Luxury real estate firms use content marketing and social media to carry the lifestyle brand they’ve built around their properties into the online world.
In real estate sales, you want people to find your properties, like what they see, and ultimately be moved to purchase. In other words, you want to attract visitors, convert visitors to leads, and convert leads to deals. Innovative luxury real estate firms are finding ways to leverage digital tools to guide more buyers down that path to purchase.
Without a doubt, luxury real estate buyers are a diverse bunch. “One day I have to know all about feng shui, and the next I have to be able to talk to a pig farmer from Iowa,” says one luxury real estate sales executive. “I’m like a chameleon.”
And luxury buyers are trending even more heterogeneous — both geographically and demographically. What’s more, they are more connected than ever before due to the proliferation of digital technologies that enable buyers and properties to connect with one another in new and different ways.
Digital marketing’s role in luxury real estate sales
It’s clear that technology is a strategic way for properties to get in front of more potential buyers. Moreover, it creates competitive opportunities for luxury real estate firms that are prepared to adapt to this new landscape.
Many luxury real estate firms are already using digital and social media to carry the lifestyle brand they’ve built around their properties into the online world. With the use of inbound or content marketing — think of it as the intersection of valuable content, social media, and lead generation — they are creating new virtual “touch points” to connect with affluent, hyper-connected luxury buyers.
What we know about luxury buyers is that they are likely to do purchasing research online. They are influenced by peers and their interactions with websites, mobile apps, and social networks. We also know that 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, and that 75% of searchers don’t move past the first page of search results. Through publishing relevant, quality content, content marketing gives luxury real estate marketers the tools needed to make certain their properties are being found online.
Social media and real estate
According to Sprout Social’s Consumer Engagement Index, which ranks industries by which ones receive the most engagement from customers on social media, the real estate industry is second overall in terms of inbound engagement relative to audience size. But how exactly, are real estate firms using content marketing to sell luxury properties?
The majority of real estate firms, through the use of social media and blogs, are seeking to draw visitors to a property’s website. Others are putting social media to use for functional purposes, such as communicating real-time updates to potential buyers about project timelines or changes in sales office hours.
Content marketing gets results
Of their recent content marketing efforts, the New York City-based Corcoran Real Estate Group says they have realized significant benefits. A spokesperson for the company says, “The main thing we’ve seen is that the quality of the referral traffic back into our main website has significantly improved. And not only are we seeing more traffic coming in, but visitors coming in from social media sites are staying longer and looking at more things — something we had also seen with search engines, but not in such large numbers.”
Corcoran isn’t alone in their use of emergent technology and social media strategy to ensure maximum exposure for their luxury properties. Long & Foster’s Luxury Homes e-magazine showcases luxury properties through an extensive online campaign targeting luxury clients. The online campaign drives traffic to the e-book and the website. Similarly, residential homebuilder Polygon Homes currently connects their available luxury properties to over 6,000 people through a multitude of social media platforms. The company’s social followers are linked to relevant articles, outside press coverage, and traditional marketing resources that serve to build on the lifestyle brand of each property.
Real estate firms are also recognizing value in blog content as way to attract visitors and nurture leads. For example, One Riverside Park, a New York City building with luxury condo units for sale, uses its blog to highlight not only their property, but also additional relevant information such as neighborhood amenities, seasonal local weather, and area restaurants.
Boston is experiencing a substantial upsurge in construction of high-end luxury residential units. And local real estate firms are using content marketing to sell those luxury units.
Seventy percent of the luxury units at the 60-story Millennium Tower under construction in Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood have been sold. Millennium Partners, the firm responsible for the marketing and sales of the luxury units, has embraced content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. Millennium Tower’s Facebook page not only shares construction progress, sales information, and related press coverage, but neighborhood amenities, industry trends, and an array of visual content that’s more often than not shared widely by followers.
Building a data-driven strategy
Beyond increased prospect engagement and driving more traffic to their websites, other firms are using content marketing as a way to gauge market reception of traditional print marketing materials and the general perception of properties. Knowing what resonates online through focus group-like participation is valuable information that marketers are finding bolster their offline marketing efforts.
In that same vein, while real estate marketers are realizing value from creating and sharing content, they’re also recognizing the importance of analytics and measurement.
Real estate marketers are using content marketing metrics to determine what type of content is inspiring current customers and pulling in new leads. These firms are looking at how their online numbers compare daily, weekly, and monthly and planning content accordingly. Specifically, they’re monitoring measurements like page views, video views, document views, content downloads, and social conversations. They’re examining how sales are impacted by social media and digital content by tracking metrics such as referrals from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Knowing all of these metrics allows for a more nimble real estate marketing strategy — one that’s able to rapidly adapt and engage potential buyers in real time.
Content marketing is a new approach to an old strategy — one that’s putting real estate marketers in charge of the way potential buyers interact with their properties.
These marketers are guiding prospects down the road of purchase through lead generation campaigns, capturing emails and other contact information through blog subscriptions and form completions for content downloads. They’re strengthening branding efforts for their properties by building robust online social communities and employing previously untapped sources of referrals. And real estate marketers who use content marketing are seeing their properties rank higher in search engine results pages, experiencing a steady increase in their website visitors, and increasing conversion rates of leads and sales.
Taking into consideration the changing demographics and increased digital connectedness of luxury real estate buyers, firms that seek to broaden the reach of their marketing efforts through new and emergent technologies will aggressively position themselves as strong competitors in an increasingly competitive luxury property market.
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