Digital marketing is becoming increasingly important for real estate agents and professionals, but many find that keeping up with technology and marketing can be difficult. A digital marketing plan for real estate doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and it can help bring in new clients and boost your income.
Did you know that content marketing converts people into leads at a rate that is six times higher than traditional marketing? If you’re not convinced, the Content Marketing Institute says that content marketing not only generates more leads, but it can also be less than half the cost. Real estate digital marketing can help build your brand, create awareness about your services, and increase your lead conversion. It can be easy for real estate agents to slack behind on their marketing efforts when they’re already working full-time on real estate transactions, however, investing some time and effort into marketing can pay back in spades.
Consumer behaviours are changing, and real estate professionals need to re-group and adapt to these changes. Here are five reasons why digital marketing is important for real estate in Canada:
It won't be easy for people to find you if you blend into the crowd. Standing out from the competition means having a strong online presence that people recognize and can trust. Many sellers and buyers go with the first real estate agent that they see. Giving people a reason to choose you over other agents will give you an advantage, and your strong online presence can also hint towards your ability as an agent to market and connect.
An obscure real estate agent with no website and no reviews can be seen as a red flag to potential clients. Having your name and website show up on search results will allow people to easily find you, which brings a feeling of openness and transparency. Having online reviews, whether it is through search or on other websites, will also build up trust and credibility.
Traditional marketing methods, such as billboards and flyers, will only reach a limited audience. Digital marketing can bring your advertising efforts right into their homes, and it also expands your geographical reach. Your audience can also be much more refined, with targeting tools that you can use.
Spending away money on traditional marketing with no concrete way to measure results can cause real estate agents to shy away on their marketing spending. Digital marketing allows real estate agents to track their results in real-time, compare performance, and use this data to further refine their marketing strategy. This means that you can focus your marketing spend on methods that work, and cut out those that don’t.
In addition to standing out from your competitors, you’ll need to have a digital marketing strategy to at least keep up with your competitors. Canada’s fierce housing market means that there are plenty of new competitors that are vying to steal your clients and business. This is especially true for provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia, which have among the lowest number of sales per real estate agent in Canada. Having a digital marketing plan can almost be seen as essential if you want to maintain your standing and not fall behind.
Before you can start using any digital marketing methods, you’ll need to define your target audience. This begins with first determining what you can offer to customers. Are you a Quebec real estate agent that only works on the selling side? Are you an Ontario mortgage broker looking for mortgage leads? Or are you a home builder in Alberta looking for customers that want to build a home? You will need to tailor your marketing strategy to suit what services you provide and who your target audience will be.
If you’re a real estate professional or firm that doesn’t specialize in a specific service and instead caters to everyone, perhaps you’ll need to decide what proportions of your marketing should be dedicated to each category that your clients fall under. For example, if you’re a Canadian real estate firm that mostly facilitates homebuyers but is also involved in some home listings, then this may impact where you should place your focus on. Trying to target everyone for everything isn’t targeting at all, and casting such a wide net can be costly and ineffective.
To craft your ideal target audience, you’ll first need to look at your previous clients. You can also look at your previous real estate prospects to take a look at your sales funnel. Try to categorize them to see common elements that stick out, and then use this to formulate an audience to target. Applying what has worked in the past can be a great way to boost start your marketing campaign without needing to experiment on your target audience.
Once you know who you want to target and why you want to target them, it’s time to put your plan into motion with digital marketing strategies. Here are five digital marketing strategies for real estate:
Did you know that 70% of realtors have a website? Just having a website is no longer acceptable. In order to stand out from competing real estate agents, you’ll want to develop your website so that it’s user-friendly and is optimized for all visitors. This can include not only the layout of your website on mobile screens, but also your page’s loading time, ease of use, and usefulness.
Slow loading times can frustrate users and drive them away. Most realtors put their listings on their website, but the majority also has resources and information for home buyers and sellers to read. Creating content for your website and turning your page into a hub of information will give visitors a reason to come back, and may even turn them into paying clients.
Email is a common form of communication in real estate, with 89% of real estate agents communicating with their clients through email. Having an email campaign can keep your brand relevant and top of mind for both previous clients and potential clients. An email campaign is an easy way to reach out to many people at once, so it’s important to optimize your messaging. Keep your email relevant to what your mailing list wants to see and read. You can also set up your emails ahead of time, which can automate your email campaign, while still having a certain level of personalization. This keeps your readers engaged and helps to funnel readers into potential leads.
Content marketing focuses on creating content for your audience that will help to bring in potential clients. This could include blog posts, articles, how-to guides, videos, and podcasts. For example, you might create a how-to guide for sellers looking to list their homes or an article about how mortgage leads work. Using SEO techniques for content on your website can even help to attract visitors for free.
Social media is a big part of digital marketing. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin, are used by many Canadians, and they give you an opportunity to actively engage with your audience. You can post about your new listings, showcase an article that you wrote on your website, or interact with your followers. Having an active social media presence can improve your brand’s awareness and trust.
A large part of your digital marketing plan can be through free (or mostly free) channels, such as social media, websites, and emails. Using paid digital advertising can boost the performance of your other marketing efforts, and can allow you to grow your business faster.
Google Ads for paid search allows you to be seen when users are actively looking for real estate services and boosts your content and website. Facebook Ads can turbocharge your social media presence with increased engagement and views. Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns for display ads can funnel users to a landing page to collect emails for your mailing list. Paid advertising is best used when combined with other digital marketing strategies to enhance your existing marketing performance, and not on its own. To learn more, visit our page about real estate advertising.
Digital marketing is a powerful way for real estate professionals in Canada to gain new clients. Here are some statistics from the Content Marketing Institute to prove just how important marketing can be in real estate:
Dollar-for-dollar, digital marketing gives real estate professionals the best bang for their buck. Digital marketing also allows you to adapt your marketing strategy to fit the services that you provide. Here are some ways that you can transform conventional marketing strategies to suit your goals:
Sellers and buyers will want to contact you to ask questions or to learn more about what you offer. Having live chat on your website can make it easy to connect with your potential customers and to build rapport before they go to another real estate agent. Having a chatbot can allow you to offer this connectivity 24/7, and can automate things like answering common questions, setting up appointments, and promoting your services.
Embracing technology can make your service offerings much more attractive for your clients. You can do this by having virtual tours, 3D walkthroughs of the home, and hosting virtual open houses. This makes your home listing much more accessible to buyers and can free up your own time.
A great way to reach out to your target audience is to host webinars and workshops. This could be about discussing trends in your local housing market, walking first-time homebuyers through the steps to buying a home or even talking about investing in real estate. Your attendees might not immediately be looking to buy or sell a home, but getting your name out there can build awareness and build your mailing list.
Real estate marketing doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some easy steps that you can take today to get started on your real estate marketing journey:
Google My Business lets you appear on Google Search and on Google Maps for free, and allows you to feature your business's information, photos, and contact information. You can also respond to reviews left by users, helping to increase engagement.
Potential home buyers want to see not just the home that they plan to live in, but the area that the home is in. Having pictures of your local area, such as local landmarks, can make you seem more knowledgeable about the local market and attract clients looking for a local real estate agent.
Nothing says engagement in your local community more than sponsoring and partnering with local businesses and organizations. Maybe you can help out at a local event or sponsor a local sports team. This not only brings awareness to you as an agent but can boost people's perceptions of you as a community team player.
Creating content doesn’t have to be limited to just your own website or blog. You can offer to write guest posts or articles in your local newspaper or magazine. The content itself doesn’t have to promote you either. Just writing an informative article can signal to readers that you know what you are talking about, and may nudge them towards you should they be interested.
Having a customized logo can make it easier for your brand to be recognized, especially when doing digital marketing. You can have your logo or wordmark printed on stationery items, such as pens and pencils, to give away at local events or to clients. The same can be said for business cards as well.
Now that you know why you should market, who to market to, and how to market, it’s time to put your marketing plan into motion. If you want a more hands-off approach, then there are plenty of real estate digital marketing agencies and digital marketing companies in Canada that can make your marketing effortless. WOWA.ca is one of them. If you need a little boost and want to take your business to the next level, or you don’t have enough time to manage your own marketing campaign, then WOWA.ca can bring real estate leads directly to you. To learn more about the services that we provide, visit our real estate leads page, our mortgage leads page, or contact us today!