In a sector as competitive as the real estate industry, it is vital for realtors and agencies to use the resources of digital marketing. Why? To stand out from their competitors and generate leads to convert them into new clients. But have you implemented the key elements that will enable you to establish a leadership position in your market? This article examines the key points that will enable you to develop an effective real estate marketing strategy that meets the expectations of your future clients.
The information in this article is based on our webinar that was held on 28 April 2021 and hosted by Gabriele Del Nunzio, a marketing/communication consultant and the founder of the real estate marketing agency GDNO Sàrl. Gabriele Del Nunzio is also a professor of marketing with the Swiss Association of Real Estate Agents (USPI). Do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to check the webinar recording.
1. Build a powerful brand image
In an environment where trust is a fundamental value, branding is all the more important as it reflects your professionalism as a real estate agent, your identity and your values. With your brand image, you demonstrate to your clients what you stand for, what you believe in, and what you can do for them. It is therefore necessary to carefully consider the message you convey to your clients.
This can be achieved in a simple way and by establishing specific actions. With well thought-out content, identifiable graphic design and appropriate storytelling, you can quickly set yourself apart from other local businesses
2. Know your target market
As you craft your real estate marketing strategy, you must be able to adapt to the market you are targeting and its unique characteristics. You do not communicate in the same way to a single person as to a couple with children.
As Gabriele Del Nunzio describes it, there are four main criteria for defining a target:
- Geography (country, region, city, district)
- Demographics (age, gender, education, occupation, income, etc.)
- Psychographics (lifestyle, social class, personality, etc.)
- Behaviour (frequency of use, expected benefits, willingness to buy, loyalty, etc.)
These elements will allow you to quickly identify the profile of your potential buyers or sellers They will be useful in finding the most appropriate response to their real estate needs.
There are four main categories of targets in the real estate business:
- Single person without children
- Couple without children or DINK (double income, no kid)
- Couple with children
- Multi-person household
Your marketing efforts will therefore need to be tailored to these broad categories, while your message will have to be fine-tuned and in line with the criteria outlined above.
3. Create a transparent and smooth digital experience
Given the different online habits of your target market, the digital experience you provide must follow up the specific requirements of that market. The quality of your digital experience is all the more important as it reflects your level of professionalism outside the Internet in the real world. As such, it will have a significant impact on the decisions made by your target market.
This means that you must inform your clients clearly and precisely about your services and properties. While the methods of this communication may vary according to your positioning and branding objectives, it should in any case be transparent and straightforward. In particular, this is achieved by means of a platform that is designed to be accessed from both mobile devices and laptops. That is to say, easy and comprehensive access to the most relevant information at any time, regardless of the device used and the landing pages accessed.
Our advice to you: do not hesitate to ask existing clients or other professionals for testimonials on your business page. Did they find what they were looking for? Did they understand the services you offer?
In addition, the use of innovative features can help you consolidate your position as a market leader. In the wake of the pandemic, for example, virtual tours have emerged as a near-essential feature in a real estate market. Companies such as 3D Swiss View or Viktor, which specialise in creating “real estate stories” through 3D videos, can raise your visibility in your market by generating interest among your target groups. This type of service allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition, to showcase your property listings and to improve the ranking of your services.
4. Choose your social media platforms
When starting a buying process, one of the first steps from potential customers in checking a company’s reputation and credibility, is to make some research on the Internet. According to Gabriele Del Nunzio, users will use Google 80 percent of the time to determine whether or not they can trust a real estate agent.
The Google My Business tool allows you to control your image and make a good impression on future clients. Depending on their background and story, some agencies may also be able to create a Wikipedia page for themselves.
When it comes to choosing which social media platforms to focus on for the first time, one of the thing to consider is the environment in which your agency operates. Do you work mainly with companies or with individuals? This will help inform your choice.
Facebook is a must-have platform, given the size of its user community. Other networks such as LinkedIn (B2B) or Instagram (branding and visuals) can also be interesting, provided that you adopt a communication style that is appropriate to the social network in question and to your target audience. As Twitter is not overly popular in Switzerland, it is better to go with other networks.
However, Gabriele Del Nunzio adds an important observation: “You should bear in mind that managing social media platforms is demanding and time-consuming.”
It is best to focus on platforms that have a high potential for a larger share of your target groups. This will save you time. It is better to concentrate on one or two platforms with high added value, than to spread yourself across several platforms with more limited activity, which may damage your image.
5. Adapt the message to the channels
Once you have chosen your channels that suit your target, you must adapt your message to your target market, and craft a social media marketing strategy.
“You have to send the right message, at the right time, on the right channel and to the right target.” Gabriele Del Nunzio
This means that, for the same type of product or service, the content marketing message you put out will not be the same if it is shared on Facebook or on LinkedIn. You can maximise the impact of your message by mastering the codes of the different social media while protecting your brand image.
A practical example: when communicating on Instagram, it is essential to consider the quality of the images you post. Photos of poor quality, taken in a hurry, will be noticed immediately. Your goal on Instagram is to stand out visually with high-quality content (infographics, metrics, video content, and so on).
Another example: you do not write the same way on LinkedIn as you do on Facebook or Twitter. The language on LinkedIn is more formal, while Twitter favours short, more spontaneous texts.
LinkedIn and Facebook encourage their users to think outside the box, for example, by using native video content and live features.
The use of hashtags is common on many networks and is particularly relevant on Twitter and Instagram for online marketing campaigns.
6. Improve your lead conversion
Digital marketing is a key element for communicating in the real estate sector, but do not mistake it for a way to generate awareness only. The digital marketing deployed by real estate professionals is also intended to encourage contact.
By creating content and ensuring a clear and well-structured real estate website, you can also improve the SEO visibility of your site (SEO - search engine optimisation) and give it more exposure. You can encourage people to contact you and make appointments by providing quality content and setting up contact forms. This is known as the “conversion rate” of your potential clients.
Implementing a real estate marketing strategy naturally requires a certain amount of flexibility, a certain amount of investment and, sometimes, a rethink of your marketing plan, but in the end, it can greatly benefit your bottom line.
Real estate marketing is a long-term process
Establishing a marketing strategy that reflects your values will help you stand out from the competition. It will also provide your real estate business with the necessary focus for growth to ensure your success. Such a marketing plan will also make your real estate prospecting for new clients more effective. Keep in mind that a powerful brand image will make you more easily identifiable to your future clients, and will, therefore, quickly position you as a leader in your market.
We would like to thank Gabriele Del Nunzio for his valuable advice on real estate marketing.