The U.S. is heading into a buyer’s market, meaning there’s a scarcity of buyers who are willing to act right now, making the difficult task of closing a deal even harder. In order to endure this market, agents and brokers will have to adapt their property marketing strategies to generate leads and make the sale. And the best way for players in real estate to stay agile in this market is to incorporate data analytics into their short- and long-term strategies.
What Is Data Analytics in Real Estate?
Real estate professionals can use data analytics to make more informed marketing, sales, and business decisions. Data can tell you which desired amenities of a property you need to include depending upon the marketing channel you’re using to attract buyers. It can help you perfect messaging to produce the highest quality leads.
Why Is Real-time Data Analytics Important in Real Estate?
But it’s not just about data—it’s about using the latest data to make smart business decisions. The most successful companies in the world are leveraging data in real time—and brokerages should too. Just as Zillow uses data to figure out what homebuyers want and serve it back to them (making its search portal more attractive to house hunters), agents can also capitalize on similar data to determine how, when, and where to reach buyers.
Website visits, social interactions, and email activity all generate great data, but the first and more important thing is knowing how to capture and use the data in real time. Harnessing data for a quick response is a lot easier today than it was just a few years ago. Data can provide valuable insights into the performance of your marketing tactics, allowing you to change your approach to meet the current market.
By integrating data into advanced digital marketing tools, agents can optimize marketing campaigns sooner, ultimately resulting in a more effective marketing and sales process. In the day-to-day, data can give you insights on how your ads are performing, what channels are most effective, and the key demographics that matter most to your campaigns. Setting up a smart and easy dashboard to get a comprehensive overview of your data will help you be more effective and nimble.
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Case Studies: 3 Ways to Use Real Estate Data Analytics to Improve Marketing Strategies
At Development Marketing Team (DMT), I have created an integrated approach using real-time data. This provides me with the ability to shape the way I interact with target audiences for the buildings the company is marketing.
By analyzing data at the start of a marketing campaign, I am able to create more tailored and targeted marketing campaigns from the get-go, ultimately resulting in a more efficient sales timeline and smaller margins. Here are some lessons I’ve learned from our experiences with real estate marketing:
1. Let Data Determine the Hero Image
One of the most important decisions an agent can make when marketing a property is selecting the hero image for the listing. Is it best to pick the living room or the kitchen? The owner’s suite or the private terrace? Many times, agents select the image they assume is the best representation of the property, and oftentimes that photo is of the main living space—even better if that space has a view.
But what if a different image is the better option? Data can tell you.
By using data to understand the property from the target demographic’s perspective, it is easy to refresh a stale listing by leading with one of the home’s most coveted features. At DMT, we created algorithms to trace back these insights and data. This allows us to market based on intel rather than assumptions.
My Data-based Case Study
Here’s a story: I once had a condo that had been sitting on the market with limited showing requests. A significant amount of capital was funneled into marketing this property through e-blasts, digital advertising, and various other tactics, yet the listing still was not getting any traction. So I decided to pause and analyze the data, which presented interesting findings.
While the hero image in all marketing materials was the standard living room shot, the data showed that the listing’s key demographic—millennials—was most interested in the unit’s large bathroom, as it is uncommon in New York City apartments. As such, I revised my marketing materials to feature the bathroom in the hero image spot, resulting in four showing requests and an offer within the same week.
This shows how the data allowed us to quickly pivot our marketing strategy and instead focus on what mattered to our target audience.
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2. Use Advanced E-blast Data to Determine ‘Intent to Purchase’ Behavior
Instead of only focusing on who opens e-blasts, look for “intent to purchase” behavior. This metric has gained a lot of attention with predictive analytics companies entering the real estate sector. For example, SmartZip uses data analytics to predict the homes that will sell in a particular neighborhood, claiming a 72% accuracy rate in the upcoming 12 to 18 months of market activity.
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So how does this work in marketing your listings? Someone simply opening your email doesn’t necessarily indicate that they’re interested in purchasing the property. Instead, a prospective client with intent to purchase behavior will typically click a property link within the e-blast, forward the email, open it several times, or spend an extended period of time on your website. That’s why a website that provides data on how visitors use your site is so important in your lead generation tech stack.
Email marketing companies such as ActivePipe, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and others have features within their software that show which contacts are clicking on which links, as well as the number of times the user opens or clicks specific sections of the email.
This is extremely important to track, but it can also pose a tremendous challenge—particularly if you’re promoting many properties simultaneously. Speed is of the utmost importance during this process. If a prospective buyer indicates intent to purchase behavior, contact them as quickly as possible to ensure you grab their attention at the perfect moment.
3. Bring Property Signage Into the 21st Century
What is your signage doing for you? As property signs are not digital, naturally, the return on investment is difficult to track. Typically, there are only two ways to know that your signage is generating leads: using a trackable phone number and including a “how did you hear about us?” section on your registration forms.
However, both of these options are reactive approaches, meaning that agents will only know if the sign is working after it has been paid for and installed. To cut costs, I recommend a proactive approach to property signage.
Prior to listing a property, consider a premarketing strategy in the home’s target market. This can involve putting up creative and captivating posters that ask prospects specific questions, which can be answered via QR codes. Integrating QR code technology allows for real-time, trackable updates, and the answers provide insight into the mindset of potential buyers. This tactic can inform extremely targeted strategies, ensuring your marketing budget is being used effectively.
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Leveraging data when assessing e-blasts, photography, property signage, and other key marketing strategies will make a significant impact in helping you make a sale in a buyer’s market. Not only can you apply these strategies to new listings, but they will also help refresh and breathe life into listings that have been sitting on the market longer than expected.
Over to You
Real estate is a notably antiquated industry that is lagging behind in integrating technology, leading to property marketing campaigns that lack personalization and are based on assumptions. In an era driven by consumers, it’s increasingly important to not only use data, but to intelligently collect and analyze it to ensure it’s beneficial to your business.