Real estate brokers and agents, we need a moratorium on the random tweeting and Facebook sharing of your latest listings — no one is seeing them and it’s not generating revenue. It’s time to embrace innovative digital marketing strategies for your brokerage and its agents and today I’m delivering the top real estate digital marketing tactics for 2016. Why? Because I’m tired of digital marketing getting a bad rap in the real estate industry. In reality, it’s BAD digital marketing that’s to blame for failures in the industry.
Your real estate brokerage is a brand and your agents (who are brands as well) expect you to embrace new ways for the brand to increase its popularity in your area. Agents also look to follow the broker’s lead in terms of the adoption of new marketing tools and tactics. If your marketing in 2015 hasn’t been up to snuff, right now is the time to plan your marketing mastery for 2016.
// I have a new real estate marketing book in the works! //
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Community Meets Digital
As a broker, you play an important role in your community. You are responsible for facilitating the growth of your community through home sales and purchases. It’s important for you to represent this important role online. Many of the tips below speak to how you connect with your community and it’s the most important overarching marketing goal that you should have.
Plan for Digital Marketing Success
As I mentioned earlier, right now is the time to plan your marketing for 2016. Content, marketing automation, and lead generation is going to rule real estate marketing in 2016. And it’s important for your plan to represent an integrated marketing strategy. Since content (blogs, white papers, podcasts) will be the fuel for your marketing engine, we’ll start there…
Blog with Purpose in 2016
Blogging is so much more than sporadic posts once every one or two months. An intentional approach to your blogging efforts is needed in order to make a noticeable impact. This was true in 2015 and it’ll be even more important in 2016. You should make it a goal to blog at least once per week about topics that are dear to the community you serve. For example, if your brokerage serves a beachfront community then you could blog about how to prepare for hurricanes and other weather-related emergencies. Whatever your topic, make sure it’s written with your ideal buyer/seller customer in mind. Also, blog knowing that your blog content will fuel your lead generation efforts (more on this later).
You also need to encourage (maybe even stop right short of demanding) your agents to blog. If they blog, their awareness grows; if their awareness grows, they will close more deals which will help your organization’s bottom line.
Video Video Video
Many would rather look at content rather than read. It’s just the world in which we live. Property tour videos are fine, but let’s take things a step further. There are two video tactics that will rock in 2016: video blogging and long-form (relatively) brand ads.
Video blogging (vlogging) is taking your blog topics and turning them into one to two-minute videos. Power tip: these vlogs can be embedded in your long-form blog posts for better on-site engagement and Google juice!
Long-form real estate brand ads are key to driving home a specific message. While you might be able to get away with a lower quality production for the vlogs, the brand ads must have tip-top quality production. Want to see an example? We wrote and helped produce the brand ad below for Columbus, GA’s top independent real estate brokerage, Waddell Realty, to promote their culture to new agents in the community:
When you combine the power of video with the steady benefits of blogging, then you’re cooking with hot grease.
Online Lead Generation: Email is King
Your blog and video content isn’t just for setting up there and looking pretty after you publish it. You have to promote it (with social media and third-party distributors like Outbrain) and use it for lead generation. You want to be able to calculate an ROI for your internal and outsourced blogging efforts; and there’s no better way to do that than through lead generation. We all know how valuable an interested lead can be in the real estate industry.
If your content is quality, then people need to have access to it! And beyond having access to it, you should give them the opportunity to “pay” for it with their email address. That’s right, you should use your blog posts as a destination for your lead generation efforts. This is not only a tactic for white papers and eBooks, blog posts are fair game too. Later this fall, Nao Media will announce an exciting partnership that will effectively combine the power of blogging with website engagement and lead generation. Contact us today and we’ll tell you a little bit more.
The real estate industry is going to have a field day with marketing automation in 2016. Marketing automation leverages a robust email client to send pre-scheduled messages to contacts stored in a CRM. It’s cool, fun, and must be a necessary part of your real estate digital marketing strategy for 2016. The bottom line is that your ‘dusty’ monthly email newsletter won’t cut the mustard next year (and it’s probably already losing a little steam this year). It’s time to fire up a relationship with a marketing automation solution provider (we can help you here, btw) and prepare to get busy with automation in 2016.
Marketing automation works because email is king and people love learning (and being sold to). If you’re granted access to someone’s inbox, you need to take advantage of (not abuse) the green light you’ve been given. Use marketing automation to start or continue conversations to literally thousands of buyer/seller prospects at one time while you’re handling other aspects of the business. We have a client that’s using marketing automation to virtually manage their lease renewal process for property management. As a broker, you should use marketing automation to educate new residents in the area (or those moving to the area soon) about your local market, attractions, and more. I don’t want to discourage you from blasting your e-newsletter, but it’s time to innovate!
Instagram Your Land
IG is here to stay, y’all. In 2016, brokers will leverage this tool to not necessarily promote listings (I suggest this tactic for agents though) but more to show that they’re active in capturing images of/for their community. Don’t be shocked if you see Bob the Broker flexing Instagram on his iPhone at your area’s hottest attractions. As mentioned earlier, content must be used to feed into your marketing system. Images from Instagram are no different. Feed your images from Instagram into your social media and blog channels.
Periscope, the Twitter-powered app that allows you to broadcast from anywhere, jumped on the scene in 2015 and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Here’s a list of events you and your agents can broadcast to your community and beyond:
- Live property tours
- Open houses
- Buyer reactions at closing/key-giving
- Community events
These are the hot digital marketing tactics that will rock the real estate world next year. Are you ready to do the work that’s needed now for successful real estate digital marketing in 2016? I think you are. EXCITING UPDATE: I just announced that I’m writing a new book on digital marketing for real estate professionals. Sign up for exclusive book updates, tips, and discounts.
:: This post originally appeared on LinkedIn. ::