How can real estate developers use the most powerful digital assets to promote their properties and generate quality leads without over-burning budgets?
How can these leads be “hot,” and really interested in buying property, not just users who submit inquiries without any intention to purchase? Or without the budgets, perhaps? How do properties sell/lease after the pandemic era?
In this guide geared to modern realtors, we will attempt to highlight the most critical strategies for lead generation in 2020, with proven track record based on our industry experience.
A combination of decades-old marketing tactics with effective digital assets and the utilization of new communication channels are key drivers for lead generation performance. It is achieved through a well-planned, multi-channel approach covering a full consumer experience through all-important digital touch-points.
More than 90 percent of user journeys (users purchasing new properties) begins online:
The share of overall Internet time in global mobile phones:
Switch your attitude to the mobile phones!
The major pitfall found in the industry is that real estate marketing companies concentrate on large, immersive and animated websites, with modern property listings (360 views, best-in-class renders), but they don’t pay adequate attention to the mobile versions of primary websites, which is often the first touchpoint to draw new leads.
The Bigger Picture: The Number One Priority
Property developers contend with a range of special conditions and have daunting objectives. The biggest: selling very good, costly and life-important goods (or even full experiences) that were not finished at the time of purchase (in most cases) – essentially they rade in promises. In order to be successful in this, property developers need to use big data analytics to gain actionable information about potential customers, to optimize advertising/ sales budgets and generate a higher return on investments.
Real estate developers nowadays concentrate almost exclusively on developing, expanding, and perfecting their online presence and embracing the digital marketing methodology — that is, using their websites, email promotions, social media activity, and overall digital shrewdness to attract buyer and seller leads they are likely to become new businesses.
One of the most critical goals is the collection and incorporation of data from all potential sources, in conjunction with marketing automation.
Property developers do need to be aware of global developments and economic patterns. Based on research by PWC (Emerging trends in real estate – Europe 2020) – before the Covid-19 pandemic:
With post-pandemic market recovery in mind, companies are conscious that “shifting to digital” is key to capturing the next wave of leads.
Your job as developer of real estate: Attract leads and push them through the funnel
Having a multi-channel, multi-device and hyper-personalized plan for every funnel step is the secret to increasing your leads database and cultivating your potential buyers. Which means you need to learn how to do this:
- Lift brand recognition – Future customers need to be conscious that they certain properties are going to be constructed. (Funnel top) Example campaigns/channels: (PR, social media, display advertising, word of mouth, offline advertising)
- Attract potential customers – Get your target market to connect with your main digital touchpoints – social media accounts, chatbots, blogs, forums or smartphone apps. (Top of the funnel) Sample campaigns/channels: (social media interactions, inbound search, outreach newsletter campaigns)
- Capturing leads of high quality – Capturing interested users and turning them to leads using lead-capture methods. In this step, conversion-optimized Web and mobile websites are crucial. (Middle of the funnel) Sample campaigns/channels: (advanced display and social retargeting, remarketing search, targeting similar audiences)
- Nurture leads (CRM) – Moving leads by the sales team through the funnel with personal or automated email promotions, phone calls, and meetings. (Bottom of the funnel) Example campaigns/channels: (marketing based on account and marketing based on individual on specific channels)
- Convert leads – Convert leads to customers and keep good connections to get your property a “advocate.” (Funnel bottom)
Lead Generation Site as a Primary Digital Touchpoint
Sure, the foundation for transforming leads is a well-structured and website designed for lead-generation. Across many different ways, your complete plan will focus on the website: Keep these main factors in mind in order to reconsider, create or rebuild the website.
- Create a profile for your ideal buyer. You can not sell to anyone. Take the time to explain who your target customers are and what they find most important. Think of demographic structure, location, desires, etc.
- Establish the value proposition for future purchasers. Try displaying all the special points of sale that will be important to them and listening to their main concerns.
Now that we’ve painted a high-level picture, let’s discuss how have a strategic approach in the daily operations. Here are some proven tips and tactics from our experience in the real estate marketing industry working on conversion-oriented websites and platforms.
The content of the website will help potential buyers find important details needed to make the decision and convert.
- Say the story that can trigger emotions. Remember storytelling brings in money. Use video as a preferred medium to view the property and surrounding environment.
- Emphasize the property’s “lifestyle” side – it’s really important to show all of those information that add value so potential buyers can envision the ideal life they will have in this home.
- Offer neighborhood, not real estate. This is of course not true in all situations, but highlighting community facilities will complete the picture and effectively close the deal.
- Communicate that you are a “trustable” brand with a strong “reputation” (even more so if you are a young brand), particularly if the property is in the early stages of the construction process. Rethinking what should be revealed as a strategic advantage.
- Do not compromise your on-site SEO copy.
- Implement elements of FOMO (fear of missing out). Communicate that properties are nearly sold or easy to sell.
The layout and design of the website will help optimize the flow of potential customers on the page and allow you to direct and guide them through the content and messages you would like to convey.
- The platform will be designed to help all funnel stages from brand recognition to lead nurturing, with corresponding sub-landing pages at each point for specific campaigns.
- If you have several properties under one brand, it is suggested to have separate parts on the website for each property (or to use subdomains).
- User interface must be intuitive and user-friendly (every user needs to be able to find their way around the website in just a few clicks).
- Interactive floor plans and 360 views are often welcome but are often not necessary (companies often prefer to spend too much time and money in these areas which is not equal to the actual value of these features).
- To achieve the highest possible conversion rates, the site flow will be optimised. This can be achieved using the best conversion optimization practices in the UX / UI design process, as well as using different A/B split test systems for continuous optimization and enhancement (in 90 percent of cases, Google optimization is sufficient).
- Using smart call-to-actions and lead-generation forms – they should be there on the customer journey in the exact phase, not too early to prevent leads of low quality.
- Do not have too many input fields on the forms – only the most relevant in the funnel for the next stage – name, email and mobile number. And always submit the automatic “success” e-mail after the user fills out the form.
- Personalize traffic-source/campaign-name/referral/user-location-based website material, and allow different website variations for new and returning users – to adjust material and flow to particular scenarios and user intent. (Advanced) Example: You should change content for brand name search queries-users who are searching for your property directly on Google because they already know who you are (they are lower in the funnel).
Website technology is the cornerstone of an ideal UX and of all industry. From the technical side, the website needs to support online marketing campaigns and SEO practices. Here are 5 facets that have significant impact on generating new leads:
- Mobile-first – The main emphasis will be on the site’s mobile/responsive edition, then on the web interface (not the other way around as 99 percent of businesses do).
- Use HTTPS – Very easy but it has too many positive effects (particularly on SEO).
- Often boost speed and reliability – We’ve seen several “strong” and “non-optimized” websites on certain devices that are so sluggish and unstable that they lose 20 percent – 30 percent of potential leads. Infrastructure hosting plays an significant function.
- Using Tag managers to update measurement codes quickly and easily, and monitor pixels on your website (for product analytics, conversion monitoring, and campaign retargeting).
- Take note that the website has adopted basic SEO concepts, in particular with respect to title/OG tags, URL layout and headings. Comply with the GDPR or new CCPA (depending on your region).
Unified User Data
A data strategy that gathers consumer information from all applicable digital touchpoints in the funnel – from the initial phrases at the top of the funnel (advertising analytics) to the conversion of the lead at the bottom of the funnel (web and mobile analytics) is a top priority. Cross-device and cross-platform user journey monitoring is one of the most difficult areas for optimizing lead generation, but the benefit companies can gain from this is immense.
Monitor what the percentage of users who come from various devices, browsers and networks is, learn how they communicate with your brand and, based on this knowledge, develop customized messages for them no matter at what point they are in the sales funnel.
Also, integrating data collection and reporting from various departments in your company is crucial: data from your marketing team (analytics data from social media campaigns, paid search campaigns, advertising campaigns, newsletter campaigns), your websites, mobile apps, and sales team (CRM, ERP) – all should be centralized and shared.