Billboards, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, flyers, posters.
Those are the most popular traditional advertising mediums we have been using for the past century.
Yes, those traditional advertising mediums are still effective to some degree in today’s digital world, but as an individual who wants nothing but the best for their real estate business, ask yourself this:
Is that where I can fully engage the interest of potential leads?
From a marketing standpoint: Is this where I can reach the most relevant people in the location I want to target?
And from a financial standpoint: Is this where you’d get the most return for your advertising expenses?
When marketing or establishing your real estate branding, being able to actually attract and generate leads that would convert into sales is the primary objective. On the other hand, a branding campaign’s goal is to build on the company’s identity through strategic social engagement. According to the consulting firm McKinsey in 2011, small and medium enterprises who have a strong web presence grow twice as quickly compared to those who have zero to minimal online presence. And in order to actually conduct social engagement, you’ll have to know where the people are. As of 2017, that’s mainly online. Knowing that, it’ll really be beneficial for your real estate company to hire an individual who knows a good deal about online branding, whether it’s someone in-house or outsourced.
Now, are you asking yourself:
What can a professional in online branding bring to my real estate company? And would it be worth it?
Well here’s why:
- Strengthens your company’s identity and brand awareness in the community
Establishing your brand online as a real estate developer can really further develop your credibility within the overall marketplace. At its core, branding really should focus on building loyalty and trust. When it comes to real estate specifically, credibility and trust are vital in achieving a sale. In a country that has a population with a high online presence, having a strong branding strategy will distinguish you from your competition.
A good branding strategy will help to subconsciously develop credibility and trust in a company. When were you last impressed by a company you know nothing about just by seeing their website or their effective online ad? Similarly, a poorly designed campaign and online materials like a website can make one assume that a company is fly-by-night just by seeing their crappy online representation.
A high value product requires an equally high value presence to reiterate your distinct message to your target audience. Your branding should be able to create an identity that is bigger than you. Being online, that identity can even get bigger if done right. And if done right, users who come across your brand won’t just see the words & images on your website, but also associate a feeling with your brand.
In any purchase, it is the emotional triggers that make people buy, and this is even truer in a high value purchase like a home.
2. Relationship building will be easier and more accessible with interactivity
Interactivity between those within the real estate industry and their customers have clearly been heightened with the rapid expansion of the digital world. Technology abounds where it is easier to do things and get in touch with the people you want to reach with just a touch of a finger.
Being online allows you to easily reach out to your potential customers in a multitude of ways whether it’s through a messaging that all your customers can see (mass email, posting on your Facebook/LinkedIn page) or a private message like SMS, Messenger, Viber, or WhatsApp.
With the growing popularity of Facebook specifically, a good amount of customers have been reaching out to businesses through Facebook’s Messenger feature. Facebook is full of real estate sellers peddling their listings, and while useful, simply creating a Facebook page that is not aligned with your core branding is not going to help you much.
Furthermore, websites can now be integrated with tools where a representative can seamlessly interact with a visitor; chat tools like LiveZilla, email tools like Mailchimp, real estate sales tool like MiDash. These online tools provide you with a myriads of ways of building and establishing your brand, and engagement with your clients has never been as easily accessible.
3. Makes branding consistency easy and convenient
In the law of attraction in the dating world, it states that the closeness in proximity of one individual to another positively affects the probability of the two individuals being attracted to one another in some way. Furthermore, it is also believed that if two parties “run into each other” consistently, there is a higher probability of them being attracted. In the real estate business, these same laws apply as well.
However, as a business entity, you should not leave this to chance. You, the pursuer should purposely aim to have the other party (the lead/potential buyer) “fall in love with you.” This is a combination of consistent messaging and presence within the peripheral vision of the target market. Have a consistent presence where your target customers are most likely to spend most of his/her time online. To do this, you need to know where it is. To put it simply, the more often a customer sees your brand online, the more often they will consider it and want to learn more about it. And the more consistent you are with your messaging, the more credible and believable it becomes.
4. It opens your brand to a world wide market instantly
At the end of the day, a truly successful marketing campaign is measured by the number of conversions of leads into sales. With the whole world interconnected online, having a strong presence will instantly open doors for you to a world wide market. In the past, using the traditional means, this would require a huge amount of capital to achieve, not to mention the gargantuan effort and time required to do so. Online, this is easy, quick and very cheap.
It is therefore incumbent upon you to make the prospects’ journey into your brand, intuitive, fun and engaging. Your online tools should be designed to weed out and prequalify the leads into viable buyers, your campaigns should target and engage only those that are most likely to buy, and most especially, you should have a system that would enable you to nurture these leads and prospects into an actual buyer in the future. When you achieve this combination, your cost of acquiring a buyer will exponentially go down – captive audience is the best audience.
5. Setting it up is almost FREE!
We saved the best for last. Did you know that most of these online services are FREE? Setting up a Facebook and LinkedIn page is completely free. Promoting your brand via blogging on WordPress or Medium is free (for the most part). Conducting email marketing can be done for free by using Google Mail.
However, please ensure that your usage of these free tools are all tied up in a cohesive branding campaign. Deploying emails, blogs and ads that are not well-crafted will do your brand more harm than good. You won’t achieve the crucial goal of trustworthiness and credibility if your messaging is all over the place. Rehabilitating a brand is harder than launching it right the first time.
And do not forget to make sure that your prospects’ wonderful experience with your brand is limited to that initial encounter. The follow-thru and the nurturing is more important than the initial impression. Keeping a client happy throughout the sales process and beyond is what creates loyalty.
If your brand isn’t online, we think it’s time your company should hop on to the digital world. And that really starts with hiring a professional to do the dirty work for your real estate company online. If your competitors aren’t online yet, then you really do have the prime mover advantage. If they are, then make sure that you beat them in the overall experience game by integrating your online campaigns with tools that keep the clients engaged and happy.
But that’s an issue we can tackle for another day. Just get your brand online today.