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Real estate marketing: 6 key steps for implementing a successful strategy

  • Best Practices & Trends
Published by Camille Charlier - 30 November 2022

In a sector as competitive as the real estate industry, it is vital for realtors and agencies to leverage the resources of marketing. Why? To stand out from their competitors and generate real estate 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 content of this article and real estate marketing ideas presented in this article are partially based on our webinar in partnership with Gabriele Del Nunzio, marketing/communication consultant and 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).

1. The very basics of real estate marketing: 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 you do to a couple with children.

According to Gabriele Del Nunzio, there are four main criteria for defining your target audience:

  • 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 your potential clients – whether they are homeowners, home buyers or home 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:

  1. Single person without children
  2. Couple without children or DINK (double income, no kid)
  3. Couple with children
  4. Multi-person household

Your marketing efforts and message will therefore need to be tailored to these broad categories and criteria.

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2. Build a strong brand image as a real estate agent

In marketing, it is important to pay attention to your brand identity. This is especially true in the real estate sector. Once you have gained a deeper understanding of your audience, you need to develop a strong brand image that is relevant to your target markets. Are you targeting a wealthy audience looking for luxury properties? Develop a high-end brand image, and adapt your wording, content marketing efforts and communication style to match the expectations of your potential customers.

In an environment where trust is a fundamental value, your brand image will be all the more important as it will embody your professionalism as an estate agent, your positioning and your values. Through this brand image, you show your clients what you stand for, what you believe in, and what you can do for them. It is thus necessary to fine-tune the message you will deliver to your customers.

This can be done in a simple way and through the implementation of carefully crafted content, a unique and elegant visual identity (which will then be used on all your marketing materials – from business cards to your website and social media channels) and a unique storytelling style,... These elements will enable you to quickly stand out from the crowd and differentiate from the competition.

3. Create a transparent and smooth digital experience

Your website is your virtual shop window: the online experience you offer should meet the exact needs of your potential customers, allowing them to easily find the information they are looking for. The quality of the digital experience you offer via your website is directly linked to your brand image and has a strong impact on your potential customers' decisions.

It is thus necessary to disclose clear and precise information about your services and properties. The content of your website should be as transparent and clear as possible, giving access to the most important information at all times and in a very clear way.

The basics of an effective real estate website:

  • Clear and intuitive: visitors should be able to access the information they are looking for in a few clicks and in a natural way
  • Relevant: Offer content that caters to the needs of your potential customers
  • Optimised for SEO (search engine optimisation: make sure you have a technically flawless website (metadata, sitemap, compressed images, etc.), find out what kind of relevant keywords your target audience uses to search the web, and integrate them into your content (landing pages, blog posts, homepage,...). Without search engine optimisation, your potential clients won’t find you.
  • Facilitating contact and lead generation: offer a free property valuation to your website visitors in exchange for some information, or offer them high-value content a free ebook in exchange for a subscription to your newsletter. Don’t forget to include enough call-to-action elements.

💡 Looking to build a strong real estate website? Have a look at this list of SEO basics for real estate agents and learn how you can build an SEO strategy as a real estate agent.

The digital experience you create is not just about your website. There are many other ways to provide a high quality experience, don't overlook them! An example: in the context of a pandemic, virtual tours have emerged as a near-essential feature on the real estate market. Companies like Nodalview (in France and Belgium) or 3D Swiss View (in Switzerland) are specialised in this type of service. Offering this type of solution will help you stand out from the competition while strengthening your leadership position, and will allow you to highlight your real estate listings in a more efficient way.

4. Work on your online presence

Testimonials and e-reputation: a powerful tool to leverage!

As a consumer, one of the first things you do when you want to check the reputation and authority of a company is to look up its name on search engines. According to Gabriele Del Nunzio, a user will use Google in 80% of cases to determine whether or not they can trust a real estate agency.

Google My Business lets you control your online image, encourage potential customers to contact you and make a good impression. Positive reviews on your Google My Business page will help you position yourself as a trustworthy real estate agency – don't forget to encourage your existing customers to leave positive comments and reviews on your Google My Business page.

What about social media platforms?

When it comes to choosing which social networks to focus on, the first question to ask is the environment in which your real estate business operates. Do you work mainly with companies or with individuals? Are you targeting first-time buyers or young retirees looking for a vacation home? Are you mostly focusing on homeowners or potential buyers? This will help you make the right choice.

According to Gabriele Del Nunzio, Facebook remains one of the platforms to master, given the size of its user community. Other networks such as LinkedIn (B2B) or Instagram (focused on branding and visuals) can also be interesting, as long as you adjust your communication style to the marketing channel in question and to your target audience. Depending on your target audience, it may be relevant to consider using Snapchat or even TikTok!

Gabriele Del Nunzio adds an important comment: "It is necessary to keep in mind that working on your social media marketing plan is a very time-consuming activity.” Therefore, it is best to focus on fewer channelsl. Do little, but do it well. This will save you time. Concentrating on one or two platforms with high added value is better than spreading yourself over several platforms as you take the risk of damaging your image.

5. Adapt your message to each marketing channel

Once you have chosen your online marketing channels according to your target, it is essential to adapt your communication style to them.

For example, for the same offer, the content you share will not be the same on Facebook or on LinkedIn. By mastering the different social media habits and ‘rules’ while sticking to your brand identity, you will maximise the impact of your communication and make sure that algorithms pick up on your content.

A concrete example: when communicating on Instagram, you must pay attention to the quality of the images you post. Poor quality photos taken in a hurry will be noticed immediately. Your goal on Instagram is to stand out visually. On other channels, storytelling and the way you phrase things will be much more important!

Another example: you write differently on LinkedIn than on Facebook or Twitter. The tone on LinkedIn is more formal, whereas Twitter favours short, more spontaneous texts.

LinkedIn and Facebook encourage their users to go beyond the purely written word, for example, by using native video content formats and live features. More recently, Instagram has been pushing in that direction as well, encouraging its users to create reels (videos). Make sure to bring some variety in what you post. From new property listings to infographics, GIFS, blog articles, or even video testimonials – get creative!

6. Optimise for lead generation

Digital channels are a key ingredient to each successful communication and marketing strategy for real estate professionals but don't make the mistake of seeing it only as a means of raising awareness. One of their primary purposes is also to facilitate lead generation and contact. For that reason, you should definitely measure the conversion rate of your website into potential clients, and track this metric over time.

By working on topics like content creation and optimising your real estate website, you can boost your site's SEO visibility and give it more exposure. Then, by placing a few lead magnets (content with high added value, but protected by a registration form), you will encourage your website visitors to give you their email addresses, and thus be able to contact them again in the future.

Another very effective way to generate qualified leads is to offer visitors free estimates in exchange for their information. If you want to know more, read our guide to learn how to get the most out of your lead generation tool.

The fact of optimising your marketing channels for lead generation opens the door to email marketing opportunities, as it will enable you to follow up with your real estate leads in a very effective way.

Working on your real estate marketing plan is a long-term process

The implementation of a real estate marketing strategy (both online and offline) necessarily requires a certain amount of flexibility, some time and money investment and sometimes a rethinking of your marketing plan, but in the end, it can greatly benefit your business by boosting your sales and helping you stand out from the competition and position yourself as the leader in your market.

We thank Gabriele Del Nunzio for his marketing tips and participation to our webinar!

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