Digital Marketing Strategy for Real Estate Agencies
A real estate agency is a full-fledged company that, to register on its market sustainably, must develop effectively. For this, it must be able, like any company, to communicate about its offer, to appeal to its future customers attractively, to position itself ahead its competitors. Because the real estate professions are above all field professions, many are the agencies which are little or not at all represented on the web, thus depriving themselves of very interesting visibility. Here we will focus on taking stock of the various tools that can easily be implemented by real estate professionals to optimize their digital communication and thus benefit from the spinoffs of this connected market, representative of new consumption patterns.
Define your digital marketing strategy
WHAT IS A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY?
A marketing strategy in the broad sense includes all the measures that a company implements in the medium or long term to achieve its commercial objectives. Reduced to the real estate sphere, this is all the communication actions that an agency will carry out to attract new clients. This can be future buyers of property, syndicates of co-owners, principal owners, or tenants looking for accommodation according to the services offered by the agency.
The concept of digital marketing, also called web marketing or e-marketing, brings together all marketing practices related to the digital sphere and therefore which directly or indirectly affect the web. The goal here will be mainly:
- to offer better visibility to your website,
- improve your commercial performance: either generate more property sales or obtain more management or trustee mandates, etc.
- to retain your customers …
For this, you can use several tools that we will detail later as well as through a series of dedicated articles. Among the most used, we note the different types of website referencing, social networks, emailing …
WHY IS IT IMPERATIVE TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY IN THE DIGITAL SPHERE?
The first answer is obvious. It is imperative today for a real estate agency to be present on the web quite simply because that is where your future clients will look for you. Indeed, the digital sphere is today an integral part of our everyday life. When we look for the date of an event, a cooking recipe, the name of a personality, or to buy or rent a house, the first instinct of the great majority of the population will be to open their computer or take out their mobile phone and start a search engine.
On the other hand, you absolutely must be present on the web because it is an indisputable tool to fight against competition more and more present in the real estate sector … If you are not present on the net your competitors, for the most part, are already, and this gives them a certain lead over you in the race for new contracts!
Finally, we strongly encourage you to develop a digital strategy, even basic, quite simply because it is ultimately a very simple principle to implement and another advantage, inexpensive. So do not give up reading this file right away and think seriously about the advantages that such a strategy could represent for your agency.
The Website: A Real Showcase
Having a website for a real estate agency follows the same logic as that which pushes clothing stores to have a well-organized storefront. Of course, you will tell me, it is also important that the physical window of the agency highlights the properties for sale or for rent, but here we are going to focus more on the digital aspect of communication.
There are different types of websites for real estate professionals. Of course, they are often combined in a single medium for greater simplicity and a stronger impact in the digital sphere.
THE “SHOWCASE” OR “CORPORATE” SITE
It aims to present the activity of the agency, its history, its team, to highlight the different services it can offer. The goal here is to reassure the visitor and to highlight your qualities as a manager. You can include, for example, your customer references, the volume of transactions generated, or testimonials from satisfied customers …
THE “CATALOG” OR “REAL ESTATE” SITE
Rather, it is the site of your products. Its purpose is to present the assets managed by the agency, whether for sale or rental. The Internet then becomes for agencies that make the transaction or rental, an effective way to promote their property. This can be on their own site or on real estate portals on which they will be able to post their ads.
You are now equipped with a complete website, presenting both your business and the real estate products you offer for sale and for rent. Your site should now appear in the results when a tenant types in the keywords “apartment for rent in Lyon” or “buy a house in Brest” for example in his search engine. Now let’s see how to optimize your strategy to achieve this goal.
The Different ways to be Referenced on the Web
The referencing of a website is actually the ranking, the position of the latter in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo !, Qwant …. Let’s take a concrete example: your real estate agency specializes in new builds, and you are based in Rouen. Your future customers will search the internet for “buy a new house in Rouen”. You will be well-referenced if you appear at the top of the results list.
There are several ways to be referenced or listed on the net:
LOCAL OR GEOGRAPHIC REFERENCING
This type of referencing aims to attract future clients who are located near your agency. It is therefore a tool halfway between the web and the field. It is very effective, especially on mobile phones, because nearly 90% of searches located on smartphones turn into a visit or a call within 24 hours. There are several ways to optimize your local SEO :
- Use keywords referring to your geographic positioning in headlines or texts on your website. Ex: your Real Estate agency New York 4th.
- Also, optimize the tags of your website in this direction. The “title” and “meta description” tags are the title and descriptive text that appear in internet search results.
- Create a Google My Business page for your agency. This is the little insert that appears when you search for a company near a place you want to go on the Google search engine. This will allow you to appear qualitatively in local searches since you can display your contact details, photos, a link to your website, your customer reviews … Thanks to this tool you are also located in Google Map.
We focused on Google My Business because it has the advantage of being easy to use and you can be listed there for free. But there are also other tools like the Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc.
When a user does a search on the internet, search engines classify the results on the web according to an algorithm that will assess the relevance of different sites based on several criteria. Working on the natural referencing of its site will consist in implementing good practices allowing it to be viewed favorably by search engines.
- The technical optimization of the site: the important criteria will be in particular the clarity of the source code, the structure of the site, its download speed (beware of images, animations, and videos that are too heavy) … If your site is managed by a professional then he will know how to best advise you on this part. If you manage it autonomously, most turnkey site providers offer rather optimized structures, on the other hand, be careful with what you will add as content.
- The relevant content of the site: this must be quality content (texts, images, videos, etc.), related to your activity. It must be unique: copy-paste is absolutely prohibited. An interesting solution to display content on your website is the blog. You can distribute relevant articles there presenting elements that may be of interest to your future customers. Your site should also have well-structured titles and consistent tags (seen above).
- The popularity of the site: a popular site is a site that serves as a reference for others. For example, another website links to yours. This is called an external link. These links are very beneficial in terms of SEO but they must come from relevant sites related to your activity. Ex: an insurance company offers contracts specifically dedicated to condominiums and sets up a link to the trustee page of your site.
SEO is a long procedure to set up but very effective. Another advantage is that it is free and does not take into account the advertising results put forward by Google, which on the other hand are not. In this case, it is what is called paid referencing.
These are the ads that your agency will be able to broadcast on Google, Bing, or other search engines as well as on certain partner sites. These paid ads appear before the natural ads on search engines.
The principle of this type of referencing is simple:
Step 1: you will first have to define the keywords that represent you and for which you want to stand out on the search engines.
Step 2: Then you just have to create the ads that will appear on search engines and that will be consistent with your keywords and your website.
Step 3: finally set the maximum budget that you are willing to spend. The system operates in the form of an auction. The more you bet, the more chances you have of appearing in the lead …
This practice has a cost that can be more or less important depending on whether you are in a competitive market or not. But this method is still little used by real estate agencies, it is possible that your colleagues have not yet adopted it and that you can appear at the top of the list for a few tens of euros per month.
VARIOUS PROFESSIONAL DIRECTORIES
Each economic sector has its directories of professionals … The real estate sector as well. Today all real estate agencies are listed on the website of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry but there are also other directories that can generate useful external links:
- News sites dedicated to the real estate sector.
- Real estate advertisements distribution sites.
- Real estate trade unions.
Other digital marketing tools
As we have seen, the first step in any digital marketing strategy is to have a website and maximize its SEO. But there are also other tools that are easy to set up to allow you to communicate about your agency and your property while benefiting from the advantages of the digital sphere: advantageous cost, ease of use, rapid returns on investment …
SOCIAL NETWORKS: STRONG ALLIES
It is a means of communication widely used today in the private sphere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… are an integral part of the daily life of millions of French people. If the effectiveness of social networks is rather limited in certain sectors, real estate professionals have a rather encouraging success by broadcasting their advertisements on this vector.
Indeed this means affects both buyers, sellers, lessors, and tenants. Each social network has its own target and favors one type of content over another. We advise you to be present on several of them (possibility of broadcasting content simultaneously on certain networks) and to adapt your content. For example, Facebook is aimed at a rather mature target, Instagram relies on the quality of visuals, Snapchat is more aimed at those under 25.
EMAILING: PREFERRED TO BUILD LOYALTY
Using emailing is a quick and easy way to communicate, but it should be used with caution. Indeed the data protection policy is extremely strict at this level and today we can no longer send anything to anyone under penalty of sanctions. However, you always have the possibility of communicating by email with the contacts who have given you prior authorization.
This can be in the context of alerts on your website: a person looking for a property can leave you their email so that you send them ads corresponding to their search. You can also use the email addresses of your clients, again with their agreement, to send them materials that may interest them or inform them about the other services offered by the agency.
WEB ANALYSIS: THE STUDY OF BEHAVIOR
EXTRANETS AND MOBILE APPLICATIONS: TO STAY CONNECTED
Another method of being represented in the digital sphere is to provide your customers with digital means of communication that are specially dedicated to them. Some real estate management software publishers offer extranets intended for co-owners in the management of trustees or owners and tenants in rental management.
Your customers will be able to find information and documents related to the management of their files. It has been compulsory for trustees since 2015 (ALUR Law) and is widely appreciated by landlord landlords in rental management who can thus be informed in real-time of the management of their properties. To go even further, some new generation solutions offer dedicated mobile applications, so that your customers can access their data from anywhere.
Because real estate trades are first and foremost field trades, it is essential to maintain a physical presence, an efficient and responsive customer relationship. But the digital sphere is too intrinsically linked to our daily lives to be put aside, especially in a sector as dynamic as that of real estate. Thanks to the few tools briefly described in this file and which we will not fail to develop in a series of dedicated articles, we have brought you, I hope, some keys to better understand this universe. In the end, sometimes technical terminology hides practices that are rather simple and quick to set up… So don’t wait any longer to get started in digital marketing too!