In 2021, almost 99% of homebuyers used the internet to help them find their home. This number may seem incredible, but it’s hardly surprising. We have seen a steady increase in internet usage for home searches for years, and in the height of a global pandemic, well, everything was happening online. We’re likely to see this trend continue, as people have become accustomed to using the internet for more of their lives. Let’s look at what real estate professionals can do to take advantage of real estate digital marketing and prepare for future trends.
Think Locally and Optimize for Mobile Devices
Mobile device use continues to rise, so it’s more important than ever that your site be mobile-friendly. From your website layout to your images, your website should display cleanly on mobile devices and be easy to navigate. Since mobile users will be looking for homes in their area, make sure that your website includes location data and references neighborhoods.
Don’t stop at including location data on your website. Add Google Maps and Mobile-call functionality to your website so people can see the area and contact you all from one search. The fewer steps you put between a user’s search and you, the more likely they are to contact you. You will also prepare your site for more advanced search AIs coming in the future.
Voice Optimize Your Site
More people use voice search today than ever before, and the trend is going to continue. Ensure your keyword optimization matches how someone would vocally ask about homes in your area. Your alt-text for images should include home-search keywords and locations as well. You want services like Google to easily find and navigate your site to answer the questions people ask about home searches.
Image searches continue to become more sophisticated and interact with voice searches, so look at optimizing your photography. Include images whose elements will match key searches. Photos that clearly show pools, the style of the home, and the size of the yard are a few examples. Keep in mind key features homebuyers look for as well, like garden tubs, walk-in closets, and island kitchens as well.
Use Virtual Tours
Give users the opportunity to tour a home any time of day or night – with a virtual tour. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to create them, as numerous sites exist to help real estate agents create virtual tours. The best tours include high-quality video-capture with good lighting (hire a professional to help you film footage for the tour). Don’t just give 360-degree views of the room. Show the home in a virtual tour the way you would if they were at the house. Walk the room, examine closets and storage, and let users see the yard.
This attention to detail will help you jump into augmented reality and virtual reality marketing as those functions continue to come available. This also means continuing to look for virtual tour software so that you can stay on top of the technology.
Share Your Expertise in Videos
Video ads are a key part of your real estate marketing strategy. Continue to use your video ads and expand your video presence beyond them. Create videos where you offer answers to the most asked questions from homebuyers. You’ll help inform potential customers and you’ll build trust by demonstrating your expertise. Create videos perfect for sites like YouTube (typically 7-15 minutes in length) and short videos for sites like TikTok (1 – 3 minutes).
Keep up with video trends on social media and YouTube so that your videos stay relevant on the sites. Watch for changes in how people and artificial intelligence interact with videos as well. Look for videos to become more interactive for users and for search bots to be able to “listen” to videos for keywords.
These are a few of the most successful strategies we have seen for real estate digital marketing. More importantly, though, these are the trends where we are seeing fast technological advancement. If you look at not just optimizing but preparing for advancements, you’ll ensure that people will continue to find you and trust you to help them find their homes. You’re demonstrating your expertise.