Since entering the scene in 2013, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services has been steadily growing, joined by affiliate networks of Prudential Real Estate and Real Living. A “Newsroom” section on their website showcases each new addition, readily available for distribution. For real estate companies not able to compete with the same level of capital to invest in, say a nationally televised campaign, there are still tangible takeaways from their marketing that have little barrier to entry and will apply to what you can control; your online presence.
When it comes to optimizing a website, it’s important to have a goal in mind to help guide through the creation of a functioning and effective site. But more important than satisfying a search engine is satisfying the searcher because often times, with the right content creation, implementation and distribution, if you build it they will come. And it’s all about having the content to attract, convert, close and delight.
The first thing that stands out on BH’s website is the elimination of clutter in exchange for a clean design to help guide people throughout the site’s content. The professional-quality, rotating photographs on the homepage immediately says to the visitor what they can expect to find at the website while subtly establishing brand credibility. If you’re using images, think about what they are saying. For Berkshire Hathaway, a company that focuses on high end, luxury homes and even publishes a magazine called, “Prestige,” it’s important that the images sing the same song.
Next to stand out is a search list, front and center that encourages engagement without having a visitor have to navigate to find it. According to HubSpot, 60% of the sales cycle is over before a prospect ever talks to a salesperson, so the content needs to grab a visitor’s attention. Having the ability for a buyer to search for a home and likewise, a search box for a seller to see how much a home is worth, is immediately showcasing a useful offer rather than presenting a brand. Offers help guide visitors through the buyer’s journey.
With digital media consumption on mobile apps surpassing PCs, having a responsive website means your brand is maintaining a consistent appearance across viewing devices. If a search for a home begins on a mobile device and then moves to a computer, the experience should be seamless. It also means that updates can be more efficient, made to one website instead of two.
Berkshire Hathaway implements this best practice and the style, colors and design of the site helps carry the brand identity when used on any device. The key is consistency.
Social Media presence:
Develop a strategy and optimize profiles by using searchable keywords. The concept behind the Inbound Methodology is to attract strangers, convert visitors, close leads, and delight customers who could turn in to promoters of your product. Having a social media presence is one way to attract people to your company. Authentically engaging and doing so across multiple platforms enables you to target various demographics by speaking their language while conveying your expertise.
To get the most out of social media marketing, it’s good to keep in mind the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of the time, you should be sharing external content that is helpful to potential customers and only 20% of the time you should share promotional content about your company.
Berkshire Hathaway does a nice job of customizing their content based on the platform. For example, their LinkedIn page specifically focuses less on the buyer and seller and more on providing external content and advice to real estate agents and professionals in the business world. There are links to blog posts about leadership advice, time management along with a regularly appearing “Agent Tip” post featuring industry advice for other agents. Likewise, Facebook and Twitter are used as a sort of ‘catch-all’ for promoting their company ad campaigns, appearances, social gatherings and awards as well as outside trends and content.
If you focus on the details of their Instagram account, like most accounts discovering and using the platform for the first time, growing pains means a lack of initial focus. There is plenty of brand material but not much unique content that promotes a consistent image of their company. Stagnant, everyday stock photos and graphics posted among random paintings and awkward office hi-fives. This is common among many companies when they haven’t yet realized the potential of this relatively new platform. But what has begun to emerge over the last few months is a more consistent style of images, presentation, color pallet and tone that is aligning with their luxury brand. This alignment is seamless on their Pinterest page.
It’s nothing new to say the Internet hosts many platforms available to help a business at any size succeed. If budget is a limiting factor for small business or even a startup company, look past that as a hurdle and think of kicking off your web presence correctly as an investment and a foundation for growth. A well designed, managed and executed website is a very real vehicle to success and entry point into a market once unreachable.
Keep up to date on trends and learn from companies like Berkshire Hathaway and how they are implementing strategies. You can also see news and posts on latest trends by checking out future and past blog posts on Paveya’s Inbound Marketing Blog.