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10 High-impact, low-cost marketing ideas for real estate agents

Covid-19 has seen an increase in people with time on their hands who are turning to social media. Adrian Fisher of US-based software company PropertySimple offers 10 tips on how agents can use this to connect.

Recent Covid-19 stay-at-home policies and lockdowns have seen many people with extra time on their hands.

For example, American adults spent on average 3.5 hours per day on their phones in 2019, and the time spent on social media has increased by 20 per cent.

With so many people spending time on social media, real estate agents can capitalise on the trend by using social media to connect with their target audience, even if that audience isn’t ready to buy or sell.

Below are 10 low-cost marketing ideas to help get you started.

  1. Go personal
    Most marketing these days takes place online. People surfing the web or scrolling through social media feeds are inundated with advertisements, product recommendations from influencers and friends, and endlessly clickable content. At times, it can all feel a bit impersonal.

    One low-cost way to stand out from the crowd is to do something completely different. Instead of sending a mass email to your clients or partners, consider personalising each email or sending digital postcards to make an impression. This personal touch will help you stand out as a thoughtful, genuine, and trustworthy professional.
  1. Run surveys
    With time to fill while sheltering at home, people are looking to connect with others and to be engaged. Creating a survey is one way to offer your audience an activity that will help them pass the time and foster community.

    For example, you could focus on fun topics and ask your audience interesting questions about your city. A survey could also ask how people are passing the time at home and crowdsource their best tips for gardening and DIY home renovations. You could also create polls to gather information about people’s thoughts on buying and selling during this time.

    Whatever you choose as your survey topic, you can then share the survey results via email newsletters and across your social media channels.

    The more people who respond, the better the results, so make sure to promote it well. Sharing the results as far and wide as possible will have a ripple effect, helping increase the response rate to the next survey you do.

    Survey results can also be repurposed into other types of shareable content, including infographics, animated videos, blog posts, and more.
  1. Create videos
    Video content is especially effective for catching people’s attention, and it is growing in popularity: 88 per cent of marketers say that video brings them a positive return-on-investment, compared to only 33 per cent in 2015.

    Creating videos can be time-consuming, so take advantage of the time otherwise spent on in-person activities and use it to work on creating some fresh video content for your agency.

    One way to get started is by repurposing written content as animated videos. You can use free and low-cost video apps like WideoRaw Shorts, or Moovly to simplify the process. Another unique video option is to create a video business card you can share on social media and send to prospective clients.
  1. Highlight homes
    Although home tours are off-limits in many places, you can still show off properties by creating a “virtual home of the week” feature on your social media channels.

    Post photos, list details, and offer virtual walk-throughs, either live-streamed when vacant or using footage that was filmed ahead of time, to give viewers a comprehensive sense of the property.

    By showing a new home every week, you can attract a consistent audience who will tune in regularly to see the latest offerings and will keep you top-of-mind.
  1. Post testimonials
    Another way to incorporate more video content into your marketing efforts is to publish testimonials from past clients. Interview your clients about their experience working with you and post their testimonials to your social media channels.

    You can also ask clients to record the videos themselves and then post on their own social media channels and tag you, making it an easy way to build up some word-of-mouth marketing.
  1. Sponsor contests
    Organising giveaways or contests is a great way to engage your audience because everyone likes to win prizes. Before launching a contest, investigate the guidelines on your social media platforms, which often have strict requirements for contests.

    Then, communicate clear instructions and timelines to your followers to get the contest started.

    Make sure to answer any questions promptly throughout the contest and encourage people to tag others and promote it within their networks.

    Once a winner is chosen, you can publish a post about the winner and promote it across all your channels.

    To further expand the reach of the competition, you could offer to give away gift cards to local businesses, thus supporting them in these difficult times and incorporating their audiences in the competition as well.
  1. Offer resources
    Establish your local expertise by offering resources and tips about home buying and selling in your neighborhood, city, or state. You could post a daily tip and encourage viewers to submit questions they’d like to see answered.

    Using the information you already know or have in other formats, try creating infographics, publishing helpful neighborhood statistics, or guides to local home buying and home showing that you can share across your marketing channels.

    The more resources you can offer, the more people will look to you for help and trust you to provide them with the information they need.
  1. Organise virtual events
    Another format through which you can share your resources and information is a Q&A session.

    Pick a topic for a focused webinar, or just open things up to any questions that people might have, and set up a live-stream video channel.

    Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and YouTube Live are all simple platforms to use if it’s your first time getting into live streams.

    Make sure to promote the event ahead of time, create an event hashtag, and engage your audience with questions during the session.

    Once you’ve ended the session, you can re-share clips from it on social media, your website, etc. for those who missed out. Post-event promotion also helps generate interest for your next session.
  1. Help the community
    Demonstrate your connectedness within the local community by sharing community news and resources. Everyone is struggling in different ways these days, and many people are looking for ways to feel connected and to help each other out.

    Find out what initiatives are being made in your community and highlight the organisations that are doing good work. In doing so, you give your followers insights into what you care about, as well as keeping them involved and informed.
  1. Be authentic
    Don’t be afraid to share some personal facts on your social media accounts.

    People value authenticity, so let your personality shine through by sharing memes, or pictures of your pet, or your latest attempt at baking bread at home.

    In this time of social isolation, it’s more important than ever to generate connection, and by sharing more about you as a person, you can cultivate that relationship and strengthen your connection with existing and potential clients.

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