Marketing and sales has always been some sort of a moving target, but even more so given the events of recent months. There’s no such thing as a handshake deal these days. Face-to face-interaction and real estates inspections are at a very low levels, at least for now.
However, customers still need the organizations, and organizations still need its customers. In this day and age of social distancing, everybody is trying to figure out the new and safer sales process. And much like the retail industry, sales for just about everything, including real estates, is moving online—although there’s no curbside pickup in home construction industry.
But guess what—customers are eager and willing to meet you online.
That’s why now is the time to update, upgrade, and overhaul that digital footprint of your firm. So, when was the last time your firm shot new photography of your estates or homes? How long has it been since you’ve done a deep dive into your keyword research to ensure your customers can even find you online? Is your company treating social media like a two-way street and actually interacting with customers?
This are some of the questions organizations need to answer especially the real estates and construction industries who are traditionally slow to adapt to new technology, but in today’s world, businesses don’t have much choice. This may sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Now, let’s break it down into a few key tasks:
- Market research: Whether you’re developing a new site in-house or outsourcing it, start with an audit of your existing site. Site Analytics— what’s working? What’s not? Where are customers spending the most time, and where are they getting hung up? Look at your competitors’ sites and see how they measure up. Find award-winning sites and make note of features to emulate.
- Website content: In today’s world, your company’s site has to be dynamic and interactive. It needs to transport users off their couches and into your estates and communities. Your content has to look and sound professional, while also being informational and entertaining.
- Website Functionality: You have to make sure that your new digital presence is an easy and appealing experience for shoppers. As more and more people are using mobile phones to surf the web, your site needs to be mobile-friendly so that it works across a range of platforms and devices. Make it easy for prospects to contact you when they need to. Have a prominent “call to action” button they can click to call or email you, and most important, make sure the site is responsive.
- Photography: If your organization is going to invest in one single thing on the site, it should be in professional and custom photography and video. You want to showcase your actual work, not stock photography. Hire a photographer to shoot your custom kitchens and baths so that the images jump off the page. Moving photography, or video, is a requirement in today’s world so viewers can take virtual 3-D walk-throughs and tours. Photography should do one thing, and that’s evoke emotion. Of course, wants and needs translate to sales.
- Testimonials: Word of mouth referrals are more important than ever in today’s online world. Written testimonials somewhat lacks personality, so consider shooting video of customers talking about why they loved working with your firm—and again, evoke emotion. Testimonials should be front and center on your website, screaming your praises. Make sure you do not hide them on an interior page.
I know all this may sound great, but your organization’s second question should now be, “How do we get them to our site in the first place?”
Luckily, there are four quick and easy ways to increase the traffic to your company’s website, and your real estate’s/homes.
- SEO: This is search engine optimization or organic search. In other words, Google drives people to your website through keyword research, meta tags, and link building. This is a pretty technical and ever-changing field so your company might want to outsource this critical element.
- PPC: Pay-per-click ads are quickly becoming a must-have in many companies’ marketing toolboxes. It’s pay-to-play, or spending money on Google to be listed among the top searches. It’s a bit complex to navigate so you may elect to outsource this as well.
- Social media: Ensure that your company’s website’s personality is reflected on your social media profiles. Your look, tone, and content (including photography) should look the same across all platforms. Social media is a place to interact and engage so be sure you’ve dedicated a person or time to each profile every week.
- E-newsletter: Newsletters are still a very successful and inexpensive way to reach your target audience. And just as your website has to be dynamic with stellar photos and videos, you can easily incorporate these into your newsletter. Introduce readers to your projects and to happy customers through video. Always ensure that your newsletter links back to sections of your website and includes a call-to-action button where readers can contact you directly or refer a friend.
It is important to know that people and businesses are both moving online. And just as you want customers to make an investment in your products and services, you need to make an investment in your presence online.