No matter how the market is performing, real estate remains a relationship-centric business, even with the rise of the tech-focused brokerage model. And of course, the agent remains the key advisor entrusted with one of the biggest personal financial decisions a person will make in their lifetime.
Now is the time for agents to consider who the potential homebuyers and sellers of today are and the best ways to engage with them.
Staying up to date on what is motivating buyers and sellers and creating a comprehensive marketing strategy to appeal to their wants and needs is crucial in gaining a competitive edge.
Here, we outline steps you can take to diversify your campaigns, and why it’s vital to implement a multigenerational approach to marketing.
Know your audience
Who are the potential homebuyers and sellers of today? While they may vary from market to market, we do know that they make up a multigenerational population with very different spending habits and ways they consume media.
If we look at recent Federal Reserve data, it shows that Millennial wealth more than doubled over the pandemic, from $4.55 trillion in 2019 to over $9 trillion by the end of 2021. Baby Boomers still remain well ahead, with nearly eight times that much, while Gen X’s wealth jumped 65% to roughly $41 trillion.
Millennials still hold far less wealth than previous generations did at similar ages, and they currently are facing soaring home and rental prices. Being aware of and sensitive to this fact is crucial when crafting communication.
Meanwhile, the rapid home price appreciation over the last two years means those who owned their homes gained more than $6 trillion in housing wealth. Understanding the division of wealth, the economic climate and who is primed to make moves in the short and long term are factors that can help drive your marketing and client outreach.
Understand how they shop for real estate
Where do potential buyers and sellers search for information, shop real estate and engage with agents? Of course, much of the action is happening online. Millennials are considered “digital natives,” while the Baby Boomer population is avidly online, making a strong online and social media presence an obvious must in marketing yourself and your properties.
But what are the differences in how these audiences consume media?
Forbes recently reported that Millennials are most fond of Instagram as their social media platform of choice, while Gen Xers prefer Facebook, where they connect directly to their sphere.
When Boomers go online, it tends to be more for research than social connection, though the pandemic likely pushed them deeper into social media exploration. And don’t cut out print marketing and advertising, especially when marketing to the luxury clientele. The affluent audience includes a large percentage of Boomers who continue to hold much of the nation’s wealth. Studies show that among this demographic, newspapers, magazines and TV ads still rank as more credible and trustworthy.
Finally, don’t disregard good, old-fashioned direct mail. Growing privacy concerns and the inundation of information online are leading to a growing demand for tactile experiences that reinforce brand authenticity. A recent USPS study found that 62% of Millennials tend to read advertising they receive in the mail.
Devise a comprehensive plan
How can you reach and engage with potential buyers and sellers in all demographics? Connect your strategy across media platforms, from Instagram and Facebook to LinkedIn and Twitter and TikTok. Connect on social media platforms, sharing not just listings but relevant and compelling information that keeps potential clients informed and fosters trust, such as updates on local market trends and neighborhood spotlights.
Engage with your followers by responding to their comments and messages, and encourage them to get in touch.
Next, establish yourself within the lucrative local market by having a consistent presence in local publications and newspapers by creating a beautiful, luxurious experience for readers — think, full-page color ads or double-page spreads when within your marketing budget. Appearing regularly in long-trusted publications will help establish your presence and reinforce your experience in the marketplace.
As for the enduring (if not surprising) appeal of direct mail, a well-thought-out postcard campaign, keeping neighbors up to date on recent sales in the neighborhood and niche services you offer is a great way to establish your presence as the local expert in your market.
Adapt as necessary
Much like the market, trends are always changing and evolving. Not only should you stay current on market conditions, but on the behaviors of your clientele. Connect with your brokerage’s marketing team for their expertise and stay open to new opportunities and avenues for hyper-targeted digital marketing.
Ensure your personal website is up to date with recent sales and career milestones. Expand your social media presence by pairing your knowledge with personal experiences and infuse your own personality into your reels and stories. Become a trusted resource in your local marketplace through print advertising and direct mail campaigns that show your expertise and reinforce your brand to those thinking of making a move.
Seek opportunities and partnerships that expand your presence, whether through email campaigns or in-person seminars.
While you can’t be everywhere at once, focusing your efforts on core audiences will ensure you reach the right buyers and sellers in your area. With market conditions changing by the day, a thoughtful, multi-generational marketing strategy can establish you as the trusted resource for both the buyers and sellers of today and those of tomorrow.
Rainy Hake is president of The Agency.