The UK property marketing, over the past decade, has gone through several ups and downs. These depend on a lot of factors such as interest rates, economic conditions, job growth and, last but not least, Brexit.
Now, with the stamp duty holiday on property up to £500,000 that will be extended until the end of June, we have at least three and half crucial months for the industry coming up. The Chancellor’s decision was generally welcomed by those within the industry. “This is exactly what the property market needs”, says Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions, for instance. There are, however, those who claim that “short-lived Stamp Duty holiday isn’t the solution” (words of Rob Clifford, CEO of Stonebridge Group).
Over the past year there’s been a big increase in sales potential. People, indeed, want to make the most of the Stamp Duty Holiday. Whether first-time buyers, movers or landlords looking to invest, they decided “now is the time”. The result was a lack of housing stock available which in turn pushed up property prices. As Nationwide’s December house price index reports, in fact, annual house price growth rose to a six year high at the end of 2020.
Taking advantage of such a particular time should be a priority for all property marketing players. But, in the meantime, preparation for the possible knock on effects should be made.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting quest. Considering that, it becomes clear the vital need for property marketing players to have an active online presence and choose the right digital marketing strategy.
COMBINE DIGITAL MARKETING WITH OTHER COMMUNICATION
Focusing on search, social media, mobile, email and website have to be a priority for property marketing players. Moreover, these shoul be carefully planned and aligned with the core business activity.
But it’s important not to forget, where necessary, to combine these media with the traditional ones, such as print, direct email, radio, tv, face to face and PR.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OWNED, EARNED & PAID MARKETING MODEL
Organising the high number of channels you will have to magase by dividing the in owned, earned and paid may be a good idea.
- Owned: website/blog, email subscribers, social media accounts, partners
- Earned: reviews/testimonials/ratings, social media buzz/sharing, PR/media coverage, world of mouth
- Paid: advertising online and offline, sponsorships, promotions, affiliates
TARGET SPECIFIC GROUPS OF BUYERS
According to NAR / Google “Digital Hunt Survey”, home builder related searches on tablet grew 362% year-over- year.
THE DECLINE OF TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING
It’s important that agents develop their own digital marketing strategy (in this regard personal LinkedIn profiles are crucial). Traditional advertising, on the other hand, may be useful in case of really big clients, but most of the time is not worth it. (it’s too much expensive compared to digital marketing).
“BUYERS DIRECT” TENDENCY IS GROWING
Even more homeowners are posting ads on social media sites and forums to reach customers. The consequences are more control for buyers and sellers over their property transaction and saving money. So developers, agents and property marketing should take advantage of this trend.
FOCUSING ON YOUR TARGET PERSONA IS CRUCIAL
The main consequences of the growth of “buyers direct” tendency? Studying the target persona is becoming more and more crucial. So real estate players should capture buyers’ information and engage with them on a range of platforms.
Property marketing should, therefore, collect geographic, purchase and demographic information of their buyers (or eventual buyers). Creating a target persona may be helpful.
THE BUYERS IN 2021
Buyers in 2021 are super-informed. They often simultaneously use search engines, Youtube, social networks, forums, mobile apps and apps. That’s why a digital strategy has to move on several fronts to work.
TONE OF VOICE
Identifying the TOV (tone of voice) suitable for the niche we would like to target should be a priority as well as use it consistently in every channel.
USE THE RIGHT CHANNELS
Tracking the conversions is essential. Examples of them can be signing up for email, downloading a brochure, following on social media, but also booking an appointment with an agent, requesting a call-back, purchasing something.
Property marketing’s site should be created in a SEO friendly way (keywords, metatag, inbound links, good index, mobile friendlyness).
It’s essential that images be high quality. Sometimes showcasing the best that your area has to offer can be the ideal solution. An example can be represented by beautiful photos of local town landmarks and familiar sites. A site should be easy to navigate, buyer-focused content, connected to email marketing and with Google Analytics installed.
For a property marketing agency (or for a digital marketing agency dealing with real estate business) dedicating several microsites to your main clients inside your own site may be the right approach.
A site should contain information useful to the buyers, like location maps, virtual tour and property prices guides, school and transportation information.
Landing pages are perfect to conversion. They should be navigation-free and mobile friendly.
Being at the top of the first Google page is essential for a property marketing channel. Using local sponsorship to stay focused on your niche is a good practice as well.
GOOGLE DISPLAY / REMARKETING
Showing possible buyers a banner of a site they have just visited can work.
It’s essential for visual contents and virtual tours. Embedding Youtube videos on your site is important.
It’s essential for visual contents and reputation. High – quality photos are crucial and a large use of storytelling may be the right tactique.
Engaging with followers is something to not forget. Using local sponsorship is important to stay focused on your niche. Reposting your blog articles is good practise.
Using the LinkedIn profile of the company is important, as not forgetting to use the personal LinkedIn page of your agents.
A Pinterest’s board is the showcase of a property marketing company: focusing on quality of photos and consistency between them should be a priority.
It’s important to answer those who ask questions. Doing it immediately is essential.
NATIVE ADS + NEWSLETTER
Not to forget in a communication plan, they can help. A long form monthly newsletter can be the right solution to tell a story about a particularly inspiring home.