Use marketing to enhance customer support: Advice from a real estate entrepreneur
Real estate entrepreneur Anssi Kiviranta first got into the industry because of the bad client support he’d experienced when looking to relocate.
Anssi, founder of Strand Properties in Spain and Bo in Finland, is a serial entrepreneur who started his business empire with the streaming platform Telkku. Two decades later Anssi has now founded more than eight successful business ventures across verticals.
His latest real estate venture was actually born of the bad client support he’d personally seen at various stages of the customer journey. With a keen business mind, Anssi quickly saw room for improvement in how agents and agencies alike handle digital marketing for real estate. And this is where he’s planning on making a difference in the industry.
“In 2014 when I was looking to sell, I experienced bad client support with many real estate agents,” Anssi says. “There are so many agents in an agency that don’t often respond to customer inquiries. Also property photos were presented very badly. Agents mostly used their cellphones to take pictures.”
In a conversation with Anssi, he reveals to us how he was able to build a successful real estate business from scratch and also shares some tips about digital marketing for real estate agents.
Digital marketing for real estate is very important
We asked Anssi about what was the most important thing for him as a real estate entrepreneur. His answer was very simple and straightforward:
He continues that customer experience and marketing go hand-in-hand. During the early stages of the customer journey, marketing is the best tool you can use to enhance the customer experience.
Anssi also confirms that real estate agencies in general get a lot of enquiries from prospects in various stages of the customer journey. It can be time consuming to respond to everything and of course most of these prospects don’t convert into customers. This is where marketing can step in.
Marketing can help an agency break the ice with a prospect without having to interact with them. By sharing knowledge and information through your social channels and presenting your properties in a creative (and informative) way, you can not only help prospects get to know you better but also help yourself to stand out from your competition.
“Make everything out of your marketing,” Anssi says. “Don’t just make things once and leave it. Always improve and optimise for better results. Measure the results. SEO and content marketing is another important aspect in digital marketing for real estate. It’s not a trend, but something that will never go out of fashion.”
Anssi went on to say that because competition in real estate is very high all over the world, marketers should plan their content in a way that makes them stand out. Agents have to market themselves around their own identity, what’s unique about their brand, and their values.
Use marketing to reach out to prospects and provide client support
Your website is the beating heart of your marketing. Not having a website, for example, is a red flag straight away for any prospect. And just having a website isn’t good enough in the modern era.
Almost every single one of your web visitors comes to your website looking for answers to questions they may have on buying or selling. No matter what stages of the customer journey they’re in, they’ll require some sort of client support.
Anssi says that every real estate agency should invest in their website. He adds that installing conversion tools on your website is not all that expensive and that your return on the investment is high.
Anssi says when he’d first started as a real estate entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of the business for him was generating high quality leads. But generating good leads is just the beginning. Nurturing these leads throughout all the stages of the customer journey is even more important than generating them.
“High quality leads mean those that are seriously buying and selling in the near future,” Anssi explains. “Normally when you generate leads, those prospects are only starting to think about buying or selling and they’ll actually do it in about 2 years. You have to nurture those leads and make the clients feel that you’re active. Give extra value and information when they need it. Client support is the hardest task and makes the biggest difference between good and bad customer experience.”
Employing marketing tactics such as email campaigns and being both active and engaging on your social media channels is a great way to let your clients know you’re active. Sharing valuable information in this way will help you grow trust between your prospects and your agency.
Digital marketing for real estate: Where’s it going?
Real estate is an industry that’s constantly evolving. Things like conversion tools and video marketing, which didn’t even exist at the turn of the millenium, have become essential features in digital marketing for real estate. Anssi therefore believes that real estate entrepreneurs have to stay up-to-date on newer trends within the industry to get the best results from marketing efforts.
“Marketing is driving the change and agencies want to be early adopters,” Anssi says. “It’s not possible to be strong in every channel, so you need to choose what suits you the best. Marketing is leaning more towards videos now. So you should not make it [videos] in the same ways that everyone else is making [them], do it in your own style.”
Anssi advises new and up-and-coming real estate entrepreneurs to start being active on all social media platforms. Everyone should explore and understand how each and every platform works, then utilise them to get the best results. Even if you’re not comfortable with platforms like TikTok, you can always start by making simple Instagram Reels to get the hang of creating video content. Once you’re used to it, you can focus more on increasing the quality of your content.
In hindsight, Anssi’s main piece of advice is to find what works for you. Find what your brand is and then plan your marketing activities to match your brand and values. And that being creative and expressing yourself (your brand) will help you stand out from the competition.
Plan your marketing activities in a way that you can provide high quality client support. Because in real estate, building rapport with prospects goes a long way in generating leads and converting them into customers.