In our experience, few industries are as competitive as real estate marketing. Some markets are undeniably more competitive than others, but overall, there are about 2 million active real estate licensees and 86,004 real estate brokerage firms operating in the United States. To succeed in this dog-eat-dog world, real estate agencies need to be current in the latest marketing trends and technologies, conduct extensive demographics research, and transform data in actionable steps that allow them to adapt to changes in the market. This year, we’ve seen new marketing tools emerge, changes to social network capabilities, SEO updates and a few different trends that affect marketers in the real estate sector in 2015. Here are a few of the most important real estate marketing updates to consider…
[Tweet “Check out the latest real estate marketing trends.”]
1. Mobile-friendly sites become mandatory.
Back in April, Google made a huge announcement that mobile-friendliness would be expanded as a more “significant” ranking signal. “Mobilegeddon,” as it was called by marketers, sent a clear message: update your website to be more responsive, create a mobile version of your website, or fall into virtual obscurity. First Team Real Estate in California responded by dropping $250,000 to create their fully revamped mobile-friendly website. Other agencies paid $99/month to get mobile-friendly landing pages and ad campaigns through Flipt. We fielded a number of calls from concerned real estate agencies looking to hire our web development team to update or re-do their existing sites as well.
You might like: 6 Lessons Learned from Google’s Mobilegeddon
2. Google penalizes redundant copy.
A common practice in the real estate industry is to rewrite the same page of copy several different ways, tweaking a few words here and there for different towns, cities or developments for SEO purposes. That simply won’t fly anymore, now that Google has made an algorithm change to crack down on these “doorway” pages and penalize sites that, they feel, fail to add sufficient value. Each page needs to have a specific purpose for existing — to provide unique information for visitors and focus on a different set of keywords.
3. Bing / Yahoo is worth your time.
Google may still be King, but real estate agencies are wise to take the time to at least index in the Bing search engine (which now powers Yahoo Search as well). One in five people use Bing on a regular basis, reports CNN, and accounted for a third of the total search volume nationwide, with roughly 6 billion searches in March. You can get more information on optimizing your sites for Bing here:
4. Google improves AdWords reporting and offers call-only ads.
After receiving much feedback, Google has finally allowed marketers to track metrics for each page, specified by URL. Location-tracking, keyword insights and a simplified interface make it easier to track performance of your pages and color coding makes it easier to digest. Now real estate agents can clearly see where their clicks are coming from. New “Call-only ads” are a great way to drive more targeted leads to your business, especially when users are viewing content on mobile devices.
5. YouTube Cards becomes new method for CTAs.
Marketers have long used Annotations to add more information and calls-to-action to their YouTube videos, but they have yearned for more flexibility. YouTube Cards — available at any time during a video, without interrupting playback — are a beautiful way to direct viewers to other videos, your playlists, a website, online store or fundraiser page. Up to five cards can be added per video and they can be viewed on mobile as well.
[Tweet “#Infographic: The Science of #ContentMarketing for Real Estate “]
Image Source: Placester
6. Facebook adds CTA feature for business pages and improves ad manager.
Facebook now lets brands promote links to certain pages or apps with a CTA drop-down box that appears prominently over the Facebook header, next to the “like” and “message” buttons. Now people can take other actions — contact you directly, request an appointment, sign up for your newsletter, or watch your videos.
The Facebook Ads Manager App lets marketers create and update ads on-the-go from mobile devices. You can pause or resume campaigns, edit budgets and schedules, view real-time insights and respond to alerts.
The Blueprint Ads Manager is a training resource with 41 course lessons designed to help professionals get the most from their Facebook marketing efforts.
7. Twitter offers new quick promote button, video features and group messaging.
Twitter developers have been busy lately to keep up with the Joneses. New marketing features helpful to real estate agents include:
– Quick Promote: Choose a tweet, set a target audience, choose a budget and watch people re-tweet or click to visit your website. Agents no longer have to go through the lengthy process from the Twitter Ads page.
– Group Messaging: Share text, photos, links and tweets with more than one person at a time through a private group message to save time. Use Group Chat for prospecting purposes, as it allows you to reach non-followers.
– Video: Record, edit and share home sale videos from the Twitter app. The one drawback is that you can’t include videos in your private messages just yet.
8. LinkedIn blogging surges and metrics improve.
LinkedIn is a powerhouse for real estate leads when maximized to the fullest extent. Through personal and company pages, prospects can evaluate your background and connections to determine if you’d be a good fit for their needs. The blogging feature rolled out this year lets agents share their expertise with the community and position themselves as trustworthy industry leaders, with posts placed directly on profiles. Members outside your network can discover and follow your posts now as well.
With new and improved analytics, you can look back up to six months to see summaries of views, shares, likes and comments. Demographics can show you the top industries, job titles, locations and traffic sources interacting with your content.
Image Source: LinkedIn.com
9. Live-streaming video turns industry heads.
FaceTime, Meerkat, Periscope and ReaLync are the newest opportunities for real estate agents. With live-streaming video, you can now conduct virtual business meetings and home or commercial property showings with your clients. Answer questions and overcome objections immediately to clinch more sales. Live-streaming tools are especially helpful when you’ve got a big relocation market or when you’re dealing with foreign buyers. Real estate agents can also more easily assemble all the big decision makers at the same time and (virtual) place, even if they are in different parts of the country or the world. We expect these apps to become widespread time-saving tools, particularly for the rental market.
10. Hyperlapse makes video marketing look prettier.
Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app turns amateur videos into cinematic films. While “image stabilization” may not sound like an amazing feature, you really have to see the difference to believe it.
You can tinker with time lapse effects to show a beautiful sunset or the neighborhood traffic. The effect also lets you show a walk-through of a large amount of space in a short amount of time. The fact that it’s free is an obvious perk as well. There are, of course, other video resources real estate agents should know about:
Marketing Assistance for Real Estate Agencies
Now that you’re aware of the current trends, you may decide to acquire a few hired guns to add more power to your marketing strategy. Mod Girl Marketing offers reasonably priced professionals who are skilled in all areas of digital marketing, from strategy development, market research, SEO and data reporting, to content writing, social networking, email marketing and PPC advertising. As a boutique digital marketing firm, we understand that every client and market is totally unique, so we work with you to create the personalized suite of services that fits your needs precisely. You never pay for more than you need! If you prefer to DIY your marketing, our experienced real estate marketing consultants can provide training on marketing tools and strategies. Whether they like to admit it or not, every marketing firm has its sweet spot — and real estate is one of our specialties. Real estate prices are so high in locations like this, that real estate companies need to be spending sufficient amounts in their online marketing campaigns. Learn more about our process and what we do. If you’re interested, contact us for a quote.
Tags: marketing for real estate agencies, real estate agency branding, real estate industry, real estate marketing, real estate marketing trends