How to Grow Your Real Estate Business
- Audit your brand for consistency across digital channels
- Invest in the power of content marketing
- Modernize your website with prospect-friendly digital tools
- Prioritize reputation management by soliciting and maintaining reviews
- Use social media to nurture long-term prospects
- Leverage the power of video
- Measure your progress against realistic digital benchmarks
When it comes to advice on how to grow your real estate business, there’s no shortage of suggested strategies and how-tos out there. The problem? A lot of it can be pretty basic.
If you’ve been in real estate for a while, do you really need someone to tell you to “know your target market” or “work on perfecting your sales script”? Of course not. If you’re successful, you’ve had that down for years now. That kind of advice cluttering the Internet is more suitable for an agent just starting out.
Instead, in this blog, we’ll focus on some more advanced strategies for growing your real estate business in the coming year that might not be so obvious—and can give you an extra edge in winning clients and dominating your sphere in 2022.
How to Grow Your Real Estate Business
1. Audit your brand for consistency across digital channels
Look, the reality of today’s real estate landscape is that word-of-mouth just isn’t as important as it used to be. Yes, clients still recommend agents they like to friends and relatives, but now, when search engines like Google make researching on your own so easy, homebuyers and sellers are turning online to vet real estate agents—even if they’ve received a recommendation from a trusted party. It’s not just in real estate either; it’s happening in every industry: How often do you Google a restaurant before ordering dinner, even if your colleague swore by it?
So, you must ask yourself: what happens if a prospect searches for you? Are you presenting yourself as a trustable, professional agent across all corners of the web? Or does your Facebook profile offer a completely different picture of your competency than your Google business profile? Do you even have a Google business profile?
The simple truth is this: Clients have no shortage of real estate agents available to them, so any sort of discrepancy online is only going to give them pause in hiring you. So, why give them an opportunity? Make sure prospects can find you on various platforms; your reviews are consistent from review site to site; your contact information is consistent across profiles; and you’re conveying a sense of professionalism at every turn.
2. Invest in the power of content marketing
You’re probably no stranger to the idea of content marketing, but maybe you don’t know how important it is, or maybe you didn’t think it was as applicable to the real estate industry as it is in others. But it is, and we’ll explain why:
As we established, Google is really important for real estate agents in finding clients, as prospects regularly use the search engine to research who they hire. But how do you make sure you appear high enough on a Google results page to make sure these clients see and choose you?
Well, Google puts a heavy emphasis on responsiveness—that is businesses who appear active and engaged, not those that throw up a website and passively hope leads find them. And, as you’ve probably guessed, one of the best ways to demonstrate responsiveness is by the regular posting of worthwhile content. That means listing photos, market research, your thoughts and analysis, etc. So, make sure you’re regularly posting content across channels.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget Google as a channel for your content distribution. While it may not be as obvious as your website, blog or Facebook profile, Google places an incredible amount of value on responsiveness on its platform when it comes to rankings. Makes sense, right? Regularly use Google’s products, and Google will shuffle you up the rankings.
3. Modernize your website with prospect-friendly digital tools
In the wake of Covid-19, more and more prospects are looking for digitally adept agents—ones that can help them market their property online or host virtual tours and walkthroughs. Even when the pandemic is over, it’s likely to stay the reality; innovation rarely goes backward.
So, take a good, hard look at your website. Does it convey that you’re a modern, up-on-their-tech agent? Or does it look like your nephew hastily threw it together 10 years ago? It goes back to our first tip: conveying a sense of professionalism and expertise wherever a prospect may discover you.
But modern isn’t just limited to aesthetics. Today, you’re much more likely to entice a prospect online if you can offer something for free. It’s just the way the world works—after all, you’re getting free advice in exchange for visiting this blog.
The best agent websites have some sort of give and take. You can offer a free market analysis or home valuation in exchange for a client’s email address or phone number. They’re much more likely to connect with you if you give them something to make it worth their while.
4. Prioritize reputation management by soliciting and maintaining reviews
Yes, reviews are important for your reputation. But that’s not what this tip is about. Did you know that the more positive reviews you have, the more likely you are to appear in search rankings?
At Homesnap, we looked at the profiles of thousands of agents across the country to try to correlate the number and overall rating of reviews against an agent’s search rankings on Google. You can read the full report here on getting more positive reviews here, but here’s what we found:
- Agents with an average review rating of 4.0 or better on Google appear in 350% more Google searches than agents with an average review rating of 0-3.
- Agents with a 4.0 average review rating on Google received 300% more actions (calls, texts, website views, and direction requests) than those with a review rating of 0-3.
- The more reviews an agent has, the better they perform in search, views, and actions.
The only problem? The impact of positive reviews tends to diminish over time—after about 90 days or so. So, make sure you’re always encouraging new positive reviews from clients, friends, family, as well as responding to negative reviews politely and respectfully.
5. Use social media to nurture long-term prospects
A lot of real estate agents turn to social media for lead generation, and when they don’t find high-intent buyers or sellers after running their first few ads, they’re disillusioned with the results. Many (mistakenly) believe social media doesn’t work for them.
But the simple truth is, it does—if you’re patient. Many would-be homebuyers and sellers are at the onset of their real estate journey, poking around on an agent’s social media profiles and ads in anticipation of the day they’ll be ready to transact.
If you pull the ripcord too early and ignore anyone who isn’t ready to buy or sell in the next 30 days, you’re going to miss valuable opportunities to attract new clients at a later date. Instead, you should consider social media a long-term volume play—in which you capture and nurture a sizable number of potential leads as they grow to be higher intent. That way, when users are ready to buy or sell, you’re the agent they’re most familiar with—you’ve been with them the whole time.
6. Leverage the power of video
In the weeks following initial social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines, virtual tours and open houses proved both popular and effective. Now, though, as in-person open houses return, some agents have abandoned the tactic, viewing it more as a stopgap than a viable marketing strategy.
But, in fact, videos have proven very effective as a marketing tactic, even if they don’t lead to direct sales. Virtual tours and open houses provide a more immersive, holistic experience to homebuyers, making it more likely that their initial interest will result in a serious buyer.
Additionally, videos are perfectly suited to social media advertising, particularly on Instagram, where video content is more native and less intrusive than on other social networks. Here’s a complete guide to real estate marketing on Instagram, including marketing your video content, if you’re interested in learning more.
7. Measure your progress against realistic digital benchmarks
Growing your real estate business isn’t easy and takes time. Do not expect immediate results, even if you follow all these steps. But if you’re patient and strategic, you will see significant results in growing your real estate business.
In fact, agents who used our Homesnap Pro+ product to grow their real estate presence up to a 5,000% increase in their appearance in search results and a 40x increase in the number of prospective clients that reached out to them online. Curious to see if Homesnap Pro+ is right for you? Learn more here.