The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly gripped the entire world, crippling economies and industries as it continues its warpath. To put this in perspective, economic losses can amount to as much as $8.8 trillion in the next 6 months. And as any world with minimal economic movement would dictate, a substantial blow of this pullback is set to be absorbed by the global real estate sector.
Acute fall in sales and indefinite delays in construction have placed the sector in a destabilized state. In fact, commercial real estate volumes in the U.S. alone have dropped by 71% in April.
Source: Zillow Economic Research
Even in India, real estate prices are expected to crash by 20% in the near term, with losses amounting to a nerve-wracking figure of INR 1 Lakh Crore.
It’s abundantly clear. The real estate sector is in for a tough ride. And with the fundamentals of the sector undergoing a certain overhaul, you need to up your marketing game - quickly and efficiently.
5 Pillars of Your Real Estate Marketing Strategy
Property owners/dealers will need to rethink their real estate marketing strategies during these testing times. To get started, it helps to focus on established primary goals - Recovery, Responsiveness, and New Opportunities.
Here are five tracks that you can undertake to give your marketing strategy the best chance of surviving the Covid19 crisis with these goals in mind:
1. Redesign Your Website
Covid19 has resulted in an unprecedented hike in digital consumption, with more eyeballs turned at screens than ever before. Here are some suggestions on how to overhaul your website:
- Covid19 update: Add Covid19 banners, badges & critical announcements onto your home page. Keep visitors informed about your company’s status, such as changes in operating hours, lockdown restrictions, containment areas, etc.
- Responsiveness & Mobile-friendly: In 2019, over 76% of all buyers found their home using a mobile device. Ensure that your website is responsive and works well on any device - be it tablets or phones. Then optimize it for first-time users by checking the visibility of call to actions, design of the website for both landscape and portrait modes, ease of filling contact forms, and more.
- Google’s My Business Listings: Create multiple snappy, property-specific websites by setting up individual checkpoints for each property. This will boost conversion rates and help you close deals faster.
2. Broaden Your Social Media Presence
Grabbing the attention of property buyers online can be challenging. It pays to go wide with your social media presence, increasing touchpoints, and engagement metrics. New marketing opportunities here can include:
- WhatsApp for Business: WhatsApp has witnessed an average global boost of 40% in usage and is a great platform for marketers. It’s easy to set up a WhatsApp business account and start using it to grow your engagement and reach.
- Run a promo on Zoom: Run a timely promotional campaign on Zoom using its Virtual Background feature. Zoom allows users to change their backgrounds - it’s prime digital real estate to grow brand recall and brand engagement. Currently, this works as a perfect alternative to Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising.
- Facebook Live for showings: Facebook Live allows anyone to share a live video stream from anywhere using a smartphone. It can be used to create instant, guided tours of homes - like a virtual walkthrough.
- Brush up your LinkedIn strategy: LinkedIn can be a lead generation and brand awareness channel. You can set up your business’ page, share content about your latest properties, and join groups to have conversations with local professionals who are looking for expert advice.
3. Invest in Your Offline Reputation
If Covid-19 has put a spanner in your hectic sales and marketing routines, redirect your time towards building brand recall with your target customers. Integrated marketing efforts should include offline mediums such as television, community development, and industry partnerships. Actions here can include:
- Create TV ads: Keeping in mind Covid19’s sobering impact on lives, it will pay to create informative, educational, and sensitive commercials for viewers.
- Social Causes: Word of mouth is still the strongest marketing tactic and the ongoing crisis is an opportunity to amplify it. Consider contributing to social causes by volunteering, participating in local community-building activities, or organizing help for residents.
- Strategic Partnerships: Explore partnerships with mortgage lenders, brokers, consultants, banks, local vendors, and contractors. Even a single relevant contact can prove to be extended touchpoints for new leads and referrals.
4. Promote Your USPs
It’s time to ask yourself an important question - “Is my USP Covid-19 ready?” If it is, kudos! If not, pivoting quickly can help you stand apart from the rest of the agents and brokers. Here are some ideas on how to go about it:
- Relocation Assistance: Since the logistics chain has crumbled, relocation is still one of the most important factors that will sway the decision of a buyer. If you are offering assistance with finance/ logistics (like a moving van), publicize it wide and strong.
- Leverage the Sharing Economy: The sharing economy includes everything from renting appliances, car-sharing, co-working, and peer-to-peer lending. Explore new USPs in this space, such as typing up with online furniture and appliance renting services, and market them.
Source: Miro Medium
- Hygiene: This is going to be the most critical piece of your marketing communication - be it with flyers, videos, websites, or brochures. Talk about regular property disinfections along with revamped hygiene culture that is driven by masks and sanitizers.
5. Fine Tune Your Targeted Direct Marketing Strategy
In an economic recession, it pays to continue to invest in your long term digital marketing goals. You may find your competition has dropped the ball on pay per click advertising, potentially lowering the rates. Or you may find new deals that will help you lower your spending while getting faster results. Ensure that you follow these steps to prepare for the future:
- Maintain and Update: This includes your mailing lists, lead generation funnels, background automation tools, and CRMs to ensure that your database is up to date.
- Monitor Your Campaigns: Real estate marketing strategies are only as effective as their KPIs. Monitor every campaign by tracking the right metrics.
- New Marketing Avenues: Besides MLS and wholesalers, look for new direct-to-seller or direct-to-buyer routes, off-market campaigns, and remarketing & retargeting within your database.
As we look ahead, marketers will need to be more resilient to successfully face new challenges. If the sector is to recover quickly, real estate marketing strategies will need to be reimagined for flexibility and speed. We at FractionalCMO can help you build your MarTech capabilities to achieve a substantial competitive advantage. Connect with us to learn more.