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Real Estate Internet Marketing
Internet marketing for real estate is the process of promoting your services to potential leads and converting them to clients. This involves utilizing accurate data to devise a strategy that will engage the audience and meet your predetermined goals.
Compared to digital marketing where it encompasses every form of digital medium from television to social media, internet marketing focuses on strategies that use the internet in order to acquire leads and clients.
Some of the more popular methods include search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media marketing, paid media, and content marketing.
This is a growing strategy adopted by many firms and organizations in order to build the brand, attract leads, gain clients and spread company messages to a more targeted audience.
There are an estimated 106,548 real estate firms operating in the U.S. However, nearly 48 percent of real estate firms cited keeping up with technology as one of the biggest issues they’re facing. This can be a challenge considering people are mostly at home and prospects are doing their market research online.
Competition is fierce considering there are over 2 million active real estate agents in America. In those numbers are 1.3 million realtors.
Here’s the list of the top 15 cities in the US with the most numbers of registered real estate agents:
|TOTAL NUMBER OF AGENTS
|Los Angeles, CA
|San Diego, CA
|San Jose, CA
|Long Beach, CA
The real estate market has had some ups and downs over the past year. Aside from the fierce competition, buyer behavior has also shifted.
Buyers now start their research online, gaining ideas and knowledge about the market that paint a more vivid picture of what they want. After doing their legwork online, they’ll continue to search for an agent to help them with their house hunting.
An estimate of 92 percent of buyers start their quest online, this is according to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors.
This is where expert internet marketing skills come in to set yourself apart from the group.
Here are more statistics showing you why real estate firms and realtors need internet marketing now like never before:
- Google has nearly 4 billion users worldwide, that’s 93 percent of the total internet users
- Google receives more than 5.6 billion questions everyday.
- 35 percent of product searches begin on Google.
- 3,200 monthly search volume for ‘real estate agent near me’ searches.
Locations where ‘Real estate agents’ are most popular this year
3. New York
4. New Jersey
8. South Carolina
Most popular ‘near me’ search queries related to ‘real estate brokers’ as of 2021
1. realtor companies near me
2. realtors near me
3. rentals near me
4. land for sale near me
5. realtor agents near me
Internet marketing is an effective way of engaging online users and parting information to them so that they grow more aware of your services. Firms and brokers are revamping their websites to make it more attractive, user-friendly and engaging.
Others are using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while some go for paid ads instead. There are many ways, dozens of channels, hundreds of strategies, and countless services but all the resources and efforts won’t benefit you if there’s no concrete strategy to start with.
Best Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
You want as many people as possible to know about your business. Most people plan on buying a house while others have acquaintances looking for a house at the moment. You want to target these individuals and follow them through their journey.
The journey here will be from awareness, prospecting and decision making. The awareness stage will vary. Some people are looking for a new house today, while others may just be browsing for the future so you want to provide all the information they need to prepare them for the next stage. The prospecting stage will be about these users looking for possible places to live in. The last stage will be the decision making. Here, prospects will be making the decision of finally contacting a realtor because they want to ask more information about a property or they’re already thinking about buying one and they need help.
A strong internet marketing strategy will have the solution for every stage of your buyer’s journey. Here are some internet marketing channels to aid you in dominating the online market place.
Search Engine Optimization
An estimate of 97 percent of online experience begins with search engines. People tend to go to Google (or other search engines like Bing, Safari and Yahoo) to look for information. These people include your target demographic. Working professionals in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s.
There are at least 4 billion online queries entered daily. For every question a person enters, hundreds and thousands of pages are generated. These pages contain links to sites that have the answers to that single query.
How do you get the user to click your website out of thousands of search results?
The answer is to be seen first on the search engine results pages using SEO for real estate. Note that the #1 result gets 31 percent of all clicks, meanwhile those results on the second page only got less than 1 percent.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of tuning your website and fixing it so that search engines can crawl and index it the way you intend to. When search engines crawl and index your website, it’s also scoring it. It’s gauging how relevant and valuable the content is for the audience.
This is done through algorithms that are always updated and improved. Google bots will compare your web page with other pages that are in the same category then rank it according to its evaluation. The rating system is based on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
How Search Engine Works for Realtors and Real Estate Companies
More and more users go online to find local services. Local services relate to establishments around the user’s area or a user’s target area.
Real estate locations are a good example of a use case. When looking for a potential place to live, people do legwork online first. This applies to whether they’re prospecting for an ideal location or they already have a place in mind and they’re now just looking for an available area around the place.
SEO helps your website get found by these users.
For example, a family is looking to relocate to Dallas and you happen to have a house ready in the location that they want. In this case, SEO for Dallas will optimize your website so that when the user types in a keyword, your page or contact information will appear first, ahead of competitors. That’s what you want from an effective SEO strategy.
The ability to appear first in search engine results pages (SERPS) means you understand the user’s actions and intentions so much so that your website is ready to appear any time whenever an opportunity pops up. This will involve keyword research, data analysis, technical optimization, high quality content creation and local SEO optimization.
Making everything work together so that your website is engaging for users and easily understood by search engines require both scientific and creative proficiency.
This will make you easy to find, easy to access and easy to get in touch with. You don’t want to miss any opportunities.
The opportunity is in search. For real estate agencies, brokers and realtors, you want to seize every opportunity. Your SEO efforts will be boosted by getting more localized SEO services that are specific to the states that you have properties in.
Here are a few tips on how you can optimize your website for search engines:
1. Determine Relevant Keywords
The right keywords will attract the right clients to your site. Are you targeting users who are ready to buy a property? Or do you want to get your name out there? Keywords will drive quality traffic to your website.
Think of Google as the helper that matches you with the right customer. How do you help Google link you to the right user? It’s by pinpointing the right queries that the users are typing into the search engine and strategically sprinkling it all over your website.
Keywords are useful for:
- Driving traffic to your website
- Converting traffic into customers
- Target the different stages of your buyer’s journey to lead them down the sales funnel
- Designing and optimizing content based on customer behavior
There’s a more technical process that SEO experts use, although the fundamentals remain the same.
2. Create High Quality Content
Content is what drives customers to your website. Now that people have more time in their hands to read through various content online, you need to make sure that your content is engaging. You want people to read it and get to the point where they call you.
This includes creation and optimization of content for landing pages, blog posts, and other elements that require texts on your website.
3. Prepare you website for Local Search
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for local search. Local searches are searches that are conducted in relation to your local area or your target area.
This plays a big part in real estate especially if you have numerous locations in your portfolio.
Simply put, if you don’t have local SEO in your strategy, you have to get it now because you will be missing these potential buyers who are already looking for new properties.
Backlinks are links that are connected to your website and they have a huge influence on your search rankings. There are many ways you can earn backlinks. One of the most effective methods is through guest blogging.
Guest blogging is the process of creating or writing blogs for other websites in exchange for inserting a link in that blog that links back to your website. For example, you can post blogs on websites that have a correlation to the real estate industry. Home design websites, interior design websites or sites that talk about real estate listings.You want quality links from reputable sites because the bigger the site that links to yours, the higher Google (or any other search engine) will rank you.
If you’re not too savvy with SEO there are SEO services available so that you don’t have to do it yourself. Make sure to talk to an SEO consultant for any questions and clarifications.
Paid advertising or paid media marketing is a model where ads are placed anywhere the advertiser prefers.
It’s different from SEO where you rank higher by producing high quality content that meets the criteria and guidelines of search engines. With SEO. you don’t pay search engines like Google to put you in the first page. In paid ads, fees are charged every time a user clicks on the ad. Again, with SEO you rank organically which means you won’t have to pay every time someone clicks on your website, while paid ads lets you rank as soon as possible provided you pay for the keywords and position that you want.
One of the most popular forms of paid advertising or paid media is search engine advertising. These are ads which you see along the sides of search pages whether it’s Google, Bing or Yahoo. Advertisers are able to bid for ad placements on sponsored links. This is great for securing website visits as your page or website will appear whenever a user enters a relevant keyword.
Paid media is a quicker way of getting on top and gaining traffic. If you’re new in the industry, then this is a great addition because the results are instantaneous. However, you have to intelligently know who to target and how to target them.
There are many paid ads or paid media services available so you have to choose wisely. Jumping into trends just because your competitors are doing it will just be a waste of resources.
For maximum results, you can also choose to combine both SEO and paid ads. However if you’re still thinking about the better option for you and you’re looking to outsource the tasks, then consulting with a provider that offers both paid ads services and SEO services will give you the best possible solution.
Social media marketing (SMM) is another internet marketing strategy that’s about creating content on social media platforms (ex. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to achieve your marketing goals.
When you use social media, you have to make sure to ask yourself if your prospective clients will use their social media accounts to find new homes or properties. Social media marketing leans more towards branding and showcasing your properties.
Social media is huge now because people like engaging with the content that creators produce or content that their acquaintances have posted. Users who post these content have specific intentions so you have to plan your approach beforehand.
Social media marketing for real estate agents should begin with a plan. Otherwise, you’ll just end up floating around the platform and wasting resources.
Some questions you can ask when defining the purpose and goals of your social media campaign:
- What’s the goal that you want to reach using social media marketing?
- Are your buyers or potential buyers in social media?
- What do your buyers usually do on social media and how would they use social media?
- If choosing Facebook real estate marketing, ask yourself if your target demographic are using the platform. Then carefully plan the type of ads you’ll put up.
- Are you going to use social media for branding? Or for closing a sale?
- What message do you want to create and post in your social media accounts? Are they informational or commercial? Will these messages resonate with your audience? Will these messages produce the results you want to achieve your goal?
Pick the social media platform that best suits your business type. This will take a bunch of split tests however it will be all worth it in the end as you’ll save more money and resources.
Content marketing is a strategy that involves creation and distribution of relevant and high quality content materials. It revolves around research, data accuracy and strategic planning in order to create quality content that resonates well with the target audience.
An effective marketing strategy follows a meticulous planning process. From the types of content you will produce, the voice that you’re going to use, and the delivery.
Planning how every piece of content will connect and how your potential clients will land on each content is important before beginning the creation process.
Always start with defining why you want to use content marketing. Whether it’s for brand awareness or to drive buyers to your website or boost conversions. This will make it easier for you to identify what kind of content you need for your brand and how to incorporate them into your digital marketing initiative.
Avoid random content production or shooting blindly hoping that along the way, someone who is interested in buying a property will read it. Knowing your buyers and then plotting your content in line with their behavior will eliminate any uncertainties and will make for a more accurate process.
There are many types of content that you can produce. Some of which are blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, infographics, newsletters.
Content and storytelling have the power to persuade. Instead of selling, content should be used to inform and educate potential leads in making the best decision. Make sure to focus on relevant and powerful content that delivers value to the reader.
A Great Web Design
Looks are everything in this industry. First impressions are valuable and a great real estate website will be a valuable asset. Whether you have an active social media presence or a paid media campaign, potential clients will want to visit your website.
Your website is your online real estate. So when they do enter your website, they will expect the best. You are selling dreams after all.
Note that it takes only a 20th of a second for people to make up their minds about the quality of a website. If they like it, they will stay, if they don’t then, they’ll click away and go to the next agency in their list.
A great visual design is essential in creating a great first impression. You want your professionalism to be translated on your site.
What makes a great real estate website?
Different industries require different functions and designs. For example a website for healthcare professionals will look and feel different compared to a website for real estate professionals. You will need different sections, pages, calls-to-action and different elements that will showcase the properties that you have.
If you have a real estate website or if you’re planning to put up one, it’s important to know that your users should be able to navigate your website easily, browse effortlessly and find what they need quickly.
Give your visitors what they need in the most user-friendly manner while having the best design. An agency that offers real estate web design services can help you with this and will be very advantageous as they will recommend the best options that will attract and engage the users that you want.
Here are some elements to consider:
1. Have a Responsive and Modern-Looking Web Design.
Make sure that your website is accessible to both desktop and mobile users. Since more people are using their phones to conduct searches, it’s important to seize this opportunity to reach people using mobile and tablets.
2. Theme and Color Blocking
You want to have a design that reflects the kind of properties that you have. It’s important to have a color coordinated website with pages that complement each other. This will allow users to sort through information quicker and to see buttons that will lead them to the next action.
3. A clear section where they can sign up to your newsletter or email list
At the end of the day, a majority of users will want to see your website because all the information, videos, photos and offers are there. Regardless of what internet marketing strategy you use, they’ll eventually land on your website. When they do, you want them to convert them into a lead and have them sign up.
Also, when they sign up, make sure to offer them an incentive. May it be a ‘guide to choosing your home’ or ‘checklist when relocating’. Offers like these will attract users to give you their contact information, hence, giving you the opportunity to reach them anytime you have a special offer.
4. Have a clear description of your business
It’s important to let users know what kind of real estate agency you have or what kind of real estate agent you are. When they visit your website, you don’t want to be as clear as possible so make sure your hero image (this is the main banner for your homepage) represents the properties that you’re holding.
Also, users will want to know more about you and your brand so your main navigation menu as well as your footer should have the ‘About Us’ links for people to click on and read.
5. Optimized for Local SEO
Local SEO is a search engine optimization method that businesses can use to be more visible. This makes your business appear in all relevant places which is especially helpful if your business is targeting leads in the local area.
An example would be if a person who lives in New York types in ‘LA apartment for sale’ in the search bar. The main results that will appear will contain information about apartments located in L.A. This is because Google’s algorithm is designed to show users all the listings detected in the area.
So whether the query is ‘LA apartment’ or ‘house for sale in NJ ’, Google will automatically understand the users’ intent so it will deliver all the listings in those locations.
It’s important to optimize your site for local SEO to make it clearer and easier for Google to understand how to rank it.
How Internet Marketing Helps Real Estate Agencies, Brokers and Realtors
Real estate is a lucrative business, however the market can be volatile. When there’s a boost in the housing market, more agents come in, but when there’s fewer business and the economy is shaky, then agents tend to leave the business for a while.
There will always be homeowners, people looking for new properties or individuals planning to relocate. You want to be there every time that happens.
Internet marketing enables real estate agencies to adapt to unstable situations and gives them new opportunities to thrive despite unfavorable circumstances.
Benefits of Internet Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Businesses
Marketing is used to connect your business with customers and engage them into knowing more about your firm or business. Now that users and potential clients are online, you have to go where they are in order to promote your business effectively.
You gain an effective way of reaching more leads and users who are ready to purchase. Likewise, it will be easy for ready buyers to find information such as phone numbers, address, opening hours and more.
Here are some benefits of digital marketing that will impact business growth.
- Lead Generation
- Better Conversion Rates
- Cost Effectiveness
- Increased Revenue
- Higher ROI
- Compete with Large Corporations
It’s an effective way to build your online presence, enhance branding and promote your products or services. There are a lot more benefits and listed below are some of them:
- You can showcase your portfolio to a wider audience.
With internet marketing, you have a platform that allows you to present and showcase your properties in a neat and professional way. Ready buyers can easily find, access and learn more about you with just a few clicks.
- It allows you to accurately manage your online reputation.
The internet is a notorious platform to access information. There will be information and reviews about your brand that will be circulating and popping up on searches. Whether it’s about you, connected to you or even a similar name. What you want is for the right information to pop up and spread since this can affect your reputation and influence decisions of your potential clients.
- You’re able to grow your client list and a solid referral base.
You will have clients who are immensely happy with their properties. It’s a good practice to have satisfied clients rave about their experience with you by providing a space where they can write reviews or where you can showcase videos of their homes. You can tap into reputation management services to help you manage those positive reviews and use them to attract more leads.
- Accurate monitoring of digital marketing investments and satisfaction of users.
Internet marketing is more transparent and data friendly than traditional marketing. We can now use online tools and software to monitor activities, track expenses, and extract data for a more accurate campaign.
- User engagement
The value of internet marketing soared with the whole concept of user engagement. You can now learn about a user or a potential client based on the activities they did on your website. They can leave comments, interact with chatbots, message you directly, share your website or your post, and more.
- Improve conversion rates.
Conversion rates are an advantage in online marketing. You are closer to your audience now and you have the ability to track their behavior. This is very helpful in modifying and tweaking your strategies (after a thorough data analysis).
Split testing can scientifically test the effectiveness of your website, for example, heat maps allow you to see what section of your website attracts your visitors the most. You can learn if there are more users interested in a specific kind of property over the other. With this you, you’ll have a better idea as to why they didn’t click, leave their contact information or pick up the phone and call you.
- Better targeting (SEO and Paid Ads)
One of the greatest benefits of SEO and paid advertising is that you can place your message or ad in front of users who matter. These people are potential clients who are actively searching for your services.
Internet Marketing Lead Generation for Real Estate
In lead generation for real estate, a lead is a person who shows an interest in purchasing a property. You know they’re interested when they click your website, interact with an ad, follow you on social media, join your newsletters, leave you a message and have executed other forms of engagement.
Generating leads through effective internet marketing campaigns is now crucial for real estate agents and agencies alike. How are you going to sell a property if you lack leads?
People are populating the internet and you want to be seen where people are highly active. Online lead generation although effective, will also be highly competitive. You need a customized strategy to stand out.
A customized strategy works by combining methods that will connect with potential clients or leads, driving them down into the conversion stage of the journey. Ultimately converting them into buyers.
To capture a lead, there must be a smart internet marketing strategy behind your online efforts to get you in front of the right people.
Reach Buyers Effectively
Make it easy for people to find your business and difficult for competitors to beat you. It’s quite easy to understand the value of internet marketing, however, implementation is a bit different.
As an agent or a realtor, you want to focus on your clients instead of spending hours and days developing a digital marketing strategy or implementing marketing tasks everyday.
Real estate marketing consultants exist to help you reach the goals you have in mind at the same time letting you focus on your trade. They will also guide you in choosing the best digital marketing services that suit your current situation.
Digital marketing is a long term campaign. As long as search engines exist, it will continue to be relevant and your practice will benefit from it more.
Real Estate Internet Marketing FAQs
What is the impact of internet marketing on real estate?
More people today use the internet for information and to do research before jumping into action. More buyers also go online to find listings and answers to queries pertaining to real estate.
Traditional media like newspapers, magazines, billboards and television are still being used, however the internet is more accessible, and this is why it’s widely used by more people.
Professionals in their late 20’s, 30’s and 40’s are initially the target groups. They’re now more reliant on the internet than any other form of media and you don’t want to miss out on anyone looking for a new house, condo or apartment.
Can digital marketing help find customers?
Yes. Getting more clients for your business is one of the main goals of your internet marketing campaign.
Start with the online foundation of your business which is your website. Make sure that it’s modern, responsive, it has an active blog and always updated when it comes to news about your business. Have a very visible area for sign ups so that visitors can easily put their information, giving you more leads.
You can use SEO to optimize the website so that search engines prioritize showing it to users over your competitors.
After creating a great website and optimizing it for SEO, then you can boost their performance through paid media or paid ads. Be active in Linkedin, Use Google Adwords and run remarketing campaigns. There are many opportunities online, you just need to understand your buyer’s behavior and use it to formulate a strategic internet marketing strategy.
How much does internet marketing for real estate cost?
Internet marketing is cost-friendly compared to other marketing methods. Many factors will determine the cost of your campaign. SEO, paid ads, web design, social media marketing, content marketing and other initiatives all differ in prices and they all offer different packages. It can cost $150 to more than $15000 per initiative depending on factors like business size, marketing objectives and timeline. Make sure to consult with a real estate digital marketing agency that has expertise in the industry and will offer you the best services followed by the best price.
Do digital marketing agencies guarantee results?
Utilizing internet marketing tactics is the most cost-efficient way to get your business out there and gain more clients. But be very skeptical of companies making claims and guarantees. A professional digital marketing agency will manage your expectations. Expect them to begin with an analysis of your current position rather than promising guarantees.
Depending on your internet marketing campaign, it can take a month or eight months to see results. If by then, you see that it doesn’t match your expectations, then talk to your account manager to determine the next steps you have to take in order to improve results.