If you’re reading this, I assume you’re probably already aware of the power of the internet to connect people and bring about change, but just in case, I’ll recap. The World Wide Web is a series of interconnected computers. You access them using web browsers, which show website content in a streamlined fashion. Basically, a browser allows you to read websites, look at photos, and download stuff from these sites without having to wade through a ton of ads, all while keeping track of what you’re doing on a touch-screen interface. In the past, people used to visit webpages, often referred to as “spiders,” that would pull information from hundreds of web pages and store it in databases. These days, search engines like Google and Yahoo! maintain huge caches of interconnected web pages that can be easily accessed by anyone anywhere at any time. In theory, this accessible content should make it easier for you to market your home for sale.
Create A Killer Avatar
“Avatar”, the 2009 blockbuster from director James Cameron, was not the first movie to use the now-ubiquitous format, but it was the first to do so successfully. The $150+ million film became a global sensation, inspiring fans to create their own avatars, or online identities, which they could use to interact with others on the internet. If you’ve ever watched Avatar, you’ll know that one of the film’s signature features is the use of 3D models to create lifelike images of its characters. When it comes to marketing your home for sale, you should strive to produce a similar effect. The good news is, there are plenty of things you can do to make your home more avatar-friendly.
Consider The Small Things
Like many other creative industries, the home-staging industry as a whole is largely digital. Modern marketers and strategists have realized that getting someone’s attention through a digital medium, be it pixels on a screen or lasers beam on a disk, is much easier than trying to grab someone’s attention through a physical medium (i.e. a brochure or an open house tour). To that end, many realtors and staging companies have adopted online marketplaces like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin as important parts of their overall marketing strategy. These platforms give consumers the power to research and compare homes and neighborhoods in their area, placing a much higher priority on the content than on the physical address. In theory, this should mean that you can focus on the small things (e.g. the neighborhood, school, and amenities) instead of the big things (the house size and layout) when marketing your home for sale.
Put It All On Paper
Surfing the internet with your finger is no longer enough. With so much content available to users, Google and other search engines have introduced features that allow for more searches with your phone. With so much content, it’s easy for someone to discover your website, meaning you need to make sure that each part of your digital footprint is in good condition and easily discoverable by potential buyers. To that end, having a well-thought-out, easily accessible marketing plan is crucial. Ideally, this plan should cover every aspect of your offering, from your website to social media pages to videos you’d make.
Make Sure Your Website Is Functioning Properly
Your website is your first impression, so it makes sense that you’d want to ensure that it’s as good as possible. Ideally, you want to create a good first impression with potential buyers by having a site that is easy to navigate, displays accurate information, and is optimized for search engines. In practice, this means:
- Creating a functional, mobile-friendly site
- Adding relevant and useful content
- Using keywords
- Optimizing for search engines
- Making sure your links are working
- Checking your site for technical errors
- Removing dead spaces and unused pages
- Updating your site’s content regularly
- Keeping your site fresh and interesting
If you’re looking for a free, easy-to-use website builder, try WordPress.com. The platform, which was once known as “WordPress”, is a free content management system (CMS) that can be easily accessed using any web browser. Once you’ve created a website using WordPress.com, you can use their tools to customize and optimize it for search engines. And did I mention that WordPress is incredibly flexible and can be used to build virtually any type of website, from a real estate brokerage to a lawyer’s office?
Use Charts, Diagrams, And Numbers
When someone is scanning online marketplaces like Zillow or Trulia for a home to buy, the first thing they’ll want to do is search for the average number of bedrooms and bathrooms. After that, they’ll probably want to look at the estimated value and compare that to other similar homes in their area. To that end, you should make sure that your website has the appropriate metrics, or statistics, available. If you know how many bedrooms and bathrooms your house has, you can use that to your advantage by including that information in your marketing materials. Moreover, if you have a school nearby, you can use the neighborhood’s average school grade to determine how attractive your home is to potential buyers. Inclusion of this type of information allows for a more accurate comparison between your home and other similar properties in the area.
Use Video And Motion Graphics
If you’ve ever shopped for furniture online, you’ll likely have seen the numerous videos showing the different types of beds or couches that a particular manufacturer offers. Furniture shoppers have grown tired of browsing through photos of different pieces of furniture, so companies like Joss and Co. built cam-based platforms where they could show customers actual videos of the items in action. In theory, this should make it easier for people to visualize what they’re purchasing and reduce the amount of time they need to spend looking at photos. In practice, you can use motion graphics to add another layer of information about your house that wouldn’t be available in just text.
What is motion graphics? Essentially, this is the use of 3D models, diagrams, charts, and other types of graphics to add more information to your website or marketing materials. With motion graphics, you can add things like temperature variations throughout the year or highlight a room in your home that you think is particularly special or unique. For example, you could color-code different rooms in your home and use motion graphics to tell the story of how you used to live and what type of person you are.
You can find plenty of tools, such as the widely used Blender, that are free and open source. These types of tools can be used to create 3D models, and many marketing teams, including that of Apple, use them to create animations that they can use throughout their marketing campaigns.
Build A Social Media Following
When someone decides to buy a home, there are usually a few factors that determine, in part, what type of home they’re looking for and where they might prefer to live. Among these factors is the level of social media use and access to various platforms, like Twitter and Instagram. To that end, having a strong social media presence, preferably with a personal account behind it, is crucial to marketing your home. While you shouldn’t use social media to push products or solicit purchases, you can use it to establish yourself as an expert in your field and create meaningful connections with future customers.
Follow Local Marketers
Even before the pandemic, realtors and home stagers had to work hard to drum up business. Today, with the internet taking over many aspects of our lives, it’s even more important to find ways to stand out among the masses. To that end, many realtors and home-staging companies turned to social media to establish themselves as experts in their field and offer unique insights that prospective buyers could benefit from. Many realtors and home-staging companies even started following and connecting with other realtors and home stagers on social media, creating a sort of “virtual brokerage” where experts could provide advice and tips to one another.
To establish yourself as an expert in your field, you should consider following other realtors or home stagers on social media. Many people use these platforms to showcase their work and connect with others in their industry, so you should follow suit. Moreover, by taking an active role in these communities, you’ll be able to establish yourself as an expert and draw potential customers to your business.