Real estate marketing evolves at a rapid pace, and in such a competitive environment, real estate agents need to be at the forefront of the very latest trends to respond to the needs of their evolving clientele. Hot markets, fluctuating demand, evolving technology, and new generations of homeowners all play a role in shaping the real estate market — and how real estate agents approach it.

Competition forces creativity

The Toronto housing market has made headlines worldwide with its scorching hot offers, but it has also shown how aggressive the space can be for realtors to compete in, forcing them to get really creative with offers.

Taking this market as an example, some agents have started offering a night out as a thank you to customers, an annual membership to a local gym or fitness club, the free use of a drone to show the property, free staging – even going as far as they lower their commissions.

While this isn’t always portrayed as a best practice, it just shows some of the extreme examples that real estate professionals face to bring in new clients in a highly competitive arena. While some of these can serve as good value propositions, especially for the Millennial buyers who enjoy the benefits, sometimes they can seem more like a cosmetic benefit rather than reflecting the real value you provide as an agent.

These four marketing trends define real estate space — and agents need to be mindful of them.

The discovery process is digital

Have you ever heard the mantra, “content is King?” Content is at the heart of all marketing strategies as one of the most effective methods of getting more attention for your website. It generates cheap leads, organic traffic and helps qualify your prospects. If there isn’t enough compelling content online outlining why you stand out from the competition and what you offer, you’ll be passed over in a few clicks.

Advertising on Facebook is growing

Real estate professionals are realizing the benefits of spending some of their budget on Facebook ads to run individualized advertising campaigns targeting their specific segments. This approach proves to be a powerful return on quality leads and conversions, which also pairs well with IXACT Contact’s Social Intelligence feature, which gives you instant access to your contacts’ social media pages for a holistic view of how well they are responding on your ads and content.

Real estate professionals must master content marketing

Generic content won’t survive these days – it has to be hyper-targeted to adapt to the specific needs of the customer. And as Google tightens up their algorithm every year, it puts a very high emphasis on quality and useful content, and how to properly target it to meet the needs of your audience. Ebooks, infographics, video series, webinars, and blogs have become the holy grail in terms of communicating your value effectively and using them as pieces to help prospects grow.

Which goes back to why a “one-size-fits-all” content solution won’t work, because a homeowner in their 20s isn’t looking for content that’s more related to an empty nester headed for retirement – it has to be hyper focused.

More agents are moving to marketing automation

“The only reason this trend is: doesn’t go faster is because real estate professionals just don’t know how to do it.” – In man

Wise brokers learned a long time ago that they cannot consistently manually contact every lead, but they knew they could rely on technology to do that for them. The fact is, you don’t have to spend time transferring a new lead to your CRM and email marketing software and have them added to a continuous lead drop system. Another misconception many agents have is that they believe that premium real estate marketing software will break the bank – which is completely untrue.

It’s time to debunk this myth once and for all.

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