Real Estate Marketing 101: The Ultimate Guide for Realtors

Updated: Mar 9, 2020


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Real estate marketing is a significantly more complex and nuanced subject than people might expect. Anyone who's not familiar with the real estate business likely thinks that marketing a home is as simple as taking a few photos, writing up a description, and posting it online. While that may have been sufficient in the past, in today's world, that won't cut it.


In the age of Zillow and various online home browsing platforms, you need more. On your listings, you need something that will make your property stand out and wow potential buyers. If the lighting is too dim, the decor dated, or there are any other problems, buyers will keep skimming past your client's home and on to the next one.


However, on your website and other marketing materials, most highly successful agents have an incredibly efficient inbound marketing funnel. There will be more discussion of this strategy later, but the gist of it is that the best agents don't have to go searching for clients - they have a steady stream of clients coming to them! Imagine if you had inquiries about properties each day coming to you every day. How many of those could you close? How much would that increase your bottom line?


At Reyfilm, we receive a lot of inquiries from real estate agents all around the Miami area who are looking for ideas on how to do effective real estate marketing. Many of them have heard of virtual tours, video walkthroughs, and other techniques that lead to increased buyer interest.


We thought it would be quite beneficial to put together a short guide - a quick but valuable Real Estate Marketing 101 post - for agents of all levels who are looking to sell homes faster and for more money. If you are an agent looking to maximize your marketing investments and minimize your time taken, read on to learn how you will be able to master the real estate marketing game!



What's In This Post?


  • Real Estate Marketing: Why Don't Outbound Methods Suffice?

  • Contemporary Marketing Revolves Around Inbound Ideas

  • What Tools Are Available In Real Estate Marketing?

  • Real Estate Marketing Ideas For You

  • Build A Real Estate Marketing Plan

  • How To Target Clients Of All Interest Levels

  • Is A Real Estate Marketing Agency Worth The Cost?

  • Will Mastering Inbound Marketing Make Me A Successful Agent?




Real Estate Marketing: Why Don't Outbound Methods Suffice?


In the past, real estate marketing was simple. The very first known real estate advertisement occurred in 1704 when someone ran a newspaper ad looking for a buyer for their property in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York (which, incidentally, is a lovely and quaint little town, even today).


Newspaper ads as a form of real estate marketing continued to be popular until the 1950s when radio and TV took over. New York City continued to be the trailblazer in this field as the ad was for an apartment in Queens. That ad ran in 1922. As you might expect, the combined dominance of radio, TV, and print real estate marketing continued for quite some time.


After these marketing methods, agents tried direct mailers (because who doesn't love unsolicited mail in their mailbox?) and, of course, the ever-loved cold calls. Real estate agents pounded the proverbial pavement, so to speak, going from door-to-door trying to see if anyone on the street, block, or city was interested in buying or selling their home.


Marketers call these "outbound" methods because you, the real estate agent, are the person reaching out to the prospect. The problem is that these real estate marketing methods don't have much success, they're time-consuming, and they frustrate prospective clients. For cold-calling, for example, only 2% of people will ever bother to show an interest in your business. The other 98% won't bother with you or, worse, will have a negative impression of your real estate agency or brokerage.




Contemporary Marketing Revolves Around Inbound Ideas




In contrast to "outbound" marketing methodologies, "inbound" ones revolve around the customer coming to you asking you for your services. For real estate agents, the classic example of this is when a prospective buyer peruses a site like Zillow. They find a home they like and fill out the contact information to speak with an agent.


Other classic inbound marketing tactics include SEO, having a stellar website, creating compelling infographics, having amazing videos, and so on. Any tactic in which prospective clients are coming to you instead of you having to pitch every person is an inbound one.


As you might expect, inbound marketing approaches are significantly more successful. They have a higher ROI, but, perhaps equally importantly, they are very measurable. You can measure precisely how much money you are spending on each inbound method and what its return is. By contrast, you put up a TV ad, and maybe 1,000,000 people see it, or perhaps 100,000 people see it. Then you receive some calls and can't attribute from where those came.


With a method like a video, for example, you can quantify how many people open an email with a video versus without one (spoiler: emails with videos have a 19% higher open rate and a 50% higher click-through rate!). By mastering these inbound methods, you can budget your marketing dollars more efficiently with inbound approaches as opposed to outbound ones!



How To Build The Ultimate Real Estate Inbound Marketing Strategy



What Tools Are Available In Real Estate Marketing?


Given that inbound approaches are so useful for marketing, it's essential to know what the possible strategies for inbound marketing are. That is, what should you, as a real estate agent, need to think about when setting up an efficient, winning inbound marketing strategy.



real estate marketing tools

Website


Most, if not all, inbound marketing strategies revolve around a site. You need one as a real estate agent, so if you don't have one already, now is the time to make one! Your website should feature necessary information about you, some photos, and, preferably, a video introducing yourself. The primary objective of your website should not be to get people to contact you right away, but rather showcase some of the properties you're working on as well as your extensive real estate knowledge. Your website should be about building trust with the reader so that they want to contact you when they want to do a real estate transaction.





CRM Software


The acronym CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. These software packages act as a repository of all the contact information you acquire. They can also track in which stage of the pipeline a prospective client is, and issue reminders. For example, suppose that you receive a new lead from your website. Their information goes into the CRM database. You then call the person and mark them down as interested. The CRM system can remind you to give them a call in three months to see if they're still thinking of buying or selling their home.


Note that most touchpoints originate from a CRM system (emails, calls, text messages, and so on). As such, it is crucial to have a high-quality CRM system explicitly tailored to the unique needs of real estate agents. HubSpot and Wise Agent are two examples of highly ranked CRM systems that have a long history of working well for real estate agents.


Email Marketing Software


Many inbound marketing campaigns originate from emails. As such, you need a way to create eye-catching emails, and you also need a way to manage subscriber lists. There are also many rules around spam, so the platform that you use must have the capability to unsubscribe built into it as well.


Like CRM systems, there are a few of these that are well-known and work for real estate marketing. Constant Contact is probably one of the most well-known ones. It does a phenomenal job of managing lists, creating appealing emails, and, of course, it has an unsubscribe feature as well! Of course, you're free to use any email sender that you want so long as it has the capabilities mentioned earlier.


Social Media Platforms Like Facebook and Twitter


Social media is an incredibly potent way to bolster your inbound approaches. Facebook is a phenomenal lead-generation platform. Whether you pay for Facebook ads or you write stellar content that gets shared a lot, these platforms are the best tools to have a broad reach and receive many leads with minimal effort.



real estate marketing ideas - Miami real estate marketing agency


Real Estate Marketing Ideas For You


If you have all of the above tools, then you're ready for some traffic-inducing fun real estate marketing ideas! Getting your website and other software set up is only half the battle - the next step is to employ inbound marketing strategies that work!


Search Engine Optimization


One of the best ways to find your ideal customers is to partake in search engine optimization (or SEO for short). SEO is a practice of optimizing your site to land within the top rankings on Google when prospective clients search for particular keywords (like "real estate agent Miami"). In the past, this tactic would involve keyword stuffing. You'd see strange-looking sentences like "fish tacos Miami, FL stand, offering fish tacos Miami, FL without fish tacos Miami, FL sauce." Of course, this page would have been targeting the phrase "fish tacos Miami, FL."


Now, SEO is much more subtle. It's about creating high-quality content that people want to read. It's about being an authoritative source - a premier destination, if you will, for the keyword that you are targeting. For example, if you're targeting the keyword "sell house Miami," then you should have content organized around this concept and phrase.


Of course, precisely how to implement SEO within your real estate site is beyond the scope of this article. When done well, the result is that people who are interested in "sell house Miami" will wind up on your site and contact you for more information. You won't need to chase after prospective clients. People will simply search for real estate concepts, and they will find your site!


Here's a fun fact! You can use awesome explainer videos to boost your website's rankings on search engines dramatically. Explainer videos are 2-3 minute videos in which you describe your services, the site, and so on. These videos are always prominently placed within the home page.


While Google's algorithms are a mystery at times, it appears as though they do prioritize sites with video over places that don't have it. One hypothesis is that explainer videos improve engagement resulting in a higher time on the website. The average website visit lasts eight seconds. But, if you make a compelling video, people might watch that for 2-3 minutes. Since Google tracks time on a website, it sees 2-3 minutes vs. 8 seconds for the competitor and assumes that the 2-3 minute site has much more compelling, relevant content for the searcher. If you would like a comparatively quick and easy way to boost your site's rankings, consider one of those videos!


Be Active On Social Media


Another fantastic inbound real estate marketing method is to be very active on social media. You should be posting regularly. You should also be answering questions and creating content that people want to read. Another tactic can be to showcase a home that you're trying to sell and provide some details about it.


Much like explainer videos are incredibly valuable for SEO purposes, videos for Facebook are equally useful. People who are on social media are not there looking to buy something. They're on these platforms because they want to see what their friends are doing, or they want to watch cute cat videos. They're not necessarily looking for things to buy right then and there, and, as such, having engaging content, like videos, interests people enough to learn more about you as a real estate agent. Exposure is critical for any business, and real estate is not the exception. These videos can be short and to the point, but they should be memorable. Of course, having these professionally shot makes them more polished and structured, but if a video investment is out of reach, consider doing what you can with what you have. In most cases, something is better than nothing, especially if the content is good. The point is for you not to miss out on potential leads.


Use YouTube


If you ask someone what the world's most significant search engines are, pretty much everyone will name Google. That's true. With 92.7% of all searches worldwide, Google takes the lion's share of the search volume. Some people might say that Bing or Yahoo is the next highest. Technically, that's correct if you think of "search engine" in the purest of senses.


However, if your definition of search engine expands to sites that handle domain-specific searches, then the second-highest search engine isn't Bing - it's another Google-owned site, YouTube! With 30 million users per day and 1.3 billion active users worldwide, you should never ignore YouTube when it comes