I’ve been thinking about when real estate will truly be taking social media to the next level. Century 21 announced that they are moving their rather large TV media spend to online. So where are the putting it? Where is everyone else putting it?
Judging by Hitwise the majority of the money is going to PPC and some banner networks. That is of course speaking on average among builders, brokers and real estate portals. But where is the spend toward enhancing the sites or creating new tools that let their customers truly do the marketing for them with word of mouth?
It has to be coming.
I’d look for one of the big builders, Zillow or Trulia to be doing something bigger.
Think about the main types of sites and their goal. The main ones that typically come to mind are driving to an online sale or lead generation. If you take a look at these two types and then dive a little deeper you might find an area where sites are marketing products or services that people are “Scared to Buy.” What would that mean? Good question. I’ll tell ya.
For me that means Real Estate. In the current Real Estate market that we are in people are scared to buy, if they are in the market at all. Real Estate, online, is typically a lead gen activity, with the few exceptions of companies like RedFin. Take a moment to think about how you would drive people that are scared to look at your product to take the next step.
Why are they scared? Well, to start with its the media, those that love to watch and talk about a car crash and those that believe that there are other outside forces controlling the market. If you want to see a great example try watching Good Morning America in the mornings. They have the recurring story of how many people are out of work and how bad the recession is, how much real estate prices have declined on average. Well if you didn’t feel depressed already you will once you are done. You’ll also notice that you want to stop spending and save every penny that you have and that if you do have to spend anything it must be on some cost saving craft.
When we start to see the media change their tune the behavior of the real estate buyer will also change.
What can you do to move real estate buyer down the purchase funnel? Take care of them. Here is a quick check list.
- Make sure that your site is fast.
- The information the visitor is looking for is on the site.*
- The information is in an easy format to take in.
- Respond quickly to every contact. This means personal. Not an auto-esponse.
- Treat them in a friendly manner.
- Provide ALLinformation when they ask a question and make sure to present all available options or paths that the potential buyer could go down in reagards to choices.**
*Note: It is also common for many in the real estate industry to want to hold back some information from their website. This is a huge mistake as most online visitors will become frustrated and move on to those that do provide the information.
**Note: Many people disagree with providing all choices due to the fact that people can’t focus on that many options at once but if you have organized your information well this can be done successfully.