If you are in the real estate business, you will know how important it is to connect with your customers. You, unlike most other businesses, are not selling products or services, you are selling someone their home. You are providing them with their sanctuary, their place to unwind, and their space to decorate and be proud of. You are selling a future, a family, and stability.
But, just how do you get this across to your customer? Real estate companies face a plethora of challenges when it comes to attracting and converting customers. It is a unique industry which is, firstly, highly competitive and is highly impacted by the economy and market volatility.
In fact, the industry can be cut-throat. It is vitally important to keep on top of new marketing tools and techniques to reach out to new and existing customers and convert them to sales. So, we thought we would take a look at some of the top ways that you can overhaul your marketing strategy to make it successful.
By ducks, we obviously mean your contacts. Your little black book of contacts is your goldmine; so you need to make sure that you have the right tools to store, protect and utilize those contacts correctly. Customer contacts should be one of your marketing department’s biggest priorities, as clean, protected data can boost your revenue by up to 66%.
You are also going to realize that automating everything will make it that much easier to reach thousands of people easily. You can look into integrating your address books, sorting your contacts into workable categories, and choosing a mass email generation tool to reach thousands of contacts within minutes. Getting all of these time-consuming processes reduced into a matter of minutes means that you have more time to spend on engaging with your customers.
Growing your contact list should also be one of your top priorities. Many companies buy their databases, and slowly but surely clean the data to get rid of the excess contacts that don’t fall within the customer sphere. This, however, can be a long process, and unverified data can count against your company.
Referral campaigns can be one of the best ways of expanding your contact list as you can not only get verified leads but also develop a deeper sense of loyalty and trust with your existing customers. And did you know that referrals can be automated too and integrated as either an online form or newsletter campaign?
Making customers type their address lists manually can be too exhausting and result in fewer referrals. Instead, refer-a-friend interfaces can be optimized by using a contact picker. So, instead of making people type their list of email addresses one-by-one, which puts people off, they’re able to select people directly from their address book without having to switch between tabs and windows to find contact information for everyone they want to refer to.
Let’s delve into these two points a little more. The first step is to create a content calendar where you can plot out your content for the next few weeks and months. Keep in mind seasonality, holidays, and important dates to focus your content around. This will keep it relevant and trending.
Next, create posts that people want to read—the more educational, the more clicks you can expect. Also, think out of the box a bit. Look beyond Top Tips to Buying a House (Although this could be a great place to start). Start including advice, ideas, mistakes to avoid, moving tips, even decorating, and renovation ideas. You can let your imagination go wild when it comes to home buying or renting. What is great about this, if your post receives a lot of attention, you could find your site ranking at the top of a Google Search for something unexpected and reach an entirely new audience.
Email is the most powerful tool that a real estate agency can use to generate sales. It is the cheapest and easiest option to reach thousands of potential buyers or renters every week. Statistics show that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect around an average return of $42. Small to medium-sized businesses get 81% of their business through mailers. So, if you are not focusing heavily on what you are sending out to your email database, you could be missing out on some much-needed business. So, what do you need to consider for a successful email campaign?
Firstly, personalized emails receive 50% more opens that general mass emails. Yes, this will take a lot more work, research, and planning than a simple email going to your whole database, but once you get the process right, you can automate it. As mentioned, with email automation tools, the process is made so much easier. Segment your customers into categories of similarities and send them specific emails that will appeal to their interests and behaviors.
Attractive, informative, and simple emails can be one of the strongest tools in converting customers. Many companies rely solely on property-specific emails. But you can branch out on this and include a weekly email to your database, which includes the blog post and eye-catching images and calls to action. These are the emails that will draw the attention of your customer to the educational content that will develop a sense of trust between you and your customer.
It is also important to track and monitor your emails. Keep an eye on what gets the most click-throughs. This is especially important for those content-based mails. Should you put an image first, how does that compare to a text body at the top of the mail? Also AB test your subject lines. Does personalization work? Have you tried using emojis? Or do short, catchy subjects get those clicks?
Images are critical when you are wanting to sell or rent a property. It is simply unforgivable to have low-quality, obscure images on your site in this day and age. Make sure that every image of the property is taken to optimize the property. Not only do these go up on your site, but they can be included in your emails and shared with social media too.
Instagram can be one of your strongest social tools to target a customer base outside of your contact database. High quality, beautiful images can be uploaded, and with the right hashtags can pop up in unexpected feeds. Remember to think out of the box too. If the area sells the property, upload the view or sunset from the deck. If the kitchen is beautifully designed, set up a cooking shot, and tag that in. Be creative. You can also test whether paid posts and stories generate more clicks. The rule of thumb is to set a reasonable budget and AB test it.
Modern technology can also be used to your advantage much. Investing in a drone could mean that you can shoot some dramatic drone footage of the property that can be shared. Not only can this be very informative for prospective buyers, but you can also attract some attention on social media. The second thing to look at is doing virtual tours of the property and home to give your customers a good idea of the layout. This will also assist with verifying viewers, as only those who are truly interested will view the property.
Just in case you have gotten a bit confused and wondering what we have been talking about the whole time, yes, there is a difference between content and inbound marketing. When we chat about content marketing, we are talking about all of that written content, images, videos, and well-placed content to attract your customers. When we talk about inbound marketing, we are referring to the tools that you can integrate to improve your customer experience.
Here, you will need to think of things like optimized web design, lead generation tools, calls to action, chatbots, and data-driven decision making. Inbound marketing is all about trying to understand the customer, what they want, and how you can make their experience with you even better. So, let’s take a look into one or two ways you can improve this.
Consider including a chatbot on your site. Chatbots are the virtual assistants that allow the customer to talk instantly with someone in the company. This could be a game-changer for your real estate company. Take a look at your current site. You will most likely have listed properties, with drop-downs categories to filter your customer’s options. Once those are filtered, they will pop up in the listed format for them to scroll through. The problem is that over 67% of people will drop off on the second page of the search. A chatbot could revolutionize your business and increase sales phenomenally. They will be able to give you their exact specifications, and you will be able to pull up a shortlist for them to consider in a matter of seconds.
A key aspect of bagging and keeping customers is by receiving accreditation and feedback from other customers. Word of mouth is one of the most reliable marketing tools, but in the digital age, you need to rely on online methods. Customers rely heavily on what other customers are saying online before they take the plunge into a new product or service. According to a market research survey of 12,0000 people, 82% of them claimed that their buying decision was due directly to online reviews.
The first type of feedback is social media ratings and comments. Facebook allows your customers to rate your company and services for other customers to be able to view them. It is interesting to note that 52% of global users post online reviews about the products and services that they have experienced. 80% of customers view what has been said in the last 30 days about a company on their Facebook page before going with that company. Your Facebook page needs to reflect your brand.
If that is not all, according to various studies, Google also uses reviews to rank your site in the search. So, to keep your SEO rankings high, make sure that you are going above and beyond to get those positive reviews in to get your site up in the search results. Having positive reviews not only verifies you as a brand but can also extend the reach of your business.
A major thing to keep in mind is to keep up to date with marketing trends. Watch what your competitors are doing, as well as what other industries are implementing and see if you can adapt it. Keep your customers surprised and delighted at all times. The customer journey is one of the most important aspects to consider when creating a marketing plan, so think out of the box and keep that prospect engaged!