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Virtual THINKtank

Digital Marketing Tools for Agents

By Gilda Zaragoza - April 24, 2020

On Thursday, April 23rd, we hosted our first ever VIRTUAL THINKtank! We were honored to have Jason Christiansen of Internet Media Consultants talk to us about what Realtors should be doing to stay relevant and engaged in today’s digital-first world of real estate sales. Below are highlights of his presentation, followed by some Q&A topics.

Now, more than ever, an agent’s digital presence and proficiency is a must to succeed in real estate sales. The COVID-19 pandemic that we are currently navigating has forced 95% of the elements of residential real estate online. This begins with consumers using tools like Zillow, Redfin and Trulia to search for homes before they even reach out to their trusted agent, or search for a new agent. If you’re not there when they are looking, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your client base and be known when they are ready to buy or sell.

Jason said “There’s an old saying in real estate that ‘The money’s in the list.’ I disagree. The money’s in the follow through!” To that point, Jason walked us through four key things agents need to be doing well today.

  1. Have a nice-looking website. There are plenty of great looking website options out there that provide drag-and-drop functionality for those who are not technically savvy. There are some that specialize in real estate needs and have templates ready for home listings including photos and links to virtual tours. Once you have a nice website live and a CRM system or email provider sync’d up with your website, you’re ready to start putting it to work.
  1. Generate leads through targeted ads. Jason recommends running ads on Facebook targeting the kinds of buyers you want to interact with, or have homes to market to. The targeting on Facebook is excellent and you have the ability to target people on Instagram through the same platform, giving you exposure on the two most popular social media sites. The image and copy need to be compelling to get people to click on your ad and take the next step. Think carefully about what you’ll be offering these potential future clients. Headlines like “Free exclusive list of homes in Parker between $350,000-500,000” are attractive to people who are looking in this area and price range.
  1. Build and land people on compelling landing pages to capture leads. Once someone has clicked on your social media ad, you’ll want to send them to a landing page that asks them to enter their name and email to receive the information you promised them. In the case above, it would be a current list of all the homes in Parker between $350-500,000. Jason recommends only asking for their name and email. The more information you ask for, the lower your response rate will be. You can set these landing pages up to highlight any number of interests: homes for sale, recent sales, open houses, etc.
  1. Use a good CRM system with automated emails. After your prospect has entered their name and email saying they want this curated list of available homes, they will be in your CRM system and now part of your automated marketing efforts. Jason said “This is where most agents are falling short. If you take the time and make the effort on the front end to set things up, you can continue to stay in front of these prospects automatically. You should set up 6-10 emails that go out over the course of days or weeks, providing relevant content to your prospects based on why they clicked on your ad in the first place. Now your CRM and mail system is doing your follow up for you, leaving you more time to deal with customers that need your immediate attention buying or selling a home.” Jason recommends ActiveCampaign, but other popular CRM systems are Top Producer and Salesforce.

Agents know they should be spending money to market themselves. The questions are “how much should I spend?” and “where should I spend it?” Using the guide above Jason showed us a road map that has worked for many of his clients. To figure out how much you need to spend, you can work backwards from how many prospects you typically convert into clients and how much those clients typically mean for you in terms of revenue each year. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you try some different ads and see what works, and stay in touch with people through your marketing automation and convert prospects to clients, you’ll figure out how much you need to spend to reach your revenue goals.

Jason closed with a reminder for all agents. “After property details, the most-visited portion of an agent’s website is their reviews. By keeping in touch with prospects and clients and giving them relevant information through automated marketing, you increase your chances of a positive review, which in turn helps you get more clients.”

Excellent advice!