With so much content already out there that focuses on the most progressive ways to market real estate online, what and how should you hone in on what’s most important — especially during the pandemic?
To help you navigate these trying times, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know about marketing real estate online.
Unlike any time in our generations’ history, we’re experiencing a global event that unites us yet separates us. Now, more than ever, we must find new ways to create and preserve a sense of connection amidst the uncertainty.
So wherever possible, focus on relationship-building and authenticity.
Build trust through generous value-giving content on your blog and engage your audience with virtual experiences and creative adaptations to the way you usually do business. People still need people, and building trustworthy relationships that override the COVID landscape’s anxieties is key to truly reaching your audience and moving them to choose you!
2. Virtual experience
We’ve been catapulted even deeper into the virtual age, and if the real estate business wants to keep up, you must prioritize the quality of their virtual offerings.
Lean on virtual tours
When you can’t bring the buyer to the property — bring the property to them! Virtual tours are one of the most powerful tools you can use to help prospective buyers see themselves at the property. Plus, you stand to simultaneously cement yourself in their minds as a professional and progressive agency. Creating online experiences that allow your clients to virtually explore your listing keeps everyone COVID-safe whilst still giving the client a real sense of how the property feels for them. With Lucidpress, you can embed links to virtual tours from Matterport, YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook Live, as well as embed Matterport 3D renderings of the home or rental.
Host virtual open houses
Virtually ‘meet’ your prospective buyers at the property via Skype, Zoom or Facetime. Not only does this allow buyers to experience the property live, but you engage directly with them, similar to what you might do face-to-face at an open house. You’ll be on hand to answer their questions and highlight any features. And more importantly, buyers can stay safe and enjoy this property viewing in the comfort of their own homes.
The same sentiment applies to the rental sector — across the globe. Portico, a London estate agent, launched an online letting agent service over the pandemic, with Robert Nichols stating that:
“Ultimately, our new offering means private landlords are able to find the right tenants quickly and cost-effectively and, as long as they don’t mind doing some of the legwork, enjoy a better return on investment as a result.....Lockdown job losses and relocations mean there is still high demand in the private rental sector. But despite this, some landlords are still feeling the effect of tougher regulations and taxes. We also know that, for a large proportion of landlords, the costs of managing their property portfolio has grown due to these changes.”
Use video content where you can
Enhancing your digital marketing strategy with video content has been the way to go for some time now, but in the age of COVID-19, it’s become an even more powerful tool.
Look at it this way: People are at home on their phones trawling through YouTube and Facebook videos like never before, so it’s within reason for your business to get in on the action.
Everything from a professionally produced video to the humble phone-recorded footage is winning. It’s not so much what the content is, as much as how it’s done and delivered.
For example, if you opt for the low-budget version and record it yourself, then make sure you’re filming is steady and speech is clear. And more importantly, try to make the content feel engaging and exciting! This is your opportunity to connect with potential clients that may choose you regardless of the property you’re showcasing. Meaning, the low-cost real estate video option can be highly effective, so long as it doesn’t come across as lazy to prospects.
A high percentage of hopeful millenial home buyers are searching for new homes via their mobile phones, so it’s imperative to ensure that all your online content is mobile-friendly. After investing time and money into the quality of your online presence, the last thing you want is to have the experience become sub-par for anyone accessing it via their phone.
To start, make sure your website layout is optimized for mobile use. Keeping a mobile-first perspective allows you to know where your guard rails are — so you don’t accidentally goof up and upload an irrationally large photo or whatnot. Be sure, whenever you add any new content, check the mobile phone version of the experience for yourself.
4. Social media
People isolated at home are spending even more time on social media. And therefore, your business should be popping up wherever they are as well — so, depending on your personal opinion or approach, you might need to embrace social media!
Managing an effective and consistent social media presence can be time-consuming. However, there are many management tools to choose from and tricks and tips out there to help you get started.
The important thing is to utilize multiple platforms, change up your content regularly and research the best formats to use on different platforms. We also recommend maximizing your reach by using hashtags, engaging with potential clients, responding to comments and finding clever ways to make your content reach further by making it relevant to current affairs and local news wherever possible.
You can bolster your credibility as a real estate agent by optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Complete your profile, add a professional profile picture and list your skills and credentials. And voila!
Then, get connected with people you know — fellow agents, brokers, and past clients. Once you’ve done this, get active. Be sure to share all content that you upload to your other social media platforms, blogs, or whatnot. And remember: Interact with people on LinkedIn as you would in-person or on any other social media site.
LinkedIn is an overlooked yet surprisingly fruitful avenue for generating new real estate leads. In any case, it’s a powerful way to confirm your trustworthiness to any astute would-be client who is doing some due-diligence checks.
No matter what, work your strengths
Marketing properties in the age of COVID-19 is all about adapting to the new digital normal and standing out in a crowd of agents who are also encountering the same issues as you.
Above all else, when leveraging the tips mentioned above, the ultimate best strategy is to focus on what you do best and prioritize from there.
For example, your personality may gravitate towards a real estate podcast or a webinar series, or perhaps you may rustle up engaging contributor content for a blog. Either way, remember that there are also many online services that you can employ to provide you with the content you need if outsourcing is more your thing.
So, at the end of the day: The point is to dive in! Mix it up, get creative and start connecting. The online world is a gigantic buzz of potential clients hovering around waiting to find you, so make it easy for them.