Real estate agents who are serious about growing and building a long term business need to focus on local marketing for their target market.
A lot has been said about what to do and what not to do when it comes to local marketing for real estate agents. Our goal for this guide is to share a framework that you can use to grow your local real estate brand and become the agent that every one thinks of in your target market.
3 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Need To Adapt A Local Marketing Strategy
Before we dive in to the exact strategies, it’s important to understand why you should adapt a local marketing strategy for your real estate business.
Reason 1: People buy from agents who they perceive experts in their area
Over 90% homebuyers and sellers choose a real estate professional who is an expert in their local community. So your first priority is to focus all of your marketing efforts into ensuring that they see you that way.
Now, when I use the word community, it’s a little bit subjective based on where you live. For example in a big city like Toronto, you can start focussing on just one or two zip codes. However, when you are planning to deploy a local real estate marketing strategy in a small town or a county you can target a broader area.
Reason #2: 75% of sellers sell their home with the first agent
According to TheClose’s real estate statistic aggregation, around 75% of sellers sell their homes with the first real estate agent. This means your local marketing needs to make sure that when they are ready to sell or transact, they are thinking of you. The higher the turnover rate of the market the more deals you will generate in your local area.
Reason #3: You Need To Integrate Yourself As Part Of Your Local Community In the Long Term
Most real estate agents don’t understand that like restaurants, barbershops and other small business owners, agents need to integrate themselves as part of their local community. This allows you to build trust with local home sellers and people looking to buy. Building that trust takes time and we will cover a few points on how to accelerate that process with your marketing efforts.
Now that you have a clear understanding why local marketing for your real estate business is so crucial let’s discuss some of the strategies that you should implement to make it successful.
Strategy 1: Optimize Your Google My Business Listing For Your Real Estate Business
The first thing you need to do is create a profile on Google My Business for your business. Google My Business is a free tool that allows business owners including real estate agents and brokers manage their public listing on Google.
It’s a great place to encourage clients to leave reviews after you have helped them with your real estate services. One of the most common questions I get when it comes to your Google My Business listing for your real estate business is whether to go with your brokerage name, individual name or team name.
Rule Of Thumb When Choosing Business Name For Your Real Estate Business On Google My Business
- If you are solo – Go with your personal name followed by the broker name as the complete business name. For example if your name is Sam Smith and your broker is REMAX Realty Inc. then you should type the business name as Sam Smith – REMAX Realty Inc.
- When you own a team – Go with the full team name followed by the brokerage name in brackets.
- If you are a broker – Go with the complete brokerage name inside Google My Business.
When your name is finalized it’s time to fill out the entire Google My Business profile starting with your phone number, address as well as the website.
You may be required to verify your address which can be either phone or postcard based. Only when you verify your address, your Google My Business listing for your real estate business will start showing in search results.
You can also take a detailed look at how people are discovering your My Business listing from the analytics section.
4 Quick Google My Business Tips for Real Estate Professionals
Always make sure that you are filling out your profile completely on Google My Business. This includes your name, email and phone number as well as all other fields like your photos, logo, description and timings.
Define your Google My Business Category
One of the most important Google My Business feature is the ability to choose a category for your business (under the services tab). Make sure you select and add “real estate agency” as the category.
Add Pictures Of Sold Listings & Team Images
Add pictures of listings that you have sold over asking (if possible) along with pictures of yourself and your team. These pictures are easily crawled by Google and helps play a key role when it comes to local search engine rankings for your real estate business.
Ask Clients To Leave Reviews On Your Google My Business Profile
Getting more reviews on your profile will help with local SEO as well as prove that you are an authority when it comes to real estate in your target market. A quick way to get some reviews on your profile is to send the review URL of your listing as an e-blast to your existing clients.
Verify Address and Phone Numbers
Remember that your listing only goes public once you have verified your Google My Business profile for your real estate business. If you own multiple locations for your brokerage you need to verify each location.
Strategy #2: Create and Share Local Content In Your Selected Target Markets
Now that you know what to do to get some visibility on the search engines it’s time to focus on the part that actually showcases you as the expert local real estate professional people want to hire for their real estate needs.
Creating local content for your real estate business is crucial because it serves there main marketing & sales purposes:
- when you create local content it showcases you as an authority in your local market.
- Local content also rank for multiple keywords that potential homeowners and sellers are searching for online. And since over 90% real estate prospects start their search online you can imagine why it’s important to grow your local brand.
- Video and interactive content allows you to get more referrals and clients because it’s the number one source of building trust with local homeowners/sellers in any area.
Now that you understand the importance of local marketing for real estate professionals let us share some of the strategies that work really well in any real estate market.
Create Local Videos Showcasing The Areas You Are Targeting & Share On Social Media
In order to get a quicker return on investment from your local marketing strategy, start by creating videos showcasing the local real estate and the community in general. Here’s a quick blueprint of some of the content you should be looking to produce for your social channels:
- A explainer video about the community you are targeting. This should feature things to do, schools, transit as well as some popular local spots that residents can access. The idea of this video is to associate your real estate services as a core part of your community. This video can be used for attracting both buyers and even homeowners exploring their own area online.
- Create videos showcasing your local listings. If you do not have any, go ask a broker if you can do a property tour of any of their listings and promote it online. Most of them should agree. Just make sure that you attribute your broker when shooting the video. In this video you should be facing the camera so that your audience can see your face and know who you are in your target market.
How To Upload The Local Videos Across Various Social Channels
Now that you have the video content your goal is to upload the videos on as many social channels as possible to get the maximum visibility for your real estate business in your local area.
Facebook –Upload the videos with proper tags. You can also broadcast the video where all your page followers get a notification when a video is published and it’s played live.
YouTube –One of the most important channels to post videos for your real estate brand is YouTube. Make sure you are sharing all relevant links in the description. Also, send an email blast to your database when you post something on Youtube as videos that get more views in the first 48 hours tend to rank higher in organic results. Your videos should have local keywords to help them rank better.
Instagram –When you are shooting the main videos make sure you are doing Instagram stories on your phone. You can even chop parts of your main video and launch them as bits of content on your profile.
Strategy 3: Promote Your Local Content With Paid Ads on Facebook & Google
Now that you know the types of content to create and the channels you can use to distribute them to reach local homebuyers and sellers, lets take a closer look at paid channels.
Why paid channels? Because you want results fast. I am not saying organic marketing does not work. The thing with SEO and organic strategies is that they take time (at least 6 – 8 months if you are starting out.)
There are two main objectives you want to achieve when spending money on digital ads:
- Generate leads for your real estate business to start building a relationship with them
- Showcase yourself as the local expert in your target market while building your brand online.
While we extensively covered real estate lead generation in a separate guide, here we will focus on the brand building part and how to launch campaigns to build your brand locally.
Step 1: Promote All Your Local Videos Targeting A Small Radius Using Facebook Ads
With the Facebook Special Ads category for the housing market, you are limited to how you can target users in Facebook. Nonetheless, the special ads category allows radial targeting. You cannot select age which is fine. Just launch a campaign with a radial targeting, promoting your videos. Make sure that you are not just boosting the original video but using that as an asset to launch a full ad.
A full ad has a call to action button, headline and top text.
Running these video ads will ensure that local homeowners are seeing who you are and the kind of value you are providing them. It’s one of the best methods to build authority fast.
Step 2: Retargeting All Video Viewers and Website Visitors With Direct Real Estate Lead Generation Funnels
Now that you have provided valuable content for your potential prospects (see step 1 above), it’s time to retarget everyone who engaged with your content. In order to retarget it’s important that you setup your audiences as soon as you publish the value videos. Once the audiences have enough people tagged, it will start delivering the retargeting ads.
Retargeting ads also amplify your local brand in front of homeowners and the quality of leads you will receive will be higher as you are hitting them with value first instead of talking about real estate from the get go.
Strategy #3: Create A Local Market Overview Opt-In Funnel To Grow Your Database and Convert Them Into Customers
One important inbound marketing strategy that you need to deploy in order to grow your real estate business locally involves creating an e-book or a presentation for your local target market.
Here’s how it works. First, create an ebook or a screen recording of the local real estate market. Go over things like housing data, average home value, if it’s a good place to invest, comparable neighbourhoods etc. to create a comprehensive local market overview.
Once the content is ready you need to decide which type of lead magnet you want to go with. Generally an ebook is easy to produce (if you know your way around powerpoint or keynote) you can create the ebook yourself and deploy it.
The presentation is when you use content for your local market but present it (maybe in the form of a webinar). In fact you can even do a live webinar and reuse that video as part of the opt-in funnel over and over again.
If you have never attempted doing webinars before I suggest you start with a simple e-book landing page. You can get in touch with us if you need help creating these landing pages where potential prospects will find out the information to gain access to the content.
You need to make sure that you are adding all these leads to a database whom you can later target using a drip email series.
When your landing page is ready launch a campaign targeting your local area(s) to get opt-in and start building that local database. Remember, once someone fills up a form to get your market overview content, you also get their permission to send emails in the future. This is helpful because most homeowners need time before they end up deciding to list. When they do make that decision you should be on top of their mind. That’s how you build and grow your local real estate business.
Strategy 4: Local Flyers & Banners That Tell Your Story and Achievements
Offline marketing is not dead. At least not for real estate. The thing about offline marketing is that it’s extremely hard to attribute if they are effective or not.
Unlike advanced analytics provided by your digital marketing channels, offline marketing simply gives you top of the line numbers. That does not mean, they can’t be effective, especially if you combine it with digital marketing for your real estate business.
Here are 4 quick tips on flyer marketing:
- Do flyer runs in the exact same areas that you are targeting online. Time the flyer drop the same weeks when you launch any of your paid campaigns. In that way you are targeting your prospects both online and offline.
- Keep the overall design and colours of your online and offline campaigns similar so that people can start identifying you easily.
- Use one clear call to action like a URL for a free neighbourhood overview or a case study of a recently sold home (depending on your area).
- Use testimonials and social proof (like your Facebook posts with local community members) as part of your flyer drops. Social proof builds trust which is the most important deciding factor as to why prospects choose one real estate professional over another.
I hope you guys enjoyed these tips to start gaining market share in your local market and finally become the go-to real estate agent in that community.
Now, I do work with selected agents and brokers to help them grow their local brand while generating highly qualified leads. If you are interested in finding out how I can help you generate more deals in your target market, book a consultation with us.
Again, this program is not for every agent. You should have at-least 3 years of experience or do more than $100k in gross commissions every year.