Most real estate professionals know how to promote individual properties for sale. The framework for marketing property listings has been in place for decades. But, as the online marketing strategies continue to evolve, real estate professionals should make sure you are employing these six tactics to connect with a broader audience, generate more leads, and increase awareness of your brand.
The good news is that taking photos is already part of the property listing process — interior, exterior, unique features of a home, sometimes even expanding to the surrounding neighborhood.
Real estate professionals should use these photos for more than the MLS property listing. Individual photos can be shared as social media posts with a call out to something special — this could be a great landscaping job, a key feature of the home, a remodeled room — most likely every property listing has one or two unique features you can tout on social media. Give a short explanation of why that feature is trendy, unique or outstanding, and then of course link to the entire property listing.
The next step up from photos is videos. Many real estate professionals are starting to include video walkthroughs for property listings but this is not quite a standard practice. A video walkthrough allows you to connect with potential clients who are searching remotely, and allows clients who complete in-person walkthroughs to review the listing again and again during their deliberation process.
You can use videos as another tool to showcase your brand. One Realtor® in Colorado created music parody videos to show clients her personality and share something memorable. You should check out her "My Sign" parody. Even if you don't have a music video director in your back pocket, this is a great example of how you can think out-of-the-box with your content marketing plan.
If you only have property listings on your brand’s website, you are behind the times. Creating a blog section on your website is very easy to start. The more difficult steps are determining your audience, selecting topics to write about, and creating a content plan for frequency of posts. If you’re just starting out, one blog post a week is a great first step.
As a real estate professional, your blog will obviously revolve around the topic of real estate, but it can also expand into general home and garden categories as well. The blog should be a mix of professional advice from you that can include market updates and information your audience needs to know. The home-buying process can be stressful and long, so any homebuyer education tips you can share would be beneficial to your clients and potential clients.
Promoting tools available to your clients helps them find the information they need.
Many real estate websites like Realtor.com and Zillow.com incorporate calculators to determine down payments and potential mortgage payments. Incorporating these tools on your website keeps your clients connected to you.
Another commonly used real estate tool is for scheduling home showings. You could even expand from real estate tools, and find some community tools to share, like maps of parks, schools or churches, or another type of calculator — utilities.
You should tout these tools and show your clients how to utilize them.
Checklists are a specific type of marketing content you can use within your blogs or share organically through email, social media or webpage. The path to homeownership has many, many steps and can be overwhelming for many. Providing checklists for clients through this process is another great customer engagement benefit. Consider your audiences you defined for your blog. A checklist for a first-time homebuyer will be different than a checklist for a luxury, second-homeowner. Breakdown the process in the manageable lists so it’s not overwhelming. It might not be possible to keep every checklist under 10 items, but consider breaking up a process into subsections if needed to keep the list small.
The last tactic for content marketing you should ensure you use is highlighting your connection to the community. This is a great way to stay connected to recent and past clients. Most likely they will be selling their home in the future, or may refer a neighbor or friend selling a home, and you want to make sure they bring their business back to you. An email list for past clients that you use to share updates is a productive medium to stay in touch — printed newsletters or postcards are also common methods for connection.
When your clients move into the homeowner category, rather than the home buyer category, they could still be interested in market updates for their neighborhood, new parks or businesses in the area and general home and garden information.
Remember how you could share home and garden information on your blog — these topics would appeal to your clients on all ends of the home-buying spectrum. If you share a post with lawn care tips, homebuyers plan for what they could do when they find their dream home, and homeowners can immediately utilize the information. [And, season information like lawn care tips can be repurposed and reshared continuously.]
Content marketing for real estate doesn’t have to become a full-time job — although it certainly can. Start small — one blog post a week, reshare a few interesting photos, post a checklist. You’ll be amazed how quickly your supply of content builds up.