7 Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Do Sales and Marketing Online
As the world becomes more interconnected, real estate agents need to meet their buyers where they are spending their time: online. According to the National Association of Realtors, 4 in 10 homebuyers looked for properties online as the first step in their buying process in 2015. As the world goes mobile and as younger buyers enter the market, this number is likely to increase. That’s not to say that the internet has made real estate agents obsolete, however. The NAR also reported that 88% of home buyers purchased their homes with the help of a real estate agent in recent years. To get more leads, real estate agents and real estate teams should meet their buyers head-on while they are looking for homes in cyberspace.
Some real estate agents are still reluctant to use social media, a website, and other forms of digital sales and marketing tactics to create an online presence. Concerns about costs and time constraints are two of the main barriers for them. But using the internet for sales and marketing is actually inexpensive and time efficient. The internet is now the best tool for lead generation. If you’re still on the fence about doing sales and marketing online, here are 7 reasons why you should reconsider:
- More Home-buyers Are Searching Online Than Ever Before
Although only 4 out of 10 home buyers looked for properties online as a first step, 92% of homebuyers use the internet in some way during the process of searching for a home. The vast majority of home-buyers still use a real estate agent. Buyers are also finding information about agents online. If you don’t have an active web presence, that means they’re finding your competitors. Use marketing automation, social media platforms, and a website to place yourself in front a buyer the moment they start doing research online.
- Generating Leads Online is Inexpensive
Compared to traditional forms of marketing like taking out ads in publications or putting up a billboard, digital marketing is much less expensive. Leverage the algorithms developed by internet giants like Facebook and Google to reach qualified leads for a fraction of the cost of other methods. Digital ads cost less than traditional ones. Social media posting is virtually free. And because more home-buyers are conducting online research than ever before, you’ll reach as many potential leads as possible.
- Marketing Automation Makes Campaigns More Efficient
Instead of posting to social media each day and building other types of marketing campaigns from scratch, use marketing automation to simplify all your processes. Implement targeted online marketing campaigns over channels like social media and email at regular intervals. Use automation to keep track of all your efforts, so you know where your leads are coming from and which strategies are proving to be most effective.
- You Can Target Specific Segments of Home-buyers Online
Target your lead generation efforts at the people who are most likely to enlist your services by using your website, social media, and other online tools. Optimize your website with local-centric messaging so people in your area will be able to find you online. Design your website with a particular type of home-buyer in mind to reach specific market segments. Use social media to share local news, updates about local properties, and events happening in your neighborhood.
When doing online marketing, it’s best not to cast too wide of a net. Targeted marketing yields better results and more qualified leads.
- Every Business Needs a Website
Today’s consumers expect a business to have a website. Real estate agents and real estate teams are no exception. Agents often rely on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com to generate leads for them, but they aren’t always high-quality leads. Relying on these sites limits the amount of customization you have when managing your online presence. Instead, design your own website and optimize it for lead generation. Create a real estate blog to capture more online searchers. Advertise special offers on your homepage and create your own contact forms to turn visitors into leads.
If you have no idea how to build a website, don’t let that deter you. Most businesses enlist the help of a web developer to get their website up and running and to teach them how to use it properly. Your developer will also make your website mobile-friendly, which is important because nearly 60% of online searches now happen on mobile devices. Once your website is operational, use social media to drum up traffic and get more homebuyers looking at what you have to offer.
- You Can Manage Your Entire Sales Pipeline
One of the best parts about online lead generation is that every piece of information you capture is stored efficiently with the right tools. Once you gain a contact online, that contact’s information is immediately inputted into a contact list. You won’t have to write down any names or numbers and keep track of pieces of paper. All of your leads will be stored digitally.
Use digital contact management to move your contacts through the pipeline easily. Add a new contact to the address list of an email campaign or reach out personally. Segment your contacts based on where they are in their home buying journey so you know who is ready for the personal touch. Use digital contact management to respond to contacts quickly once a lead finds their way into your sales pipeline. Set up automated messaging so that leads never wait to be contacted. With the right tools, you’ll manage every lead efficiently, from contact to close, and you’ll never lose track of contact information again.
- You’ll Make Lead Generation Much Easier
Get online to convert qualified home-buyers into leads for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. Your optimized website will show up in search engine results more easily. Without a website, you may not show up in search results at all. Make the website attractive and place forms on it on it to encourage home-buyers to reach out. Using lead management software, you won’t miss any opportunities to nurture your leads and turn them into clients. Getting online is all about lifting barriers, streamlining your marketing efforts, and making the sales process less complicated.