You are into business of real estate marketing and hence it is obvious that your aim is to reach to as many people as possible looking for properties available with you either for sale or rent. For any owner of a real estate business; the consumer psychographic and geographic segmentation plays an important role.
We have seen the collapse of the housing market, huge population of millennials are renting than buying. In an uncertain economy and sluggish market most have found it difficult to get a steady job. In such scenario they are reluctant to take credit/loan in this market. Thus, the real estate agents should find innovative strategies to reach the shy millennials. Today, most of the sale part with regards to property is done online. So as a real estate agent if you have to reach out to your customers you have to go online. Google is the best place to start making your presence felt in this digital space where your customer spends a lot of time on internet searching for property, grab them there.
It is important to have your presence online while it is critically important for you to market that business online, having a website with 10 visitors each day is not going to help you in increasing your business in any way. Google dominates search, google dominates web, there are different tools offered by Google which you can use to promote and market your business.
Best (and free) Google Tools to Promote and Market Your Real Estate Business
You might already be using it. Gmail is a free email service offered by Google. You can send and receive emails using Gmail. Start communicating smartly with your users over emails. Install Gmail app on your mobile to send and receive emails on the go. Customers would love to see a prompt and quick response from you. Link
Google My Business
Why rely on newspapers to put in advertisements and reach your local audience. Use Google My Business and list your business on Google. You can provide all necessary info like working hours, direction, contact numbers etc. these are also visible in Google searches. Make sure that all your information here is always up to date. Visitors accessing this page via mobile devices can simply click on phone number and connect a call with you. People can rate your business, make sure you have good ratings this will add trust factor and people would incline towards getting in touch with you to hire your services. Link
Your Profile on Google+
Have a detailed profile on Google+, create a business page about your company; this is an imperative and the primary step to be more searchable on Google. Add your contact information, photos, description of the business and make yourself so approachable that customers find it easy to directly reach your through this profile. Link
Map it – Google Maps
Go local, Google is showing more relevant and more local data in search results to users. Google maps is an important tool in this, Google displays map results as well. When someone searches for real estate consultant or for similar services your name can pop up and marked in Google maps as well, this gives better understanding about your location to user and your details can be seen on map itself, these details are fetched from Google Business page and hence make sure that your information on Google business page and Google+ profile are up to date with contact information and a link to your website. Link
Videos – YouTube
Offering professionally taken photos and even panoramic images can help to get attention and provide detailed information to user but, you should offer your customer with something more. Why not offer him a video tour of the property? let him or her see the property seating comfortable in home. Create your own YouTube channels and start using it to host your videos. Take a nice video of property in your possession and start uploading them. Embed these videos with property listing. Link
Always remain available for a quick chat or audio/video calls. You can make video calls with your customers using Hangouts. Hangouts offer a better way to communicate with your customers, it is ok if customer is unable to drive and visit your office, have a face to face conversation with him over a video call and arrive at a conclusion using Google Hangouts. Link
Google Apps – Work Together Efficiently
Get your office and your team organized using Google apps. Open a Google account for all team members so that everyone can access calendars, messages, office documents and more. Google offers web based services and hence you need no software and these services/apps are very simple to use; Google Apps makes it easy to collaborate and run your real estate business efficiently. Link
To make it easy to understand, use Google Drive as your hard disk and store your documents, photos, videos online. Google Drive offers space of up to 10GB for storage plus if you create files using Drive apps it won’t consume any space. Stop worrying about hard disk crash or mobile getting stolen, keep all your data safe and easily accessible using Google Drive.
You can share your documents and photos with other people, this will save valuable bandwidth and data transfer, example, you can share a contract copy with your customer stored on Google drive, Customer can download contract copy this will save your time of uploading copy and sending it to customers individually every time. Link
All Your Calls Sent to Google Voice
Without spending even a paisa, you can direct all your calls to one place with Google Voice. This is a great way to get all calls in one place, when your client calls on your home number, cell phone or your office as they are directed to one place they never go unanswered. This service is free only in USA and Canada. Link
You can run a geo targeted ad campaign on Google and reach out to people searching for real estate properties in cities in which you operate. For example, a real estate broker operating in Noida can run ad campaigns and target people searching properties in Noida, this will help you to gain more visibility. Use Google AdWords to get targeted visitors and generate leads. Link
Google Cloud Printer
Imagine this, you have one printer in office and can print from anywhere using any device that is connected to internet, you can download a brochure on your mobile and give a print of it and get it printed in printer kept in your office, isn’t it great? No need of having printer that is connected to your device using wires. Google cloud printer connects your multiple devices with any (of your) printer connected with internet. Link
Use Google alerts to listen to conversation happening around real estate business, enrich your search and alerts with specific keywords pertaining to your area of operation and get (almost) every mention about your industry right into your inbox. Google will send you alert whenever you are mentioned or someone writes about real estate property or his requirement. Link
As name suggests this is an analytics tool offered by Google. You have a website, it is important for you to understand performance of website. Using Google analytics a beginner can easily understand number of people visiting website, how many users are coming back and where are users coming from. Use this information to evaluate performance of your campaigns and website. Merely working hard on website and campaigns is not going to help unless you are able to measure the performance and evaluate your work.
One has to add few lines of code in all web pages of your website or web page that needs to be tracked. This is very easy and person with very little knowledge of coding can do this easily. Link
Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools)
Using Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools) you can understand how your website is doing in Google searches and how Google is able to index your website. This is a tool that allows a webmaster to closely monitor and evaluate performance of website. Using Google Search Console you can track search queries which people are using and landing on website, no of back links, Google index status, time spent by Google crawling your website, crawl issues and to improve crawling you should also submit your website’s sitemap here. Link
Using Google translate you can not only translate text but also entire web pages. You can put a small widget by Google on your website and allow people to change language, Google will automatically translate web page and offer user your website in language of his choice. Though results are not quite 100% satisfactory but for a small business with no budgets to spend on content writers and translators this is a good choice. You will not have to maintain different versions of same website too. Link
Many a times I get business queries written in languages that I do not understand at that time I use Google translate to understand query and reply accordingly, this has saved me from losing business many times.
Using Blogger.com you can start your own blog and begin posting regularly. You can host your personal as well as business blog on Blogger. I always suggest to host your blog on own domain like this blog is hosted on ashishkulkarni.net instead of blogger.com; starting a blog on Blogger.com is a good idea for beginners who do not have money and technical skills to spend on domain, hosting, design etc. it literally takes two minutes for any individual to start blogging using Blogger. Link
These are some tips to get yourself noticed online and pull all your prospective customers to your business. I am sure using these free Google tools and products you can increase reach of your real estate business and generate more leads online. Every business owner can get benefited from these tools irrespective of niche in which he is operating. Subscribe and keep reading more of my blog as I share more insights and views about online marketing that has potential to change the way you do business.