Use Digital Marketing to Grow Your Real Estate Business in 2019
The way people shop for houses has changed dramatically in the last decade. Instead of starting a house search in a real estate professional’s office, most consumers turn to the Internet to search for properties that meet their criteria. In many cases, they can even tour the house without leaving their living room.
While this can seem threatening to an established real estate agent, it also opens up a number of marketing possibilities for those who are willing to adapt to this new reality. In fact, digital marketing for real estate can help you reach home buyers and sellers you won’t ever come into contact with otherwise.
As we enter 2019, it’s time to redouble your digital marketing efforts and, perhaps, add a new digital weapon or two to your arsenal.
Using Paid Search to Market Your Real Estate Business
Pay per click (PPC) marketing can yield big results for real estate professionals. This type of marketing works by contracting to have your ads appear on related websites and to users who have previously searched for real estate in your area. Unlike other types of advertising, the beauty of PPC marketing is that you only pay when someone views your ad. The price you pay is determined in advance and is based on the popularity of the keyword(s) you choose.
Virtually all good paid search campaigns will have a geographic component, and the prices of these keywords will vary widely depending on the popularity (and desirability) of the location. For instance, “real estate Beverly Hills” will cost you a lot more than “real estate Oxnard.” It’s important to sit down and define the areas for which you’d like to generate leads before you look at bidding on keywords.
The second component to a successful paid search campaign is being able to convert those site visitors into leads. Between advertising on REALTOR.com, Facebook and in newspapers/print, you may be expecting a high cost per lead. However, Lead Horse recently reached a $15 cost per lead for a local real estate agent – within just the first 2 weeks of working together.
It’s Not All About the Ad, However
Your paid search campaign will get people to visit your website, but it’s up to you to convert them into leads. That means you need a dynamic website with excellent content that makes visitors (in just a few seconds) want to learn more about listing a property or buying a property with you. You also need an effective call to action on each one of your web pages, something like “for more information…” or “to learn more about listing your home with us…”.
The final step of a good paid search campaign is to follow up with those leads and attempt to convert them into clients. Perhaps you’ll want to use an email campaign to remind them periodically of your services. Perhaps, you’ll call or text them a few times. Whatever you decide, you need to have this plan in place before you begin buying ad space. If not, then you’re paying for leads that you’re not equipped to convert and, thus, wasting money.
How Effective SEO Can Drive Leads to your Real Estate Business
Another way to earn leads online is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the art and science of getting your website to appear in the top results of a Google (or other search engine) query. Conventional wisdom dictates that if your company doesn’t appear in the first page (or at least the second page), consumers looking for a real estate company are not going to slog through the hundreds of results to find you.
How do you get that desired ranking? The answer is a collection of actions — and maybe just a spoonful of luck. The best place to begin is with content —good, well-written, regularly-updated, useful content. It’s not an exaggeration to say that if your real estate website is a decade old and you’ve only spent minimal time adding content and updating it since then, then it’s probably doing you more harm than good. Remember, all of your digital marketing efforts drive potential clients to your website. It needs to be a place worth visiting.
Share Great Content
Given that you’ve written great content, you need to write it in such a way that Google (and other search engines) realize its value. In general, that means making that you’ve used a keyword in the title, opening paragraph, subheading and text without overdoing it; created an article of a reasonable length (750-1,000 words); and added links to other of your articles and linked to informative sites about your topic (such as an official city website or a credible site with real estate statistics). It’s also important to your SEO to make sure that your keyword is located within the file name of your images.
Getting other sites to link to your website also helps your SEO efforts. Just a couple of ways to get these links by offering to write guest posts for credible websites (and then including a link to your website) and making sure that you claim, complete and update your profile on review sites like Yelp! and Google Places.
Call Lead Horse Marketing
SEO is an incredibly nuanced area of marketing – doing it yourself can be daunting. In fact, most digital marketing strategies can be difficult to implement them if they are not your bread and butter.
We don’t expect you to be digital marketing experts – that’s our job. Your job is to sell houses.
Selling and buying homes, negotiating real estate deals and making sure that both the buyer and seller are pleased with a transaction are your skills. That’s why it’s important to choose a digital marketing partner who can help you tap the potential of the online marketplace.
At Lead Horse Marketing, we’ve worked with a number of real estate clients, so we know the opportunities and challenges you face. In fact, we created our business to help savvy real estate professionals make the most of new technology. We’ve developed an entire suite of services tailored specifically for the real estate industry.
To learn more about our services and how we can help you grow your real estate business in 2019, contact Lead Horse today!