Join the exceptional and become a Sotheby's International Realty agent.
With the constant deluge of online content, getting eyes and clicks on listings is a challenge many real estate agents face. So how do you cut through the noise? Digital marketing tools and platforms provide a flow of new features to create innovative content — and success in real estate is often tied to taking advantage of the possibilities.
Jennifer Gilson, Real Estate Agent at Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, and Angela Boyer-Stump, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor and Licensed Salesperson at Sotheby’s International Realty – Bridgehampton Brokerage, share some ideas on how to leverage digital marketing for your own listing strategy.
Take advantage of multiple channels
While some agents have success with one digital marketing channel, an omnichannel approach is the best way to reach the largest audience. For Boyer-Stump, that means launching listings on social media and YouTube first, then using email marketing. “In case someone doesn’t see the listing on social media, they may find it on my weekly blog in their email,” she explains.
It’s also valuable to know where your audience hangs out online. Gilson says, “We noticed that many people in our database are not on social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, so we’ve tailored our LinkedIn content to advertise significant sales and local market updates to our network.”
Listen to your community and adjust your strategy
Struggling to find ideas for content to post on social media? Let your contacts tell you. “The most important strategy of all is to listen to the community,” Gilson stresses. She mentions conversations at open houses and with local real estate partners as potential sources of inspiration to discover what’s top-of-mind for your community. For example, if people are talking about buying turn-key properties because remodeling is difficult due to supply chain issues — that’s a topic worth addressing through digital channels.
Gilson also notes that digital strategies are not one-size-fits-all, and it’s necessary to have multiple ideas lined up. “Each property is different, so you’ll have to adjust your story and strategy,” she says. “A fixer is not a new-construction build, and a new-construction build is not a 10-year-old home.” Keep in mind that you may also be reaching different audiences depending on the type of property, and the content should be tailored accordingly.
Create video content that shows the bigger picture
Marketing with video has evolved from simply filming a home walkthrough to using catchy intros, beautiful shots, and unique editing. For Boyer-Stump, that literally means lofty thinking. “For my high-end sales, I use a videographer that has experience in drone work and indoor and outdoor videoing,” she says. There are also many apps and effects on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram that can help create compelling content quickly.
Gilson cites success from mixing lifestyle and property content in her videos. “Whether the home is under construction, a traditional home, or a legacy estate, the connection between lifestyle and showcasing the property creates a vision,” she says.
Go behind the scenes and show a little personality
Don’t underestimate the desire for behind-the-scenes footage and insights. Giving your audience a peek behind the curtain is enticing, whether through posting photos or videos on social media, or sharing with an exclusive email list.
“We’re able to showcase local businesses that we love, capture behind-the-scenes videos of prepping our listings to be market-ready, and offer sneak peeks of exclusive listings before they hit the market,” Gilson says. “It’s best to be your authentic self. By incorporating bits of my personal life, I show I can be trusted and become my clients’ go-to agent.”
Boyer-Stump agrees, noting that screen time is an invaluable asset. “Many agents are afraid to get in front of a camera and attach themselves and what they look like to their listings. Video is a unique tool that personalizes and brands the great properties I represent.”
Enjoy the process of trying new things
Ultimately, being successful online comes down to showing the same qualities that make an agent successful in person: consistency and authenticity. But, as Gilson says, it’s important to have fun: “If you have an idea, lean into it, test it and see how it does. Keep pushing and don’t stop.”
As for Boyer-Stump, she’s experimenting with TikTok for spotlighting listings, even though it can be a daunting platform for many agents. “I am loving TikTok — though my kids think I’ve gone mad. It’s a great conversation piece, and many of my clients are thrilled that I have taken the initiative to use something a little outside of the ordinary.”
No matter which digital avenues you pursue to highlight your listings, innovating and experimenting with new platforms can only help to improve your marketing strategy. By taking some chances and putting yourself in the spotlight, you also illuminate your business.