As you know, consumers who buy their first home face many challenges which can be downright scary at times; however, buying a home can also be one of the most exciting purchases they will make. I purchased my first home in August 2012, and I definitely experienced all of those feelings along the way. Although difficult at times, I couldn’t be happier in my current residence and am thrilled to be able to call this place my own. Read on for marketing tips that can help your real estate business, based on my experiences as a first time home buyer.
How Did My Search Begin?
Like most people who grew up in the 21st Century (Millennials), I turned to technology to start my real estate search. Realtor.com reports that over 90% of people search for homes online during some portion of their home buying experience. That’s why it’s so important that Realtors have a killer, user- and SEO-friendly website. What’s the number one thing people do when they go to the homepage of a real estate site? Search for homes, of course!
Marketing Tip: Include an easy-to-use property search above the fold on your homepage!
How do your site visitors search for homes on your website? Do you have an IDX solution? Do you require people sign up or register before they can see listings? Forced registration typically screams “More leads!” to the average Agent, but do you know how it makes a first time home buyer feel to see a site demanding their contact information? From personal experience, I can tell you it makes us very uncomfortable. After all, why should I give you my contact info when I can look through as many pages on Zillow or Trulia as I’d like without giving up my personal details?
Marketing Tip: Resist the urge to force registration and offer visitors the ability to freely search for properties!
Trust is a big deal to anyone, but especially to first time buyers who tend to lack confidence. If first time home buyers are a part of your market, consider educating them with resources they can use to navigate the process and gain confidence in you and your website. I’ve found some potential formulas for success include:
- Testimonials from other first time home buyers you’ve worked with
- A blog category devoted to First Time Home Buyers
- Videos about the home buying process
- A First Time Home Buyers section of your site
Marketing Tip: Earn the trust of your site visitors by offering meaningful search tools, neighborhood resources and educational articles to help them navigate their real estate search.
The younger generations tend to be more visual, so giving them the information they want in ways they can see like 3D floor plan images or virtual staging is a great way to connect with your first time buyers. Infographics are another excellent tool to display otherwise wordy information on your site in a manner that is easily digestible.
Employing these strategies to build trust, having a user-friendly website, and creating visual experiences are all great ways to engage first time home buyers. These methods will help ease their fears while educating them and showing value.
Marketing Tip: Offer a visually-stimulating experience on your website so visitors can easily consume your content.
Show & Tell
Have you integrated any of these into your real estate website? If so, leave us a comment with the link to share your resources.