If you have something to sell, you need to be visible to your customers – such is the key of marketing. The same is true whether you are selling hats or houses. Every year, real estate developers are putting billions of dollars into building homes, but their job doesn't stop there. Someone has got to sell those homes to the people who want to move in and if your marketing isn't effective, you could find that buyers are going elsewhere when it comes time to shop.
The other thing you should consider is the fact that the modern world is deeply reliant on digital spaces and online services and that bleeds into almost all industries. That’s why the most effective way to reach the largest possible audience is through digital marketing.
Digital marketing is key to any business today, so naturally, this applies to real estate developers. We have talked previously about digital marketing strategies for real estate agents, and some of these concepts will overlap, though there are specifics to the real estate development industry that will come into play for your marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Why is digital marketing important?
- Tips for real estate developers to improve marketing strategies
- Types of digital marketing and how they work
Why is digital marketing important?
The importance of marketing cannot be understated. Simply put, people can not buy anything from you if they don't know you exist. Beyond knowing you exist, you need to communicate with your potential customers about who you are and why they should give you their money over your competitors.
When it comes to communication, there are few tools more powerful and ubiquitous than computers and the internet. For a vast number of people, their first (and often last) source of information is the internet.
The internet is also the place where people spend their time, and by utilizing it as a marketing tool, you can easily and affordably reach thousands. Even with just a small amount of money, you can begin with digital marketing, and the more you invest, the more your success will scale.
Another major reason to take digital marketing seriously is that your competitors are doing it already. A basic digital marketing plan is no longer a “good-to-have” perk, but a necessity of any modern real estate developer.
Types of digital marketing
There are various types of digital marketing that can be beneficial to real estate developers. When constructing your marketing strategy, it’s best to consider multiple different avenues. This is because each type of marketing will reach a different target audience in different ways and at different times.
Though a single method might be somewhat effective, having multiple not only gives you greater coverage, but they may also work together to increase the effectiveness of each.
The foundation of your online presence is your company's homepage. You want your homepage to be user-friendly and welcoming to newcomers who are not familiar with who you are. This means it should communicate who you are and what you do, have easily navigable pages that are organized logically, and have much-needed information such as contact information.
You should also strive to keep your website as up-to-date as possible as it’s often seen as the most authoritative source for information on your company and its projects.
Your website is also key because it can serve as the platform for other strategies such as lead magnets, SEO, and content marketing.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Your website may be your online headquarters but that doesn't mean anything if people can't find it. Search engine optimization takes advantage of the fact that most people resort to a search engine to find things online and these search engines use algorithms to determine what is most relevant to a given search term.
By using keyword research, you can determine what search terms best apply to your business and then tailor your content to appear in search to drive a lot of traffic towards your site. This can be done on your general pages, but also through things like blog posts that cover certain topics of interest for your target audience.
Content marketing is a broader strategy that includes things like search engine optimized text as well as things like a photo or video content. Content marketing goes hand in hand with a social media marketing strategy as much of your content will be able to serve as social media posting for your audience. Content can be a great way to grow brand awareness and generate leads organically.
This is one of the simplest to understand forms of digital marketing, but it should not be overlooked for its effectiveness. Digital advertising, either with paid placements, social media advertising, or pay-per-click advertising (PPC), is essentially like posting a digital billboard for your potential clients. The benefit of digital advertising is you get to choose who sees it and where. This means that you can see huge results with clever placement and targeting of even a single ad. Better yet, most ad platforms offer many different ad options as well as analytics so you can tailor your campaigns to target the exact buyers you want for each project.
Landing pages are a form of marketing that provides the user with an informative web page on a single topic. Usually, this will be accessed through a link in an email or advertisement. The idea of a landing page is that it focuses on a single topic with few external links or unrelated elements. Oftentimes, a real estate developer will opt for landing pages when selling a particular development which serves as a one-stop-shop for information as well as registration for the project.
Lead magnets are a great way to generate new leads that can then become clients either directly or through methods like an email campaign. A lead magnet presents an appealing offer of value for a potential buyer, usually in the form of an informative package like "why you should choose a new-build home". You can then collect their email and provide them with the information with the knowledge that they are a qualified lead for future targeting.
This provides the person on the other side with valuable content that makes them feel better about future contact from your company. Lead magnets can be a powerful lead generation tool.
Virtual tours can be a really effective form of content to advertise your real estate developments. Especially in today's real estate market when people are trying to buy real estate fast, offering the ability to quickly tour a unit from the comfort of their own home is a major plus.
These tours can be made relatively easily and can drive a lot of interest for your real estate developments as well as create content for your online presence. And, if you have identical units to sell, a single virtual tour can actually drive multiple sales.
Email marketing is a great way to convert existing leads such as those you collected through a lead magnet or newsletter sign-up. Email marketing is so much more than just sending emails. Rather, it’s all about the strategy of what your emails should say, how many you should send, and when. With the right email marketing campaign, you can effectively convert leads to buyers.
For example, real estate developers may use an email marketing chain to promote and update leads on new development as it comes to the market, making them familiar with the offering for when it comes time to buy.
Tips for improving your digital marketing strategy
Consistency in many aspects of your marketing efforts is a major key to their success. For example, having consistent visual branding across all of your online content can be a great way to help your brand stand out in the minds of consumers. You should also strive to have information consistent across your multiple different sources, so there is no conflicting and confusing information being put out.
Also, consider things like consistency in timing. Do you post on a regular schedule to your social media? Do you have a consistent timeline for replying to inquiries? These sorts of things may not seem important to you, but they can mean a lot to the people on the other end.
People react well to marketing that provides value to them. This is why people often ignore pure sales messages – they don't feel any benefits in engaging with them. This also explains the popularity of things like content marketing and lead magnets in which the consumer feels respected by being provided with a benefit for themselves. This has been shown to increase engagement and the likelihood that a client will want to buy from you.
Explore different avenues and keep on top of trends
Digital marketing is always on the cutting edge of new technologies and you can often find new success in unexpected places. Don't be afraid to try out multiple different marketing techniques to see what works. If you want to really push the envelope, you can be one of those people that tries out all-new platforms before they go big. Remember, even the largest ad platforms like Facebook and Google were once up-and-coming underdogs.
Respect the data
One of the largest single benefits of digital marketing is that the success of your marketing efforts can be viewed in real-time and directly compared against other strategies. This is a benefit that you should not overlook. Especially considering that what works in marketing may sometimes seem counterintuitive to someone who is not educated in the field. However, what doesn't lie is the pure numbers. Familiarize yourself with your platforms and the data they offer and learn to interpret them for your analysis. For example, if you spend a lot of money on a marketing outlet that doesn't seem to be offering you the returns you want, you will be able to figure this out through your analytics, at which point you may want to modify or discontinue your efforts.
Our partner: Merged Real Estate Marketing
The world of digital marketing can be complicated and multi-faceted, not to mention developing all the time. Just like you wouldn't hire a plumber to handle your building's electrical, if you want marketing done right, you should hire the experts who know what they are doing and can help you strategize and get the most of your marketing budget.
Our partner Merged Real Estate Marketing has worked with real estate industry professionals across North America to increase traffic, generate more leads, and improve their digital marketing strategy. Get in touch today to start discussing how their expert marketing team can help you.