Due to the real estate industry’s competitive nature, those in the field absolutely must differentiate themselves from their competitors with creative real estate marketing tactics, or else face surefire extinction. To develop this competitive advantage, realtors must adopt unique strategies to stand out from the crowd, which will ultimately help them sell more homes.
However, it can be difficult (and scary) to come up with these strategies if you aren’t sure of the outcome. In this post, we will discuss three innovative marketing strategies that professionals can practice to generate attention to their brand.
The methods we’ll cover include themed networking events, role play open houses, and an IGTV real estate series. We’ll discuss their benefits and provide some examples of how to get started, as well as their virtual alternatives due to the current pandemic landscape.
1. Themed Open House Networking Events
Networking events are a great way of developing connections between attendees, offering value to all parties involved. A themed networking event consists of designing an open house based on your target clientele’s preferences. Inviting personal networks is a good strategy to stir up the conversation at the event, consequently creating an engaging environment for prospective buyers. A few steps are involved in creating a successful themed networking event:
- Define your target audience based on the property listing
- Conduct research to gather as much information as possible about this audience
- Choose a theme that would resonate with your audience and design an open house catering to the selected theme
- Advertise the themed open house and use your databases to scout individuals interested in attending the event, creating a social atmosphere.
The objective of a themed open house is twofold: to promote the listing while creating networking opportunities in a festive environment. Ultimately, the themed networking atmosphere will stimulate excitement and provide an incentive to attend.
Benefits of themed open house events
There are many benefits to creating a themed open house. Luring potential clients, drawing a positive company image, and expanding organization databases to name a few. Additionally, networking provides individuals with both instrumental and expressive gains. Instrumental benefits are business-related, whereas expressive benefits are psychosocial resources used for personal growth. When it comes to networking, realtors value access to data, self-promotion, and status within their market. Sound familiar? This real estate marketing tactic has the power to foster all three of these advantages.
These days, everybody loves data, and events provide realtors with data from an extensive range of attendees (with their consent, of course). This could be used for prospecting purposes for future events, automated personalized marketing emails, the list goes on.
Another advantage is self-promotion. Because they are unconventional and draw a crowd, they allow professionals to communicate their strengths verbally and demonstrate them through the themed listing. It provides an environment to build relationships with prospects, which will in turn create trust. This tends to have a snowball effect, as individuals who were particularly enthusiastic are more likely to express their enjoyment to their own personal networks.
These social events are unconventional and stand out in prospect’s eyes which differentiates you from your competitors and boosts memorability. Creativity is a competitive advantage that ultimately yields high status, resulting in a positive reputation for yourself as well as your company.
Examples of themed open house events
Themes chosen for your open houses would target people who are most likely to reside at the featured home. Research suggests that triggering positive consumer emotions provides companies with a competitive advantage. If the listing is a home for families, you could design a family-friendly event where children are invited (e.g., jumpy castle, snacks, etc.) to emulate a familial lifestyle. A possible theme aimed at millennials could be digital-focused. This event could feature professionals from high-tech fields like augmented reality putting on demonstrations.
In-person open houses are always ideal. However, due to our current landscape and COVID-19, this may be impossible. An alternative option could be online open houses which would share some similarities. The open house would have a theme attractive to the target audience, and there could be virtual breakout rooms for each room of the physical open house. Each room would consist of a moderator that would present the room to the potential clients and bring up themed topics or games to promote networking and engagement (i.e., jeopardies, charades).
2. Role-Play Open Houses
A role-play open house is an open house that reflects the realistic lifestyle of prospective home-dwellers. It features actors playing different roles in the staged home. The actors demonstrate the day-to-day life of potential residents.
Paul Ackerman, a Canadian real estate agent, hosted a role play open house where actors were present in various rooms while potential clients toured the property. Ackerman expressed that, “Real estate is competitive, so you have to be different.” Thus, a role-play open house is bound to attract traffic due to its uniqueness.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, in-person open houses may be difficult to execute. However, role-play open houses could be accomplished virtually. For instance, using the virtual reality feature on YouTube allows clients to roam their chosen listing in a 360-degree manner from the comfort of their own home. There are always ways to leverage creativity in real estate marketing!
Benefits of role-play open houses
Ackerman explained that once discovering open house traffic had significantly decreased, he had to find an innovative method to draw in clientele, sparking his role-play open-house project.
He was interviewed by a news channel that was fascinated by his creativity. The event received a lot of attention, which was professionally beneficial, helping him build his personal brand.
The event was entertaining to both the attendees and those working the events. Ackerman explained that the bathroom scene in his setup sparked a lot of laughter from the audience, catering to the attendees’ emotions and giving them a story to talk about. This story aspect is especially vital as it encourages word of mouth advertising. When it comes to marketing, playing to the emotions goes a long way.
The lifestyle presented by role-play open houses is designed to make the home feel ‘homey’, triggering positive emotions in attendees. It can be surprisingly cost-effective if you can convince your friends to volunteer to be actors. Staged homes sell 25% faster than non-staged homes, so it’s definitely worth a try. Paul’s event is proof: it resulted in a few new clients interested in his creative ways!
Examples of role-play open houses
Ackerman strategically conducted his open house to ensure it reflected daily familial activities. In one room, he had a person reading and another doing a crossword. He had people baking in the kitchen and then handed out the food as refreshments. There were people watching hockey and eating popcorn in the basement, someone upstairs in bed wearing pajamas — and even an actor in a bathtub with bubbles! Hosting the event on a weekend ensured Ackerman was able to maximize attendees.
3. IGTV Real Estate Series
Social media is a great channel for the business world because it is used internationally by 3.6 billion people — that’s a LOT of potential impressions! Futuristically this number will only grow.
A real estate Instagram series with IGTV is a video series that exhibits different listings and their surrounding areas, amenities, and other significant property elements, allowing viewers to inspect properties through their favourite app.
Video series’ don’t need to be limited to Instagram. You could show properties on other social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Twitter, and Facebook, depending on the target audience you are wanting to attract. The more traffic the organization can create, the better.
Benefits of IGTV real estate series
Due to the current COVID-19 landscape, leveraging social media is especially important.
A whopping 73% of sellers are more likely to list their home with an agent who leverages video to market their property. Using platforms such as Instagram provides several advantages.
Creating an IGTV series is a cost-effective way to present a listing as they can be filmed through a mobile camera, requiring minimal resources. This creative method signifies to your clients you’re current with the times, as IGTV is still relatively new. Thus, leveraging IGTV may differentiate realtors from their competitors as it not only demonstrates creativity but is also entertaining to their target audience.
It is challenging to physically show listings during a pandemic. Having a video series allows clients to virtually view listings at their own convenience, ensuring their safety, and also allowing clients to communicate directly with realtors.
Examples of IGTV real estate series
IGTV tours of each listing would be a great way to get started. Separate videos could be recorded focusing on the home interior, exterior, neighborhood, close-by shopping centers, and relevant property features. These virtual tours could feature a narrator or even a realtor directing the video.
Editing videos may require some work, however, it is necessary to create a high-quality video. It’s possible to create movies easily with a user-friendly program like iMovie.
It would be a good idea to include humor in the video content to boost entertainment value and encourage social media sharing. Another way this method could be promoted is by holding giveaways to further spread the word. Ultimately through Instagram, organizations could create an interactive culture for their brand, building a community and presenting it in a positive light.
It’s evident that standing out from the crowd significantly boosts a brand’s reputation. Investing time to flex your creative muscle by applying some of the tactics outlined in this post to your real estate marketing activities would be a great way to start. Of course, there are many other potential ways to win the attention of your audience — only limited by your imagination!
If you’d like to learn more about how Periphery can help your organization develop creative real estate marketing strategies, contact us.