Audience is the new keyword

How real estate agencies upgrades their marketing campaign to next level

The common marketing strategy of real estate agencies nowadays

I started up a small real estate agency in Hong Kong 8 years ago. I built online presence for my company. I uploaded property listing onto Facebook page and company website.

By posting photos and videos of property listings, I gained awareness and interest from potential customers. They would interact with the post by like, comment or share. Besides organic reach, I also boosted the post by sponsored ads.

Back to the days without chatbot, I needed to reply for every single comment manually. In order to bring in more organic reach, I made good use of Facebook’s algorithm, encouraging visitors to ask for the listing price of the property if they are interested. This tactic worked perfectly well as there was no other real estate agency in Hong Kong has a good social media presence. Most of our competitors were not very good at Information Technology, hence reacting slowing to posting ads online.

The tactics enabled my previous company a huge opportunity to build a large online audience who were interested in villa or village houses in remote area in Hong Kong. Our niche (or even in real estate sector) had very few people knowing how to leverage internet to acquire customers for their real estate business. We enjoyed a 5-year window in a low competition environment. We built a 50k fan base on Facebook, which bringing us about 80% revenue for our real estate agency every year.

The problem of the current marketing method of real estate marketing

Then the competition had been surging. Many of our competitors started copying our very basic method of social media marketing to gain leads.

Many of them used fake listings to attract eyeballs of customers. Though I thought they were ruining their brand and trust in long run, they had successfully gained some traction on their Facebook page.

Small real estate agencies would have their simple website for listing, but they barely do SEO and paid ads for gaining traffic to their website. They just put their phone number on the front page as a call to action. No re-targeting campaigns are done on their websites.

We could call this kind of marketing “list and pray”.

The weakness of this marketing method is unreliability.

  1. Every visitor looks alike to you.
  2. Every visitor sees a random advertisement that could be irrelevant to them.
  3. Customer journey cannot be traced. Hence hot and cold leads are treated in the same way.
  4. It is very hard to write a creative and call to action due to ambiguous stage of the customers.
  5. The ads are not effective enough, thus large portion of budget is wasted.
  6. Conversion is hard to be tracked.

The above weakness makes us hard to control our result. We need a more scientific and cleverer method to design our marketing campaign.

Funnel marketing is next generation of real estate marketing

Say goodbye to list and pray.

I would recommend the boutique real estate agencies have their marketing funnel built by some marketing professional. Many of their website should have designed in a different way.

There are 4 stage for a customer before purchasing:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Consideration
  4. Decision
• 
• 
XL Basic Ecommerce Purchase Process 
institute 
Each stage of the ecommerce 
buyer funnel can be a distinct 
retargeting list. 
Users abandon for all different 
reasons. 
You learn more about the users 
as they move down the funnel. 
Each stage opens itself to 
different message crafting. 
Homepage 
Category Page 
Product Page 
Add to Cart 
Cart Visit 
Check Out
An illustration of a marketing funnel

Awareness

Using SEO, SEM or SMM, they could direct traffic into the top of the funnel. Customers would then know they could find listing on your website.

Blog post on real estate would be good material for SEO to pull traffic into the site.

Interest

Of course, they could keep listing on their front page. Softer call to action is suggested in this stage.

Rather than asking them to call directly to agents, I would recommend they build a whitepaper on certain topics customer most concerned before buying a house. For example, “Ultimate guide on house purchasing” would be a great topic on composing a whitepaper.

By asking customer to subscribe in order to download the whitepaper, we could build a customer list for retargeting.

Don’t forget to put retargeting tag on to different page of the site. We could later retarget them according to their current stage.

Consideration

If the site visitors are looking to buying a house, they will search online for more information. We could build a display or search campaign to retargeting the customers who downloaded out whitepapers.

In our ads, we could redirect them to a page which have more comprehensive information, such as a community report or a mortgage calculator would be great tools to pull them into next stage.

Action

When the customers walk through all the stage, they are very qualified for house viewing. We could use a harder call to action – make a reservation.

Some of the customers would not make a reservation, we could build a retargeting campaign to ask them to arrange a phone call or conference call with an agent for answering their problems.

Knowing your audience make your ads more effective and precise

When we have a proper funnel, we could make sure our marketing budget is spent in an effective way. Our customers would be getting more relevant information on the ads, and hence a higher conversion rate could be achieved.

If we do retarget according to different stage of the funnel, we could slowly encourage customer to advance to another stage without losing them. Customers usually stuck in the funnel and are not willing to be converted. We need a proper retargeting campaign to move them forward. All cost used on customer acquisition would not be wasted.

Making good use of offline customer list and CRM

Sometimes we would have referrals or phone leads. We need to build an offline customer list for them. We could build it on CRM (Customer relationship management) software, namely HubSpot.

Don’t forget to upload the offline customer list regularly onto Facebook or Google ads. We could do a retargeting campaign according to their current stage.

Conclusion

Small business or real estate agency could use today’s online marketing strategy to build brand awareness and generate leads. However, most of them do not own a marketing funnel before spending their marketing expense.

By designing a proper marketing funnel, I believe small agencies could spend their marketing expense in a smarter way, making their business more adapt to the rapidly changing business environment.

For more information on maximising audience and the way how we build a marketing funnel, I would recommend you to take the course on CXL.

https://cxl.com/institute/course/maximizing-audiences-ppc/

Eddie Lee

Marketing Specialist
Synergy Marketing Technology Limited

Published by Eddie Lee

Digital marketer in Hong Kong. Specialized in SEO, SEM and SMM.

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