Technology has forever changed real estate marketing and lead generation. Although this may feel daunting at first, there is at least one clear common denominator that serves as the backbone for most of the new marketing strategies: technology.
Cold calling is still an option, but more efficient and better methods have been gaining popularity. Many professionals would not even recognize some of the most important trends in lead generation, like a mobile-first strategy or Zillow’s new “My Agent” program.
- Zillow’s new “my agent” program helps buyer’s agents stay top-of-mind
- Mobile is a MUST: mobile-friendly images/videos, websites with mobile-compatibility, short-form writing, etc.
- Real estate agents will be able to harness big data for personal marketing and lead generation
Zillow Will Form an Even Closer Bond with Agents
2017 was a banner year for Zillow with deeper rollouts of auction-based pricing and Facebook advertising programs geared toward sellers. In 2018, we find the world’s largest real estate website refusing to kick up their feet and let other sites innovate. In 2018, Zillow has already started to offer buyer’s agents more ways to stay top of mind with leads.
Example: Zillow’s New “My Agent” Program
One of the most frustrating things about working as a buyer’s agent is, well, working with buyers. Even if they mean well, many buyers end up clicking on Premier agent ads to schedule showings. Sometimes, they click on ads even when you’ve been working with them for weeks.
Less than ethical agents often don’t even ask if they’re already working with a buyer’s agent and just set up blind showings. Even with the most loyal buyers, this can lead to sticky procuring cause situations.
In order to help agents remember that they already have a buyer’s agent, Zillow’s new My Agent program offers a unique solution.
Instead of the typical sidebar of smiling Premier Agents and the listing agent, the new program will actually show your picture in the sidebar. Even better, it will show under the heading “Contact Your Agent”.
Mobile Will be ALL That Matters
If you’ve been dragging your feet about using a mobile-first lead generation strategy, you might be giving up leads in 2018. If you’re still not convinced, I’ll let this year’s data (compiled by Buffer) speak for itself:
- Facebook: 94 percent of its monthly active users are on mobile
- Twitter: 82 percent of its monthly active users are on mobile
- LinkedIn: 60 percent of its unique visitors access LinkedIn via a mobile device
So what exactly does a “mobile first” real estate lead generation campaign look like? Well, this might look very different for different Realtors. That said, here are a few pointers to make sure your current lead generation strategy is focused on mobile:
- Make sure all images, videos, or animations look great on mobile
Do you have copy, or other elements of your images that won’t be legible on mobile? Make sure to look for images that look great on phones and tablets.
- Use landing page software like Unbounce to create responsive landing pages
How nice your landing pages look on mobile should be your primary concern if you’re advertising on any of the above platforms.
- Make sure your Facebook ad headlines don’t get cut off on mobile
While your lengthy headline might make sense on desktop, it could be getting cut off on mobile. Before you publish your ads, make sure your titles work on mobile AND desktop. In most cases this will involve shorter titles.
- Make sure to use large “call now” buttons on your mobile site and landing pages
Even if your site and landing pages are mobile responsive, you still need to make it easy for people to call you. While tapping text phone numbers works on Iphones, it doesn’t always work on Android. Use buttons instead.
- Use mobile first design for your email list
According to one study, mobile email opens have grown by 180% in the last three years. That means that the chances of your audience opening your email on their phone or tablet are high. Make sure they open something that looks great on mobile.
- Make sure your paragraphs in blog posts are no more than three lines tall
If you’re of a fan of my articles on Fitsmallbusiness.com, you may have noticed a difference here on The Close.Since our audience is primarily mobile, we use shorter paragraphs. Much easier to read!
Facebook Newsfeed is Dead… Long Live Facebook Groups!
Nick Baldwin, COO, of LabCoatAgents
Let’s face it, most agents who were using Facebook for organic lead generation are now scrambling to find a new way to get leads on the platform. While advertising on Facebook can have a great ROI, nothing beats the natural engagement and usefulness of Facebook Groups.
“Facebook Groups are the new business page and Facebook is pushing them hard. As a realtor, having a community group on FB for your farm area is a must. You can invite people in your area to join and discuss local events, happenings, local businesses, and of course the housing market,” said Baldwin.
Agents Will Finally Tap Into Big Data
Although there have been rumblings about big data “disrupting” the real estate industry for years now, we feel that 2018 is the year agents start actually using it. After all, many lead generation, appraisal, and purchasing decisions rely on massive amounts of data for accuracy.
In the past, parsing this data was virtually impossible for all but the most sophisticated tech companies. Today, that power can often be found in your iPhone.
Google Ventures backed startup HouseCanary leverages big data to help appraisers, Realtors, and consumers with perhaps the most difficult job in real estate: coming up with an accurate appraisal for a home.
HouseCanary uses county assessor records, MLS listings, and consumer, regional, and behavioral metrics to come up with an accurate value for your listing. Even better, they can parse the data to come up with a value forecast for the next three years.
Predictive Analytics Will Laser Target Lead Gen
Along with Big Data, predictive analytics is another industry buzzword that we think will finally start to become more realistic in 2018.
While big data groups together massive data sets from disparate sources, predictive analytics uses that data along with people’s behavior online to predict future behavior. If you’ve built a custom audience for your Facebook ads, you’ve already been using it.
Want to try your hand at integrating predictive analytics to your lead generation this year? Here are two companies offering interesting predictive analytics products for Realtors in 2018:
Experian Real Estate Leads
Believe it or not, Experian actually offers Realtors mailing lists based on reams of data that predict when local residents are ready to move.
You can create lists based on length of residence, age and income, census tract data, and even who has children.
Smartzip not only offers predictive analytics to help focus your lead generation but an entire marketing platform to go along with it. The platform includes emails, mailers, and online marketing.
View the original article at The Close