Back in the ’90s, we only had 8 channels to market our real estate businesses on:
- Direct Fax
- Direct Mail
- Display advertising
Today, there are thousands of marketing channels you can have a presence on to market your business:
Has this made marketing any easier? Yes and no.
Yes, because we can now access an audience that, traditionally, we had to pay to access. Instead of relying solely on media companies to reach an audience, we can use social media advertising, CRM and email to reach the same audience ourselves.
No, because you are not just competing for attention against other real estate agents anymore. You are competing for attention against everything.
On social media, you are competing for attention against people’s friends, family and the stuff they care about. Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks “I can’t wait to see what my local real estate agent has posted to social media today”.
On the portals, you are competing for attention against other agents. The same goes for ratings and reviews websites.
Many real estate business owners and agents now realise that the trick to generating buyer and seller leads online, at a lower cost, is to drive everything they do online back to their own website – the only platform where you are not competing for attention.
In fact, this is exactly what every social media platform, real estate portal and ratings/reviews company does.
- How do the major portals and social media platforms make money? Advertising.
- How do they convince advertisers to spend more money on their platform? Traffic.
- How do they drive traffic? Frankly, with a lot of support from the real estate industry professionals, and by using most of their social posts and emails to bring people off that social media platform, or email, back to their own website.
This is the classic media company approach to digital marketing. And you can play this game too.
By driving more traffic to your own website, you are taking the wind out of the sails of the ‘big guys’ to help your business.
This is a major mindset shift for so many real estate business owners and agents – the idea of driving everything you do online back to your own website. Technically speaking, it is actually very easy to achieve and the return on investment is outstanding.
Take Ben Collier, The Agency, for example. Since January 2018, Ben has sold $198 million worth of property off-market – much of it thanks to his approach to email and social advertising which drives people back to the listings on his website – the only place they exist online.
This approach is not only generating buyer leads for Ben and his team but it’s also growing their database of potential sellers while nurturing their email list with great content and remarketing to website visitors to keep them coming back.
Your own website is the only place online where you’ll get someone’s full and undivided attention. The problem we have in real estate is that many businesses and agents just don’t care. And it’s a huge missed opportunity.
Many respected industry experts and thought leaders are united on their advice to real estate businesses that there should be more focus on driving traffic from other channels to your own website, rather than letting your listings, profiles, ads and content live on other people’s platforms.
Stepps CEO, Josh Cobb, on why your real estate website could be costing you business
There are two types of real estate websites:
- The ‘fancy online brochure’ (aka: static template website) that is out of date and drives very little traffic and conversion, or,
- The lead generating machine website that drives lots of traffic and opportunities for the sales and property management teams.
Many real estate agency websites look pretty but underperform when it comes to generating more leads, sales and ideal clients. Part of the reason is that many real estate businesses simply aren’t directing people to their own website – they are letting people engage with their business on other channels where there is lots of competition for people’s attention.
If you want to reduce the cost of advertising in your business while increasing your database at the same time, your website will need to be a critical element of your digital marketing strategy in 2020.
We’re here to help
There are a lot of real estate website developers who can put graphics and nice images online but it takes a strategic approach and great marketing to transform your website into an automated lead generation system that funnels potential vendors and landlords into your real estate business.
Learn why respected industry leader Chris Hanley (OAM) from First National Byron Bay partnered with Stepps (and the results that followed):
Most web designers understand the technology behind building real estate websites but they have little to no experience when it comes to effective digital marketing and selling. Their expertise is in graphic design, not making your website make money.
If you want a trusted team that will give you sound advice, with a track record of results for some of Australia’s leading real estate brands, contact us to get your new website project underway.