Major Marketing Trends Shared at Leading RE’s 2014 MarTech Conference
Attending Leading Real Estate Companies of the World’s MarTech Conference this year proved to be an invaluable experience! The four trends below were significant takeaways from the conference that I foresee being crucial considerations for the success of marketing strategies to come. The adoption of each has already begun and the prediction is that in the coming few years they will each evolve as standards for agents who want to successfully connect with prospective clients.
- Selling the Neighborhood and Not Just the Home
The real estate adage, “location, location, location” may get eye rolls from its overuse, but its meaning is more relevant today than ever. When buyers are looking for homes, they are looking for much more than a living space, they are looking for a surrounding community that fits their needs, desires, and preferred lifestyle. From the schools their children will attend to the local attractions in close proximity, home buyers want to gain an in-depth knowledge of the area they will live. The marketing and listing of homes will continue to expand its focus on the neighborhoods surrounding these homes (promoting a complete lifestyle to the client). We will continue to see an increase in blog posts, video, and social media content dedicated to neighborhood-level news.
- The Evolution of Video Usage:
As more of the home searching process continues to move online, video will soon evolve as a standard form of media to promote listings, providing buyers with a more accurate feel of the space than digital photo can achieve. In addition to capturing each room of the home, the trend of providing home searchers with the full neighborhood surroundings and narration describing local amenities will become the expectation. The trend in commercial drone usage will grow, providing buyers with the heightened drama of breathtaking aerial footage of featured homes and their surrounding areas. Market trend reports and newsletters are also gravitating towards video. Companies like www.MarketVideos.com are making the process simple by providing trend report videos of the most popular zip codes throughout the country and allowing agents to personally brand each segment with their headshot and contact information.
- Messaging that Elicits Emotional Appeal & Authenticity:
For Millennials (the generation who currently lead all other age groups in home buying) honesty and trustworthiness top their list when it comes to choosing an agent*. This is the age group that comprises the most first-time homebuyers, and who are most likely to work with the same agent in the future. They are also the most likely to refer their agent to friends and family if they had a good experience. Developing marketing and gaining positive online reviews that shows strong character, transparency, and honesty will be key in keeping this generation as long-term clients.
- Pushing Rather than Pulling Information
For those working in the industry, it may be obvious that popular home search sites like Zillow and Trulia don’t have the accurate listing data that our own brokerage home search sites do. But sadly, this is something many buyers are still in the dark about. To mitigate this, the strategy of pushing out real-time, automated listing data to your clients’ inboxes will continue to be a crucial strategy in getting your listings promoted rather than more passively sending them a link to your site (hoping they choose it over others). Continuing to advance search functionality for the complete home search experience with everything from school zones to commuting times will be key. When you begin talks with prospective buyers to promote your home search technology and its real-time accuracy, set up a targeted home search for them so they have listings delivered right into their inboxes customized to their desired criteria.
* Insights provided by National Association of Realtors, 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report
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