Updated: Oct 6
It’s somewhat natural for real estate agents to use the same old marketing tools when acquiring new clients and to or promoting their listings. However, when you aren’t up to date on the latest and greatest marketing trends, you could be missing out on meaningful ways to reach your clients.
The challenge for real estate agents today, is that today’s consumer is constantly exposed to new channels of communication. We’re talking about outside of real estate. The way other sectors are reaching people sets expectations and influences for how customers prefer to receive information.
As a result, real estate agents should keep an ear to the ground and an eye to changing marketing trends so they can reach buyers and sellers more effectively.
The Marketing is Shifting: Are you On-board?
2020 will see increased competition with new, tech savvy agents who understand how to communicate more effectively with today’s consumer. They will be successful in grabbing online leads, because creating social media posts is second nature to them. You must create a unique value proposition (UVP) that will resonate with your audience, so you don’t lose business to the agent with more bells and whistles. Using marketing trends, you allow your real estate experience to shine, because most trends are content and customer service focused. Here are some of the hottest new marketing trends that you should know about now and how to use them to define your UVP.
Marketing Trend #1: Overcoming Facebook Changes
Demand for privacy and fears of discrimination forced Facebook to instill stricter ad regulations. These restrictions include targeting which no longer allows for demographics such as age, ethnicity, and income. Targeting has long been one of the main attractions to Facebook ads, but with these restrictions some agents are not sure how to remain effective. To ensure your Facebook ads are still working for you, consider these do’s and don’ts:
Don’t lie: Facebook asks you if you are creating a real estate ad. You might be tempted to say no so you can get around the new rules. However, your ad will be taken down as Facebook uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify housing ads.
Do use interests/special ads category: Since age, ethnicity and income are out, replace them to get even more specific using interests. This helps qualify potential leads to better suit your needs.
Don’t use cell phone images: Images attract customers, so never use cellphone images for your ads. Always spring for pro photos.
Do optimize your copy: The better focused your copy, the more your ad will stand out from the competition.
These tips will help fine tune your targets and create more noticeable ads to reach your audience.
Marketing Trend #2: Embracing Video
Although video takes time, 2020 is going to be a MUST-HAVE video year. Today’s consumers not only expect to see video, but also enjoy video more than reading. It allows you to engage your audience in a more meaningful way to introduce your knowledge, personality and what separates you from the crowd. Considering that 96 percent of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, information sharing videos can make a big difference. You can also incorporate video into your social media pages giving you more bang for your buck including:
Instagram videos linking to your bio or stories.
Facebook videos that tag local businesses to get more local traffic.
LinkedIn videos to provide more local traction and attract more local traffic.
YouTube using a channel dedicated to buying and selling tips not just virtual tours, to expand your overall content selection.
Video will make it easier for leads to engage with your content and be more likely to reach out.
Marketing Trend #3: Using Bots to Improve Your Reaction Time
Slow reaction times can kill your real estate business. In fact, according to a recent survey 82 percent of consumers expect to hear back immediately for their sales related questions and 90 percent for their customer service inquiries. A good way to keep up is to use “chatbots” to help you manage prospects. Bots use AI to auto respond for standard questions, so people feel they are being served more effectively. They can even help you pre-qualify prospects with a few carefully chosen questions.
While bots exist on many social media platforms, they can also be added to your website. The important thing to remember is that real estate agents in the flesh or at least via a live voice is still more effective. Therefore, you should limit bot use to key roles including:
Offering and sending free reports, newsletters and other useful information
Gartner predicts 2020 will find customers interacting with chatbots for as much as 85 percent of their contact. When you can address these areas immediately, you are helping people with initial inquiries, so they see you care and are committed to their needs.
Marketing Trend #4: Learning to Use Google Affinity Audiences
Google affinity audiences cluster user groups allowing you to target people with like interests and purchase behaviours. Google will be using these audiences for their Google search tool, which means you will have an advantage over many agents when it comes to SEO. Affinity audiences expand your prospecting campaigns so you can reach people focused on finding information earlier on in the buying or selling phase. You can capture leads which are primed to be nurtured so when they come closer to taking action you are top of mind.
Marketing Trend #5: Getting Comfy with Inbound Marketing Techniques
Inbound marketing has become the lead generation tool preferred by many businesses today. It offers prospects something of value first, instead of instantly trying to ask for business. Although it is still not used in real estate as often as it should be, it can be a crucial selling tool to connect with today’s consumer in a more meaningful way. To effectively leverage inbound marketing techniques, you must:
Create branded content with a local focus featuring you as the expert
Incorporate the use of landing pages for each of your ads with chat bots to help pre-qualify leads
Have an email marketing strategy so you can nurture leads such as a free newsletter, so you keep contact over the long-term
These strategies help you use the old school “sales funnel” approach, while adding modern tactics such as free content to help nurture leads and finally convert them.
Targeting and relevancy are key for real estate marketing today. Prove yourself useful to the right target by remaining engaging, informative and even a touch entertaining, and you will begin to see better results.