Only a year ago, businesses could pay for Facebook to target ads to consumers with precision, as the social media giant’s parent company, Meta, closely tracked user activity on its suite of mobile apps.
Times have changed.
Apple introduced in April 2021 a privacy update for iPhones. A new popup asked users if they wanted to allow their mobile apps to target them for ads. Most people opted out.
It’s now clear that this feature, called App Tracking Transparency (ATT), has upended the digital marketing landscape. Small- and medium-sized businesses, in particular, are placing even more emphasis on Google advertising.
Should agents stress about this change? Will your digital marketing suffer? After all, searches for real estate services are more likely than ever to start online, and savvy agents have known for some time that earning leads and new clients requires a strong digital strategy.
Based on our data, Pro+ agents should feel even more confident about their online marketing presence. Stricter mobile app advertising privacy standards mean that your Google Search presence is paramount, and Pro+ is the leading marketing solution to own your local Google search results.
What Does App Tracking Transparency Mean for Real Estate Agents?
Mobile web traffic and app usage has been on the rise and now accounts for more than half of overall search traffic. So any change to how advertisers are allowed to track users – particularly on Facebook, the world’s biggest social network – is going to result in shifting digital marketing strategies for real estate agents.
In the past, Facebook could identify all consumers who were browsing, clicking, and searching for real estate content on Meta apps, which also include Instagram. Then, agents like you could pay to target these specific users with ads promoting your real estate services and home listings.
Apple’s privacy restrictions have rendered that level of hyper-targeting impossible in many cases. So, it’s no surprise that when our data scientists crunched the numbers, we discovered that Homesnap agents spent 20% more on Google advertising in 2021 than they did in 2020.
An increase in agents’ Google ad spend doesn’t mean that Facebook isn’t a valuable marketing channel – it’s still a huge, influential platform packed with potential buyers and sellers. Even in the face of App Tracking Transparency, agents still spent 9% more on Facebook and 12% more on Instagram, indicating that having successful advertising on Meta’s apps is still important for you and other agents.
Plus, plenty of people don’t use an Apple device – and limits on how Google’s Android operating system tracks and shares smartphone data is scheduled for the next two years.
But if fewer buyers and sellers can be found through targeted social media ads, you need to plug the gap by finding them at the place they’re searching for real estate services. That’s Google Search.
For now, what you should know about changes to digital privacy is: Agents are ramping up their spending on Google, highlighting the primacy of performing well in Google search results.
Why Are Pro+ Agents Prepared to Weather the Digital Advertising Storm?
Being a successful agent means having a good reputation. And convincing consumers who are looking for an agent online that you’re worthy of their business means showcasing that good reputation where it will be seen by home sellers and buyers.
That’s the crux of Homesnap Pro+, and why you’re likely to find it so valuable as Google results become more important. Pro+ optimizes your Google presence by helping you develop the best Google presence possible. This way, when people search for real estate services, they identify you as an agent they can trust.
To ensure that you appear at the top of local Google search results, Pro+ verifies the Google Business Profile that appears at the top of results for local searches such as “real estate agent near me.”
Google gives priority placement to agents with positive, frequent reviews, consistent posts, and a professional digital presence – which is why your profile will be populated with all your Homesnap business information, listings, and updated photographs. Having reviews on your profile is essential, so Pro+ offers you access to the One-Click Review Tool, which vastly simplifies the process of soliciting and receiving positive Google reviews.
Over time, agents find Pro+’s Google Search-centric marketing method to be as or more effective than targeted ads on social media. Data shows that:
- In the first three to six months, agents experience up to a 22X increase in appearances for both direct and earned search results.
- In nine to 12 months, agents receive 3X the number of listing views, personal website visits, and contact from interested consumers.
- In 15 months, agents see as much as a 40X increase in their direct and earned search appearances and a 5X increase in the number of consumers viewing their profile, personal website, or contacting them directly.
- By 18 months, agents see a more than 7.5X increase in consumers reaching out or interacting with their listings.
Why wouldn’t you upgrade to Homesnap Pro+? As targeted digital advertising on social media is more closely scrutinized and restricted, Pro+ offers a long-term, high-level, holistic solution to have sellers reach out to you about listing their property and ensure that buyers see and interact with your existing listings.
Quite simply, Homesnap Pro+ is designed to help you close more deals – no matter the privacy measures behemoth tech companies institute, and without you having to sink your time into becoming an expert on Google Search.
Become a Homesnap Pro+ member and focus on servicing your clients, knowing that you have a team ensuring that your Google presence earns you leads, trust, and new clients.