Are you a realtor looking to increase lead generation and create new business at a fraction of the cost of just-listed just-sold postcards, newsletters, push email campaigns and other traditional real estate marketing programs? The National Association of Realtors reports that 90% of home buyers begin their searches online. Will these prospects find you? An inbound marketing strategy is the answer.

Traditional outbound real estate marketing casts a wide net aimed at potential clients through direct mail, print ads, classifieds and QR codes, and none of these tactics help realtors get found online by potential clients There are many factors that limit the effectiveness and ROI of traditional tactics in the current real estate market.  These outdated methods aim, but often fail, to reach potential buyers at the precise time they are ready to purchase.  To succeed in today’s market landscape, the development and implementation of an inbound marketing strategy is crucial.  Harness the power of the internet and all its available marketing channels to your advantage.

Instead of spending time and money in an attempt to locate buyers and renters, inbound marketing helps realtors get found by interested parties anytime, day or night.  By creating interesting, engaging content, inbound marketing can help realtors leverage the power of a consumer-driven marketplace.  Inbound marketing puts you and your listings out in front of potential clients—creating valuable, cost-effective leads.  Social media and blogs are the most rapidly expanding channels in marketing budgets.  However, many realtors still rely primarily on traditional outbound marketing or just post a Facebook page and forget it.  Inbound marketing is more than tweeting once a week or putting your photo on Facebook and is the key to generating more leads and creating new business.  

Businesses utilizing inbound marketing spend significantly less on lead generation than those using primarily outbound methods.  According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of real estate searches start online.  Some realtors include Facebook and Twitter in their marketing efforts.  However, without developing an integrated, inbound marketing plan, they are not reaping the full rewards of these efforts.  People want information and the ability to thoroughly educate themselves on topics like school statistics, living amenities, real estate taxes, etc. on their own time.  Your inbound marketing program will provide useful, engaging content—enabling individuals to educate themselves and make informed real estate decisions while you work on closing your latest sale.  Investment in the real estate education process using your content makes potential buyers feel empowered by you rather than put upon by pushy sales tactics.  Inbound marketing lets you reach the very people that are most interested in your towns and your listings.  Inbound marketing is a powerful and cost-effective lead generator.  According to HubSpot’s 2011 State of Inbound Marketing report, inbound marketing costs average 60% less than the costs of outbound marketing.

4 Steps to Get Started with Inbound Marketing

1.  Create Useful, Engaging Content:  Add regular blog postings about your local real estate market to your website.  Share your expertise and provide useful information to buyers and renters. If you’re not a writer, freelancers are available to help!

2.  Utilize Social Media Networks:  Publicize your content on various sites, including: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Respond to other people’s questions on social networks. Become a resource. Don’t just push your own material. Make a habit of spending 30 minutes each morning and afternoon participating in your social networking channels.

3.  Host Webinars and Virtual Events:  Share your knowledge and facilitate active discussion.  Consider holding contests or drawings. You’re the expert. Engage your prospects with your expertise. Recording your webinars and making them available after you’ve given them allows you to multiply your marketing efforts.

4.  SEO and PPC: SEO and PPC amplify the impact and reach of your marketing efforts.  An inbound marketing agency could help you on these fronts.

Inbound marketing is not only a powerful real estate lead generator; it is a necessary strategy for realtors who want to achieve or maintain a competitive edge in the current information-driven marketplace.  Inbound marketing is the most effective way to connect with potential buyers and provide them with access to your biggest selling point – you.  Inbound strategies let people get to know you and your business and view you as a subject matter expert and resource.  This process creates genuine interest and nurtures leads and business loyalty.  Are you ready to get started with inbound marketing to boost your real estate business?  For more information about real estate and inbound marketing, take a look at: Marketing for Real Estate Agents 2.0.