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These are the Busiest Day of the Year for Real Estate Searches

These are the Busiest Day of the Year for Real Estate Searches

Real estate searches peak the weekend after Thanksgiving, December 28, January 1, and July 6, so don’t stop marketing your property during the holidays.

If you’re a marketing professional outside the retail industry, chances are you slow things down during the holidays. But before you settle in for a second helping of leftovers, consider this: according to a study by, December 28 is statistically one of the busiest days for real estate searches.

It makes sense: Potential buyers use their post-holiday downtime to consider real estate investment. Other days when real estate searches spike include:

  • the weekend after Thanksgiving
  • New Year’s Day
  • July 6

It’s important for real estate marketers to be aware of these dates so that you don’t stop all your marketing activities. The good news is that real estate searches are typically lowest on actual holidays, so putting a pause on your pay-per-click advertising, for example, on those days makes sense.

I bring this up because, recently, a client asked to stop all marketing activities between mid-December and New Year’s Day due to “seasonal decline” in sales. While it’s true that December typically sees lower numbers in terms of web traffic, leads, and conversions, that doesn’t mean there is not enormous, largely untapped opportunities for this client — if we are strategic about how we spend marketing dollars over the holidays.

Leveraging the post-holiday uptick in real estate searches

While spending the holidays relaxing with family and friends is something we all deserve, keeping a few strategic marketing activities going can mean big wins for your property/properties. Here are a few things I recommend, and why.

1) Publish blog posts on a normal schedule.

Blog posts are the gifts that keep on giving, meaning the majority of traffic will visit your posts months after they’re published. In fact, 80% of our page views occur on blog posts published at least 6 months prior. It’s a great time to write about trends or happenings in the coming year in an effort to capture future searches.

Search engines value consistency in your publishing schedule, so keeping up your normal posting frequency will help your rankings.  If you have the resources to post on schedule, it would benefit you to do so.

2) Be strategic about social media.

Social media management can be time-consuming, so you should dial back your posting on the days you know prospects won’t be spending much time online (e.g. December 25). That being said, you should plan to post on days when you know real estate searches peak (e.g. December 28). Chances are, many of your competitors will be shut down for the holiday, and your posts will be front and center in your prospects’ newsfeeds.

3) Be strategic about digital advertising.

The same goes for digital advertising. Knowing that post-holiday real estate searches peak on December 28, you should budget your pay-per-click and social advertising dollars to spend more on this day. Particularly focus on your Google AdWords spend because that will capture prospects using search engines to find information about potential real estate investments — as opposed to sponsored social posts, which display your ads in the newsfeed of a prospect who may or may not be ready to buy.

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Archive for the "Content Marketing" Category

Your Content Should Not Include a Sales Pitch. Do This Instead.

Your Content Should Not Include a Sales Pitch. Do This Instead.

Trying to pass your sales pitch off as content will only hurt your content marketing efforts. Start helping potential buyers instead.

Think your blog is a refreshing new way to highlight your properties’ selling points? Do your blog posts include verbiage like “competitive rates,” “prime location,” or “investment opportunity?” Stop right there. Everyone you reach probably knows right away that you are trying to sell them something, and they will quickly move on.

As counterintuitive as it may sound, being “salesy” will make potential buyers look elsewhere, or run in the opposite direction — perhaps to your competition. The best way to win buyers and renters is to stop trying to sell. Content that helps prospective buyers envision themselves in your property is what will grow your business.

Nobody welcomes a sales pitch

Admit it: you tune out anyone that comes across as trying to sell you something. You get emails, voicemails, and social media updates with “information” that is really a not-so-cleverly disguised sales pitch. What do you do? Most likely you hit delete, or you do not read past the first sign of a sales promotion.

So you know deep down that “salesy” does not sell. Yet according to a recent study of 500 global marketers from the Economist Group, many content marketing programs are doing just that: being promotional throughout their content efforts. In fact, 93% of the marketers surveyed said they directly connect content to a specific product or service.

Prospective buyers see right through this trick. Like you, most of your potential investor base is turned off by an overt sales pitch.

Focus on your audience to increase yield

So what should your content be doing? Rather than forcing your properties on your potential investors, take the time to answer their questions. Be the expert advice they are seeking. Help them envision themselves in one of your properties. You can do this by:

  • Keeping content informative and educational. Your content should hold value for your readers.
  • Letting your content demonstrate expertise. It should give the reader a favorable impression of you and your real estate business. They should walk away trusting your ideas.
  • Educating your readers about the amenities nearby and the neighborhood. Offer information about things to do nearby or events that make your location ideal for your target audience. For example, music lovers will love to know that they could be living near a concert venue; or parents will want to know about the local school system.

The philosophy of content marketing is to offer help, to educate, and, at times, to entertain your target audience. This is accomplished by focusing on your potential buyers’ needs and interests, not by overtly pitching your properties. When your buyers understand you’re not trying to force a sale at any cost, you gain their trust and respect, and this is what brings in sales.

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Archive for the "Content Marketing" Category

4 Steps to Building a Successful DIY Content Marketing Strategy for Real Estate

4 Steps to Building a Successful DIY Content Marketing Strategy for Real Estate

Looking to DIY a content marketing strategy? Get started with these steps.

Are you trying to create a content marketing strategy for your property but don’t know where to begin? Even the language around content marketing can seem foreign to newcomers.

Setting your content marketing strategy is a crucial first step in trying to reach your target buyers or tenants. Before you begin writing blogs, creating video content, and posting tweets, you need to set goals.

A content marketing strategy outlines the methods by which you will target, reach, and engage potential buyers. Here are four steps to creating a successful foundation if you’re planning to begin a DIY content marketing strategy.

Steps to building a DIY content marketing strategy

1) Identify your buyer persona(s).

Trying to write compelling content for an unidentified audience is like taking a shot in the dark. Knowing who your ideal buyer or tenant is allows you to create content that is informative, educational, and entertaining to that specific person.

The more detailed you can be with your buyer persona(s), the more specific and effective your content can become. The personal connection is particularly crucial for real estate buyers, and understanding your target audience is key to making that connection.

2) Define goals and objectives.

Your content goals should be a direct reflection of your business goals. What do you want your content marketing efforts to accomplish for your company?

Top marketing goals for content marketers include converting contacts/leads to sales, growing website traffic, and increasing revenue. Make sure you include short-term and long-term goals and that you frequently refer back to these goals to make sure your strategy is on track.

3) Develop and distribute content.

Once you have identified your audience and defined your content goals, you can begin to educate yourself about the distribution platforms that will work best for introducing buyers to your property.

Let’s face it: Social media is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s imperative you know not only what to post, but where to post it. Buyers and renters of different demographics use social media differently. You’ll need to determine what platforms your target buyers are using and how to reach them effectively.

4) Put your knowledge to work.

Once you have worked through the initial steps of planning a successful social media strategy, the real fun begins. It’s time to start pushing valuable, effective content out to potential buyers.

Just remember that your strategy should be fluid so you can adjust it as necessary. Especially if you are selling/renting a multi-unit property, you’ll have to change your messaging to move different units (i.e. penthouses vs. smaller units). But even if you’re not, buyers and social platforms change with time, so keep refining your strategy as you go.

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Archive for the "Content Marketing" Category

4 Ways to Scare Away Real Estate Buyers with Content Marketing

4 Ways to Scare Away Real Estate Buyers with Content Marketing

If you’re committing these content marketing don’ts, you could scare away real estate buyers instead of attracting them.

As a real estate marketer, your job is to attract prospective buyers and tenants — so the last thing you want to do is misfire and scare people away. Yet, only a third of content marketers rate their content marketing strategies as extremely or very effective.

You want — and need — to be a voice that steers your company through a side of the business that is ever-changing. But even with the best intentions, you might be approaching your audience with the wrong tone, and that can cost you sales.

We’ve got just the plan to make sure your content is in check with what buyers and renters want. Here is our list of content marketing don’ts — the top four offenders that scare away real estate buyers.

4 content marketing don’ts

1) Don’t be generic.

Understand your audience and what makes them click. Real estate buyers want to feel a special connection with the property they buy. If your messaging isn’t personable and personalized, you run the risk of disengaging potential buyers.

Create content that is audience-focused, honing in on what your audience wants to read, not what you want to tell them. Do your research and position your content marketing strategy to focus on prospective buyers’ wants and goals — not yours.

2) Don’t try to sell, sell, sell.

Trying to pass off a blatant sales pitch as content will only hurt your content marketing efforts. Readers view content that isn’t sincere, informative, or authentic as disingenuous, and they’ll quickly turn away.

The same goes for content that’s filled with excessive keywords and multiple links meant to boost SEO results.  Everything should be done in moderation so the potential buyer — and search engines — isn’t turned off.

Don’t expect your content marketing strategy to result immediately in increased dollars. Building rapport with your target audience takes time with an often-delayed payout.

3) Don’t sacrifice quality.

If your content is shoddy and low quality, potential buyers won’t bother with it. By and large, your prospects value quality, consuming content that offers value and is relevant to their needs and interest in private or commercial real estate.

Rather than publishing many low-quality blog posts, stellar content that stands out will go a long way in improving the buyer’s perception of your property. And adding a variety of media (e.g., photos, videos, infographics) to posts contributes to their value and boosts credibility. Video is an especially powerful medium in real estate marketing. Images and videos take extra investment, but they go a long way in helping the buyer visualize themselves in a property.

4) Don’t go unplanned.

Ensure your content is relevant by documenting a strategy, following it, and adjusting it as needed. An editorial calendar is a great place to start.

Brainstorm ideas for content with colleagues and buyers. Document your goals and methods, and create a plan for attaining them to give your marketing plan organizational clarity. Consistency is king — haphazard content marketing won’t get you anywhere.

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Archive for the "Content Marketing" Category

Start Your Property’s Social Media Program in 6 Steps

Start Your Property’s Social Media Program in 6 Steps

When launching a property’s social media marketing program, make sure you’ve thought through strategy, content, and audience.

Social media marketing for real estate is a must-do. The reality is that’s where the average American is spending his/her free time — nearly 2 hours a day, according to a recent study. Using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to market your property, you can:

  • engage potential buyers
  • build brand awareness
  • elevate brand position within the market
  • decrease cost per lead
  • increase occupancy or sales
  • improve retention
  • and more

Sounds great, right? But where do you start? Which platforms should you use? How will you ever convince your boss that this is a valuable use of your time?

Starting your property’s social media program can seem like an intimidating task, especially if company leadership is skeptical of the benefits. Here are six steps to launching a real estate social media program that will grow your business to its full potential.

6 steps to start your property’s social media program

1) Speak in the right terms.

Convincing management that you want your team to spend more time on social media to gain “followers” or get “shares” could be a hard sell — even though that kind of engagement is key in real estate sales and rentals. To win support, focus your argument around the factors that are most important to them. Lead generation, lead nurturing, conversions, sales, ROI, profits: this should be the vocabulary with which you approach this conversation.

2) Create a strategy — and put someone in charge.

Only 11% of companies without a documented content marketing strategy find their efforts to be successful, compared to 60% of companies with a strategy in place. And that number rises to 86% when the company designates someone to lead the strategy.

Develop a content marketing strategy — inclusive of social media — that aligns with your goals for the property (e.g., more visits to the website, increased occupancy, better retention rates). And whether someone on your team heads up execution or you outsource that responsibility, the leader should continually monitor analytics and tweak the strategy accordingly to ensure the property’s social media program is meeting the designated marks.

Which brings me to…

3) Determine which analytics to track.

In real estate social media, shares, likes, and impressions speak to your brand exposure, so they’re important to track. But it’s important that you’re looking at more than just these surface metrics. (Read more about so-called “vanity metrics” here.) Leads generated, conversion rates, sales, and ROI are going to tell you if your efforts are helping your bottom line. If you have a good, flexible strategy in place, these metrics will help you adjust your efforts to ensure you’re achieving your business objectives.

4) Develop quality content.

Twenty-seven million pieces of content are shared every day — and a large portion of it is crap. A social media presence could be pretty pointless unless you’re not using it in a way that your followers find valuable. Good, quality content is the alpha and the omega, the key to engaging your followers.

One of the biggest mistakes real estate marketers make is using social channels to push a blatant sales pitch. You’ll quickly lose your audience that way. Your property’s social media should be about engaging target buyers or tenants, building brand awareness, and offering valuable and interesting information.

5) Decide which channels are right for your business.

Who are you trying to reach, and what are you trying to tell them? These are good questions to ask when trying to determine which platforms will comprise your social media program. You need to know who your target buyer/tenant is, and you need to know what kind of information you’re going to offer them.

There’s a wealth of data out there about who uses which channels and when. Most social media platforms also have their own built-in analytics tools that can help you determine the best time for engagement with your followers.

Another thing to consider: You’ll want to choose channels that you’ll be able to maintain regularly and which play to your strengths. If you don’t have the time, skill, or interest in taking regular photographs of things around your property, for example, Instagram probably isn’t for you. Remember, you’ll likely want to work through several different channels to reach a maximum number of potential customers.

6) Follow your competitors.

Following your competitors is a great way to stay up to date on what they’re doing, especially if you don’t have a ton of time or money for competitive research. And when I say “follow,” I don’t mean “copy or imitate.” I mean subscribe to their blogs, engage with them on social media, and like and share their content that you find meaningful for your audience. This way, you become part of the local conversation happening online, and you know exactly what your potential buyers and tenants are seeing from (and how they’re reacting to) your competitors.

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Archive for the "Content Marketing" Category

This Is the First Thing You Should Do in Real Estate Marketing

This Is the First Thing You Should Do in Real Estate Marketing

Without a documented strategy, your content marketing is doomed to fail.

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to elevate your property’s reputation in the market, reach prospective buyers or tenants, and increase occupancy. Yet while many real estate marketers are using content marketing, not all feel their efforts are successful. Why do so many organizations feel they are failing? Simply put, they do not have a documented strategy in place.

You would never operate your business without 1) creating a strategy, 2) documenting it, and 3) following the strategy. Nor should you launch a marketing program without having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do that.

A documented strategy = a successful strategy

A content marketing strategy outlines the methods by which you will target, reach, and engage your audience. Research and execution of these tasks can be quite complex. Writing out a plan and assigning appropriate resources can offer clarity and guidance to your organization throughout the course of your marketing efforts.

Also, remember that content marketing is more of a marathon than a sprint, and achieving results often takes months, even years. Documenting your strategy allows your team to keep focused on your goals and your plan for achieving them in the interim.

Here’s why you should take the time to draw up a plan and then write it down.

1) A documented content marketing strategy is more successful than an undocumented strategy or no strategy at all.

Research and analysis conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reveals that only 27% of B2C marketers surveyed have a documented content marketing strategy. 50% of those surveyed said they had a strategy, it just isn’t written down. According to the CMI, “That’s a huge problem. If it’s not written down, then it probably doesn’t really exist.”

Because effective content marketing requires a team effort with a cohesive vision, having an undocumented strategy means you might as well not have a strategy at all. For everyone to be on the same page, it’s important to quantify goals, set a detailed plan, and document results.

2) A documented content marketing strategy helps measure ROI.

Many real estate companies struggle with content marketing or have trouble garnering support for the program because return on investment is notoriously difficult to measure. In fact, more than half of marketers say one of their top challenges is measuring content effectiveness (57%) and/or measuring the ROI of their content marketing program (52%).

Having a documented strategy in place gives your organization measurable goals against which to compare your results. Your strategy should:

  • Document what you hope to achieve through content marketing — more leads, higher conversion rates, more social media followers, etc.
  • Outline a specific methodology for executing those goals
  • Assign human resources to each of the tasks
  • Designate intervals at which to check in and evaluate/adjust your efforts
  • Offer a timeframe for completion

Documenting your strategy in such a way clarifies where you are investing time and resources so that calculating ROI is less of an abstract process.

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