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How to Beat Your Competitors in Real Estate Marketing

If there is one thing Sona Visual knows about realtors, it is your propensity to be ahead of the curve. There is nothing a realtor dislikes more than a client or competitor knowing something about the market, or any trend, that you don’t! To help you stay at the top of your real estate marketing game, we decided to make note of some of the top marketing trends in real estate for 2017. But don’t worry, we’ll act cool as if you knew all of this on your own should anyone ask!

Humanization is the Latest Look

There are over 10,000 realtors® in Alberta alone. Imagine you are a homebuyer and want to find a realtor; you might try searching on Google and you might try clicking on the first few results that come up. You would read a little about the realtor – what home or neighbourhood the realtor specializes in or their commission structure.

But these things make up only a small percentage of the things a buyer or lister will consider when deciding on which realtor to work with. One of the most important assets you can possess is your humanity.

A lister wants to trust that their realtor has the best interests of them and their home in mind. And a buyer wants to trust that their realtor won’t sell them a lemon.

In 2017, marketing is becoming more and more humanized and empathetic. The noisy traditional media of the past is just that – in the past. It is critical to be seen as a partner to your client, not just a provider of a service. Now more than ever, brands are showcasing their compassionate, human side.

As an example, just think about this Tim Horton’s commercial. This commercial is a great example of humanizing a brand; and of sharing a story that reflects your values while going above and beyond just selling your product or service. Ask yourself, how do you feel after watching that commercial? What do you want your target audience to feel? Now, more than ever, the audience must connect with you as a human being and not just a business. Millennials, in particular, can see a pitch from a mile away and are not impressed by them in the way previous generations of homebuyers were.

Social Trends for 2017

We have repeatedly stressed the importance of social media for realtors, and will certainly continue to do so! One of the hottest social trends for 2017 is the use of livestream video services, available on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Ok, so we know you are not the star of your own reality TV show, and you might be wondering when, why, and how you should livestream. Let us help answer those questions:

When: Any time you are doing a cool or important event! Open House? Charity event? Industry mixer? These are all great opportunities for your followers to discover your human side, and learn about how you conduct business. If a potential client sees your livestream on Facebook of your open house and love how you are marketing the home and interacting with guests, they may call you to help with their property listing!

Why: Livestreaming on a social platform will help you share meaningful content globally, not just in your city. Those international buyers who are planning to move to Calgary can get a jumpstart on their search for a realtor. Livestreaming also generates a sense of urgency within your audience. If they don’t check into the action as it happens, they will miss it altogether. Furthermore, clients and potential clients want to see your human side. Having a blog, a website, and doing reports on the market are great; but your clients need more from you. A livestream is a great way to provide richer, relatable content to them!

How: Start with something you feel comfortable with. If you’re already an avid marketer on Facebook, use their livestream services when you are at your next big event. If you don’t use social media often, don’t just sign up for Twitter and Instagram and start broadcasting. You need an established audience to view the content! These social platforms allow anyone to livestream and will show your content to users with relevant interests and your regular audience of followers. This will allow you to capture more qualified leads!

Virtual Reality is the New Reality

We have previously discussed the impressive advent of Virtual Reality (VR) and its place within real estate marketing plans worldwide. There are even more devices now on the market that support capturing and viewing VR, turning our smartphones into showrooms, sales centres and open houses. Early adopters of VR have noticed a high level of emotional engagement by users, and with 43 million active virtual reality users worldwide in 2016, it is apparent these early adopters are on to something!

Sona Visual can help you tap into the emotional response of your target audience through VR with Matterport. This affordable service packs a big punch – a proprietary camera captures any space and generates an accurate 3D rendering. This rendering, or dollhouse, is accessible online or with a virtual reality headset, allowing the potential buyer to walk through and experience the property as if they were really there! This can influence a stronger emotional connection and interest in the property than traditional marketing efforts alone. Don’t stay stuck in the past with boring, uninspired video photo tours. Move ahead of the game and be a trendsetter with Matterport. To walk through a home and experience it for yourself, please click here.

Elevate Your Brand & Your Listing with Aerial

Aerial drones have been available for commercial and personal use for a few years now, but it is apparent their impact increases year over year. This alternative to hiring small planes or helicopters to get elevated footage means realtors can afford to provide potential buyers with accessible, informative and creative marketing.

(Read more: 5 reasons aerial photography will give you a leg up in the real estate game)

Aerial footage can assist possible buyers understand the lay of the land. What amenities are close by? Is that walk score accurate? Do the photos of that park across the street do it any justice? Is this house in a maze of streets, challenging to navigate, or moments from your daily commute route?

Further to that, aerial photos and video can show a new perspective of the home otherwise unseen. This allows you to show buyers those money-saving solar panels on the roof, the multi-level backyard deck or unique landscaping.

Using newer technologies, such as drones, to capture the best features of your listing and its surrounding area, help position you as a realtor that knows what is on the up-and-up. If you want to learn more about Sona Visual’s aerial services, click here!

Automation

One of the smartest things a realtor can do is discover more hours in their day. As a realtor, you often work long days, late nights, early mornings and a lot of weekends. A significant chunk of your time is consumed with following up with clients, managing your digital marketing campaigns, newsletters, blogs, writing reports and so on.

What if we told you that you could simplify some of these systems and free up time in your day? Automation is one big way to save yourself time in the long run. It allows you to focus on important tasks like closing the next deal. You can automate everything from your social media posts, to your newsletters, to your email marketing blasts. Instead of worrying about hitting peak times on Instagram or Facebook, or fretting that you overslept and didn’t send your monthly newsletter on time, automate these systems so you can “set it and forget it”.

Marketing automation may sound really intimidating, but with so many platforms offering this feature, it is more affordable and accessible than ever. If you have a current service you use for marketing, look around their website to find out if you are able to automate any features. Setting up triggered emails, for example, is an easy, cost-effective way to nurture your leads even when you are busy at your open house. You can generate emails based on actions of your leads or clients. Did someone fill out a form on your website, requesting a viewing of a property? You can automate a response to them, tailored with keywords. Not only will automation save you time and help nurture relationships, but it will humanize you even further since you can centre your marketing messages around the real, live human being whom is receiving your campaign or message.

Ensuring all of your marketing materials are sent on time, to the right audience, with the right message by using automation, will allow you to stay ahead of your competition and focus on further developing your real estate business.