2019 promises to be a challenging year for The Real Estate industry and, in our opinion, a big year for Real-Estate marketing professionals.
At the forefront of this is how these professionals will adapt and evolve to an ever expanding digital world. As mentioned in our last post the digital landscape has changed the way planners and customers build and buy Real-estate. Audiences are moving away from more traditional channels such as Estate Agents onto digital alternatives such as RightMove and Zoopla.
The National Association of Realtors published some compelling statistics from the USA
- In 2016, nearly 50% of home buyers started their search for properties online
- 51% of those homebuyers ultimately bought a home they found online
- Nearly 90% of home buyers found online photos to be important in their decision-making
- 85% found important information about properties online
So as developments loose some of the personal edge of the Agents model the ability for marketing professionals to utilise technology and expand their communication channels will ultimately decide their success in the upcoming year.
Here are our 4 tips to stay ahead of the curve and maximise your digital marketing potential in 2019:
Content continues to be King
Online content continues to be the key factor in growing the awareness of your business brand, sales portfolio and development projects in the digital world. The ever-expanding online world demands that brands, agencies and publishers consistently push out compelling, relevant and informative content in order to compete. This content can be:
- Audio content such as podcasts
- E-books and White Papers
- Immersive experiences
- Blog posts
Video content still reigns as the most easily accessible and powerful of these formats.
YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world and is being used more and more to explore houses and communities. 86 percent of Real Estate customers say they would use video to learn more about a specific community they are considering.
It is important that any Real-estate marketing professional makes time to consider their marketing goals in 2019 and the integration of video into their strategy. It is well known that video is great for showcasing properties as well as communicating brand and business identity; this year it is important for marketing professionals to push the format a little further. Think beyond simply presenting the features of your brand proposition or property portfolio and consider creating content that evokes a story, a lifestyle while informing the audience.
It is also important not to limit yourself to one type of content. A marketing piece can be integrated across all content formats to create a diverse and powerful campaign with wide reach.
Social media to distribute content and build trust
Once you have created your epic marketing content you need a way of spreading the word to potential customers. As audiences are steadily moving online to find their next home or retail lease opportunity.
Millennials now make up 66 percent of the market for first-time homebuyers, and 99 % of those looking for homes use the internet to research properties. Still, these 30-something-and-under buyers are doing more than Googling a few keywords to find their dream homes. House hunters are now including property-related hashtags and social media feeds in their searches, and that’s only the beginning.
As a direct, unfiltered line to your growing customer base platforms such as Twitter and Instagram should be a integral part of your marketing strategy in 2019. It will help grow awareness of your marketing efforts as well build trust with your customer audience. All the material you seed out into the world will help draw your customers back to your website where sales can be captured.
Share content and your expertise regularly and with patience you will be rewarded.
The amount of marketing content online continues to increase exponentially. The need to create material that stands outside of the digital noise becomes greater and greater.
For your marketing content to make an impact in 2019 you need to create content that is bold and creative. Low-quality content or material that has been done before is useless at best, and can harm your brand at worse.
At Walktrue we believe the most powerful content is useful, engaging, entertaining and offer value to the consumer. One tip is to consider creating material that evokes the lifestyle your Real-Estate project or development will bring the customer, as showcased in our video for Highwood House.
Truly creative, innovative and informative content will naturally rise to the top of marketing material in the online world.
Immersive experiences will become more popular
Immersive experiences, including 360 photos, CGI and virtual reality, are going to become a lot more popular.
Buyers want to get as close to a property as possible and experience every feature without the hassle of actually being there. This is even more important for off-plan developments where there is a need to present all the features and opportunity of a property before a brick has been laid.
Allowing potential buyers to get a genuine feel for a property from afar is an efficient and cost-effective way to determine which homes are worth checking out.
We at Walktrue are also working with planners and designers to develop VR and AR tools that can help the planning and design phase of building a property or development. The ability for stakeholders to review every feature of the property in the virtual world means design changes can be made before the construction phase, helping our clients build the perfect scheme while saving cost.
If digital marketing is about creating strong, personal connections and proving value to buyers and sellers, immersive media is the simplest answer to this challenge, satisfying the need for better consumer experiences.