Realtors Open their Doors to Online Marketing
For the struggling real estate market an emerging group of new buyers, members of the X and Y generations, are coming into view as a new and largely untapped market. These generations are in their prime home buying years (20s to early 40s), and it is estimated that this demographic will represent more of an economic force than that of the baby boomers. This younger group of potential home buyers is being viewed as a big potential, as many don’t have houses that they need to sell first.
Real estate professionals must rethink how they market to this group, or risk losing them to the competition.
Some realtors are trying to connect with these young home buyers through the use of demographic targeted online marketing efforts, including social and viral marketing campaigns. Other agencies are utilizing the options of real time online chat and text messaging as another means of communication to help them relate to and keep up with this tech-savvy demographic.
Because this younger generation grew up with and are using available technologies, they are changing the way that real estate is being marketed and how brokers must use the same technologies to reach this audience. This is the first generation that has had the option to use the computer and internet as casually as a telephone or refrigerator. These young buyers are used to doing their research and obtaining information for themselves, and this has started to shift the role of the real estate agent. As a way to reach out to this group, some agencies have been employing younger agents, who can more comfortably integrate web technologies into the equation, and speak to potential buyers on their level, at their speed.
Real estate is a very unique industry, and so is the SEO approach associated with it. Real estate agents are trying to market a product and a service at the same time. Competing in local markets calls for in depth keyword analysis and usage. General real estate keywords are most effective in conjunction with specific geographical qualifiers. These geo-descriptive keywords can then be utilized in copy text, titles, descriptions, etc.
Since the products these real estate agents are trying to sell are actual geographic locations, many agents market their listings using the property’s address. It is recommended to use the full property address, including the zip code and your state’s letter code abbreviation, with the intention that search engines will index them with these attributes.
When dealing with high-end listings and buyers searching for upscale properties, keywords that emphasize the features and luxuries of the property are also important. Whereas the low-end listings will be attracting a different set of prospective buyers searching for keywords that emphasize a deal, the value, or the potential of the property.
Self-promotion keywords, such as agency or company name, can also be valuable qualifiers to buyers. When the agency is a corporate franchise, much of the brand marketing is already in place. Using these self-promotion keywords, along with geographic terms, can be very beneficial when trying to establish market authority.
Industry experts are saying that this downtime in the real estate market is a good time to “Get Back to Basics” for real estate agencies, by strengthening their internal operations, and developing new online marketing strategies to keep up. Around 70—80% of today’s home buyers in the U.S. are finding their homes on the internet, so these agencies must adapt to the changing market trends, or become extinct.
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