Why a quality website, strong social media presence, and strategic digital marketing plan is more important than ever.
The pandemic has affected how almost all of us do business. For real estate agents, it’s meant a complete shift in how they get new leads, meet with clients, and show homes. More than ever, agents have realized the need for a strong digital presence that can stand in for them when they can’t be in front of their target market in person. As we move into 2021, we don’t yet know when the pandemic will get better and we will be able to return to a more normal way of doing business. What we do know is that the need for a strong digital presence will not go away. Here’s how COVID has impacted the need for an online presence and how real estate agents can take theirs to the next level.
Increased Need for a Quality Website
Your real estate company website is your face to the world. Even before the pandemic, it was a place where potential buyers and sellers could find out more about your team, view featured listings, and ask questions or get in touch with you. The pandemic has made that web presence even more important. Online traffic across 20 different industries has increased since the pandemic, as have online transactions and conversions. The vast majority of those who are interested in buying or selling a home during the past nine months look online first—either to browse homes or to narrow down the list of real estate agents they might be interested in working with.
The goal of most real estate marketing services is to send potential buyers or sellers to your website to learn more or to schedule a time to talk with you and your team. If your website is not user-friendly, visually appealing, or does not feature the information viewers are seeking, they will likely not take the next step and get in touch with you. If you don’t have a top-notch website, now is the time to pull the trigger.
Shift to Virtual Meetings and Showings
Even before the pandemic, there was an increase in agents who used social media platforms to virtually preview or do full showings of homes to potential buyers. The pandemic took that to a whole other level. Agents have been able to simulate open houses or appointment walkthroughs by using Facebook and Instagram and by featuring videos on their real estate company website. Agents have also shifted from in-person meetings to virtual ones to discuss details of a home transaction with their clients. This means that agents have had to master Zoom, FaceTime, and other technology to remain relevant and continue to be strong advocates for those with whom they work.
The need for effective real estate marketing services to drive traffic to agents’ social media pages, therefore, is more important than ever. Those agents who put money into Facebook or Instagram ad campaigns will attract more potential buyers who look to these sources for answers. Investing in SEO services to attract more viewers to agents’ websites is also essential, as many of those searching for a home or a real estate agent will usually click on one of the first results that shows up when they do a search on Google.
Importance of Video and Quality Images
Research has shown that high-quality videos and images drive more engagement on social media platforms than posts that contain only text. The pandemic has also emphasized this fact, as many potential buyers’ first look at a home they are interested in will now be on social media. In fact, 45% of people actually bought homes in the past year without ever seeing them in person. Experts attribute this to both the pandemic and resulting work-at-home policies as well as record-low mortgage interest rates.
High-quality images and video can elevate a home and set it apart from the competition. It’s more important than ever to work with a professional real estate photographer and videographer who can help you showcase your homes to their best possible advantage. These images and videos can be used on both social media and your real estate company website to attract, educate, and prompt potential buyers to make an offer.
SEO and Social Media Has Replaced Networking
Before the pandemic, a real estate agent could meet potential clients and strengthen connections with others in the industry by attending networking meetings, industry functions, and other social events. The pandemic has greatly reduced the amount of in-person events and changed the face of networking. Those agents who have strong social media presences and real estate marketing services that include SEO optimization are cornering the market, as they are able to remain visible and get in front of new people.
Agents who understand how social media works will also understand that now is the best time to give value to their potential clients instead of just showing homes for sale. By giving market updates, sharing information about the community, or posting recommendations for the best takeout or grocery delivery services, realtors can be a resource instead of just a salesperson. Because they can’t build relationships in person, they need to rely on social media and other virtual means to establish and enhance their connections.
If you aren’t comfortable with technology or avoid social media, you will not be able to compete with those agents who embrace the changes necessitated by COVID-19. Hire a company that can help you establish a presence or work with a coach who can teach you how to handle it yourself.
Now more than ever, a strong real estate company website and digital marketing strategy are vital to your success as an agent. Work with a luxury real estate advertising company that can help you compete in today’s evolving environment.