It’s no secret that technology is changing the way companies do business all over the world. Nowhere, perhaps, is that more true than in the real estate industry. Gone are the days of flipping through the classifieds for a home. Now, the vast majority of home buyers are turning to their screens. The National Association of REALTORS recently released their report of Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends. This report can help you with targeting your marketing campaigns, designing your website, and more.
Let’s delve into the report and how it can shape your online marketing presence for 2016.
1. Most Homebuyers Start Their Search Online
In 2005, 82% of first-time homebuyers used the Internet to search for their new home, compared to 78% of repeat homebuyers (source). Last year, 88% of all buyers used the Internet during their search. Among homebuyers under age 34, the percentage was a whopping 94%. If you are in the real estate industry, whether as a home builder or real estate agent, it is clear that you need an online presence. first and foremost, you need a professional looking website with contact information, so that you show up when people search (learn more about showing up in search results here!).
By and large, the first step in the home buying process is looking at properties online, so make sure you have detailed information about your offerings on your site. Many buyers also search online to learn about the home buying process. It also means that having a landing page detailing the steps of the home buying process will help establish you as an expert, and capture buyers at the top of the purchase funnel.
If you are in the real estate industry, whether as a home builder or real estate agent, it is clear that you need an online presence.
2. Demographics of an Average Homebuyer
The median household income of a homebuyer is just under $85,000 per year. Overall, 65% of home buyers are married, followed by single females, who comprise 16% of buyers. 9% of home buyers are single males, and 8% are unmarried couples. The range is quite different in home buyers under age 35: Although 65% are married couples, 14% are unmarried couples, and 20% are single women or men. 65% of homebuyers have no children living in the home. In the 35-49 age range, this drops significantly, as 2/3 of home buyers have at least one child. By age 60, more than 94% of homebuyers do not have children residing in the home.
Knowing these kinds of demographics will help you target different marketing campaigns, as the different audiences will respond to different images and phrases. The following ads were designed by RealReach Marketing for two communities by the same Las Vegas builder, StoryBook Homes. As you can see, one is oriented towards families, and one to price-conscious young singles. Although these two communities were targeted to different audiences, you can also create separate ads for the same community targeting different kinds of buyers.
4. Reasons for Purchasing a New Home
Most homebuyers say that they simply desired a home of their own, and felt like it was the right time. Many also had a change in job location or living situation (marriage, birth of a child, etc.). Capitalize on these two reasons in your ads and branding!
Only 16% of homebuyers purchased a new home. Play Devil’s Advocate on your website and social media by identifying arguments against buying new and explaining why buying new is better!
Of the 16% of homebuyers who purchased a new home, 40% said they did so to avoid problems such as electrical wiring, plumbing, or renovations, 24% were interested in the ability to customize their home, and 17% were interested in the amenities of the new community. Are you selling new homes? Make sure to highlight these factors! Talk about how your buyers can customize their homes, and show off your amazing community amenities! The K-Bar Ranch website features a slider of rotating images of the Amenity Center, including this gorgeous shot of the pool area!
5. Factors Influencing Neighborhood Choice
Homebuyers cite the following reasons: quality of the neighborhood, convenient location (to work, friends/family, shopping, schools, and entertainment), affordability, and quality of school district. When creating the web design for a new community, these are important factors to highlight. Customers should be able to navigate quickly and easily to pages with this information. On the Bella Sol website, clicking the Lifestyle link immediately takes you to this map, underneath of which is a list of resources, schools, shopping centers, and more.
6. How Do People Search for a New Home?
88% of buyers visit a website, but you already know a website is a must-have. But having a mobile website is equally important. 50% of homebuyers search on their phones or tablets! And 26% of buyers look at online video sites, such as YouTube. Do you have any videos showing off your business or your homes? It’s a good thing to consider, especially since video can get great traction on social media!
7. What Do Buyers Want to See On Your Website?
The most popular response? Pictures! After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! If you are in need of pictures of your new homes or new communities, RealReach Marketing specializes in architectural renderings and photography.
Buyers also want to see detailed information about each property, so make sure you have a separate webpage for each home you’re selling. Buyers also love interactive maps and virtual tours, as well as neighborhood information. They also appreciate information on upcoming events, as well as videos highlighting the company, community, or individual properties.
Last, but certainly not least, contact information! Make sure you have a phone number and email address, and preferably a contact form!
It’s clear that the internet is changing, well, everything. Especially the way people search, shop, and buy. We discuss in this blog how your web design can have a direct influence on a prospective customer’s opinion of your company. Your web design and site content should reflect your buyer’s interests – and your buyer is interested in how buying your home will benefit them. Offer up extensive information, beautiful photographs, and an easy-to-navigate website for best results!
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