Marketing is the name of the game in real estate. It is second nature to everyone in the business and the industry has survived many recessions because of the amazing marketing campaigns it has pulled off.
But one thing every realtor and working professional in the real estate industry has to acknowledge is that while marketing is the constant, the techniques and strategies are always evolving. You have to constantly adapt to the market conditions, buyer preferences, and strategies/trends in the marketing industry itself to create the impact you wish to.
As the world changes, you get an update too.
The COVID-19 pandemic specifically was a hard change. A change that is here to stay, and it is a change that has caused ripples in the economy, primarily starting with consumer behavior in the real industry.
In this article, we take you through some of the statistics surrounding the real estate industry and evaluate how you can upgrade your marketing strategies accordingly. We’ll also talk about the need for online and offline marketing strategies and how to combine them effectively for your real estate business.
So let’s dive right in.
Marketing against the backdrop of the pandemic is a hard act for anyone. More so for the real estate industry with the ticket size going up every day and the home buyer profile seeing a change every quarter.
The smartest thing to do is to go in armed with the data. What does the state of real estate marketing look like at the moment?
Who is buying the houses and who is selling?
Data points out that it is the older millennials (born between 1980 to 1989) who make up the second largest group of homebuyers while Gen X is the one selling. This is an important data point because it sets the context around your campaigns and helps you position the property on the right platform.
In terms of first home buyers, NAR tells us that 82% of this customer base is aged between 22 to 30 years old. That is young and speaks to the need of building digital marketing and new-age strategies in real estate marketing.
We also have a dataset that tells us that this young population insists on seeing a house 3 to 4 times before putting in an offer. Which means that there is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in the process, which your real estate business must counter by building knowledge.
The next statistic is the biggest of all, according to us. Because it speaks to the discovery (brand awareness) and the conversion process. According to NAR, homebuyers are looking for properties online before seeking out an agent. Which means that the search intent for online discovery is on finding the right property, but for agents, offline strategies are a valid path still.
And this brings us to our next section.
In real estate, it is as much about the people as it is about the property. The homebuyer needs to like the agent and the home if the deal has to work. And we have just seen that the channel of discovery and engagement for these two prospects is quite different.
Forming a cohesive brand awareness and conversion strategy has been a challenge for many real estate businesses.
Let’s do a quick check. If you are running a real estate business your challenges look two ways :
Your social media/digital marketing game is on but that is not translating into buyers or walk-ins
You have good brand awareness in the local market but you want to translate that into building a bigger brand
In both cases, the outward challenge seems to be in building a relevant audience. But the fact is the audience exists within the larger pool of local community or social media following.
The next step must be to segment that audience and tailor campaigns to bring them to the platform you are building. And that is where combining online and offline marketing campaigns come into play.
Wondering what makes your omnichannel dreams come true? We have some ideas to combine online and offline marketing campaigns for a holistic success story.
Let’s dive into it.
Omnichannel for a real estate business means incorporating actionable online and offline channels across your customers’ sales lifecycle. The online and offline worlds have to collide because that is how homebuyers and sellers are interacting with the market as we saw in previous sections.
But how do you do that? What are some tangible ways to have your audience traverse these channels seamlessly and derive results from them?
Leveraging the offline audience data is perhaps one of the biggest challenges most real estate businesses face while trying to combine online and offline channels in marketing.
Every real estate business has a strong offline database. They know their circles, the potential sellers, and the potential home buyers within a community. But when they begin their marketing journey, it so happens that it looks like they have to start from scratch. The reality is quite far from it.
When you begin your digital marketing journey, work on leveraging your offline audience by collecting first-party data, launching ads based on the existing geographical data, and directing them to location-based information.
The best place to begin is by forming a connection with your existing audience base.
Emails are valuable assets when combining online and offline marketing. Real estate businesses rely on top-of-the-funnel ads for brand awareness and lead generation. Many brands have adopted digital marketing solely for this purpose. But with the latest iOS update and overall privacy changes, running ads is going to be expensive and not as effective as before.
Of course, this is a huge threat to the existing model of real estate marketing. But what if we told you that you can own your customer details without having to worry about privacy changes or relying on third-party platforms?
Yes, you can do that if you leverage your online channels to build a secure email list for your brand. How?
What do you usually do when people come to your open houses? Put out cookies, flyers, and entry books. Or send postcards if you want to leverage direct mail marketing. Another brilliant offline marketing idea – billboards.
Include QR codes to your email signup on the flyers and business cards, incentivize sharing email addresses, and you never have to worry about the non-baked goods kind of cookies anymore. And because you know what each of these customers is looking for, you can easily segment the list to send curated newsletters.
Having digital ready marketing material also makes it easier for your customers to help you out with referrals. All they have to do is handover your business card with a QR code and the new client can know all about you. Given that agents receive 89% of leads from referrals, this is an important channel to optimize and connect.
You can apply the same formula while Attending realtor events or property fairs in your community.
We have been discussing how to leverage offline audiences to bring them online. But the reverse is possible too. There are many experiences that you can only deliver online. What if you choose to adopt strategies that enhance those online experiences by bringing them to the offline world?
For example, it is easy for a client to get on your website and analyze prizes by location, house type, and understand market trends. But that is all you can do online if you don’t connect the experience to an offline campaign. Go a step ahead and include the next natural process to be an appointment for the most relevant open house.
You then have an opportunity to turn a website visitor into a potential lead that you can begin to nurture.
Some brands also host virtual walkthroughs for properties that are not yet ready completely. These can also do well with a CTA urging the virtual visitors to either book an appointment or sign up for an event nearby.
Summing up, we wish to reiterate that a successful campaign in the real estate industry will have to span across online and offline channels. Only then you can completely capture your audience base and begin to build a meaningful and lasting relationship with them.
But with this diversified approach comes an increase in your design workload. So, yes, you need a strong plan of action that says how your designs will be churned out every month. One way to handle this will be to outsource your design. And while doing this if you wish to save all the time and effort spent in vetting designers, an unlimited design service will be a more effective option.