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Incredibly, there are still plenty of talented real estate teams that haven’t taken advantage of inbound marketing. Many still rely on the same marketing tactics that have served for years. It’s understandable, but these aren’t enough to separate yourself from your competition these days.

This is going to sound biased, but hear us out: inbound marketing strategies are particularly effective for real estate professionals. This is an industry where there is lots of competition for prospective customers in the form of print ads, billboards, signs and postcards.

Let’s just say that there is a lot of “hope” involved when it comes to using these outbound marketing tactics.

Instead of hoping your open house postcard lands in the right hands, wouldn’t you rather know that you’re delivering your message to right audience? Not only is this more efficient for your marketing budget, but you’ll also convert more leads into clients!

Let’s take a look at 5 of the best inbound marketing strategies for real estate agents…

Home sold thanks to real estate agents inbound marketing tactics

1) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Are you familiar with search engine optimization (otherwise known as SEO)? It involves distinct processes and strategies designed to make your website highly visible for targeted keywords in search engines like Google and Bing.

Not only will this get you a lot more organic traffic, but if you’ve targeted the right keywords, your website will receive more qualified traffic. This qualified traffic consists of individuals who will be much more likely to become leads and eventually clients!

Have you tried running some ads using Google Adwords before? It’s true that search engine marketing tactics can get you in front of potential clients right away. However, it can be very costly. Plus once you stop paying for these ads, your online presence returns to zero.

Benefits of SEO for Real Estate Agents

SEO should be considered an investment. Depending on your budget, it could take a few months to start seeing significant results. If you stick with it, this is an investment that can pay massive dividends in the form of high-quality traffic to your website and listings.

Is this investment worth it when there are massive third-party real estate websites like Zillow and Realtor.com? These properties do own a good bit of real estate in the search results. However, we guarantee you that SEO is worth the investment.

Purchasing a new house still comes down to personal interactions between the real estate agent and prospective home buyer. Most clients will end up on your site to learn more about you, your business and background. If your site isn’t optimized, it’ll be harder to find and likely harder to use.

Where should you start? Learn about local SEO best practices for real estate agents.

2) Leveraging Foundational Content

Talk to any inbound marketer and they’re going to talk about content. Believe us, it’s for a good reason. Great content will draw people to your website and keep them coming back for more.

Simply put, it’s a must!

So what do we mean by foundational content? As a real estate professional, you have an advantage that can be leveraged to great effect in your inbound marketing. We’re referring to your property listings and related raw data obtained from property owners and databases.

This is your foundational content and it’s the primary reason that potential clients will seek you out to begin with. Acquiring new listings and closing transactions means that things are constantly changing and new content is readily available.

Ensure Your Content is Engaging

Your target audience is looking for information about listed properties in your geographic territory. They want to learn about asking prices, the neighborhood and local area.

Make sure that your content is presented in a very “user friendly” way. This means smaller blocks of text, high quality images and an intuitive navigation interface.

Example of user friendly content layout for real estate listing

Photo courtesy of Colorlib

Using Smaller blocks of text doesn’t mean leaving out any information. In fact, detailed information is a significant plus as it gives searchers the ability to learn as much as they want to about a given real estate listing.

Pair this information with a streamlined, aesthetically pleasing site layout, and your users will be very pleased indeed!

3) Blogging Consistently

Did you know businesses that blog receive 97% more links to their website compared to those that don’t? Blogging consistently also means more leads! In addition to your foundational content, a blog that answers your target audience’s questions and provides real value is one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies for real estate companies.

In the past, real estate agents relied solely on bringing their knowledge and expertise to their negotiations with clients. Combined with well placed signs and good word of mouth, this was enough to dominate your desired territory.

Blog to Build Trust and Authority

Now, more prospects expect to get an inside look at real estate companies and their agents before choosing to work with someone. Maintaining a blog and developing your site’s content is an excellent way to elevate yourself above your competitors!

In addition to providing insight about you and your team, blogging consistently helps establish your agency as an authority and builds trust with site visitors. Compared to interruptive outbound marketing tactics, it’s easy to see why this tactic can convert more leads into clients.

Did we miss something? Oh yeah! Blogging in combination with other inbound marketing tactics will improve your online visibility. In an industry that bombards leads with marketing messages, this means you’ll be found when people are actually searching for answers!

4) Social Media Marketing

Social media! It’s a big topic of discussion and for good reason. It allows companies to interact and spread their influence to people who they would have never otherwise been able to reach.

A comprehensive social media marketing strategy can help build your personal brand and/or your company’s brand. Combined with other inbound marketing strategies, you can now take advantage of a variety of channels to connect with your target audience.

Unfortunately, we often see businesses take the wrong approach to social media. Perhaps they have set up a profile, but they post very infrequently. Some may post frequently, but it’s too promotional for anyone to become invested. Others may have built a profile on a social platform that isn’t appropriate for their business.

People aren’t necessarily looking to buy something when they are using Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. They’re looking to see what their friends are up to and connect with others. That being said, an interesting article in their feed can easily grab their attention.

Developing an Online Community Using Social Media

To grow your influence on social media, you need to present yourself as a hub of engaging and worthwhile information. Share content that answers the questions of your target audience. This should include your own content, as well as curated content. Encourage conversations about new listings and be responsive when people ask questions.

Snapshot showing real estate agency with a great social media marketing strategy

Photo courtesy of The Agency

A well nurtured community can be converted into more qualified leads and eventually clients. They’ll also be more likely to personally recommend you to others.

There are A LOT of social media platforms available nowadays and it can be tempting to try them all. However, you should pick a core group of social media platforms and focus on those (at least to start out with). Building an online community around your real estate agency takes a lot of time and consistent effort.

It’s extremely easy to stretch yourself too thin– especially if you don’t have a designated person managing your social profiles full time. In a future post, we are going to delve deeper into specific social media marketing strategies that real estate companies can employ.

5) Email Marketing Tactics

Personal referrals are still a very effective way for realtors to build their client list. Well, inbound marketing doesn’t stop after you’ve attracted a few qualified leads to your website. Email marketing is one of the best ways to convert qualified leads and delight existing customers.

Here’s our recommendation: create an email newsletter that you send out to your client list once a month. This is an excellent way to engage the new additions to your list and keep your agency’s name on the mind of past customers. Even if previous customers aren’t in the market to buy or sell a home, it’s a great way to generate more personal referrals.

If you take the steps to ensure that your newsletters provide valuable information, you’ll find that people in your list will share it with others. In fact, consistently engaging newsletters can help you develop an extremely valuable and loyal community of subscribers.

(Click here if you’d like to learn more about email marketing.)

Conclusion

We want you to know that the purpose of this post was to provide an intro to inbound marketing tactics that can benefit real estate agents. There’s a lot more you can do if you choose to make a long-term commitment to inbound marketing.

Again, we stress “long-term” because you aren’t going to see a significant change right away.

This is a reason why many businesses don’t stick with these tactics– an unfortunate decision as inbound marketing provides a significantly better ROI compared to traditional marketing methods.

At Arclight Interactive, we want you to get the most out of your marketing budget! Want to stay ahead of the curve? It’s time to stop relying on outdated methods. We guarantee that investing in inbound marketing will earn you significant results.

If you have any other questions about inbound marketing tactics and tips, be sure to fill out our contact form or leave a comment below.

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The Olympics are in full swing and we have been loving the action so far! Even if you’re not traditionally much of a sports fan, you have to admit that there is something compelling about the spirit behind the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In honor of the Olympics, we wanted to offer up something that we hope you’ll find intriguing. Did you know that the Olympic Games can teach you quite a few things about inbound marketing? Really!

Just like with Pokemon GO, you’d be surprised by what you can learn when you’re willing to look at something in a different way. Still with us? Good! Let’s get started…

Olympic athletes can teach valuable inbound marketing lessons

1) Hone Your Skills for Success

For Olympians or any professional athlete, much of their lives is spent honing their skills. Think about the 400 meter freestyle for Olympic swimmers. Katie Ledecky of the U.S. won a gold medal with her time of 3 minutes 56 seconds. How much time do you think she spent training to get ready for that moment?

Ask any serious athlete–even the ones born with incredible levels of talent–and they’ll tell you it’s that extra effort and time put into honing their skills that makes the biggest difference.

In order to execute an inbound marketing campaign successfully, you need to hone your skills. An inbound marketer needs to have a firm grasp on everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to social media marketing and content marketing.

Can you write compelling copy? Do you have any knowledge of HTML or CSS? These are all important elements in any modern digital marketing campaign. This is also an industry that is constantly evolving and marketers who aren’t putting in the extra hours to hone their skills won’t ever be able to compete in the long run.

2) Make a Plan and Stick to It

Olympians consistently dazzle us with unreal displays of athleticism performed on the grandest of stages. That doesn’t mean they don’t feel the immense pressure that rests on their shoulders. However, they’ve trained their minds to overcome these thoughts and remain laser-focused on their goals.

Olympians work with their coaches and trainers to develop a plan of action, which is something that they can fall back on during moments of self-doubt or crises. This allows them to tune out the distractions and the millions of eyes that are watching and waiting on bated breath to see what happens next…

Similarly, if you launch headlong into an inbound marketing campaign without a sound strategy or established goals, things can easily fall apart once the pressure is turned up. You need to establish those key benchmarks before you start.

With a coherent plan in place, you and your team have something to fall back on when serious challenges arise.

What happens when your client starts getting worried and feels uncertain about your campaign? If you’ve developed a plan and have established goals, you can provide impactful updates that show how things are progressing. It makes a huge difference!

3) Leverage Your Strengths

Have you seen the new Reese’s commercial featuring Lyndsey Vonn? It’s a great ad that shows the two-time gold medalist failing spectacularly at a number of summer olympic sports. Their tag line is “Do Summer Like a Winter Olympian” and it’s definitely worth a watch!

This commercial makes us think about the value of leveraging your strengths. It’s something that is just as important for Olympic athletes as it is inbound marketers. Why? As we mentioned before, inbound marketers are required to wear a lot of hats. Over time, you’ll discover the areas where you and/or your team are more talented.

We aren’t saying that you should limit yourself when it comes to the work you do for your company or your clients. However, you should know how to leverage your strengths in order to ensure your campaign is as successful as possible. Does your team have more skills in social media marketing? Then develop your inbound marketing strategy so it’s geared around a heftier push on social media.

Getting new clients can be tough and this can make it hard to say no or to make serious adjustments to what they ask you to do. It’s not uncommon for a client to have a strong opinion about how they’ve marketed themselves in the past. But remember, you are the expert and they have come to you to help them market their business online. This is an important lesson and one that will help you achieve greater success in the long run.

Remember Lyndsey struggling to shoot an arrow? Now watch her tear it up on the slopes!

Play to your strengths!! Even if it’s tough at first, the results will be solid gold.

4) Be Consistent

In a 2012 interview, 1996 Olympic decathlon champion Dan O’Brien was asked what he thought was one of the deciding factors behind the athletes that achieved the most success.

He responded, “Consistency will win out in the long run, always.”

As O’Brien’s career progressed, he found that maintaining a high level of consistency in his events was the biggest factor in prolonging his career. Sure, an athlete can rely on power and agility for some memorable wins, but that won’t last. Dan O’Brien was able to take home gold thanks to consistency in his performances.

Circles representing the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

When it comes to inbound marketing, consistency and persistence are huge factors in predicting long term success. Do you want to develop a good following around your blog? Sure, you’re going to have to create compelling content, but that alone won’t get you where you want to go. You’ll need to consistently post content and promote that content in order to build up a lucrative following.

Do you want to use SEO or social media to generate leads for your business? We can’t stress enough how important it is to stay consistent. We see many businesses that start to make steps in the right direction (publishing new blog posts or sharing good content on their social media platforms) then let things drop off way too quickly. And then that puts them off investing in inbound marketing moving forward.

Inbound marketing is a technique that can drive an incredible ROI for your business or your clients. If you can’t maintain a certain level of consistency, you won’t be able to achieve the success you are after.

5) Assess Your Performance and Build on It for the Future

As I was writing this post, I tuned in to watch the Women’s Volleyball Semifinals featuring the U.S. vs. Brazil. Now, if you watched the last two Summer Olympic Games, odds are you became pretty familiar with Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor. They formed arguably the best women’s volleyball team in history with 3 Gold Medals in a row.

Misty has since retired from the sport, but Kerri is still in the game and killing it. Coming into the semifinals, she had never lost an Olympic match, so I was feeling pretty cocky about our chances.

In a heartbreaking turn of events, I witnessed Kerri’s first loss in a match that showed just how brilliant the Brazilian team could be. As they say, every great story must come to an end…

When it comes to Olympic competitions like this, all the preparation and talent in the world isn’t always going to be enough to bring home the gold. That being said, this loss offers an incredible opportunity for our Volleyball team to grow. Kerri and her teammate April Ross will work with their coaches and trainers to evaluate where things went wrong and how they can improve for the future.

Tracking the Performance of Your Inbound Marketing Channels

With every new campaign, you are going to face a range of challenges, setbacks and disappointments. Inbound marketing often involves a lot of experimentation, especially when you are starting out.

This is why A/B testing your ads and landing pages is so important. You might find that a certain ad (one you and your team were really excited about) didn’t elicit a significant response from your target audience. You may even find that you’ve been marketing to the wrong target audience all along. Discoveries like these are disappointing, but they also offer an opportunity to assess your results and make significant improvements.

The same goes for every aspect of a successful inbound marketing campaign. What content has worked the best for your website? What hasn’t? Have you achieved the goals you set for your campaign?

If you’re aren’t meticulously assessing the performance of your inbound channels, you won’t be able to take significant steps in the right direction. Even an unsuccessful campaign can provide incredibly valuable information moving forward.

6) Value Your Team

Research has shown that Olympic athletes face a significantly greater challenge in individual competitions compared to the team events. There are many reasons for this, but the simple truth is that team members can help alleviate that intense pressure of competition and help push each individual to be their best.

Gymnastics teamwork during the Olympic games

Teamwork also plays a critical role when it comes to executing a successful inbound marketing. No matter how difficult a project undertaking is, you can achieve those goals if you maintain consistent communication with the key stakeholders and support the members of your team!

Conclusion

In short, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio have been fantastic! The inspiration and feeling of awe that comes from watching athletes of this caliber is truly beyond compare. They can also teach us some valuable lessons as inbound marketers.

We hope you’re enjoying the games and that this post helped you look at inbound marketing in a fresh new light! If you have any questions for us, please be sure to fill out our contact form or leave a comment below.

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