Real estate is changing. The coronavirus pandemic is impacting agents all across the country and forcing them to rethink almost every aspect of their business — closing deals remotely, using new contract language to account for possible pandemic-related delays, and prioritizing service over sales. In a survey conducted by HomeLight, 600 agents were asked many of the same questions three weeks prior to the pandemic and then after. And it’s remarkable how quickly things have changed.
According to their sample, two out of three sellers are taking measures to protect their home and their health. The most common change is that 32% won’t allow an open house now. Another 21% of sellers are demanding buyers wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizers. Twenty percent of agents are seeing more demand for virtual showings that remove the risk of face-to-face interaction. Things are changing.
So how are agents staying afloat and helping homeowners sell and buyers find their dream homes? They are digging in and utilizing advertising in creative ways.
Here are some tips and relevant information to help you attract potential clients and maintain your current clientele all while observing social distancing and other public health measures.
Create and nurture relationships through social media
Health officials may be encouraging social distancing, but that doesn’t apply to social media. And now that most of us are staying at home, we’re spending more time on social media in general. Attract new clients, keep in touch with your current ones, and maintain your reputation as a trusted realtor and real estate resource using a paid social media campaign.
Keep your followers and attract new ones with the latest real estate market news, supply them with helpful lifestyle tips, and provide the latest community updates. If you receive any questions, answer them. When this all passes and things start going back to normal, it will be much easier for you to reconnect with prospective buyers and people interested in selling their homes.
Beef up listing info and drive traffic to your site through Google Search
Even if the world seems to have taken a break because of the coronavirus disease, there are still plenty of interested home buyers out there, looking for their dream homes. Showings may no longer be possible in much of the country, but all doors are open online.
Add more information to seller clients’ listings to give buyers a better idea about the property’s features. Include more pictures of areas of the home that buyers would normally look at during showings (closet spaces, the views from the windows, the entire exterior, etc.). Well-written copy and captions will also help make a listing stand out. Support all of this content with a solid Search Engine Marketing strategy and drive potential customers directly to your website so they can shop virtually.
Keep your real estate blog running & website up-to-date
The limited number of characters you have on social media profiles is hardly enough to share a lot of information. If you have more real estate tips, advice, and community news to share, keep updating your real estate blog regularly.
You’ll not only solidify your position as the go-to realtor and real estate resource in your local market, you’ll also be helping your neighbors by sharing timely, relevant information. Sharing the links to your blogs on social media platforms can also help you generate and nurture leads.
Consider New Digital Targeted Marketing Efforts
What is one thing you have within five feet of you at all times? For most Americans, it’s their cell phone. We’re addicted to our phones, which makes it a great place to run advertising and interact with our customers. Mobile advertising has come a long way, but many still struggle to know just how to harness this amazing opportunity.
Your mobile ads are a vital part of a bigger advertising picture. Consumers may not convert on that first ad that is delivered but that’s okay. Remember that if you have retargeting set up for your campaigns, you’ll be sending other ads to the consumer at later times to remind them about you and your offer. Sometimes mobile ads are the start of that sequence and sometimes they are part of the retargeting sequence. Either way, make sure that you’re including it in the broader scope of your campaign strategy and that you have a plan to remarket to consumers systemically.
Designing for mobile experience is an entirely different animal than the desktop experience. People are moving fast on mobile devices and are looking for easy, streamlined experiences. If you can design your mobile ads to fit these best practices and ad standards, you’ll find that the ad campaigns perform better and offer greater responses.
Don’t Count Out Print
Consumers are searching for trustworthy information amid the bogus miracle cures and fake news they’re seeing online, giving print publishers a chance to shine. Publishers’ relationships with paying readers form the basis of pitching advertisers on their ability to deliver audiences in a brand-safe environment.
With larger publishing companies, such as Tribune, you have the opportunity to target a variety of audiences based on the content and readership of the publications.
Key takeaway: Consumers seem to be spending more time on site, and while they are seeing strong engagement with COVID-19 related content, this is part of a broader increase in consumption. Users are engaging with more content than normal as a direct result of increased time on site.
As you build your next campaign, take advantage of these tips, and remember to update your messaging and keep your customer’s best interest in mind.