With the new year fast approaching, it's time to reassess and evaluate marketing strategies, especially in the rapidly changing environment of real estate. Millennials are on the rise as first-time home buyers, and it's important to know who comprises that audience and the most effective strategies to reach them.
First-Time Home Buyer Profile
In 2016, only 35% of homes sold were to first-timers. Of those homes sold to first-time buyers, only 8% went to single men, while 18% went to single women. 6% was the median down payment, and 82% of the home types bought were for detached single-family homes.
1. Narrow your marketing strategies
When it comes to marketing -- whether it be direct mail, email, or social media -- it's essential to fine tune your campaign pieces so they appeal to more defined segments of your prospect pool. For new home-buyers, the difference between loans can be overwhelming and difficult to understand at first. Make sure that your campaigns present the right product to the right audience. Marketing strategies may differ greatly between a VA loan offer and an FHA home offer, and in order to produce the highest ROI, it's important to think of first-time home buyers not as a defined segment, but rather as the first segment that you further divvy up to produce the highest impact in the market.
2. Use visual content
Visual strategies are growing and ballooning into a profitable marketing go-to. Taking the time to make quick visual video clips that walk your prospect through your offerings and advantages can get you a higher market share quickly. People are four times as likely to browse through an info graphic or watch a quick clip than they are to read a long article about your offers. It's been proven that a visual every 75-100 words have the greatest impact and cause prospects to stay on your page or article up to five times longer than they would without visual aides.
3. Know your ideal customer
We've talked about segmenting, but once you've decided your target audiences, it's necessary to define your criteria even further. Having your current top-performing clients' analyzed can result in a data-driven strategy that implements not only your criteria, but also will predict who else in the market would be perfect for your offers and perform as well as your current top clients. Using the knowledge you already have to build an even more responsive audience is going to be key for any lender who wants to stay competitive in the next year, as more and more companies move to data analytic strategies to boost their ROI.
4. Keep your databases fresh
Similar to point number three, it's essential to constantly update your data collection and analysis efforts. By receiving the most current and accurate data, the marketing dollars spent in this field pay off tremendously. Instead of continuing to widely market to people you would guess are in the market, rather than narrowly market to those who are confirmed to be in the market, you'll get a higher ROI. It's an adage as old as time: a smaller pool of more likely prospects will yield a higher return than a wide pool of unknown prospects. Keeping your data fresh means that you'll know exactly who is in the market for your product from your pool of ideal prospects and you won't be wasting marketing money and time on targeting those who don't currently have a need for them.
5. Create informative content, not ads
When first time home buyers are in the market, their first step is most often to ask family and friends, and then continue their research through online search engines. They most likely won't just click through any ad, but rather look for how to articles and tips for new home buyers. Using search engine tools such as Google Trends or others will allow you to see what the most commonly searched phrases are, and help boost your SEO. Top performing articles include the keywords "How To," and "Top Tips." By creating informative content, you'll be perceived as more reliable and knowledgeable.