If you're looking for a way to build your online visibility, you've probably heard about content marketing. But what is it exactly and why should you use it?
Content is any useful, informative material you publish online to help your audience answer a question or solve a problem. Content is crucial to your digital marketing for two main reasons:
To create a flourishing practice with a full pipeline and the right measure of work-life balance, you'll need to make the most of both these advantages.
Previewing your value is critical because most people who encounter you for the first time aren't ready to buy or sell just yet. It may be weeks or even months before they decide to make their move. Thanks to content, you have a way to strengthen your relationship throughout all that intervening time.
On the other hand, more prominent search positioning means more people will be exposed to your message. The more prospects you have, the more leads you may acquire in a given period of time.
Content doesn't solve every major quandary you'll encounter during your marketing. Your real estate website still needs to be optimized to convert first-time visitors into appointments. Without that piece of the puzzle, greater attention from search traffic won't translate into bottom-line value.
But content does establish the foundation you can build on for many years to come.
The Four Most Important Things to Know About Content Marketing
If you're new to content marketing, it's not unusual to be intimidated by all the different methods and tools. It seems like everyone has their own approach to the subject. Instead of trying to decide which is the best, it's most valuable to pick a place and dive in.
To make that easier, here are the things about content marketing you absolutely must know:
There Are Many Different Types of Content
In the broadest sense, everything is content: Blogs, videos, social media posts, photos, infographics, and the rest. But when you're just getting started, it doesn't mean you need to do "a little bit of everything." On the contrary, it is often best to choose one or two methods that you can stick with reliably.
To begin, you might decide to publish one new blog post a week. These can focus on topics relevant to your audience, such as home financing or local neighborhoods. From there, you might decide to add one video a month based on the previous month's most popular blog and so on.
It's essential not to go overboard in the early stages, as you might burn out before you see real results. One way to keep that from happening is to use only the social media network where you know your ideal customers are found. Instagram is a good start, with LinkedIn for high-end luxury properties.
All Content Should Have a Call to Action (CTA)
Content helps deepen trust and raise online visibility as a matter of course. But that's not all content can or should do for you. Every piece of content has the potential to move people through your sales funnel. Doing so depends on having the right call to action at the end of every content piece.
For example, your blogs might end with a CTA to join your email marketing list for a weekly round-up of the most valuable content. Your email messages, on the other hand, could have their own CTA aimed at getting your subscribers to set up an appointment and give you a call.
One strange piece of selling psychology has been proven over and over again: People won't "take the next step" unless you specifically spell out what it is! So, be certain you know where each content piece fits in your overall strategy and craft your CTAs accordingly.
Your First Six Months of Content Should Be "Evergreen"
Evergreen content is any content that's relevant to the vast majority of first-time website visitors and rarely needs to be updated. For instance, if you develop a series of blogs about getting your finances ready to buy a home, this will be very valuable to first-time homebuyers, and the fundamentals rarely change. Remember: Every piece of content can have an impact for years to come!
Visual Content Empowers Promotion
Content works best when you have means of promoting it, which is where social media marketing and email come in. But getting people to slow down and pay attention is no easy task. Ideally, all content should feature photos. All in all, videos get more attention than plain text content.
Contact us to learn more about content marketing today.
Keeping in touch with clients and nurturing leads doesn't have to be a chore. Email marketing doesn't have to take too much time from your busy day. You really can increase the success rate of your marketing and save time without compromising on quality.
Email drip campaigns provide potent, reliable solutions to some of the most common marketing challenges faced by real estate agents, allowing you to stay in touch in a way that makes more sense for both you and your audience.
Here's why you should be using email drip campaigns, along with some proven tips to help you make the most of this powerful marketing tool.
What Are Email Drip Campaigns?
Email drip campaigns are built around automated email series which are sent to clients or leads over time, with little effort required on your end. Rather than sending out individualized email blasts or overwhelming your audience with content, drip campaigns provide timely, tailored content designed to appeal to different segments of your audience. The content in email drip campaigns is built to inform your audience, help them make decisions, and provide the information they want to see at just the right time.
The Advantages of Email Drip Campaigns
Tips for Setting Up Effective Email Drip Campaigns
The first step for successful email drip campaigns is to segment your audience. Campaigns are designed to appeal to different segments of your audience, like buyer leads, seller leads, and past clients, so it's important for the right campaign to reach the right group. Planning ahead in this way will increase open rates and enhance the impact of your email marketing.
Leverage Email Drip Campaigns and So Much More with the DeltaNET
Ready to enjoy the benefits of email drip campaigns and enjoy access to tons of other easy-to-use tools that can help you grow your real estate brand? The DeltaNET, our real estate all-in-one solution, integrates all of the tools you need to level up your marketing game. With the right real estate tech, you can maximize your marketing, provide better service to clients, and save tons of time in the process.
Whether you're an individual agent or you manage a whole team, success in real estate often starts with time management. It may feel like there are never enough hours in the day to tackle every important task... but what if you had a helping hand from reliable real estate tech to handle the tedious yet important tasks that can easily clog up your daily schedule? Just as importantly, how would you invest all of the extra time that automation can free up in your workday?
With a little help from technology, agents can spend less time on repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and more time on providing the best possible service to clients. Here's what automation really means, and how your real estate firm can benefit from it.
Here's What Automation Really Means
Nearly every industry has tasks that are better handled by machines than humans, and real estate is no exception. The difference is that instead of robotics and fancy factory equipment, real estate relies primarily on software to automate key tasks without sacrificing on quality. Automation can be an essential element of your lead generation, marketing, and so much more.
Getting Started with Real Estate Automation
When you're ready to start benefiting from automation, the first thing you'll need is a powerful all-in-one solution like the DeltaNET. This is where you'll find many of the dependable tools that help you automate the time-consuming daily tasks that are essential to real estate success in an easy-to-use package that's designed with agents in mind. The right real estate CRM integrates automation with many other handy tools that help you manage relationships, attract new clients, master your marketing, and save tons of time in the process.
How Automation Helps You Generate and Manage Leads
Lead generation and segmentation are two areas where automation really shines. The DeltaNET helps you generate more leads with tools like lead capture forms, tracked email marketing, and AI-driven email & print newsletters. Keep all of your leads in the know with auto-generated My HomeFinder, Market Watch, and Seller Reports. Then use convenient email templates or SMS text messaging to plan the perfect follow-up.
Lead segmentation is an essential task for saving time and increasing productivity, so automated lead segmentation will be a welcome addition to any agent's repertoire. With automated lead segmentation, agents can easily see where each lead stands, where to focus their energy, and what might be necessary to turn each lead into a client. That process is made even easier with interactive lead visibility, as well as robust tracking that makes it simple to anticipate their needs.
Attracting New Clients and Promoting Properties with Automation
Automation can also help you handle many key marketing tasks, both in terms of attracting new clients and marketing properties for existing clients. Email marketing is one of the biggest areas where automation can save you time, with tools like our smart drip email campaigns that make it easy to send the right email marketing to the right people at the right time. When your outreach calls for a more personal touch, customizable eCards and Flyers provide the perfect supplement to automation.
For marketing properties, our Properties in Motion platform automatically pulls information from MLS, and automatically feeds videos to your real estate website and Facebook page. You can also use the integrated texting platform to text new listings, price changes, and open houses to clients.
How Automation Helps You Handle Success
One reality of real estate is that success creates more work. More leads to manage, more clients to serve, more properties to market, and more administrative tasks to keep the whole machine running at peak efficiency. Expecting your existing team to simply handle all of that extra work is sure to lead to burnout, unhappy team members, and likely diminished production. Hiring more people is one way to handle that extra workload, but comes with its own risks, costs, and time commitments.
Automation is one of the tools that can help your team — or you as an individual agent — continue to thrive as your brand grows. It can cut down on the need for extra hires, make life easier for your team, and simplify the process of scaling your business over time.
Are You Ready to Experience the Benefits of Automation First-Hand?
In the fast-paced world of real estate, working smart is just as important as working hard — and automation can help you do both. In the end, the biggest benefit of automation is that it leaves you with more time to focus on the tasks that matter most and that you enjoy most. With software handling tedious, time-consuming tasks in the background, you can invest all of your time on the many parts of real estate that still require the human element.
Leads are the lifeblood of any real estate agent's practice, no matter whether they are experienced or just starting out. In the beginning, agents invest hours into finding the right leads every month. In time, the balance shifts to include more referral business and leads attracted by your website.
No matter where they come from, though, leads remain crucially important: Without them, you'll soon find yourself with nothing to do. That raises some big questions about "old" leads who don't convert in a week, a month, or even six months. What can you do with these connections?
It's true, of course, that some older connections won't stay leads for very long:
It's undeniably true that most people you meet for the first time will not be ready to buy or sell a home within that same week. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the majority of potential leads ultimately go elsewhere. Just because you haven't heard from someone, it doesn't mean their story is over.
As the real estate agent, it's up to you to follow up — and it's never been easier to do just that.
Following Up with Old Leads Can Empower Your Practice to Grow
No matter how you define an old lead, they aren't off the table until they tell you they've decided to work with someone else. Even when leads inform you they won't be taking action any time soon, it means you can always follow up again in a few months!
If you've got a Rolodex (or more likely a real estate CRM) full of old leads you haven't heard from in a while, many can still turn into opportunities. Real estate is a sales profession at heart, and successful salespeople swear by their efforts to follow up as much as possible before writing a lead off.
All in all, 60% of customers say "no" four times before saying "yes." But real estate agents are at a huge advantage here: Leads rarely say "no" directly to you, but only to the timing that making a move right now would represent. In the end, they still want a real estate agent, and you can still be that person.
Here's how to follow up with your old leads the right way:
Delta Media Group helps real estate pros realize the power of automation for themselves — no matter if you're a solo operation or heading a large brokerage. Contact us to find out more or get started today.
With the economy on the brink of a potential recession and headwinds heading our way, now is as good of a time as any to evaluate how you can save money in your budget for 2022 and start planning for 2023. Some of the biggest expenses real estate brokerages face are with their online technology and digital marketing. With more than seven years of experience helping real estate firms consolidate their technology budgets, I'd like to share my experience on where to start this process.
First and foremost: recognize where you still need to spend. The worst thing you can do when evaluating where to make cuts is jeopardize your future growth. I have always been fond of the analogy: stepping over a dollar to chase pennies. I have seen brokerages make one huge mistake over and over again when looking to save money quickly. That mistake: cutting SEO/digital marketing expenses.
One area where Delta Media Group® specializes is search engine optimization. SEO is the most cost-effective long-term strategy to keep your brand visible in search engines and generate qualified leads online. Many brokerages fail to realize that SEO is not a silver bullet that grants immediate results. It typically takes three-to-six months to get an effective SEO campaign started. Think of it as getting a snowball ready and starting to push it down a hill. Once the ball rolls downhill, it accumulates more snow and gets bigger and bigger. SEO is the same way; the longer you do it correctly, the more Google rewards your domain and begins to feature it more often in the search results.
The problem that many brokerages don't realize is that you can't just stop doing SEO and expect those results to stay the same. If you've been conducting an effective SEO strategy for years and believe you can simply stop that spending without impacting your results and lead generation, you would be dead wrong. As I said, SEO is like a snowball, and the longer you do it effectively, the better your rewards will be in traffic and leads. Once you stop doing SEO effectively, Google is quick to slow down their crawling of your site, impacting site visibility, traffic, and leads. We have seen time and time again companies who spent tens of thousands of dollars for years on SEO simply stop doing it to tighten up budgets. Once that decision is made, the website domain loses all the traction they've spent years earning in as quickly as one month.
One example, I recently saw a brokerage of ours that was on our platform for more than five years. This company had tens of thousands of pages indexed in Google (which effectively means those were all pages Google had crawled and ranked, allowing people to find their website domain through Google's search engine). Within 30 days of stopping SEO services, their number of pages in Google's index had dropped to less than 3,600 pages. That is an 86% decrease in site visibility. For this particular brokerage, more than 60% of all leads generated on their website were attributed to organic traffic through SEO. This is a massive blow to the new listing and buyer lead opportunities that will no longer hit their site.
Another example is a brokerage partner of ours who ceased SEO in 2019. In early 2021 he shared with me that he could directly track more than $400,000 in lost GCI that he would've had if he had continued his SEO spend with us. He lost more than $400,000 in an effort to save money (his total spend was $2,000/month). I would spend $24,000 to make $400,000 every day of the week. This is a prime example of stepping over a dollar to chase pennies.
Another area you absolutely need to keep in mind when figuring out which expenses to keep versus cut is your CRM/online advertising. One of the first things I do when consulting with real estate brokerages to either make a switch to our platform or evaluate their existing package with us is to run a usage report to find out which tools are actually being used by their agents. Finding out which tools are being used versus which are not is the first step in recognizing what to cut or keep.
A major trend I'm seeing more and more in the real estate world is brokerages choosing what technology services to provide for their agents versus which tools the agents should be paying for themselves. For example, you may want to provide every single agent in your organization with a website + CRM solution. You can do that fairly affordably, but it may not make sense for your organization to provide every agent with a full suite of marketing tools that less than 30% of them use daily. There are options and packages available on the market today that would allow a brokerage to provide agents with a baseline technology package. It would also allow the agents to enter their own credit cards to purchase these additional technology services/offerings for themselves. The brokerage saves money, and the agents, who actually want to use these tools, can pay for it themselves. In this model, many brokerages will provide their top producers with the technology stack for free based on production.
Now let's talk about where to start looking to consolidate. I'll be the first to challenge the industry consultants who are continuing to push brokerages more and more towards a "best in class" type technology stack where companies are going out and purchasing premium products that are really just a feature. I believe some brokerages in the real estate vertical have been steered down a dangerous path over the last two years out of fear that has been conjured up by industry consultants looking to get as many technology vendors integrated with a real estate brokerage as possible. You don't need five different companies implemented to service your CRM, email marketing, website, property search, or listing notifications. It's an exorbitant expense to try and get five different vendors integrated and working together to do the work that any all-in-one platform could accomplish for a fraction of the price.
I will say it again. The all-in-one technology model is by far the most effective way to get a polished technology platform that will do everything you need it to do. The reality is technology platforms like the DeltaNET® can be both all-in-one and best in class. I know many brokerages fear "putting all the eggs in one basket" due to major technology acquisitions in the last decade. Look at Booj's acquisition by Re/Max, Compass acquiring Contactually, or, more recently, Propertybase getting acquired by LoneWolf. The simple fact of the matter is there are truly independent technology providers in the marketplace that have survived economic uncertainty and even have a guarantee to remain independent. In every Delta Media Group contract, there is a guarantee that CEO Michael Minard will remain the sole owner and operator of Delta, with protections for our clients that we will not sell.
Particularly in the last two years, I have seen many technology vendors enter the marketplace that do "just one thing really well." Premium email marketing companies or premium CRM services that charge an extremely high per-user fee should be some of the first vendors you evaluate cutting when looking to shore up budgets. Why spend $40/month for a stand-alone CRM product when other services on the marketplace can accomplish nearly the exact same functionality for a fraction of the cost? I have seen direct examples of brokerages that are spending more than $150 per agent per month on technology solutions that could be provided in an all-in-one platform like the DeltaNET for less than $30 per user per month.
It's not just CRM services, either. True "all-in-one" providers should be able to give you everything your business needs to run effectively. For example, you may not need to pay for a stand-alone "Automated Valuation Service" to be integrated into your website. For some companies, it's a product to sell. For true all-in-one providers like Delta Media Group, it's simply a feature built into our website services.
Another example of an area to look at when consolidating is CMA products. While many boards across the country offer a free CMA product included in their dues, there are also many markets where agencies are forced to go out and purchase their own CMA products. True all-in-one providers offer that as a feature of their services. We recently launched Delta Pitch, which is marketed as the industry's easiest-to-use CMA builder on the market. Customers on digital marketing packages with Delta Media Group received this CMA builder as a free add-on to their services, allowing them to save money by cutting other third-party CMA products.
One of the biggest expenses brokerages face is social media content. Making their brand and their agents look good on social media isn't cheap. There are entire companies whose sole focus is curating real estate content and publishing it to social channels. Within the DeltaNET, our brokerage partners receive automated social media postings to all their social channels included in our all-in-one package. It's not only "just listed" or "just sold" content, either. Our digital marketing team adds more than a dozen articles to our "My Customer for Life" newsletter platform each month. That content includes buyer, seller, and home improvement articles, which can automatically be shared to all of your agent's social media accounts. This is true content running to their channels at no additional expense.
Other areas to look at are open house management apps, learning management systems, automated listing videos/virtual tours, and enterprise file storage platforms. Within our all-in-one environment, we feature built-in services like Open House Connector, DeltaNET Academy, Properties in Motion, and Cloud Delta, all as integrated services bundled in with our digital marketing packages to save our customers money. If you were to piecemeal just these services, you would be spending more than $60 per user just for these four products. With an all-in-one provider, you get all of that and more.
The final area I want to highlight is paid advertising strategies. In our decades of experience with online advertising, we have seen brokerages with budgets over $400,000/year for online ads. While Pay Per Click and social media advertising spending are certainly effective, they often aren't accomplishing quite as much as you'd think. While I certainly don't advocate cutting your paid online spending entirely, I would challenge you to consider where you spend your money for online ads. Spending $2,500 on Facebook Ads versus Google Pay Per Click advertising will yield entirely different results. In our experience, social advertising will greatly boost the total number of visitors to your site; however, it will have a minimal impact on lead generation.
On the other hand, spending that money on Google PPC will yield much less traffic to the site, but you're likely to generate significantly more leads. These leads will not be as qualified as organic traffic from SEO efforts; however, they are still leads nonetheless. If the goal is more brand impressions, then social advertising is the way to go. If the goal is immediate lead generation, you're better off spending the money on PPC. If the goal is a long-term quality lead strategy, you're better off putting that budget into SEO. Clients on our platform typically see an average cost per lead of $2.00-$10.00 from SEO strategies, while you may see an average of $20-$30 per paid lead with PPC strategies.
If you're looking for help or want to know how to analyze the technology products your brokerage has in place and consolidate those services to save money, please reach out to me through firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 866-233-9833.
Great customer service helps set the best real estate agencies apart from the rest. Even if you are an independent agent at the helm of your own practice, you still have many opportunities to deliver truly memorable customer service that keeps people coming back for more.
From the very first moment a lead reaches out to you on your website, you have the chance to create a bond by responding as quickly as possible. Research shows that if you react within a few minutes, you are much more likely to close an agreement than an agent who responds sometime the next day.
One interesting challenge in real estate is the fact you must drive exceptional customer service even before a website visitor has actually made contact with you. To sow the seeds of trust that lead to an engagement, your real estate website must represent your best self.
Although your website is your most versatile branding and marketing tool, you remain the star of the show. People who decide to work with you are choosing you for your local expertise and the way you present your skills as the answer to their unique problems. So, customer service remains personal.
Setting a High Standard for Customer Service in Real Estate
By formulating a customer service philosophy and strategy early in your career, you can ensure that your website, email marketing, and other collateral work together to reinforce your brand image. Of course, you'll also be far more likely to close deals once you speak to prospective customers!
Let's take a look at some of the ways you can make customer service a core strength:
Contact us to find out more about how automation can raise customer service to the next level.
Digital marketing has the potential to open doors, create connections, and take your real estate brand to the next level. Is your digital marketing in need of a refresh? Just like with real estate markets, digital marketing trends evolve over time, so it's wise to re-examine your marketing tactics periodically to ensure that you're maximizing ROI and generating as many new, high-quality leads as possible. Start with a closer look at these reliable digital marketing tactics to build trust, grow your brand, and streamline your lead generation.
Start with a Great Real Estate Website
Your real estate website is the essential element for a successful digital marketing strategy, and there's more to consider than just how nice your website looks. Ideally, you want to provide a seamless experience, allowing your audience to research listings, neighborhoods, communities, and your real estate brand, all in one convenient package. Of course, you'll also want to integrate search engine optimization (SEO), which will improve your visibility in search results and help leads find you. Many digital marketing tactics drive traffic to your website, so you want people to be impressed and informed from the moment they arrive.
Explore New Opportunities for Content Creation
Are you creating informative, entertaining real estate content that generates leads and demonstrates your expertise? Real estate content is a key element of a successful real estate website and should be a pillar of your digital marketing plan. Blog posts are a great place to start, but don't be afraid to try out other types of content, as well. Video content is more popular than ever, so why not grab your phone, pick up a few peripherals to make filming easier, and become the next real estate video star? Even if you don't take a starring role, creating property videos like you can make with our Properties in Motion platform is a great way to market your listings.
Optimize Your Social Media Marketing
Effective social media marketing is one of the best ways to grow your brand online and take your digital marketing to the next level. Focus on the most popular social platforms for real estate, like Facebook and Instagram, as you grow your social presence. The real estate content that you create is ideal for social sharing, and you can use your social presence to drive more traffic to your website. Remember that engagement is crucial for social success. The time that you spend interacting with your audience and building connections is just as important as all your other social marketing activities.
Save Time and Generate Leads with Smart Email Campaigns
One of the most appealing things about digital marketing is that you don't always have to invest a ton of your own time in order to find success. Smart drip email campaigns are an excellent example of that concept in action, allowing you to stay in touch, inform your audience, and nurture leads with pre-planned, automated email marketing. Take advantage of email marketing campaigns designed specifically for different segments of your audience, from buyers to sellers, and remind them why you're the right choice when they're ready to take the next steps on their real estate journey.
Quickly Expand Your Audience with Paid Advertising
While the payoff is worth the wait, some digital marketing tools and tactics take time to yield the desired results. But what about when you want to generate more leads right now? With AdWizard Paid Advertising and Pay Per Click Advertising, you can easily create, launch, and track paid advertising campaigns on the biggest social platforms. Start planning your next Instagram or Facebook advertising campaign with easy-to-use tools that allow you to customize every key aspect of your ad. These tools are a great place to start if you're new to digital marketing and searching for ways to quickly expand your audience.
Show Your Value with Social Proof
As you use your digital marketing to turn more leads into clients, remember that those existing clients can be a big help in attracting new business. In addition to good, old-fashioned referrals, your clients can give your marketing a boost by leaving reviews and providing testimonials online. That type of social proof is worth its weight in gold, so be sure to share it on your website and social pages.
How Will You Level Up Your Marketing for 2023?
The most successful real estate agents and brands always have one eye on the future, so now is the perfect time to start planning for a successful 2023. If your marketing is in need of a refresh, we're here to help you level up your lead generation with dependable and innovative tools designed specifically for real estate. Start planning ahead now, and make 2023 your best year yet.
This video demonstrates use of the Income and Expense Report functionality built into the DeltaNET.