Whether you are new to real estate development or have been at it for years, you need to effectively market yourself. Blending a combination of decades-old marketing tactics with modern-day online medium gives you the best chance of success. Below are five tips to help you figure out what to focus on the best chance of success in today’s development landscape.
1. Look Professional (but don’t break the bank):
These days, websites run the gamut from incredible complexity to simpler sites with fewer pages and functionality. If you are just starting out, you probably don’t have a huge budget or a lot of projects to display. Try beginning with a simpler — 1-3 page site — that you can add to as you grow. Play up your strengths and services, and don’t be afraid to let your company’s personality shine! As you grow and have more projects under your belt, add more functionality. Think about including a gallery and project pages to show off your work, a client-only area of your site to communicate during project development, etc. If you are established and have many projects to display – don’t be shy! Provide a compelling gallery with beautiful photography, copy that talks about successes of the project, even video and client testimonials.
Added tip: make sure your logo, business identity, writing tone, etc. matches your site. A consistent look and feel will help you stick in prospects’ heads.
2. Build and Nurture Leads:
Sure, there are lists out there you can buy – and they may work from time to time – but the best way to build a lead list is to find ‘warm’ leads – leads that you have met through networking, or even connections of people you are in contact with via LinkedIn. Once you make a connection, don’t forget about them! Follow up in a timely manner, and keep following up, and make sure you reinforce your company’s services. If you have a list of leads and haven’t followed up recently, reach out and ask how the prospect’s needs have changed since you last communicated.
3. Remember SEM!
By now, you’ve probably heard of search engine marketing. There are two types – paid and organic. Organic is what you really want to focus on when you are first starting out because it’s free! Performing a keyword analysis will help you understand not only what words to use in your content, but also what topics your prospects are looking for. Use those terms and phrases and you will have a greater potential to rank higher in search results!
You can also utilize pay-per-click (PPC) SEM. With PPC, you choose the search terms and phrases you want to target, with a link to your website (or specific web page) showing in the search results in various sponsored-areas — usually placed at the top and on the right-hand side. If someone clicks on your link, you pay. There is no one set cost; you will ‘bid’ on the search terms and the cost will depend on the marketing demand for that term.
4. Be Informative and Relevant:
Though you are busy running your company, writing articles and blogs helps establish your company as an expert, and build confidence in you. Utilize keyword research to make sure you are writing about what your prospects want to hear. Content also allows you to outsource the writing since you may not always have the time to keep up. By providing a professional copywriter some key points to cover, they can craft an interesting and informative article that will resonate with your prospects.
5. Set a Realistic Budget:
Even smaller websites can be expensive, but they are a cost of doing business these days. You want to look good – your website will likely be the first time a prospect sees you, so make sure it looks great. Studies have shown that 75% of people judge the credibility of a company based on its website, and 94% feel that websites with good designs are more trustworthy. Your website is also a reflection of your work – if you have a first-class, beautiful site, prospects will intuitively think you do first-class, beautiful work. If your site looks like you didn’t invest time or effort into it, prospects may form a different opinion.
Still not sure where to start, or how to improve your marketing efforts? We’re happy to help. We’re happy to help — sign up for a free marketing expert session and learn which tactics are best for your real-estate development business.