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Marketing Real Estate In The Digital Age

Gain the edge over your competition with a property marketing plan proven to sell homes faster and for more.

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Technology changes fast. From new apps to digital marketing, it can feel impossible to keep up.At The Paperless Agent, our mission is to help real estate professionals from all experience levels filter through the hype and master the tech that will grow your businesses and save you time and money. If you like what you see, check out http:// thepaperlessagent.com/ for more great tips!

In the “old days,” marketing a property meant putting a sign in the yard, placing a listing in the MLS, and praying that it sold.

Even today, there are a lot of real estate professionals who think “clicking the syndicate button” on portal websites is a job well done.

Now let’s be honest: In today’s market, simply listing a property in the MLS is often enough to sell it in many markets. But it’s not enough to grow your listing business.

Today’s sellers are much more informed than they were even a few years ago. With nearly unlimited access to housing data on the internet, sellers are much more informed about their options and the home selling process in general. That means sellers expect more from you. If you had to choose between an agent who “just does enough” to sell the home and an agent who promises to market their home on social media, their website, and more, which agent would you list with?

And that’s exactly the choice today’s sellers are making because sellers want agents who will actively market their home. According to a recent study by the National Associations of Realtors (NAR), the number one thing sellers want is for their agent to market their home to potential buyers. So as agents, we need to market to buyers, and we need to market to them where they are—online. In 2014, NAR reported that 92% of home buyers searched for properties online. A study by Google in the same year suggests that the number is even greater at 97%. Perhaps more telling is that almost half of all buyers who purchased a home in 2014 found that home online. So what does that mean for you?

To convince prospective sellers to work with you versus someone else, you have to learn how to go beyond syndication. You need a strong digital marketing plan to fulfill their expectations and hold your own against competitive brokerages, agents, and listing portals. A Digital Property Marketing Plan will show home sellers exactly how you’re going to actively market their property to home buyers. With a detailed plan, you can prove to them that you’re different and are the one they can trust. You can even tell them that most agents won’t do any of what you’re showing them.So let’s get into some of the strategies you can use to impress your sellers and gain an edge over the competition. These strategies come straight from what’s working at our associated brokerage, GoodLife Realty, in Austin, Texas.

Selling a home is rarely easy for an agent. However, regardless of how much work you may be already putting in now, there is the danger that if you don’t show your seller what you’re doing, they will think you did less than you did and earned more than you deserve.With a Digital Property Marketing Plan, you can avoid your efforts going unnoticed and unvalued by your seller.

Phase 1: Pre-MLS “Launch” Campaign

Before your listing hits the MLS, conduct a series of activities to generate buzz about the property and ensure potential buyers can find the home online. In marketing speak, this is called a “pre-launch campaign,” and it’s an incredibly effective way to seed the marketplace and put the property in a great position to sell. These activities are also an effective way for you they are also an effective way for you to generate awareness of your brand, which can eventually result in more leads. These steps for a pre-launch sequence are as follows:

*Set up an online Landing Page for the property

A “landing page” is a term that describes a website page to which you intentionally direct online traffic. In terms of digital property marketing, it’s where people will see pictures of your listing, read information about it, and watch videos.

* Drive online traffic to the Landing Page with Social Posting

Posting a link to the property’s landing page on social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest helps get some links pointing back to your landing page, which will most likely increase online traffic clicking to view the page. If you have video, then posting the video on YouTube and sharing it also helps.

While this is beneficial, it doesn’t produce a result you can control, such as you can with paid advertising. You’re at the mercy of how many people happen to see your post. However, the brand identity a strong social media presence creates is worth the time and effort of posting to these platforms.

*Post on Craigslist to get online traffic to landing page

More and more people are looking to Craigslist to get a feel for what’s available in the area they want to move, and because it’s so popular, content posted on Craigslist is valuable to Google. At least in our area, it’s also a free option, so if that is true for your market as well, we highly encourage you to post an ad for your listing there.

*Drive online traffic using Just Listed or Coming Soon Facebook Ad Campaigns

Using Facebook’s advertising platform to run a Coming Soon or Just Listed campaign will drive predictable traffic to the property’s landing page on your website. This raises the property’s search ranking on search engines like Google.

Running Just Listed Campaigns using Facebook Ads has another huge benefit: promoting your business. You can compare this strategy to a sign in the yard. The sign not only told people the home was for sale, but also told the entire neighborhood that you were the one doing it. Facebook Ads can be your “digital sign in the yard, ” and spread awareness of your business to future sellers in the areas where you want to do business.

*Get the client to share the Landing Page for their property to their networks

That’s right: have the client participate in the promotional activities of their home. This is a vital part of the plan because it gets clients collaborating with you.

Giving them an active role results in more engagement throughout the listing process. They get to see firsthand the work involved in selling their home and what you do to find buyers for their home. This involvement will give your clients an overall better experience of working with you.

Phase 2: Property “Launch” Activities

Now we complete activities to launch the marketing campaign and perform ongoing activities to market the home to buyers. This is an important aspect of the overall property marketing process because it’s how you demonstrate to your client the ongoing value and service you provide. By performing these activities, and letting your client know what’s going on, they will have a good picture of what you’re doing.

Furthermore, since most agents simply put properties in the MLS and put a sign in the yard, you’re showing them what you do differently than everyone else. This is how you build the reputation of being a highly competent listing agent and generate referred and repeat business.

We’ve listed both the launch and ongoing activities on the next page.

*Announce the property to the local network of agents

As part of the marketing campaign, getting the word out about your listing to agents representing buyers is a way you provide value to the seller to which they would otherwise not have access. Therefore, because you can notify agents in your local network about the property, these connections are part of your value proposition.

*Promote the property in the MLS

Since all agents can get access to the MLS to promote properties, it’s not a differentiator. However, it’s an important tool for finding what’s on the market.

*Promote the property on the portals where you syndicate

The decision to syndicate listings to portals is the subject of much debate. Whether you choose to syndicate or not, what’s important is you have a sales narrative about why you do what you do.

*Promotional collateral for seller to share

With 9 out of 10 home buyers using the internet to search for homes, it’s less important today than it was in the past to produce expensive printed marketing collateral. However, digital collateral can be effective in giving the home seller tools to share with their networks online… and to show the value of what you do. Furthermore, many home sellers will expect some sort of promotional collateral to be created. You can use free services, such as Canva (canva.com), to easily create nice digital property marketing flyers.

*Review initial campaign data to make necessary adjustments

One of the biggest benefits of marketing online is you can see the results of your marketing. Look at your Facebook posts, ads, traffic to you landing page, and more to see if sellers are engaging and interested in the property. If not, you can assess whether you need to change your marketing or make a price adjustment to price the home within the market.

What Next?

Once you have a digital property marketing plan in place, use it to win more listing business!

You can introduce the idea of your Digital Property Marketing Plan to prospective sellers throughout your relationship with them, including events such as:

*In Your Email Marketing

*During your Initial Consultation on the phone

*During Your Listing Presentation

And so on….