MARKETING OF REAL ESTATE AGENCY OR PRIVATE REALTOR
FEATURES OF THE INDUSTRY
The business in buying, selling, or renting real estate is mostly done by either real estate agencies or private realtors. The market for realtor services is complex and dynamic, with several features that need to be considered when developing an effective marketing strategy. Here are the main characteristics of the market that deserve special attention for achieving commercial success:
- Market entry cost. Compared to other sectors and even other service industries, the cost of entering the real estate business is relatively low. Real estate agencies and private realtors do not build appartment buildings, houses or commercial estate, do not require production equipment, etc. Furthermore, becoming a professional realtor does not necessitate investing 4-5 years in education like lawyers or architects. While becoming a professional and successful realtor is not necessarily easy and achievable for everyone, the time and investment required to become one are significantly lower compared to other businesses.
- Intense competition. The relatively low entry cost to the market, combined with success stories of many real estate agencies, has led to an extremely high level of competition in the industry. This high level of competition drives the industry's development towards strengthening its marketing component, improving and enhancing service quality.
- Consumer perception. The industry experiences a unique consumer attitude compared to other services. Unlike clients in fields such as law, architecture, medicine, and others, in the real estate market clients may not be entirely sure if they are paying for services worth their value. Dissatisfaction often stems from the mere existence of an intermediary and the need to pay for their services. Realtor services are frequently perceived as a necessary evil rather than assistance that helps buyers find the best deal, get real discounts, save time and money on search and negotiations, or helps sellers quickly sell at the maximum market price with minimal time and effort spent on estate visits.
- Service value demonstration. It is essential for the market to demonstrate the value of services to potential clients. While some clients understand and appreciate the services of intermediaries, others require a clear demonstration of the value offered. Checking property history, evaluation, legal documentation, financial organization, search, visits, and marketing promotion are crucial aspects of real estate agency activities that need to be flawless for clients.
- Importance of reputation. For real estate agencies and private realtors, acquiring and maintaining a professional reputation is crucial. A significant portion of clients approaches a specific real estate agency or realtor based on recommendations from other people. Trust and reputation are key factors for commercial success in the real estate industry.
- Powerful marketing. In the face of significant competition, agencies and private realtors must convince potential clients that they are capable of effectively representing their interests. Moreover, engaging in marketing is essential, especially when some potential clients have negative attitude towards agency services. Experienced agencies focus their marketing efforts in two directions: one aimed at building the agency's reputation, proving competence in property valuation, property history verification, legal documentation, and the other directed at promoting specific real estate objects in the agency's portfolio.
The list of industry characteristics can be expanded by examining rental or sales segments in more detail, residential and commercial real estate, working on behalf of sellers/landlords or on the side of buyers/tenants, and so on. However, the characteristics mentioned above are fundamental for building an effective marketing strategy and achieving commercial success. Therefore, how do agencies and private realtors compete in such conditions?
SOME GENERAL STRATEGIES AND APPROACHESS
In the realtor business, the following marketing strategies, approaches, and tools are most commonly used:
- Broad spectrum or niche specialization. While most market participants attempt to earn in all market segments - sales and rentals, commercial and residential real estate, apartments and houses, economy segment and luxury properties, from a marketing perspective it is optimal to have a clear positioning based on the agency's experience, capabilities, and resources. For example, if a firm or realtor lacks competence in commercial real estate, has no experience in selling or renting cottages, or has insufficient number of elite properties in their portfolio, positioning with an emphasis on expertise and experience in specific segments and gradual development of other business may be the better option.
- Exclusive offerings. One marker that proves the reputation and experience of an agency or private realtor is a portfolio of exclusive listings that the agency can offer to the market. Exclusive listings demonstrate that property owners fully trust the agency or realtor, are willing to collaborate exclusively with them, and thus affirm their level of competence and expertise. One of the most important tasks for marketers is to create an infrastructure for finding, attracting, and retaining exclusive listings.
- Digital ecosystem. Real estate businesses often combine a digital ecosystem aimed at initial client attraction with traditional property showings. The digital ecosystem of a successful business in this industry typically includes a modern website with property listings and detailed parameters, a quick search and comparison feature, social media pages, messenger channels, mobile applications, email marketing systems, and more.
- Content marketing. Of course, a digital ecosystem won't work without valuable content. The real estate industry provides ample opportunities for creating high-quality content in various forms. Virtual video tours demonstrating the advantages of properties from both inside and outside are currently among the most modern visualization tools. Using professional photography and video footage, drone shots of surrounding areas, descriptions of infrastructure within walking distance - all these are integral parts of successful marketing for real estate businesses and properties.
- Online advertising. In today's reality, online advertising is the primary promotional channel for realtor services and real estate properties. Different types and channels of promotion are used for various business segments. Paid placements on third-party marketplaces and aggregator websites are more suitable for low-end segment. For luxury properties, a separate visual advertisement on social media may be more effective, and so on.
- SEO. Search engine optimization of the company's website plays an important role in promoting a real estate agency. Business promotion through SEO is based, among other things, on three main elements - creating unique textual content, increasing the number of backlonks to the website, generating traffic to the site from socially significant channels (social media and messengers).
- Expertise promotion. Special attention should be paid to promoting the competency and expertise of the agency or realtor. Businesses need to clearly communicate the components of their services (property evaluation, history checks, legal documentation, registration, financial support, marketing support, organizational issues, etc.), describe potential problems that may arise at each stage, emphasize their expertise, experience, and competence in providing quality support and resolving potential issues. Content of this nature must be present in every element of the digital ecosystem, attracting the attention of potential clients and emphasizing the necessity of professional realtor services, as well as proving their value in personal communication with clients.
- PR activity. The real estate purchasing process and the real estate market in general are sensitive topics for many. Potential clients observe possible options for years and pay attention to industry dynamics, latest news, trends, and even scandals. The prolonged nature of the buying process, which keeps potential clients engaged, allows market participants to make their presence known, create a certain image, and stimulate consumer demand for their services even before direct contact with the industry. To achieve this, marketers must establish a comprehensive PR strategy for the company, including interviews with company specialists, participation in media discussions, comments and articles on hot news and topics, and more.
It should be noted that within one article, we cannot show all the pitfalls or demonstrate all the marketing methods and tools specific to the realtor business. In other words, these are just a few examples of quite general marketing approaches that can be applied to real estate agencies. From a practical point of view, everything is much more complicated - the choice of a specific marketing strategy and tools depends on the target audience, competitive environment, and unique advantages of the company, etc. At the same time, it is desirable to understand that realtor marketing may encounter a number of specific problems that are unique to each individual case and require an individual approach to their solution.
Achieving the commercial objectives of a company through effective marketing requires a deep understanding of the market situation, consumer needs, the ability to analyze and explore alternatives, and a creative approach to problem-solving. Our company has extensive experience in defining optimal marketing strategies for our clients' businesses, creating a strong brand and market positioning, as well as developing a marketing mix and implementing the chosen strategy. You can familiarize yourself with the services and solutions our company offers on the "Services
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