How To Improve Digital Marketing for a Property Business

Many property companies and real estate agents operate profitably with poor digital marketing or without it at all. Ironically, because the industry has generally high profits, issues can persist for years without grabbing the attention of business owners and marketing managers. What’s more, the availability of other channels, such as third party aggregator sites like Zoopla, often means property companies don’t rely on their own website to generate most of their business. Less profitable businesses don’t have the stamina to carry these issues, but property companies usually do.

Luckily, this also means digital marketing for property businesses can often be improved greatly. We’ve written this post to highlight some typical, low hanging fruit, that we come across when marketing real estate businesses.

If they sound familiar or relevant, this means that you can probably improve your digital marketing and make it more efficient.

Digital marketing optimisation for real estate and property businesses

Most property companies can improve their digital marketing by fixing some of the following issues.

Issue1: Multiple Goals and Conversions with Varying Importance

Your property business might have numerous audiences that you’re trying to reach. Typically, certain enquiries are worth more than others. A large developer looking to commission an agent is worth more to your business than a new tenant enquiry. A sales enquiry will probably generate more revenue than a rental one. Having many goals is probably essential for many realtors, but can cause issues for both the humans overseeing campaigns and also the machine learning trying to optimise them.

There are several solutions

  1. Ditch low-value conversion altogether. You might be able to stop measuring lettings enquiries and other low-value conversions if they’re not a high priority.
  2. Group your conversions and name them by the audience. Make it very clear if you’re targeting landlords, buyers or tenants.
  3. Add approximate values to conversions. In real estate, digital marketing goals usually involve lead generation. If you can estimate the value of each conversion you can add values conversion setup and easily map the value to each digital marketing activity. This will also help the bidding algorithms improve campaign performance.
  4. Add offline conversions. If you use a CRM, you might be able to connect it to Google Ads or Facebook Ads and feedback your offline conversions. If a lead became qualified or closed a deal, the ad platforms can see it and assign the new value to the original campaign click. This is really powerful but requires your business to properly use the CRM, otherwise, incorrect data might be fed into the systems.

Organising your conversion set up so it makes sense for your business can get quite technical, but it will ultimately help you understand your performance easily and intuitively.

Issue 2: Low Conversion Rates on Real Estate Websites

Improving conversion rates on property website to get more leads

Even small improvements to your conversion rates will see the number of leads rise and advertising costs fall. Example from a real estate website we've designed and built.

Conversion rates can seem quite theoretical for non-marketers but they are extremely important for online businesses. In online commerce, businesses live or die based on their conversion rates.

I’ll give you an example, if your conversion rate is 0.45% and you managed to raise it to 0.90%, this might not seem like a lot. But the result? Either half the digital marketing spend or twice the number of enquiries for the same budget.

What’s more, when your campaigns are operating efficiently, you can increase the budgets further and dominate your competition. You cannot do this if your conversion rate is low, it’ll just waste your money.

What often makes understanding conversion rates harder, is that you probably have multiple conversions and multiple conversion rates. I recommend focusing on your most valuable conversion rates first and making sure they are well optimised.

How to improve conversion rates for property business?

Usually, there is something on the page that inhibits users from completing your desired conversion and becoming a lead. From my experience working on digital marketing for real estate this can be:

  • Design: The most important elements aren’t visible or clear on the top of the page.
  • Long and intimidating web forms: Make it easy for your prospect to convert. Leave some questions for later if you can.
  • Mediocre calls to action: Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. What does she need to see on the page to take the relevant action? What are her pain points? Her aspirations?
  • Load speeds: If your page is slow to load, fewer people will stick around and convert.
  • Photos: When you’re trying to sell property, the photos have to encourage enquiries. It might cost you money to commission photos and videos, but it can pay for itself multiple times.
  • Page copy: Make sure you're giving your prospect the information they need and that you're highlighting the benefits of your service or property.
How to generate more leads for real estate with digital marketing

Good property photos will help improve conversion rates and enquiries.

Issue 3: Use of Industry Jargon on Property Websites and Campaigns

In the real estate industry, there might be terms and names that are used by real estate professionals within the industry, and different terms that are used by the general public. I manage PPC for property companies so I also get to see what people search for. Using jargon can have an off-putting effect on website visitors. It’s also easy to underestimate how many people might not understand your jargon.

To fix this, I recommend the following:

  • Keyword research: Find out the search volume for the terms that you use on the website vs. the ones most people use.
    Tip: Google will often suggest other relevant terms at the bottom of the page.
  • A/B test different versions of your webpages: You can create different versions of the same page or use a testing tool like Google Optimise.  A/B tools allow you to show different versions of pages to visitors and measure the performance on each version.
  • Read reviews: I often read client reviews and competitor reviews online. This helps me get a sense of what our target audience is looking for, what they like, what they don’t like and the general language that they use. I make a list of words and phrases and use them in page and advert copy.

Issue 4: Make Your Contact Info Visible on Every Page

I cannot overemphasise the importance of having clear contact information. I often come across resistance from clients saying “people can find it on our contact page” or “we have all the details in the footer”. That’s true but website visitors are not the logical creatures that think they are.

I’ve personally measrred results from A/B tests on a property website. In the test version, I added a phone number to the top of the page. The results astonished us all. Not only were people more likely to call the business, the enquiries through website forms also doubled. My conclusion, displaying your clear contact info proudly throughout the site sends a message “We are open for business”, “We’re waiting to take your call”.

It’s the digital equivalent of an “Open” sign on your shop door. Yes, bypassers can see that you're in there. They know that it’s business hours and you're probably open. But unless you spell it out for them, some will shy away.

Conclusion: Improving Digital Marketing for Property Companies

Many real estate businesses are underserved in terms of digital marketing services. The ones that insist and find out how to improve their digital marketing performance generate more leads, survive and succeed. Your real estate business might be doing fine, but chances are that it can do a lot better with a few changes.

Finding these low hanging fruit can move your property company further with higher profits and growth. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, compare yourself with the industry leaders and ask yourself the hard question: Who offers a better and easier online experience?
Don’t settle for less.

About Me

I’m a London based digital marketer and PPC consultant for real estate companies. I’ve worked with a host of companies, goals and budgets. I’m also a certified Google partner, advanced Google Analytics user and general digital marketing strategist. I work with a small team of highly skilled digital marketing professionals to deliver massive improvements to clients’ performance. If you have any questions about real estate digital marketing, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Odi Caspi

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