Dave Lawrence
on

Closing sales is the bread and butter of any real estate firm, but when you’re not the only gig in town serving the real estate consumer, you better be one of the first to come to mind!

If you want to market properties better than the other guys and close more sales, you need to look at what you can do to differentiate yourself. There are some simple yet effective marketing ideas you can use to separate yourself from the pack.

Here are some marketing ideas to help close more sales…

Use the local area

Any property purchase is never just about the property itself: the local neighborhood is just as much of a selling point. Here are some ways to use the local area…

Use local photos in your listing

Include photos of attractive local features in the property listing itself. Showcase a “best of” from the area using high-quality photos of popular landmarks and familiar sites. These might include:

  • Parks.
  • Attractive town centers.
  • Images depicting local life such as the cafē and restaurant scene.
  • Landmarks the town is known for, such as monuments or bridges.
  • Popular local events.

Just be sure that you use either your own original images, or those sourced with permission from the owner.

Create a useful piece of content

Local tips, guides or “Best of” publications can be a great way to entice prospective buyers to take a second look at the area. Create a useful piece of downloadable digital content such as an ebook or PDF. Include interesting facts such as historic events or famous figures associated with the area.

Bonus: Apart from driving interest in the properties you sell in the area, your content can be used to capture leads by offering the piece in return for an email address.

Want a useful way to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign? Check out our free guide here…

Use Technology

Today’s consumer is more ‘plugged in’ than ever to technology, with nearly two-thirds of Americans now owning a smartphone (Pew Research). Get smart with using technology to market properties with these ideas:

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly

Did you catch that statistic at the beginning of this section? More consumers than ever are glued to their smartphones for significant periods of the day. 19% rely to some degree on their smartphones for internet access, and 7% rely heavily on their smartphones…

website-friendly

If your website is not already mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on significant business from those who are put off by the appearance of your site.

Mobile friendliness ensures that your website is optimized for the smaller screens of mobile devices and that the need to scroll or pinch the screen are minimized. In short, it is more convenient for the mobile consumer.

Create a mobile app

This tip is also about capturing mobile consumers. Consider creating your own mobile app where clients can easily view up-to-date listings.

If you search “real estate firm mobile apps” you will find a number of agencies that can create these for you.

Augmented/Virtual Reality

Augmented reality allows you and your customers to view a property in 3D, either projected onto something like your desk or the screen of a mobile device. Virtual reality is slightly more immersive and involves using a headset to explore a 3D landscape.

These technologies are now more accessible than ever to end-users and businesses that want to use them to augment their own marketing.

In the real estate world, augmented or virtual reality can help you market properties which are already built, or being sold off pre-existing plans. Anything that helps your customer visualize a property will help them make a purchase decision, or to express interest in a property that they can’t view in person.

Depending on how the app of choice works, potential buyers can scan flyers, QR codes, banners or other print material to see the property come to life. You can also use these tools to overlay other types of property data.

While this type of technology used to be prohibitively expensive for most small real estate firms, developments in recent years have seen much more affordable apps become available.

Image source: AugmentedRealityTrends.com
Image source: AugmentedRealityTrends.com

Easy website navigation

There are still some pretty horrendous websites out there in terms of usability for your audience. If you want to attract and keep more of those clients who are researching you online before reaching out, make sure your website is attractive and simple for viewers to navigate.

If you usually have a large number of listings, consider making the user experience easier by allowing website visitors to ‘save’ properties of interest. This way they can easily go back to them later.

Social Media & Online Portals

Surprisingly, there are still many real estate firms either not using social media at all, or not using it to full advantage. This also goes for the online real estate portals which are becoming more frequently used by customers…

Get creative with social media

Two of the main mistakes that agencies tend to make with social media are being too self-promotional or not posting often enough to engage prospective clients. Assuming you have already set up social media accounts, take note of these best practices:

  • Keep the self-promotional posts to roughly one out of every seven or eight posts you make. Feel free to test this frequency, as different businesses will get different results so find what works for you.
  • Make your post appropriate to the platform. Every social media platform operates differently and attracts an audience with different preferences. If you schedule out posts using a tool such as Buffer, make sure that you are using appropriate language and imagery for each platform, rather than pushing out blanket posts to every network.
  • Have a schedule. The key to audience engagement is posting regularly on topics that interest them.
  • Use video – Take clips from your YouTube videos and use them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. You could even use short clips on Vine and share on Twitter.
  • Tell a compelling story. Humans tend to respond to storytelling and social media platforms provide a variety of ways to tell them (just check out the Instagram account Humans of New York for example). Does the area or property have a good story to go with it? Do the current owners have an interesting story behind how they came by the house? If you have permission, share these stories as part of your marketing.
  • Use high-quality visuals. Amateurish images will not cast a property in the best light.
  • Make sure your profiles are complete, with detailed bios and all the information a curious customer would need.

How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing? Get our free guide here…

Be on online portals

Whether you like it or not, online real estate portals are increasingly becoming the first stop for potential buyers. Sites like Zillow are the equivalent of Yelp for the real estate world, so it is important that your firm is present and that you encourage your current clients to give you a review.

Make sure your listings are complete with plenty of high-quality photos to entice potential buyers. Many listings are incomplete, a factor which could push viewers toward other listings that show more information.

online-portals

Finally…

You don’t need to have a large budget to be a bit different with your marketing and more attractive to potential buyers as a result.

The thing to remember is the ‘human’ side of real estate. While buyers will always try to make a decision based on logic and reasoning, the reality is that emotions often come into play, especially when you are talking about their own potential home.

This is where strategies such as storytelling, highlights of the area and complete profiles with high-quality images will help you. If you are able to paint a picture with your buyer at the heart of the property, you will close more sales…

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