Real estate marketing is about making decisions and setting goals. Are you looking for immediate lead generation or to fill your pipeline for future months? Is your objective to broadly promote your business or drive more attendance to your open house?
Different marketing channels help accomplish different goals. Consider this quick guide to four of the most popular advertising channels for real estate agents, as well as best practices for using each.
Real estate marketing objectives: Short-term lead generation, finding high intent, local buyers and sellers
When it comes to intent, think of Google as the opposite of Facebook: Whereas Facebook users are earlier in their real estate journeys, those who are searching on Google are much more likely to transact in the short term, as they’ve moved beyond the “browsing phase” and are directly searching for real estate. In fact, more serious homebuyers and sellers turn to Google than marketplace websites like Zillow and realtor.com.
If your goal is to market your current listings or find serious sellers, you absolutely cannot go wrong with the world’s most popular search engine, home to the largest audience on the internet.
Recently, Google has more heavily emphasized serving searchers relevant, locally-focused search results. This means that Google is even more weighted towards finding high intent buyers and sellers, as Google searchers are served results full of agents who live and work in their neighborhood, town, or city.
All agents should be sure to solicit as many Google reviews as possible, since agents with five or more reviews are eligible to be Google Screened and have a verified badge on their Google Business Profile. This results in more calls and texts from leads, more clients, and more homes that you help clients buy and sell.
Real estate marketing objectives: Long-term lead generation, awareness
Put the negative headlines and controversy aside: Facebook is still the world’s biggest, most influential social media platform.
But its huge user base does not make Facebook a marketing cure-all.
Agents looking for immediate, high-quality, ready-to-transact homebuyers and sellers are better served allocating their marketing spend elsewhere, such as Google. That’s because consumers browsing real estate listings and agent profiles on Facebook are low-intent.
Now, low-intent does not mean no-intent. Many of these consumers are looking to transact eventually; they’re just earlier in the buying process. They may be doing cursory research — such as learning more about a certain market or seeing how much house they can afford — or they could be planning for something further down the road, like after a wedding or when they hit a certain savings goal.
So, if you can stay top of mind throughout their research and decision phase you’re that much more likely to win their business when they are ready to hire an agent or purchase a property—remember the vast majority of consumers hire the first agent they come in contact with. And Facebook allows agents to target and nurture these someday-ready-to-transact leads more effectively than anywhere else.
You can calibrate your campaigns to zero in on these users and nurture them with dynamic ads overtime, creating multiple touchpoints and refining your messaging so you’re present and easy to contact when they’re ready to hire an agent.
Real estate marketing objectives: Marketing videos and virtual tours, finding first-time and younger homebuyers
Whereas Facebook’s audience skews older, Instagram tends toward the younger. It’s the most popular social media platform among millennials, now the largest home-buying demographic in the U.S., and nearly half of all Americans aged 18-49 use it every day. It boasts an engagement rate of up to 10X higher than Facebook. And it’s particularly adept at aspirational and lifestyle advertising, of which real estate is included.
But Instagram isn’t just about marketing to first-time and younger homebuyers. Ever since the pandemic, the social network has become the ideal platform for advertising virtual tours and open houses. It makes sense. Instagram was built for media sharing. And as result, promoted videos are more seamless and less intrusive when compared to competing channels.
Virtual tours, walkthroughs and open houses are likely here to stay, so you might as well leverage them in your advertising—especially when you’re targeting first-time and younger homebuyers.
Real estate marketing objectives: Promoting open houses, virtual billboards and road signs
Waze, a navigation app, is often overlooked as an advertising platform, which is a shame, as there’s perhaps no advertising platform better for advertising an upcoming open house.
Waze offers three types of advertisements, all of which allow agents to safely target drivers within a specified radius of a target location. When a user interacts with any of these ads, they’ll be offered an option to (re)direct their GPS navigation to your intended location. All prospects need to do is click “Take me there” to receive individualized, step-by-step directions. It’s particularly effective when you’re advertising an open house that might be a bit out of the way.
In the past, planting a sign in a lawn or posting open house notifications at the top of a busy street was a major marketing strategy for real estate agents. The world has changed, so why not replicate this type of promotion digitally?
How Homesnap Helps
Homesnap automates the ad-buying process, so agents don’t have to create ads from scratch or have an extensive knowledge of digital marketing. We’ll create customized and optimized ads on your behalf—copy and imagery included—and as you continue your advertising, our digital marketing experts will work behind the scenes to calibrate your campaigns for maximum return.
We also make it easy to quickly and easily adjust your advertising, so as your goals change, you can shift to the networks that make the most sense for you. For example: Have an upcoming open house? In a single click, you can pivot your marketing spend to include a heavy emphasis on Waze and Instagram. Then, once the property goes off the market, you can just as easily switch that spend to Facebook or Google or reduce your marketing budget entirely. It’s that easy—no having to flip between platforms and creatives and targeting capabilities yourself. You can manage all your marketing from a single, easy-to-use interface.
And it isn’t just ease of use that makes Homesnap Pro so appealing. Because we can leverage consumer data from the millions of homebuyers and sellers who use the Homesnap app, we can target higher-intent consumers with far more precision than DIY alternatives. Simply put: You’re much more likely to reach the right consumers — and get a higher ROI — as a Homesnap Pro agent.