2014 Internet Marketing Trends for the Real Estate MarketJanuary 2, 2014 10:48 am
Every year we like to reflect back on factors impacting real estate performance and how that may influence 2014. This is the third year in a row we have performed this trending forecast. We had a large amount of data to review along with an additional seven successful communities as case studies to consider.
Top 7 Real Estate Internet Marketing Trends:
1. Multiscreen viewing will continue to increase for Gen-X and Baby-Boomers life-stage segments. Google released a study earlier this year that Baby Boomers and Seniors now spend more time online than watching TV. However, watching TV is not far behind. What we are also seeing is an increase in this lifestage segment watching TV and searching the internet for things they see on TV. Therefore, we believe the multiscreen viewing trends will continue to increase.
2. Tablets will reflect more conversions than true mobile phones. There is a large amount of coverage regarding mobile usage for internet usage. While mobile is no doubt influencing how we browse the internet, we did not see it translating into lead generation nor driving a substantial amount of traffic. This was a consistent pattern we saw across the board across North America and several other countries. To us this makes sense when it comes to real estate purchases. High price point products require a personal approach that is just as much about the experience. Why would people perform due diligence on the most likely expensive purchase decision of their life using a mobile phone compared to tablets or pc? Therefore, we continue to expect more traffic and leads to come from PC’s and Tablets. That said, we still think there is a proper way mobile phones devices should be leveraged for real estate that we are seeing efficient and effective success with.
3. New home sales will continue to rise as month’s supply declines. Across the nation, months’ supply for new homes continued to drop in October. Sales continued to rise in October. Supply of new homes has increased slightly compared to the dramatic increases in demand.
4. Content marketing will have a strong influence on search engine organic results. The largest update Google has made to their search engine in years, Hummingbird, has been compared to replacing a standard V6 engine to a Ferrari V8. Semantic search is the largest impact on the way the search engine has changed. Therefore, we believe high quality and engaging content will only produce more effective results.
5. Internet marketing will continue to have the strongest marketing impact on real estate sales. Every year the National Association of Realtors comes out with a study called the NAR Home Buyers Survey. In there, you will see buyers reporting they found the home they purchased by using the internet more than any other source. This is a consistent increasing trend for the last 5 years. Buyers reported using the internet to find the home they purchased even more so than a broker or agent, however, it was close.
6. Search engine traffic will continue to dominate lead generation traffic over social media. While social media has its place in marketing no marketer who follows lead source mediums conversion rates will tell you they are receiving a more efficient rate of leads from social media. That said, there are some new advertising placements recently made available in social media that we will be following and testing.
7. Affluent buyers will continue to spend more time online. For the past three years we have seen substantial 25% increases in the amount of time the affluent segment spends online going from approximately 32 hours a week to 41 hours per week. We saw a large spike in the Senior segment between 2012 and 2013. It is notable that luxury marketers are traditionally a few steps behind. This is because of the traditional focus on the brand, not to mention the buyers will return several times to the site prior to converting therefore brand consistency is important. Element-360 has recently seen an emerging trend of luxury consumers responding to username and password protected digital access over other promotional alternatives. It is something not everyone has access to therefore creating exclusivity and therefore sense of urgency.
Overall, we are very optimistic about the residential and land real estate markets for 2014. We had an additional 7 communities with either near sellout or triple digit year over year sales revenue increase for 2013 that are included in the basis of our forecast. We would love to hear from you discuss trends you are seeing.
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