear about your budget. These days, it is relatively easy to find an affordable web designer and a great content writing service team who can work together to create your updated site. Good design goes hand-in-hand with good content to achieve optimal outcomes.
There are considerations in creating a user-friendly website:
- Satisfaction – A great site that is easy to use and will increase consumer engagement. Not only will potential buyers and sellers want to return to the site, but they will enjoy the experience.
- Time – The happier a person is when using a site, and the more it ticks all their boxes, then the longer time they will spend on there consuming information and appreciating your brand. Increased visitation time also boosts search engine data and indicates that people are benefiting from using your website.
- SEO – Once again, enhanced satisfaction and longer time spent browsing will factor into your SEO rankings, placing you higher in search engine results.
2. Balance SEO Optimisation with Content Marketing
Bestselling author and marketing extraordinaire Seth Godin says that, “marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”
Consumers are smarter, business is competitive and simply spruiking your wares does not guarantee success. In an age where there’s an oversaturation of content online, it’s important to create quality content that stands out and that can increase online visibility and audience engagement. Search engines like Google do their research, now focusing more on the person at the keyboard who is behind the search. If a person likes your website, the engine will notice and your rankings will improve.
Basically, balancing SEO with quality content will enable your website to boost its ranking. Understanding keyword intent (the user’s purpose for a search) and creating content that directly speaks to, and relates, to that intent is a priority.
This is followed by balancing data-driven insights with content creatives (either upskill your staff or outsource to an organisation that knows what they are doing in the content world); understanding search engine results pages (SERPs) and how they work to boost your ranking; balancing creative and personal content with automation (make sure that you use actual writers, and that the tech team understands the importance of quality content); and finally, correctly measure website traffic and make sure it aligns with key performance indicators.
3. Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Here at Story League, we talk a lot about marketing strategies, and for good reason. They work. A smart strategy will allow you to build a solid line-up of content over a period of time, as well as measure key performance indicators.
A marketing strategy should be broken down into sectors – advertising, digital database marketing, internal and external communication goals, media/public relations, and social media marketing.
Social media marketing has become a beast of its own. Yet, it remains an untapped resource for many businesses, largely due to time restraints, lack of resources and understanding.
As of January 2022, there were 3.96 billion total social media users across all platforms. When you consider that adults use social media across all platforms on average for 95 minutes a day, it becomes increasingly apparent that social media is a great opportunity for business. Why not share your upcoming and current listings on your page? You can also provide real estate updates, news and fun, personalised posts about your team.
Researching the nature of social media engagement and the demographics among the various platforms is a step in the right direction. Creating a social media marketing strategy can allow you to engage with your target audience, particularly since many people actively use social media. A good strategy should focus on brand consistency, your business objectives and goals, smart and interesting storytelling and engagement.
4. Create Email Campaigns
Using e-newsletters is still an effective way of reaching your target customers as the majority of people still use emails in their daily lives – 90 per cent of adults, according to research from Optinmonster.
Clearly, email newsletters are a great way to directly engage and stay connected to your subscribers and database. Creating targeted content is crucial and the best way to do this is to understand how to run a successful email marketing campaign. Your aim should be to engage, entertain and educate your subscribers.
Need a few suggestions to get you on your way? Here’s a crash course on how to create successful digital database campaigns:
- Build a targeted contact database
- Know your goals
- Understand the types of emails
- Identify your audience
- Understand the tech
- Create smart opt-ins (such as subscriber pop-ups)
- Write clever copy and subject lines
5. Conduct Webinars and Live Streams
Today’s consumers are busy and this is why creating unique ways to connect with potential buyers, sellers and vendors is a must. Webinars and live streams are great ways to engage and interact with people. They can tune in from anywhere, from any device.
This live, web-based video is accessible by a number of viewers and listeners (no matter where in the world they are located). You can talk directly to the audience, or even use the computer screen to show slideshows, data or demonstrations. For real estate agents, it is a unique opportunity to discuss how-to guides with the audience and even includes Q&A portions so that your viewers have the opportunity to know more about topics relevant to homeownership, renting or other industry-related topics. Creating live streams on social media can make the content more accessible and engaging as well.
Real estate is a competitive industry. Agencies continue to pop up and compete for potential buyers and sellers. And although it remains a somewhat traditional industry, business owners are now starting to realise the opportunity for growth that forward-thinking marketing affords them. It’s time to engage with the wider community in a fresh way.
Are you ready to adopt a digital-first mindset in marketing? Contact us and we’ll help you transform your content.