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The Future of Digital Marketing for Real Estate.

Realbase 24 Feb 2022

2022 is the year digital marketing goes mainstream in the real estate industry. What advances and trends are we seeing, and predicting?

With so many agents and offices beholden to the property portals, digital marketing presents a unique opportunity to take back control. In this webinar, Stefan Williams, a co-founder of both Campaigntrack and the AIM Digital Marketing solution and Brad Slade-Smith, founder of Red Valkyrie, talks about the basic (but important!) foundations of an effective digital marketing solution and some industry predictions for the year ahead!

Key takeaways

1. Mass adoption is well underway

Currently, around 10% of all properties use any form of digital marketing. Within a few years this will be close to 100%. Smart agents and principals are seeing great benefit from adopting early and more are following suit. Digital is now not a fringe element, but an increasingly necessary part of the essential marketing toolkit for property and agents.

2. Multi-channel ad campaigns are more effective & provide more coverage, it's not only about Facebook

Digital marketing that uses multiple channels, including Google, Facebook & Instagram as well as organic posts provide better coverage, better performance, and branding power. It’s not only about social media advertising nowadays. If you're only using social media, you're missing out on 50% of the population and missing out on the amazing branding power that website display ads deliver. Search ads, too are increasingly popular with the automation available in AIM, they are the best performing channel for leads.

3. Traditional property portals are about the last 6 weeks of the buyer/seller journey. But the buyer/seller journey lasts an average of 19.7 months.* If you want to be present during all of it, digital marketing is the answer

*Google research shows the average property journey is 19.7 months. Agents and brands increasingly know that it's about much more than just the last 6 weeks of having a listing on a property portal. Impressing future sellers and attracting buyers sooner is something that helps you be top of mind when sellers get serious.

4. In as little as 2 years, digital marketing will have a similar spend to your portal investment, for a similar or better return

With the added benefit of being within your ecosystem, on your brand, driving your remarketing audiences. With the demise of print, portals have done their best to try to monopolize the marketing budget. We predict a turn-around where digital marketing will be seen as separate from, and equally important to a listing on the property portals.

5. Digital remarketing audience size will be a living room discussion point, and a strategic advantage

A remarketing audience is a powerful tool just like your database. It's a list, held within Google & Facebook, that can be used to reconnect with people who have clicked on your ads in the past. This gives your new listings an advantage, tapping into a pool of engaged property researchers in your local area. AIM builds these audiences, not sharing them with your competitors, and they have become a living room talking point. Agents without remarketing audiences miss out on this opportunity to further impress prospective clients.

6. On-brand digital ads will be as important as on-brand signboards

There is no place your brand will be seen more than online & social media - when you do digital marketing. Why would you be ok with off-brand ads online when it's the single most important place to imprint your brand and success on your future clients? Would you accept a signboard that looked generic, with your logo stamped in the corner, or with another company's logo on there as well? We predict that agents, agencies and brands will begin to care more about their digital presence being on-brand.

7. Automation vs Human. Automation wins!

People doing social media and digital marketing manually would need to spend hours setting up campaigns as sophisticated as AIM’s campaigns. Automation is the magic that allows such sophisticated campaigns at such attractive price points. Whilst you can take your own photos, print your own brochures, and do your own social media marketing - should you? We're seeing more agents and offices let the heavy lifting that digital marketing entails be handled by automated solutions - like AIM. It's more effective, lower cost per result, and more sophisticated.

8. Google Search ads for property will become much more commonplace - being the best performing channel

Search ads are highly effective, and effortless in AIM. You can try to play the SEO game, but that's a long and expensive game, but search ads are immediate and work well. Over 20 million google property searches a month means (5 million per month in New Zealand) you should be using it when selling property. Search ads are the most effective channel for leads, and combined with display digital ads and social media really provide a more effective campaign.

9. Combining your database with digital marketing will pay dividends

Load your database, including recent open home attendees and portal enquiry contacts, into AIM and they matched on Facebook. Many of them will start to see more of your ads, at just the right time, and many of them will be upcoming sellers too. Think about the power of people visiting open homes, making enquiries on the portals, starting to see more of your digital ads at just the right time. Powerful stuff.

10. New digital ad types will further improve enquiry and performance

AIM’s automated Facebook lead form ads for example generate more enquiry because they make it easier for people to enquire. As the ad platforms create new ad types and improvements, we are always testing these and selecting the best one for inclusion in our AIM platform. Digital marketing is improving all the time, and this ensures you get the best-performing campaigns you can with almost no effort.

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