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Digital marketing for real estate agents – four steps to success

  • Best Practices & Trends
Published by Igor Omarov - 20 July 2021
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Online marketing, social media and SEO: with these strategies, you can successfully position yourself in the digital world 

“Digital marketing has become indispensable for real estate agents.” This assessment by Sebastian Berloffa, managing partner at enteco, a 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.”

Digital marketing has two great advantages:

  1. Digital measures are often substantially more affordable than traditional means of advertising.
  2. 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. 

More than just optimising search engines: building up digital marketing systematically 

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.”

Digital marketing is therefore more than just the sum of its parts. If properly coordinated, it constitutes a network of measures that complement and augment each other. The following four elements are especially important for that. 

1) The foundation: a CRM system

A CRM system can manage much more than just client data. The digital tool for the eponymous Customer Relationship Management allows complete recording of clients and can automate many processes.

This is especially important for real estate agents since they sometimes have to deal with high volumes of contact requests and leads. In all likelihood, only a few of these will actually lead to a deal – but it is basically impossible to tell which ones of those are in the early phase of a contact request. An automatic processing of requests and structured lead management ensure that none of the prospective new clients are neglected, but also simultaneously guarantees that potential is correctly identified and resources are invested in the right place.

2) Social media: 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 in part because social media offers very important social proof for potential clients – that means trust and professionalism that is confirmed by other users. Sebastian Berloffa adds: “Providers using social media perform significantly better, even up to 78% better according to our empirical figures.”

The first step towards being successful in social networks is to have your own website, of course. It should include not only information, but also, above all, useful 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 and lead new customers directly to the website. 

If, for example, the PriceHubble Lead Generator is integrated, this will result in useful 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.”

The PriceHubble Lead Generator initiates the interaction with website visitors.

3) A real door opener: content marketing and advertising

“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. Such content produces organic reach, meaning it lands at the top of hit lists in the largest search engines without paid advertising. 

That is possible due to targeted search engine optimisation: the clever integration of keywords that are often searched online. Above all, the preparatory work is critical here. What topics are interesting for 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 content plan 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.”

On the basis of this, you can expand your website to include even more premium high-quality content. Especially evergreen content, which is content that is always informative in the present and over the long term, attracts visitors passively and generates additional leads. 

This content can then be promoted very 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 lives 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: 

  1. What exactly is the goal of my marketing strategy?
  2. What is my target group? 
  3. Which platforms does this target group use?
  4. What measures help me to achieve my goal? 
  5. When and how do I implement these?

When you have these answers, you can develop an informed and realistic strategy that completely taps the digital potential.

Lead generator cycle SoMe (eng)
An example of an overarching strategy for digital marketing.

The PriceHubble Lead Generator is perfectly suited to be a core element for developing or updating the digital marketing strategy. When it is integrated into the 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). 

As soon as a website visitor uses the tool to obtain an estimate of their real estate, a client dataset is automatically created in the integrated CRM system (5), and the rough from-to valuation is sent as an e-mail. 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 as well as unobtrusive information material to maintain the contact and support the lead conversion

A practical example: 

Maria Muster’s real estate agency is located in Vienna. The potential clients on whom she focuses are sellers of properties and real estate 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 clients are primarily active on Facebook. 

She now expands the blog on her website regularly 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. 

The conclusion

Digital real estate marketing is indispensable when it comes to expanding your conventional advertising measures. The important thing is to allow for enough time before judging the success of a measure 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. 

If these measures take hold, however, 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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