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Guest Post | Rethinking Real Estate: The Top 5 Digital Trends for Marketing to “In-Market” Home Buyers

April 12, 2018

This week we have Mario Avila, a real estate broker, on the blog. Since The National Association of Realtors just released their Profile of Home Buyers survey results, he’s discussing the top 5 digital trends for marketing to “in-market” home buyers. Specifically, home buyers are using their cell phones to search for properties during the home buying purchase. What does this mean? Read Mario’s thoughts below!
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Rethinking Real Estate: The Top 5 Digital Trends for Marketing to "In-Market" Home Buyers

“If you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re doing it wrong.” – Casey Neistat

The very first real estate ad was published in 1704 in the Boston News-Letter. Real estate marketing has come a long way since then. The National Association of Realtors just released their annual Profile of Home Buyers survey results and found that the typical buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online.

Today everywhere we go, everything we search and everything we do is tracked online. In case you didn’t know it, all those free apps on your phone are free for a reason. When you agree to use most of the apps you have, you are also agreeing to share information about you. Information such as your location, search habits, and many more things.

To illustrate I like to begin with an educational activity. While most people would never tell you to stop reading their article to check your phone I’m doing just that. Here’s just one quick example of how you’re being tracked…

On your iPhone, click through these steps

SETTINGS

PRIVACY

LOCATION SERVICES

SYSTEM SERVICES

SIGNIFICANT LOCATIONS

You will see a blue dot of a precise location you’ve been, along with the exact day and time you were in that area. This is just one way that people are being tracked today. As creepy as this data is, it is also opening the door for new way for people in the real estate industry to track potential new clients.

Here is a list of the top digital tracking capabilities available today that anyone targeting “in-market” homebuyers should be aware of and start using today.

  • RETARGETING – Think Amazon. Most real estate professionals have a website. It’s a fact that while most people searching for a home begin their search online, most people won’t take action or contact a professional the first time they visit a website. Rather than wait for a client to reach out to you, you can now “follow” anyone who visits your website after they leave. Much like that new pair of shoes from Amazon that keeps following you around the web, you can now follow anyone no matter where they go online after they leave your website. This is done by placing a tracking pixel on your site.
  • GEO-FENCING – One of my favorites. Think of it as a digital “fence” that you can place around any location in the world. Not just a circle radius, but an exact detailed fence around any specific location. Once in place, anyone that enters the “fence” can then be tracked with ads after they leave the geo-fenced location. A great example of how real estate professionals are using this is a local mortgage company who geo-fenced every model home during this year’s Parade of Homes. Knowing that the people looking at model homes were probably in the market, he offered a Parade of Homes special and saw great results by geo-fencing the model homes.
  • GEO-CONQUESTING – Very similar to geo-fencing, except when you target direct competitors. A great example of this would be if one homebuilder decided to geo-conquest another builder’s neighborhood and model home. Anyone who visits a competitors community would be served an ad from a competing builder.
  • HISTORICAL RETARGETING – Think of this as geo-fencing on crack. It’s now possible to not only geo-fence a future location, but now you can time travel. It’s possible to go back in time as far as 6 months and target someone today based on where they were up to 6 months ago. Using GPS historical data. Remember that sporting event, concert or trade show? Wouldn’t it be cool to target those people with an ad? Now you can.
  • BEHAVORIAL/CONTEXTUAL TARGETING – Remember when I said everything we search is tracked? Google and YouTube aren’t the only websites with search engines. Almost every site has some kind of search bar. Pinterest, Ebay, and millions of other sites have search bars. These searches can leave behind digital breadcrumbs that allow real estate professionals to track people’s search habits. You can now target a person who has typed in real estate specific keywords or phrases on almost any website. The websites that someone visits may not have a search bar, but it may be filled with relevant content that relates to real estate. Even if a person didn’t type in and search for mortgage information, they may be reading articles about credit score and mortgage rates. Now that person can be targeted based on the articles they read online.

These are just a few of the ways of how digital targeting can be used for real estate professionals. While postcards, magazines and other traditional media are great for branding, being able to target “in-market” homebuyers can greatly reduce most of the waste that occurs when marketing your real estate services.

About the Author

Mario Avila was raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of Oklahoma and spent several years in television broadcasting and production before getting into real estate. He began selling new construction homes and sold 82 new homes in his final year of selling. Mario then opened his own real estate brokerage where he honed his skills in digital marketing for real estate. Mario is considered an expert in his field and has won numerous awards for his success in digital marketing and sales. He’s a proclaimed foodie and loves live music. He can also give free salsa dancing lessons to anyone who wants to learn. Favorite quote: When people ask “what do you do”; Tell them “Whatever it takes.” You can find him on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

 

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