Digital tools that were once only available to large companies are now available to businesses of any size. Your future business success is dependent on how you navigate and implement your customer’s digital journey.

You need to think differently, question suppliers and ensure they have your best interests at heart. We take this very seriously, the customer experience is paramount. You need to evaluate your customer’s experience and ensure you have solutions in place through their digital journey.

With the property market being soft in the first 6 months of 2019 and recovering in the second half, a stronger market is forecast for 2020. Our analysis shows that buyer enquiry volume has consistently been stronger than new listings and that there is pent-up demand for quality properties.

Real estate technology or proptech has been rapidly evolving in 2019 with many new choices available for real estate agents to streamline their businesses across sales, rentals, commercials, and projects.

This new wave of technologies pose an opportunity and a threat to leaders in real estate: How do you effectively take on new opportunities and manage change effectively in your business?

The key theme is data across the property lifecycle, including tenants, buyers, investors, and homeowners.

Businesses with the foresight to take on the challenge of change will be successful.

Embrace the change

Real estate marketing has always embraced change and been at the forefront of using technology to achieve better outcomes for customers.

There have been three distinct phases of real estate marketing

  • Print: Dominated by print advertising and lasted well over 100 years.
  • Print & Online Classifieds: Dominated by print advertising and online classifieds (real estate portals).
  • Digital: The age of personalised and targeted digital advertising.

The digital phase is personal, digital, and mobile which requires new approaches to generating leads covering the whole property journey.  With the proliferation of digital media technologies, real estate agencies now have a complex set of choices to make when spending their marketing budgets. 

This change should be embraced and utilised to gain a competitive advantage in 2020.

Create an ecosystem

Digital technologies are evolving at scale. The MarTech technology landscape has grown from 150 vendors in 2011 to over 7,000 in 2019.

Ideally, your digital platform should integrate with all your solutions so you minimise change and can solve problems you don’t know you have yet. Done right, an ecosystem can be a foundation for business growth and enabling innovative features that give you the competitive edge and win new business.

Automation

Rapid changes in technology are creating opportunities for automating manual and repetitive tasks. Automation technologies can help optimise costs and support business growth strategies by delivering more insights about your customers and marketing effectiveness.

Automation frees up time to focus on strategy by using technology which can look after customer communications, lead nurturing, advertising, content scheduling, social media management, market research, analytics. Practically any digital marketing task can be automated.

One channel is no longer enough. Spreading your marketing budget over multiple helps you be more relevant by showing messages and content on the channels used by your customer. This protects your brand from being annoying and spammy, which is good for your brand.

Build your leads pipeline

Lead generation is the foundation of a real estate business. Without new vendor and investor leads flowing into your business for follow up and closure your business stagnates.

Reaching valuable leads requires a segmented approach using your data to create prediction models by looking at past customer engagement, trends, and patterns. Technologies are now available to easily surface up vendor and investor prospects using big data and artificial intelligence. One of our customers secured a $200,000 deal by using one our our AI powered solutions which identified the prospect.

Investing in technologies which can automate prospecting will be a key trend in 2020. Market research company, IDC, recently predicted that by 2024, “AI will be integral to every part of the business, resulting in 25% of the overall spend on AI solutions as ‘Outcomes-as-a-service’ that drive innovation at scale and superior business value.”

Protect your data

With data being the “new oil”, the difference between a data-informed strategy and a data-blind strategy is going to be critical to an effective digital marketing strategy.

The right data strategy can empower your business to be more personalised and more relevant. Unfortunately, many agents do not collect the right data to grow their business and enable them to provide vendors with the best marketing campaigns.

Plan to grow

Market share growth just doesn’t happen. It takes a plan. Importantly, strategies that have been successful in the past won’t be successful in 2020 and will require a focus on people, innovation, and process.

Investing in a plan to grow your market share by leveraging the key trends we have outlined in this report will support your growth in 2020.

  1. Review every aspect of your business including your marketing, your people, your technology, and your processes.
  2. Look at how your systems and technologies communicate. Are there manual processes which could be automated?
  3. Review your marketing. Are you going beyond the click or focusing on vanity metrics like impressions?
  4. Look at how you are using your database? Are you employing AI and machine learning to extract the maximum value from your prospects?
  5. Is your website a strategic asset for your brand and your business?

For a detailed review of the key trends to impact digital real estate in 2020, download our ebook The digital real estate agent in 2020: our predictions.

By – Chief Digital Officer

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