Imagine, the dam has broken, and leads are flooding into your inbox. Every realtor shares this same dream. So many new customers are contacting you in fact, that you are forced to hire help, and before you know it your business has grown two or three times over. Now you are sitting on a pile of cash in Hawaii, and life couldn’t be sweeter.
If you want it, it’s possible. We no longer work in an environment where a bulk of our prospects come from referrals though.
According to a study published by the National Association of Realtors, only six percent of potential homebuyers used a friend for recommendations, when starting their home buying journey. The real estate marketplace has moved online, and the adoption rate of technology is growing fast. A forward-thinking realtor will think about where to meet their clients and what that means nowadays is hopping onto Social Media.
Ninety-nine percent of millennials are using the internet as an information source. That presents a huge opportunity for realtors and lenders alike.
Knocking on doors and cold calling are outdated lead generation methods for any type of business. Although some realtors still find success using these old school methods, it may not be the best way anymore. Leveraging social media is a great way to connect with potential clients and generate a consistent list of leads.
Let your content and online presence do the work for you and step into the future.
Facebook Vs. Influencers
It’s the age-old marketing question: go the organic or paid advertising route?
An organic route would probably see you becoming an influencer. If you decide to use paid advertising then you’ll need a completely different set of skills. Both routes have benefits and shortcomings though, so there isn’t really a black or white answer. The best recommendation is a little bit of both.
How to use Facebook Ads for Realtors
Facebook Advertising can be a powerful means of spreading brand awareness. The pricing can range depending on how much you want to spend, and you have the ability to test and track your results easily through their platform. Before you jump in though, it’s best you answer some basic questions so you’re not wasting money.
What do you want out of the campaign?
How do you think you’re going to be able to get it?
You should probably take the time to look into the psychology of advertising. You want to understand how to influence your target demographic, and then create a plan for measuring your ROI. Facebook advertising will require some tweaking. It may not lead to closed deals immediately, but there’s no doubt that if used correctly, Facebook Ads can lead to outstanding results.
When beginning your campaign, it’s important to create ads that are clear and attractive looking on desktop and mobile. People need consistent exposure to your brand in order to convert. So get yourself out there as much as possible. Be wary though, because you don’t want to overspend either, so don’t set your campaign on autopilot.
Use eye-catching copy and have a consistent color pallet. This will be critical if you want your Ad to have impact. Your Ad should be instantly recognizable and uncomplicated. You don’t want to leave a customer confused.
In order to maximize the efficiency of your campaign I suggest that you track the effectiveness of each Ad. Constantly A/B testing your campaigns and tracking the results will allow you to optimize and gain the most from your expenditure.
Another great tactic that has proven effective on Facebook is retargeting individuals who have already visited your website.
There is a higher likelihood of recapturing these leads considering their previous experience with your brand. Make sure that your landing page is optimized to capture these leads though.
Have clear call to actions, and make sure that the page is ready to convert any potential new clients. It’s also important to have the same messaging on your landing page as the ad itself. Otherwise the potential client could be confused and is more likely to bounce.
The benefit of using Facebook Ads is that you will be able to show your results instantly. Better yet, they will put your business directly in front of your target audience. Facebook Ads also allow you to customize each Ad experience for each target market. Personalizing each Ad experience will make your prospective clients feel important. It’s a strategy that should pay off faster than an organic campaign.
However, Facebook is not an effective strategy over time. You will need to continue pouring money into their Ad platform in order to drive more results. There are also some ideas you should be wary of when starting to use Facebook Ads.
Don’t submit a campaign without proofreading your content.
Don’t be deceptive either. Trying to trick the consumer will only leave them frustrated and likely leave a negative impression.
Over all it’s important to be genuine with your content. The foundation of any long-term relationship is going to be trust, and ultimately that should be your goal as well.
I’m not talking about hiring an influencer in the housing industry to promote your brand and try to drive conversions through your website. This is a perfectly reasonable strategy if you’re using an affiliate program, which gives you the opportunity to only pay influencers based on conversions. If you use outside influencers though it won’t lead to the best results overall.
Content marketing or becoming an influencer yourself is a long-term strategy that will pay off. There are a few ideas you should consider before you start though. It’s important that you use each platform as effectively as possible. For example, Twitter is a very “in the moment” type of social media platform that offers higher engagement on posts for a short amount of time and LinkedIn can offer engagement on your posts for as long as weeks afterward.
Growing your audience as an influencer might be challenging at first. In order to optimize, it is a good idea to use Google trends or Google keyword planner. In addition, unless you turn into a one-hit-wonder, you’re more likely going to have to treat social media like you do other lead generation techniques. It’s a grind. Some popular types of content that people are putting out there are articles, infographics, videos, and memes.
Articles are a great way to find recognition online. Take a topic that you are very passionate about and write a quality post about it. Like this one.
You can post the article on your LinkedIn or try to get it shared on another website. No doubt, local newspapers in your area are looking for content. It’s simply a matter of asking.
Once the article is posted, be sure to share it with all your followers on Facebook and Instagram. Omni Channel Marketing, which is the use of multi marketing channels to promote the same content, is a great tactic to help you spread your message.
You can use tools like Buzz Sumo to help with your content research as well.
Designing and creating an Infographic is a lot easier than you think. You don’t need to be an expert at Indesign or Photoshop in order to make quality infographics.
Infographics are great for consumers because they break down complicated information and make it easier to understand.
In order to make a valuable product though, you should consider some common misconceptions or questions that you get. Take the time to create an infographic that answers these questions.
Infographics are likely to be shared, so they’re a great way to grow your audience base.
Memes are easy to create, understand, and share. Among older and younger generations, they are a very popular medium.
In addition, with programs like Meme Generator, they are simple to make.
The secret to a good meme is incorporating humor while also being relevant. Among the mediums they have the next highest engagement rate, right after Video.
Videos on average have about a seven times higher engagement rate compared to other types of content.
Videos don’t have to be extravagant productions either. Sometimes more authentic videos, like those filmed on your phone, can have greater impact.
It’s important to focus on the first ten seconds of a video. The first ten seconds is how you’re going to capture a potential borrowers attention.
Unfortunately, todays modern buyers have short attention spans. So most, or all of the relevant info you’re trying to share should be expressed in the beginning.
In a recent article by Digiday, they explained that while Facebook collects billion of views, over 85% of their viewership is watching the video on silent. Knowing that it’s important to add subtitles to your videos. Don’t forget to include them, and make sure to reduce the amount of narration in the videos as well.
If you follow these guides, you should be well on your way to creating some compelling and purposeful content.
Authentic content should be a constant throughout all these different methods, because it is how you’re going to capture your audience. Sharing quality news is a great way to associate your brand with positive ideas.
You could share a success story or ask your happy client to record a testimonial. A brag post online might seem tacky, but if done in a thoughtful way can be great for your brand. The trick with this kind of approach is that you want to limit your boasting.
You could outsource educational info, or answer some common questions. You could even use humor to attract an audience. The important thing to remember is you don’t want to be all over the place. If you post funny memes, make sure to do it regularly. Not only will the consistency signal trust, but it will keep the audience you’ve gained interested.
In order to maintain engagement, you need to make sure not only your content is compelling but you’re also engaging back.
Respond to people’s comments as much as you can and pin comments with questions to the top of your posts.
You can also reach out to individuals in real estate and suggest ways that you can collaborate. Many real estate agents try to shy away from promoting others on their Facebook pages because of competition.
The truth is that this sentiment is misguided. Consumers and agents are more likely to share collaborations.
Focus on the Top of Funnel all the way down. Content that could drive direct business would be advertising homes or open houses.
Top of mind content might be an infographic about interior design or an article about questions to ask your realtor.
Take some time to design your brand. Know what you want to say, and how you want to convey your message.
The secret to turning your social media into a lead generation machine is not only focusing on the bottom of the funnel but the top.
Whatever you choose to create though, be sure to have fun, because ultimately that is how you are going to get customers interested in your brand
Ben is currently Vice President of Marketing for On Q Financial. As a Digital Marketer with fifteen years of experience, he helps large and small businesses improve leads and conversion. He specializes in analytics, conversion optimization, SEO, and his data-driven approach is tested and improved from month to month.