Let’s not go back to normal, let’s go forward to outstanding.
The number of new property sales agreed in the UK fell by 70% at the start of the coronavirus restrictions, to say the property market took a hit would be an understatement. Hopefully this will be a one off but many agents have learned the hard way that it pays to be prepared for unprecedented events. Future-proofing your business should be at the forefront of your mind always but it’s quickly become a top priority.
From the second week of lock-down online property search bounced back and once the property market reopened we saw great demand from buyers. Lock-down clearly demonstrated that the ability to inquire, view and buy online is an experience the public are not only open to, but are eager for.
In the luxury property market this trend is even stronger with news breaking this week that Horse Island was sold for €5.5m to a mystery buyer who viewed and bought without ever visiting the island. Video tours and WhatsApp negotiations meant the European was confident enough to buy off-plan, even during a global pandemic.
If we, as an industry, choose to learn from the pandemic, what would this outstanding new property world look like and what are the top three ways we can get there?
1. Shifting how we view property sales
Show homes, physical marketing suites, in-person open days, they’re all wonderful throwbacks to a time when buyers viewed a select few properties recommended by their agent and bought one of them. We’ve got news for you; the customer is in control now.
Most modern customers begin their sales journey online and on their own through property websites and social media.They choose which homes they want to view and which agents they want to contact. In many cases they have already decided what they want and know how much they can get it for before even speaking to an agent.
What do these customers want? To not have to drive miles at a set time to view a property, easily digestible and savable information on their favourite properties and the ability to speak to an agent on their terms when they need them. This new generation of buyers respond to experiential marketing in the digital space and a sales method which empowers them.
2. Embracing the future of property
So what if you could offer the same immersive experience as viewing a show home and the personal touch of a sales team but in a way which puts the buyer in the driving seat and gives you all the benefits of stats and info of digital?
Giving the consumer the information they need in the way they want and on their own timeline is a powerful way to sell. Combining that with the insight that digital platforms have to offer means your sales team can target the most interested buyers, address their concerns in their initial contact with them and follow up with ease.
Embracing digital enables agents to continue working and selling however unprecedented the circumstances. Pandemics aside, it also allows customers from around the world to explore not only the show home, but the entire complex, whenever they want.
3) Property launching post-COVID
Online property launches offer so many benefits and can easily be integrated into your current launch strategy.
Pre-launch interest is built through digital marketing and interested parties are able to connect with agents, who can use their data to make the perfect pitch on the day.
The launch event itself can include a live online event with speakers, chats with agents, Q&A sessions and live virtual tours. Post-COVID this can be offered alongside or in advance of an in-person launch event to maximise reach and accessibility.
Post-launch the 3D model can be used for self-guided tours and all launch events viewed as embedded video, with agents using the captured data to easily follow up with interested parties, offering further information or just the chance to chat about what they’re looking for.
Not to mention that all of this is hosted in a beautifully branded virtual space which can also be translated into as many other languages as you need.
Consider this an addition to your current property marketing strategies. We’re not suggesting replacing the tried and tested methods but opening up to new one which work alongside them. Digital content can be used across all your marketing collateral with the bonus of allowing physical materials to be tailored to the client’s needs, data collected can help you prioritise the customers most likely to buy and direct others to more suitable developments.