Need help with your real estate marketing?
You’ve come to the right place. I’m going to teach you some tricks for free.
I’ve helped out some of the biggest real estate websites in the world. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Real Estate Marketing: Enterprise vs. Local
First thing you need to know: there’s a big difference between enterprise and local.
To be clear, when I say enterprise I’m talking about the big guns that operate in multiple states (or even countries).
Those are the sites I usually work with. The best part, you can optimize so many pages at once!
Think of it as a waterfall effect: you have to optimize by state, city, zip code and property.
That means you want to be optimizing for words and phrases like “California realtor,” “San Marcos, CA realtor,” “realtors near 92107,” etc.
The good news: local SEO rules apply. Again, you just have to apply them to each location.
Real Estate Marketing Ideas For Smaller, Local Websites
Smaller sites – being, you know, smaller – won’t have as much work to do when it comes to site structure.
Generally speaking, they’ll be optimizing for just one location.
But again, being smaller means they’ll have to work a little harder to be found in the search engines.
Good news is, there’s plenty of ways to make sure your site ranks high.
And in case any of those bigger enterprise companies thought class was over, you might want to pay attention. Some of these ideas apply to you as well.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #1: Start With Local SEO and Own Your Market
As a rule, local businesses start with local SEO.
You want to be as prominent as possible in local listings. If your business is in Glendale, Arizona, you want to rank for every search that includes that location+real estate.
If you don’t, you’re missing out on some super valuable traffic.
But let’s go over a few basics:
- Focus on location-based keywords. Pick 10-15 and order them by relevance, and use them in your content, title tags, meta descriptions, images, header, and social media pages
- Add local business schema to your site
- Claim and optimize your Google My Business page – and make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all online directories
- Get as many reviews as possible
- Build citations – these are local listings and directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Bing.
- Make sure you site is mobile-responsive
Real Estate Marketing Idea #2: Run a YouTube Ad Targeting the Area You’re Selling In
YouTube needs a place in a real estate social media plan (more on that in a minute).
Another thing you need to see there? YouTube ads.
No, they’re not just the annoying can’t-wait-to-skip intros to videos. And yes, they do actually work.
Those skippable ads you’re thinking of are TrueView InStream ads. But YouTube offers two other formats you may be less familiar with.
- TrueView Discovery ads – these appear alongside other videos in the search results
- Bumper ads – these appear before other videos, but aren’t skippable. They run six seconds or less
- And the TruView Instream ads – play before videos, with the option to skip
The cool thing about YouTube ads is that, like other ad channels, you can target down by location, interests, and demographics.
The most effective ads will be targeted to the exact area where you’re selling a particular house.
You could run an ad compilation of available homes in the area, and send it out only to those searching in that particular neighborhood or zip code. That way, you’ll ensure you’re reaching the most qualified audience possible.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #3: Set Up Remarketing for Facebook and Google
Hate to say it, but it’s unlikely someone will be buying a house on their first visit to your website.
That in itself isn’t a problem.
It only becomes a problem if you don’t have a strategy to stay fresh in each visitor’s mind.
One of the best ways to do that is through remarketing.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know I’m a big fan of remarketing.
And if you look at the stats, it’s easy to see why:
- Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are more likely to convert by 70%.
- Compared to other placement strategies, retargeting generated the highest lift in business name searches by 1,046%
- 30% of consumers have a positive or very positive reaction to retargeted ads, while only 11% feel negatively about them
See what I mean? Pretty powerful stuff.
For anyone not super familiar with remarketing (also called retargeting), it’s a way of showing ads to users who have previously visited your site.
They’re particularly useful for major purchases, like cars, engagement, and, of course, homes.
Why? Because as I mentioned in the beginning: people don’t buy a house after a single website visit.
They (usually) don’t even contact the real estate agent.
That’s because they’re in the research phase. They’re looking at what’s out there before making any calls or pushing any buttons.
And again, that’s just fine. But as that visitor searches the web for other houses on the market, you want to make sure your house stays top of mind.
Using remarketing, you can cookie a specific page on your site (say, a specific property page) and use it to show specific ads (like, say, one that features the house from the page they visited) as that person continues to search.
And as the stats say, consumers who are served remarketing ads are more likely to convert.
Sounds like it’s well worth a try, doesn’t it?
Real Estate Marketing Idea #4: Do a Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube Live Video Showing the Property
We touched briefly on the power of video. But one the most powerful formats right now is live video.
Don’t believe me? Check this out: video streaming accounted for 75% of all internet traffic in 2017 and is expected to jump to 82% by 2020.
And according to Facebook, 78% of their users are already watching live stream videos – and spend 3x more time watching them, and comment 10x more during live videos.
Live streaming isn’t a passing trend. Viewers like the engagement and real-time feel of a live video, and it helps showcase a lighter, more personal side of brands.
And for the real estate industry, it’s especially useful.
Virtual tours have long been a thing, and now with live streaming, they’re easier than ever.
It’s a great feature to incorporate with remarketing as well. Take Facebook, for instance. If someone has shown interest in a particular property, show them an ad announcing a live tour of that property.
You can also plan live tours in advance and send them out to an email segment that’s shown interest in that property.
The best part? Live streaming’s easy. Because it’s live, you won’t spend time editing like you otherwise would with a pre-recorded video.
For most platforms, you can stream a video right from your mobile phones, and even select a list of custom followers to show the video to (if you’re limiting to a certain group or location).
And remember, for best results, live stream everywhere. On Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #5: Create a Real Estate Group on Facebook
Facebook’s groups are a great place to build a network.
And starting your own group allows you to be the leader, and therefore establish some authority in your location.
But the real benefit of a Facebook group is that it fosters engagement and trust in your group.
Think about it: on your Facebook Page, the conversation is probably pretty one-sided. You’re relaying information to your followers, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a few likes out of it.
But a Group thrives on participation. It’s a community, and a community breeds connectivity.
And because Groups operate on a private basis, you’ll fuel trust between the members and your agency. And the more they trust you, the more likely they are to eventually buy from you.
Keep in mind, your Group shouldn’t operate like your Page. It shouldn’t be where you promote properties or special price drops.
It should be where you talk about the community you live and sell in and highlight any issues around housing.
And remember, a good Group requires proper management. For more on how to grow and manage your Facebook Group, read my complete article here.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #6: Create an Email List and Build it Over Time
Email consistently proves to be one of the (if not the) best ways to communicate with customers.
That’s no exception in the real estate industry.
An email list allows you to keep in touch with potential leads, and through strategic, targeted messaging proves to be an effective tool in leading prospects through the sales funnel to a conversion.
But building a solid list takes time and an active approach.
Luckily, there are a few tried and true strategies to help you grow your subscribers (I go over 30 of them here!).
But no matter the tactic, it all begins with content.
You need to have a good handle on your target buyer and produce content that’s relevant to them. Are they first time home buyers? Provide a list of tips to ask realtors. Maybe they’re new to the area? Write about what’s happening around town.
And, once you have their information, you can begin to segment your list based on your audiences demographics, interests, or site behavior.
For example, you could have a list dedicated to first home buyers. That list would the receive information from you specific to their needs. This is how you begin to nurture the lead.
Or, you could have a segment for people who have viewed a particular home on your site. Use that list to send out relevant information regarding open houses, live stream tours, etc.
Cool thing is, all this segmentation isn’t nearly as hard as it looks.
Most major mail software – including MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc. – have features to help you grow and segment your list.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #7: Create a Pop Up Offering a Free Ultimate Guide
We’ve talked a lot about nurturing your email leads.
All important stuff, of course, but it won’t get you far if you don’t have a plan to get those emails in the first place.
One of the most effective ways to do that (and collect some valuable information) is through the opt-in form.
Usually, this is done in the form of a pop-up on your website.
Pop-ups are a pretty cool tool, and with software like OptinMonster you can choose when the pop-up appears: show them a welcome pop-up, an “after event” pop-up, or an exit pop-up.
But if you want users to submit those forms, you need to give them an incentive to do it.
We call that a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is whatever you offer users in return for their email address and other information.
I like to do it the form of a free “Ultimate Guide.”
Couple things about that:
- First, it needs to be super relevant to your audience’s needs. If you’ve developed a solid buyer persona, you should have a good idea what that might be.
- Second, It needs to be good.
It could be the Ultimate Guide to [insert your area], full of neighborhood reviews, local hangouts, major (and minor) events.
It could be the Ultimate Guide to Relocating in [area].
Or, it could be the Ultimate List of Questions to Ask Your Realtor.
Whatever it is, just make sure it’s high-quality and informative.
Need some more lead magnet ideas? I got ‘em here.
Or maybe you want to go beyond the average opt-in? Check out three innovative opt-in strategies here.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #8: Do an Industry Study in the Area You Work in the Most
Another way to market your expertise is to produce an industry study.
An industry study does a deep dive into the existing stats and trends of a given industry, or in this case, area.
As a realtor, you would want to focus your study on the market trends in the area you work in the most.
For example, if your target area was Malibu, you could produce a study called “Industry Pricing Trends in the Malibu Market.”
Industries studies, by nature, require some work. But with your expertise in the area and some solid research into past and existing market trends, you should be able to produce a report that will help your clientele find good investments.
Once you’ve completed the study, market it across the web.
Send it to your email subscribers (or even use it as a lead magnet for new sign ups). Post it in social media, and even send out a press release to announce its completion.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #9: Blog About Your Area as Often as Possible
Blogging’s big business when it comes to marketing.
And real estate is a surprisingly solid industry for blogging opportunities.
As with any blog, you need to focus your content on its relevancy to your target audience. For real estate, that’s often what’s happening around your area or neighborhood.
And it doesn’t have to be limited to housing information or relocation information.
Instead, blog frequently about new businesses, the top restaurants in town, local achievements, neighborhood history, etc.
Also remember that the goal of blogging is to get your website noticed. To do that, you have to pay attention to the keywords you use and how you optimize your post.
Each post should be targeting a primary keyword. These keywords should be ones that are frequently searched for by your target audience.
To find them, use a tool like SEMRush.
Launch the site, log in, and locate the search bar at the very top of the page.
Type in a broad keyword like “restaurants in Malibu, Ca” and select Keyword Overview from the search bar drop-down.
Hit enter, and scroll down to the Phrase Match section. This will show you related keywords and how many people are searching for them.
Based on that list, you can build a post around the keywords likely to get the most traffic.
Remember to include those keywords throughout the body of your text, as well as in the title, headers, and image tags and descriptions.
For more ideas on how to come up with blog topics, check out this article.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #10: Take Lots of Pictures and Promote Them Around the Web
Visuals continue to produce some of the highest engagement rates in marketing, and the proof is all in the numbers:
- 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38%)
- When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. Howerver, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
- Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
- Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images.
Good news is, the real estate industry has plenty of opportunities for photo ops.
Take pictures of every property and lots of them. Capture the exterior, the yard, the interior, any unique or defining features, new updates or upgrades, etc.
But don’t stop there. Show off the neighborhood in a panorama shot or any nearby parks or town features.
Then, promote those pictures everywhere. On your website, your blog, your social accounts, even physically around town.
Remember, posts with images see tons more engagement on social media, so build your posts around your pictures.
And don’t forget to optimize those pictures. Include your target keywords in the image title, description, alt tags and meta descriptions to make sure you’re getting all the SEO juice you can.
Real Estate Marketing Idea #11: Create a Facebook Event For Your Open House
Staging an open house?
Let your followers know about it by creating a Facebook Event.
Why an Event?
- It saves time. Creating an Event takes just minutes, and you can do it right from your News Feed. Just click Events from the left menu, +Create Event, fill in the details, and you’re set.
- Saves money. No PR costs, no printing costs, no nothing. Creating an Event is completely free.
- You can track RSVPs. Events track RSVPs for you, so you can have a clear idea of how many people to expect at your open house.
- Show up in Suggested Events. Facebook will show users events based on past interests, which means if they’re looking for houses in the area, your open house may very well pop up.
- Facebook suggests events in your network. Here’s a cool one: Facebook will notify users when their friends are attending an event, giving your open house even more exposure.
Monitoring Your Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Once you’ve begun implementing some of the strategies above, you need to check your Google Analytics daily to make sure they’re working.
Pay special attention to the Channels report.
The channels report shows where your website traffic is coming from, separated into sources (origin of your website traffic) and mediums (category of the traffic source).
It will break down which percentage of your traffic is coming from organic search, email marketing, PPC, social media, etc.
That way, you can align your strategy with the best channels for your business, as well as keep tabs on any underperforming channels.
Wrapping Up Real Estate Marketing Ideas
There you have it: 11 new ideas sure to take your real estate marketing to the next level.
Which ones will you be trying?
Real Estate Marketing FAQs
1. Which Email Software Is Best for Real Estate Marketing?
The debate about which email marketing solution is the best will never end.
Many strategists think that ActiveCampaign is the best overall email marketing platform.
However, some still stick with an old favorite: MailChimp.
Bottom line: do some up-front due diligence. Then, test-drive the one you think will work best by signing up for the free trial period. If you like what you see, stick with it.
2. What Is Virtual Staging in Real Estate Marketing?
Virtual staging software enables you to design a room by decorating it with items from an online library.
Effectively, the software enables you to become Joanna Gaines on a laptop computer.
Why is that important for real estate marketers? Because it allows you to show potential buyers what a home you’re selling could look like with the right decor.
It might just be what’s needed to close the deal.
HubSpot has a list of virtual staging solutions if you’re in the market for one.
3. How Does Drone Photography Help With Real Estate Marketing?
Drone photographs literally give potential buyers a bird’s-eye view of a property.
Aerial photographs are especially important if you’re marketing resort property. People will want to see how close the house is to the natural attractions in the area.
If you can include drone photographs on your website and for your separate listings, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.
Beyond that, drone photos can also offer insight into population density and traffic patterns in a neighborhood.
They’ll also give people a glimpse at the roof of the house so they can see if they’ll need to invest in repairs.