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Thought Leadership

A place to keep up-to-date with the latest marketing trends

Customer Experience, Lead Nurture, Strategy

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, having an exceptional customer experience is the best way to stay ahead of the competition, not only during market downturns, but all year round.

 

With customer expectations constantly changing, evolving and increasing, property businesses must continue to place the customer experience at the heart of all strategies in order to experience consistent success.

“The only truth is that if we follow the needs of our consumers – in content creation and in research and development – we should still have a place in the market in 2021.”

Jessica Best, Vice President – Data-driven Marketing Barkley


Here are three customer experience trends and must-knows to think about in 2021:

With customer expectations constantly changing, evolving and increasing, property businesses must continue to place the customer experience at the heart of all strategies in order to experience consistent success.

“The only truth is that if we follow the needs of our consumers – in content creation and in research and development – we should still have a place in the market in 2021.”

Jessica Best, Vice President – Data-driven Marketing Barkley


Here are three customer experience trends and must-knows to think about in 2021:

 

1. Place your customers’ needs at the heart of your activities
One of our most favourite insights that we like to communicate to all our clients goes a little like this: If businesses continuously placed the customer (and their needs) at the centre of all strategies, it wouldn’t be so hard to make sales during market downturns.

 

This is because by having a comprehensive understanding of who your customer is, what their pain points are, what needs they have and how these needs can evolve and shift, you have the ability to create strategies and products that respond to them.

 

If 2020 was the year where brands had to adapt their services and marketing activities to respond to customer needs and behaviours in a COVID world, 2021 will be the year where businesses will need to have a clear plan in action to monitor and respond to their customers’ evolving needs and expectations in a world where anything seems possible.

 

2. Respond to new consumer behaviours, expectations and priorities
In a world where homebuyers have hundreds of options at their fingertips, property businesses need to deliver an experience (and a product!) that customers genuinely desire or risk missing out. Customers expect to receive a personalised experience that’s tailored to their needs and makes them feel listened to and valued.

 

“Customers ultimately wish to do business with companies that demonstrate care and respect for their needs: having a well-considered customer journey will help set your business apart by approaching your product and service delivery in a way that always puts the customer first.”
Anne Baker, Director – Two Crowns Marketing

 

Consumers have shorter attention spans, higher expectations and different priorities after experiencing a range of difficulties throughout 2020, and property businesses need to be ready to respond to these shifts by placing the customer and their changing needs at the core of every strategy.

 

 

3. Improve mobile and user experience
It’s no secret that the modern buyer explores a range of property websites on their phones and laptops for weeks (or months) before entering a sales office. This means that your brand’s digital experience needs to be optimised and prioritised. Make your value proposition clear, navigation easy and information readily available for those who want to learn more.

 

A great way to determine the effectiveness and identify potential downfalls of your digital experience is through mystery shopping, and the Property Republic team are experts at this. We conduct online, telephone and in-person enquiries, monitor all communication with sales representatives and visit the sales centre. We then audit any follow-up and provide a comprehensive report with recommendations. Our methodology lets you hear from our shoppers and feel the emotion soon after their shopping experience.

 

For more key insights, read our PRX Magazine: The 2021 Trends Edition.

 

 

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Customer Experience, Lead Nurture

We spoke with industry leaders to get their insight on what shifts will occur in property throughout 2021. It’s clear that with enhanced expectations from purchasers and a booming FHB market, property professionals must be prepared to deliver on their promise and exceed expectations to stay ahead of the competition.

 

Here’s what the experts had to say:

 

1. Changing expectations of products and services

People’s expectations of property products will shift as they re-evaluate what’s really important to them. With months spent in isolation throughout 2020, home buyers have a clear idea of what they want their new home and location to offer:

 

– More space and bigger backyards
– Additional rooms for at-home work and study
– Local parks and walking tracks
– Local facilities and amenities that provide convenience and enhance lifestyles
– Genuine quality

 

“We need to be prepared to reshape the types of products and services that we offer. As we return to some sense of normal in 2021, it’s timely to take an honest look at the way we go about our business, our customers’ changing needs and new resources available to us to better shape how we can stay a step ahead and thrive in a post COVID environment.”
 Anne Baker, Director – Two Crowns Marketing

 

What this means is developers and builders alike need to clearly communicate how their products deliver on quality and enhance the lives of homeowners, or risk losing out to the competition. After a year of uncertainty, purchasers want to be certain about their future purchase decisions and property businesses need to be prepared to deliver on their promise and exceed expectations.

 

“There will continue to be a flight to quality with so much uncertainty…in markets like this, people move away from smaller developers and towards more trusted brands that they believe will retain more long-term value.”
Anne Jolic, Head of Development – Retirement Living Lendlease

 

2. A booming First Home Buyer (FHB) market

2020 would have been a difficult year for renters and house-sharers whose homes didn’t accommodate for their lifestyle needs during isolation. This means we’re likely to see more renters opt to buy or build their own home – one that effectively responds to their needs and delivers a great living experience. Intensifying this strong First Home Buyer presence are low interest rates, grants and incentives offered by developers and builders to mobilise the market.

 

“I think we are going to see the first home buyer being stronger than ever…I also think that the downsizer market will be equally strong as they reprioritise what’s important and what’s not. Plus, they are still seeing strong prices and short selling times for their existing homes as first homebuyers snap them up.
James Kelly, Managing Director – Lifestyle Communities

 

For more key insights, read our PRX Magazine: The 2021 Trends Edition.

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Customer Experience, Lead Nurture, Strategy

As many people around the world begin to embrace the new norms of social distancing and self-isolation, property marketers need to adapt how they appeal and respond to customer needs and focus on keeping their community connected and engaged.

 

While it’s true that visiting display villages and homes, attending community events and booking one-on-one appointments is becoming less of an option for customers, there are so many ways developers and builders can continue to engage and entertain potential and current customers by harnessing social media, content marketing and online video platforms.

 

If you’re floundering for ways to engage your community, here are a few low-cost and simple ideas:

 

  • Offer virtual tours and appointments over FaceTime and Skype. This gives customers the option to video call a sales representative who can show them around a particular display home or sales office while communicating the USPs of the project or product.

  • Create a Facebook group to reduce loneliness within your community. You may like to use your current Facebook page, or create a new one dedicated to community engagement during COVID-19, where residents can post about the things they’re doing at home. Parents can exchange activities to entertain the kids, dog owners can share their favourite walking trails and you (the developer or builder) can share videos, ideas, tips and tricks to help your community feel supported and connected. You can also use this platform to support small businesses and connect your community with helpful services. If someone in your community is offering online piano lessons, share their page. If your local coffee shop is offering take-away coffees and meals, share their updates. If a local personal trainer or fitness instructor is hosting online classes, share their timetable.

  • Utilise video. Your community is likely to be consuming a lot of content right now. Instead of scrambling to create brand new content, use the materials you already have to create highly engaging videos. Some ideas include:

    • Respond to FAQs in a video

    • Turn a selection of photos into a slideshow and add music and a voiceover. If you’re a builder, these photos can be of facades, bedrooms, kitchens, laundries and other spaces within your homes.

  • Host a competition. If you’re a builder, encourage your customers to take a photo of their favourite room or their favourite feature in their home. If you’re a developer, ask residents to take a photo of their favourite place within your community. Ask participants to post these images to your Facebook page, or use a specific hashtag on Instagram, and tag your account. Narrow down your top three favourites and host a poll for the community to vote for their favourite. The winner receives a prize of your choice. This initiative not only helps to keep your community feeling connected and engaged, it also opens an opportunity for user-generated content.

  • Host a First Home Buyers webinar. Instead of hosting a seminar at your sales office, host a webinar for FHB online. Throughout the session you can discuss how the current climate has impacted FHBs and interest rates, how your brand can support them during this time, and what buying your first home in the current situation looks like. If you’re a developer, get your builder partners to participate and discuss their product. If you’re a builder, get your interior designers and suppliers involved to talk about the unique features and inclusions of your homes.

  • Write useful and insightful blogs. Cut through the clutter and help deliver inspiration and education by creating content that really matters to your community at this time. It could be about interest rates and finances, activities to entertain the kids at home or ways to make your at-home study more thought-provoking.

 

If your property business needs help implementing any of these initiatives, the Property Republic team can help. Not only are we experts in content marketing, we’re also passionate about customer experience and helping property business connect with their customers.

 

If you’d like a free 15-minute phone call to brainstorm some ideas, get in touch.

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