Since the early days of the Great Recession, real estate marketing experts have been predicting 2012 as the year when the housing market may finally see significant growth again. It’s been a bumpy decade for realtors. The inflated housing prices of the 1990s bubbled over into the first years of the new millennium, but the housing market tanked with the subprime mortgage scandal of 2008. Those who are experts in how to market real estate may have seen consistent sales throughout this past decade, but for most realtors the idea that home prices may climb in 2012 is very welcome news.
However, if you’re not up to date on your marketing approach, the housing upswing could pass you by. Below, we’ve gathered a list of the most effective real estate marketing techniques for the coming year. If you don’t already have these elements in place, do whatever it takes to bring your real estate organization up to speed.
How To: Marketing Real Estate in 2012
1. Get local.
Location, location, location – that’s the well-worn mantra of realtors everywhere. Yet some agents fail to stay current on local trends. Although the national real estate picture may be looking up for 2012, individual markets will move in unique ways. For instance, cities that are enjoying job growth will also see improved home sales – new workers means more people who need to buy homes. Demographics also matter; “younger” cities like Salt Lake City have a larger population of young people who are ready to buy homes.
2. Provide quality real estate content.
In general, realtors lag behind other industries in realizing the importance of providing complimentary, useful content to potential buyers. In case you’re not familiar with the content-based real estate marketing model, realtors provide blog posts, articles and micro-posts (such as Twitter tweets) that are rich with information that would be helpful for homebuyers. For instance, a real estate blog might include a description of each neighborhood in a city. Or a realtor who specializes in sales for first-time buyers might create a list of the top ten legal issues homebuyers should consider. Harris Interactive has found that 80 percent of home sales begin with online searches. If a homebuyer’s online search turns up your website, replete with useful information, chances are that potential buyer will return to your site for more tips – and perhaps to browse your open properties as well.
Today’s real estate marketing isn’t only about getting your flier in front of as many eyeballs as possible – it’s also about forming longer-term relationships with potential buyers. Online content creation helps you do just that. As a bonus, it can help drive traffic to your site, assuming you link to the right keywords.
3. Utilize video real estate marketing.
By 2015, Cisco tells us, 80 percent of all internet traffic will be video. To make sure your real estate marketing approach keeps up with this trend, add vlogging – i.e., video blogging. Your video presentations can be about:
- How your services differ from your competitors.
- Homes you’d like to highlight.
- More general real estate information buyers and sellers would find helpful.
If the very idea of setting up a video camera makes you shudder, have no fear – there are many options that can help you create engaging video content without even using a camera! For instance, some services now allow you to create home profile videos complete with music, animation and dozens of property pictures. You can bet these home profiles will get a lot more attention than old-school static flyers.
It is estimated that Facebook will reach one billion users sometime in 2012. As of today, more than half of all Americans have a Facebook account. And that’s only one social media site! In other words, social media isn’t going anywhere fast. More and more consumers are turning to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for shopping information. Recognizing this, businesses are creating their own social media profiles. If you don’t have a real estate business page set up on Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to join the social media revolution.
The social media potential for real estate marketing is huge. You can use social media sites as a method of distributing your other content – blogs, videos, property descriptions, etc. It’s also a great way to make connections that can eventually blossom into new business. For instance, if you become Facebook friends with someone who bought one of your properties a while back, he or she might forward your Facebook profile to other homebuyers.