The pandemic has affected everything, including how to approach real estate sales. Not only is the process for both residential and commercial transactions completely different in terms of consumer behavior, but even the markets are in the midst of a shake-up. Who knew how many people would want to escape city life for the country after months of pandemic quarantine?
While handshakes and open houses might be on hold for the time being, the big-picture changes in real estate have created fertile ground for forward-thinking agents and brokers ready to take advantage of new opportunities to grow.
Now, more than ever, people are going online to shop for real estate. That means 2021 should be the year your office upgrades its digital marketing tactics to connect with new clients and to sign contracts and closing documents electronically.
Here are nine real estate marketing ideas to modernize your business for 2021.
Ready to find qualified leads, get expert real estate marketing advice, and sell properties faster, all in one place?
1. Build your own website
If you’re relying on that free but out-of-date website that your brokerage provided, you’re doing yourself and your prospective clients a disservice. Current and prospective homeowners expect real estate agents to have robust and informative websites that focus on a specific niche and target audience.
You’ll need a mobile-responsive website. Many people scan for sales on their smartphones while on the go or in between errands. Consider adding video walk-throughs so they can get as much information about a property. This can save you time, as your clients will know if they’re interested before they even call you.
2. Feature virtual tours through Facebook Live
If you’ve considered running Facebook advertisements, you already know that real estate ads are part of the special ads category. What does this mean? You’ll be responsible for a few more steps than others who are posting ads for other industries, and the approval process can take longer.
But a Facebook Live event can happen immediately. To offer free virtual tours of your properties, you’ll need to claim a Facebook Business page. After that’s done, you can create a Facebook event page to promote your virtual tour and invite all your contacts. You never know who’ll be watching and who’ll be enticed to learn more.
Check out our Facebook Live tips and best practices to ensure you have a successful live stream.
3. Spark interest on Instagram
Along with using Facebook, being active on Instagram is one of those real estate marketing ideas that’s become almost crucial now that in-person meetings are rare.
If you haven’t already, consider hiring a professional photographer to capture the beauty of the spaces within a residential property for sale. You may also hire someone to fly a drone to show the ideal location of your commercial listing. Post these photos and videos on your Instagram account.
High-quality images are crucial for success on Instagram, as well as using the appropriate hashtags. Think about popular hashtags that people who are interested in your location might be following, rather than making up something unique. For example: Using #sandiego and #backyardpool is a better bet than adding something like #thisisyouridealstarterhome.
4. Share your expertise with a blog
If you’ve been in real estate for more than a couple of months, you know more about the market than anyone who’s looking to buy or sell. Share your expert knowledge by writing a blog, which you’ll be able to use as a way to attract qualified leads. Think about regular questions your clients ask or common concerns sellers or buyers have — then answer them in blog posts.
As real estate marketing ideas go, creating unique content is relatively easy. As an industry expert, it helps to cultivate a helpful and educational tone in your blogs. People should see your charming personality shine through. You can have a blog section on your website so that people searching for the information you provide will click on your site and see your listings.
5. Grow your email list
Another physical contact-free method of connecting with those who are interested in your real estate niche and geographic region is through a regular email newsletter. If you haven’t made gathering email addresses a priority in the past, make 2021 your year to cultivate leads through this email marketing.
To get people to give you their email addresses, try offering free lead generation tools on your website. Maybe it’s a free checklist of things homeowners must do before listing their home for sale. Perhaps it’s an educated look at market trends in your community. As long as you provide something of value, people will happily sign up to learn more.
6. Invest in paid digital advertising
10 years ago, a good advertising initiative would be to submit free articles along with paid ads to the local newspapers. But nowadays — especially after 2020 — real estate marketing ideas that work don’t often involve hoping for people to flip through print newspapers to learn about open houses. Today’s interested buyers and sellers are going online.
To get new listings, consider investing in a pay-per-click (PPC) digital advertising campaign. Claim your Google My Business page and create Google ads based on keywords your target audience is using to search for real estate options. These ads show up above organic listings in search engine results pages (SERPs), and the top billing works. Few people even scroll to the second page.
7. Connect with local professionals
Referrals go a long way. No list of real estate marketing tips is complete without encouraging more networking. Of course, in 2020, most of the in-person networking opportunities have been canceled. You have to look for other ways to find fellow professionals besides Chamber of Commerce breakfasts and cocktail hours.
Start with the people you already work with. You likely know lawyers who help craft contracts, mortgage brokers who help with finances, landscape business owners, professional cleaning teams, and interior decorators who assist in selling homes.
Recommend trading referrals by providing them a packet of information they can pass along to their clients. Be sure to follow state laws regarding kickbacks and other incentives.
8. Ask satisfied customers for online reviews
Your peers aren’t the only ones who should be talking on your behalf in 2021. Your satisfied customers have the most to say about their experiences with you. Ask them to write testimonials and post as many of these as you can on your website.
Also, ask them to submit reviews of your services on Google Business, Yelp, and Angie’s List — as well as any other listing page you’re on. Trulia and Zillow are other digital platforms you should use. Your future clients are just as likely to take the advice of strangers as they are to listen to their friends and family members.
9. Grow your brand
Finally, 2021 should be a time for you to create a brand that perfectly encapsulates your real estate practice. What values, objectives, and personality quirks do you want to express in your marketing materials? Creating a brand can be the difference between a struggling career and a multi-million dollar year.
Now you’ve got it
Now that you’ve got these nine real estate marketing ideas, it’s time to start implementing them into your marketing plan so you can build a stronger, better, marketing strategy to move your business forward in 2021.
Want to learn more about digital marketing in the modern era? Check out Constant Contact’s The Download. The free guide is specifically designed for real estate professionals ready to make 2021 their biggest year yet.