The real estate industry, like many others, is undergoing a digital shift.

The rise of massive listing sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow has spearheaded the change by simplifying the home buying process.

Now, prospective buyers can filter by location, price, rooms, and more, resulting in a populated list of available homes that meet the desired parameters, all without the help and commitment of an agent.

The convenience, simplicity, and no-strings-attached aspect of online real estate shopping has vaulted it into super-stardom—now, almost 90% of Americans use online real estate websites to research properties.

For many real estate professionals, this shift from cold calls, referrals, newspaper ads, and other lead-generation mediums isn’t a welcome change. However, for all real estate professionals, it’s time to adapt or die.

In a 2020 study, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that 52% of homebuyers in 2019 first discovered their new home through the internet. In comparison, only 29% of houses were identified first by real estate agents. Furthermore, as more millennials and zoomers participate in the market over time, these numbers will only continue to skew in favor of internet listings.

In the end, exposure is the most important factor in a sale. For real estate agents and brokers, capitalizing on the well of online traffic-generating resources and tools is more crucial than ever and can allow you to reach a wider market with your listings. Everyone already posts on MLS, real estate directories, and sends newsletters, so what can you do to make yourself stand out?

If you’re listing homes or condos for sale, utilizing these strategies and leveraging technology to your advantage can distinguish your listings from the masses, boosting traffic and accelerating sales.

1. Use Instagram

Instagram

Real estate marketing is a visual art. Pictures make or break listings and serve as the visual eye candy required to attract buyer interest.

Instagram, the premier visual social media platform, is the perfect marketing match.

When marketing listings on Instagram, it’s important to focus on the right demographics. By using Instagram’s powerful filters for location, age, interests, and behaviors, you can efficiently target the right demographics for your properties. A proven strategy is to create a catered carousel or video ad towards a specific demographic that resonates with the target audience’s desired imagery and interests.

Buffer

Buffer is a scheduling tool that provides automation to social media posting processes and can be customized to boost engagement by making the first comment on posts. Buffer also provides analytics metrics for posts, allowing you to keep tabs on your Instagram marketing strategy.

2. Drone Photography

Drone camera picture of house

Technology can assist photography in many ways—just as with virtual staging, drone photography uses technological advances to create appealing photos that attract buyers.

Drones are versatile in photography and can create still shots and videos. Wide and sweeping aerial frames can amaze potential buyers, while drone videos can be used to provide buyers virtual tours of the interior or exterior of the home.

The pricing of drone photography can vary widely, based on quantity and quality. For high-end property listings, drones can film cinema-quality shots that dramatically highlight the entire property.

3. Virtual Staging

Virtual Staging

When posting online listings, you only have seconds to grab a buyer’s interest before they continue scrolling. When 90% of home buyers start their shopping online, standing out from the crowd in a virtual marketplace can be extraordinarily valuable. With the quantity and quality of the competition, you should be doing everything you can to get your listings ahead.

Virtually staged homes and condos simply sell for more, faster. Replacing photos of cold and empty rooms with modern styling piques buyer interest and makes listings appear more professional.

If you decide to spring for virtual staging, you must choose a reputable company that does quality rendering and photoshop work. Quality virtual staging companies such as BoxBrownie.com are worth the price and can come close to real staging at a fraction of the cost.

Beware of virtual staging companies that do lower-quality work—photos with poorly proportioned models and bad photoshop are often worse than empty rooms.

4. Change the Main Listing Photo