How Do You Market a Real Estate Development in 2020?
In this guide, we will explain the basics of each marketing strategy that real estate developers can use to market their properties to buyers.
We will explore what SEO, paid advertising, and the power of networking are. We will also go over their benefits and, most importantly, how to use these tools to be effective in the world of property marketing.
Generally speaking, real estate development marketing strategies are divided into online and offline marketing. Let’s start with the online marketing strategies.
Online Marketing Strategies for Property Developers
#1 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What Is SEO?
SEO is the process of ensuring your content is search engine friendly. This results in search engines being able to understand your content and showing it on higher positions in search results.
The better you present your content, the higher chance you will be visible on leading search engines. When done well, SEO is an art form. So, let us break down the foundations of SEO.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are terms that people are searching on Google or other search engines. For example, prospective homebuyers in NYC may use the following keyword: ‘new homes for sale in New York’ or “new construction homes for sale in New York’ to find their next property.
As a property developer in New York, you want to rank for these keywords. Therefore, you must include it within your website content. A few examples are to incorporate the keyword in your main title, two or three subheadings, and in the body of your text.
Why Are Keywords Important for SEO?
SEO keywords can range from single phrases to complex phrases. When effectively optimized and incorporated in any content, they connect your target audience to your blog or website.
Keywords help classify your content and to understand what your site can offer a searcher. In short, they help interested people find your website!
Did you know 75% of online users start their searches on Google? You, therefore, need to make your content easily readable by Google.
What Are On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to ranking factors you can control on your blog or website. Examples of on-page SEO factors include:
- title and meta description optimization
- writing original, relevant, informative, quality and evergreen content
- streamlining your website navigation
- cleaning up your website code
- speeding up your site
Here is an in-depth overview of on-page SEO if you are interested to learn more.
Off-page SEO includes page ranking factors like backlinks, i.e., other websites that link to yours. Other examples include brand mentions and social media marketing.
Both of these contribute to how well you will rank in Google searches, so taking the time to ensure your website meets best practices will assist you in your efforts to market your next real estate development effectively.
There are a few key reasons why real estate professionals need to take SEO seriously.
Highly targeted traffic without the lead cost. Unlike paid forms of advertising, SEO provides a long-term strategy of gaining interested leads without paying on a per lead basis. If you are an established business looking to excel in the future, this should make up a portion of your strategy.
SEO encourages local customers to visit your office. A straightforward way to gain a prominent listing on Google is by creating a business profile on Google My Business. When you create the profile, Google requires you to share your physical business location, website URL, and contact information.
Every time online users search by using keywords such as “real estate developer near me,” Google displays your business profile among the search results. As such, it drives customers to visit your office, especially if you have lots of positive reviews.
In 2019, researchers discovered that 49% of online users use Google to discover a new product or service.
SEO boosts credibility. When trying to become an expert in your field, one of the effective ways to do so is to invest in your search visibility. When you rank on the first page of search engines such as Google and Bing, it signals that you are a trusted brand.
That is the reason why more than 90% of online users stick the results from the first page of a search engine.
To boost your credibility through the search engines, you need to rely on both on-page SEO and off-page SEO. That means creating extremely useful content, building relevant high quality backlinks, getting social media mentions, and speeding up your website.
SEO measures the success of your real estate marketing strategies with real numbers. It’s essential to monitor and track the performance of your SEO and other digital marketing efforts. One of the best tools that allow you to do this is Google Analytics. From your dashboard, you can monitor metrics such as:
- Web traffic/traffic sources
- Social overview
- Acquisition overview
- Bounce rate
- Interactions per visit
- Exit pages
#2 Paid Advertising in Real Estate Marketing
What Is Paid Advertising?
Paid advertising is any kind of advertising where you have to pay the owner of the ad space in exchange for using the space.
For example, you want to advertise your real estate business based in Florida on Google – you must pay Google to advertise on their search result pages. Or it might be an ad in your prospect’s Facebook newsfeed, so you will pay Facebook to display your ad.
However, these are just two examples. Let’s take a look at how many options you have at your fingertips. Here are the most commonly used types of paid advertising which real estate developers can use to market their properties.
Online Search Text Ads
The most common type of paid advertising, search advertising, refers to the practice of placing ads within Google search results. If someone is looking for a new construction home to buy, search engines will display search ads that offer users to buy a new construction home. These ads are text-only and contain no visuals.
For maximum ROI, we recommend using long-tail keywords. Such keywords contain more than three words, for example, “real estate agent in Florida.”
Long-tail keywords are normally more effective than short phrases because they drive more targeted visitors thereby keeping your cost per click lower. Learn how to get started with Google Search Ads.
Online Creative Ads
Creative ads are another form of pay-per-click advertising real estate developers can use to reach their target audience. Creative ads appear on Google partner websites. Unlike text-based search ads, creative ads include both text and images or videos.
Did you know that Google display ads get displayed across 2 million+ websites, apps and videos which make up the Google Display Network?
The Google Display Network refers to a group of sites that include Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube that show Google Display ads. This network also includes mobile websites and reaches 90% of internet users each day.
Social Media Ads
Today, the Internet has 4.54 billion users. Of these, 3.725 billion are active social media users. On average, people have 7.6 social media accounts and spend 142 minutes browsing their news feeds each day.
Due to this, social media ads have grown exponentially over the past decade. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are offering users paid advertising more than ever before.
Social media advertising is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand, products, and services. 57% of Millenials revealed that social media ads they saw online are more relevant than traditional ads.
To maximize social media ads, consider the following tips:
- know your business objectives
- know your target audience
- design your ads with mobile users in mind
- pay for what matters
- test your ads to optimize their performance
- track and measure your ad metrics
Facebook ads, in particular, are an effective way to reach your target market. This is due to their in-depth audience based tools, which allow you to define who sees your ads based on a user’s location, their interests, and in some cases, even their profession.
One of the best examples of email ads is Gmail ads. These are interactive ads displayed in the Promotions and Social tabs of your inbox. These ads can expand just like an email. When expanded, you can view images, videos, and embedded forms too.
A Gmail ad is first displayed in its collapsed form. When a user clicks the ad, it launches the advertisers landing page. Alternatively, it increases the size of the email to meet different goals. Once expanded, your audience can interact with the ads in different ways. They can fill out a form or play the video.
Offline Marketing Strategies for Property Developers
Besides real estate digital marketing, there are offline marketing strategies that have proven to work time and time again. Businesses cannot afford to ignore these strategies. If used in the right way, they can initiate a lot of inquiry.
Here are the key offline marketing examples:
#3 Print Advertising
Print advertising promotes your brand and products in printed media such as magazines. It also includes newspapers, posters, brochures, and fliers.
Many people think that print advertising is dead with the introduction of digital ads. Well, they are wrong. In fact, over 50% of millennials pay attention to print ads. So, as a real estate developer targeting first time home buyers (millennials), it’s worth using print advertising.
It’s best to consider your local market when coming up with an angle for any print-based ads. Always do your research on local competitors – what are they doing and how can you do it better.
Part of your property development marketing plan should be clearly defining your value proposition, brand identity, what your company stands for, and how it will connect with your target market.
Print advertising products are ordered from printing companies. To find top rated companies near you, use the list of the best printing companies in your area listed in our directory.
Today, signage still plays a critical role in advertising, especially in the real estate industry. If you have driven past different homes and commercial premises, you probably have come across a yard sign with the words “FOR SALE.”
This sign informs interested people that the home or commercial premises are for sale. Part of the sign includes the brand and the contact information of the real estate agent. As mentioned above, think outside the box on how you can make your signage designs stand out.
#5 Radio and Television
Like signage, radio, and television are among the oldest forms of advertising. Both methods of advertising form part of paid offline advertising. But when it comes to cost, TV advertising is more expensive than radio.
The good news is, if you advertise on local TV stations, the cost is affordable compared to advertising on a national network. With the right information, real estate developers like you can reach out to many people. The key is to understand your market and the preferences of your target audience.
Another factor to take into account is planning. Before getting started with television and radio advertising, it’s essential to educate yourself on the terms of service. To do this, talk to advertising reps on TV and radio stations, ask questions, and carefully read your contracts.
Critical steps for real estate developers to take when establishing a Radio & TV campaign:
- define your target market
- set a budget
- contact advertising reps at TV and radio stations
- calculate the CPM using published guides from Nielsen or Arbitron
- inquire about the production costs of the commercial
- track and monitor your campaigns
#6 Direct Mail
Direct mail is an advertising medium where a message is typically sent to the target audience via mail. As an attractive option, direct mail communicates the complete information about your property, including:
- your property’s location
- your unique value proposition
- the vision of your future development
Direct mail can reach your target audience at a relatively low cost and it’s still to this day effective! Research shows that 41% of Americans are eager to open their mail every day. Over 42.2% of direct mail recipients, read or scan the mail they get.
Direct mail recipients are 28% more likely to spend more money and buy more items than people who do not receive direct mail.
Types of direct mail format include:
- Dimensional mailers
- Self-mailers – leaflets and brochures
To succeed in direct mail marketing, follow these tips:
- keep it simple
- use clear concrete language
- use emotive language
- leverage the power of storytelling by painting a picture for your buyers
Following these tips will help you create a well-rounded direct mail marketing strategy.
What Is Networking?
Networking is the process of connecting and collaborating with other professionals and businesses. Networking is not merely an information exchange.
Including networking as part of a sales strategy is one of the most underutilized methods in real estate development marketing, but it can have lasting and profound results. This can be done via:
- social media
- property platforms using mutually aligned partnerships
- attending industry events and conferences
- engaging with the local community and businesses
Benefits of Networking
#1 Expend Your Business Connections
Networking allows you to connect with like-minded professionals. By doing so, you form trust and help each other reach your goals. When you engage with your contacts regularly, you can find new opportunities to help them.
For example, as a developer, you can keep in touch with a mortgage company, and one day they will contact you with several clients who are seeking a new home.
You should also build relationships with contractors either by using your own database or online platforms. Let’s take Lotmix – an online platform in Australia as an example.
The platform provides a holistic experience for homebuyers by helping them navigate the purchase of buying land and then building a home on it. First, it connects new home builders with developers. Second, it brings them clients who need the services of both.
This is an ultimate example of businesses that effectively utilize the power of their network to achieve mutually beneficial outcome.
If you’re a US-based real estate developer, you can use our real estate vendor directory to connect and network with all types of real estate professionals to refer each other business. In addition, by listing your company in our directory of the top US Real Estate Developers, you will make it easier for your potential partners and clients to find you online.
#2 Get Fresh Ideas
Some times, no matter how hard you think, it is challenging to come up with new ideas or perspectives. But when you network with like-minded professionals, it opens up an exchange of information and helps generate creative ideas and solutions.
As such, you will gain new insights that you may have not thought of otherwise, which will help you to stay abreast of the latest developments, trends and news within the real estate marketing space.
Types and Examples of Networking
There are different types of networking. First let’s look at online networking opportunities. The best examples of networking online, which every real estate developer can leverage, is through the major social media platforms. The leading platforms for your consideration are:
- Real Estate Bees
However, just like online networking, offline networking is essential to real estate professionals. It also allows developers to interact face to face with the local community. You can find potential partners at local events such as seminars, workshops and others. There are also real estate investing clubs you can become part of.
When considering how to exploit your network opportunities within your next real estate marketing plan, start by asking yourself these questions:
- What existing networks could I join that can assist in selling my future real estate development?
- How can I bring value to the local community (think along the lines of organizing community events)?
- How can I blend both online and offline networking, to make the combination?
Putting together any property development marketing plan is no easy feat. Every project is different and will require a different angle. However, what remains common across every project is the variety of tools you have at your fingertips.
Most importantly, remember to adopt a mindset that allows experimentation and to learn as you go. By utilizing all these tools, you will be able to cut through the noise and be well on your way to selling out your next real estate development.
About the Author
Svetlana Nikolic is a digital marketing strategy expert specializing in the real estate technology for property developers. Her current focus is working for a technology company based in Melbourne, Australia. Svetlana’s broad skill set has been developed across several vital roles such as sales and marketing, business development, and social media marketing. She also consults regularly with other startups looking to maximize digital opportunities and to leverage the power of growing an audience online.
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