The real estate game is changing. Marketing managers throughout the country have, for years, used classic home marketing techniques to land themselves new clients. But what always worked before isn't what's working now.
The good news is this guide has compiled all that is changing in home marketing to give you the advantage you need to boost your businesses potential.
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- Have a Game Plan and Track
- Stand out by Being Different
- Learn the Art of Giving
- Empower Your Team to Improvise
- Go Beyond Good Service
- You Need to Be in the Digital Age
- Develop Your Personal Brand
- Social Media Is the New Word of Mouth
- Remember That Content Is King
- The Easiest Path Isn't Always the Wrong One
- Video Integration Is Crucial for Home Marketing Engagement
- Business Starts at Home
- Younger Generations Want Help, the Whole Way Through
- Appearance Is Everything
- Remember That Price Is a Priority for First-Time Buyers
But homebuyers who are 36 years old and younger make up around 50% of all the home buyers; that's the biggest share of all the generations. What does that mean for home marketing?
It means home marketing is changing.
With 93% of under 36-year-old buyers using the internet during the buying process, digital marketing is essential for any business.
1. Have a Game Plan and Track
Any professional athlete or team has a game plan; a strategy developed to keep them focused which will lead them to win. For businesses, it shouldn't be any different.
Don't just hope that 2018 is going to be your year, prepare for it! Use history as a guide to your own business and track and measure every aspect of your business.
Look at your numbers every day and adjust accordingly, figure out what you need to do, and then get it done! Professional athletes adjust and change during their games, and then review the game tape at the end, new home sales should be the same.
2. Stand out by Being Different
It used to be that we would market in the year that we were in. In 1996 email marketing was booming; with 90% open rates, in the early 2000's Google AdWords was a fraction of the cost you'd pay now.
In 2018 however, as technology advances at a greater speed and only keeps increasing to keep ahead of the curve, you have to be different.
With companies like Uber allowing a ride to find you within 10 minutes with just a click of the button, it's changing everything. When 30 minutes used to be acceptable, consumers now expect 5 minutes.
With time demands being so great, companies have to innovate to stand out. By understanding your customers and then applying this different thinking to them, you can truly stand out and be different.
Tailor your business to your customer's needs:
1. Ask them what works best. Invest in a focus group to get an accurate feeling of how your customers navigate the home buying journey. Then, you can adjust your content and connect with your target audiences more effectively.
2. Attention is everything, an average U.S. consumer will spend 40 minutes daily on Facebook. Advertising in these spaces can be much more lucrative than traditional methods.
3. Be available always, interact and engage online, stand out from other home sellers.
3. Learn the Art of Giving
Traditionally we would use the term go-getter. Instead, we should be focusing on giving, not getting.
The most successful people usually are the ones who are helping others achieve the things they want. Helping others before yourself is the true way to gaining everything you want in life.
Whether you call it the law of reciprocation or the law of cause and effect, giving in life will always lead to someone helping you back. Apply these principles to your business, and see the changes it can make to your organization.
Invest time and resources to important social causes within your community. A builder who gives back is one who people can feel confident in when they have questions about the home buying process. They'll feel proud giving their business to a community champion.
4. Empower Your Team to Improvise
To often we get caught up in our business with red tape. A show home salesperson could ask someone to leave if they arrived just before it closed for the day with an 'it's policy' mentality.
Unknowingly leading that potential customer never to come back again, had the rep improvised and found a way to go above and beyond to help, that same person could have turned into a happy customer and promoter for life.
Don't get hung up on scripts and policy. If given the chance, you will often find your team is incredible and inventive if given reign to do so. Allow, empower and encourage your team to improvise, be daring and do things differently.
Reward them for creativity and watch as it improves not only your business referrals but your overall customer happiness.
5. Go Beyond Good Service
If you're not careful you can get caught up in the up-sell process, without thinking about the up-service you could be giving. By giving more to your customers than they initially expect, or going the extra mile to transform what may be a boring or mundane experience into a truly terrific one can make a huge difference.
It's not just the right thing you should be doing for your customers, it's also ridiculously effective!
You should always be focusing on the customer journey and aim to deliver a world-class customer experience, which leaves your buyer feeling valued, rewarded and satisfied with the overall experience they receive.
Provide them with valuable content to help answer their questions, follow up often, and offer the same reassuring presence you would appreciate if you were in your customer's shoes.
6. You Need to Be in the Digital Age
Marketing online is no longer just an option to consider. Having 93% of over half of your target audience (under 36's) using the internet during the home buying process, you need to be online.
You should focus your home marketing strategies on digital marketing to reach millennials when they are researching and browsing properties. Research also shows that homebuyers who research online aren't replacing the knowledge of in-house agents.
Those who start their house searches online are actually more likely to use an agent. They are just doing a huge amount of research online before getting in contact with an agent.
With this in mind, you want to connect the dots with your brand and online research. Use modern tools such as Instagram to connect with your customers and market your business.
7. Develop Your Personal Brand
Home marketing should be more than just a business, it's also a brand. What is your businesses identity? This is what differentiates you from your competition.
Do a personal audit of your business and figure out what areas need improvement. Ask for feedback from people you trust, and understand that a personal brand is more than just a slogan and a logo.
A personal brand is about how you make people feel. Not only when they interact with you, but also when they hear your story, see your presence online, and the way you present yourself.
This one is simple. Become more active and engaged on social media. Social media is here to stay and is the engine for engagement.
Instead of local gossip and rumours around a town, Twitter hashtags and Instagram stories are the new currency for exchange of information. And if you aren't on social media, then it's almost like nobody is talking about you.
9. Remember That Content Is King
This is a tried and tested strategy that time and time again proves successful, yet many businesses neglect to implement it with the belief it may not be worth your time. Planning a content strategy for home marketing can be difficult, but incredibly rewarding.
Start off by defining exactly what great content looks like for your business, and then implement those changes. Remember, a great vision is nothing without proper execution. This includes using the right context in all levels of your marketing, especially content.
10. The Easiest Path Isn't Always the Wrong One
We can sometimes get wrapped up in the complexities of our business, and we forget that the easy way for our customers doesn't have to be the wrong choice. Easy can mean right, and complex can mean wrong.
The digital age has made this even more apparent with apps and websites grabbing consumers attention for the simplest option, with everything from price comparison sites to one-click ordering from Amazon.
If you can make the path of least resistance simple for your customers, it can send good feelings to their brain. Should you create a path of resistance with complexity, this can send alarm bells.
Social media users are highly engaged with video. With YouTube accounting for two-thirds of all videos watched amongst under 36's, and organic Facebook engagement being the highest on videos with 13.9%, consumers are consuming a lot of videos.
This trend looks to only increase going into 2018, so creating video content for your business is an easy way to increase engagement. It's also shown that emails containing the word video, boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough by 65%.
12. Business Starts at Home
With many established businesses looking at ways to change their traditional marketing methods to come up to date with the modern times, try not to forget about what has worked in the past.
Many companies have strong relationships built with customers in the 46 years old and over category. Many people of this age have young children who are highly likely to be considering a home move option.
Prospecting parents for their children's potential move can be a fantastic way to get a trusted individual (the parent) to recommend your services to their children. For example, if you are focusing on first-time buyers or even holding events to educate first-time buyers about house moves, getting this information to consumers who fall into the "have-kids-who-need-to-move-out" category can be a great way to create engagement with your brand.
When you look at the numbers, realizing the younger generation is a big potential revenue source is easy to see. Not only are around 50% of all home buyers under 36; but 66% of these buyers are purchasing their home for the first time.
With so many of these millennials being new to the process of home buying, it's important to have an agent who can guide them through the whole process.
Remember to focus your marketing on helping these types of customers through the process. They love to do their research on their own time, online. Publish content on your blog and offer downloadable guides they can use to better understand the process and what's expected of them.
With so many consumers making buying decisions based on service instead of price, it's incredibly effective to capitalize on investing in your team to build this special bond with your customers.
By teaching these customers about obstacles they can run into and how to overcome them, figuring out what homes they can afford and figuring out which mortgage is right for them, you deliver on a much higher level of service. This brings with it brand loyalty and happy customers.
14. Appearance Is Everything
It's not surprising with the rise of social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest that many customers are wanting the "perfect look" for their new home. It's one of the key reasons why appearance and home staging is so important for home marketing.
41% of under 36's say that home staging is important to them, so creating an environment that's both pleasing to look at and inviting is crucial. This applies to not only home marketing through social media and online campaigns, but also extends to your office environment and show homes.
15. Remember That Price Is a Priority for First-Time Buyers
In the time we are in, it's obvious to many that buying your first home is more financially challenging than in other generations. Just by looking at how under 36's pay for their down payment shows us this.
That's why it's crucial that the content you create and the home marketing you run online emphasizes how your businesses knowledge and expertise can lead to cost savings on their journey to a new home.
Time to up a Gear with Your Home Marketing
Understanding how home marketing has changed in the last few years and continues to change is crucial to adapting your business.
By making a few key changes and focusing on bringing your home marketing into the 21st century you will be able to improve your customer's journey from browsing online to moving in. This improved level of service will not only improve your customer's satisfaction but should also pave the way for new customers arriving at you.
New home marketing strategies can be difficult to muster on your own. For inspiration on new ways to update your marketing, make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest trends throughout the year.