Marketing technology is advancing at lightning speed and real estate agents are struggling to keep up. The coming year brings some changes for realtors that are going to impact their marketing ROI. So if you find yourself wondering why your traditional marketing activities don’t live up to your expectations, chances are big there’s something bigger underway. Don’t want to get caught off guard? Check out a few real estate marketing trends that are likely to shape the digital landscape in 2017.
Even though predicting trends often turns into a Herculean task, all of us would like to get some insight into what to expect next. What’s new? What’s frowned upon? What will take your marketing efforts up a notch? When you invest your resources and dedication in marketing and lead generation, seeing a bigger picture is essential.
Let’s take a look at several real estate marketing trends for 2017 to understand the upcoming changes.
1) Real estate CRM and marketing software is a new priority
Real estate is showing the biggest demand for an industry-specific CRM. The demand is expected to grow in 2017 as well. Indeed, realtors need to handle a unique sales process which neither spreadsheets nor generic CRMs can efficiently support which makes a real estate CRMs increasingly popular.
Right now, though, 72% of agents are still missing out on this valuable lead generation essential. They either don’t know which CRM vendor to go for, or can’t spare enough resources on CRM adoption.
The modern marketing landscape, however, is forcing agents to review traditional methods. It’s time to admit that you can’t manually follow up hundreds of leads each month and stay in touch with them meaningfully. So here are the 2 options:
- Once a new lead contacts you, you add them to your email software and then follow up manually.
- Once a new lead contacts you, a real estate CRM automatically creates a CRM record and adds the contact to your mailing list(s).
If you seek to boost sales in the upcoming year, the choice is obvious and your competition is already making it. Brokerages who adopted a real estate CRM see a 41% increase in sales productivity per agent!
Small and mid-sized brokerages are also the ones benefiting from real estate CRMs most of all, so don’t think that’s something only large brokerages can use.
So let’s wrap this up. If a system can automatically add new contacts, schedule follow up messages, alerts and reminders, automatically send out property proposals and help you with daily activities, why do everything manually?
[More on a great research on how real estate CRM is transforming the industry: 5 Stats Proving a Real Estate CRM Will Transform Your Data in 2017 [New Data]
2) Facebook advertising will probably be more costly
With more and more people running Facebook local campaigns, the costs of that kind of advertising is very likely to go up. Which is basically how the market works: greater demand and limited supply push the prices up. For agents, Facebook is often the best (and only) alternative to Google AdWords.
Same applies to the majority of local businesses (and big brands) from other industries which also show a growing demand for Facebook ad tools.
The drawback of Facebook ads, however, is that the cost of a campaign is higher for less populated areas. I.e., if you’re marketing listings in a big city, the cost per lead can range from fifteen to seventy dollars. For smaller areas, the cost per lead is usually ranging from twenty to one hundred dollars. At the same time, the median home value isn’t likely to grow high enough to compensate agents for the increasing advertising costs.
The best advertising strategy right now is to split your efforts between both Facebook and Google while it’s still affordable for many realtors. A smart campaign setup can yield great results at a fraction of the traditional marketing expense.
The ultimate goal for the long term is to invest more in content marketing and organic growth which both add tremendous value to your business over a year or two.
3) Content marketing is still king
Actually, content will always be king for a simple enough reason that without content the Internet would be empty. People have to read, watch or listen to something, right? The only difference is that today’s home buyers are pushing the boundaries of the quality of your content higher and higher – and you need to follow that lead.
To put it simply, a real estate website only featuring your MLS listings is a waste of time. People want more than that. After all, you’re pitching a lifestyle, not just a property. And it means your website has to offer the kind of locally relevant information that turns you into a go-to local expert.
The tips below sum up the key points regarding real estate content marketing:
- do not pour your entire marketing budget into advertising. It’s short-term while content is a virtually evergreen lead generation tool. The post you published half a year ago can bring you leads for years ahead;
- when producing content, try to be very specific and hyperlocal– down to zip codes and neighborhoods. Content wise, create targeted content for each niche, be it buyers, sellers or vacation home-seekers. If you try to cater to everyone, you cater to no one;
- don’t forget about local SEO. This is your best chance to outrank big national and international portals which are pushing local agents down in search results.
[Related post: 7 Types of Real Estate Content That Make an Exceptional Blog]
4) Retargeting for real estate:
Another real estate marketing trend which we think will continue into 2017 is retargeting. It’s cheap, effective and fairly easy to setup even if you’ve never done it before. An image below should give you an idea of how it works:
Sounds great, right? You may find that retargeting campaigns bring in much better results than Facebook or Google ads. That’s because the setup options are broader. You can target both search and social media, blacklist unnecessary sites, create retargeting lists (e.g., social media followers or newsletter subscribers) and loads more.
Moreover, you can easily target each of your niches rather that creating a general ad that points to your homepage. Specifically target buyers, sellers, luxury home buyers or investors in order to get the highest response rate.
If you’re curious how it works, check out this post that guides you through everything: Retargeting for Real Estate: a Complete Guide to Bringing People Back to Your Site
Keep an eye on real estate marketing trends and diversify your marketing channels so any changes won’t affect your business too badly. Consider online advertising but remember that your ultimate long-term goal is organic growth. Nurture existing leads with marketing automation as the probability of selling to an existing prospect is 70% as opposed to 20% with a new one.
Good luck and wishing you to make 2017 your best year ever!