From direct mail to “sold by” signs, marketing has always been vital for agents, brokers and other real estate pros to get their name out there. However, as the industry continues to embrace the digital world, many professionals are looking to increase their digital marketing efforts.
As top industry professionals, the members of Forbes Real Estate Council have developed lasting strategies for building their digital marketing campaigns. Below, they share 14 steps you should take to develop a long-term marketing plan that can take your business to the next level.
Members of Forbes Real Estate Council detail strategies for developing digital marketing plans.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Hire An Expert To Help
The first step is to hire people highly successful in building digital plans unless you are an expert. The most critical piece of a long-term digital marketing plan is that it needs to be linear to all of your other marketing, including print. Digital and social media need to mirror who the agent is and what they represent. Don’t copy other agents as it must represent who you are. – Mike Shapiro, Mike S Shapiro
2. Encourage Client Reviews
Long-term digital marketing should be the No. 1 priority for any business. I use the digital world as my real-world resume that is always being updated. Everything from Zillow reviews, Facebook reviews and Google reviews are the cornerstone for me. More consumers are starting their searches and gathering information without an agent. I want to be that agent that pops off the screen for being different. – Dave Panozzo, The Panozzo Team-HomeSmart
Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?
3. Set A Marketing Budget
Create a budget on how much you want to spend and be consistent. It’s also better to concentrate on one or two platforms instead of trying to master all of them at once. Make sure you are marketing on the right platform for your client demographics. If your end game is just to get more leads, some real estate companies provide this for free and you can buy client leads from companies directly. – Chris Ryan, Beyond Properties Group (eXp Realty)
4. Develop A Personal Brand
You’ve got to make sure that you’re building your personal brand as well as your business brand in a way that people can see you and get to know you more easily. Content and consistency will be paramount. The more quality content you can get in front of people on a consistent basis, the more powerful the outcome will be. There are also many helpful resources online to get guidance on creating a plan. – Kellie Rastegar, Rastegar Property Company
5. Create High-Quality Digital Content
The higher the quality of your digital content, the higher chance you will have of converting leads. If we are using clickable posts, such as “Click here for a free credit report,” people will come. But what type of leads will they be? If we give real market updates based on facts and data, like “The neighborhood has seen an 8% increase in value,” we will get much fewer clicks but better-value leads. – Ralph DiBugnara, Home Qualified
6. Embrace Change
Real estate professionals need to embrace one thing when it comes to their digital marketing strategies—change. Digital marketing is changing at such a high rate in terms of how to target and reach your online audience. Find core strategies that you know you need to have in place, lean into those and then stay agile to be able to try additional things, like DIY videos or live videos. – Matt Weirich, Realync
7. Tell Your Story
Tell your unique story! Choosing a home to live in is a big decision, so showing what makes your living experience better is critical. What makes your neighborhood special? Authentic stories go a long way in the digital world. The more specific and concrete, the better as it will give prospective tenants and buyers a better sense of the
critical information for their living decisions. – Benjamin Pleat, Cobu
8. Build A Database
As time goes by, agents take so many pictures of listings that it is difficult to remember which photos belong to what property. Use tools to organize your listings’ info and create a database of all the properties you have advertised throughout the years. During client meetings, narrow down the type of property they’d like to end up with by showing them videos in your database. – Rodolfo Delgado, Replay Listings
9. Maintain A Solid Social Media Presence
With millennials making up the largest home buying group and Gen Z soon joining them, real estate professionals should have a solid social media presence to thrive in today’s digital world. Having a public social media profile increases your credibility and approachability. It’s a way to show off both your professional accomplishments and personal aspects of your life. – Ron Costa, The Eighty Two Group
10. Set Social Media SMART Goals
Set SMART goals for social media marketing, such as five posts or stories per week. Consistency is manageable if you don’t overthink things. You can create valuable content just by sharing lessons from the week or questions you get from clients—excluding any confidential information of course. Sharing stories and videos on social media is valuable as people appreciate and engage with authenticity. – Catherine Kuo, Elite Homes | Christie’s International Real Estate
11. Master One Main Strategy To Start
When starting out with digital marketing, it can be tempting to want to be everywhere all at once. To avoid stretching yourself too thin, choose just one main strategy to start with based on your interests and passions. If you like to write, start a blog. If you like to teach, create short videos. Master that single strategy, track its success and then expand to other strategies. – Annie Dickerson, Goodegg Investments
12. Invest In Digital Storage Solutions
There are a lot of cool things that can be brought up here. I am going to suggest something that most people or companies don’t see until they run out: Storage for your digital empire. All of the videos, GIFs, photos and PDFs are your whole digital world. Where is your media? Is it in the cloud or in personal storage media? You will hopefully create a lot of great digital work. Know where it is and have adequate storage. – Michael J. Polk, Polk Properties / Matrix Properties
13. Plan Marketing Content In Advance
Take one day a month or quarter and write out your social content marketing calendar. Taking the time upfront can organize your social media messaging, create marketing themes and capitalize on hiring a person to post regularly on your top three platforms. – Nancy Wallace- Laabs, Profitable Landlord System
14. Use A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Program
To build a long-term digital marketing plan, the first step is to invest in a professional CRM program. Get all of your contacts into the software, set up a regular time to market or touch bases with them based on the way they prefer to be communicated to. Ask for phone, email or text preferences and do it their way. Once a month is a good schedule and set up the program alarm for the scheduling of quality information. – Rita Santamaria, Champions School of Real Estate