What Data Tells Us We’re Doing Wrong in Real Estate Marketing
Zane Burnett, CDO of Willis Allen and Managing Director of OkapiCo, joins ActivePipe’s Aaron Lincoff, to uncover misconceptions buried in the heaps of data created by the digital revolution. They took a look at flawed common practices and what data tells us we are doing wrong in Real Estate marketing during the digital era.
What data teaches us about Real Estate Branding.
Looking at the past, the first mention of a real estate agent in print was in 1854 – Harper’s story about a swindler agent. Many past portrayals in movies, print, and TV have played on negative stereotypes. Up to 2004 RE agents were the gatekeepers of data, but when data went online and became available online for everyone the industry started to shift to personal services – to help people. Recently the trend has grown into more positive portrayals of agents on TV and in movies. Why does this matter to Real Estate branding?
Zane took a look at data from Twitter mentions, and in general, the older and more dated the brand the more negative sentiments people showed. The aesthetic of new brands created in the online age is more in line with what modern consumers want. It’s easier for a new brand because they start fresh with new agents, and don’t have to convince established agents of the value of investing in new branding.
Successful modern brands have and enforce strict marketing standards.
- Modern photos of agents
- High quality, but unaltered, property photos
- Beautiful and simple design
What action you can take? Engage professionals to help you create strong brand guidelines and do not be afraid to hold everyone accountable to those brand standards. If you do not, you risk diluting your brand and erode trust with the public. Educate your established agents about what data has taught us about branding.
Social Media Insights for Real Estate
What is the best social media outlet for real estate? That depends on your brand strategy. Use hard data to form your opinion. There is not one “best” platform for your brand though so far there is some data overall.
Carousel consistently outperforms text or single-image posts. 41.6% of posts have a question in the caption, but in Zane’s studies, 0% of the time did it raise engagement. Look at your own callouts with questions. If no one is answering them, stop asking them or ask better questions people actually answer. Zane also noted no measurable result in TikTok. There is not “a” best platform, there is only “the” best platform for your brand.
When considering how your homepage looks you need to understand where your traffic is coming from and how they behave on your website. Are you getting traffic from paid ads? Significant traffic from organic online property searches? Where are they landing?
You have 50 milliseconds to create an impression for your brand. Cater your content to match the data. If you’re investing in pay per click and driving leads to your homepage, a centrally featured property search makes sense. If you’re using long-tail searches, they likely aren’t landing on your homepage, but people looking to learn more about you are.
According to Zane’s research, on average, 66% of organic traffic to a real estate website was brand-related, not property-related. Only 14% of organic traffic landed on the homepage and of that less than .5% of homepage visitors executed a property search on the website. This means they typed in a search related to the brand specifically looking for more information on you. This is your chance to differentiate yourself from the competition and elicit an emotional reaction through your values, branding, lifestyle, exclusivity, and beautiful design. Your homepage is where they formulate an opinion about you and your brand. Zane mentions some brands that do this well in his Industry Insider’s Panel.
If website visitors are coming to learn about you, why do most websites have a huge hero image and property search bar? Back in 2007, that strategy worked. As times change, keep up with your data and change with it.
A homepage should reflect your mission statement and brand values. Build for your client’s needs, that’s what makes large portals like Zillow so popular. Most organic traffic doesn’t even land on the homepage. They land on blogs. If your blogs are about the best movie theaters, is that likely to turn into a deal?
Before creating content ask, what is the content there for? Lead Generation? Serve the community? Ask yourself why people are going to your website and challenge yourself to meet that why. Also, ask your website providers to help you answer some of these questions and make sure they provide designs that fit your needs.
The bottom line is to innovate your design using data. This strategy will always make sure your website stays fresh, up with the latest trends, and puts your client’s need first, creating a relationship that turns into business.