Real estate marketing is evolving at a rapid pace, and in such a competitive environment, real estate agents need to be at the forefront of cutting-edge trends to appeal to the needs of their evolving clientele. Hot markets, fluctuating demand, evolving technology, and new generations of homeowners all play a role in shaping the real estate market – and how agents approach it.
Competition forces creativity
The Toronto housing market made global headlines this past year with its scorching hot listings – but it has also shown how aggressive the space can be for realtors to compete in, and is forcing them to get really creative with listings. Consider this, since 2014, 9,000 new agents have received their licence in the Greater Toronto Area alone, which is now home to 52,000 relators.
Using this market as an example, some agents have started to offer a night out as a thank you to clients, a membership for a year at a local gym or fitness club, the free use of a drone for showing the property, complimentary staging – even going as far as slashing their commissions.
While this isn’t always displayed as a best practice, it just goes to show some of the extreme examples real estate sales professionals have to deal with in order to get new business in a very competitive arena. While some of these can serve as good value propositions, especially to the Millennial buyers who enjoy the perks, they can sometimes appear more as a cosmetic perk rather than reflecting the true value you offer as an agent.
These four marketing trends are defining the real estate space – and agents should take note.
The discovery process is digital
Have you ever heard the mantra, “content is King?” Content is at the heart of all marketing strategies as one of the most effective methods of getting more eyes to your website. It generates low-cost leads, organic traffic and helps qualify your prospects. If there isn’t enough compelling content online that signifies why you stand out from the competition and what you offer – you’ll be passed by in a few clicks.
Facebook advertising is growing
Real estate professionals are realizing the benefits of devoting a portion of their budget to Facebook Ads to run individualized ad campaigns targeting their specific segments. This approach is proving to be a powerful return on quality leads and conversions, which also pairs well with IXACT Contact’s Social Intelligence feature which gives you immediate access to all your contacts’ social media pages for a holistic view on how well they’re responding to your ads and content.
Real estate professionals must master content marketing
Generic content won’t cut it nowadays – it has to be hyper-focused to tailor to the clients’ specific needs. And with Google sharpening their algorithm every year, it places a very high emphasis on quality and useful content, and how to target it properly to address the needs of your audience. Ebooks, infographics, video series, webinars and blogs have become the Holy Grail in terms of effectively communicating your value and using them as pieces to help nurture prospects along.
Which goes back to the reason why a “one-size-fits-all” content solution won’t work, because a twenty-something first time homeowner isn’t looking for content that relates more to an empty nester edging towards retirement – it has to be hyper-focused.
More agents will turn to marketing automation
“The only reason this trend is not happening faster is because real estate professionals just don’t know how to do it.” – Inman
Wise realtors learned long ago that they can’t manually contact every single lead consistently – but they knew they could rely on technology to do that for them. The fact of the matter is you can spend zero time transferring a new lead to your CRM and email marketing software and have them added to an ongoing lead drip system. Another misconception that many agents have is they believe that premium real estate marketing software will break the bank – which is not true at all.