With real estate technology getting so much air time, it can be overwhelming to decide what new tools to adopt and where to spend those precious marketing dollars. The first step, is to consider your performance over the past year to determine what has worked, and what hasn’t. Understanding your data is key to determining which new marketing trends to try out in 2018. That being said, here are 7 real estate marketing trends that should be on your radar for 2018- and it all comes down to reaching buyers and sellers online, in real-time, with new and innovative content.
1. Instant Communication
Online lead generation is one thing, but it’s equally important to have the right systems and tools in place to convert your leads efficiently. A real estate marketing automation platform will instantly route your leads, sort out the junk, email those you can’t call immediately, and allow you to have a much larger online presence than you ever could on your own. Use your automation tools to segment your audience with smart lists, put them on nurturing drip campaigns, and deliver targeted messages immediately when they’re needed.
2. More Personalization
Gone are the days of the push marketing and “one size fits all”. In 2018, consumers want personal experiences with the brands they interact with. Use smart lists from your CRM to send hyper targeted content at the right times. Custom CMA reports are an easy way to communicate market trends to your contacts in your local area. Increase your conversion rates by creating landing pages that can speak to unique segments of your audience.
3. Make Data-Driven Decisions
Instead of trusting 3rd-party data from institutions like The National Association of REALTORS® for decision-making, put your own data to work. Centralize data from your transaction management tools, website analytics, sales, and lead gen results to measure ROI and which channels work for you. Don’t blindly buy ad space on media outlets – digital lead gen campaigns allow you to measure every part of the consumer journey. Test campaigns on different platforms and make fact based decisions on your results.
4. Social Ads – You Pay to Play
There was a time when you could post on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and get a reasonable amount of engagement on your content. Those days have, unfortunately, passed. The reality is that online ad spend has doubled from 48.2% (relative to total ad spend) in 2011 to 84.9% in 2016 (2018 Swanepool Trends Report). And, with Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement to reduce the amount of public posts in your Facebook news feed, you can bet that you’ll have to spend some dollars in order to get your message seen on the platform. But don’t be too alarmed – you can easily see effective results from a modestly funded campaign!
Drones are a fun and creative way to market your listings and local expertise. For buyers, drone shots provide an opportunity to quickly inspect the parameters and surrounding areas of a property. An important feature, as the neighborhood of the property can be a heavy influencer for a sale.
Era Grizzard in Florida makes use of drone video on the homepage of their site to connect with buyers and sellers. They feature the neighborhoods they service from a bird’s eye view, along with homes, land and local amenities. This provides a unique experience for consumers visiting their site, creating an easy way for them to see and imagine what their life might be like in Florida.
Video has been a hot topic for quite some time, and it’s a trend that really took hold in 2017. In fact, 73% of homeowners say that they’re more likely to list with a realtor who offers to create a video for them. They understand that photos, while useful, just don’t offer the same exposure that video can. Rather, listing videos give consumers something extra, and keep their attention longer. Six times longer, in fact. But video is highly useful for so much more than listings:
- Neighborhood tours are a great way to position you as a local expert
- Overview videos help translate your brand online
- Testimonials build trust for buyers, sellers and partners
Consider a service like Vscreen. Their listing videos are dynamically generate by pulling data from the MLS, while adding 3D animation, professional narration, and custom branding. Always make sure your listing video partner integrates with your website and CRM. For example, Vscreen integrates directly with Boston Logic’s websites.
7. Virtual and Augmented Experiences
The virtual open house continues to be a force in real estate marketing this year. Matterport has been ahead of the curve when it comes to virtual reality experiences, like virtual open houses. The Matterport 3D Showcase allows you to digitize your open houses, helping buyers see a 360-degree view of each of your listings, as if they were really there.
Virtual home tours are perfect for buyers who are interested but just can’t make it to an open house. VR truly delivers a great consumer experience by combining real life with the digital world.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.