Marketing isn’t just measured in ad buys. Anything you can do to draw people to your website can help you promote the properties you want to sell. You may be surprised at what’s capable with the latest tactics.
You need to look broadly at how you can improve your reputation for expertise. If you do marketing right, you can turn your efforts into a machine that generates leads.
These 10 marketing ideas for real estate investors can help you get started.
- Make your website worthy
- Hire a photo pro
- Setup a local business page on Google
- Make the local area work for you
- Add social sharing to property pages
- Create a virtual tour
- Get branding
- Ask for testimonials From former clients
- Ask for referrals
- Create a popular blog
1. Make your website worthy
Your website is the headquarters for all of your other marketing efforts. Everyone attracted by your ads is going to end up here. Everyone who is excited by your social media posts or sees your guest posts on other sites is going to come here.
Are they going to be impressed when they arrive? If not, you have a problem.
For this step, it’s important that you compare yourself to your competition. Start by performing a Google search for terms related to your business (such as those we covered in our top keywords for real estate investors).
Based on what you see, you may need to consider one of the following upgrades:
- Develop better images (I’ll expand on this later on) to improve the appearance of both your site and your listings
- Develop better content to position yourself as an expert
- Hire a competent web developer to clean up outdated web design elements, or fix any errors
2. Hire a professional photographer
Professional photos are going to be an important part of several other marketing ideas that we’ll discuss here. Photos are an essential part of your marketing efforts because they leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees them.
The rest of your marketing efforts don’t really matter if the photos that you’re using give the impression that you’re an amateur. Having excellent photography will reassure your visitors that they’re dealing with professionals.
You want professional-grade photos for all of the following:
- Each of your properties for sale
- Your (and your staff’s) photos
- The images you’ll be using offsite
3. Setup a local business page on Google
A Google My Business (GMB) profile is absolutely essential if you plan on doing any business in your local area. You must have a GMB profile in order to appear on the map results for Google.
These results appear above the organic search results for all local searches, so it’s more important to secure these results that it is to get the #1 spot in the results below. Achieving the top spot in map results is as effective for your exposure as a good ad campaign.
Setting up a GMB profile is very simple, and it doesn’t cost you anything. You can register your business, here, and then add custom details to set yourself apart. When you’ve completed your Google business registration, you should populate your profile with all of the following:
- Complete business information including your business address, operating hours, and
- Professional photos of your location, staff, and attractive past properties
- Occasional posts that can help you show off your expertise or special offers
4. Make the local area work for you
Showing off each property you’re selling is important, but many real estate investors have excelled by going a step further. In addition to the property itself, you should try to sell the area that it’s in. For some buyers, these local features are as important to them as the features of the property itself.
When you hire that professional photographer for a day or so, have them create an impression of the area your best properties are in by taking glamour shots of local features such as:
- Local parks and scenery
- Retail districts within walking distance
- Historic locations in the community such as coffee houses, restaurants, and boutiques
Some real estate investors have even used drone photography to help home shoppers get a better idea of the area around a property. If you’re the first person in your area to offer these photos, it can help set you apart.
5. Add social sharing to property pages
Let’s move back to your website for a second. An upgrade that you may not have considered is adding social share buttons to each of your property listings. While this tactic is not widely used yet, it can have an awesome effect.
Social share buttons are icons that provide direct links to social media. They exist for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other social networks. It’s simple to add them by using add-ons for your website such as ShareThis.
Adding social share buttons allows anyone searching properties on your website to share your photos to their social media profiles with the click of a button. When they do this, they’re inviting friends and followers to comment on the properties their considering.
These are the people who have the most power to influence buying behavior. Every encouraging comment that they make is worth a hundred ad impressions.
6. Create a virtual tour
You can do better than photos when it comes to showcasing your properties. Add a virtual tour that allows home shoppers to fully explore the property by simply clicking through it.
You may imagine that this is a feature that requires expensive software or professionals. However, it’s available as a free tool that’s offered by Google. Just install Google Tour Creator, and the program will take you through the process.
This is a particularly important feature for as long as most nations are under quarantine. Anyone who is shopping for properties will want to see as much of the home as they can before they make an in-person visit. That makes this feature more of an expectation than a bonus.
7. Start branding yourself
This is more of a long-term strategy, but if you only move a few properties at a time, you may underestimate how important it is that you start branding yourself now.
You can develop a logo and then apply it to small products (such as pens and coffee cups) that you can hand out to people who are viewing your properties in person. Over time, these products spread through the community and plant seeds.
Over time, these efforts can significantly improve your credibility. People who have never used your services before can be instantly reassured if they visit your website for the first time, and remember seeing your branding before.
It tells them that your business is seriously professional.
8. Ask for testimonials from former clients
One of the most powerful ways to build a reputation is through testimonials. People aren’t going to trust what you say about yourself, but they do trust what past customers say about you a lot more.
Testimonials can be posted on your website, but they’re most effective when they’re posted on neutral ground—especially on your Google My Business profile. Even the happiest clients may not know how much reviews mean to you. It can be helpful to request reviews directly in your closing communications to clients.
For example, if you provide them with a “welcome basket” for their new property, you can include a card asking them to leave a review. If you do any follow-up emails, make sure that you link directly to your GMB page.
9. Ask for referrals
Another way you can put satisfied customers to use is by requesting that they refer anyone looking for a property to your site.
Like testimonials, this may not be something that they consider on their own unless you make the point of asking them directly. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be happy to do it when you ask.
This can be a particularly powerful form of marketing because people trust the advice that they receive from their peers more than they do any form of advertising.
Make a point of asking for referrals in any closing communications that you send them.
10. Show off your expertise with a blog
A blog can be a major lead generator if you know how to build it properly. People who visit the blog once they arrive on your site are often looking for confirmation that you’re a serious person with a lasting presence.
You can use your blog to do all of the following:
- Prove your expertise by providing tips, or “talking shop” about real estate investing. Many buyers may be property investors themselves.
- Show off the work that you’ve done to rehab properties. This can make potential buyers who see them more confident in the property, especially if the work is of excellent quality.
- Talk about the unique features or historical significance of properties that you’re selling.
Master your real estate marketing
Using these 10 tactics, you can maximize the power of your online marketing. The combination of these methods will help you generate interest from many different directions. Over time, applying all of these methods will help you attract leads that would never have otherwise heard of your business.