Real estate is a local business and when it comes to marketing, this can have its pros and cons. The upside is that you are serving a narrow market where you can reach your target audience on a smaller budget. The downside is that some of the most popular marketing channels i.e. Pinterest, Outbrain may not work on a local scale. To help you understand how you can reach and engage with more customers in your area, we’ve drawn up a list of methods you can use.
Use Google AdWords to Reach People Who May Already Be Looking for Your Services
Google is one of the most widely used search platforms in Australia, with over 94% of the overall market share across all devices1. It is a tool businesses can use on any budget and most love its ability to track ROI.
Google Adwords works on a simple keyword system – you define keywords that you want highlighted as part of your ad and when someone searches for the same keywords, they will see your ad if it is relevant.
When setting up a campaign to promote a local business, customisation can make a huge difference. The AdWords platform allows geo-targeting which means the ads can be customised to a high degree to reflect your prospect’s location. You can target prospects by postcodes and the surrounding areas (you can set a radius of 5-10k).
Tip: When creating copy for your ads, ensure that you mention your suburb in the headlines to increase relevance and therefore reach more people.
Find Your Ideal Clients Through Facebook
Where Google is more search or action-orientated, Facebook ads can target prospective customers when they’re not actively looking for your services or business, thus creating demand. Since the Facebook advertising platform also extends to Instagram and both apps are heavy on providing location-based information, it is an extremely powerful advertising medium. Like AdWords, Facebook’s ad platform allows you to target customers on a granular level. From defining specific suburbs and postcodes to demographic characteristics such as age, income, address and more, it can really help you find your audience (providing that you know who your target audience is).
Facebook also has helpful guides2 that helps you understand their payment structures, ad types and more.
Targeting is great but retargeting is great too
Everyone who enters a shop may not want to buy what is being sold but a smart salesman will always make notes on a potential lead and nurture the relationship until the customer is ready to make a purchase. A ‘pixel’, a small piece of code embedded in your website, is like a smart salesman. It can notify retargeting platforms to show audiences particular ads based on the specific pages they visit on your website even if they haven’t provided any specific information regarding what they want. This tactic is called retargeting and it is an easy way of reaching out to customers who may be interested in what you offer but haven’t made up their mind to buy yet. Both Google and Facebook offer retargeting pixels that you can embed into your website through their ad platforms. If you have access to a great IT team, you can also work with them to create a cookie pixel that will do the same thing.3
Look to your local schools
Involvement in the community is critical for a local business. As mentioned in our 50 Growth Hacking Tips to Growing Your Real Estate Business guide, consider building relationships with school principals. One of the agents we interviewed set up a mutually beneficial arrangement where referrals from teachers and parents would go towards funding for their school.
Optimise your Google My Business Listing
If you haven’t registered for your Google My Business Listing, you may be missing out on customers who are looking for your services. Google My Business enables you to create listings with all the critical information your prospects may be looking for i.e. phone number, operating hours, email, reviews…etc. These listings appear in Google search results and on Google Maps when a person is entering a business name or when they are looking for specific services. It is great for raising awareness and getting new customers.
You can visit Google’s Business page (google.com.au/business) and register your business information. You can also call their free helpline at 1800 081 338 and get a step-by-step guide on how you can register your business listing with them.
Be aware of your organic visibility
If you want to be the go-to source for property in your area, you need to be visible when people are asking questions. It is no secret that the best way to gain visibility is to show up on page one on Google’s search results. Using AdWords is a great way to start dominating the search results, but let’s not forget the free or organic traffic. To rank organically, you need to anticipate what people are looking for and then deliver the information better than your competition. If you know your clients will be looking for information on the best schools in the neighbourhood, write an article that summarises the top 5 schools in the area. Go above and beyond. Include descriptions of each school, fees, images and links to relevant pages.
How to find and learn what people are searching for:
There are two ways you can understand what your prospective customers are looking for a) ask them b) use Google’s keyword planner tool. With this free tool, you can input keywords and phrases relevant to your suburb and see the search volumes around each keyword.
For example, if a phrase like “3 bedroom homes in Rozelle” generates high search volumes, you could create a round-up of the best 3 bedroom homes in Rozelle.
Bonus tip: Capture leads from organic traffic by including a strong call-to-action. Consider offering a free suburb guide visitors can download in exchange for their email.
Note: While content plays a critical role in your search rankings, there are many other factors Google considers i.e. page speed, title tags, user experience…etc. For more information, you can review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Customise your referral program
Referral programmes aren’t new but not everyone may be motivated by the same incentives. If your referrals are coming from various sources i.e. single women, young mothers, young professionals, you can set up different incentive schemes for each segment. If you are looking to incentivise young professionals, you may want to offer them tickets to a sporting match and cash whereas if you’re looking to attract young mothers to refer new clients to you, it might be a cash incentive plus a family pass/season pass to the zoo.
The tips above can help you attract customers in a market that may seem saturated. It is important to note that results may not always be immediate. As always, we recommend putting these tactics to the test to see which work best for you. Whether you are building your referral network or looking to grow your business , RP Data Professional is a great place to start.
© Copyright 2018. RP Data Pty Ltd trading as CoreLogic Asia Pacific (CoreLogic) and its licensors. All rights reserved. The data, information and commentary, provided in this publication (together, Information) is of a general nature and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the relevant contributors and should not be construed as specific advice or relied upon in lieu of appropriate professional advice. While CoreLogic uses commercially reasonable efforts to ensure the Information is current, CoreLogic does not warrant the accuracy, currency or completeness of the Information and to the full extent permitted by law excludes all loss or damage howsoever arising (including through negligence) in connection with the Information.