According to Keller Williams, home sales are expected to decline by 2% this year. Does 2% seem like a lot? If it doesn’t at first glance, think again. That decline in business, when combined with increasing interest rates on the whole, has many realtors and real estate agents scrambling to find new ways to market their services. Stop scrambling, and try these top 16 real estate marketing ideas to promote your local real estate agency or business.

1. Give clients access to a mobile app.

If you work under the umbrella of a well-established brokers or agency, chances are you have a site you link clients where they can view homes by location, price, size and more. Most of these sites are mobile optimized and even formatted as mobile apps. Find out if your site is mobile friendly, and share the link to access it from a smartphone with your clients.

Even if you can’t be with clients every second of their search, your app can.

2. Optimize your website for local SEO.

More and more online searchers are using the phrase “near me” in their searches. There are a few ways you can optimize your website for local search. One of the best is to pay attention to keywords on your website, and adjust them to include “City, State” in all the right places (places like your body copy, URLs, title tags and image attributes).

3. Go after other niche keywords.

If your website only has one page for listings, you’re missing opportunities to compete for more niche keyword searches. For example, if pet-friendly, high-rise condos are in high demand in your city, dedicate a page on your website that targets the keyword phrase, “pet friendly high rise condo for sale in Austin, TX” and so on, and so forth. Add copy to the page that talks about these types of properties, then update your tagging and meta descriptions accordingly.

4. Offer virtual tours.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Image slide shows are great, but they’re just not as great as videos and virtual tours are at making someone feel like they’re inside a home.

Have any homes you’re trying to sell that have smaller square footage but feel really open? Invest in virtual tours and video walkthroughs of any properties where you know the pictures and descriptions don’t do them justice.

5. Try virtual staging.

As far as new real estate marketing ideas go, this one’s one of the hottest and newest in 2019.

Wish you could stage every sad, empty home before showing it to potential buyers? Good news is…you can. And it no longer costs an arm and a leg. Tools like VisualStager let you upload pictures of properties online, then use their library of furniture items to click, drag, and stage your properties. Virtually, of course. (VisualStager is great, because they also give you the option to take photos of fully furnished rooms, and they’ll digitally remove any eye-sore furniture pieces for you.)

While there’s still a cost to the staging, it comes at a much lower price tag than most in-person staging companies charge.

6. Use social ad retargeting to get in front of ready-to-buy people.

Social ad retargeting is another clever way to invest your advertising budget in consumers you already know are highly interested. Retargeting tracks users’ behavior online. It follows people from site to site, then it recommends ads that fit their browsing behavior.

Smart advertisers use this technique to place ads on a variety of social media channels right in the middle of consumers’ feeds. By doing so, ads seem not only hyper-targeted, they seem almost like recommendations from friends.

7. Employ social selling techniques.

Ever heard of “consultative selling”? Social selling is kind of like that. It’s selling your real estate business…without really “selling” anything. You do it on your social media sites.

Instead of using social media to share promotions and push your services, use social media to build and nurture relationships. Share hot tips and tricks for home buying and selling. Promote your favorite contractors and residential service businesses, if you think they do a great job. Then, you’ll be top of mind when consumers decide they need to buy or sell their homes.

8. Get a drone.

Do drones creep you out? Fair enough if they do. There’s something about them that feels a liiittle sci fi.

If you’ve seen pictures taken from the unique, birds-eye-view of a drone in action, imagine how useful they could be for your real estate business. (And if you haven’t seen them, imagine how much using them could help your home listings stand out!)

Buy a drone you can use to take aerial footage of homes and their surrounding landscapes. Place these images early in the galleries for your listings, perhaps right after the curb views of homes. You’re bound to stand out with online home shoppers.

9. Add local neighborhood photos to your listings.

If your home listings include images of the front of the house, the interior, and the backyard, you probably feel like you’ve got a great listing. Consider adding images of local parks, hot shopping spots, and other neighborhood highlights that might attract out-of-towners to the specific geographic area, not just the home.

10. Share Pinterest boards with clients.

First, create a Pinterest for your business. Then, ask new clients to build Pinterest boards dedicated to their new home searches. They can incorporate styles of homes they like, furnishings they can’t get enough of, even their dream backyards. This will give you an idea of their tastes so you’re best equipped to show them homes they’ll fall in love with. All they have to do is create the board and give you access to view it!

Pinterest image

11. Join Facebook and Nextdoor neighborhood groups.

Are you in any groups on social media for the residents of your neighborhood? If so, you’re probably used to seeing the typical “Whose dog is this?” and “Remember to drive slowly in the alleyways!” posts. But have you thought about using the groups on sites like Facebook and Nextdoor to promote your real estate business?

Some groups don’t take too kindly to marketing, so you’ll need to use a soft approach. Just as often as you share your services, share tips so members begin to see you as a trusted resource. Someone post needing a plumber? Share top contractors you work with, as long as you know they’re reliable.

Pro Tip: Here’s how you can become a Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite too.

12. Share first-party reviews and testimonials.

HomeLight, RateMyAgent and are all top realtor and real estate agent reviews sites. These types of sites, called third-party review sites, can sometimes make it pretty hard for your clients to leave reviews. Maybe clients don’t want to give up their email addresses (fair), or they don’t want to go thru the trouble of creating new accounts and remembering passwords for all of them.

Instead, reach out to your happy clients, and ask them for reviews directly. Then post them on your own website. These first-party reviews will give your real estate business much needed social proof online.

13. Promote local community events.

The agency you roll up under likely helps you with some local real estate marketing ideas. Whether they sponsor events or not, hitch your wagon to local events in your area. Let homeowners and residents in your contact list know about Easter egg hunts, church fall festival events, even Christmas light displays.

14. Print local sports calendars.

People love their sports. But not everyone takes the time to organize in advance  the exact dates and times they plan to watch them! Help them out by printing up a friendly, branded (of course) reminder of when the top local teams will play this year. Think fridge magnets, business cards, or other small printed pieces people might be more likely to hang onto than a full page flyer. Make the investment worthwhile by including a tiny pic of yourself, your name, and your phone number.

15. Trade business cards with other local businesses.

Coffee shops, local boutiques, pet grooming salons, doctors offices, dentists and more often feature bulletin boards or space in their checkout areas where other local businesses can share their business cards and coupons for free.

Do a quick local tour of your favorite neighborhoods to buy and sell homes, and stop in at the local businesses. If they have any local shopper promotions areas, ask how to participate. If relevant to real estate, you can even offer to take some of their cards and return the favor with client referrals of your own.

16. Try your hand at experiential marketing.

You probably do a lot online to market your real estate business already. It’s a great place to spend money to get in front of ready-to-buy clients and generate highly qualified leads. But what do you do to nurture relationships with previous clients or individuals who may not be ready to get into or sell a home just yet?

Experiential marketing is a great, in-person technique for nurturing your client relationships. Host a block party or cookout, organize a meetup at a new restaurant in town, or drop off seasonal decor on your contact list’s doorsteps for the holidays.