By Alice Soon
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with technology. From Snapchat to Blockchain, it can become a full-time job just sifting through new trends that will make the highest impact to your business.
With the path to home ownership changing, your online presence is crucial to your success. More than 92 cent of home buyers start their home search online. Optimizing search, online discovery and effective digital marketing strategies are key to differentiating your brand in the marketplace.
Most real estate professionals understand the importance of having a digital presence and online platform, but there are some simple mistakes that could cost you leads and revenue.
1. Stale content
Yes, it’s very important for everyone to know you are in the real estate profession. However, it can quickly become stale if all you are posting are listings and photos of houses for sale. Content must be about your audience and not about what you want to sell.
It’s important to nurture your audience, even if they are not looking to buy or sell a house right this second. They still live somewhere, are a part of a community and will look to you, a real estate professional, to provide worthwhile and engaging content about where they choose to live. Build that credibility with them and when they are ready to make a move, they’ll think of you.
“It’s well and good to say produce better content, but what should I write about?” Because we all want actionable information, we’ve compiled some ideas:
- Updates on new development plans in your area of expertise, such as new buildings, transit, parks and malls. Are they controversial or beneficial?
- Trendy new small businesses in the neighbourhood. It always helps to cross-promote other businesses and show that you really do know and care about your turf.
- Top schools in the area, local sports teams, dog parks – think about new couples, new parents and what information they care about.
- Insights or statistics about your specific market – average home price, days on market, most/least expensive listing, most/least desired features of a home or beautiful, aspirational homes.
- Client stories. You have so many of these at your fingertips! Take a short video of new home owners stepping into their house for the first time, or perhaps a before and after of how they’ve made it their own. Not only is this great content, but it shows that you really care about the people you work with.
2. Not leveraging video
Video can be daunting, especially if you’re conscious of your on-screen persona. It’s an absolute mistake if you’re not using video of any kind. It’s easier than ever to make one (Hint: That rectangular device in your pocket or purse) and people don’t expect high production quality. What they do expect is authenticity.
We live in a highly visual age and having video content not only boosts your SEO, but it’s very simple to use on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Keep your videos brief (ideally one to two minutes max) and speak to a topic that interests you and your audience. Pro tip: If you’re posting a video and not a story, take the time to add in subtitles, because the majority of video content is viewed with no sound.
If you host your video on YouTube, make sure you create the appropriate tags, especially geographical tags and keywords that will help you on search. Any of the content suggestions mentioned above would make great video topics. Re-purpose any content you have into different formats and maximise your effort.
3. Not interacting digitally
The adage, “If you build it, they will come” is still untrue despite the ease of social browsing and searchability.
The online community is very much like a real-life community – it thrives on interaction. Where we used to knock on our neighbour’s door or see them regularly at community events, today we post an encouraging comment on Facebook or “heart” their travel photos on Instagram.
If you want your audience to engage with you on social media, you must do the same for them. Ensure the engagement is thoughtful and informative to showcase your authenticity. “Love what you’ve done with the place Alice!” is 100 times better than a thumbs-up emoji.
Audience engagement does not go unnoticed on social platforms – the more you engage, the better you’ll be ranked on Instagram’s algorithms, for example.
It takes time and effort to craft a consistent digital marketing strategy, but those who do will find themselves ahead of the pack in our increasingly digital world.