- Creating content won't improve your search rankings unless you're adding specific value for users.
- Marketing your listings doesn't have to be run-of-the-mill. You can get creative and often see interesting results (especially with the media).
- If I gave you $1,000 today for paid advertising, how many leads do you think you'd get tomorrow? The answer might surprise you.
It’s hardly news that our industry is filled with dozens of lead generation strategies. We’ve sat on webinars, read the stories and talked about it socially — but apparently, some of the things we’ve heard aren’t necessarily true.
In today’s article, I want to go over three myths about real estate marketing, where I’ve seen contrary evidence pop up and debunk common ideas.
Let the real estate marketing myth busting begin:
1. Marketing listings have to be standard
Open houses. Facebook blasts. For sale signs. Anytime you score a listing, you know the procedure to selling. You don’t break the standard because it’s just — weird. Or wrong. You put it on the MLS and feature it on your website. It’s one piece of real estate marketing trying to command the space of everyone’s attention.
But what happens when your house needs to be sold — like Jerry Maguire sold? A lot of agents are trained not to market outside the box. The property details state the obvious. Pictures are neutralized. It’s up to the agent, right? Wrong.
Selling a house can get creative. With creativity, you can see increased attention (something hard to obtain), especially if the house is not so desirable. Check out the buzz Mitchell Hastings created for his house when he tweaked the property description:
The front porch leads you into a nice living room that has plenty of sunlight and a fireplace. To really impress your friends, put your coffee table there and put a bowl of lemons on top of a book or put a flower from the front yard in a vase.
Remember when teachers said honesty is the best policy? I think they’re right here. Not only did his listing go viral, but it also got media attention. We know from networking, the more eyes, the better.
Now, let’s take a look at an agent in Spring, Texas. When it came time to shoot listing photos, she took a different approach (see photos below).
Now, I’m not saying you should go out and take listing photos in animal costumes. But I am saying, the marketing of homes doesn’t have to be the standard. You can do different things, and see results.
2. For $1,000, you’ll generate (X) amount of leads every month
People often say you need (X) amount of money every month to generate (Y) amount of leads — via paid advertising.
The problem with this theory is the economy changes every month. The value of $1,000 changes with supply and demand, just as the price of a home goes up and down.
Not many real estate professionals take into account seasonality. The number of real estate related searches rises and drops at different periods in the year. We all know spring is the high season for buyers, but have you thought about when they first start their searches online? It’s typically at the beginning of the new year (see trends graph below).
As you can see, there’s a spike in “housing” searches around January, then around October, interest declines. Now, translate how much money it will take to generate that (X) amount of leads you need. The value has suddenly changed, and $1,000 doesn’t get you the same number as before.
3. Creating content doesn’t make you No. 1 on Google
There’s a marketing saying: “Content is king.” Just a few years ago, real estate marketing professionals and agents were introduced to the concept — if you create content, you’ll see your search rankings go up, and you’ll see more organic leads. However, this statement is half-truth, half-lie.
Creating any content is not going to generate leads. Content has a dual purpose. One, it’s supposed to generate interest and traffic. Second, though, it’s supposed to filter out traffic.
Content is designed to be audience-driven (meant for a select group of people). That means heavy metal music fans aren’t going to click on your real estate ads when they want to score concert tickets.
The content you create has to be user-friendly, and people should get benefit from it. When you don’t account for this, search engines such as Google take those signals and use them to rank your website and content.
For example, check out the common “Featured Listing” post seen on real estate blogs:
Essentially, this “Featured Listing” blog post is a reiteration of the MLS data — content already indexed on Google. There’s no additional value, and the content isn’t long enough for Google to interpret (enough to read so it can figure out what the post is about).
For content to be super useful and rank better, you need to expand on the topic extensively. Consider the approach Carrington Real Estate took with its local city guides.
People searching for real estate in a particular area find their guides helpful because it provides a snapshot of the area, what it’s like to live there and where they can find real estate.
Today’s marketing: What’s needed
Growing and maintaining the business is always a top priority. One thing that plagues the industry is a lack of commitment to marketing. A lot of professionals and leaders look for the most simplistic approach instead of experimenting and dedicating time to delivering quality real estate marketing campaigns.
And it could be a consequence of having too much to do, running the business, and managing operations. Maybe in today’s real estate marketing world, it’s time to begin hiring full-time professionals or relying on outside agencies to help. That way, we can avoid common marketing myths.
Steven Trice is the Managing Editor at BoomTown. Connect with Steven on LinkedIn or follow BoomTown on Twitter.