With the large inventory of pre-construction homes available now, real estate agents have an opportunity to benefit from the sales of new developments as well as attract new clients. Of course, to do this, agents will also need a strategy to gain a competitive edge over other agents.
In the first part of this blog, we went over the first 6 action items to help lay the foundation of creating a proper strategy in promoting new developments. If you missed the first part, you can click on this link of Part-1 to follow in chronological order.
For those who have already read part 1, we’re going to continue where we left off, which was advertising, email campaigns, and social media.
Let’s start off with step seven. Which brings us to Google AdWords…
7. Google AdWords
Depending on your area, you will most likely be competing with other tech savvy agents and they are probably following the same steps as you. The purpose of creating Google AdWords is to have your landing page pop up as a result when potential clients are looking for more information about the new development. To appear as the solution to Google search engine inquiries, you will have to do some research in regards to the keywords clients may be inputting. Google will walk you through the steps when you are setting up your Ads, so I won’t spend too much time on this blog addressing Google AdWords. If you are unfamiliar with how it works, here is a link to Google’s page which displays the steps https://goo.gl/YnT5gS. You will need to keep a few things in mind here:
- Pricing: You will have to bid on certain keywords. As you may have competition, prices will vary
- Description: Be sure to write a description of the development
- Keywords: Check for keywords related to the project name, city or neighborhood
8. Social Media
There are social media platforms you can use, for this blog however, I am going to focus on Facebook. Facebook is a great and simple way to generate interest in your local market about the upcoming project. Typically, agents receive pictures, videos, logos and other advertising material, so you won’t have to spend too much time in terms of design. So, what can you do on Facebook?
- Post on your business page: You need to create excitement about the new project. Highlight the greatest aspects of the development, including the surrounding neighborhood, to position this as an investment opportunity that they don’t want to miss. You don’t want to overload on information, so pick 3-4 of the greatest selling points about the development, just enough to have them contact you. Do not forget to have a call to action! You can write a brief introduction to some of the pictures, and include your information including a link to your website (or landing page) and your phone number.
- Share your post Now that you have posted the information on your business page, share that post on your personal profile. This will not only generate awareness about the project, but also about your business page so friends can like and engage with your business profile. That’s right, we’re trying to do two birds with one stone.
- Boost The Post: Select one of your posts about the project, and boost it on Facebook. Ensure that it’s not too content heavy, that you have a variety of photos, and that you choose your call to action button. When selecting an audience, be sure to keep it local. For example, if the city the development is in is San Francisco, then you will choose San Francisco and the surrounding area to boost this post. Remember, you can set a budget and measure how your ad is performing in addition to the reach your ad has gained.
- Lead Capturing Form: Facebook also offers a lead capturing form. Think of this as a landing page, but users don’t leave Facebook. You can set the type of information you would like to receive from potential leads, however, you need to keep in mind the more questions you ask, or the more fields leads have to fill out, the less likely they will do so. Ask for their name, email and phone number. You may also put an extra field about where they are currently located. When a user clicks on the lead capturing form, Facebook automatically completes their name, email and phone number, so the user only needs to click ‘submit’. The easier it is for the user, the better it is for you. You will have to check your forms. You can download them in Excel, so you can check often. Add new leads to your database and send them emails.
- Instagram: While you’re creating your ad, you can easily integrate your Instagram account right from Facebook. Depending on your market, you may find leads and engagement through this platform. You must be sure that the picture is appealing and the content is precise, intriguing and to the point. If you haven’t used Instagram yet, you may want to try it and see how the results work for you.
9. Email Campaigns
Once you have captured leads, either from your landing page, website or social media, you will need to ensure that each person is added to your database. Here are the stages of email campaigns you can send out to your leads:
- No Information Yet: If you do not have information about the pricing or the floor plans yet, this email is to confirm that they have registered to be a part of your VIP list and will be the first to get information about the new development. Keep the excitement alive in the email with pictures and content. Even though it’s online marketing, you’re still a salesperson.
- Pricing and Information is Released: Email your database with the pricing and the information. Most likely, it will be a PDF you are sending. Be sure to have your contact information within the email and the package. Include your phone number, office address and email; every way someone can reach you. VIP pricing typically has a deadline to purchase exclusive offers, don’t lose the momentum.
- Call: For those who provided their phone numbers, call them in addition to the email. Ensure that they received the email and encourage them to meet with you. If they are not interested in this particular development, try to better understand their situation and what they are looking for in the future. Set up a meeting to find something that is right for them. Turn these leads into clients.
- Reminder Emails: Send out about 2-3 reminder emails, depending on the date of the deadline. Remind them of the greatest features, their VIP access and the benefits of the investments. You can highlight pricing and investment points, now that you have the information.
- Next Steps: If the units for the development are sold out, or if a certain time has passed, send out an email that other opportunities exist. Encourage your leads to call you or set up an appointment to find what is right for them, and that you are able to help them find the right home and lifestyle they are looking for. You can still convert your leads into clients, even if it’s not for this particular development. Notify them as well, that they will receive VIP access first for any future opportunities, and that you will keep them informed about new and upcoming projects.
Development projects and pre-construction homes can be tricky, especially if it’s a great opportunity, because that means that your competition will be fierce. However, the rewards can be worth it. If you have never been involved with pre-constructions, or if this is the first time you’re looking to create an online strategy, it can feel a little overwhelming. However, once you promote your first, the rest will become easier for you to implement. You will also begin to pick up on patterns that work with your local market and continue to strengthen your marketing plan.