Why Real Estate Developers Need a Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy
Real estate development is a competitive and risky business. Keeping up with how buyers use technology in the home search process is one of the keys to remaining competitive as a real estate developer today; and with access to information and the use of the internet at an all-time high, it’s no surprise that more buyers today use mobile apps as well as online search to begin the buying process.
So, just how important is it for real estate developers to have a digital marketing strategy and what are some of the best ways for developers to get started building a presence online? Read on for some insights and examples of how to take your real estate development marketing strategy into the digital age.
A Website is a Must-Have
95% of buyers search online websites during the home buying process – Real Estate in a Digital Age 2017 Report, National Association of REALTORS Research Department
First thing’s first. A great looking website is essential for any real estate developer. Buyers expect websites to deliver a deep look into properties and to be able to compare and evaluate different properties quickly and efficiently online. Keeping these expecations in mind, websites that make it easy to find key information about properties, offer a fast and user-friendly experience and provide beautiful images to are likely to convert more prospective buyers into leads – and the better you’re able to generate leads and build lists, the better the likelihood to sell or lease a property faster.
If you’re just starting to explore moving your real estate development business into the digital age, ensuring you have a great website presence is an excellent first step.
If You Can Share a Photo, You Can Show a Property
We live in a visual world. In the race to grab a user’s attention and communicate information quickly, text doesn’t stand a chance against an image. A beautiful image of a property is sometimes all you need to catch the eye of a prospective buyer. The right image can instantly give buyers a good understanding of what a building or home has to offer.
The ability to share beautiful photos instantaneously with anyone on any device is one of the most powerful features of social media, making platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ideal for promoting your property listings or development. Whether you’re selling luxury townhomes, single-family homes or commercial office space, social media is becoming one of the most used technologies for showcasing the visual appeal of a property and quickly giving buyers an accurate idea of the space you’re trying to lease or sell.
With virtual tours and 360 degree cameras becoming one of the hottest developments in real estate tech, the trend is clear that buyers want better digital experiences for visualizing a property or even walking through an open house. With faster access to information about listings it makes sense for digital experiences to replace the time-consuming process of arranging visits to multiple properties. Using images and videos in your social media marketing strategy is one of the easiest ways to get started taking advantage of this trend.
Using Social Media to Generate Buzz About a Property
We’ve covered how sharing the perfect image of a property can be one of the most effective ways to attract interested buyers; one of the advantages of using social media posts to share those images is that it encourages users to share posts with friends, family or other connections who may be interested. This works as a great way to amplify the impact of your post or ad to generate buzz and spread the word about a property.
This can be especially valuable to developers looking to sell or lease units fast before construction even begins on a project. The real estate development marketing testimonial below highlights how the team here at Red Egg Marketing delivered some excellent results for one such project.
“We sold every unit in our luxury townhouse development before starting construction. We couldn’t have achieved these results without Red Egg Marketing. They created the website, print ads, and social media campaign that resulted in a 10 to 1, prospect to available unit, ratio. Demand was so strong that all units went under contract at prices significantly above our pro forma.” – Jim Lavalle, President, Epic Development
Customize Your Audience
One of the most notable ways online marketing platforms and social media networks in particular differentiate themselves from other marketing and advertising options is the ability to intelligently create audiences for your marketing campaigns based on user behavior and personal profile information. Facebook’s ad targeting is one of the latest and most compelling types of targeting available for social media marketing.
With 72% of all online adults using Facebook, there is surely a target audience for your specific real estate development project or real estate listing actively using this popular social media platform. Facebook’s Lookalike audiences allow you to create a custom audience for your advertising composed of new users that share similar traits with an existing audience such as previous buyers or website visitors, based on aspects of their behavior or profile information. Using Lookalike audiences is one way to help reduce customer acquisition costs and increase the relevance and effectiveness of your ads.
Finding Time to Manage Your Digital Marketing Strategy
We know that the work day of a real estate developer demands a lot. Real estate developers typically need a talent for building good relationships, a tolerance for taking risks, an ability to creatively problem-solve and the right temperament for dealing with a hectic and unpredictable daily work schedule. Asking them to add web developer, social media expert, designer, and copywriter – to name a few – to their list of talents is asking a lot. If you’re a real estate developer looking to learn how we can help with your digital marketing strategy, check out some of our real estate marketing services here.