Digital Marketing for Real Estate Agents: 5 Rules to Know
Digital marketing works. There’s no getting around it. For something that didn’t exist just a few years ago, digital marketing is fast becoming a necessity for agents in the industry. And when it comes to digital marketing for real estate agents, there are rules. If you develop a firm understanding of these parameters, you can greatly improve your marketing influence in the digital space.
5 Must-Know Real Estate Digital Marketing Rules
You Can’t Send Emails to Just Anyone
Laws exist to protect consumers – and prospects for your real estate business – from receiving spam email in their inboxes. Before you start email marketing campaigns, such as a drip marketing campaign to prospects, you should review these laws. If you’re in the US, the CAN-SPAM Act decides who you can send emails to and how the email should be constructed. You may also be subject to other laws and regulations based on where your business is located, or where the recipients of your emails are based.
The main purpose of CAN-SPAM is to stop spammers from sending people misleading emails or emailing them at all without their permission. It’s a good idea to review CAN-SPAM requirements, or any other applicable email marketing requirements, as failing to comply with them can result in significant fines. Be very familiar with these regional laws before starting an email campaign in your market.
You Can’t Call Just Anyone
Even with our numerous digital advances in communication, calling a prospect is often the most effective way to make a human connection and to land new business. The home buying process is, after all, built on trust. You do need to be aware, though, of how the Do Not Call List applies to you. Since 2003, the DNC List has collected phone numbers of people who do not want to be contacted – real estate businesses included. If the person’s number appears on the DNC List, you cannot contact that person unless you have an existing relationship with them, or unless that person has given you written permission to call. Also, it’s important to remember – the DNC list applies to cell phone numbers too.
You Must Comply With the Fair Housing Act
Facebook is a great marketing tool, and is a master at targeting ads to audiences where your message will resonate. But, be careful. In 2018, Facebook got into trouble because its ads allowed real estate companies to exclude certain demographics from viewing their ads – which is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. How do you stay compliant? For starters, don’t produce targeted marketing that excludes a specific demographic based on race, ethnicity, or disability. The National Association of Realtors’ Realtor Magazine published a great list of advice on the best practices for fair marketing.
You Must Be a Good Digital Marketing Citizen
Creating content takes time. A lot of time. And effort. So does maintaining it. If you post content to social media – a Tweet, Facebook post, or a blog post, watch for comments from your readership. Your readership expects you to interact. Not only will a response encourage them to continue to value your content, it might even generate business, a referral, or even stem negative feedback before it goes viral.
You can also learn what your consumers and prospects are wanting to learn about by tracking what types of content or posts generate the most interactions. By developing an awareness of your digital audiences' likes and dislikes, you can begin to steer your digital strategy to cater to their needs. This will ultimately build trust between you and your prospects, which will be important when it comes time for them to hire an agent.
You Must Be Good to Each Other
Yes, it may sound hokey, but it’s true. In the land of social media, people tend to be more abrasive, to put it mildly. Maybe you didn’t return someone’s call quickly enough or maybe some other detail fell through the cracks. If they call you out on it through social media, don’t get upset and attack them. Be the professional, and treat the other person with respect. You're running a business behind these social media accounts: always remain level-headed and neutral. Instill confidence in your audience with your positive interactions.
These digital marketing practices will not only help your business and brand grow, they help them grow the right way with a solid foundation. And those best practices will help keep you out of trouble. A lot of the rules governing what you can and cannot do in digital marketing seem like common sense. However, some rules and regulations like CAN-SPAM, the DNC List, the Fair Housing Act, may actually have specific requirements in your market that you need to understand and follow.
Do your homework. Stay positive. Create a winning digital strategy.