I was recently speaking with one of my Real Estate partners and we were discussing how agents could possibly sell and attract more out of state buyers. Of course the obvious is to advertise more. Spend more money on Google or promote to relocation companies. There are many ways to promote your new listing to out of state buyers.
We stated some of the obvious ways that you can get and attract out-of-state buyers. But what are some creative ways that you could drive business without spending a boatload of money? After a long conversation, we came up with what we thought would help drive business on an affordable, and long term basis. Here they are. But before we get into the good stuff, let’s consider the following.
With most real estate marketing,
it is always good to have high-quality photos taken of the property. This will assist in motivating the buyer to want to get more information about the property. You also want the property to be well kept and give an appearance of ” I have got to get to Florida and see this place”. Additionally, you’ll want to present area amenities like shopping and entertainment.
Number One: Start a BLOG. Oh No, the dreaded B-word. Yes, Start a blog. It really isn’t that difficult and it will make a tremendous difference in your business. Let me break it down to you so that you can get a real-life example of what I am talking about. When I started this site I was so hesitant. I knew that it would take some time and it would take some effort. I had just started a Real Estate Photography company. I was work two other jobs. Full time and part-time and both of these jobs were 50 miles away. Bottom line I was spending 2.5-3 hours a day on the road. I was doing what every Real Estate Photography job that I could on the weekends. I was offering FREE service ( which I still do)
Proving that it works
Here are the facts and the 3 ways I proved that it will work.
There are many types of 360 platforms. Some offer bells and whistles that you may not need. As a beginner I felt that a middle of the road as far as difficulty of us was concerned would be my best bet. I really had so much on the table I didn’t know what to do. As a fellow professional, I know what it means to be busy. However, with all that being said, I needed to prove out in real-life terms that my principles and theories were valid and would stand up.
So after writing 30 plus articles on real estate photography and marketing, I decided it was time to see if placing a post related to one of the local cities on Florida’s Nature Coast on my blog. Would that if fact drives traffic to my site. Long story short, it did. As a matter of fact, it generated more traffic than articles written 3 months prior. I took this concept and expanded it to its own URL. (site) So here’s an example, first, this is the internet so it will work in any city that you work in. (as long as it’s a place of interest i.e. Florida)
Let’s say that you are a real estate agent in Merritt Island. where the heck is Merritt Island Florida? It’s the neighboring town to Cocoa Beach… Oh Now, you get it. You start a blog with all the hot spots in your town. Maybe your Blog is ” Where is Merritt Island.com” Or hot spots in Cocoa beach. Once you begin to write articles that are related to this area of the state, you’ll begin to see results. Of course, within your blog, you should have a way for your out of area buyers to get a hold of you.
There are the mechanics of all this. I’m not going to go into all of that in this post, however, if you send me an email, I would be happy to walk you through it. That’s number one, It works. It takes 3-6 months to see results, but it doesn’t cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. You will own the site and all the leads that come from it.
Your Next Tool.
Number two: Youtube, Yes start a youtube channel. most of what I said above applies here. Except for youtube obviously offers a much better visual experience than say still pictures. It takes longer to narrate and produce a video. It can be a bit of a learning curve as well as the fact that if you are wanting to self promote, having video of oneself can be a little intimidating. Let’s talk about how to use Youtube as a way to way to market to out of state buyers. Starting a youtube channel. It’s not difficult, all you need is a Gmail address and you are pretty much ready to go.
So, again you will want to start your Youtube channel with a name that represents the area or maybe the style of homes you represent. Maybe it’s beach homes of cocoa beach. Or maybe it’s a How to site, with tips on how to move to Florida and live the Florida lifestyle. You get the point.
As you begin to add video’s you will see more and more traffic. The traffic will presumably get you leads and it didn’t cost you any more than your time and creativity. Again if you need help with the mechanics of the process I can be reached at john@Imagestreetsphotography.com
It’s all about the Visuals
Number three hundred sixty degrees: You are probably thinking what in the world is John talking about?? We here we go. I save this idea for last because the first two will support the third idea. What is the meaning behind 360 degrees? It very simply this. On all of the properties that you are wanting to promote to out of state buyers, take a 360 video or panorama pic of the property on the inside and maybe even the outside. (depending on the property). A 360 virtual tour opens up the property to a point where a buyer can literally walk through the property without leaving their computer or mobile device.
When you can bring the property to a potential buyer in those terms and the property fits their needs, you’ll have a serious buyer, and I’ll say you’ll probably get the sale. An interesting twist to this approach is that you can or could send the potential a pair of VR (virtual reality) goggles and they would get a truly lifelike experience. You get these for around $15-$20 US.
Of course, you can post these on that hot new blog that you have or put the video version on Youtube. All three of these ideas can be used independently of one another or used together.
In my years of marketing and sales, I have found that self-generated leads and prospects are far greater than any lead generated from a third party. The issue with the third party leads is that you really don’t know how the lead was generated. You may have a general idea, However, leads that you generate have a direct relationship with you before you even communicate with that potential buyer or seller. The process takes time, but once you have it all in place, you’ll always have people to talk to.
Until next time. Image streets photography is signing off.