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Thought Leadership

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

Customer Experience

The Property Republic team recently read and unpacked the 2022 Trend Hunter Report to see how property brands can stay ahead of the curve and respond to changing expectations and behaviours. Here are the report’s top 3 customer experience trends, insights and key takeaways your property business needs to be aware of:

 

1. Shoppable experience

Brands create in-person or virtual experiences that consumers can shop in.

 

Trend: Shoppable experiences are the newest way that companies are curating unique branded experiences for customers. These experiences include everything from shoppable hotel rooms to cooking shows.

Insight: Consumers increasingly expect that brands match their lifestyles and social media consumption habits when trying to relate to them. These more authentic interactions breed brand loyalty among consumers.

 

Takeaway: How is your brand creating innovative shopping experiences for customers?

 

2. Shoppable Room

Brands are utilising virtual home experiences as medium for retail.

 

Trend: Companies are launching virtual home shopping experiences to market products during the COVID-19 era. These gamified platforms are engaging with playful interactivity and comfort aesthetics that entertain consumers and also allow for the visualisation of a product in one’s space.

Insight: As government-imposed COVID-19 measures are highly restrictive to brick-and-mortar retail, individuals have turned to online shopping for their daily needs—whether that is because they want to play it safe or save themselves the hassle. Aware of the potentials of technology in virtual environments, many are looking for digital experiences that are immersive and this demand arises from a consumer need for entertaining distractions during a difficult time.

 

Takeaway: Conceptualise an immersive retail experience for online environments.

 

3. One-to-One Retail

Stores serve one customer at a time to give safe, ultra-custom experience.

 

Trend: The retail industry has seen a lot of transformation in light of the pandemic. One recent development is the growth of storefronts or services dedicated to limiting the shopping experience to two people: the retail worker and the customer. This is being executed virtually as well as in person and has the benefits of both safety and full personalisation.

Insight: The idea of personalised, consultant-based services in the retail industry is not necessarily new; however, because it is more specialised and doesn’t maximise employee time, it has historically been a service reserved for luxury big-ticket purchases. This model’s safety benefits make it an attractive option to make accessible for all in the new normal. In addition to reducing face time, one-to-one experiences also grant consumers a relationship-fuelled experience.

 

Takeaway: How will you satisfy the opposing consumer need for experience and safety within the ‘new normal’?
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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:

 

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, Strategy

Developing a strategy is a crucial step for any new project, initiative or venture.

 

In order to set your project up for success, you need to have a documented strategy that delivers on the vision and value proposition, demonstrates a clear understanding of your customer and how they move through the project lifecycle. This then influences the brand development.

 

Your strategy will have a greater chance of succeeding if the whole team is on board with a thorough understanding of the value proposition and their individual responsibilities. This means that the development of your marketing strategy needs to involve the marketing, sales, design, development, customer relations and community teams.

 

Start with the objective

 

Let’s face it. A development business exists to make a profit. A marketer that can think in terms of achieving sales and delivering profit is worth their weight in gold. The best development businesses that consistently make a profit are the ones with the customer at the centre of their thinking.

 

Your marketing objective should be along the lines of:

 

Attract our target audience through measurable lead generation activity, nurture them using educational and entertaining content, delivered utilising technology and an integrated marketing, sales, customer relations and community experience to convey our brand promise. This will ensure we achieve:

 

  • XX sales by DD/MM/YYYY

  • Profit of $XX

 

Then outline the strategies you will use to deliver on the objective. Some ideas around strategy categories:

 

  • On-site customer journey

  • Digital customer experience

  • Collateral

  • Content

  • Lead generation

  • Events

  • Launch

 

Example: Lead generation

 

Our lead generation target is XX new leads per week (based on a XX% conversion to sale) and will come from the following mediums:

 

  • Social campaigns

  • Digital advertising

  • Strategic signage

  • REA listings and project page

  • Builder referrals

  • Customer referrals

  • Search engine marketing

 

Note: Sales suite visits or your website is not a lead generation method. People don’t just wake up one day and know you have a sales centre or type in your website URL. They are prompted by some type of advertising. Each of these sub-categories should then have action items, responsibility allocation and due dates listed.

 

For more insights on how to ensure your new project is set up for success, download our free Project Marketer’s Handbook.

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Customer Experience
Over the past few months, we’ve been working with some leading property developers, sales agents and marketers who realise that now is the time to overhaul their customer experience.“They’ve been order taking for too long and have forgotten how to sell,” one very successful developer said to me.“We’ve got a superior location, better amenities and an established and engaged community.  Why is giving a discount the first request from our sales agent?” said another.Having conducted many project diagnostic exercises for a range of property clients, we have exposed many poor
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What is it?Surprise and delight marketing involves providing unexpected rewards for potential and current customers with the intent of enhancing their engagement with your brand and nurturing their subsequent customer journey. Why is it important?It’s no lie that delighting customers is becoming increasingly difficult as expectations continue to rise. Delivering a ‘good’ or even ‘great’ experience is no longer seen as delightful – it’s gradually becoming the norm. To grab your customer’s attention, retain their loyalty and encourage advocacy, it’s now essential to provide an exceptional, unexpected and amazing experience. For example,
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