For many real estate agents, digital marketing can seem like a complicated system of strange acronyms and technical jargon, and in fact, it kind of is. Especially if you are not an expert in marketing or anything digital, the idea of promoting your services online may seem overwhelming. But, it is nearly impossible to have a successful real estate business– or any business, for that matter– in our modern world without some level of digital marketing.

Like so many other industries in the modern world, home buying is incorporating more digital elements every year. In fact, 90 percent of home buyers searched online at some point during their home buying process, and 52 percent began their home search online. Unfortunately, many real estate agents and mortgage professionals are not taking advantage of some simple marketing steps that could put them ahead of the game in this respect.

Many are resistant to digital marketing because they feel that their time is better spent dealing with clients. This actually could not be more true, but you may find that you can communicate more effectively with clients and reach out to new prospects with a better digital presence. Whether you already have a respectable presence online, or if you are relatively new to digital real estate marketing, you should begin by asking yourself a few simple questions.

Who is my target audience?

Before you can begin to have any kind of success in digital marketing, you have to first decide who you are hoping to reach with your efforts. You do not have to get too specific with it right away, but you should focus on certain key demographics.

It could be first-time home buyers, upscale luxury home buyers, people in a specific part of town or some other key factor. There is also a nearly unlimited amount of real estate statistical information available, and you should make use of this to determine your focus demographics.

How much of your marketing budget will focus on digital efforts?

Although some level of online marketing can be done for free, you will find that it may take a sizable investment to produce sizeable results, especially early on. At the very least, you will be investing some amount of time, which is the same as money in this industry. As the size of your business and web presence continue to grow, you may find that most of your marketing budget is best spent in the digital realm.

What metrics will determine success?

You will need to know how to measure the overall effectiveness of your digital marketing through several key metrics. This will help you make proper adjustments– investing more in efficient areas and reducing from inefficient techniques– as well as helping you plan for the future. Your own key indicators may vary, but a few of the most important and telling metrics include:

  • Website traffic
  • Sales lead quantity
  • Sales lead quality
  • Conversion rates
  • SEO ranking

How often should you expect results?

In real estate, this can be difficult to measure, as many buyers take several months to make a purchase. However, you can still have some realistic results based on the numbers above within the first month of implementation. Early on, it will be important to keep track of these numbers often.

Keep in mind that these questions are only designed to help you begin your marketing efforts or make the necessary assessments. Answering them is only the beginning, and you may need to put in a lot of time and effort to devise an overall marketing strategy to reach your goals.