A study published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University estimates that nearly 1.2 million new households are likely to be formed every year between 2018 and 2028 in the US alone. The numbers are equally impressive for the UK and the rest of the world.
From a real estate agent’s perspective, each of these households presents a profitable business opportunity. But here is the thing - the real estate agent market is still a decade behind many other industries in terms of technology adoption. Agents still primarily depend on aggregator marketplaces like Realtor, Zillow and Trulia to find clients.
This marketing strategy is not only outdated, but also inefficient since it pits you directly against competitors. There are other ways to effectively reach prospective clients online. Here is a short guide on how to go about this.
Identifying buyer patterns
The first step in the process is understanding your client’s buying patterns. Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of real estate buyers - people who buy to move in, and those who invest. The factors that go into the buying decision can be different for these two groups. For instance, an investor may want to buy property at an upcoming neighborhood so that they may ‘buy low, and sell high’. An end-user, on the other hand, may like to purchase property based on existing amenities like transport and proximity to work district and schools.
It is a good idea to focus on one of these buying groups. You may also choose to filter your buying group further and focus on a smaller niche. For instance, end-users include clients who move into a new city for work. There are others who are moving in after getting married. You may target one of these smaller niches for your marketing campaigns.
This way, you may invest all your marketing budget on platforms that appeal to this target group.
Investing in the right lead generation platforms
The next step is in targeting online platforms and communities that appeal to your target group. Clients who move into your city for work often do so with the help of a career consultant or recruiting agency. In such cases, you may tie up with recruiting firms to help their clients find homes easily in the new city.
On the other hand, clients who are seeking properties for investment purposes are likely to make use of services like Mashvisor to analyze and compare various assets on sale. Targeting such users in your marketing campaign can help you find a highly motivated set of buyers who want to invest in real estate.
Set up a marketing or sales funnel
Depending on your target group, you have to establish an appropriate sales or marketing funnel. If you are targeting the inventory category of customers, you may set up a mailing list where you share details of the latest property in your inventory. This is highly relevant to the prospect and keeps them engaged with your offerings. Tools like BenchmarkEmail and Automizy have sophisticated features to help you automate this part of your campaign.
Your strategies might change if you are targeting an end-user customer. In such cases, customers often have to make decisions faster. Nurturing your customers over email marketing may thus be impractical. In such cases, set up a sales funnel where outreach and closure are much quicker.
Building online visibility
Unlike many other industries, real estate brokering often deals with one-time customers in a handful of neighborhoods. Building online visibility and authority for your business may thus be unnecessary. However, there are other reasons why you should focus on building an online presence.
Real estate buyers often tend to research extensively on the neighborhood and the market they are buying into. Considering that the search terms tend to focus on very specific neighborhoods, there are also noticeably few avenues to get authoritative information from.
Your real estate brokerage firm may thus focus on creating an online destination that exhaustively covers your neighborhood. This allows you to build a large pool of prospects interested in your listings. Website visitors could be engaged with the help of web push notifications, remarketing ads and the lead details of prospective buyers may be captured from here for further nurturing and conversion.
Are you a real estate firm capturing clients online? Share your secrets and tips in the comments.