By Lauren Antone – Senior Marketing and Events Coordinator
Real estate agents are the jack of all trades; not only are you the CEO of your own business, but you’re also in charge of accounting, customer service, transaction management, negotiation, and so much more. It’s no wonder that adding marketing to your toolbelt can seem so daunting. And yet, time and time again, you hear how important and essential it is for your business’ success.
So, how do you keep up with it all? The best way to begin is to stay ahead of the curve and take note of the top marketing techniques in the industry. To give you a head start, here are three top marketing trends for 2020 that you can implement in your business plan this year.
First, let’s talk about something new and different: voice-activated searches. Most of us have an Alexa or Google Home in our houses and offices, as do most of your clients. They are small, portable devices that interact with you by answering your questions, giving you updates or reminders, and so much more. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your client could ask, “Alexa, real estate agents near me,” and your name and information would spill out of the device on command? That’s entirely possible now, and in fact, gaining serious traction in the marketing world.
Of course, this futuristic technology might seem difficult or time consuming. I’m sure you’re wondering, “how many hours will be spent on the other line of Alexa’s customer service to get this accomplished?” Good news: it’s easier than you think. It’s as simple as making sure your Google Profile is as up to date as possible. Make sure your name, address, and phone number are accurate, so that potential clients around you can easily be notified with your information.
You all know the importance of having good quality photos. Why not take it one step further with video? Many real estate video courses will have you believe that you need to invest in a nice camera, complete with tripod and lighting. While this is great for someone serious about video, all you really need is your smartphone. Take a video of you walking in the neighborhood of a home you're selling. Maybe it has a nice walking path or is close to your favorite shop. Talk about that. Maybe it’s your client’s birthday or home-anniversary, take a couple minutes to record a nice message and send it their way. Small thoughtful gestures will show how much you care.
There’s a million little ways you can incorporate video into your business, it just requires a little creative thinking. Other ideas include tips for first time homebuyers, how to prepare for an open house, drone footage of a property, your designations and why they are important, a day in your life, testimonials, and so on. If you think it would be valuable to your client, it is worth the effort to capture it and upload it to your social media. Video has higher engagement levels than photos, which will draw more people to your social channels and website.
Virtual tours are a crowd favorite because they allow clients to visualize what it’s like to truly be in the home. It’s time to embrace everything Zillow has to offer. In a perfect world, a client will start and end their search with you, but with today’s tech-savvy individuals, most clients start with a Google search before even talking to an agent.
This means that pictures are not enough anymore. Make it a priority to take virtual tours so that they can be available to the potential clients scoping out your properties. It’s as simple as using the Zillow 3D Home App on your smart phone and following the virtual tour instructions. It will have you walk through the house and take panoramas of each room. Then you can edit and upload them to your listing. You now have an interactive element for clients to get a sense of how they feel in the home.
While this all may seem overwhelming, I encourage you to start small. Afterall, marketing is one of the best ways to increase your business profitablity, which can help you for years to come. For example, as many as 73% of homebuyers say they are more likely to use a REALTOR who uses video. That alone can help your business tremendously this year! So go out there and take advantage of these marketing techniques – it's never too late.