The real estate market is extremely competitive today. With a plethora of options and price points to choose from, home buyers are spoilt for choice. Add to that the rapidly-evolving digital tools for real estate marketing. It’s neither feasible nor practical to only rely on traditional media to reach the right audience. And just like old world media, even new age digital media needs planning and strategising to target the right home buyers.
Real estate marketing needs sustained efforts and innovative ideas to reach out to people. Despite the stiff competition and ever-growing media costs, there are some proven marketing strategies to succeed. Implementing them, you would be able to improve sales, achieve better efficiency and find that perfect balance between real estate marketing strategies.
Here are 25 proven strategies and ideas for real estate marketing
(Table links below will take you to the respective points)
Let's have a look at each of them and understand some key takeaways:
1. Know your audience
Understanding your target audience is a key to all forms of marketing. Not only will it enable you to understand what your potential buyers need, but also tweak certain aspects of your product to fulfill those needs. A deep study about your audience’s habits, aspirations, challenges, lifestyle, etc. will help you emotionally connect with them, build a bond, and earn their trust.
2. Build a professional website
Outdated or unprofessional looking website can turn away even a serious home buyer. Not only are older websites hard to navigate, but they put a question mark on the trust factor with your organisation. Your website is a key tool for all of your marketing efforts. It represents your brand and its values, so the website needs to portray them clearly and concisely. Also, site visitors must find it incredibly easy to find information and navigate through different sections. Prompting visitors to take action, and get in touch with you is also an effective way to push your visitors down the lead funnel.
3. Join hands for success
Joining hands with channel partners, JV partners, etc. is not necessarily a bad idea. As mentioned above, today’s real estate market is fiercely competitive. The only way to succeed in sales consistently is through collaboration and partnerships. It’ll get you better qualified leads, access to referrals which you wouldn’t otherwise and also build strong bonds within the fraternity. Always be on the lookout for profitable opportunities to grow your business.
4. Hire a professional photographer
While this may seem like a basic one, many real estate companies don’t realise its importance. Photographs are a critical part of the home buying decision process. In fact, 89% of home buyers believe that professionally shot photos helped them make a more informed decision. Professional photographers use advanced equipment, lighting techniques, and processing to make picture-perfect houses that customers love to look at before taking the final decision.
5. Virtual reality and 3D scans
Innovative methods of marketing are a great way to get an edge over competition. While professionally shot still pictures are important, why stop there? A Matterport 3D camera is a cutting-edge visual weapon in your arsenal. It combines all internal and external pictures of a property, and creates a 3-dimensional representation. With the help of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, customers can get an actual feel of walking through their home, from any part of the world!
6. Employ the power of analytics and insights
Analytics & measurable data is core to all real estate marketing strategies. They help you get an improved vision of the investment and the returns. With Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, you can track a variety of metrics related to your website content, social posts, re-targeting efforts, etc. over time. Number of site visitors, average session rate, bounce rate and goal conversions are just a few of the endless metrics you can define and track. It might sound a little overwhelming initially, but once you leverage the power of analytics and insights, you’ll realise how actual data can help you improve & improvise your strategies around that data.
7. Build an e-mail nurturing strategy
An e-mail nurturing strategy is a critical component of a real estate marketing funnel. Imagine your potential customers have visited your website or visited your exhibition kiosk, and then got busy with something else. With a lead form, you can get their email address and send them emails with relevant, helpful information about their particular home buying requirement. Depending on where the customer is in his/her buyer’s journey, you can design and send them personalised emails which will help them take the appropriate next steps.
8. Target a niche audience and be an expert
Having a one-size-fits-all approach is not a good idea in a highly competitive real estate market. Choosing a niche audience – e.g. kid-friendly homes or women-centric houses – will help you establish yourself as a category expert. The right buyers will come looking for you, instead of you hunting around. An important step to doing this is also sharing lots of useful content via your website, blogs, social channels, etc. which sets you up to be seen as a thought leader and expert.
9. Drone videos
Aerial drone videos are a highly effective strategy in real estate marketing. Very few real estate businesses use the power of drone videography, which means it’s a great opportunity to stand out. Drone videos are extremely useful to give an overview about the locality, nearby facilities, access to transport connectivity, and even a birds-eye-view of the project itself. They help your customers to get a clearer idea of the area where they would be staying or investing.
10. 24x7 Availability
Customers appreciate when businesses are available round-the-clock. The always ready-to-help attitude can go a long way in fostering a strong relationship with your prospects. Implementing chat bots on your website is a great way to help visitors answer some of their questions then and there. A live chat guides website visitors through their journey by engaging with them, answering their queries, and relaying specific questions or customer information (such as a call-back number) to your team.
11. Client testimonials actually work
This one is fairly simple at its core: Potential customers trust and relate to reviews from existing customers. Definitely more than any creative ad campaign you can imagine. After a successful home buying transaction with a customer, do not hesitate to ask for a positive testimonial. It could be a video, a quote or even a sound bite. Genuine customer testimonials increase your brand credibility and encourage potential customers to purchase your product.
12. Optimise your website for mobile
Ever since the rapid acceptance of smartphones, the way people browse the internet has changed drastically. 52% of users browse websites on mobile devices. Contrary to what one may believe, mobile optimised websites allow visitors to find what they need rather easily than the desktop version. Using mobile UI storytelling, pronounced call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and easy search tools, you can convert more visitors into leads faster.
Fact: Google’s mobile first-indexing algorithm requires that your mobile site be SEO-optimized. Not doing so will negatively impact even your desktop search results.
13. Maintain an informative blog
Starting a blog which regularly provides helpful information about the real estate domain can be extremely useful. Over time you can deliver a lot of value, build a loyal readership base, and reap the benefits for a long time. The key here is to consistently post new content which helps customers with relevant and useful information about real estate. Potential customers will see you as an expert in your domain, and when they are in the consideration stage to purchase a house, they will come knocking at your door. Integrating infographics and videos into your blog will further increase engagement with your readers.
14. Engage in Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the most effective real estate marketing tools in today’s time. You need to identify authority sites (like Quora and Reddit) where you can build useful and relevant content that links back to similar but unique and helpful content on your website. To leverage the true power of content marketing you’ll need to build powerful and relevant content on your own website, optimise it to rank well on the search engines and then promote it on social media to gain maximum visibility and engagement.
15. Create a Landing Page
A landing page is vital to all inbound & paid marketing plans when it comes to real estate marketing. A landing page delivers concise information about your project in a systematic, efficient and easy way to the potential home buyers. A lead generation form placed strategically on the landing page will help you coax the visitors to take action, which will further help you in your e-mail nurturing efforts later.
16. Free offers for visitors
When you’re expecting a website, landing page or blog visitor to share their email address with you, they should get something in return. Only if a visitor sees genuine value in what you have to offer will the person willingly share their e-mail address. For this the downloadable offer will have to be extremely useful and authoritative – something the visitor will want to download. It could be an e-book on ‘How to decorate your first home without spending too much’ or a PDF report on ‘Top 10 real estate investing trends’.
17. Unearth the power of video
In the last few years statistics have proved that video content provides the most engagement. In fact, 72% of all users prefer to learn about a product or service via video. Videos are easy to digest, combine the best of text, pictures, and diagrams, and make it easy to consume information. In fact 83% of people who see useful videos share it with their friends. Now, who wouldn’t want their video to be organically shared by people in their peer group? It’s the best way to get free potential leads.
18. Emotional storytelling wins big
As rational an explanation as you may provide, home buying is an emotional decision for most people. One of the tenets of real estate marketing strategies is to unleash the power of emotional storytelling. Use compelling copy and evocative visuals to build an honest story around your real estate project. Instead of statistical information like ‘We have sold 400 flats’, try flipping the same with a video showcasing 400 happy families living their daily lives at your project.
19. Be consistent with brand identifiers
Brand awareness in real estate marketing or any other category can be attributed to consistency. Creating a brand identity, logo, font style, voice, tone, etc. that resonates with your company’s values and identity is important. Your branding elements should be clear and consistent in all your communication collaterals, be it in traditional or digital media. Consistency creates a long-lasting effect in the minds of your target audience and they recognise you easily on any platforms that you market on.
20. Have an active social media presence
The power of social media marketing for real estate is largely untapped. Social media can help you get closer to your customers, have meaningful one-to-one conversations and build rapport. It is important that your marketing strategy involves the use of social media channels. If your customers use social media like Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, you must be present on that platform to engage with them. Using tracking tools like insights, hashtags, etc. will help you measure engagement and conversion levels on these social media platforms.
21. Create a system for referral sales
As mentioned in tip 11, potential customers trust existing happy customers. Create a referral reward system for your existing customers to refer future home buyers to you. If your existing customers are happy with you, they will anyway spread good word-of-mouth amidst their friends, family and colleagues. If you incentivise this action of theirs with something truly valuable – it could be a gift in kind or cash or a holiday package – they’ll be more likely to refer you a potential customer who already has a high buy-in, thanks to the existing customer.
22. Give something back to society
It is no secret that people like to associate with businesses that care about the society and who are ready to help for a larger cause. It could be anything like empowering underprivileged children with education, helping cancer patients or even an abandoned animals’ shelter. Real estate marketing must encompass a larger cause than just profit; because people like to alleviate their inner guilt by doing their bit for the society. One way for customers to give back to society is by associating with a business that cares.
23. Utilise a CRM software and Marketing Automation tool
Using a spreadsheet like MS Excel to keep track of leads, interactions with potential customers, their individual stage of their buying journey, etc. can be tedious and confusing. Instead, using a CRM and marketing automation software like Hubspot can help you organise leads in an efficient manner and keep you ahead of the game! You’ll never forget to follow-up with a potential customer after two weeks or send that important contract bang on time. Additionally, such softwares have in-built tagging, filters and host of other features for customer segmentation, tracking, etc. Large data when stored in a systematic way keeps things organised for years to come.
24. The Golden Circle theory
Simon Sinek, an ex-advertising executive turned organisational consultant once said in a TED Talk, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” This stands true for real estate marketing as well.
Simon Sinek's Golden Circle has 3 rings:
The Inner Ring – Why – Explains the purpose of your company
The Middle Ring – How – Explains how to propose to fulfil that purpose via differentiation
The Outer Ring – What – Explains what product/service are you selling to make the ‘how’ happen
How about we take a look at Simon himself explaining the idea. Watch the video below -
In real estate, every company is selling a flat or commercial space or luxury villa. A few are differentiating that product via a true unique selling proposition (USP). But a handful of companies actually know the purpose of their company’s existence – one that transcends beyond their products and/or services, a greater cause or belief that the company stands for.
25. Stay in touch, always
Staying in touch with your old customers is a rare & highly effective real estate marketing strategy. Sending them a sapling on their birthday with a greeting message, or chocolates on their anniversary can be one of the few ways to give that personal touch. These are small ways to acknowledge and show that you want to maintain a long-term relationship. Also, it keeps you top-of-mind in their mental map, and when they want to buy another flat or move into a larger one or refer a friend, chances are bright your sales desk will get a call or e-mail.
Getting the most out of your real estate marketing requires discipline, planning and consistency. Sustained efforts can help you build a robust marketing methodology which will increase your chances of getting better quality leads, save money, and grow better even in the face of stiff competition.
Planning, implementing and executing the above tips in a systematic way will definitely boost your website and its marketing thus helping your business soar to greater heights.