Marketing your investment properties, new builds, developments and other projects plays a key role in your ability to sell or rent these properties. People can’t buy or rent them if they don’t know the properties are there. While there are some great offline techniques employed by industry professionals, online marketing is likely to be the biggest source of your reach and customer engagement. Still, it’s usually within your best interest to use a combination of offline and online marketing techniques.

Online marketing is a much different beast than offline. There are a plethora of opportunities and options for online marketing that allow you to reach more people. Some strategies work better than others, and sometimes it’s a matter of preference. Different locations may provide different insights as to what is effective in that area. Understanding where you are, the demographics, and working through analytics to see how customers use various technologies, websites and applications is the key to success.

One of the first things you do to create an online presence at the birth of your business is to create a website. This is your foundation, the one place where people can come to not only learn about your product and the properties you offer, but to learn about your business in general. This is ground zero, the place you ultimately want people to navigate to for information about your company. You will have set up social media accounts as well, which will point back to your website.

Now, how do you use these tools effectively for online marketing? Before you can do that, you must understand that online marketing isn’t just placing ads on social media or Google. Online marketing also includes email, sending private messages and texts and engaging with customers on various platforms. You also should understand that part of marketing, whether online or offline, is information collecting. Who is looking for houses? Who is looking for an apartment? What features do they want? How can you get in touch with them to showcase what you have to offer?

The answer to that last question is simple. Set up a MailChimp (or other similar service) account where you will be able to collect email addresses and other contact information. Many of these services offer a plugin for your website which will pop up when someone is directed to your website. The pop up will be a form where the customer can input their information. You can dictate where that information goes as well. Now you’ve begun to create a list which can be used to send newsletters or other promotional material.

This process is great and email is a good way to contact people, but research shows that contacting people on social media yields greater results. Why? Because people get so much email that it’s easy to skim through and only open what is deemed “important.” Social media and text messaging are becoming the new email, with open rates 390% higher than email.

There are many different ways to use social media to your advantage. Snappa has 10 tips for stepping up your social media game, including hashtag use and real estate specific tags to use on your posts. The Close has a list of 27 marketing ideas, some of which involve social media and some do not, but all are effective online tools. And Mashvisor lists 12 products specific to real estate to help you boost your business, with even a couple of offline ideas.

There are many ways to effectively market your business and properties online. It starts with your website, and every avenue you choose should point customers back to that site. Social media posts and engagements are fabulous ways to get your business name out there, but your website is where the real information is.

Research your options, find what suits your business best and is most effective. You may have to try several different methods before you find the combination that works best, so don’t give up! Remember, a combination of offline and online marketing will yield the best results, so while you’re figuring out which online methods work for you, don’t forget to direct mail and network at the same time!