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Buyer Behaviour: Why Real Estate Purchasers Like Shopping Online (and So Should Developers)

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More and more mobile technology is further integrating into our everyday lives. Without realizing it we use technology to support many of our social interactions, specifically, shopping. Often I speak with real estate developers that don’t truly understand the affect their online strategy is having on their own marketing success. Right now in North America 83% of total shoppers are online finding exactly what they want. Now when we think about making one of the biggest purchasing decisions of our lives, where do you think we are going to look? Online of course! The fact is it is estimated that over 90% of real estate buyers browse online. Naturally, real estate buyers will eventually also want to see the real deal, the property, in person. But when they’re just getting started why would they waste their time?

At Blueprint Effects we wanted to understand why this is happening in order to help create attention-grabbing marketing strategies to intrigue online buyers. Here are the 4 Reasons Real Estate Buyers Prefer Online Shopping and Why Developers Should Too.

1) Discover

Why this works for buyers:

As real estate purchasers we browse the web through a variety of different sites and real estate portals until we’ve seen all we need to see. And that can mean almost everything. Gone are the days when people hop into their cars every weekend for months on end. Now they can eliminate the have-nots from the haves and focus on only the properties they are looking for saving a lot of time and gas money. Not to mention with the cool marketing tools now available, researching properties online has become a hobby itself.

Why this works for developers:

Today technology is facilitating the design process and helping you to tell your project’s story. As real estate buyers discover you and your website, mobile app or digital advertising campaign, you can portray your development in the exact way you want. This means controlling the experience and walking them through your story. And what’s even better? Thanks to mobile marketing, you’re always open, no matter where they go or what time it is. And that’s a win-win for everyone.

2)  Communicate

Why this works for buyers:

Why call when you can email or chat? This is certainly how shoppers feel when looking for a home online and needing to ask a few clarification questions. Now once they find the properties they like they can simply reach out to the developer or brokerage online and message them with a few simple questions.

Why this works for developers:

Allowing prospects to contact you online helps for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it saves money. Limit the expense on costly sales representatives and free up their additional time. Also, it allows you to track your leads and build out your CRM system in order to enhance your direct marketing strategy. Having the clients register online eliminates needless paperwork and feeds leads directly into your sales team.

3) Share

Why this works for buyers:

People care about what other people think. Now online we can share links with friends and family through email or social media. Getting real time feedback and weighing the options together allows potential buyers to develop confidence in their purchasing decisions.

Why this works for developers:

Did someone say word of mouth advertising? This is a great way for people to genuinely show interest in your project. So unlike in old days, when Sue told Tom and then Tom told Bill and so on a so forth, now Sue posts it on Facebook and 250 of her friends can view the property as well. Thanks Sue.

4) Relax

Why this works for buyers:

Perhaps most importantly, shopping online allows for the purchaser to relax. Often times real estate purchases can be stressful and browsing from the comfort of your home can help alleviate some of that anxiety. Rather than feeling pressured into making a deal, clients can browse the market at their leisure and make a decision when they feel ready.

Why this works for developers:

Again, this is good for your sales team and resources. Having educated and informed clients will allow your staff to focus on prospects that are deeper in the sales funnel leading to a higher conversion rate with less human resources. A clear and easy to understand online presence all creates a level of transparecny with buyers leading to higher conversion rates and fewer last second reservations.