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Marketing 101 for Real Estate Agents

July 10 2022

hsnap what makes successful agentDo you have a pulse on the latest trends in marketing for real estate agents? Don't feel bad if your answer is "no." You already have a lot on your plate, and being an expert in marketing in addition to real estate may not be high on your priority list. That's ok! We'll give you a crash course in the basics so you can create a marketing plan and start generating leads in your sleep.

There are three main areas to focus on: discoverability, repetition and positive social proof. We'll cover what each means and why it's important, as well as provide actionable takeaways based on our own firsthand experience in marketing for real estate agents.

Discoverability

What it is

Discoverability is being easily found online. Yes, online. No one is looking through a phonebook anymore to locate an ad or phone number. Buyers and sellers are turning to Google to research agents and learn about their business. Specifically, they are looking for a Google business profile and your real estate website.

If you haven't heard of a Google business profile, it's like a living resume that sits to the right of search results. It takes up major real estate on the page, and consumers have become used to looking through the profile—at photos, reviews and bio information—to learn more about businesses.

Why it's important

Do you really exist if you aren't on Google? We aren't joking! More than 90% of organic searches happen on Google. If someone has a few agents they are researching and can't find you on America's largest search engine, why bother looking for you elsewhere (and where else would they even look)? It's imperative to your business that you are easily discoverable on Google and that the information presented is accurate, up to date and plentiful so you leave no doubts in the minds of those researching you.

What to do right now

Claim, verify and create your Google business profile. This is one of those marketing tactics that won't just pay off now, but builds over time for tremendous benefits in the future. Our research shows that after just six months of regularly updating your profile (with new reviews, photos and content posts weekly), your appearance in search results can increase by as much as 22x!

If you don't have even a basic real estate website, that should be the second action you take. A very good website will yield tremendous benefits. With good SEO, it will show up high in search results. Even without good SEO, you can link to it from your Google business profile.

Repetition

What it is

In some ways, this is the opposite of discoverability because you are proactively getting in front of buyers and/or sellers on a regular basis. This is typically accomplished using always-on digital ads that target your farm area and a custom audience that includes leads, prospects and your sphere. You could also achieve repetition by continuously sending postcards to the same neighborhoods. Whichever tactics you choose, the key here is setting aside a budget that will allow you to advertise repeatedly so your brand stays top of mind for your target audience.

Why it's important

Do you notice specific brands following you around the internet or always appearing in your social media feed? You must strive to be one of these brands! Repetition improves memory. The next time someone from your audience is ready to start their real estate journey (or knows someone else who is), you'll come to mind immediately.

What to do right now

Get your digital marketing machine running. Determine a single platform to start. We recommend Facebook given its wide reach, highly engaged user base and advanced advertising capabilities. You can set your ads to run continuously and cap your budget at a daily max so you don't run out of money too soon (which can happen easily if you aren't experienced on this ad platform). Facebook has flexible click-through options, so you can collect lead information on a form or send clickers to a specific landing page, like an active listing.

Positive Social Proof

What it is

Social proof is essentially validation from other people's experiences with the same product or service based on information they provide, such as through reviews or testimonials. Think about the last time you bought something from Amazon. If you haven't purchased that product before and don't recognize the seller, you may have scrolled to the reviews to see if other purchasers say the product is low or high quality. The overall trend of reviews—positive or negative—is social proof.

Why it's important

Positive social proof gives you credibility, while negative comments could go so far as slowing or even ruining your business.

As an example, if someone wants to work with you, they will more than likely read reviews that others have left about you online. If they see a pattern of positive experiences, they will feel more confident in moving forward with working with you. If there is negative social proof, then you can say goodbye—93% of people admit that online reviews influence their decision.

What to do right now

No social proof can be just as damaging to your brand as negative social proof. If you don't have any reviews online, get started right away. This is made easier after following our first recommendation (claiming your Google business profile). You can then share your profile link with past clients, colleagues and friends who can give you five stars along with a written professional or character reference. Google is the most important location to build up reviews on, as there's a high likelihood that this will be the first destination for most buyers and sellers when they start their real estate research.

To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.