Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned Realtor looking to step up your game, these tips will help you create a successful digital marketing plan for the year ahead.

As a real estate agent, you want to grow your business, and you know that marketing plays a big part in capturing the attention of potential clients. But how do you get in front of the right leads at the right time?

If you’re still exclusively relying on your personal network to bring in leads and referrals, it’s time to look at what digital marketing can do for you.

And yes, we know learning new technology can be a little overwhelming. According to a 2018 study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 48 percent of all real estate firms cited keeping up with technology as one of the biggest challenges facing their firm in the next two years.

So, let’s look at the top four digital marketing choices you can make to boost your productivity in 2021. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned Realtor looking to step up your game, these tips will help you create a successful marketing plan.

Choose organic over generic every time

The best digital marketing doesn’t feel like digital marketing. What I mean is consumers have become really good at spotting generic emails and ads. A recent study by AdAge shows that younger buyers, especially Gen Z-ers, are more likely to trust brands using non-photoshopped images (79 percent) and actual customers (84 percent) in their advertising. So when you create Facebook ads and Instagram promotions, make sure you’re being real.

Aaron Ace Harris

Aaron Ace Harris

Aaron Ace Harris, CEO of Key Marketing Real Estate and a lead gen expert, offers his clients a good rule of thumb here: “If you wouldn’t read or watch it, don’t send it to others.”

“Anyone can repackage cookie-cutter content trying to be all things to all people, but your clients and potential clients want to feel seen. Your best plan here is to create content that sounds so much like you that no one else could use it,” says Harris.

Not only does this ensure that potential clients get to know the real you, but it helps buyers and sellers find you. We all are attracted to organic content that resonates with us. Adding your authentic voice to your marketing will help your audience connect.

Choose your systems carefully

Digital marketing technology is all about systemization. Everyone knows the major industry players here: Facebook Ads Manager, Google Analytics and Hootsuite. But to really leverage the power within these platforms, Harris recommends finding an agency that will help you set up systems around your marketing because this offers several benefits:

The right systems:

  • Facilitate consistency, transparency and repeatability.
  • Allow you to better track your marketing metrics.
  • Help you see the gaps and opportunities in the market more quickly.

Luke Shankula

“You’ve got to figure out how to grow your share of the online market. At a minimum, make sure you have a digital marketing strategy for each of the following channels: website traffic growth, email list growth, email marketing and social media marketing,” says Luke Shankula, mortgage marketing professional and CEO of Paragon Digital Marketing.

Take action here by deciding what your priorities are. Are you looking to create a system for strategy, campaign development, lead generation, digital advertising, content marketing, retention, SEO or something else?

Then research the apps and software systems in each area and choose. Be careful not to overthink this one, though. Give yourself a deadline and make your choice, so you can start implementing.

Choose your marketing platforms carefully

Driving traffic to your website is a great start, but you need to capture those leads so you can build relationships with them. This means you’ll also need:

  • Well-designed and functional landing pages. Most email programs like MailChimp and ConvertKit offer landing pages that are easy to integrate with your email marketing campaigns.
  • Attractive lead magnets. If you don’t know how easy it is to create beautiful designs in Canva, it’s time to give it a try.
  • A strong presence on social media. Check out these 3 tips for making video marketing work for you.
  • An email newsletter full of practical, personal information — yes, there’s still a place for email marketing. The key is creating personalized, original content.

These platforms can get you on the radar of prospects and clients before they have a need for a real estate agent or broker. As more people find their way to your funnel, you can build targeted campaigns using Facebook ads, Google ads, Instagram promotions or even TikTok videos.

Alex Caragiannides

Alex Caragiannides

“Make sure to have all your systems in place before you run any ads so you can follow up and nurture the campaigns with three vehicles: email, text and retargeting on FB and Google,” says real estate marketing expert and founder of BSM Vault Digital Marketing, Alex Caragiannides.

For example, buyers love music video parodies in Instagram stories or on TikTok. Can you find a local celebrity or grab some other agents and create a fun campaign? If you are looking to attract younger buyers, these platforms are a great outlet for creative expression.

Choose to use testimonials abundantly

What is your secret weapon when it comes to digital marketing? Testimonials. These are like content gold for a heavily relationship-dependent business like real estate.

Your prospects and clients choose to work with you because they trust that you will sell their house for the best price or that you will show them the home of their dreams. To gain this level of trust, you’ve got to build the relationship, and one thing that helps is word-of-mouth advertising.

Start the practice today of asking every client for a video testimonial. You can even go back to clients you haven’t worked with in years (in fact, this is a great reason to reach out and reconnect). If you have trouble getting those testimonials to come in, run a giveaway for the most creative testimonial. Whatever it takes, get those testimonials because they’re perfect marketing tools — authentic and real.

Your digital marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Making the right choices will put you on the path to massive success.

Victoria Kennedy is CEO of Atman Real Estate. Connect with her via email.

IDX Real Estate