The Property Republic team spoke with industry leaders to get their insight on what shifts will occur in property throughout 2021. Here’s what the experts had to say:
1. The online sales process in property will continue to be a focus
It’s fair to say that the online sales process is here to stay. The lack of face-to-face contact experienced during the 2020 lockdown periods and the increased emphasis of social distancing practices were the push many property businesses needed to transform and improve their online customer experience. Being able to deliver a completely digital customer journey, from initial enquiry all the way to sale and beyond is not only an expectation, it’s essential.
“I’m confident the sales process will remain online. Due to COVID we needed to change our sales process to a full online experience. Now that the restrictions have eased, we are still seeing that the majority of enquiry (90%) would still prefer to buy a property this way.”
Matt Dean, Project Director – Woodlea
Home buyers – especially the younger generation of home buyers – will continue to opt for digital experiences over in-person ones and this means property businesses need to make this a priority. Delivering multiple online touchpoints, virtual meetings and walkthroughs, digital nurture sequences and a seamless experience is becoming the status quo, so now property businesses must ask themselves “what more can we do to stand out from the competition?”
“I think there will be greater expectations and market acceptance for a digital marketing and sales experience post COVID-19 lockdowns. Like with a lot of things, COVID-19 has fast tracked digitisation which has been slowly happening for years. The days of driving around to 10 different land sales offices to shop around are officially over!”
Ryan Beer, Senior Development Manager – Woodlea
2. Audiences will be more engaged and interested
It’s possible that developers will experience higher qualified leads this year, as people are only engaging with the property sector online and in-person when they are seriously considering a purchase. But with a more switched-on audience who have higher expectations, property businesses need to be prepared to differentiate themselves from competitors by prioritising the customer lifecycle and delivering an exceptional experience.
Traditionally, the majority of marketing attention and budget gets thrown at the awareness and lead generation stage of the customer journey, with little consideration for how these leads will then be nurtured. This approach needs to change. Property businesses need to place a greater emphasis on the later stages of the customer lifecycle: the interest-intent phase, the decision phase and the loyalty phase. This means refining and perfecting the follow-up call, posting regular and relevant blogs and social media content that serve to educate and inspire and creating an email nurture sequence that delivers real value.
“I believe leads will be more qualified, as I expect people aren’t engaging in the property sector unless they want to transact. And as a result, better conversion rates are expected.”
Anne Jolic, Head of Development – Retirement Living Lendlease
For more key insights, read our PRX Magazine: The 2021 Trends Edition.