Monthly Real Estate Marketing Review
REALTOR® business challenges, SEO ranking factors, and buyer’s agent tips highlight this Monthly Real Estate Marketing Review edition. Let’s dive into the latest online marketing trends and real estate industry news and trends that can help you grow your agency.
90% of REALTORS expect strong income during 2018.
Home sales dipped in the last year due to low inventory and high prices. However, members of the National Association of REALTORS® remain confident in the national housing market heading into 2018.
Nine in 10 REALTORS believe their income will rise or remain the same in 2018, the 2017 Profile of Real Estate Firms study says. Half of NAR members expect competition to increase in their local markets as well.
Moreover, 52% of REALTORS worry about these individuals’ ability to buy homes. Meanwhile, another 34% plan to monitor Millennials’ lack of buying interest.
The report indicates one possible reason for weak sales in 2018 could be poor finances among prospective homeowners. In a release, NAR said it formed a Strategic Business and Technology group to help REALTORS find and use the right technology tools.
Top Tip: Making the Most of Your Tech Solutions
Identifying tech options that can help you throughout your entire marketing and sales cycle is certainly important.
The real key is learning how to make the most of these resources, like knowing how to nurture real estate leads with your CRM. Test your tech tools to ensure they help you complete your business activities with ease and positively impact your bottom line.
SEMrush releases its 2017 SEO ranking factors report.
Google is the undisputed champion of search engines. This much you know. What you may not know is how often its own search algorithms change.
SEMrush’s latest SEO rankings report shows Google continues to change search algorithms to determine the “best” content. The SEO service provider’s study shows the top on-page search ranking factors for 2017 (in order of importance) are:
- Website visitors: The total number of visitors who check out one or more pages of your website.
- Time on page/site: How long a visitor stays on a given page on your site and your site altogether.
- Pages per session: The total number of website pages a user visits during a limited period.
- Bounce rate: When a visitor lands on your website, then leaves without visiting another page on your site.
- Referring domains: How many and the types of websites that link back to certain pages on your site.
Other characteristics of high-ranking search results include sizable content length and secure websites. The top-three results are 43% longer copy-wise than the 20th position. Additionally, 65% of domains to rank for high-volume keywords have HTTPS set up.
Top Tip: Analyzing Your Website’s SEO Setup
Winning with your real estate SEO strategy means playing the “long game.” In other words, you should constantly update your site with fresher keywords, copy, and multimedia. Ensure your website pages make it to the top couple of pages of Google for popular, long-tail keywords. This will help you dominate local real estate search results and drive more clients to your site.
Your goal is to beat other local agents online and convince your shared audience visit your website over theirs. In short, a real estate SEO plan is something that can aid your lead generation and client conversion.
Half of buyer’s agents generate real estate leads online.
Inman News releases detailed reports regularly that show how today’s agents succeed. The latest research from the industry publication proves just as informative as its past studies. Its survey of home buyer’s agents notes past clients were the top source of newly generated leads (87% of respondents). This was followed by their sphere of influence, referrals, networking, and online sources.
The survey also reveals low inventory and high prices are agents’ biggest obstacles to success. About 90% and 60% of agents polled cited these as their core challenges. Moreover, 89+% say responsiveness and strong local market knowledge are essential to succeed.
Top Tip: Learning the Habits of Top Producers
It doesn’t matter if you’re a buyer’s or seller’s agent. You need to learn the characteristics of today’s top producers to succeed. This includes everything from real estate marketing best practices to business planning. There are many habits you’ll find in many of today’s most profitable REALTORS. Some of these might be ones you’ve mastered already. Others may be ones you need to incorporate into your day-to-day. Study the best agents in your market — and even nationwide — to discover what it takes to start earning top dollar.
Facebook expands brand ad targeting to Event RSVPs.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: “Facebook is the best social network for agents’ real estate marketing.”
We’ve certainly waxed poetic about the benefits of Facebook advertising for REALTORS on the Academy. We’ve even interviewed a top agent who’s flourished with Facebook ads. But given the social media conglomerate constantly updates its Facebook for Business platform, it’s certainly worth it for you to invest a lot of your marketing spend to it.
One of the latest Facebook updates relates to ad targeting features.
Now, whenever someone RSVPs to an “Event” on your Business Page you can target these users with your ads. For instance, if you conduct a live webinar or in-person meetup, those who register to hear or meet you can be targeted in your ad campaigns. Of course, there are countless other targeting features that can help you identify would-be clients. This one, though, is notable due to the engagement-level factor.
Think about it: A “fan” of your business who elects to sign up for one of your Events is likely a better lead candidate than those who don’t engage with you on the social network (or at all).
Top Tip: Advancing Your Facebook Marketing Strategy
Balancing your organic and paid Facebook real estate marketing activities can be tricky. After all, both can yield returns on investment for your agency, albeit in different capacities:
- Your daily, organic shares — promoting listings and blog posts, sharing videos, live-streaming open houses, etc. — can help you earn more brand awareness and traffic.
- Your ads — when shown to the right people on Facebook — can not only bolster your branding and traffic totals, but also generate leads (and better qualify existing ones).
Having said that, it’s important to continually enhance your marketing approach on the social channel. As with SEO, Facebook constantly evolves its benefits for real estate agents.
It’s wise to keep up with the latest Facebook updates and offerings to ensure you capitalize on all it can offer your business.
The means by which you view and update your Facebook Business Page is often through your mobile devices. The same goes for most consumers with their Facebook accounts — and those for just about every other major app.
According to comScore’s 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, smartphone apps account for 50% of all consumers’ digital media usage. Desktop came in second at 34%, while 7% of their time goes to smartphone browsing and tablet apps.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, mobile device usage was highest in the youngest demographic (18-to-24-year-olds). Usage trended slightly lower through each older age demographic. Similarly, desktop usage was tops among the 65-and-over crowd. The share of desktop users diminished with each previous age group.
Top Tip: Optimizing Your Website for Mobile
When building your real estate website, there are many considerations: photos to add, listings to showcase, pages to create, and so on.
One aspect of your website you can’t ignore, though, is its responsiveness — that is, how it appears and functions on smartphones and tablets. Google heavily favors responsive websites. If yours isn’t up to snuff (you can determine your site’s mobile-friendliness here), hire a designer to modify it. If preferred, switch to a site provider with mobile-friendly designs.
The rental rate has reached its highest level since 1965.
It’s no secret renting remains the preference among most U.S. residents. Unless you’re in a major metro, chances are leasing reigns supreme in your market.
Housing analysis from Pew Research Center shows the rate of renters in the U.S. reached a 53-year high in 2016. About 36% of residents — or 43 million — leased homes, compared to 75 million homeowners. Two-thirds of those younger than 35 years of age are renters nationwide, the report finds. This marks an increase of about 10 percentage points from 2006 levels.
Top Tip: Examining Your Local Market Niche
You can’t afford to stick with a weak real estate niche that doesn’t help you stay afloat and grow over the long run. It’s best to think about how you can make ends meet when times are tough. Transitioning to a rental-focused business could be the answer. Even if you’re unfamiliar with your rental market, figure out if there’s a need for a top-tier leasing agent nearby. If there is a need, you can be the agent to fill it. In turn, this could generate some bonus revenue for you in down periods.