“Digital marketing has become indispensable for real estate agents.” This assessment by Sebastian Berloffa, managing partner at enteco, a digital marketing agency specialising in real estate, epitomises the relevance of online marketing for the real estate industry. Buying decisions are no longer made just offline but also in the digital sphere. “That is why it is absolutely necessary to address and harness the tremendous potential that comes with digital marketing.”
Real estate online marketing – four steps to success
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Real estate online marketing, social media and local SEO: with these marketing ideas, you can successfully position yourself in the digital world
Digital marketing has two significant advantages:
- Digital measures are often substantially more affordable than traditional means of advertising.
- The results of each invested euro can be tracked in detail.
Indicators such as clicks, visitors and visit duration let you carefully manage expenditures and measures – and success is easy to quantify. “You can analyse everything or have it analysed precisely, and then make adjustments, if necessary”, explains Berloffa.
Real estate online marketing: more than just search engine optimisation
To illustrate how a perfectly integrated digital marketing strategy can and should function, Sebastian Berloffa likes to picture a house. “Initially, we need a solid foundation in the form of a CRM system. Social media then determines how the walls and facades of a house look – they are the external impression of your strategy. Like doors and windows, content marketing and digital advertising campaigns open up paths for a client to interact with you. Your overarching strategy brings all the different parts together, coordinates them and combines them into a stable, functional, large entity, which works like a roof sitting on top of all the different elements.”
“Content marketing and digital advertising campaigns open up paths for a client to interact with you.”
Sebastian Berloffa, Managing Partner, enteco
Digital marketing is, therefore, more than just the sum of its parts. If properly coordinated, it constitutes a network of measures complementing and augmenting each other. The following four elements are essential for that.
1) The foundation: a CRM system
A CRM system can manage much more than just client data. The digital tool for eponymous Customer Relationship Management allows complete recording of clients and can automate many processes.
This is especially important for realtors since they sometimes have to deal with high volumes of contact requests and potential buyers. In all likelihood, only a few of these will lead to a deal – but it is impossible to tell which ones are in the early phase of a contact request. Automatic processing of requests and structured lead management ensure that none of the prospective new clients is neglected, but also guarantees that potential is correctly identified and resources are invested in the right place.
2) Social media marketing: more than just a facade
“Very often, your potential clients are looking you up on the internet, sometimes even before they get in touch with you”, explains Jörg Buss, Managing Director of PriceHubble Austria. “And they don’t just use search engines like Google, but also social media platforms.”
This is partly because social media marketing offers significant social proof for potential clients – that means trust and professionalism that other users confirm. Sebastian Berloffa adds: “Providers using social media perform significantly better, even up to 78% better according to our empirical figures.”
The first step towards success in social networks is to have your own website. It should include not only information but also helpful content for visitors, such as blog articles to answer questions that are often asked and googled. This content can then be boosted on social media to create new leads and receive new listings directly over the website.
If, for example, the PriceHubble Lead Generator is integrated, this will result in helpful interaction for both sides. “Your potential clients, especially those considering a sale, have the opportunity to obtain a preliminary estimate of their real estate right on the website”, Jörg Buss explains. The tool requests some basic information on the property and simultaneously acts as a contact form. “It functions like a hook, catching purely prospective clients and turning them into possible new clients.”
3) A real door opener: advertising and content marketing campaigns
“Content marketing is such a valuable asset in the long term that large real-estate companies are continuously investing in it to develop and expand content for months, years and even decades”, says Sebastian Berloffa, reporting on his own experience. Following a specific SEO strategy, such content produces organic reach, meaning it lands at the top of hit lists in the most significant search engines without paid ad campaigns (like on Google Ads).
That is possible due to targeted search engine optimisation: the clever integration of keywords often searched online. Above all, the preparatory work is critical here. What topics interest which target group – and where are they searching for this? Your CRM system makes it possible to limit, define and target a specific group. This is used as the basis for determining the channel strategy, for example: on which platforms do I best reach my clients? Among others, the age group can provide important information.
A digital marketing plan for content then creates the overall structure. “A simple starting point would be, for example, to gradually introduce your current projects”, Sebastian Berloffa suggests. “Insights into what goes on behind the scenes of your real estate agency can also be effective, since you establish a personal connection to your target group.”
Based on this, you can expand your website to include even more premium high-quality content. Especially evergreen content is very valuable content as it is always informative in the present and over the long term; it attracts visitors passively and supports lead generation.
This content can be promoted systematically on platforms relevant to your target group. “A relatively moderate budget of EUR 300 to EUR 400 per month can achieve good results, especially when this is viewed relative to a successfully brokered deal with an average value of EUR 300,000”, Jörg Buss explains.
4) The roof: an overarching strategy
Digital marketing campaigns live from combining and coordinating measures. Only the goal is fixed – many paths lead there and can be tested and coordinated. To find the right marketing mix, an overarching strategy is indispensable.
Some essential questions help to define this strategy:
- What exactly is the goal of my marketing efforts?
- What is my target group? (keyword demographics)
- Which platforms does this target group use?
- What measures help me to achieve my goal?
- When and how do I implement these?
With these answers, you can develop an informed, realistic strategy that ultimately taps digital potential.
The PriceHubble Lead Generator is ideally suited as a core element for developing or updating the digital marketing strategy. When it is integrated into the real estate website (1), the Lead Generator can be made easy to find with the right keywords in search engines (3) and advertised on social media (2, 4).
When a website visitor uses the user-friendly tool to obtain an estimate of their real estate, a client dataset is automatically created in the integrated CRM system (5). Then the focus should be turned on email marketing by emailing the rough from-to valuation. The system automatically identifies the client as “new” and labels them as a “seller”. In the days after the first use of the Lead Generator, the client receives a suggested appointment for viewing and valuation and unobtrusive information material to maintain the contact and support the lead conversion.
A practical example for real estate professionals
Maria Muster’s real estate business is located in Vienna. The potential clients she focuses on are real estate sellers and flat or home buyers in the 14th district. They are usually between 45 and 55 years old, which she gathers from her client database. This age group tells her that her target audience is primarily active on Facebook.
To gain online presence and brand awareness, she now regularly expands the blog on her website with articles on relevant subjects. Among other things, she posts an informative article on real estate valuation. She includes the PriceHubble Lead Generator in it. This lets prospective clients immediately obtain an estimate of their property value and leave their contact details in the process. Now she can begin to boost this blog article on different portals, primarily Facebook, with digital advertisements. Despite a moderate budget, she obtains some success right away.
Real estate digital marketing should be considered a long-term investment
Digital real estate marketing is indispensable for expanding your conventional advertising measures. The important thing is to allow for enough time before judging the success of an action or a strategy. Sebastian Berloffa calls one month a minimum amount of time, but six months or more is even better. “This applies in particular to the work of a real estate agent, since a client’s search phase lasts roughly 9 to 10 months before they make a decision to buy.” The success of marketing measures may not be apparent at first.
However, if these measures take hold, real estate agents can expect very positive results, says Jörg Buss. “We are already active in various countries and work with many clients using PriceHubble products in combination with digital marketing. According to our calculations, a conservatively estimated ROI of up to 1:4 can be assumed – which means you can expect four euros in return for every euro spent on your investment in digital marketing and tools.”
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