Want to connect with your real estate clients at the perfect place and time to spur a home sale? Geofencing can make it happen.
Ready to take your online marketing to the next level? Geofencing could be the tool you’re looking for. Geofencing is a location-based marketing technique that allows real estate agents to connect with their target demographic at the exact moment and location of their choice.
As with any marketing strategy, the most important question before jumping in is: What is my main objective? Is it to make better community connections? Drive prospects to your website? Attract viewers for a showing? Once you’ve settled on who your ideal client is and what action you’d like to see them take, you can start to plan out geofencing marketing tactics.
This article breaks down how geofencing works, why it works, and how you can use geofencing to boost your ad ROI.
What is Geofencing?
Geofencing is a mobile-centric marketing strategy that triggers an action (a text, email, sponsored ad, etc.) when a device enters your set location or geographical boundary. When one of your target users passes through a geofenced area, they’ll receive ads that are relevant to those boundaries. Geofenced areas can be physical locations as small as a cafes or as large as entire cities.
Have you ever crossed the border or entered a new town and received an automated message from your mobile network provider about international rates and deals? What about home security devices that send alerts when someone leaves or enters the house? Or curbside pickup? If you answered yes, you’ve already interacted with geofencing.
The use of a geofence is what we refer to as ‘geofencing’. In real estate, most marketers set their geofence to trigger non-intrusive alerts such as targeted ads on social media or sponsored ads online. Text messages are best for alerts that require a nearly immediate reaction such as increased texting rates or a one-day-only restaurant deal.
Don’t let these new terms fool you. As we already mentioned, you likely regularly experience geofencing and it’s not difficult to add to your own marketing. It can be as simple as choosing a specific geofilter on Snapchat or choosing a specific area to push your Facebook ads.
In fact, all major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) have geofencing abilities.
Types of Geofencing
Geofencing is carried out over three main networks: cellular, wifi, and GPS.
Wifi and cellular networks are passive, working in the background until your target enters the geofence boundary. GPS on the other hand is a more imposing and less effective network. Because a GPS continuously tracks and uses location data, the device batteries of those connected to your GPS geofence will start to drain rapidly.
Why Use Geofencing in Your Real Estate Digital Marketing?
Flashy visuals and top-notch copy are fantastic and necessary, but they need to be in front of interested potential clients to make an impact.
Geofencing done well should target a specific demographic within a defined area. These ads often show improved click rates and interactions with the ideal client, compared to ads without geofencing. According to Mobile Marketer, phone ads with geofencing have a click-through rate 2x higher than the industry average.
Once a client spots your ad at a time when it is relevant (e.g. your sponsored Google ads pop up while they are Google-searching local family homes), it is likely to stay in their mind and come to mind the next time they search for the same thing.
Geofencing is also an awesome way to gather more info about your clients while attracting leads. When someone enters your geofencing area, it lets you know where they are and when. This data is not typically available with other marketing methods. Monitoring this movement helps real estate agents know which areas are most popular with their prospects and why.
Once your geofence has been active for a while, you’ll have enough demographic information to filter out unnecessary target audiences and cut down or reallocate your marketing spending as a result. With this info, you can personalize future ads and retargeting.
There are tons of creative ways to use geofencing to produce a certain result or action. For example, real estate businesses can use geofencing to draw prospective clients away from the competition and boost their own traffic. In this case, you could place a geofence around a new hyperlocal area you’d like to work in that is currently dominated by another brokerage.
Let’s look into more ways to use location technology to upgrade your real estate marketing.
Geofencing Strategies to Maximize Your Real Estate Marketing
- Consider where your ideal client spends their time. New families, for example, may go to the local park or hardware stores regularly. Set up virtual boundaries in these areas so that your ad pops up. Be careful to avoid highways, forests, and other areas that don’t get much foot traffic. This is about knowing where your clients are, not where you want them to be.
- Plan carefully and use several smaller geofenced locations within walking or driving distance. Don’t make them too big or you’ll miss your target audience.
- Always include a clear CTA. After a useful bit of text, guide viewers to a specific action that will generate leads for you. For example, link to your website or use a popular social post to draw them to your profile.
- Track multiple CTAs if you’re not sure which will be the most effective. A/B testing (testing two CTAs with two different groups at the same time) reveals which CTAs are most effective with your audience.
- Only run ads during peak hours (if possible). Families are not going to hardware stores in the middle of the night, so there’s no reason to pay for advertising during those hours.
- Don’t slack off on your copy text. Ad space is limited, so make sure your ads are packed with strong, yet approachable wording. Your copy should always give specific information or avenues to contact you.
- Build a landing page for viewers gained through geofencing. These potential clients are likely interested in learning more about the areas they frequent.
- Geofencing targets users on their mobile devices. In order to target them on both desktop and mobile, consider running traditional display ads or retargeting.
- Fine-tune your geofencing strategies as you observe what worked and what didn’t.
Risks of Using Geofencing in Advertising
Although location-based advertising is very popular throughout most public-facing industries, privacy risks exist. Some governments are cracking down on location-based marketing to protect their citizens’ safety and privacy.
Geotargeting v s. Geofencing vs. Geolocation
Both geotargeting and geofencing are both location-based marketing strategies. However, there are a couple key differences.
Geotargeting encompasses a wide range of factors, including geofencing. It involves using the physical location of the user to show ads accordingly. Geotargeting can work nation-wide, city wise, or within a district.
Marketers commonly divide geotargeting into three categories – local, hyper-local, and advanced geographic targeting.
Geofencing often used in carefully selected locations to encourage an audience to make a specific action. Geotargeting typically focuses on a wider geographic location such as a city, county or country.
Geofencing uses several tools and services, like Wi-fi, cellular data, RFID, and more, to set a specific perimeter around a particular location. Once a device crosses said perimeter, a form of advertising activates.
The metric you use to measure success with geofencing depends on the goals of your real estate business. You want to make sure that you are connecting with your local markets and driving individuals to take action.
Here are a few of the most popular metrics used:
CPM: Refers to the cost it takes to generate 1,000 impressions from your ads. This metric helps businesses figure out what their geofencing marketing costs are, which is crucial to determine whether the campaign is successful.
CPC: Refers to cost-per-click and shows how much attention your ad is getting.
CTR: Refers to click-through-rate. This is the ratio of how often your ad is shown compared to how often people engage with it. Higher CTRs mean that your ad creative and copy is effective at leading someone to take the next step.
Geofencing and Your Overall Marketing Strategy
Geofencing is a powerful component in a successful real estate marketing plan.
Each real estate business is dependent on the needs and interests of each individual local market. Geofencing helps real estate agents find out what those needs are and how they can better support them.
In combination with other marketing strategies, geofencing refines holistic marketing and allows you to target the home buyers and sellers who truly make a difference in your success.
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