Real Estate Marketing Trends You Should Implement Into Your Marketing Strategy

The real estate industry has seen a lot of change over the past decade. It wasn’t that long ago when a homebuyer would reach out to a real estate agent through their office the moment they became interested in buying a new home. These days, the majority of homebuyers do their househunting online, which means inbound marketing has become a vital part of the real estate business.

As such, it’s important that you stay up to date with the latest real estate marketing trends. While some come and go, some of these tactics could end up making a huge difference in terms of standing out from the competition and attracting new clients. The following are some of the latest real estate marketing trends that you’ll want to incorporate into your marketing efforts:

Establish a Bloglanding page lead conversion rate

While businesses, in general, have realized the benefit of blogging years ago, it’s taking realtors a surprisingly long time to catch up. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 77 per cent of Realtors did not have a blog in 2018. This means that by setting up a blog, you’ll have an immediate leg up on your competition. Regularly publishing helpful and relevant content on your blog helps to build authority and authenticity, which will make it easier for potential clients to trust you. Having a blog will also help with SEO, thereby increasing the exposure to your real estate business and bringing in more potential clients.

Be Mobile-Friendly

It’s absolutely essential that all of your online content is mobile-friendly, including your website. This is because homebuyers are doing the majority of their research on their smartphones or tablets. For example, if a potential homebuyer is driving around a neighbourhood and they see a house for sale, they may visit the website displayed on the for sale sign on their smartphone while they are there. If they have problems viewing it on their phone, they are likely to just give up on it.

Offer Virtual Tours

Because homebuyers are doing the majority of their research online, they are less likely to visit a property in person unless they are absolutely sure that it could potentially be something that they are interested in. You can drum up interest in your properties by offering virtual tours online. This makes it easier for homebuyers to get an idea of what the property looks like. This can help convince potential buyers to get into contact with you in order to see homes in person.

How Will Inbound Marketing Help Me Sell Custom Homes?

media mixUse Social Media

Social media is one of the best ways to reach potential homebuyers. Join Facebook groups and contribute to discussions about real estate advice to potentially connect with buyers. If you give out good advice, buyers are more likely to reach out to you. Social media channels like Instagram are also quite helpful for real estate agents since they provide you with a platform to post pictures of your properties on that can be easily shared. You can also use social media to draw attention to certain events, like open houses. If you’re not using social media at this point, you’re missing out on a huge audience.

Find Influencers

While building your brand authority through a content strategy and a social media presence can be effective, one of the most effective ways to gain instant trust is through the use of influencers. Influencers within your industry, which include previous clients, popular real estate bloggers, and other trusted industry experts, wield an enormous amount of influence within the community and can be extremely beneficial in recommending your services to homebuyers. Connect with such influencers through social media and build relationships with them.B2B website

Create Video Content

People tend to prefer consuming video content over reading text online–especially if they are on a mobile device. It’s why you should create video content, such as videos of your properties, videos of open houses, testimonial videos, and more. Such videos are more engaging, provide better insight, and are more shareable than other forms of content.

Staying up to date with the latest real estate marketing trends can help you improve your own marketing strategy, so keep these current real estate marketing trends in mind.

New call-to-action

What is Attraction Marketing And How Can It Set Your Business Apart

Attraction marketing is the culmination of your marketing efforts to draw customers to you and your brand. As with any marketing strategy, attraction marketing focuses on setting your brand apart from your competitors by making your company attractive to potential buyers. This is accomplished through developing your brand marketing strategy by evaluating your marketing goals, evaluating how your are performing, and adjusting your plan using metrics.

Attraction Marketing Strategy and Story

Attraction marketing is all about making your brand more attractive to your buyer personas as well as attracting them to you through inbound marketing. The two work hand-in-hand and should be a pillar of your marketing efforts, and it all begins with your attraction marketing strategy or strategies as the case may be — there is no one “right” way to market your brand but there are many tried and true ways to do it.

Strategy alone, however, doesn’t necessarily flow through to your customers but your story does and storybranding is how to give your brand an enduring and lasting impression on your clients. Be careful though, as storybranding and storytelling are two different animals.

Get Found and Be Seen

Your brand story sets up the foundation for who you are and what you do and, if done right, will be the thing that your buyers admire as they meander through your sales funnel. Of course, all of that magnificent storybranding will be for naught without a quality website and some killer SEO which is exactly why you need to shore up your website: to be seen.

We’re talking, of course, about your internet presence and how it affects your attraction marketing campaigns. The gateway to your brand story and to your attraction marketing as a whole goes through your website which may very well be your most valuable sales asset. Most importantly, it puts you on a level playing field with your competition through the necessary exposure of the internet.

Getting folks to that site comes down to search engine optimization which spans both organic and pay per click by optimizing your website for greater results. While SEO is an intrinsic tool to have, the quality of the content you provide on your site is what keeps buyers there and hooks them in to your sales process.

Want to learn more about how to create quality content? Read this article on how to create content for each sale funnel stage.

Thought Leadership

Possibly one of the most useful parts of attraction marketing for your business is that you become the thought leader in your industry. Buyers as well as industry leaders will turn to your brand to help solve their problems as you make them more aware of the issues they face.

Thought leadership though is more than simply having quality content and making that content relevant to your target audience. It deals with the entire suite of broadcasting your brand, who you are, and what you know about your industry and the solutions you have available across many different avenues. Social media, trade shows, marketing metrics, and lead nurturing all make up vital pieces of your thought leadership toolset.

More than that, the importance of thought leadership for your brand is to continue to set yourself up on a higher plane than the rest of your competition by delivering what you already know and conveying it in a way that attracts people to you.

Lead Nurturing Throughout the Buyer’s Journey

Once you’ve got a lead whether from a trade show, through your inbound marketing, or through social media, it’s time to nurture them through your sales process and guide them through their own buyer journey.

While there are many ways to nurture leads, keying in on how your specific buyer responds to different stimuli is necessary for landing sales. Tactics including drip emails, lead nurturing campaigns, and remarketing are all tools that should be part of your lead nurturing tool box. Additionally, towards the end of your buyer’s journey, your sales and marketing staffs should be on the same page for sales-ready leads.

Finally, you’ll need a way to evaluate your marketing efforts. Inbound marketing software, analytics, and metrics can certainly help, but having a strong OODA loop within your organization will aid in making decisions. Remember, it all starts with data.

The Nitty Gritty: Why Attraction Marketing?

The question you’re undoubtedly asking is why attraction marketing is useful to your business which is a very valid one. Think of attraction marketing as the magnet that draws customers to your brand at large. The deeper aspects of attraction marketing such as your content, thought leadership, and brand story make your brand something that sticks with them.

30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips

What General Data Protection Regulation Means For You

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is legislation that went into effect in May of 2018 which gives you as an individual more rights and protection over your personal data.

Companies will have to be transparent about what data they hold about you and why, and will no longer be able to spam you with unwanted marketing material or share your data with third parties without your knowledge. In our opinion, this is a hugely positive step forward for the rights of the individual in the context of the current multi-billion dollar data industry and the wake of the Facebook/ Cambridge Analytica scandal.

GDPR affects all businesses operating within the EU in terms of how they collect, use, share and store personally identifiable data such as names, addresses, phone numbers and emails. There is a misconception that GDPR only affects B2C businesses. GDPR also affects B2B businesses because client and employee names, emails and job roles can all be used to personally identify individuals.

How Will Businesses Need To Change?

Businesses require new procedures, contracts, rules, and other paperwork that was in place by May 25, 2018.  As part of this, your website will need to be GDPR compliant. However, it’s important to note that your website is largely a reflection of your internal policies and processes; you can’t update your website without first looking at your business. So before we jump into how to get your website GDPR compliant, let’s start with reviewing some of the key aspects your business will need to consider in light of GDPR.

Going forward, you must be upfront and honest about how you will use personal data e.g. letting individuals know why you’re collecting it and what you will do with it. You must ensure that all data you collect is lawfully processed e.g. if you’re an accounting firm, you can’t collect data about your clients’ political beliefs as it’s simply not relevant. You must also specifically name any third parties with whom you’re sharing personal data, and have new contracts in place with them as data processors.

Additionally, you must always give individuals the option to opt-in rather than opt-out of direct marketing – that means no more pre-ticked boxes saying ‘I want to receive promotions and updates, and you should check that any individuals currently on your mailing lists have consented to receive updates from you.

You must have adequate measures to securely store and protect personal data and can only store it for a valid time frame – this means you can’t keep data on your ex-clients years after they’ve ceased being your client. Upon request, you must also be able to give an individual a breakdown of all the data you hold about them and delete it permanently if they so wish. To see how ready your company is for GDPR, complete the governing body ISO’s checklist for getting ready for GDPR.

How To Be Sure Your Website Is General Data Protection Regulation Compliant

A page on your website that states what cookies are used on the site, both yours and from third parties and what data you capture with them and what you do with it. An example of a typical compliant cookie policy can be seen here on our website: Privacy Policy

You don’t need to have one but you do need to state what cookies are used and what the privacy policy is at the first point of arriving at the website – so a pop-up is the most logical and well-established solution. It needs to state that cookies are used on the site and that the user needs to agree to the use of the data as set out in the privacy and cookie policy.

The policy pages state what cookies are used (both yours and third-party ones) and that you have to agree to the terms in order to fully use the site. It is very possible that, as some cookies are purely functional and not data gathering tools, the site won’t work properly for you. You will, of course, have the right to request the website owner to disclose what information you hold about the user and it is permanently deleted.

The use of the website must not be limited to those who accept the use of the cookies. The user must be given the option to use the site without the use of cookies and decline the use of cookies for their session. It must be explained to them the cookie notice that if they decline the cookies the site may lose some functionality.

3. Privacy Policy

A privacy policy is a more thorough document that states the website owner’s full statement of what data is captured, when it was captured, what the data is used for, the third party’s details and the process, including the DPOs (Data Protection Officer) details as well as the process of requesting the user’s details and request that they be permanently deleted.

4. SSL certificate

Secure Sockets Layer certificate – it’s the encryption code process that sits on the hosting space of your website. It is the thing that makes the browser bar display a secure notice and sometimes go green and show a padlock symbol. The purpose is to securely encrypt all the details that are entered into any forms or fields on a website. A variety of SSL certificates are available.

5. Pseudonymization or Anonymization

– This one’s harder to resolve.

General Data Protection Regulation

Most websites that have user accounts and store information about their users (like your Amazon account storing your name, address, date of birth etc) store that data in an SQL database. This is a web-based database that the website calls to, queries and delivers your details when you sign in. In most instances, unless it’s online banking, these details will not be stored encrypted and so if the SQL file was accessed the content could be clearly read.

It’s very hard to both store and retrieve data in an encrypted way and that is why most sites don’t. However, as part of GDPR, ‘pseudonymization’ means that websites will need to start moving towards the users being identified by a username only and that the rest of the data is encrypted so that there is no possible connection between the user and the stored details. You will need to speak to your website developer and host about planning this change as it will take time, and planning and require a budget.

6. Newsletter Signups And Other Forms

If you have the facility for users to sign up on your website to receive a newsletter from you, you need to make sure the user has opted in to receive that subscription and you can ONLY send them what they signed up to receive.

You need to seek consent for each method you plan to email them, indicating how it is to be used and how you can unsubscribe. You cannot automatically assign users to receive the information they did not consent to. There must be separate opt-in boxes for each type of subscription/email content you wish to send.

E.g If a user signs up for a service they buy on your website, they will have to check a box to accept the terms of that service. If you offer a monthly marketing newsletter there will need to be a separate check box for them to select. It cannot be a ‘required’ field. You’ll also need to provide another separate check box if you also give the user’s details to another party. 

Read our article: Choosing HubSpot CRM As Your CRM Solution

General Data Protection Regulation states that it must be just as easy to withdraw as it was to sign up. Make sure you keep your contact preferences page easy to find. In addition, you may consider segmenting topics of interest and providing an opt-out checkbox for each one. Including easily identifiable opt-out links in all marketing emails can also help to remain GDPR compliant.

7. User Account Creation

If your website is an eCommerce one or allows a user to set up an account for access to services behind a login area, you will need to ensure that you have both the SSL installed and also work towards the data being stored using pseudonyms. Recent headline examples (Uber, TalkTalk, Experian) have shown that even major internet giants aren’t doing this so better to talk to your web developer about how you can move towards this process.

8. Payment GatewaysGeneral Data Protection Regulation

If you have an eCommerce website and use one of the popular payment gateways, such as PayPal, Sagepay, Worldpay or Stripe, you need to make sure that (as well as ensuring the processes are followed in line with the above points) the payment gateway privacy policies are checked and referenced in your own privacy policy. If they are UK (or European) based, they will need to be GDPR compliant, if US-based, Privacy Shield compliant. The storage of actual payment details on a website falls under and is regulated by PCI compliance.

9. Enquiry & Contact Form

If your website has an enquiry form for people to send you messages, you need to ensure the following are adhered to:

  • The website has an SSL
  • The details are not stored in the website’s SQL database unless stored encrypted
  • If they are sent to you by email, your email service provider adheres to GDPR rules and that the email is stored and sent according to GDPR secure methods. Many email service providers, like Google email and Outlook 365 are updating their terms of service in accordance with GDPR – it’s worth checking their policies to make sure your email provider complies. Email is one of the most common places private data gets abused and lost or misused.
  • Do you print out the email with the enquiry details? If you do, this is also a data risk. Ensure you have a shredding process in place to make sure that emails with users’ private details aren’t just put in the bin!
  • No pre-checked boxes to automatically sign the enquirer up to a newsletter.

The enquiry is explicit to that instance. You cannot then add the user’s details to your marketing database unless they have explicitly agreed to it using a separate check box.

10. Live Chats

If you have a live chat service on your website, you need to make sure that you refer to this third-party service in your cookie policy and privacy policy and that you review their GDPR/Privacy Shield policy. You may think the data isn’t being stored anywhere, but it is – very often the transcript of the chat is emailed to both parties once completed. The above principles of storage and use apply here, too.

11. Connected Email

While not strictly website-related, all email services and the storage of email from all with whom you are connected must be stored in accordance with DPA (Data Protection Act) & GDPR guidelines. In short, make sure you store your email data securely, use good anti-virus applications and archive and delete unnecessary emails completely. And have a Data Retention policy – a statement by your organization follows in terms of how you store data and for how long before it is deleted.

12. Social Media Account Connection

Using social media sites for your organization also falls under GDPR. While you do not need to seek permission from each person who ‘likes’ your page or ‘follows’ you, you do need to ensure that any information gathered directly from people with whom you interact on these sites is handled in accordance with the GDPR privacy guidelines. If you’ve had a chat using Facebook Messenger with someone about an enquiry, make sure the chat history is completely deleted when it’s done. Get the person to email you so that you can hold the formal connection outside of a social media channel.

You also need to make sure that your privacy policy refers to these third-party data controllers, especially as people use SSO (Single Sign-on) for logging into sites and also using their social media account logins for convenience. You also need to ensure that, if you use the details of your customers or connections on your social media page to promote your business you have their consent to do so.

General Data Protection Regulation

13. Google Analytics And Other User Tracking Systems

If you run Google Analytics on your site (or any other tracking service) you will need to make sure that it is referred to in the cookie policy and the privacy policy and that you ensure you check the third party’s own privacy policy to ensure they comply. While we know that Google Analytics will be both GDPR and Privacy Shield compliant, other, lesser-known tracking services may not be.

You must enable the anonymization option in Google Analytics to properly conform to GDPR. Google Analytics records users’ IP addresses in visitor reports and this is deemed as ‘identifiable information. You don’t really need it so turn it off. What’s not fully clear right now is how this will affect geographic reports. We’ll update you on this in the coming months.

14. CRM Connection

Related to points 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10. If your website captures a user’s data and then writes it into a CRM, such as Salesforce or Pardot, you need to make sure that the data collection process is secure, as previously referred, and that you refer to the third-party service in your privacy policy. Additionally, if your website automatically sends the enquiry directly into the CRM, the date, time, reason for capture and consent details are also captured. As a user, they have the legal right to ask you where you captured their details, when, was it explicit how the data will be used and how the details can be permanently deleted (also known as ‘request to be forgotten).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has actually launched a dedicated advice line to help small organizations prepare for the new data protection laws (GDPR). The service is aimed at people running small businesses or charities and recognizes the particular problems they face getting ready for the new law.

Organizations Need To Make Sure They:

Have a Data Breach Process

The General Data Protection Regulation requires the data controller to have suitable processes defined and in place in case of a data breach. Depending on the severity of the breach, the data controller has a legal obligation to report a data breach (of identifiable or un-pseudonimised data) within 72 hours. Further information on the reporting of a data breach can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO)General Data Protection Regulation

All public authorities and any organization that processes personal data (the data controller) on a significant scale must appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) responsible for monitoring internal compliance of the GDPR regulations within the organization. Even if you don’t feel that your organization falls into this category we think that it is a good idea to appoint a DPO for your organization. This person can keep data protection high on the organization’s agenda and ensure that GPDR compliance is achieved and then maintained.

Have a ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Process

An organization must have a Privacy Policy statement on their website. This statement, amongst other things, must include what data is captured about the user, what it is used for, how long it is stored, whether it will be shared with anyone (and detailing who), and the process for a user to request to be provided with full exposure of what data is held about the user and the process for them to request it is completely removed from the organization’s system – aka ‘the Right to be Forgotten.

Have Good Default Privacy Settings

If your website captures any sort of user data or details, such as an eCommerce website or one that allows the user to have an account with some sort of profile that identifies them, make sure the website is set to the highest level of privacy for the user by default and that there are settings the user can choose to downgrade their settings if they wish – a bit like your privacy settings in your social media apps. DPOs should be checking that only data that is absolutely essential be captured.

Improve Data Encryption and Work Towards Storing User Profiles As Pseudonyms

Basically, if you’re storing personally identifiable data on your website (user accounts that have their names, email, shipping/billing addresses etc) you need to be working towards getting that data stored so that it is stored encrypted. Peudonymization is also something that should be considered. This basically means that account profiles have usernames or login methods that are not visibly connected to the actual individual – usually, this is done by having two databases for the website – one for the pseudonym and that database connects to the actual account details so that the whole profile does exist in one place. This reduces the exposure of PII (personally identifiable information) becoming exposed in the event of a data breach or hack.

The first step is having an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate on your website that encrypts all the data entered into a website through form fields (like when you set up an account, buy something online or sign up to a newsletter etc. However, the data is most likely not stored encrypted. Most CMS systems, like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla don’t do this and you’ll need to have some customization done to your site to make the data get stored encrypted so that in the event of a breach, the data is useless and cannot show identifiable information to individuals.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

newspaper marketing

Does Direct Marketing Have A Role In Inbound Marketing?

With the proven success of inbound marketing, you might be wondering if there’s a point to some of the traditional marketing strategies you may have once leveraged–for example, direct marketing. A lot of brands assume that direct marketing, which is the strategy of sending leads newsletters or flyers through the mail, no longer has a place in today’s marketing world, especially since email marketing is so effective.

However, you would be mistaken to dismiss traditional forms of B2B marketing such as direct marketing. The following are a few reasons why you shouldn’t abandon traditional marketing strategies, such as direct marketing.

1. Build Trust With Potential Leads

Direct mail has a higher trust level than online marketing. Online, anyone can send you an email, including scammers. It takes a lot more time and money to produce a direct mail campaign that’s a scam. This means that potential leads are more likely to take the direct mail they receive much more seriously than an email, especially if they don’t recognize your brand.

2. Target More Specific Demographicscompetitive advantage

When it comes to direct mail, you know exactly who you’re sending it to. A lot of inbound marketing requires that you implement numerous strategies (such as SEO) in an attempt to position yourself to be found by your target audience. This means that you can achieve a greater level of demographic specificity in a direct mail campaign. All you have to do is to rent lists of businesses that match your buyer persona.

Read More Related Article – The Use of Inbound Marketing in the Manufacturing Industry

3. Supplement Your Inbound Efforts

Direct mail can be extremely effective in helping to supplement your inbound marketing efforts simply because of their level of trust and the ability to achieve greater demographic specificity. Once your mail is in the hands of your potential lead, you can direct them using a call-to-action to go to your website or to sign up for a newsletter. You can offer them free downloadable content if they go online and even add a QPR code to your mail to make it easier for them to engage with your brand online immediately.

4. Keep Brand On Top Of Mind

Even if the lead you’re sending your direct mail to is familiar with your brand already but doesn’t follow your call-to-action, direct mail will help to keep your brand at the top of your mind. This is actually a bigger advantage than you might think–many businesses have given up on direct mail completely and are purely focused on email marketing and other inbound techniques. This means that direct mail is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.

These are a few examples of how direct marketing can continue to be a relevant part of your marketing strategy. Although inbound marketing is one of the best ways to reach your audience, don’t just abandon all of your traditional marketing efforts. Traditional marketing can still play an important part in your overall marketing efforts.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

How Will Inbound Marketing Help Me Sell Custom Homes?

As a home builder, you might assume that traditional marketing efforts are all that’s required to find new clients. Building homes is not something that’s done on the Internet, after all. However, you shouldn’t discount the importance of inbound marketing and the benefits that it can offer. The following are a few ways that implementing inbound marketing to your overall marketing strategy can help you to sell more custom homes.

1. Make It Easier To Be Found Online

Setting up a website is the first step toward being found online. There are many potential clients out there who are thinking about building a custom home. They are likely to start their research online before they even know who you are. They will begin looking for information on building custom homes and will look for home builders in the area that they want to live in. If you don’t have a website or pages on social networks, odds are they will stumble upon your competitors first.

However, setting up a website isn’t the only part of being found. You’ll want to optimize your website and all of the content you produce for your site using SEO. This means using strong keywords and earning links from outside sources to boost your SEO rankings, which, in turn, will help make it easier for people to find you when doing Google searches.

2. Increase Awareness Of Your Home Building Business

The bigger a presence you build online, the more awareness you’ll generate for your home-building company. For example, if you regularly produce content for a blog on your website, your regular readers will be more likely to share that content on social media. This is a great way to generate more awareness for your business. That one person who shares your blog post on Facebook, for example, may not end up using your services. However, that content will be exposed to their social circle. Someone in that social circle may take note of your company and may, in fact, be looking for a home builder themselves.

You can also use PPC (pay-per-click) advertising to generate awareness for your company on Google’s SERP (search engine results pages).

Read More Related Article – The Silent Generation & Senior Real Estate Marketing

3. Improve Your Authority As A Custom Home Builder

Reputation matters. By producing high-quality content that’s relevant to custom home building on your website on a regular basis, you’ll soon establish yourself as an authority. This is especially true if other websites begin linking to your content. Brand authority is important because it helps strengthen your brand identity as well as build trust throughout your audience. When you’ve established yourself as an authority, potential clients are more likely to choose to work with you because they trust that you will do a good job.

4. Engage Directly With Potential Clients

inbound marketing

The ability to speak directly with potential leads to answer any questions that they may have is invaluable. By establishing a presence on social media and regularly interacting with your audience, you can do just that. Social media will allow you to post questions, articles, links, and more. You can even join various discussions that are relevant to the home building industry to make connections with potential clients as well as business partners. Social media channels like Twitter make it easy for your audience to get in touch with you in a convenient manner as well.

5. Nurture Future Clients

Not everybody that interacts with you on social media or that checks out your website will be ready to begin the home-building process. They may be on the fence, or it may be a while before they will be able to begin the home-building process due to a variety of reasons. You can use inbound marketing tactics, such as regularly posting blog content to keep you at the top of your mind or by regularly sending them email newsletters, to nurture them so that when they are ready, they’ll reach out to you.

As you can see, the use of inbound marketing can be incredibly effective for home builders. By leveraging inbound marketing as a major component of your overall marketing strategy, you can increase awareness, improve your reputation, and attract more potential customers.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers