Internet marketing plays a vital part in the home buying process. 20 years ago, if you were looking to move, you’d head into your town to a high-street agent, sit down with a cup of coffee, and look at what they had to offer.
Now, budding buyers can access thousands of properties within seconds. As a result, it’s clear to see the benefits online marketing can bring to the real estate industry. And if you’re not using it to its full potential, it’s safe to say you’re missing out on commission.
Here are the key reasons why the internet is now a major catalyst in a home buyers journey, as well as how you as an agent can incorporate it into your marketing plan to attract, engage and convert more sales leads.
4 Reasons You Should be Marketing Your Business Online
Read on to find out exactly why you should be turning your sights to digital marketing:
1) Property searches start online
The best way to win new clients is catching them at the beginning of their property-buying journey and educating them on what they should be ready for. More and more often, that journey begins on the internet.
In fact, 44% of buyers start their home buying process by searching for properties online, a figure that is higher in metropolitan areas, and a statistic that is growing by the month. And even if they don’t, it’s unarguable that the internet definitely plays a role, with research showing that 95% of homebuyers will use websites throughout the property purchasing process.
Regardless of whether it’s right at the start of their journey or not, they’re going to be looking for advice, help and reviews. If you can be there to answer their questions and address their concerns, you’ll already have an advantage over the competition.
2) Your competitors are already online
About that – your competition. It’s no doubt fierce, and for that reason, you can’t afford for other agents within your market segment to be dominating online market share. 93% of real estate firms have a website, and that means they’re likely using other channels as well.
The good news – it’s not too late for you to throw your hat in the ring. Online marketing success is found in the quality of the content you produce, and you can measure up where you stand by reviewing your competitors’ online marketing channels. These can commonly be found on:
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter)
- Video (YouTube and Vimeo)
- Real estate listing sites
If you notice a competitor presence on any of these channels, look closely at what they’re doing, how successful they are, and learn from it. If you aren’t immediately able to launch headlong into digital marketing and compete with them, at least take note of what they’re doing for future reference.
3) Clients look for digital real estate agents
Marketing online isn’t just for attracting clients – it also helps you to keep in touch with them.
You no doubt understand that the property purchasing process can be confusing, stressful and daunting for many buyers, so you need to find a way of providing leads and clients with the information they need – as well as a means of getting in touch with you easily.
Although they could turn up at your doorstep or give you a call, there are other ways of communicating that they may well prefer. Messaging tools such as WhatsApp are growing in popularity among real estate agents, as they offer a free, instant means of contacting people. While your phone number might work during business hours, if a client has a quick question that pops into their head in the evening, you need to give them a way to ask you about it.
By boosting your presence on social media sites like Facebook, you’ll give your leads and clients plenty of options for getting in touch with you, meaning they can choose their preference. When 53% of home buyers rate technological capabilities with an agent as “very important”, it’s not something you can afford to miss out on.
In fact, if you don’t provide your leads with a means of digital communication, it’s going to send the message to them that you haven’t adapted to new technological advances. In this day and age, an assumption like that can be fatal to your business, especially since your clients will expect you to be reacting quickly to market changes.
One great first step to boosting your online communication is setting up a contact page on your website that includes an “always available” form. Alternatively, you can drive leads to send you messages on social media.
4) People talk about you on the internet
You might not be online, but chances are your audience are. And while they’re talking amongst themselves, they’re also discussing experiences and posting reviews. For many prospective clients, it’s these conversations and reviews that are helping them decide whether or not to work with you. One report even found that 49% of home buyers find an agent’s online rating important.
It doesn’t matter whether these reviews are good or bad – obviously you’d like them to be positive, but you need to be part of the conversation regardless. Thank any clients that leave good reviews, and address the concerns presented within any that don’t. Be careful to remain civil – simply apologise for them being dissatisfied with your service, and ask politely how you can improve in future or correct the mistake.