Digital marketing is crucial to your real estate career, but there are some pitfalls that need to be avoided to get the most out of your investment. David Crombie, CEO of Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd, spoke with REB about the biggest digital sins agents can commit.
1. Be clear, be consistent
Leaping into digital marketing with no clear plan will result in a confused message for your audience.
“Messaging is quite important. They need to understand what their messaging needs to be. Wherever their messaging goes out across their website, their Facebook, their blog, it needs to be consistent,” Mr Crombie says.
Setting up a clear strategy before you embark on your digital marketing journey, and not taking on too much to begin with, will help you maintain a consistent brand message.
2. Don’t forget about your listings
When you consider digital marketing, you may only think of social media. But the listings you place online are also a form of marketing, and being half-hearted with them will impede your success.
“Agents are getting paid to sell the property and they need to put the time in to ensure that any content they put up, be it a listing, a blog post, social media, that time and thought has gone into it,” Mr Crombie says.
Just because the listing is also on other real estate portals doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look great on your website. It’s important to keep in mind that many buyers and renters want lots of photography and video, and if they don’t get it from you, they will go elsewhere.
Mr Crombie says withholding information from your listings is another quick way to annoy buyers and push them to go elsewhere. Digital marketing requires transparency.
3. Be present
As we conduct more business on social media, immediacy becomes more important. You might already be on top of your emails, but responding to questions on Facebook and Twitter is equally important. If a buyer is deciding between you and another agent, and they don’t hear back from you, it might be enough to send them to your opposition.
4. Mix it up
While digital marketing is the way of the future, some of your clients are still coming from print and traditional marketing methods.
“By not using all the different mediums, including print, you will miss out on some of that demographic. Print advertising is still part of the mix,” Mr Crombie says.
A good mix of both is the key to maximising your impact.
Digital marketing might be cheaper than print, but it is a lot more time-consuming. Maintenance is something to keep at the forefront of your mind, especially when it comes to your website.
“[An agent’s] website is the consumer’s view of their office in this online world. If they don’t have a professional, modern, responsive website, chances are that could hurt them,” Mr Crombie says.
Spending time and money to keep your website up-to-date will ensure you don’t irritate buyers or renters who are looking for attractive websites that function quickly and seamlessly.
It’s also important to maintain your social media presence. Setting up your Facebook is great, but if you only post once every eight months, chances are people won’t be interested.