How to Take Your Real Estate Operations Online

How to Take Your Real Estate Operations Online

The world has become increasingly virtual with pandemic restrictions worldwide making it more and more difficult for us to leave the house. Without access to our typical outlets – restaurants and bars, movie theatres or even the houses of our family and loved ones – most of us have been inclined to move our lives online. This sociological movement and its psychological impacts have encouraged many companies to create a more sophisticated digital marketing strategy and consistent social media presence. 

Since real estate is an industry that has been around for decades which typically relied upon traditional marketing tactics to reach its target audience, many realtors have not made the shift to online marketing tactics. With open house closures switching to live streams and online ads walking through the blueprint of your dream home, marketing material must be included on the web to maximize the reach of our target audience. 

Realtors must present themselves on as many digital marketing platforms as possible to reach quality leads, securing new clients and selling homes to keep business running well during the pandemic. Keep reading to learn more about some of our favorite ways to do so.

Be Present on Social Media

According to the National Association of Realtors, social media is critical in gaining brand awareness among new and converting clients and closing deals. Did you know that according to SproutSocial, 99% of millennials – yes 99%! – started their new home search online? This staggering statistic shows the importance of online marketing, especially social media, in showcasing our homes today. Real estate is having a major moment here.

For realtors today, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are the most important platforms to elevate online presence. If you have not registered for these platforms where your audience is most likely to be found, be sure to take a second to do so. Start by creating a regular posting strategy on each platform, ensuring that you are creating content that helps your audience understand your unique selling proposition or what makes you the ideal realtor for their needs. 

If you are stuck on what to post, find a happy medium in a mix of curated and ‘raw’ content that showcases who YOU are. Don’t forget about updates regarding the latest listings and relevant news in the real estate industry that your clients should know. 

  1. On Facebook, post listing updates, book appointments and secure reviews that give a glimpse into you as a business owner. 
  2. On LinkedIn, optimize your profile to detail your experience and curate blog articles that discuss insights into the industry. 
  3. On Instagram, focus on video, Instagram Stories and IGTV to give more of an interactive view into properties. This is where a listing can truly shine!
  4. Pinterest isn’t always the first area that clients think of when searching for real estate, being unconventional can help you to stand out. Consider the unique idea of creating boards for various listings. 

Don’t forget to advertise – a little budget will go a long way once you become more intimately aware of your target market and their needs.

Use High-Quality Photos

Never underestimate the importance of creating a cohesive visual presence across all social media platforms. While video is found to generate 12x as many shares as text and images combined, the brain also responds incredibly quickly to photos. According to Medium, the right image is also 10x as likely to get engagement than a simple post with copy. But with the social media space inundated with beautiful feeds today, it is important to create a strategy around the images that we post.

First, think about the content that will resonate with your target audience and how it can be relayed as a photographic collection online. This is especially on Instagram as all images and videos will be seen together in a grid, so planning is necessary. We love tools like Planoly that allow users to manage, plan and schedule the right content, all under one helpful platform. But let’s go back to basics.

If you don’t consider yourself an artistic director or a photography master, don’t fret. With the rise of the incredible cameras on our cell phones today, we can capture beautiful images with a little planning. The creative eye is not even critical as long as a little planning goes into the photoshoot! But ensure that the photos are not blurry and remember the rule-of-thirds, or dividing up an image based on two vertical and two horizontal lines into thirds, with the main or focus subject in the middle. Playing around with the camera to capture listings beautifully will save you from hiring a photographer and offer a wide range of content that you can use across other digital and traditional marketing mediums, too.

Some other common secrets for realtors looking to create that strong visual presence online include showcasing a neighborhood tour of current or upcoming neighborhoods where listings are prominent, offering teasers of what’s to come and creating quote posts to mix up the feed and offer some tips, tricks and insights into the industry. 

Think Flyers

While the first thing that may come to mind are the pieces of paper that inundate your mailbox regularly, the one that was always thrown into the trash, think again. The digital flyer has become popular, offering a large scope of information about your properties. Mix clever and captivating copywriting with sharp images to offer an approach to listings that many other realtors haven’t even considered! Simply put, flyers can present information in a small space in an attention-grabbing way.

If you are stuck on where to start, PosterMyWall created a unique category for realtor flyers after identifying the importance of creating content that tells a story through beautiful imagery and text. With over 1,300 customizable templates in both image and video format, the company has developed a format that encourages both individuals and businesses to take graphic design by the reigns… and do it themselves!

PosterMyWall - Reach Clients Online Easily

Go Virtual

Virtual tours have become a commonly used tool among the most tech-savvy realtors, but not every realtor has the know-how to do it effectively. It is important for realtors today to stay up-to-date about the newest forward-thinking technologies, like 3D tours and automation, to give themselves an edge online. While listing videos are not interactive, virtual tours have the power to take the viewer into the home as if they are touring it in person. This is especially important during COVID-19, where it is often next-to-impossible to hold an open house. 

Zillow offers a helpful 3D home app that can assist realtors to make a virtual tour easily. Simply pull out your smartphone or 360-degree camera (recommended), select room type and capture the perfect panorama. Depending on the size of the house, the entire process generally takes between half an hour to one hour. While virtual tours used to capture mainly a younger, technologically savvy audience, now they are being leveraged by realtors for anyone looking to purchase a new place that cannot access it in person. Creating a tour will give you a major one-up on your competitors!

Create Content that Drives Traffic

Not only is it important to prioritize regular and consistent posting on social media, but also to create valuable blog content that will drive traffic to the website. This content should be shared on all social media platforms, but it should also be disseminated elsewhere. Other third-party platforms where blog content sharing is welcomed include but are not limited to MediumReddit and email marketing.

How Do I Start?

Digital marketing is a key component of a successful real estate career and in our digital society today, it’s obvious that it is here to stay. Start by planning ahead with a marketing strategy, considering the platforms where you would like to garner a presence and consider how you will stand out in optimizing them. Your journey will be unique to you but don’t forget to foster the power of platforms where your audience finds themselves frequenting most often. Track your progress, get creative and enjoy the journey.