3 Key Real Estate Marketing Tools
3 Key Tools for Real Estate Marketing
In order to be a successful real estate agent or broker today, it’s critical to take advantage of all available technology. Some technology, however, is more valuable and offers an immediate benefit, when compared with other methods. Recognizing the lifestyle choices of your target market (listings, buyers, commercial, etc) is the first, and likely most important, step in determining what your target responds to, and how you can generate genuine interest in your property listings and create long term customer relationships.
FACT: Your prospects probably have a smartphone. 182 million US consumers have smartphones.
FACT: Top producing agents are taking advantage of smartphones in their real estate marketing.
Over the years, top producing real estate agents have used:
- postcard marketing
- newspaper and periodical advertising
- ‘park bench’ and ‘bus side’ advertising
- neighborhood flyers
- referrals from current clients
to generate leads and find new seller listings and buyers for those listings. Each of these methods served its purpose in the age of telephones, newspapers and magazines, and referrals from current clients is still one of the top methods of generating new leads and securing new clients via real estate marketing.
Real Estate Marketing Tools Meet the “New Technology”
With today’s explosion of new technology, real estate brokers and agents are finding the need to adapt to new technologies and implement them quickly and efficiently.
Michael Hyatt, a wildly successful online marketing teacher and coach, had this to say about websites in a recent webinar –
“If you don’t have a web page, you flat out don’t exist.”
Obviously there are realtors without web sites, and there are definitely realtors without good websites.
Throwing up a website that has a few pictures and a link to the local MLS is NO LONGER ENOUGH. Getting a bargain basement site design that incorporates a bad IDX design doesn’t work either.
But digital real estate marketing is so much more than just a website.
1. The best real estate marketing websites are already out of date if they do not contain a responsive, mobile element.
Mobile engagement, specifically mobile customer engagement is not the wave of the future. It is the way it must be done today. Right now, your prospects are searching for open houses using their iPhone or Android, or perhaps their iPad — while they are driving around in their car, heading to the first open house of the day.
The best real estate marketing web sites have continuity across the desktop/laptop and with smartphones, tablets, and yes, wearables, like the Apple Watch.
Contextual messaging – this should be the first priority when looking for real estate marketing platforms. Are you able to determine where a prospect is and send relevant messages to their iPhone or iPad while they are looking at properties? Can you suggest alternate properties in their price range, in comparable neighborhoods, once they have left their home or your office? Are you able to push relevant information about a property they are viewing while they are standing in their potential new home?
Solid mobile marketing strategies must include this ability. If not, prospects will make a connection with another real estate broker or agent who can do this, and they will end up with the sale.
2. “Always On” Updates to iPhone
The ability to update in real time as property listings change is a relatively recent, but super important opportunity to really connect with prospects and to impress homeowners who have listings with you.
If a house you’re listing receives an offer, pushing an announcement to other interested prospects — letting them know there has been an offer, and giving them the chance to counter – IN REAL TIME, demonstrates a use of technology that generates more excitement and interest for everyone involved than sending out emails or contacting other agents to spread the word.
The ONLY way to accomplish this is to get your listings directly into the iPhone or other smartphone of prospective buyers and their agents.
3. Simple Method for Real Estate Marketing Lead Generation
Great, you’re likely saying at this point! But HOW DO THE PROSPECTS GET THIS INFORMATION ON THEIR PHONE?!?
Prospective buyers, or other agents, can get this information on their phone with two clicks. That’s right. Two. There’s zero need to create and produce an app (and if you’ve got any experience with apps, you KNOW how hard it is to get people to use them more than once) — that’s a marketing cost that produces a negative ROI.
Apple Wallet (formerly Passbook) and Google Wallet are native apps – meaning they are designed and maintained by Apple and Google, NOT BY YOU. Consumers always have up to date versions, they have security and privacy at the top level, and the technology works. Without any additional effort on your part.
When you include a link to the property listing pass on your real estate website, or in your email marketing to existing clients, prospects and cold marketing efforts, you immediately turn this potential buyer into a HOT PROSPECT. They demonstrate an interest in your property, and you gain the ability to communicate with them in real time.
Include these links in your social media marketing, add the QR codes to your realtor postcards (yes, we know that almost all realtors are still doing this), or any other print media advertising for realtors that you produce.
Prospects add the property listing to their iPhone in two clicks. Once they’ve added the pass, 90% of people do not delete them.
You can update the listings, send out notices of offers, price reductions or additional information.
Once the property is taken out of inventory, you can update the passes with new listings in comparable areas, convert the pass to a “business card” or send educational or other promotional updates via the back of the pass. Include live links to your real estate website, offer giveaways or other incentives directly from the pass, and more.
Passes are updated in real time. So your information is pushed to the prospect as soon as you have updated. Apple Watch owners get the updates directly to their Apple Watch. iPhone owners get the information, including the live links, immediately, including lock screen notifications.