Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide | Real Estate | Oak Avenue Marketing
Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide:
Real Estate Industry
With over 8 in 10 people using social media every day, the only question you should be asking yourself if you aren’t in the digital marketing game is why? As a real estate agent, you are in the business of personal branding and the business of people. Consumers looking at both you and your agency is the most vital part of your day to day job. In short, if you aren’t considering the possibilities of digital marketing at this point you will be and maybe already have been left behind.
People are now far more concerned with thing such as whether your agency has 5-star Google Reviews, do you offer a financial calculator, does your Facebook page have a good reputation, is your business ranking high in the Google Search Engine and is the content you make modern and fresh? Sure, old school real estate tactics are still effective up to a point and should be maintained. However, why wouldn’t you want to tap into this enormous base of consumers if the opportunity was there?
Thankfully in this in-depth guide, we are going to explain to you the many ways that you can optimise your personal brand or agency for real estate digital marketing. Sure, this all might seem overwhelming at first but by the end of this guide, you will have all the answers and tools to make a jump start on your digital journey! Please make some notes as you read along and afterwards take a trip back to the points you find most crucial and read over them again to reinforce the knowledge.
Before we take the deep dive into creating incredible content and smashing out social media, we first must take a step toward identifying the basics. Who are we making this content for? One step which is often overlooked in digital marketing is to figure out exactly who you are selling to. In the real estate niche, you will generally be assigning your talents to certain suburbs or areas. Before we begin with all the information, we should sit down and figure out how we can segment our customers. Once we have segmented our target audience properly, we will be able to tailor our awesome content including copy, blogs and video directly to the people we are trying to sell to.
The Consumers Thinking
As I’m sure you are aware, people choosing to buy or sell their homes are now savvier about the market than they have ever been before. With websites such as domain and realestate.com.au taking over the market, consumers can see what similar houses in similar areas have sold and are selling for. In fact, in a lot of cases, the person who wishes to buy a home has already done a lot of the mental leg work of buying the house before they even approach an agent. Similarly, people looking to sell their houses may be more informed than ever before on what a realistic price their home might sell for. This however as we all know well is not usually the case. This is just one huge psychological factor that we must consider from the consumers’ point of view.
There are many types of buyers in the real estate market which make things just that little bit more complicated. The need to deeply consider your target markets needs, desires, means and emotions become that little bit more important each and every day. A few types of buyers that will think entirely different to one and another include, first-time buyers, property investors, second/third time buyers, buyers of their second home, holiday house buyers, buyers for someone else and many more. As a real estate agent, it is your job to tap into these people psyche and help them create an emotional connection with the property you are showing.
A study conducted by the Journal of Advertising Research found that for people evaluating purchase decisions, emotions outpoint rational thinking 2:1. Imagine you are shopping with a child and they ask you to buy them a toy that you have also enjoyed playing with when you were growing up. Your brain will instantly stimulate a positive reaction to the product, and you are far more likely to want to give that child the same positive experience you previously had with the toy. If the child asked you to purchase a toy from a tv show that wasn’t even created when you were younger you would think about it in a very different light. This is of course just one example, but it highlights the ways our brains can react to feelings of happiness and familiarity.
Now, when setting up a home for sale; how can you tap into your target demographics positive emotional history. Can you create a home showing that is both aspirational whilst instilling a sense of belonging? Are you able to assess the consumers’ feelings for the home and help them to fall in love with the property? These are all skills that can be aided with the help of digital marketing.
When a consumer is considering buying a property they go through many different psychological stages and emotions. Using X as a variable option, the list below will outline a range of content and processes you can create to help ease customers minds and prepare them for purchase with you or your agency. The points in this list will be elaborated on later in the guide.
- If a customer googles the “top five real estate agents in ‘X’ suburb” you want your personal brand/agency to either show up organically, through paid advertising or through targeted blog posts.
- When the customer proceeds to the next stage and googles “pros and cons of living in ‘X’” you need to be the authority through Google on that topic.
- When the customer questions whether they can afford to purchase the property, they need to know that you can assist them with the financial process. Can you point them into the direction to get a loan? Can you offer them a financial calculator that is user-friendly?
- When the customer questions where they should actually make the purchase, does your name pop into their mind of search bar? Did you assist them in the previous steps of the funnel to make them positively associate your business in their minds?
- Does the customer believe you are helpful and will do the right thing by them? If you have followed all these steps, then customers will invariably trust you when they meet with you or your agency in person to secure the sale.
Creating the buyer persona
Now that we understand how our target market is, what demographics they cover, where they live/want to live and what boxes they want to see checked in the buyer funnel we can begin to look at rounding out our buyer persona. Businesses can usually create a nice simple of list of their three typical types of buyers for their own real estate niche. This process should take you a fair bit of time if done correctly. It is important to really get inside the customers head and deliver what they need.
To generate your own personal buyer personalists, do the following activity three separate times. You will have to do these six times to account for sellers and buyers unless you see some overlap in one or two of the personas. Sit down with a large piece of paper, whiteboard of excel spreadsheet and get ready to do some serious colour coding and mind charts!
Fictional Customer Number 1: What is their…
9. Relationship Status
10. Native Language
After we have conquered this step of the buyer persona list it is time to dive a little bit deeper into their psyche. Answer theses further questions on each persona.
- How can your business help them achieve their life goals?
- What is their pain-points? Can you help relieve their pain?
- Why would this customer not choose to buy with you?
The Digital Marketing Checklist
It is far to easy to read through all these paragraphs on psychology and personas and forget about developing the sheer basics of digital marketing for your real estate business. These factors are the absolute foundation of a good online presence and are an absolute must for your website. Make sure you have completed or are on track to complete all these steps if you want to succeed in the digital marketing game.
1. Create Business Social Media Channels
Number one is very simple and the most important aspect of digital marketing. You need to get your hands dirty and head to Facebook and Instagram and create your social media accounts. If you have already done this go back into the platforms and ensure that your page has been set up as a business account. A business account is crucial to understanding your online metrics as it has access to a far greater analytics suite that you can tap into. Facebook will also offer far more in-depth categorisation tools for your business which could allow people to find you organically through Facebook Search or Google. After you have completed this step, head over to Instagram and connect the accounts through the settings option. Click Account and then Linked Accounts and follow the prompts to connect your Facebook and Instagram account. This means that you can actually post to both accounts from one platform. Finally, pop over to LinkedIn and complete the final crucial stage of social media integration!
2. Create a Google My Business Page
Conquering the google search algorithm begins with one simple step. Ever noticed that when you google a reputable business, they will pop up in the side of the search page with great information and reviews? A Google My Business page can be created by heading to Gmail and creating an account. Once that step is complete, click the option in the top right corner and find the drop down for Google My Business. Google will request to send you a postcard to the address that your business is located at free of charge. Once the code arrives in the mail just head back to the Google My Business page and your account will be verified.
3. Create a Realestate.com.au Page and a Domain Account.
These pages are an absolute must in 2019 with these two pages, in particular, dominating the real estate landscape. There is not a consumer under 50 that wouldn’t at least consult these pages at least once when looking to purchase a property. If you are trying to sell a house, you need to be on it and you need to have some authority. Hit Join in the top right corner and follow the prompts, simple!
4. Optional: Create a Pinterest account
Pinterest accounts are vastly underrated and can be awesome searches of finding relatable and beautiful content to share. You can create quite large followings and even monetize Pinterest in the future if your account becomes popular enough. Definitely not to be overlooked.
5. Create an Ads Account
Now we start to get to the complicated section of the process. A Google Ads account with the right execution can really put yourself to the front of the pack. Sign up through Googles Ad Credit option (linked below) to received $100 of ad credit to really get your head around the platform. The program can be very complicated as with all advertising platforms it is best to do an appropriate amount of research or pay an expert to operate your ad account. You can see a link to our Google Ads Packages HERE
6. Create a Killer Modern Website
In order to create trust in your clients, you should have a modern, fast, mobile-friendly website where you can show off all your successfully sold and bought properties for clients to help build trust. A modern website can be designed by anyone nowadays using Wix or Squarespace. Your website can be functional if not perfect within a few weeks of working on it in your spare time. Alternatively, if you want a website built from scratch you can view our website packages HERE. When a website is built correctly it provides the foundations for Google to properly rank and index your site to allow it to be found in the Google Search Algorithm. There is far less point to creating great content if you have nowhere practical to send your customers after they gain value from your content. If you wish to have your website professionally designed, you may want to opt for design in WordPress instead of Wix to give it a more professional feel with more features and customisability.
Mobile Friendly Website
Your website absolutely has to be functional on mobile in 2019. Your customers will want to be able to find you whenever and wherever they are. Maybe they want to browse real estate content while they’re on holiday away from their desktop, maybe they’re out walking their dog, the possibilities are endless. If you are not readily available to your consumer in a digital capacity in all possible scenarios you are leaving money on the table. The cold hard facts are that consumers in first world countries now spend on average more than 5 hours a day on their phones
We spoke about Google Ads earlier and now it’s time to capitalise on the leads that your business has generated. So, someone has found your well placed, well-targeted ad and they’re looking to come and see what you have to offer. Your website is where they will immediately head and is a direct reflection of you and your business. Let’s take a quick look at some of the fundamental pieces of content a consumer should immediately receive from you.
1. The consumer should immediately see the content that the link they clicked on advertised. Are they looking to buy? Direct them to your for-sale page. Are they looking to learn more about real estate? Link them to your blog.
2. A beautiful hero image should greet the viewer that finds your website. The image should be colourful, inviting and relevant to your business.
3. Your logo should then appear in front and centre of your web page. Make sure it is clear and free of other distractions so the customer can really absorb your brand.
4. Your website should have a clear, uncluttered menu where consumers can easily navigate to the pages they want to see.
5. Your website should have a powerful tagline about how you are and what you can offer them. This should be personal and reflect the rest of your branding as well as who you are as a person.
6. There should be a prominent call to action as the person scrolls down your website. This can be as simple as a request to sign up to an email list in exchange for informative blog posts.
7. A blog for your website is an absolute must to boost your search engine standings. This blog should be regularly updated and promoted as much as possible (without being annoying) to show Google that your site provides value. Try and get at least 1–2 posts a week up on the site and your socials.
8. Include an about me/us page to display why people should choose you or your agency. This page can include social proofing options such as reviews and testimonials if you feel it appropriate.
9. Finally, your website must have a clear and concise contact page option that is both easy to find easy to fill out. Don’t ask for incredible amounts of peoples information as this can turn them off from purchasing.
Image courteousy of www.getspokal.com
Key Website Components for Securing Sales
Now that you have your shiny new website created with all the key aspects included we need to drill down to a couple of pain points for consumers. First things first are accessibility and speed. Make sure the site is accessible on all devices and loads quickly! Consumers have low attention spans in 2019 and if a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, many customers will go elsewhere.
Secondly, you need to provide some online sales funnels. As discussed earlier, an email newsletter drops down in exchange for content can be very useful for creating audiences for ad retargeting. Which is where we send content to people who have previously shown interest in what we do. There are many other types of funnels which you can research and may be more suitable for your specific niche.
After you have set up these lead generation tools and remarketed to interested people through ads and analytics, it is time to capture these statistics and use them for Googles benefit. Consumers will go through Google for practically anything and as a result, it’s time for some serious search engine optimisation!
Search engine optimisation is extremely crucial and is not a process that happens overnight. Google has over 200 factors that help determine exactly where your website will rank in the search algorithm when someone googles “real estate agencies” or similar keywords.
Below we will provide a couple of very simple low-level tips that will give your website a boost. If you truly want to dive into the world of search engine optimisation, prepare for a long and confusing ride as Google constantly upgrades their algorithm. If you would like an expert to help manage your SEO you can find our packages HERE. Alternatively, a link to another article HERE will show you some top tips for SEO in 2019.
Tip One: Create handy meta descriptions and titles! When search engine results appear meta descriptions show up below the title. If you include keywords relevant to your business such as “real estate agent Sydney” in these descriptions then that can boost your ranking
Tip Two: When you create content you should include as many keywords as possible without it detracting from the content itself. There is a concept in photos and content called alt tags. In these tags, you should try to use keywords where appropriate to describe the image.
Tip Three: One of the most important factors of SEO is to ensure there are as many trustworthy links back to your site as possible. If you can list your site in other places such as guest blogs, your social media, realestate.com.au etc then Google will begin to trust your site more. This will improve your traffic AND presence. Win, Win.
Digital Marketing can be quite overwhelming. If you’re struggling, you can enlist the services of a digital marketing agency
Remember back at the start of this guide where we mapped out are ideal customers personas? It’s time to pull that list, flowchart or excel document back up and take a look at it once more. Creating content is as much about creating the content you want to make as it is about creating the content your audience would like to see.
One of the best ways to prepare your content is to get a separate document and write out a massive storyboard. With this page, you are going to want to cut it into different categories.
1. What sort of content will work for each social medium?
2. Where will this content be posted?
3. How will I go about making this content?
4. When will I have this piece of content created by?
5. When do I want to have this content scheduled?
For starters let’s answer this question for 3 pieces of content per week for a month and attempt to stick to that. If you are looking for a more detailed guide to creating content and sticking to it, I will link a blog below. However, the key factors for sticking to your content schedule are to allocate your time efficiently, create content you enjoy making and schedule, schedule, schedule. Now, let’s get a little bit more specific to your real estate business.
List The 5 Questions You Receive Most Commonly (Our First Content Piece)
Sit down and on this brand-new document, I want you to try and list all the questions you can remember people asking you regularly. Following that, break it down to 5 core questions your customers NEED to know the answers to. These five questions are going to form the basis of your first bits of content.
Let’s break it down even further. Say one of the most common questions you get asked about is “how do I make my house look good when presenting it for sale?”
You can begin with some very simple blogging techniques. Start with an introduction referring to how you get asked questions all the time and today you are going to take the time to answer these concerns for your valued clients. Take yourself back to high school writing and offer your readers three paragraphs with an intro and conclusion. One piece of value and insight per paragraph. It is important to remember that there is no value to keeping your cards to yourself anymore, the internet is absolutely chock full of content and only the most informative will survive and be read. You will receive value over time by providing your loyal readers with value in your blogs.
As you finish the blog be sure to end with a question in an attempt to spur engagements. Get personal with your audience and find something that will stimulate emotion in someone who reads the article. People engaging with content is possibly the best way to tell Google that your content holds value and should be ranked and indexed more highly. There we have it, you have created your first piece of content, a roughly written blog with some real value and insight that your consumers will enjoy and come back for more.
Content creation is about telling stories, providing information and resonating with your audience. When you are creating content please, try to remember to avoid hard sells. People are to savvy in 2019 to fall for these sorts of tactics and are very aware when someone is pushing something onto them.
One of the more advanced ways we can begin to get more advanced content out there that will blow our competitors away is with some well-edited video content. Video is absolutely crucial to all businesses in 2019. Along with audio, video allows us to really be available to our audiences at all times. Our audience can’t be reading our fascinating blogs whilst they’re driving to and from work for 45 minutes or more a day.
Video and podcasts also allow us to be more personable with our consumers. They can gain more insight and trust into who we are as a brand/agency and why they should want to sell their house with us rather than a competitor. If you would like to read an article on creating your first piece of video content (It can be daunting we know!) then please check out this piece here!
Video is King For Selling
Remember when having a university degree meant you were guaranteed a job in the field you wanted to work in? Times have changed huh. Well, it’s the same with Selling houses in 2019. No longer can you just present a potential buyer with some nice pictures to look at. It’s time to jump on board the video bandwagon and create something that people want to watch and absorb. We’re trying to present them with the story of their dream house and show them just how unique and beautiful it is.
Research has shown that vendors would rather go with an agent who delivers property videos than those who don’t and buyers enjoy watching videos to gain better angles and insights on the property in question. Buyers are looking for as much information as possible to allow them to properly invest emotionally in the house you are selling. If you have a video that people are able to share and view anytime anywhere, then you will truly be on point digitally.
If you would like some help creating incredible, affordable real estate videos then please head to the link here
Last Minute Tips
Phew, we made it through the entire guide. We will be constantly updating this guide as new information emerges to make it even more informative and maintain its effectiveness in the coming months. Don’t forget at the end of the day in digital marketing we are all trying to tell a story and get our consumers to buy in and engage with us.
Good content will always be king and should be prioritised. If you can create strong content that is available everywhere and is highly engaged with then you will be guaranteed some level of success in this game.
Authenticity will always win over selling in digital marketing and help to maintain a long-term presence that will keep you in business over time. Digital Marketing is not a quick fix but is absolutely crucial to the success of your business and you should make the transition sooner rather than later to avoid being left further behind.
We hope you found some helpful tips in this guide and if you would like to send us an email with your feedback on this guide, we would love to hear it at
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Originally published at www.oakavenue.com.au.