The residential property market is a fast-moving industry and to stand out from the competition, estate agents know that effective marketing tools and strategies are key to reaching target audiences and converting leads. It all starts with the best possible presentation. Not all that long ago, it was usual for property particulars to focus on written descriptions, often containing a wealth of unnecessary details and amateurish photos and without a floorplan in sight. Thankfully, those days are long gone.
In these digital times, estate agents routinely take full advantage of online marketing via websites, property portals and even social media. And with attention spans on the internet being short and people easily distracted, it’s a good idea to cut to the chase. In other words, the quality of visual content, photography and video marketing has never been more important.
Prioritise professional photography
If you want to grab a prospective buyer’s attention, stunning images are the way to pique their interest. Use a professional photographer with a trained eye who can show the property from its best angles, highlighting its selling features and conveying the lifestyle. Here’s how the experts put it: “Photos help you express yourself and your brand in ways nothing else (not even words) can. Sometimes a striking visual is all you need to impress consumers. Most people would rather admire a gorgeous view than read a long-winded caption, so too much text can often work against you. Say what you wish to communicate, but let your visuals be the star of the show when appropriate.”
Include a property floor plan
A floor plan is now a standard expectation among prospective buyers and also tenants. Studies have shown that buyers are more likely to make an inquiry or arrange a viewing if they like what they see in the photos and can visualise the space with the help of the measurements and layout details provided by a floor plan.
In fact, a listing including a floor plan can halve its overall marketing time, while properties without a floor plan in the listing are ignored by 1 in 5 buyers. Major property portals such as Rightmove recommend the use of floor plans in the listings, and there are many floor plan software packages for estate agents as well as specialist providers to do this.
Offer a virtual property viewing
Moving images are the next level needed to create engagement. The easiest way to achieve this is by way of a virtual tour, or a Matterport tour, though there are other providers in the 3D virtual tours space. The technology creates a realistic simulation of the property for potential buyers to virtually ‘walk through’ with a simple click of a button.
It’s an excellent visual marketing tool that gives prospective buyers a good insight into the property without the need to physically be there. Combined with floor plan information and actual photographs, buyers now have sufficient information at their fingertips to decide whether to make an inquiry. Estate agents can also look at novel ways to back up their visual marketing strategy. For instance, professional photo postcards that display current properties and listings can be delivered to potential buyers, is a great way to advertise homes in a stand-out way.
Embrace video marketing
Even with the use of the visual marketing tools mentioned above, there is no way today’s estate agents can avoid the use of video if they wish to grow their business. Video marketing creates greater accessibility, interactivity and engagement with clients, enabling property professionals to reach a wider audience than ever before. More interactions turns leads to more sales, and more opportunity for repeat business too.
The evidence is undeniable. Nearly 90% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool and the average consumer spends about 100 minutes/day watching online video, which equates to more than 80% of consumer internet traffic. A recent study suggested that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth 1.8 million words. This makes complete sense given that video viewers retain 95% of the message compared to 10% if the same message is delivered in written form.
In terms of property listings, an actual video tour is the next best thing to an in-person visit. Video was surely the saving grace of many a property transaction during COVID-19 times when social distancing measures were in place. But even under ‘normal’ circumstances, property videography can be a powerful marketing tool for potential buyers who are not ready to view in person, or are too far away.
That said, effective video marketing goes beyond its use in property listings. Video can be used for branding purposes, to provide information about company services, to introduce the faces behind the names and share on social media. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and, most recently, TikTok, are all-powerful platforms to engage directly with potential clients, reaching people across the web and increasing the customer base.
Tips for using video in estate agency
Video is the medium of choice for businesses that want to be more interactive and engaging with their clients. It’s the perfect way to stay connected with customers and build long-lasting relationships, and showcase properties for sale (or rent) to captivate prospective buyers. Here are some useful tips to consider for your video marketing strategy:
- Create video content that is relevant to your business
- Think about your target audience and what they might want to hear/see
- Create videos that are visually appealing and have that professional polish
- Make sure that you are conveying a clear message
- End your video with a call to action that the viewer can take
- Keep your videos short (ideally less than 2 minutes)
- Create a video content strategy for sharing on social media
It is now generally accepted that the use of visually engaging video content is a great strategy to convert more leads to sales. Simply having a video on your landing page can boost your conversion rate significantly, while businesses that use video see 19% more ‘opening rates’ than those that don’t. When it comes to using visual content, whether static or moving images, you simply can’t afford to miss out on the obvious commercial returns.
If you're looking to sell your property, get in touch with your nearest Romans branch.
This article was written by guest blogger, Annie Button.