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Following the trends in real estate marketing is essential if you want to know who your buyers are, what they want, and how to reach them. The best way to understand these trends is to keep up with the latest real estate research.
In this guide, you’re going to learn about 8 recent statistics that have major implications for how you target motivated buyers. They’ve been divided into three separate groups that will help you understand:
Who is buying?
What do they want?
- In a survey of Millennials, 84% were willing to forego key amenities and home features in favor of their ideal location
- For 78% of home buyers, neighborhood quality is more important than home size. 57% would rather have a shorter commute than a larger lawn. (NAR)
- 63% of individuals want smart home security and climate controls, while 58% would appreciate smart lighting options.
Where are they buying?
- 98% of Older Millennials search on online websites compared to 89% of Older Boomers and 72% of the Silent Generation
- 81% of Older Millennials, 80% of Younger Millennials, and 78% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device
For each of these statistics, you’ll learn what it means for the wider market, and what changes you’ll have to make to your marketing to be able to keep up. Let’s start by looking at the rise of millennial buyers.
Millennials have officially come into their own as home buyers. They are now the largest cohort of buyers. Within the next 10 years, they are projected to be a majority of all homebuyers rather than just the largest segment.
The implications for real estate marketing are clear. You need to learn to cater to this group. That means:
- Knowing which tools they prefer to use to find homes (more on that near the end)
- Knowing what home features interest them the most so that you can emphasize those features in your marketing
- Knowing what cities they prefer, and whether they prefer urban, suburban or rural settings
A lot of this research still needs to be done, though some of the later statistics will cover what we know about millennial home-buying habits.
For now, let’s consider another set of statistics about home buyers that will have major consequences for both your investing and your marketing. You need to think about what homebuyers want.
To millennials, location is overwhelmingly one of the most important factors in a home’s value. This statistic has some significant implications for real estate investors. However, it’s equally important to home builders and real estate agents.
This is a preference that you can cater to in your advertising. If you’re investing in one of the top housing markets in the United States, you should make a point to emphasize the location above other factors when you’re developing your marketing plan.
Of course, the location covers more than just the geographic market that the home is in. As the next statistic reveals, the quality of the immediate area—no matter where in the US it is—is also a factor that plays a large role in the motivation of buyers.
These two statistics are closely related to one another. Both of them reveal an important shift in the priorities of home buyers. Factors like commute distance, walkability, and the vibrancy of nearby food and entertainment districts can be a bigger factor than the space in the home.
This statistic has some serious consequences for your marketing efforts. It means that you will be advertising a much wider area than the home itself. Any good listing or profile of the property must show off the value of the local area.
Fortunately, some recent innovations in real estate marketing can help you showcase a local area more effectively than in the past:
- Drone flyovers: Using drones to show the area around a property has become popular in recent years. MLS research has already revealed that properties with accompanying aerial imagery are 68% more likely to sell than properties without aerial imagery.
- Community Highlights: Information like walkability scores have crept into profiles in recent years. While they were once a nice bonus, implementing them should be considered a necessity now.
Of course, none of this means that home features aren’t a priority for buyers. If you choose to invest in homes in great neighborhoods, you still need to compete with the other homes in that market. One way you can do that is by focusing your marketing on desirable smart home features.
They took a while to catch on after they were imagined in the sci-fi films of yesteryear, but smart home features have now become an expectation of home buyers. Buyers in all age ranges are increasingly comfortable with having these devices in their homes.
Naturally, you should make a point to emphasize these perks in your marketing. Your listings should include information about the brand and generation of any smart devices that are in homes that you are selling. If you create video content for your marketing, you could make sure that you show off the capabilities of smart devices.
Now, you understand more about what buyers want. However, knowing what they want isn’t enough if you can’t reach them. The next three statistics can tell you a lot more about where your marketing needs to be.
Millennials use the internet to find homes nearly universally. While you would expect that, perhaps you were surprised to see how high the usage rates were for older Boomers and even the generation before them. Even homebuyers in their 70s and 80s are using the internet as their primary source for home shopping.
The internet isn’t only used for the searching stage, either. Recent research revealed that 52% of eventual buyers found their homes on the internet. This medium clearly needs to be your first priority.
If you’re like most property investors, you’ve probably already moved most of your marketing online. If you haven’t, you have no reason to wait any longer. These statistics suggest that there may not even be any benefit to posting ads in traditional media such as newspapers. After all, you’re practically missing no one with an exclusively online ad strategy.
However, there is one way that younger generations are setting themselves further apart from boomers in home-searching technologies. A more significant majority of them prefer to do those searches on their mobile phones.
Desktops are going the way of the dodo as younger people increasingly prefer mobile devices like cell phones and IPads for their general browsing. These smaller devices are now the main vehicle for finding homes.
Older generations didn’t prefer mobile devices as much as Millenials did, but they still weren’t far behind.
The implications for your marketing are clear. Any listings, and any website that you host them on, need to be mobile-ready. If you already took this step, you made a good decision. Even Google, which many people use for finding homes, transitioned to prioritizing mobile websites several years back.
Follow the trends in real estate marketing to be ready for tomorrow
Following the trends in real estate marketing can help you stay ahead of the serious changes that are always coming to this market. Due to a number of factors, those changes may be far more severe and fast-moving than they’ve ever been before.
You’ll be fine as long as you remember who you’re selling to, what they want, and where to find them. Remember that your main audience is increasingly millennials. Soon, they’ll represent the majority of homebuyers, and the next generation won’t be far behind them.
Then, remember that location is taking center stage for these new buyers. If you want them to pay attention to your marketing, you need to sell the local area, not just the home itself. Finally, remember that you need content and ads that can be enjoyed online, on mobile devices if you want to reach anyone.