Real estate agents juggle a number of different tasks in their day-to-day lives. They counsel clients. They research homes. They travel, tour, and engage with any number of people. One of the primary tasks of a real estate agent (or of a real estate agency), however, is marketing.
Traditional marketing takes the form of flyers, postcards, letters dropped in mailboxes, signs, cold calls…even door-knocking. Oftentimes, an agent isn’t just marketing a particular property; they’re marketing themselves. With the rising dependence on technology and the changing behavior of clients, brought on by the ubiquitous smartphone, marketing is changing too. While content remains extremely important, when combined with visuals, your marketing can capture the best of both worlds.
Here are three essential forms of visual marketing for your real estate business:
A picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words. And, while there a number of undocumented statistics roaming around the web about the human capacity to process visuals, it’s widely acknowledged and agreed that visuals are a natural, quick way to convey important information to human beings. (Yes, even by people who study brains and how they process information.)
In the day and age of Retina displays, better cameras and high-definition television, society is being trained to expect clear, crisp images that clearly convey something. If you don’t believe me, take a look at Pinterest. Now, take a look at your website. Look through your listing photos. Glance through your marketing efforts. Check out your community photos (you do have those, right?).
Are they clean? Sharp? Detailed? Focused? Most importantly, what do they convey? If it’s a house – is it a lifestyle you’re selling? Specific features meant to attract a certain demographic?
If they’re community photos, what emotions do they evoke? Are those in line with what you’re trying to sell? Finally, what about your own photos? Are they the standard REALTOR® photos (you know the ones), or do your photos actually capture you, your brand, your business?
You may have heard this before – including at every real estate conference you’ve ever attended in the past two years – but what they’re saying is right: Don’t discount video in your marketing strategy. Video is a powerful tool. People are attracted to it. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. There are higher click-throughs on newsletters and websites that contain video. (Source) With the release of more sophisticated tablets and larger-screened smartphones, the number of people watching video on their mobile devices is bound to increase.
Do you currently use video? Or do you call this “video”: a slide show of snapshots with some elevator music behind it? There are numbers of ways video can be incorporated into your visual marketing plan – you can show off your personality in an interview. You can use video email. You can make explanatory videos. You can create community photos, that show off the neighborhood. You can actually create an interesting listing video. You can do special video tours for out-of-town clients. (1000watt had some great ideas in their article, “A new dawn for real estate video” – check it out here.)
I’ll ask a question, and you honestly answer…which would you be more interested in:
Unless you’re an Excel-junkie, chances are really good you picked “B.” If you gravitate toward B, wouldn’t your clients as well? How are you serving up statistics? Are you still sending out a basic chart? You can find so many ways to easily create graphic content online, via sites like Canva and Piktochart, that there’s no reason for you to be serving up useful, important information on a tasteless platter. Creative use of graphic content also allows you to maintain brand continuity on all online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, websites, etc.), and embraces the visual learners in your clientele.
Visual marketing is more and more prevalent, and increasingly important, especially in real estate. Don’t be the last to embrace pictures, video and graphic content in your marketplace!
(If you’d like an excellent resource, I recommend reading “The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand,” by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio)