Real estate continues to drive our economy forward, which means more buyers, sellers and investors looking for the right opportunities. Unfortunately, this also means more real estate professionals competing in the ever-competitive housing market.
While direct advertising may appear to be the most efficient method of reaching potential clients, the truth is that word of mouth continues to influence a great deal of consumer decisions. And in today’s digital age, word of mouth has spread far beyond a consumer’s neighborhood or workplace, as people spend significant time online and on social media.
What is Influencer Marketing?
You may have heard the term“influencer marketing” to refer to a new way of finding clients in today’s digital age. Influencer marketing focuses on alternative ways to get your name front and center to prospective buyers, sellers or investors that doesn’t involve direct advertising. When used correctly, influencer marketing is a more natural and relational way to identify with clients.
What is an Influencer?
By the simplest definition, an influencer is a person with the power to influence many people—whether that’s through social media or traditional media. An influencer is someone with the expertise, knowledge, and experience that motivates others to take their advice and follow their suggestions.
Through influencer marketing, you identify and leverage the reputation of these key thought leaders to get the word out about your business to a much larger group of leads than you could normally reach. The influencer can help spread the word about you and your awesome service.
Then there’s “affiliate marketing”, a popular form of internet marketing for many years. Affiliate marketing is when a web merchant sells someone else’s product for a commission. Influencer marketing has taken this concept to the next level; influencers are incentivized and make their living through the followers that rely on and value their opinion. Influencers know how to use social media and other digital marketing efforts to build their reputation, including Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, podcasts and more.
Influencer Marketing in Real Estate
The goal of influencer marketing in real estate is to engage with your potential clients by providing content that people will find interesting and valuable. As a result, this will attract them to you in a positive light.
Adding any new strategy into your marketing plan is intimidating, even when you see the potential it can have for growing your real estate business. However, influencer marketing is an ideal fit for real estate professionals. At its core, it is just an expanded version of word-of-mouth marketing. Here are some tips and ideas to help integrate influencer marketing into your business over time.
Things You Can Do Right Now
Keep Doing What You’re Doing – Go to meetup groups, real estate conferences and other live events. Expand your definition of face-to-face contact. Look for and attend online webinars and participate in online real estate forums that are interesting to you. Build your relationships, both on and offline. Opportunity still comes through relationships and relationships are built through contact.
Widen Your Definition of an Influencer – In the very relationship-driven world of real estate, size of an influencer’s following may not be the key factor to success. You may already have a connection with many modest influencers that can help impact your business for the better. Take a second look at your existing Rolodex, both online and offline.
Approach Influencer Marketing the Same as Traditional Leads – Add potential influencers to your CRM system and document visits to their website, contacts made and ideas discussed. Nurturing your relationship with influencers will help expand your marketing efforts in the future.
Spend Time Online – Establish and build your accounts on all the social media platforms relevant to your business. Become active where your existing and future client base spends time. Look for influencers on those platforms with content that you respect and appreciate. Take time to comment on and share their content.
Developing a More Formal Influencer Marketing Strategy
Identify What You Are Willing to Offer the Influencer in Return – Just as relationship marketing is a two-way street, so is influencer marketing. Give influencers value by finding ways to help them first – by sharing their content or reaching new followers. Expect to engage with an influencer long before you ask them for help.
Create Joint Content With an Influencer – One of the best ways to build joint content is to approach an influencer for an interview. Record the interview and share it on social media, and the influencer will share it with their much larger group of followers.
Re-Invest – As you see organic success through your influencer marketing efforts, you may want to consider reinvesting your dollars through targeted banner, pay per click and geo targeted ads to get your name out where people are looking for you.
Enlist an Influencer Marketing Agency – There are some agencies, such as Viral Nation and Niche, that are dedicated to connecting businesses with influencers. These platforms can be especially useful when conducting initial research or if you’re having difficulties finding the perfect influencers for your area and services.
It’s important for you to focus on growing your most effective online strategies. You are in the process of establishing your own circle of influence and the key is to stick with what is working. Word of mouth has been the tried-and-true method of bringing in more real estate leads, so capitalize on it by utilizing the power of influencer marketing!