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BizReport : Internet Marketing 101 : October 26, 2018

Why Your Real Estate Business Is Lost Without A Digital Marketing Strategy

Understanding the customer is crucial in the real estate business. The more you know about your prospects, the easier it is to sell to them.

by BizReport

Data collected through traditional means provides information on demographics, lifestyle, and interests, but it's not always enough. Since accurate data leads to better decisions, marketers in the real estate industry are always on the hunt for better insights.

Years ago, insights were collected manually, and each organization had to collect their own data to create buyer profiles. Sometimes, someone else's data could be obtained for a fee. Today, those same insights are collected and stored digitally, and buyer profiles are available online. Collecting data digitally allows for more intricate data to be collected, providing a more intimate understanding of the customer.

Manual marketing methods are still valid, but digital marketing is faster, reaches more people, and generates an immediate response. If you're in real estate, you know the early bird gets the worm. If you haven't adopted a digital marketing strategy to get that worm, you're already behind.

Potential buyers spend most of their time online

To connect with people living a digital lifestyle, you've got to employ a digital marketing strategy. According to Statistia, Americans aged 18 and older spend more than eleven hours per day using electronic media. Eleven hours is a significant portion of a person's waking day. No wonder digital advertising spend continues to rise by the billions; it makes sense to reach people where they spend the most time.

Potential buyers are looking online for their next home

Your prospects aren't just having fun online, they're actively searching for their next property. First-time buyers are also looking for help. According to statistics, 42% of home buyers start their search online, 92% use the internet at some point in their search, and 14% search online for help with the buying process. This gives you two significant opportunities to reach your prospects. First, by marketing your properties online, and second, by creating an online resource that prospects can find in the search engines. Both are crucial aspects of digital marketing.

Digital marketing is for every aspect of real estate

Regardless of whether you manage, buy, sell, fix or flip properties, digital marketing is imperative to your success. Real estate agents and top property management companies in places like Houston know this, and are embracing digital marketing. For instance, property management companies publish articles to help homeowners, renters, landlords, and tenants with a variety of situations they may face. These articles include topics like how to inspect a property, handle evictions, deal with problem tenants, and abide by housing laws. Many use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on Facebook to collect leads, and most use email marketing to keep prospects in their sales funnel.

Digital marketing supports better lead qualification

In real estate, unqualified leads make up the majority of leads collected online. Only 25% of leads are worth pursuing. Filter out unqualified leads by asking qualifying questions on your form; don't just ask for a person's name, phone number, and email address.

Your web form should be designed to both qualify and disqualify leads automatically. You don't have time to entertain leads that aren't capable of making a purchase, regardless of how interested they are. On your form, include questions like:

- What is your annual income? Create pre-set options, and don't add options for lower income levels that won't likely qualify for a loan.

- Have you met with a lender? This will tell you if they're actively trying to get pre-approved for a loan. If so, they are more likely to be a warm lead.

- Are you pre-qualified for a home mortgage? If so, for how much? Knowing a buyer has been pre-qualified gives you a better understanding of their financial situation.

- How long have you been looking for a home? You want leads that haven't been looking for a home for too long. If they've been looking for a while, they may have low motivation or unrealistic price expectations.

Tag leads based on their answers

Program your web forms to tag leads based on their answers, and only send hot leads directly to your inbox. Keep lukewarm and cold leads in your database so you can pursue them appropriately.

Make the switch to digital

Don't let hot leads slip through your fingers because you're attached to direct mail marketing. By the time you reach your prospects through the mail, they'll be working with another agent.


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