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What do you picture when you imagine “house hunting?” Do you have a mental image of a couple poring over a Saturday newspaper real estate section with a red marker in hand, circling potential properties?
While this might have been the norm ten years ago, it’s just not true for how people search for property these days. Now, most house hunting is done online. Your target market is trawling the internet for their big investment, and there’s a few simple ways you can optimize your online marketing to capture their attention.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
There are many reasons that searching for property on the internet is the preferred method of house-hunting now, and one of the big ones is that it’s available anywhere, anytime – no waiting around for the Saturday property lift-out of the newspaper. And one of the reasons that the internet is available anywhere, anytime, is that it’s in our pockets on our smartphones. House hunters are using their smartphones more than ever to search for what’s out there.
You need to make sure that your website functions smoothly on desktop, tablet, and smartphone. The patience of people is shorter than Danny Devito, so if your website isn’t designed to respond to the platform on which it’s being viewed, your potential clients will get frustrated and go elsewhere.
Encourage Customers to Share
Inserting a function on your website that easily allows house hunters to share the webpage or property information is a fabulously simple way to keep a property at the forefront of a buyer’s mind, as well as drive more viewers to your site. Rarely will a person buy a house without any input from a family or friend. But it’s often that they’ll be searching the internet solo. So they need to be able to share what they’ve found with their partner/parents/person giving advice. A simple “email a friend about this property” button is an easy and effective way to get users to share information about your listed properties.
Create Interesting, Local Content
Blogs are a key element of online marketing. Not only are they great for improving your search engine results ranking, they are a fantastic way to position yourself as an expert in your area.
Publish regular, high quality, informative blogs on your website. Blogs which focus on local content are ideal – profile neighborhoods and provide specific information about areas where you sell property. People who are looking to buy in this area will be looking for this information and will be introduced to your website through these blogs. It’s great for brand awareness, showing that your agency is an expert in these neighborhoods.
Ask For Reviews
Asking clients to leave a review for you on Facebook, Google Reviews, or Yelp is a great way to establish your reputation as a leading agent. Peer reviews are so influential in encouraging new buyers or sellers to seek out your services. Next time you get some positive feedback from someone you’ve worked with, ask them to take a minute to leave that feedback publicly on one or more forums.
Putting these positive words on your website as a testimonial is a great idea too.
Send out a regular email newsletter profiling new properties, highlighting your agency’s achievements, or reporting on recent trends or events (you can even include or link to your blog articles). Encourage people to opt-in to this mailing list when they visit your website or at open inspections. People receive lots of emails every day and it’s important to establish yours as informative and enlightening, rather than just another spam email.
You can use analytics programs to measure how many people open it and who unsubscribes to help you find the right balance between useful and spam. The email newsletter is one of the simplest and easiest ways to stay on the mind of buyers and sellers and maintain relevance.
Your online presence is essential to brand awareness and reaching potential buyers. Make sure your online marketing efforts reach further and make a better impact with these few simple tricks.