As a business that relies heavily on face-to-face interactions with potential clients, the real estate industry has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With stay-at-home orders and social distancing protocols being strictly implemented in most states, potential property buyers have shied away from checking out listings in person, which is a pretty bitter pill to swallow for a real estate professional.
Many realtors saw the limitations due to the pandemic as an opportunity to shift gears. Challenges and lost opportunities aside, real estate operations have been turning to digital marketing to navigate this most challenging year.
Real estate brokers creating digital content, making sure they have their web design essentials down pat, and establishing their social media presence are becoming more common than ever.
Digital marketing has impacted real estate in 2020 and is bound to become even more essential to the industry in the coming year. Here are some digital marketing strategies to boost your real estate business in 2021.
Improve Your Website
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to create a website for their business, then forget about making it as functional and optimized as possible to get the best results.
Given that most potential buyers these days are leaning more towards scouring the Internet for property listings that might interest them, you will need a well-designed website to get their attention.
By a well-designed website, we don’t just mean a visually striking one. It also needs to be easy to navigate, fast-loading, and have quality content, among other things.
Your website also needs to be optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization or SEO remains the best way to lead prospective buyers to your site and give you the leads you need.
You should also optimize your website for mobile. With 81 percent of U.S. adults owning smartphones, no business should ever ignore mobile users in their marketing.
Boost Your Social Media Presence
Have you been using your real estate business’ social media accounts as nothing more than a personal classified ads section before the pandemic?
If so, it’s time to step up your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn game, as more and more people are taking to social media than ever before.
Social media has always been big long before the pandemic, but it just got bigger when COVID-19 started upending everyone’s lives.
So, instead of merely putting up your listings on social media, invest more time and effort in creating and sharing compelling content to make your social media presence more dynamic.
No idea what to post on social media? Here are a few suggestions:
- Polls and quizzes
- Contests and giveaways
- Real estate customer success stories
- Photos of neighborhoods of your property listings
- Tips for first-time homebuyers
- Customer testimonials
- Real estate memes
- Real estate industry news
- Home design and renovation tips
- Information about discounts and offers
- Professionally-shot videos of new listings
- Local business and community events
- Fun and interesting facts about real estate
- Inspirational quotes
The above suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media post ideas. Put them up regularly and help increase your real estate business’ visibility, lead generation, and brand recognition.
Host Virtual Home Tours
In a world being ravaged by a pandemic, virtual home tours have become a viable way of reaching potential buyers.
With in-person home tours becoming problematic these days, virtual home tours offer an opportunity for realtors to show off the properties they’ve got to prospective buyers without compromising the health and safety of everyone involved.
Once you create virtual tours, share them on your website and social media channels to potential buyers and allow them to see your listings in the best light without asking them to show up on-site.
Use Aerial Drones
Virtual tours are great for showing the inside of the properties you’re selling, but what about the neighborhood, which plays a crucial role in people’s home-buying decisions?
With neighborhood tours in separate vehicles out of the question due to pandemic-related restrictions, what would be the best way to show off access to local businesses, infrastructure, markets, schools, medical facilities, and amenities to prospective buyers of any given property?
The answer is aerial drones, which capture images that show properties in their entirety, from their layout to their context with their surroundings.
Couple them with virtual tours and your aerial drone pictures and videos should help you showcase your listings inside and out to potential buyers.
If you’re considering using drones for your real estate marketing efforts, know that your two best options would be to become a drone pilot yourself or hire professional aerial drone photography services for the job.
Email marketing may be one of the oldest tricks in the digital marketing book, but its effectiveness has never waned through the years.
It is one of the most effective digital marketing options available, as it generates an ROI of 3,800%.
So, if you’re a realtor and you haven’t been giving your email list a lot of attention, there is no better time to launch email marketing campaigns than now.
With most of your potential clients cooped up in their homes, sending them regular email updates about your listings as well as discounts and promos they can avail of helps you stay in touch, pandemic notwithstanding.
By personally engaging your prospective buyers through email marketing, you are letting them know that you’re still there to help them find the perfect house, even as COVID-19 rages on.
It’s easy to think that for a business that had been so dependent on in-person consultations, events, print media ads, and word-of-mouth marketing for the longest time, the jump to digital marketing would be a difficult one.
However, many real estate businesses had already taken to implementing digital marketing strategies long before the pandemic and are continuing to take advantage of them when the coronavirus took over the world.
With 2020 setting the stage for more widespread use of digital marketing strategies for real estate, we can only expect them to become the “new normal” for most real estate professionals come 2021.
About the Author
Gabby Klesser is the Outreach Manager for LA Website Design, a digital marketing agency that has assembled a team of expert web designers and digital marketing strategists. She often writes about web design, UX, social media, technology, marketing, and starting a non-profit.