Nowadays, consumers prefer making most purchases online from the comfort of their homes, but the property industry need not fear the rising prominence of digital services. No one will ever be able to download a home from a server, and while the internet can certainly be used to find and view properties, few would be willing to make such an important financial and emotional investment without the professional advice only industry experts (estate agents) can provide.
Property remains one of the most reliable forms of investment, even in the face of the changes brought about by the digital revolution, and it's unlikely that digital services will be replacing estate agents anytime soon. They just change the way in which estate operates, with many opting to provide more affordable online-only services. In addition, digital services are valuable tools that make it easier for buyers and sellers to navigate the property market, and for estate agents to interact with their target audience.
Here are some examples of how the property industry can best use digital marketing.
Being able to pinpoint properties on a map takes property marketing to a whole new level. Home buyers can use this technology to investigate the area in which a property is situated, and determine whether or not it suits their needs without having to see it first-hand. Online estate agent Tepilo makes any property registered with them viewable on a Google Map in its search tool.
This doesn’t eliminate viewings all together, as most people will want to see what they're buying up close, but it helps prospective buyers narrow down their search. This suits online estate agents just fine, as they'll be dealing with customers whose interest in the property has already been piqued by what they've seen on the web.
Advertising homes on property portals can be extremely cost-effective compared to print advertisements. There are also ways in which secure websites can be used that many property agencies have not even begun to explore. For example, the ability to monitor user activity on the website can be an invaluable source of marketing data, such as:
How many hits the website is getting Where visitors are spending the most time Which advertisements are getting the most clicks The point at which most users leave the website
Any trends revealed can help sellers and estate agents optimise their marketing campaigns to better suit the needs of their customers.
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer new and creative marketing methods. Twitter can be used to instantly supply buyers with relevant information; for example, by alerting them when properties become available in a certain area. YouTube can be used to share video footage of homes for sale, while Facebook provides a wealth of data on the interests of the target audience.
Use digital to market, and agents to sell
Suzy Simpson says, “Estate agents aren't just selling houses anymore; the internet has gone a long way in doing that for them,” but adds that while digital technologies can bring properties to buyers’ attention and cultivate their interest, the expertise of an estate agent is often the clincher that turns a home seeker into a home buyer. Online estate agents, such as Tepilo, offer the best of both worlds, effectively using digital technologies to market properties, while still providing on-the-ground expert knowledge and services.