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Get Your House Sold: Real Estate Marketing in the Digital Age (Part 1)

To get the best price and terms on the sale of your home you need to price it right and get it in front of the most possible buyers. This will give you the highest chance of receiving multiple offers.

A great way to get your home in front of a lot of people is putting it online. And I’m not just talking about a single Facebook post or tweet. I’m talking about strategic digital marketing plan.

But what does that even mean?

There is a lot involved so I’ve broken this topic up into two separate posts. We’ll start with the frame work of how we reach our audience then, in part two, discuss the “boomerang” remarketing plan.

The most basic requirement for digital marketing is that it takes place online. This is great because, according to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of buyers use the internet in some way during their home search.

Then, as is the goal of any digital marketer, we’ll want to direct online traffic to a desired location and have them take a specific action. These are commonly known as landing or squeeze pages and calls to action (CTA).

In our case, the desired location will be your custom property website that we create and own. Owning the site is important. When we own it, we not only decide how it looks, we also get to embed tracking codes – this is the basis of any digital marketing strategy.

The desired action, or CTA, we want the user to take is to schedule an appointment to view your property. This is called a conversion and it’s the main reason we built the website – to generate and capture the most possible buyer leads - not only because it looks nice.

That’s the basics, but what about the strategic part?

Well, if we’re paying for this traffic, we’ll want to make sure they’re qualified leads and not people who just want to look at pictures of your home. Qualified means they’re ready, willing, and able to buy.

According to the Pew Research Center 74% of online adults use social networking sites. Of those users, 71% of them are on Facebook which is where we spend a bulk of our online advertising budget.

Facebook, and other big data companies, have built detailed behavioral analytic algorithms so we can create audiences of people who, based on their behavior, want to hear our message.

Using Facebook’s Custom Audience tools we can target people who live within a geographic region, who are likely to move, and within a certain income level. There are a plethora of other audience filters that can be applied but these are primarily what we use for real estate listings.

Let’s look at each individually.

1) Geographic Region

According to a Trulia report, 41% of people move within the same city/metro region and 19% move to a nearby city less than 100 miles away. This means we can target the geographic region around your home and capture around 50% of the potential buyers in the market. This, combined with traditional forms of marketing, will allow us to get your home in front of the largest pool of buyers.

2) Likely to Move

The next custom audience filter is based on behavior. I’m not quite sure how Facebook does it but we can select an audience of people who are likely to move allowing us to target potential home buyers.

3) Income Level

This one is great and, again, I’m not sure how Facebook does it, but we can target people within certain income ranges. As with the other filters, this means we’ll only be putting the ad in front of people who are financially able to buy your home.

But how do we know what income range to use? Based on current lending rates, down payment requirements, and lending ratios we can build a buyer profile. Using this info we can estimate the annual salary needed to qualify for a loan specific to your home’s value. Meaning we’ll know, within a certain level of accuracy, that any appointments from this lead source will actually have the ability to buy. It’s like we’re pre-qualifying our leads without ever asking them a question.

1) Geographic Region

According to a Truila report, 41% of people move within the same city/metro region and 19% move to a nearby city less than 100 miles away. This means we can target the geographic region around your home and capture around 50% of the potential buyers in the market. This, combined with traditional forms of marketing, will allow us to get your home in front of the largest pool of buyers.

2) Likely to Move

The next custom audience filter is based on behavior. I’m not quite sure how Facebook does it but we can select an audience of people who are likely to move allowing us to target potential home buyers.

3) Income Level

This one is great and, again, I’m not sure how Facebook does it, but we can target people within certain income ranges. As with the other filters, this means we’ll only be putting the ad in front of people who are financially able to buy your home.

But how do we know what income range to use? Based on current lending rates, down payment requirements, and lending ratios we can build a buyer profile. Using this info we can estimate the annual salary needed to qualify for a loan specific to your home’s value. Meaning we’ll know, within a certain level of accuracy, that any appointments from this lead source will actually have the ability to buy. It’s like we’re pre-qualifying our leads without ever asking them a question.

Now, I don’t know about you but this kind of stuff gets me excited!

Before we go any further, let’s review the buyers “path” up until this point.

First, based on their behavior and other data that Facebook tracks, we know these people are likely to move, looking in your area, and have the income level to afford your home.

Based on Facebook data, we know who is likely to move, looking in your area, and can afford your home.

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Second, they’ve seen high quality images of your home on their Facebook news feed with a headline, “NEW LISTING: Luxury living in West Bellevue with lake and mountain views. Click here for the full property info and images.”

Third, they click the link and land on the custom property website we’ve built. There, they are met with visually pleasing images, quality web design, and a specific CTA to schedule a viewing. Some will, most won’t, but, regardless, all visitors will have been pixeled.

The last part of that sentence is extremely important so I’ll say it again, all visitors to your custom property website will have been pixeled.

Now pixeled isn’t a real word but it’s a term used to describe someone who has visited a page that has any kind of tracking pixel embedded into it. This happens to you every time you surf the web.

Ever wonder how an item you were looking at on one site shows up in an ad on a completely different website?

Invisible tracking pixels, baby!

These snippets of code are embedded into your property website. Then, once a user visits the page, we’ll be able to follow them around the web or, when using a Facebook tracking pixel, on Facebook.

This has two main benefits, one we can create look-a-like audiences to reach new unique users and, two, we can remarket to the users who have visited your page using a boomerang traffic plan (more on this in part 2).

A look-a-like audience is a tool on Facebook that allows us to build a similar audience based on the data we have of people who have been pixeled.

This is HUGE!

We can now create a look-a-like audience of users who viewed the site AND users who actually converted into a viewing appointment.

This allows us to send the same ad sequence to groups of new Facebook users which just happen to be a hyper-specific audience of people who are most likely to convert into a viewing.

Now think about that combined with data from multiple marketing campaigns, not just yours. This is what will allow us to sell your home for the best price and terms and this is why you want to hire a Realtor® who has a strategic digital marketing plan.

Want a marketing plan like this? Call me, I answer my own phone. 425-205-0791

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Excited for more? Click here to read part 2 or just stay tuned to your email.

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