If you ask a person on the street which real estate marketing ideas they would think of first, the majority would start with social network marketing or FaceBook ads. FB advertising options are not cheap and social media requires a lot of time. Google ads also can set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month while bringing zero leads in return.
Most of us are looking for ways to save money. And although time is money, a little time spent working on your Real Estate marketing can stretch your budget even further.
When it comes to flyers showcasing a home, go for high resolution, custom branding, and consistency. They will be most likely seen by neighbors thinking of selling who stopped by your open house or picked them up from the box outside.
A few extra dollars spent on high-quality flyers can bring you a listing or two in the same neighborhood and a few listing prospects. However, there are many other affordable ways you can market your real estate business including using search engine optimized content for your website, social media tools, and even word-of-mouth.
Check out these 101 real estate advertising ideas, tips, and techniques that you may want to incorporate into your marketing plan.
- Creative Real Estate Marketing Tips
- Real Estate Websites and Blogs
- YouTube Real Estate Marketing Ideas and Methods
- Google SEO – Search Engine Optimization
- Slideshare Advertising
- Pinterest for Real Estate?
- Facebook marketing ideas
- Offline Real Estate Marketing and Farming Ideas
- LinkedIn Marketing Tips
- Email Marketing For Realtors
- “All-In-One” Online Real Estate Marketing
- Twitter ideas
- Fiverr.com – Anything for $5
- Internet Real Estate Leads
- Targeting Distressed Homeowners
Creative Marketing For Realtors
Before diving into the serious stuff, let’s take a quick look at a few creative advertising ideas and products.
Whether you are just starting your real state career or already have years of experience these ideas could be fun and useful.
You know well that being serious all the time is not a good thing. Often you need something to break the ice before starting a serious discussion or presentation.
Some of the products featured below may come in handy in these situations.
When you’re not working, wear a t-shirt with a creative slogan like “Real Estate Agent Off Duty”.
Put a sign saying “Exclusive Parking for the World’s Best Real Estate Agent” in your driveway or in front of the garage.
Order a “World’s Greatest Real Estate Agent” tote bag for your shopping.
When attending social functions wear a “Realtor” tie.
Real Estate Blogs
Think of it as your own Virtual Real Estate Assistant that helps you in many different ways. You can model your website after some of the best real estate websites. Spend enough time and effort in creating an automated and optimized system that will attract, educate, and filter potential clients. You don’t want to waste hours on the phone talking to “tire kickers.”
Design it so that the answers to all predictable questions will be a click away for each visitor and formulate each answer in a way that will benefit real estate SEO (search engine optimization) of your website.
Don’t think for a moment that you will be able to build a successful business with one of the cookie-cutter websites provided by your brokerage or other real estate hosting companies. As convenient as it might be, you don’t want to ride the bus with hundreds of other agents.
You want to have your very own system that will not depend 100% on any provider being in or out of business.
What if you change brokerages? Are you prepared to lose your online clients overnight, jeopardize your online marketing plan, and start all over again?
Remember, you can’t sell your Facebook page or LinkedIn account but you can easily sell your own website if you decide to get out of business or retire.
Buyers pay really good money for websites with brand name domains. The majority of real estate agents’ domains consist of combinations of their first and last names. Consider registering a domain that is more brandable than for example, MikeSmithHomes.com.
A better domain name would be something like YourCityBestHomes.com. To draw a parallel, you would most likely shop online at Amazon.com and Apple.com – not JeffBezosBooks.com or SteveJobsComputers.com.
Don’t copy content from other websites or blogs!
Create awesome content yourself by writing about local communities, events, and the local market while very carefully building as many links as you can to your pages from social web 2.0 properties.
Always be cautious of social websites or directories that require payments for memberships in order for you to be able to post articles with links to your main real estate website. Google and Bing consider those links as “purchased” and this can actually hurt your website’s rank.
Way back in June of 2013 Google began advising webmasters that search results and website rankings will be more heavily dependent on high-quality content and less and less on backlinks. Guest posting on most of the paid membership websites with links from the articles to your websites fell out of Google and Bing’s favor as well.
Many such websites converted these links to “nofollow” in fear that Google may de-index these websites for link spamming. This is one more reason to drop some paid memberships and spend more money on improving YOUR OWN website instead of creating content for somebody else!
- Find out exact search keywords that people type into Google when trying to find real estate related information in your area. You can use free Google tools or more advanced tools like LongTail Pro.
- Using these keywords, write and post articles about local businesses, neighborhood events, local interesting people, etc.
- Compile useful information for home buyers and sellers as e-books, and offer free downloads in exchange for a name and email address.
- Offer visitors Q & A via a contact form.
- Integrate a free IDX search tool.
- Add a business Facebook page and link it to your blog.
- Comment back in a timely manner and create dialogue within posts.
- Write a few long in-depth articles. They can be about the specifics of your local communities or something else like a detailed step-by-step guide for first time home buyers.
- Format your posts and contact information using Structured Micro-Data. Go to: http://www.microdatagenerator.com/real-estate-schema/ to mark up your personal and contact information with special tags using schema.org guidelines.
Why this is so important?
Because Google and other Search Engines are giving priority to websites that help them with classifying and formatting data.
- Post articles (formatted with micro-data) on your website and once they are indexed by search engines try to offer them to your local online newspapers or submit them to reputable article directories. Your goal is to become an authority in your region on the subjects related to real estate. Many of the most successful Realtors have their articles syndicated. If your articles will be picked up from article directories by webmasters that need quality content and as a result, they will be featured on a high domain authority website then you will have a constant stream of quality referral traffic which will not be dependent on the mercy of search engines.
- Carefully create backlinks (links from other websites pointing to any page on your website) on a regular basis once you have your website set up and filled with original content! Write some useful posts or comments on FREE Real Estate blogs and forums which allow you to include links to relevant pages on your website. Without these links, Google will not consider your pages important to other people even if your website has great content.
- Make sure your website’s design is a “responsive” one which means that it automatically adjusts the layout of pages for different screen sizes from iPads to small cell phones. Losing half of your mobile visitors for the reason that they can’t navigate within your site on their devices is not acceptable. To see how your website looks on a mobile device go to responsinator.com
- Submit your website to free directories like ExactSeek.com, www.jayde.com or www.dmoz.org
- Pay-Per-Click Search Engine advertising, in general, is really expensive for Real Estate related topics and is not recommended for basic websites. However, sometimes web hosting companies or domain names registrars like Godaddy.com give out for free $100 worth of Google ads. In these cases, it would make sense trying PPC Ads although you will have to spend a lot of time on setting up your account and learning how to design them.
YouTube Marketing Ideas and Methods
If you optimize the words and terms in your video titles, descriptions, and keywords, YouTube real estate video marketing can be a very effective part of your real estate marketing plan. Often Google places these videos close to the top of the first page of the search results especially if there are no other videos for this particular search term.
Besides obvious property video tours, you should consider creating your own YouTube channel with optimized neighborhood tours and slide shows that will summarize and illustrate some of your website’s articles.
For example: “3 bedroom house in Your Community Name, City Name, State Name” should bring targeted traffic of home buyers looking exactly for this type of property. After watching the video, they can go the Realtor’s website and request to see this property. The majority of people looking for homes begin their search on the internet so your business plan should definitely include YouTube.
Don’t forget to put QR codes linking to video tours on your Just Listed and Just Sold real estate postcards, fliers, and on your ‘For Sale’ signs. This will allow potential home buyers to see your listing without you even being present.
The biggest advantage of YouTube video marketing tours is getting real estate leads, and not just any leads but powerful ones. If someone wants to set an appointment to see the house in person after watching one of your video tours, you know that they are VERY interested and you got a lead with a ready-to-act buyer. Video or virtual tours help save your time by weeding out a sizable percentage of “tire kickers” who are just “window shopping.”
After Google’s recent major updates of YouTube’s structure, real estate video marketing tours became one of the best tools Realtors can use to generate business. Not only does Google rank search engine optimized YouTube videos very high compared to regular websites, but it also includes them more and more into their related products (i.e. Google+, etc.) making Youtube one of the most effective real estate marketing tools that are often overlooked by both experienced and new agents.
Here is a list of YouTube Musts along with Real Estate Search Engine Optimization Tips:
- Upload video tours of your listings and embed them into your main business website and another web 2.0 properties.
- Create slide show type videos for each article on your website with links to the corresponding pages using the YouTube online video creator.
- Create a short YouTube video series about your communities or real estate farming areas with a link to your website.
- Create short YouTube videos showing home improvements that help with increasing the value of the property before putting it on the market (with a link to your website).
- For all of the above Youtube’s Real Estate marketing ideas related to creating your own videos you absolutely MUST enter SEO optimized Title for each video. What does it mean? Go to Google’s Keyword Planner tool and find out all the exact keyword combinations that people actually use for searching homes in your Real Estate farm.
Let’s say you would like to advertise your listings located in Irvine, California.
Use the Keyword Planner tool and enter Irvine properties for sale. Keyword Planner will generate a list of related search queries in addition to the one that you entered.
You will see that “Irvine properties for sale” has only 10 searches a month. This is a very low volume!
…but other related search queries look more promising: 140 searches/month for “home for sale in Irvine ca”
210 searches/month for “homes for sale in Irvine”
1000 searches/month for “Irvine homes for sale”
1000 searches/month for “homes for sale in Irvine ca” This is a totally different picture! So, which one to choose?
The last two with 1000 searches a month look like clear winners, but… if you will compare them using LongTail Pro then you will see that “homes for sale in Irvine ca” has Keyword Competitiveness Score of 33 and “Irvine homes for sale” has Keyword Competitiveness Score of 40. This will tell you right away that “homes for sale in Irvine ca” with a score of 33 will be your choice. Any score between 30 and 35 means that the competition is strong but you may have a chance to rank high. To go against the score close to 40 and above would be a waste of time. A score below 30 would be the best – much less competition and much better chance to be on the first page of Google’s search results.
By the way, those 2 other search queries with a low volume of 140 and 210 words per month both have Keyword Competitiveness Score of 33 – you should definitely use them in the description of the video or even create separate videos if you have time.
- The above techniques of keyword research and analysis are applicable to the content of your website and your social pages as well. This will help put you ahead of the competition. Every Internet Marketer is using these techniques but only very few Realtors understand the power of keyword research and analysis provided by such sophisticated tools like LongTail Pro.
Google Real Estate Marketing Ideas May Help Your Real Estate SEO
There are many serious advantages to being on Google compared to popular social networks such as Facebook.
Keep in mind that your activity such as reviews, shares, +1s, follows, etc. may be used along with your name and photo in the search result and even ads. You can read more about this new feature that Google calls “shared endorsements”.
Below are a few Google plus advertising ideas and tips that will benefit you if you are serious about online marketing and strengthening the real estate SEO of your web properties.
- Use comments inviting people to interact with you. This will move your content up in Google search results.
- Follow people in your field of expertise.
- Use the Hangout video chat feature if you need to discuss something in real-time and make an impression.
- Put your business on Google Maps – go to www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness and enter the name and location of your business. More and more people are using smartphone Google maps for finding businesses this way. Not too many Realtors bother doing it, so you might have a good chance to be the only one in your area.
- Register for Google alerts. It is a free service from Google that sends emails to its members each time their topic of interest comes up in the search or mentioned somewhere. You may enter “relocating from your area name” or “relocating to your area name” search queries. If some companies will decide to relocate from your area it may mean that some employees will be putting their homes for sale. It will be a time for more intensive targeted farming.
Also, you may enter your own business name as a search query to see if you are mentioned on some blogs, social pages, etc. and use it to your own advantage.
To help your friends and others find cool stuff online, your activity (such as reviews, +1s, follows, shares, etc.) may be used along with your name and photo in commercial or other promotional contexts.
When it comes to shared endorsements in ads, you can choose whether your name and photo may be used to help your friends find stuff you love (and avoid stuff you don’t).
The name and photo shown in shared endorsements are the public profile name and photo you have chosen on Google+.