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Digital Marketing Tips To Grow Your Real Estate Business Without Paid Ads (2020)
And as always, for any one-on-one consulting and assistance, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you in the Real Estate business?
A builder, a developer, or a Realtor?
How has the current pandemic affected your business? What are the changes you are incorporating into your workflow?
Is Digital Marketing part of your marketing activities?
Digital Marketing is more than just social media. And is definitely more than just paid ads and lead generation. This article ‘Digital Marketing Tips To Grow Your Real Estate Business (2020)’ will help you get a gist of how you can build your real estate business without paid ads.
Real Estate has been and continues to be one of the most valued asset classes as far as investment is concerned. And the key in Real Estate is to stay invested for the long term. Well, yes, that holds good as far as all investment portfolios are concerned. Be it, stocks, commodities, or real estate.
Considering the times are changing, it is imperative to adjust to these changes and move along. And those incorporating changes early on, into their workflow, reap the benefits.
I really wouldn’t want to dwell on the current issues in the market. Simply because it is temporary. Yes, the market could take time to adjust to the new norms. However, the current slow down can be turned into an opportunity, if you use it to rack up on your skills and leverage them into your business.
While I really wouldn’t want to get in-depth into Digital Marketing, this article wouldn’t be complete without dwelling on the basics.
What is Digital Marketing?
A misconception in the industry is, Digital Marketing is the same as Social Media. Social Media is just a part of Digital Marketing.
Simply put, Digital Marketing is the process of marketing using electronic media, and specifically, the internet.
Why marketing, to being with?
Well, marketing is required to provide information regarding your product, service, or business to potential customers and prospects, in order to generate leads and hopefully, sales.
And achieving the above using the internet or digital platforms is referred to as Digital Marketing.
What are the components of Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is simple and not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone with basic computer knowledge can be a good Digital Marketer. And there are different components to Digital Marketing.
Based on your area of expertise or interests, you could choose from one of the different components of Digital Marketing.
- Website [Related article: Build A Brand, Learn WordPress and Email Marketing]
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization [Related article: SEO Checklist To Increase Traffic For New Websites]
- Search Engine Marketing / Pay-Per-Click
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing [Related article: A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing (2020)]
- Marketing Automation
- Affiliate Marketing [Related article: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners]
If you are keen to learn Digital Marketing, I have a course coming up soon. You could sign-up using in the form below and I will update you as soon as the course is live.
Here are a few tips to grow your real estate business, using digital marketing.
All the tips mentioned here are to increase traffic and leads via organic traffic, i.e., without paying for ADs and marketing.
Become an SME
The SME under consideration here is an acronym for Subject Matter Expert.
There really is no space for mediocracy. You have to be so good in your craft, that your customers must be in awe of your knowledge.
Am I asking you to be the best in matters related to buying, selling, renting, legal, Vaastu, etc? Yes and no.
You could begin by narrowing down on your niche. Are you a jack of all trades or a master of one? (yes, I know it’s master of none). But, I did mean ‘master of one’. Being an SME.
I have a good friend who is a realtor in the upmarket residential area of Indiranagar, in Bangalore. I’ve on a number of occasions asked him for properties outside his jurisdiction (as how he puts it across). And his simple straightforward answer is No. And he goes on to say, that he specializes only in Indiranagar.
So the next time I want something in Indiranagar, I suppose you’d have guessed who’s number one on my call list! And what is interesting to note is, for the past 10 years, he hasn’t advertised on print media and neither on any online platform. It’s all referrals.
Another key element in Real Estate or I guess in any business is the word of mouth referrals. Once a customer has interacted with you, be it for the good or bad, the word spreads around. And if you have excelled at your craft, as in the case with my good friend, you get your referrals, irrespective of how the market conditions are.
It is the onus one puts on themselves to go beyond their present best and be a better version of themselves tomorrow. If it means learning the basics of property law to be in a situation to assist a customer, so be it. Go that extra yard. Yes, we can always guide the customer to a professional lawyer. But hey, it has its perks of being able to help out on the fly. 😉
Create Lead Magnets
Have various landing pages created, be it project-specific, or a builder specific one or a location-specific one. In each of the landing pages, offer a lead magnet. I have an article on ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing (2020)’ where I cover lead magnets in detail.
Nevertheless, a lead magnet is something you offer for free in order to capture or get the email address of your prospect. A lead magnet can be a free ebook, checklist, online course, software, recipes, coupon, planners, etc.
For e.g., you could create a landing page and offer a free ebook on the ‘Top 25 Apartment Projects to buy Under Rs. 50 L’. You could promote this on your various platforms, such as website, social media, emails, etc. You could also, if required, run advertisements for the same landing page.
To receive a free ebook, you could get a prospect signing up on your page. This is a lead for you. What follows, is how you can nurture the prospect and build a long term relationship.
Lead magnets are a great source for generating leads and prospects. Do consider creating multiple such lead magnets and landing pages.
Provide Value, Become an Authority. Follow the 80/20 rule.
You have to provide value.
Remember, the audience is first. Your customer is King! 😉
In the previous example, we covered the lead magnet. Yes, you must offer a free lead magnet. However, what you must note is that, just because you are offering a free ebook or a free download, you must not compromise on the quality of the lead.
Your free lead magnet is the first step towards you building trust with your audience. So, make an impression. The quality of the content in your lead magnet tells your customer that they are dealing with someone who knows the business. That is the stepping stone of building a long term relationship with your customer.
Provide content on a regular basis. And DO NOT promote only your real estate listings. Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% content of value and 20% real estate promotions (soft sale).
Your 80% content can be educational content, industry facts, tips on interiors, Vaastu, construction, etc. And for your 20% promotion, plan well in advance.
For e.g., if you are promoting a project in a particular location, let’s say, Indiranagar in Bangalore. Plan this a week ahead. And plan your week-long or two-week-long content marketing strategy around Indiranagar.
Begin with content talking about the neighborhood, the eat-outs, schools, hospitals, shopping, nightlife, welfare associations, BBMP offices, registration offices, etc. And towards the end of the campaign, promote your project.
The key is to build relationships with your audience. I highly suggest starting a community, not around real estate, but around a generic topic, such as the city you stay in or common interests, e.g., traveling, biking, eating out, etc.
The focus has to be on adding value. Become an authority in your niche. Soon, you will be known as the goto person in your industry.
Leverage on Tools & Automations
Now, I understand you would be busy building and adding to your listings. Or building new associations with fellow industry experts. Or even sourcing new clients. So, when do you have the time to send emails and engage with your audience.
Well, that is where automation comes into play. (A great automation tool is ConvertKit)
Let’s say a customer signs up for your free lead magnet.
Next, a confirmation mail goes to your customer to confirm their email address. Once confirmed, a welcome email goes to the customer. It will, very importantly, have the link or attachment of the free download (your lead magnet).
The welcome email will also have a brief summary of your expertise and a mention or a request to follow you on your various social media platforms. Please note, you should ask a customer to follow you only if you are active on that particular social media platform.
What should follow over the next couple of weeks, is an email sent daily on various aspects of real estate. Be it educational, real estate investment concepts, a checklist on what to be considered while buying and selling a property, etc.
The interval of these mails can be decided by you. You could either set it for daily emails to be sent out or once in two days or weekly, etc. The choice is totally up to you.
Now, the best bit. All this happens on auto-pilot.
All you have to do is, set up the systems once and this works for you 24/7, 365 days a year. You may be busy with a client, prospecting, sourcing new properties, out on vacation, or sleeping. The system works for you seamlessly.
And a tool that I use and highly recommend for creating landing pages & forms to embed into your website, create automation and sequences, build email lists, etc., is ConvertKit.
Online Reviews & Forums
Building a business is not easy. You have to carve out time for various aspects. Be it time spent towards building systems to work for you 24/7, churning out content, posting content consistently online (another key to success), answering to queries and clarifications, etc., the role an entrepreneur don is aplenty.
While a majority of it can be automated, you must take time out to create content.
Now, the content can be blog articles, videos, podcasts, images, infographics, etc. While you could consider outsourcing this aspect, it is a good practice, at least when you start out, to create the blog articles on your own. After all, you are the subject matter expert. And your audience will connect with your style of writing.
In your replies to the various queries, have a link back to your website. And on your website, ensure your lead magnets and sales funnels are in place to capture the email addresses and nurture the clients.
Over the course of time, you will be known as an authority in your niche. You will have customers sending you questions directly, to be answered for them.
Build Your Email List (Prospects)
This is an area of marketing where a lot of businesses have got it wrong.
Email marketing is still going strong and is probably the most effective marketing strategy there is. Reports also indicate that email marketing is ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating social media, SEO (Related article: SEO Checklist To Increase Traffic For New Websites), and affiliate marketing (Related article: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners).
And I’ve come across a number of businesses sending emails to databases they purchase. While to each his own, do you really expect to get a high open-rate for your emails using this approach?
Honestly, it’s not long back that I too used the same method. Until I started building my email list from scratch. And guess what. From a meager 10% open rate, I am able to achieve an email open rate of well above 60%.
And how exactly has this happened?
As mentioned, I have an article on A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing (2020). This should give you a fair idea.
Again, a tool that I use and highly recommend for building your email lists, is ConvertKit.
But the key is, to offer value. Do not hard sell. Don’t SPAM your client’s email with only promotional emails. Be of value. Be the best at providing valuable content for your customers. Slowly, but steadily, your customers and audience will look forward to your emails.
All the steps mentioned above are your sure shot methods to build yourself as an authority in your niche. While I have mentioned this specific to real estate, these methods can be followed for any industry.
No doubt, these steps do take time. If you want immediate results, you must consider paid ads. However, while these steps do take time (approximately 4 to 6 months), appreciate the fact that traffic coming to your website from organic search is way better than paid ADs or even social media for that matter.
In a nutshell…
My advice would be to churn out epic articles (1500 to 2000 word articles with facts, figures, infographics, etc) on a regular basis, even daily if possible. Have these articles optimized for search engines (SEO). Update all your social media channels. Answer queries. Create walkthroughs and build your Youtube channel. Create landing pages, lead magnets, capture clients, get them through your sales funnel, nurture clients, offer value, and build long term relationships.
This method is a sure shot winner! 😉
I hope you found value in this article.
Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below. It will only help me improve and in turn, help me in bringing out quality content for you.