In any real estate agent's marketing strategy, your online presence is a valuable component since most of your real estate online market want and need information about you--conveniently and quickly--thus, their first recourse is turn to the internet. This is the top reason why real estate professionals like you must learn to harness the capabilities and features of online marketing in order to meet these needs of your potential customers. As a matter of fact, in the 2014 edition of NAR's Profiles of Home Buyers and Sellers, they reported that 43% of buyers first found their home online, that 76% of internet home buyers physically viewed the homes they found online, and 92% of home buyers use online sources as a veritable supply of homes that meets their needs and desires. With all these statistics, it simply proves how important an effective online marketing strategy is for real estate professionals like you.
In this field guide, you will be introduced to the basic and not so basic online marketing tactics, apps, and software that each real estate agent should know when it comes to marketing to their real estate online market. Each of these tactics and software will be explained in detail to help you better grasp, understand, apply, and use them.
6 Online Marketing Tactics for Real Estate Agents
- Join Forums And Become An Active Member - when we say an active member, try to answer questions and provide insightful, helpful, and useful inputs. And when you join forums, try to be specific to the area where you are selling or else the effort goes to waste. One special forum that we recommend is the City-Data.com, it is a huge forum where lots of people all over the world posts questions. The site also has city specific or state specific sub-forums. Another special place to up your credibility as a real estate agent is at Quora where you can post helpful answers to questions related to relocating, selling, and home buying.
- Utilize Beautiful Cover Photos - Look at this site for example, OcalaPlaces.com, the cover photo simply captures the essence of the site. It makes online visitors want to jump right into a plane and visit the place. This is how your real estate cover photo should epitomize too--instantly lure and capture your potential buyers by igniting desire. Make them want to live in that place! Cover photos can be used in a variety of ways from your Facebook Pages/Profiles, LinkedIn, and even in your websites.
- Ask Previous Customers for Reviews and Join Top Home Listing Networks - There are plenty of home listing networks online that it makes real estate professionals' heads spin. The top four sites are Movoto.com, homes.com, trulia.com, and Zillow.com. Among these four home listing networks, Zillow leads the pack garnering over 16 million global visits a month--just imagine the pool of real estate online market that you can tap. What this means is that, majority of the potential buyers in your area are using Zillow, so make the most out of this home listing network. Further, if you receive praises from your current and previous customers, you can request them to please leave their glowing feedback online, particularly at Zillow. With positive reviews on these home listing networks, you are boosting potential buyers' confidence on your capability as a real estate agent.
- Capture Emails - so what's the point of having all these online marketing strategies in place if you have no way of contacting this pool of real estate online market? In order to contact your leads, do so by capturing their email addresses. There are many ways to do this, you can ask a web developer to create pop-up sign-up pages to capture your potential buyers' email addresses. In return, provide your subscribers with useful information like a newsletter or even an eBook on a guide to home buying--this helps in boosting people's interest to sign-up so you can get their contact information in exchange.
- Create Local Content - I am sure that you have heard this saying online over and over again, "Content is King." Since through content, possible home buyers' interests are piqued especially if you are providing useful content to them. Newbie homebuyers are more likely to be interested in reading about selling and buying homes. While people who want to relocate are likely to be interested in your location's school system, neighborhoods, crime statistics, events, and fun facts.
- Use Responsive Web Design - we already know that the internet is a pool of real estate online market; you need to make your web design accessible to them. When it comes to a responsive web design this means that your website can be displayed properly no matter what type of device your viewer is using--be it a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. This way, you never lose a prospect with a lousy web interface. Further, studies have also shown that websites with a more responsive web design have higher rates of sales and conversion.
So these are the basics when it comes to real estate marketing strategies for real estate professionals. Now, let's take a look on the various online tools and apps that will help your life as a real estate agent more convenient while you are on the go.
5 Real Estate Agent's Tools to Streamline Processes
Many of the real estate agents these days are more occupied of thoughts on how to get leads that they tend to overlook key business processes that becomes future bottlenecks to completing deals quickly and harmoniously. This then leads to frustrated and irritated home buyers. As a professional real estate agent, we all know the gazillions of paper works that needs to be done and there are already innovative technologies, devices, and apps that help speed up and smoothen out the process. Without further ado, here they are...
- Cloud Storage - cloud storage is a wonderful software that allows you to store files on the cloud, which means that you can access these files wherever and whenever you need to. When you have uploaded the files, with an internet connection, and saved it you can now access it anytime anywhere with or without internet connection. You can also share files and folders to designated people like clients and team members, instantly. You can also create shared files and folders to be edited by the people you share with or just let them view it. Google Docs is a free cloud storage service and if you need more storage space, you would need to pay extra. Other cloud storage apps are Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and others.
- Mortgage Calculator App - there are plenty of free mortgage calculator apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet. These mortgage calculator apps help you to instantly provide an approximate cost or value of a mortgage home. Since, one of the top concerns of buyers are the cost of the property, this mortgage calculator app comes in handy in providing a near cost estimate, by doing so you are preventing any future frustrations when it comes to the price of the house.
- Virtual Tours - virtual tours are video like photos of the real estate property you are trying to sell. By having virtual tours on your home listings you easily provide would-be homebuyers a life-like tour of the home without leaving the confines of their home. This makes it very appealing to them and convenient which leads to better conversions and sales. If you don't know how to create virtual tours, there are plenty of virtual tour apps online like Pixeet, PrestigeVisions, VirtualTourApp, and so much more.
- Electronic Document Signing - with an electronic document signing, it ensures a secure and legally binding document made, done, and sent online. Now, you eliminate the hassle of going to and from your customer's homes just to drop off or pickup documents to be signed. Examples of these electronic document signing apps are Docusign, Hellosign, e-signatures by Adobe, and many more.
- Real Estate CRM - there are real estate CRM apps (where CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management) that automate your real estate marketing efforts to help you focus on the real money-making activities of your real estate business. Real estate CRM software allows you to store files, listing photos, sales document that are accessible on a wide variety of devices. You can customize real estate CRM apps to fit your businesses' needs plus publish and send out marketing collateral. But most of all, it helps you track the open rate of emails to leads, track leads who filled a contact form on your site, and even identify various leads from your marketing strategies.
We hope that you have learned a lot from this detailed field guide to managing your real estate online market. If you like what you have read here, then we invite you to come and visit us at Local Realty Service.