If We Build It, They May Not Come
As featured in COBiz Magazine and Colorado Real Estate Journal
Marketing is imperative for the real estate industry. Without marketing, projects do not get sold, land stays on the market and people do not visit the final development. Real estate sales activity and user engagement cannot and does not rely on “if we build it, they will come.”
As a marketing professional in the industry for nearly ten years, this article shares some tips on how to market in the real estate industry to build brand awareness and ultimately generate leads, from digital practices to print collateral to foot-traffic engagement.
At the conclusion of this article you will understand how good marketing can deliver real performance results.
Google is the master of the internet universe. Google changes its algorithm more than 500 times a year. Most of these changes are minor and unnoticeable, however every now and again Google does a major upgrade to its algorithm (Panda and Penguin) and this major change affects search results and your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts in major ways. Read about each Google algorithm update on Moz.com here http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change.
What does this have to do with your marketing efforts? SEO is the act of engaging users through online content. This includes visible, written and multimedia content on your website, social media posts, hashtag use and linkage back to your content from others. Google takes notice of the things you update, the things you don’t update and every nuance and link back in between. The master of the universe sees all and ranks you on search engines accordingly.
If you want your project to lead the pack when someone searches on Google, pay attention to how you are engaging online with your brand. Are you using keyword phrased content in your social media posts? Are you linking users back to your website to engage them further? Are you posting multimedia (project pictures and video tours) online for others to share?
Contrary to what we hear, print is not dying, it is simply evolving toward engagement and marketing cohesion. Engagement means the printed collateral should entice the customer to do something such as visit a website or make a phone call. Cohesion means the printed collateral should connect to the overall brand of your project.
Printed collateral should not be about me, me, me, but should be meaningful for the customer. Ask yourself, how does this demonstrate the benefits of my project to the customer?
This is your one chance in less than 10 seconds to capture your new customer, so don’t miss the opportunity by boasting about yourself. Boast about how beneficial this project is and will be to the customer’s overall life and work so much that they will not be able to pass up the opportunity to experience it further.
Less words and more imagery. Need I say more? Signage needs to lure someone in, make them ooooh and aaaah. Signage isn’t about your logo but about the project and what the customer will see when it is finished. Signage should capture the user and catapult them into the experience of the project once completed. Signage should make them excited about what is to come.
Big is better. The larger your visual representation of the product you are delivering, the better. Small signs do not represent a project well. Large signs make a bold and big statement.
Social media is where your buyer is, but may not be where the developer is. Depending on the audience social media is where you need to be. If you’re a general contractor and your audience is a developer, you may find your lead through LinkedIn, but you also might find it more beneficial to attend an Urban Land Institute (ULI) networking event or Colorado Real Estate Journal (CREJ) conference. If you’re a developer finishing a project and you need to sell the units, your audience will be and you will want to be on social media Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking, Houzzing and Pinterest posting your interior and exterior imagery to entice and enthrall your potential customer.
How are you Different?
Being different will set you apart from your competition. Sharing how you’re different is key. However, differentiators are not simply meeting basic level needs, such as providing good customer service. Really ask yourself why you are in this industry, creating and selling great real estate products. Once you define your why, you will stand out of the pack and truly mark yourself as different. Watch Simon Simek’s TED Talk on Why your ‘why’ is so important here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmjR8eLYpao.
Marketing takes many touch points to make your brand and project known to your target audience. Being cohesive with your brand is the only way to build awareness and generate sales leads. Define your why.
And, if you market it, they will come.
Keo Frazier, fearless leader