digital marketing for real estate agents

Digital Prowess for Real Estate Agents

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digital marketing for real estate agentsHow Real Estate Agents can demonstrate Digital Prowess

Demonstrating your digital prowess with prospective clients will certainly give you the listing edge.

Agents who don’t (or won’t!) transition their businesses to include digital and online will find it harder and harder to compete with those who do.

Here’s how to demonstrate you have digital prowess in your real estate business.

More powerful information & reporting

real estate agent digital marketing

One of the best ways to demonstrate you’re digitally savvy and have online prowess is through the depth and comprehensiveness of the reporting information you provide your vendors.

No doubt you’re already including online property ‘views’ via Trade Me, RealEstate.co.nz and other listing portals.

Because (pretty much) everyone is providing this type of information it’s no longer cutting edge. Imagine if you can take your vendor reporting to a whole new level of powerful insights?

Imagine also, if you could take your own marketing to a whole new level because you know what’s working and what isn’t?

When your marketing presence is digitally integrated all this information is just a few clicks away.

You have your own branded website

have your own branded website

This is the most powerful way to demonstrate digital prowess.

There are several reasons why this is important and one of | them involves Facebook, which I’ll cover later.

You have control

When you’ve got your own website you can control what goes gets published on it and when.

Sure, the agency you work for automatically gives you your own profile page but in many cases, the information you can include is limited.

I’ve worked with some agents whose personal profile was limited to 200 words. To give you an idea of what a few hundred words looks like, already you’ve read 281 words. As you can see, it’s not much.

FYI, 200 words finished at the | mark – between “of” and “them” in the section on “your own branded website”, above.

{{not many words at all, eh?}}

It’s all about you

When you have your own personally branded website you can ensure everything on it polishes your halo. That the website is all about you. Your skills. Your expertise.

If your profile page on your office’s website is one of those where the same news article gets shared across all your company’s offices, this can result in the office just down the road (ie, your direct competitor) showing up alongside your profile.

Wouldn’t you rather the information that shows up on ‘your’ website be about you? Not another agent?

Insights: information is power

When you have your own website you’re able to test exactly what’s working and not working with your advertising & marketing.

This is critical to ensuring you’re not wasting your own or your client’s advertising and marketing budgets.

Knowing what goes on “with” your website is important.

For example, did you know that when you’ve got Google Analytics installed on your website you can see all sorts of things – for example:

  • the most popular pages of your website
  • the “path” people take when they visit your website
  • the most popular ‘first’ page they visit
  • how long visitors stay
  • the number of pages they visit
  • which page they exit by

Information is power. It means you can change what’s not working and do more of what is.

Knowledge: what works and doesn’t work

For example, with this website (highprofilerealtor.com) I know that the most popular article on it is what to do when you miss out on a listing. I know that, on average, that one page accounts for 37.7% of my website traffic.

There’s almost no difference in popularity between the next two most popular entrance pages to my website (only 0.44%). The home page and the article “Facebook for real estate agents”.

I also know that the articles I write about Facebook and mindset appear to resonate with agents because that’s where the most time is spent on my website.

What do you know about what happens when people visit your profile page?

Every website I build for real estate agents has Google Analytics automatically built into the agent’s administration dashboard (totally free of charge). They also receive monthly reports so they can see for themselves what’s working and what’s not working. This gives them the power to change, test and measure.

Database building

When you’ve got your own website you’ve got the power to grow your database.

Do you produce a newsletter? If so, you can easily grow your subscriber base (your database) by including a sign-up form on your website.

The more subscribers who receive your marketing information, the more invitations you’ll receive for property appraisals.

Database ownership

Because you’re self-employed it’s critical that you own your own database.

It’s all well and good to say that “yeah, but the people on my database have built the relationship with me, not my office…”

The chances are high you’ve signed a contract that prohibits you from soliciting former clients in the event you change real estate offices.

If you solicit when you’ve signed an agreement that has a non-solicitation clause in it, you’re breaking the law.

Besides, if you do decide to change offices, wouldn’t you rather just be able to hit the deck running and let your database know immediately?

Having your own website means you can implement your own database-growing systems external to your office’s system. This means you have 100% ownership of that database.

Mailchimp (or other email clients)

build your own email database

In the world of digital, ‘email client’ (or email reader or mail user agent – MUA) is the term given to computer programs (apps) that are used to access and manage a user’s email.  There are literally hundreds of email clients on the market.

All websites I build automatically include Mailchimp to ensure our clients own their own database.

Mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers or fewer than 12,000 emails per month.

If you want to send unlimited emails per month the cost is just US$10pm (for 500 subscribers).

Email Insights

Some offices include insights as part of their email system. Insights give you information about:

  • Who opens
  • Who clicks on links inside your email
  • When is the best time to send emails
  • Whether most views are taking place on a desktop or mobile device

Being able provide this level of information to your vendors about the marketing you’re doing for their properties is one way you can demonstrate your digital prowess.

When you can do this you start demonstrating not only your digital prowess but your professionalism as well.

Vendors won’t ask you to discount your fee once you’ve demonstrated your expertise and professionalism.

{{no one would ever dream of asking an anaesthetist, brain or heart surgeon to discount their fees!}}

Digital Prowess with online advertising

internet advertisingThere are two main ways you can advertise online:

  • Facebook
  • Google Adwords

When executed properly both give you excellent insights (that behind-the-scenes-info term again) to enable you to tweak and adjust on-the-fly.

The difference between advertising using digital and analogue (offline) is that you can adjust mid way through a digital campaign. Unlike print – once it’s printed that’s it – you can change things throughout your digital campaign based on the information you’re seeing via your digital dashboard.

Facebook advertising

advertising on facebook for real estate agentsWhen it comes to advertising on Facebook, no other advertising can come near it.

The power behind Facebook advertising is beyond belief. Seriously!

You can target exactly who you want to see your advertisements.

This means, for example, that if you want to show one particular property to people who are interested in similar properties you can do that!

The only downside I would say to Facebook advertising is that people can click on your advert out of curiosity rather than because they are genuinely looking to sell / buy. This is because the advertisement has appeared in their newsfeed and it piques their interest.

BUT – you can only instigate that level of sophistication in your Facebook advertisements when you have a website.

Why do you need a website? Because then you’re able to integrate Facebook’s advertising pixel (a piece of sophisticated code) onto your website which makes this kind of powerful advertising possible.

Without Facebook’s pixel you don’t have nearly as much power.

However, in saying that, it is possible to advertise a property on Facebook without having your own website. Agents who have their own websites are (in my opinion) providing a much better level of service to their clients.

Further – agents who do have their own website (and have Facebook’s pixel integrated in it) are able to hand-on-heart say their Facebook advertising is superior to agents who don’t have a website.

Google Adwords

Digital Prowess: google adwords for real estate agentsIn order to incorporate Google Adwords into your marketing (either your own or your client’s) you need a website.

When you advertise using Google Adwords on your own website you can tap into all of those Google Analytics insights I referred to above (plus more!).

When you have your own website and advertise the Google Adwords way, you can even find out which search terms people used to find you.

Both Google Adwords and Facebook Advertising allows you to track and measure your advertising like you cannot (accurately) do with offline advertising.

Remarketing

Both Google Adwords and Facebook allow you to remarket (but you need a website to do this).

Remarketing allows you to show your advertisements to people who have already visited your website.

This is especially powerful when vendors start their research about whether to sell (or not). About which agent to use. What properties are already on the market.

Provided you have the appropriate pixel (or cookie) integrated in your website, you can remarket to property owners who are looking to sell their property.

You’ve probably already experienced it yourself, but not realised what it is. Let’s say one of your kids is turning 18 and you’re organising their party. One of the things you need is a cake so you start checking out bakeries, cake decorators, recipes, etc.

You visit a few websites but don’t make a buying decision immediately. A few days later you’re checking out ‘venues for hire’ and you notice the advertisement for one of the cake place website you visited pop up. Maybe a few days later you notice it again.

That is remarketing.

It’s the equivalent of driving down the road and seeing the same billboard every kilometre or so.

Remarketing is about repetition and familiarity

How it would work for your real estate business is that you would advertise (either by Facebook or Google Adwords) a giveaway of some kind on your website. For example, an ebook, report or guide to selling your home (for free).

Then you would set up a remarketing campaign targeting those visitors. This would mean that you would keep reappearing in their online world just like a roadside billboard might appear in their offline world.

The best part is remarketing doesn’t cost anywhere near what billboard advertising costs. And you can tweak it as the campaign rolls out to get the absolute best ROI (return on investment).

Social Media Digital Prowess

Digital Prowess: marketing online for real estate agentsI’ve already covered Facebook above.

Instagram is similar (from an advertising perspective).

The thing with ‘social’ is that it helps polish your halo.

Showing vendors you’ve got xxx (or x,xxx) followers on your Facebook Page, or Instagram account or Twitter Followers or LinkedIn connections is powerful. Further, when you show prospects (at the appraisal) that you use these channels in your marketing campaigns you’re demonstrating your digital prowess.

Video Marketing

Digital Prowess - real estate agent video marketingVideo is where marketing is well and truly at.

If you’re not including video in your marketing campaigns you’re not acting in your clients’ best interests.

I’m not talking about joining a whole bunch of photos together into a movie roll. That’s not video. That’s just an automated photo scroll.

You can demonstrate video digital prowess in the following ways:

  • By showing prospects your YouTube channel;
  • Facebook videos;
  • Facebook Live

Further, when you have your own website you can include your videos on your website in a variety of different places:

  • Dedicated video page
  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Property Pages
  • Introductions

Create printable and downloadable marketing material

Some offices enable their agents to create property flyers that people can download (via PDF).

What other types of marketing information do you make available for your prospects / vendors?

Imagine being able to tell a vendor that when they select you to market their property you automatically publish a digital magazine about their property?

Imagine how powerful that would be!?

When you have a website you can include the digital flipping page-turning book on the property’s profile.

If you produce a printed newsletter or other “nurturing” material, this can also be converted into a flip-type document.

Is that powerful or what?

Will that demonstrate digital prowess or what?? Of course it will because it will show you have more than just Facebook in your marketing toolbox!

Your digital addresses

If possible, aim to have all your digital addresses the same across all platforms.

If your website address is AgentNameRealEstate.co.nz (or .nz or .co or .com) aim to have your Facebook page the same. This means your Facebook address will look like: Facebook.com/AgentNameRealEstate. YouTube will be YouTube.com/user/AgentNameRealEstate. Twitter @AgentNameRealEstate.

Make finding you online easy

Make sure you include your various social addresses when on your marketing material. Rather than say “like me on Facebook” state “Like me at Facebook.com/AgentNameRealEstate”.

Include your social addresses on all your marketing material but only if you’re active on them.

If your Facebook page hasn’t been updated for the last month or so then either close your page down or get busy with it. Having unloved social platforms doesn’t send a good message to prospective vendors about your digital prowess.

Include in your Listing Kit

Include current and up to date examples and case studies in your listing presentation kit.

At the same time, include how connected you are (if you are!) with numbers from each platform.

For example, my own social stats are:

YouTube – 106,000 views + 95 subscribers + 141 videos

Twitter – 2,246 followers

LinkedIn – 2,097 connections + 2,143 followers + 70+ articles

Facebook – 44 Likes (page brand new) + regularly achieves organic (unadvertised) reach on posts 10x page likes.

Action Steps

Get a website

Because you’re then able to offer your clients a better bang for their digital advertising buck + you have the power to advertise your own services if you wish.

I can set you up with a website for just $999+gst. If you’d like to know more about this get in touch with me.

Add your digital addresses to your marketing material

Look at all your printed material – DLs, brochures, flyers, everything – make sure they all include all of your online addresses.

If you have a website flaunt it! Believe it or not only two of my agents have their own websites! I work with lots of agents and very few of them have their own website. [It’s because of this that I decided to make websites affordable for agents at $999].

Letting vendors know you’re one of the few agents who has their own website automatically elevates you into the digitally savvy minority!

Get active!

Check the currency of all your social spaces. Do they look loved and well cared for? If not, either pay someone to maintain them for you, or close them down.

If a prospective vendor stumbles across an unloved and abandoned social space of yours it’s not going to do you any favours.

I offer a Facebook posting service for about the equivalent of a cup of coffee/day. If you’re interested in knowing more get in touch.

Use case studies

Turn your digital successes into case studies. Case Studies take your professionalism and expertise to a whole new level (over testimonials).

If you’re not sure how to do this get in touch.

If YOU would like to do more dollar-productive activities  - like spending more time in front of prospects - then DONE-FOR-YOU-FACEBOOK MARKETING is for you! Click HERE to find out how.

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If YOU would like to be MORE DOLLAR PRODUCTIVE in your business - like spending more time in front of prospects - then DONE-FOR-YOU-FACEBOOK MARKETING is for you! Click HERE to find out more.