While real estate will always be a relationship business, the nature of those relationships is becoming increasingly more “digital.” In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) claims that 44 percent of recent buyers looked online at properties for sale, while only 17 percent ﬁrst contacted a real estate agent.
Getting in front of that prospect with digital advertising during the home search period gives real estate professionals a huge advantage. Placing ads online can be arduous, but when done well, it can change a business. Before diving in, it’s important to understand the four best types of digital advertising—and how to mix them into your marketing strategy.
1. Display Ads
Display ads are the billboards of the internet. Haunting the perimeter of our digital life, display ads follow us as we catch up on our favorite blogs, look for travel deals or browse Amazon. While you can specify where these ads show up based on certain parameters, you’ll commonly find them along the sides or top of your screen.
Real estate professionals should use display ads to target their prospects on sites where an ideal client would browse, like an online local event calendar. Due to the broad nature of display-ad targeting, a lot of people will see your ad, but many of them won’t be actively looking for a real estate professional. This is one of the main reasons why display advertising can be less expensive than other advertising.
2. Search Ads
Search ads are a highly targeted form of digital advertising. They’re the ads you see at the top of search result pages when you Google something. When you place these ads, you select the keywords or search terms that your client would use to find you. This methodology gives you access to a prospect while they’re actively searching for a service provider. The downside to this ad channel is cost. Other “Denver Real Estate Agents” are likely bidding on those same keywords, so this method has the potential to get expensive.
Retargeting is a cookie-based online advertising method that serves ads to people who have previously visited your website. According to ReTargeter, only 2 percent of web traffic converts on the first visit, which means 98 percent of users leave without taking action. While Amazon is king when it comes to product retargeting, real estate professionals can use the same tactic by installing a simple line of code on their website. When a prospect visits their site, their code collects the data. They now have the resources to serve those prospects display ads on other sites.
4. Social Media
Consider these numbers: There are 1.65 billion social accounts globally with 1 million new social users added every day. This amount of activity is incredible, but it has caused organic social media efforts to become futile. Placing paid ads is often a more effective way to reach your prospective clients for a relatively low cost.
PlanOmatic has developed an easy-to-use tool called CaptuRE, which allows you to use the photos and floor plans from your PlanOmatic order to quickly place ads on Facebook. Product developers have done all the heavy lifting, so prospects will see live, targeted listing ads for only $49 a week.
Digital marketing skills are critical to successful real estate businesses. You need prospective leads to think of you while they’re looking for real estate online. Adding digital ads to your marketing mix will give your brand a competitive edge.
Commentary by Lauren Maloney