When you think about real estate, tech innovation isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. The business of buying and selling property goes back centuries, but tech—that’s a whole new ball game.
As an agent, it’s essential to adopt emerging real estate tech for a few reasons:
- Incorporating new technology trends into your advertising strategies sets you apart from competitors who choose to stick with more traditional methods of marketing and advertising.
- These trends increase your efficiency.
- These trends position you as a forward-looking agent able to meet your clients’ evolving needs.
We’re well into 2019, but there’s still time to explore emerging real estate trends and prepare your business for success in the upcoming months. From property technology (proptech)—tools like ours designed for real estate—to advertising strategies, we’ve found five real estate trends that promise to make it easier for you to innovate your services and grow your business.
As you push forward this year, keep an eye on these trends and find ways to blend them in with your current advertising strategies.
1. Auto-generated listing ads
When a new listing hits MLS, the last thing you want to do is log into your Facebook Ads Manager to create custom ads for each new property. A tool like Boost automatically creates ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Waze to make you more efficient.
Boost uses listing details and an advanced algorithm to create targeted ads for you. You can still edit your ad before it’s published, but automation means less time spent manually creating new ads.
With auto-generated listing ads, you don’t have to worry about defining your audience with each new ad, deciding on ad placement, or fiddling with the ad budget and schedule. Boost takes care of these minute details and helps you create ads that attract leads and improve click-through rates. You don’t have to learn a new system—like Facebook ad creation—to execute your advertising strategy. Automation gives you more time to focus your attention on activities that add value to your business.
More agents are adopting some kind of tech—communication, contracts, etc.—in real estate, but there’s still room to get ahead of the competition since more buyers and sellers start their search for a new home online—especially after they see ads.
2. Analytics for agencies
Data is paving the way to make it easier for you to predict customer behaviors. To be a successful agent, use data to make informed decisions that will help you close deals faster based on what your audience needs.
With Boost, you have access to a dashboard and branded lead pages that capture information from your ads to provide a one-stop shop for leads to learn more about individual properties and for you to collect data, like engagement, to help you understand your audience better:
You can also use this data to validate your marketing efforts and make adjustments to future campaigns to improve reach, click-through rates, conversions, and more.
Data is less likely to disrupt real estate and more likely to improve your success rate because it helps you optimize your advertising. Data also helps you understand client needs and cater to them better going forward. For example, with predictive analytics—investigative reasoning designed to help you look forward and anticipate customer actions and behaviors—you can create custom audiences in Facebook to target specific groups based on whether you want to grow leads, have higher event attendance, etc.
3. Frequent and transparent communication
Customers hold a lot of power, and in an age where access to information is increasingly more abundant, they expect transparency. Transparency fosters trust, and once trust is established, it’s easier to convince people to work with you.
As an example of how transparency builds trust, let’s say a first-time home buyer reaches out to request more information about one of your listings, and they explain that one of their main concerns is affordability in their desired neighborhood. To ease their worry, you can be open about the types of offers the owner will entertain and how much it’ll cost to upkeep the home—for example, the cost of utilities—if they bought it.
With access to email, phone, and text—via SMS or in our Connect app—it’s easier to stay in touch with clients. With open communication, leads in the consideration stage of their customer journey who are close to buying or selling will expect to hear from you.
Transparency in this situation is being able to answer tough questions by building trust so that even if the potential client doesn’t buy this particular home, they know that they can trust you to openly share the type of information they need.
Studies show that:
- 73% of people are drawn to products (or people) that offer transparency.
- 78% of people say that brand transparency is important to them.
- 70% of people dig further to find out more about the businesses they work with.
The more communication there is, the more trust grows and the more likely clients will recommend your services to people they know. Open communication—like explaining what channels and paid ads you’re using to promote listings—can indirectly help you grow your business by word of mouth.
4. Interactive social media content
Social media influences the buying decisions of people like millennials who research before buying. In fact, 99% of millennials start their search online. They look at images of homes, read reviews from past clients, access the free resources you offer, take note of your responsiveness to questions from followers, and more.
72% of agents are active on social media because audiences are visual learners who spend a lot of time on these platforms and use social media as part of their research. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are great options to promote listings, special events, and special services offered.
You can even use social media to educate your audience by posting regular features like market trends, home buying tips, finance tips, benefits of your services, and 3D home tours.
The key to success on social media is to have a strategy. It doesn’t work to post random pics sporadically with poorly thought-out captions. Always have a goal in mind when you post and ask followers to participate by leaving comments, sharing, or liking the post.
With a social media strategy, it’s clear to people who see your social media pages for the first time what you offer and what the expected next steps are. This puts you in a much stronger position to meet your goals.
5. Mobile-first marketing
The way people shop for homes is tied closely to how they engage with content on their mobile devices. In fact, 72% of searches take place on a combination of websites and apps on mobile devices. Millennials are leading the charge with mobile search—58% of millennials found homes through mobile search.
Customers have a growing expectation of being able to do more on their mobile devices. For example, if a buyer contacts you about a property that interests them, our Connect app sends them links to properties and a summary of the mortgage, down payment, and interest rate, so they’re prepared:
This way there’s one place for you and leads to go to find all of your communication about a property. Neither of you has to search through emails, text messages, or paper notes to keep property details top of mind.
Plus, with features like a customized marketplace, in-app messaging, and a smart mortgage calculator, your leads don’t have to leave the app to search for properties; everything they need is in one place.
Your audience spends a lot of time on their phones—upwards of four hours a day. Most of the time your audience spends on their phone each day is on mobile apps:
The biggest opportunity this diagram shows is the potential to use an app like Connect to share properties and other related information with your audience. Audiences want this kind of mobile-first experience.
Plus, how people use mobile is evolving as they spend more time using it. Talk to your audience to find opportunities to connect with them in ways that are convenient for them and in-line with how they use their mobile devices.
Making a change in 2019 with these real estate trends
There you have it. Five trends to help you finish the year right. Each of these real estate trends lets you create a more personalized buying experience for your clients, which is important because clients want to be treated as individuals with unique needs.
Again, the trends are:
- Auto-generated listing ads
- Analytics for agencies
- Frequent and transparent communication
- Interactive social media content
- Mobile-first marketing
We’re excited about these trends and the possibilities they offer because the better the customer experience, the stronger your business becomes.
Make a plan to learn more about these trends in the upcoming weeks and months so that you’re in a better position to help people find their dream homes.