February 19, 2021
6 Digital Marketing Tips for Real Estate
Real estate is, by its very nature, all about the property.
But just as a test drive is the best way to match yourself
to an automobile, an in-person visit has always been a must when buying a home.
Only by walking through the rooms, becoming enamored with
the layout, and having that magical “this is the place” moment do you flip the
switch to become a homeowner.
So, what do we do now that the world is staying away from
in-person activities? Where the safest thing to do is stay away from interiors
where other people we don’t know have been.
The answer is to embrace the digital. Give your customers
ways to experience your property from the comfort of their own home. Show them
why they deserve and desire to live at your homes.
Here are six ways you to use digital marketing to make your
customers feel connected to your property without having to actually be there.
1. Continue traditional
This one is a given. Your digital marketing through email
and on your social media channels should never stop. They are the easiest ways
to reach the largest groups and the most effective methods to create a sense of
togetherness. And your users want it. 84%
of global users are looking to brands to use their social media channels to
create and support their communities.
Email marketing is also as valuable as ever. As reported by
email marketing returns over $55 (adj.) for every $1 spent. It’s one of the
easiest methods to send a message to large groups of people, segment those
recipients into actionable groups, A/B test your communications, and collect
statistics on how your message is performing.
While email and social media aren’t always perfect (cough,
social), they are still two of the most effective tools in our virtual
toolbox. Use them well.
Extra Credit: Use email and socials to push things other
than sales messages and expected holiday greetings. Respectfully use them to
engage with your users in other ways: share fun facts or applicable news
stories; announce special events in your community; and other inventive ways to
keep your brand in the mind of your customers without always just pushing a
2. Virtual Tour
Virtual tours have quickly become something home buyers
expect to find. While photos, floor plans, and detailed property information
are the top
three items home buyers want, virtual tours round out the top five with 42%
of buyers finding them “very useful.” Especially now, they are a way to see
beyond photos, to see a room from all angles, and to feel like you’re as-there
And the best news is, there are options to creating virtual
tours depending on your budget. There’s the cutting-edge company with the
specialty camera that so many use, but there are also less expensive options
using any 360° camera. These are definitely
alternatives for those with smaller resources.
Extra Credit: Don’t just offer virtual tours of your homes.
Find other things your buyers would like to see. Your clubhouse, your hiking
trails, your restaurant, and your playgrounds can all be virtual features.
Anything you can do to showcase more of what makes your community unique will
elevate you in the minds of home buyers.
Webinars don’t have to be arena-packing events full of
lasers and lightshows. If you look at most TED talks, for example, they are really
just one person standing and talking in front of a slide show. Some use video
and audio effects; some are just basic. What they always accomplish, however,
is providing information that the viewer devours. Do this for your buyers.
Think of a family looking for their first home. They are new
to everything and learning as fast as they can. Help them. Create webinars
focused on how the buying process works, what to expect during closing, how to
plan the big move. These webinars aren’t a one-time-use prospect
either—structure them to be evergreen.
Think of the family looking to downsize after kids have
moved out. Their life is changing just as much as the first-time home buyer.
Let them know how big the change really is and some of the potential road bumps
they might run into. Perhaps give tips on storage or how to create a room that
can always be a backup bedroom (if the kids come to visit). Everyone values
Extra Credit: Plan your webinar’s content and structure
wisely. Information and numbers will change over time for various factors in
home buying. Anticipate what might change and structure your videos in a way
that they can be easily re-edited to update any out-of-date information.
Livestreams being used more and more (growing 99%
from April 2019 to April 2020), and are a great way to excite and engage your
potential buyers. It is exciting because it is live, which adds an exclusivity
to the broadcast—an immediacy and a reason for buyers to schedule their time
around your livestream. That is the first way they engage with a stream.
The second is during the livestream itself. Most
livestreaming platforms offer an interactive chat feature. This both lets
viewers react to what is being presented, but also ask questions of the
presenter. Having someone other than the presenter monitor the livestream is a
big advantage. It allows the presenter to only concentrate on their topic and provides
a very helpful liaison between the on-camera talent and the audience. This can
make the entire stream much more fluid.
Extra Credit: Make sure you record your livestream (most
services have this as an option). Recorded livestreams become videos you can
use elsewhere in your marketing. Don’t let that good video content go to waste!
When we want to learn something, our initial instinct is to
ask. We might ask another human, we might ask a digital assistant, we might
even ask the internet in general. There are so many people involved in building
a community—ask them questions you know your buyers would ask if they could.
A member of the development team. A kitchen designer. The
chef at your clubhouse’s bistro. Current homeowners who will be a new
homebuyer’s new neighbors. Get as many different angles on what makes your
community special. All of these will help answer your potential buyers’
questions before they can even ask them!
Extra Credit: Interviews lead to an invaluable marketing
resource: quotes. These quotes can be used in your social media marketing,
banner ads, print collateral, websites, and anywhere else you use words to enhance
6. All of the above
Of course, our final favorite digital method is a blend of
all of the above. Livestream an interview with homeowners describing what they
love about the community and homes. Turn a livestream into the meat of a
webinar on “what to expect from your new designer kitchen, as demonstrated by
your kitchen’s designer.” Take quotes from your interviews and build a social
media campaign around them.
You can even embed other media—like quotes or video—inside
your virtual tours. Imagine how awed your potential home buyers would be if
they were in the middle of a virtual tour of one of your properties and, from
within the home office, could watch a short video interview with a current
homeowner on how they’ve best used the space in their home!
The idea is to take the good content you just created and
create more with it. Think of each of these tools as a part of a digital
marketing chain: one link isn’t strong on its own—it’s all the links connected
and working together that gives the chain strength.
Give your digital marketing a boost of power by combining
traditional digital marketing, virtual tours, livestreams, webinars, and interviews
into a force that buyers will welcome with open arms. And then you can, with
similar open arms, welcome them home.