September 20, 2019

In today’s technology-oriented world, keeping up with trends is essential if you are going to hit your target audience.  Further, doing so in a way that is sustainable to your workload is necessary. In this year’s NAR report, "Real Estate In A Digital Age:  2019 Report", we find valuable information for honing in on a manageable and effective digital marketing strategy.  We will dive into a few of their findings in this post, highlighting some of the big takeaways from the report.


The first finding of note is what buyers are taking as their first step in the buying process.  According to the report, 44% off all buyers began their search by looking for properties online, compared to only 17% who began by contacting a real estate agent.  Taking that as truth, you need to have a solid strategy for directing future buyers to your website. You will need SEO on your side, and you’ll need to be smart about how and where you post your listings.  For instance, you can stand out by having a video for each of your listings, and by distributing them intelligently you can then drive traffic from social (and other) sites directly to your business homepage.  


While this study breaks down buyers into generational groups, we are going to continue focusing on the big picture, or buyers as a whole (click the link above to visit the report and look further into the breakdowns by generation).  Of buyers, 93% used a website during the homebuying process, compared to 86% who used an agent and 37% who consulted an online video site. I focus on these three numbers for good reason: you can effectively combine the experience of all three of these factors by having videos of listings (as well as your bio, community videos, etc.) on your personal website, and you can use social and other sites to drive traffic, meaning leads, directly to your site.  Once there, you have a captive audience, as you have a bevy of listing videos there for the viewing. In fact, according to this report by Wistia, site visitors will spend, on average, 2.6X more time on sites with video than without (7 minutes 21 seconds compared to just two minutes 48 seconds).


Now that we know that 93% of homebuyers consulted websites, let’s take a more focused look at what they found effective on those websites.  I am going to focus here on the top two findings: that 87% of homebuyers found photos on websites to be very useful and that 85% found detailed information about properties to be useful.  This makes perfect sense, as we know that homebuyers these days want to learn as much as they possibly can about a property before they take the step of visiting a property, whether an open house or a private tour.  We all know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Taking it further, McQuivey’s Forrester study entitled 'How Video Will Take Over The World' suggests that a video is worth 1.8 million words.  That might sound crazy, but take a look at this breakdown from " target="_blank">https://www.google.com/" style="text-decoration:none;">IdeaRocket:


They go on to break things down like this:

   


The arrow is pointing, very clearly I might say, to integrating video into agent pages, allowing the agent to keep the viewer on her/his page longer.  In addition, that same IdeaRocket report (link above) tells us that, when images and text are combined, the audience retains 65% of the information 3 days later, compared to just 10% if no images are included (see here for more on that).


Let’s take a look at one more piece of data from that NAR report before we go.  When they looked into the most difficult part of the homebuying process, researchers found that 56% of respondents cited finding the right property, far and away the highest category (the next highest was paperwork at 20%).  So, if we know that the search for the ideal property still rules the process, and we know that buyers are consulting websites more than ever, we can narrow our focus. If the goal is to make the homebuying experience as pleasant as possible, then creating a web experience for the buyer that has what they want and need makes sense.  In so doing, if you can steer them to your site and keep them there by engaging them with professional, high-quality video, then all the better.  


Take a look here and here for posts from the WellcomeMat Neighborhood that will help get you on the right path for getting your videos out there and for driving traffic from your videos, wherever they may be, to your website.  As always, please get in touch with us if you have any questions and feel free to leave any comments in the conversation area.

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