According to research conducted by PWC, Australia’s housing market is one of the toughest in the world: Sydney has the second-least-affordable housing market in the world; Melbourne is sixth place globally; Perth easily slides into the top 20 most pricey property markets. Stricter banks and lending regulations mean developers and homebuyers have more difficulty securing loans, while the surge of digital rental portals like Airbnb, and property websites like Purplebricks and OpenAgent mean margins are tighter than ever.
Therefore it’s important to take stock of the strategies, tools and insights that real estate agencies are using to keep their heads above the rising tide. And so, here’s Inboda’s guide to distinguishing yourself in a saturated property market.
It’s all in the mind — and brand
As the commonly accepted wisdom goes, “presentation is everything”. You’re not selling a shelter made of bricks and mortar: you’re selling someone their dreams. Too many websites make the mistake of boiling their properties down to cold statistics of measurements and facts — information that might be easier to digest, but ask yourself which sounds more engaging:
“200 square-metre semi-detached house with three bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen-dining room combo and a study”
“A massive gem in the heart of one of the most upcoming areas of Perth, with plenty of space perfect for a family, close proximity to schools and shops, and an extra room that can serve as an office from home or be converted into a child’s playroom”
This psychology extends to the houses you are selling and your brand itself, right down to what colours you pick. Blues elicit calm and relaxation; reds display passion; and yellows convey happiness and informality; the total psychology of your business — its purpose, messages and presentation — is a cornerstone of success.
Confidence, trust, & credibility are better than a digital ‘shortcut’
Your brand reputation comes next. Technology has many advantages, but it’s no shortcut to good service and client relations. The first thing to consider with brand reputation is likeness: people are attracted to those who are similar to them. Positioning your brand to attract your primary clientele — whether students or first-time buyers — is a sure way to capitalise on that demographic. Buyers are more likely to go with someone who understands their needs, so make sure you’re relatable. For example, attracting young first-time buyers is hard without a mobile app or visible social media presence.
The second consideration is trust. The booming digital marketplace has its flaws: scams, fake reviews and misleading adverts are everywhere. Customers value credibility more than ever. Good client reviews, registering with independent or third-party industry organisation, and gathering positive testimonials are all good habits to maintain your growth.
Finally, remember that people don’t like risk. They would rather play it safe than take a risk on hypothetical benefits. Your marketing should focus on what you are actively achieving, rather than endlessly advertise ‘maybes’. For example, testimonials about how you currently save clients considerable percentages on first-time buyer deposits are more effective than claims you could save them that money.
These basics go hand-in-hand with other online marketing strategies, such as optimising your content to meet Google’s SEO requirements, using a funnel-based content marketing strategy to guide prospective buyers to your services, and coding mobile-friendly websites with good design and interfaces.
Welcome to the new digital reality of real estate marketing
The internet and social media have fundamentally changed the way real estate works, and a new technological earthquake could be on the way. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) might be in their infancy now, but already there are technologies that use 3D photography to capture every angle of a house for digital tours. AR technologies like those offered by roOomy allow clients to upload pictures of a room and visualise what it could look like by letting them decorate it with items from a cast catalogue. Property giants like Sotheby’s are already looking into these kinds of game-changers, but as VR/AR technologies become cheaper and more widespread, industries everywhere need to consider their clear benefits.
In the real estate business, VR and AR technology erase the limits of distance and time: hundreds of potential buyers can view your properties at the same time without travelling long distances. By slipping on a headset, renovators can clearly see what a house will look like after work, which eases your sales. Finally, VR could play a direct role in slashing vacancy rates by boosting view numbers and saving time in showing and turning over a property. One day, these technologies could be as ubiquitous as Facebook; real estate agencies that use this opportunity now could be the industry leaders by the time VR is the new norm.
All of these psychological strategies, online marketing tools and industry secrets are things that we at Inboda take very seriously. We know the power of looking to the future — as well as scrutinising current practices — to keep up with the new trends and perfect the old. We help clients master their branding, digital marketing and industry positioning to become trendsetters who pave the way to the future. Click here to discover how our inbound marketing can help your real estate business differentiate itself in a saturated market, or contact us for a free, no commitment assessment.