Unlike generations past, today’s new homebuyers first begin their search online. While some homebuyers do find their dream home by cruising the neighborhood looking for for-sale signs, that’s not the entry point that most people have to real estate.
Cultivating success in real estate involves developing trust with the people you’re showing homes to, promoting homes in a way that brings about an emotional response in the people who are looking for a home, and getting the right people to see your listings.
Here are our top five of the best ways realtors can generate traffic online. You want the person who is ready to buy to see your properties. Here’s how.
1. Facebook advertising.
Pretty much everyone of homebuying age uses their Facebook accounts on a daily basis, so that’s a great place to focus your advertising efforts And Facebook has drastically improved their abilities to track and target the people who see your paid content. With more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, it’s a safe bet that your audience is on Facebook.
A single ad won’t be effective. To utilize Facebook advertising effectively you’ll need a full remarketing strategy. The Facebook ad platform is great because it can effectively pinpoint demographics and behaviors.
A multi-tiered digital sales funnel for lead generation for realtors can start with Facebook’s behavioral category for people that are “likely to move.” Facebook knows what people are more likely to move — and hence more likely to need a real estate agent — through its rich behavioral data. When selecting your ad’s targeting, you can choose from this “ready to move” behavioral demographic.
2. PPC advertising
After years of experience working with all of the various paid online advertisement platforms, we can comfortably recommend Google AdWords. Google offers the best tools to allow realtors to succeed in a fiercely competitive space. If you’re not managing your paid ads or you’re unsure of how best to manage them, this option can get expensive. With proper oversight though, paids ads can be a great source for leads.
3. Social media membership groups
Social media platforms (in particular Facebook and LinkedIn) offer members the opportunity to create or join groups of people with a common interest. Creating a group on a platform like Facebook allows you, the realtor, to foster conversations with other homeowners or prospective homeowners, share information and allow the group’s members to get to know you.
Organize a social media group around your geographic region, and you’ve got a group of people tailor-made to the area where you work. Facebook Groups send users a notification whenever someone posts to the Group, which helps incrementally to drive traffic to each post. Groups have a more organic reach than Pages, and this engagement goes up the more members you have in your Group and the more activity you have in your Group.
4. Promote your listings on Real Estate aggregator sites
Trulia, Zillow and Homes.com are where many people first begin their search. These sites are great for the homebuyers, who can narrow down what they’re searching for. However, since MLS data is shared with every other website on that MLS feed, including the big players such as Trulia, Zillow and Homes.com, there’s a lot of competition for the agent to have their listings be seen.
These sites know this, so they charge a fee for promoting on their site. If you go this route, make sure you’re using Google Analytics so you can make the most of the date you cultivate about your traffic.
5. Make your listing stand out with visuals and video.
Videos are indexed by search engines, so a video will show up in searches. Leverage this by making the highest quality video you can and ensure that it has alt-text and tags describing what the video is about. Do the same for your images.
Take the highest quality photos you can, either by investing in a better-quality camera or hiring a professional. Better photos show your listing in its best light, and it’s what will entice your homebuyers to take a second look at your listing over another.
Also consider playing a role in the video yourself. Many times, the home video is just a walkthrough with someone doing a voiceover while holding the camera. Ask someone else to hold the camera for you, so you can walk through the home and point out all the details yourself.
This helps in a few ways: it helps the home buyers get to know you and personalize their interaction with you. It helps them develop trust in you and it shows that you truly know the property you’re representing.