How To Adjust Your Digital Real Estate Marketing Strategy in the Era of Consumer Privacy Concerns

photo of the author, digital marketing strategist Written by David Belachew, Digital Marketing Strategist

Ever since Apple’s announcement of their all new App Tracking Transparency feature (ATT) last summer, anxiety has been rampant for digital real estate marketers in the multi-family housing industry. ATT will require app developers and partners such as Facebook and Google, to ask users permission “to track their actions across other third party apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes.” Within the first week of the launch of ATT on April 28th, over 96% of iOS 14 users have chosen to opt out of app tracking.

Initially, digital real estate marketers were all fearful of the impact of losing valuable tracking data from these users. Without this information, digital real estate marketers will have a more difficult time assessing the performance of their digital campaigns and will likely have less data to rely on when making budget allocation decisions.

However, in response to the feedback shared by advertisers from some of Apple’s largest partners, Apple rolled out a tool called SKAdNetwork, which will allow advertisers to “measure the success of their ad campaigns while maintaining the privacy of their users.”

In conjunction with SKAdnetwork, both Facebook and Google have rolled out new features and policy updates that will also balance both the privacy concerns of users and ad attribution concerns of their digital advertising partners.

We recommend that digital real estate marketers who actively use Facebook and Google advertising platforms follow these platforms’ new guidelines to offset the negative impact of the ATT on their campaigns. With that in mind, this blog will provide you with some valuable tips on how you can improve the performance of your digital campaigns and confidently report on online behavior of iOS 14 users on your real estate website.

Use Diverse Sources Of Remarketing

As more users choose to opt out of tracking on their iOS 14 devices, both Google and Facebook expect to have a smaller pool of users from their website remarketing audiences. This means that getting the desired results from campaigns whose objective is to remarket users based on their online activity on your property’s website will become more difficult.

With that being said, we recommend that digital real estate marketers diversify their retargeting audience sources to improve the reach and performance of their remarketing campaigns. These sources may include, but are not limited to users that:

  • Viewed a specific percentage of a real estate marketing video asset, including from YouTube and Facebook videos, or videos embedded on your property’s website
  • Engaged or commented on an organic post from your property’s Facebook or Instagram page
  • Clicked on the call to action button from your property’s Facebook or Instagram ad

By expanding your retargeting sources beyond just your website visitors, you will lessen the likelihood of losing the opportunity to promote your property to iOS14 users.

person interacting with digital real estate marketing on Instagram

CRM Tool Integration

Even as Google and Facebook implement new attribution modeling techniques that will estimate the volume of conversion actions generated from iOS14 users, both companies have been vague about how large of a negative impact ATT will have on reported conversion attribution from campaigns on their advertising platforms.

With that being said, there are several tools from popular CRM platforms in the housing industry that have the ability to fire native events directly to leading tag management and analytics platforms such as Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics.

These leading CRMs and tools include, but are not limited to:

  • Setmore – A popular scheduling tool used by property managers to schedule in-person and virtual tours with prospects
  • RentCafe – A popular CRM used by property managers to help develop their property’s website, provide an applicant and resident portal for the property, and help improve resident retention
  • Knock Doorway Bot – Similar to the G5 bot, this bot, developed by Knock, helps pre-qualify users by providing them pricing and floor plan availability and also encourages users to schedule virtual or in-person tours and complete a contact form submission.

Integrate Your Google Analytics and Google Ads Accounts

As mentioned above, integrating your CRM with a compatible analytics platform can go a long way to understanding user behavior on your property’s website. However, if you use Google Analytics (GA) to track and report on traffic activity on your property’s website, there are several actions you can take now to better understand the performance of your campaign across most platforms, which will allow you to make smarter optimization decisions.

using Google Analytics for digital real estate marketing

From contact form submissions to completed applications, you can create Goals from your Google Analytics account to measure valuable actions taken by users on your property website. Once these goals are created, you can measure the volume of goal completions across multiple channels, such as organic, paid search, paid social, display, etc.

You can also transfer your GA goals as conversion actions into your Google Ads account. Once you complete your conversion configuration on Google Ads, these conversion actions can be reported and optimized from your paid search and display campaigns and may lead to a higher volume of qualified leads generated on your website.

Another added benefit of linking your Google Analytics account to your Google Ads account is that you can better fine-tune your website remarketing audiences. You can configure your remarketing audience by focusing on users who visited a minimum threshold of pages on your website, spent a specific amount of time on-site, and so much more. These remarketing audiences will ensure that your display campaigns will only target users who are more likely to convert on your website while filtering out users who have shown little interest in your property.

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