As house prices have increased over the past 10 years, so have marketing and advertising budgets. In fact, with marketing and advertising being one of the biggest expenses associated with selling their property, using the vendor budget effectively is incredibly important for a successful property campaign and an eventual sale.
With real estate marketing now entering a new phase powered by digital technologies, knowing where to spend the budget is more complex than ever. First, though, what are the 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 third phase of real estate marketing is personal, digital, and mobile. With the proliferation of digital media technologies, real estate agencies now have a complex set of choices to make when spending their marketing budgets.
So, what are the best ways to make sure you spend your vendor’s marketing budget effectively?
Follow the consumer’s attention
Great marketing is about capturing the consumer’s attention. To do so means your marketing strategy should be focused on the channels your consumers use every day. If your target consumers are not reading newspapers, then your budget should be directed away from print and to the channels they use. With newspaper print budgets costing in the thousands, there are plenty of opportunities to spend budget better.
For example, while over 16 million Australians are using social channels like Facebook and Instagram, agents often express concern that their target demographic does not use social media, and they still read newspapers. They could not be more wrong.
According to research from Roy Morgan, 86% of baby boomers (born 1946 – 1960) use Facebook and 65% use YouTube. Contrast this with the fact that 7 million Australians read print newspapers (Roy Morgan).
The key take-out here is that if you are targeting high-value individuals in their 50s, Facebook and Youtube are pretty good areas to spend your vendor marketing budget.
Use the metrics that matter
A metric is a measure of something of value. In our digital advertising, metrics are clicks, impressions, views – anything that measures how consumers behave or engage with your content.
For us, the best measures are those that answer the following questions:
- How many people viewed my property listing?
- Who saw my listing and turned up to the open home?
- How many people asked to download a statement of information (in Victoria)?
A good marketing strategy will focus on the best metrics which answer these questions. This means measuring clicks to web pages, not ‘favourites’ on a website, or the number of people who saw an ad and scrolled right on past it.
Also, consider if you can measure the results from the spend. Generally, digital is measurable, and print is not.
Use your database (but be respectful)
Your database can be the best source of marketing you already have. By collecting and segmenting your property enquiries and storing them in a database, you very likely know your potential buyer.
An outbound email with new listing alerts is a very cost-effective way of letting your potential buyers know about a new property, but with low open rates, and even lower click-through rates, the impact of email is small. Plus, emailing your prospects too often can fatigue your prospects and associates your brand with being ‘spammy’ — not a good outcome.
A great use of your vendor marketing spend will use your database to serve up targeted and personalised ads to your buyers. The more targeted and more you personalise advertising, the lower the cost.
Your data is your data
Industry leads have often spoken about data being the new oil. 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.
A great vendor marketing strategy should always drive all traffic to your website (not a third party website), and then use this data to provide relevant retargeted advertising. If someone views a three-bedroom house on your website, there is a pretty good chance they will be interested in seeing another three-bedroom house in the same area and the same price range.
Lastly, make sure you show your vendors a summary of how effective their marketing campaign has been with transparent reporting. Good reporting will show:
- How much was spent?
- The overall results using metrics that matter.
- How many leads each marketing channel delivered.
Using your vendor’s marketing budget effectively takes some work and means you need to think like a digital marketer. By focusing on ROI, using your database, tracking metrics that matter, and transparent reporting, you will be able to show current and prospective vendors that you are a truly digital agent.
If you want to know more about effective vendor marketing or transforming your marketing contact the Plezzel team.