Each and every year, society makes huge advances in technology and communication, and staying on top of those trends is vital to remain relevant in the real estate industry! Here are a few hot upcoming trends to keep abreast of in the coming year, so that you can dominate your marketing area.
1. 3D and virtual tours are the wave of the future! Everywhere I look I see more and more agents moving away from open houses and towards virtual tours. The possibilities for this technology are only limited by your imagination. Think about it - you could take virtual tours of dozens of listings over the course of a weekend! Then, it's simply a matter of scheduling a meeting with your buyers, providing a comfy couch and a nice big TV, and you and your clients can virtually walk around any listing that's caught their eye without the hassle of scheduling showings, driving, and inconveniencing the buyer or seller. Or, you could put together a nice video package and e-mail it to an out of town investor so they can view all the spectacular rental properties in your area! It's a great time saving tool, and with the prevelance of buyers doing most of their property searches online, it's only a matter of time before virtual tours are the norm.
2. Prepare to amp up your social media budget! Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are a wonderful way to get your listing out in front of a large group of people. However, these sites are becoming more savvy with regards to marketing revenue, and are starting to catch up with the trend of charging for your advertising. You can now "boost" your posts on many sites - meaning, for a nominal fee, your advertisement will appear in the sidebars of people's personal pages who have indicated through their search history that they'd be interested in what you're offering. This can get a little pricey if you try to boost every single listing, but it definitey helps get that property seen by many more potential customers than just those that have liked or visited your page, and prevents your posts from being buried in the deluge of breakfast photos and memes!
3. Targeted marketing! With the prevelance of sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, it's nearly impossible to get into the top section of any real estate based Google search. Instead, many agents are driving towards more targeted marketing toward a certain niche property or customer type to increase their online presence. Blogging, social media posting, and pretty much anything business related that you do online each day should be tagged with as many specific tags as possible! Try including your zip code, city name, property type.....anything you think is going to catch an interested customers eye when they type something into their search engine and get overwhelmed with 1.5 million results! Your goal here is to stand out from the rest, so remember that the more content you put on the web, the more your SEO numbers will go up!
Of course, nobody is saying to give up on our tried and true marketing methods. There will always be value in the personal touches you provide as an agent! Phone calls, letters, and customer appreciation events are wonderful ways to stay connected with your client base and gain referrals, but it never hurts to be on top of the hottest new trends as early as possible!