Traditionally, agents rely on the big portals to promote their properties for sale or rent. This often generates enough interest. For some, however, it doesn’t bring the volume of enquiries they need, so they must find other ways to reach prospects. Typically, these agents operate in areas with expensive properties, or where the number of Buy to Let properties is higher, or they are promoting new-build developments with plenty of stock.
WHAT’S TO BE DONE?
You need to reach more prospects and direct them to your website. If you decide to invest in digital marketing to reach them, the two channels currently generating the best results are Google and Facebook.
Everyone uses Google to search for everything. You may argue that as Rightmove and Zoopla are at the top of the search results page for ‘flats for rent in…’ or ‘houses for sale in…’, why invest in a Google campaign if you are paying the portals?
The portals source leads from people who know exactly what they are after: type of property, area and budget. What the portals are not doing well, is attracting people who are unsure about which area, people who need hand-holding, or are looking for a good investment opportunity.
A good marketing campaign can work wonders. Let’s assume you want property investors. You may have a few developments on your books with strong returns, in an area with great potential. Rightmove won’t tell investors that – but you can.
You can launch a campaign with Google AdWords structured around ‘investment opportunities’ phrases, and direct them to dedicated landing pages. You can also invest in writing and optimising articles on topics such as ‘which developments in (your area) give the best returns’ or ‘why invest in (your area)’. If they rank well, you’ll a steady stream of visitors interested in your content and properties.
WHAT ABOUT FACEBOOK?
With Facebook, you can define your audiences and personalise your message. You can reach more buyers or tenants by putting everyone who has enquired about a property from your website in a pot, (you will need to add the Facebook pixel on your site) and create a look-a-like audience of people with similar characteristics.
You can then go after more people, similar to those who already booked a viewing, promoting a development, an investment opportunity, or offer information about rental options. You can create your own custom audience, too, say, investors from the UK or Middle East, have an income of over £75,000 and more than two properties – this can form the basis of your audience.
I HAVE VISITORS, I NEED VIEWINGS
You can boost viewing requests by launching traditional and dynamic remarketing campaigns with Google and Facebook. Traditional remarketing allows you to display your message in a banner on websites visited by a prospect after they have been on your website. If someone has read a blog or been to one of your landing pages, they can be followed around the web with a specific sales message.
Dynamic remarketing is ideal if you want to convert more buyers or tenants. Traditionally it is used by e-commerce sites like Amazon. The principle is simple: you visit an online shop, and a cookie is placed in your browser. If you leave the site without buying anything, a remarketing campaign will trigger, showing you the products you looked at in banner ads across the websites you visit later, encouraging you to return and purchase them.
This approach works well with properties. When someone visits an agent’s site and performs a search for properties for sale or rent but doesn’t book a viewing, that person can be followed with banners on other sites. These banners can be dynamically created by pulling properties from the agent’s database, with the same characteristics as those the user viewed on the website.
For example, if a visitor looked for two bed flats for rent in Brixton, the banners can chase the visitor with ads for two bed flats for rent in Brixton, taken from the agent’s database in real time. This will increase conversions from visitors as they are prompted to take action over time.
Do you have a marketing question? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and Nelly will aim to answer it in a future article.