Why you should be focusing on Gen Z
As the largest generation in the United States, Gen Z comprises individuals born between 1997 and 2012.
This generation has grown up with technology and the internet always readily available, making them highly tech-savvy and deeply connected to social media. With an estimated purchasing power of over $143 billion in the US alone, Gen Z is a highly influential market segment that cannot be ignored by real estate businesses.
As such, it’s crucial for real estate businesses targeting Gen Z to consider the importance of an adaptable logo that resonates with this audience.
What is an adaptable logo?
An adaptable logo is a visual representation of a brand that can be easily adjusted to work across different mediums, formats, and applications without losing its core identity or essence. It is designed to maintain a consistent look and feel across various marketing materials such as print, digital and social media. An adaptable logo can be resized, repositioned, or modified to suit different contexts, but it retains the same essential design elements that make it instantly recognizable as the brand’s logo. The goal of an adaptable logo is to ensure that the brand’s messaging is cohesive and memorable across all channels, while also allowing for flexibility and versatility in different marketing contexts.
Why you should be creating adaptable logos
Real estate businesses targeting Gen Z need to consider the importance of an adaptable logo for several reasons.
An adaptable logo is shareable. In today’s digital age, social media platforms are a crucial part of any marketing strategy, and Gen Z is known for their love of sharing content. An adaptable logo that looks great on various platforms can help attract attention and increase shares, ultimately driving engagement and awareness.
Cohesive branding is key. Gen Z is highly skeptical of businesses that lack authenticity or appear to be inauthentic. An adaptable logo that maintains the same look and feel across all marketing materials can help establish a consistent and authentic brand image that resonates. Since this generation values authenticity and creativity, a logo that reflects those values will be more likely to capture their attention and earn their trust in the long run.
Seamless integration matters. As a tech-savvy generation, Gen Z expects businesses to have a strong online presence.
An adaptable logo that can be easily integrated into a website, a phone app, social media profiles, and other digital marketing channels ensures that the brand’s messaging is consistent across all channels, making it easier for them to recognize and engage with the brand.
Trust and awareness
A recognizable logo builds trust. For Gen Z, trust is a key factor in making purchase decisions. A recognizable logo that appears across different mediums and formats helps build brand awareness and establishes that trust, leading to increased customer loyalty and retention.
“Future-proofing” is essential. As a forward-thinking generation, Gen Z expects businesses to be proactive in adapting to new technologies and mediums.
An adaptable logo that can easily be updated to remain relevant in the ever-changing marketing landscape demonstrates a business’s commitment to innovation and staying ahead of the curve. Since they tend to stay on top of trends, Gen Z is quick to spot dated marketing and graphics.
An adaptable logo is very crucial for real estate businesses targeting Gen Z. By having a logo that is versatile, consistent, recognizable, and “future-proof”, real estate businesses can attract and retain the loyalty of Gen Z customers in a highly competitive market.
As a result, they can establish a strong and authentic brand image that resonates with this influential audience, leading to increased brand awareness, engagement, and customer loyalty.
Before you go
Don’t forget, we’re experts when it comes to crafting marketing strategies that drive leasing results and building high-ranking SEO-friendly custom websites! Need help? Reach out to a CSM or any of our team members to get started on taking your marketing and SEO to the next level, see an increase in traffic, and watch the leads roll in.
For more tips and information about digital and real estate marketing, take a look at the rest of our blogs, right here on our website! You can also subscribe to our email newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn!
About the author
Mai is something of a superstar here at Threshold. Working exclusively as our Senior Designer, there is nothing she can’t create flawlessly for our clients, and our own TH brand. At the end of the day, our creative THeam would not be the same without her leading the way both in her ability to bring dreams to life, and her strategy behind it all.
When she’s not on the clock, Mai loves keeping her creative juices flowing by acting as a maker in her hobbies. From refinishing furniture to creating her own art, her mind is always fueling itself with brilliance and taste. She only wishes she had more time in her days to continue doing more of what she loves.
Now more than ever, people are accessing the internet through their mobile devices and tablets. Long gone are the days of desktop-only users! According to StatCounter, a web traffic analysis website, a whopping 59.25% of global online traffic came from mobile users alone, followed by 38.53% desktop users, and just 2.22% tablet users.
This displays the importance of where we must start our design, and where we should be focusing our efforts in making an effective and dynamic real estate website that drives leads. Designing mobile first, and then expanding to a desktop friendly site, is the most user-centric and accommodating to most target audiences.
What is mobile first design?
A philosophy which aims to create better user experiences by starting the design process with prioritizing the smallest screens first. This strategy is often referred to as the concept of progressive advancement. Once a mobile design is in place, designing for larger screens becomes easier and we have the core elements of the design established. Starting a design with mobile also enforces aspects such as bandwidth, screen size, and multitasking capabilities. As you progress onto larger devices, it’s easier to expand the functionality with supplemental elements and features. Remember: it’s always easier to add than to take away!
We’ve put together a few design principles to get us started in our mobile first design stage.
Users should be at the forefront of your design
- The design of your real estate website must help users solve a problem or complete a task quickly and effectively. Users should easily be able to view floor plans, virtual tours, check availability, call or contact your community, and ultimately, apply and sign a lease. Keep in mind user flow – convenience is key to generating more leads!
- Look at your competitors’ mobile websites and check out what they do and don’t offer. How can you improve your user’s experience compared to your competitors? Maybe it’s adding a floor plan filter to make it easier for prospects to find exactly what they’re looking for. Or maybe you notice that a competitor doesn’t have virtual tours on the website. As crazy as it may sound, over 80% of renters apply and secure a lease without ever visiting the property, thanks to online marketing. Adding virtual tours to your website can increase website engagement and provide a convenient option for people who prefer to tour virtually as opposed to in-person.
Keep it simple
- Improve content clarity on your mobile site while helping the user focus on what content is most important. This can be done by reducing links in your navigation menu, reducing the number of pages, and keeping borders wide and lines clean.
- Use white space to your advantage to make the layout less cluttered and more readable, which will also improve your SEO and increase organic traffic.
- Prioritize the content you want displayed on the website: Ex: Floor plans, Location, Gallery, Amenities, Blog, etc.
- Prioritize the hierarchy of that content. Understand what the user flow is and how to display the most important content. For example, we recommend prioritizing floor plans because data confirms that people spend the most time looking at floor plans on the website, and it’s usually the first stop after visiting the homepage.
Incorporate bold and consistent CTAs
- A call-to-action needs to be easily located by users throughout your website. Not doing so can lead to a loss of leads and decreased conversions.
Adhere to mobile friendly practices
- Choose fonts that are web safe and keep font styles to a minimum.
- Select contrasting colors and make text legible according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Now that you know what a mobile-first design is and its importance moving forward, we hope you will incorporate this new knowledge into your real estate website to generate more leads. By remembering to put users at the forefront of your website design, improving content clarity, and incorporating consistent CTAs, maximizing your lead generation should be a walk in the park.
For more tips and information about digital and real estate marketing, take a look at the rest of our blogs, right here on our website! You can also subscribe to our email newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
How does website development impact lead generation?
Did you know that in today’s digital age, over 90% of prospective renters and homeowners begin their search for a new home online? Miles before most people decide to contact a realtor, online searches are the most common way to discover available properties. How are these properties found so easily? Strong website design and development.
When building a real estate website, there are two significant aspects to consider: your customers and search engines. When prospective customers search for properties, you need a well-optimized website to show up on Google or other search engines. Though, you can’t just leave it at that; you also need a well-designed and user-friendly website so customers can find their desired future home quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, websites are able to do the work when humans are not. Unlike landlords, property managers, and real estate agents, websites don’t have office hours. A prospective renter or homeowner could visit your website at any time, of any day, of any week. Let’s not forget, websites allow you the chance to brand your company as well as your properties. First impressions can be tough, but when it comes to having a well-developed website, the first impression of your property will always be a positive one.
Don’t forget, your website is a way for you to not only showcase your real estate properties but also your organization. Include a section that can showcase all of your accomplishments, and show why you and your properties should be chosen over the competition. Any awards, client testimonials, and other ways to (tastefully) brag on your success is a great way to subtly set you aside from the crowd.
Why is optimized web design important during website development?
Nearly 80% of prospective renters will sign a lease without ever visiting the property. You read that right – without visiting the property. What makes them so sure about making such a commitment? Having all of the information they need right at their fingertips. High resolution photos, videos, and offering virtual tours are more often than not the deciding factors for prospective renters when it comes to committing to a lease. None of this could be done, however, without an optimized website design.
When we talk about optimized site design, we’re referring to the design process that is used during development which allows the site access to prime optimization for search engines such as Google and Bing. It also covers the on-page SEO best practices designers and developers must follow when building websites.
Think about it: how can you expect to generate leads online without a website strong enough to rank on the first page of the SERP (search engine results page)?
Any traffic to your website that is not the result of paid advertising is referred to as organic traffic. These are customers who landed on your site after performing a Google search based on its suggested results. Referencing an article from Smart Insights, the top ranked search result receives nearly 40% of all organic traffic clicks, followed by the second result at only 18.4% – less than half of what the first listed website receives. The third search result? Only 10% of clicks.
Ask yourself: when you’re conducting your own Google search, where do you start?
Because there are an astronomical amount of real estate websites out there to choose from, the challenge for many website owners and developers alike is finding a balance between user-friendly and SEO-friendly websites. Many organizations have independent teams for web development and digital marketing, which – while often formed with good intentions – can sometimes further complicate matters if not handled properly.
While the goal of the digital marketing team is to ensure the site has enough content for Google to rank it effectively for user search queries, the development team focuses on keeping the visual and user aspects of the site as simple as can be. Collaboration is only possible in companies that know the importance of digital marketing even before the site is designed. At companies like Threshold, the marketing team and the development team work hand in hand to give valid inputs to be considered at the time of creation.
How does Threshold Agency develop well-optimized websites?
If someone is searching for a specific floor plan in your area, how can you ensure that your listing will populate first in the Google search results? There are a few ways we can help with that. At Threshold, we know high-intent organic traffic is more valuable than any other traffic form, which is why we develop highly optimized websites to increase search engine rankings leading to more high-quality leads.
During the discovery phase, the marketing and creative teams ensure that we are creating websites that work well and are easy for visitors to navigate so they can find the information they’re looking for.
The designers will then take that information and design the website based on the ideas evolved from the discovery phase. Included in this second phase, a writer from our creative team will develop the website copy, which focuses on the target audience and a high-intent, high-quality organic keyword strategy.
Once completed with the second phase of development, the designers pass on their design to the developers. In this stage, the developers ensure everything the designers envisioned is working effectively with the site’s optimization so as not to cross the search engine boundaries.
To give you more of a focus, here are a few areas that our developers make sure to optimize during the early stages of development that impact the final rankings of a website in a search engine.
One of the most critical factors of Google page ranking is website speed, simply due to the fact that no one likes a website that takes an extended period of time to load. Anything past a couple of seconds and most users will bounce to a new site. To help decrease load time, our developers optimize the file sizes (images, videos, scripts), only use trusted plugins, and use an advanced caching system from the host site.
Mobile Responsive Design
Based on an article from CNBC, in the next three years, 3/4 of the world will use mobile devices to access the internet. A responsive website ensures your target audience has a seamless experience whether they are browsing your site from a computer or mobile device. This also helps to boost your search engine ranking, seeing as Google promotes mobile-friendly websites above those that are only desktop friendly. With 3/4 of the world moving to only using mobile devices, can you blame them?
As the website is created, run data scans and collect metrics through each phase of the development process. This allows for any changes to the website’s design or coding to remain monitored.
Even though search engine bots are brilliant, it’s a good idea for us to point them in the right direction, and we do this through sitemaps. Sitemaps include all of the indexable web pages and links on a website. If we have a sitemap declared in the robots.txt, the search engine bots will first crawl through those pages. Simply said, if search engines are not finding your pages, this means means that organic traffic won’t find your pages. And as we said earlier, organic traffic is the most important traffic you want reaching your website.
While getting customers to the website is the main focus of an optimized site, many forget that the website needs to be accessible by everyone. At Threshold, we use Google Tools and User Way to ensure the website meets all the accessibility standards. This means your site is easily ready and accessible for people with physical and situational disabilities, as well as socioeconomic restrictions on bandwidth and website speed.
Nowadays, in the web industry, we say content is king. Search engines use more AI technologies to crawl through the entire content of websites. If it can’t be crawled, it is not an SEO-friendly site. It means the likelihood of that page appearing in the search engine results is very low. At Threshold, creative writers write content for the targeted audience, and developers use the WordPress editor to apply the content where the content is in HTML and is easily indexable by search engines like Google.
The key to creating a well-optimized site is to bridge the gap between web development and search engine optimization. The collaboration between various teams from the start ensures that your website is fully optimized for SEO and usability. Providing value for customers is the key to impressing search engines. Where there is high-quality content, strong on-page SEO and excellent user experience, you will improve your presence on the internet and increase qualified leads.
As the need for strong digital marketing in real estate increases seemingly by the day, so does the need for having a well-developed website. Today, real estate website optimization is so much more than metrics on a chart, it translates directly into potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of new leads.
So, ask yourself: are you confident in your real estate website?
Written by Mike Krankota, Art Director
We’ve all been there: You have this magnificent idea, but you can’t get it out of your head and onto paper. Or perhaps you have grand hopes for a goal but are having trouble plotting out the concrete path to get there. Whether your project is visual, conceptual, or written, we all struggle with this process from time to time.
For clients working with agency partners, this creative block often manifests itself through statements like, “I’m not sure what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it,” a strategy that often leads to extensive trial and error that introduces added frustration for all involved. On the agency side, it can manifest in the form of hours spent staring at a screen until the imposter syndrome fully takes over and every idea feels equally terrible. In other words, creative blocks are no fun for anyone and often contribute to outcomes no one is satisfied with. So how do we combat them and break on through to the other side?
As an Art Director with many years of experience, I’d love to walk you through my process for dealing with creative blocks on the path to better real estate marketing (using a bit of good humor along the way).
Write Your Way Out of the Problem
The best advice I have ever received in my career—and one I pass on to my team—is that sometimes the messaging should steer the design and not the other way around. If you’re feeling like the idea isn’t quite there, often a great copywriter can pull it out of the trash with a magnificent tagline or bite-sized messaging idea that gets things going. Don’t be afraid to reach out for written inspiration to help get the gears moving again on your project. In lieu of external copywriting help, creating a word cloud of simple bulleted list of the big ideas you want to convey can also be a great place to start. You can also reach out to Threshold for help with your creative process! Our writers specialize in writing their way out of the problem and helping inspire messaging-driven content.
Walk Away For a Minute
A wonderful mentor advised me once to sometimes go walk a dog. Take care of your plants. If you must, mess about on social media or something. Just take that little break. Keep the thing in the back of your mind, let the ideas happen organically, and just see what comes up. It can be easier said than done (there is a certain inertia to overcome before getting away from your desk), but brains are excellent at working through challenges in the background and sometimes that’s the best path forward.
Personally, I rely on my garden and dogs for help with this. I didn’t acquire these things specifically for this purpose but they certainly don’t hurt. For others on the creative team, it might be pestering a cat, taking the trash out to the dumpster, or doing a crossword. Whatever your strategy, walking away from the desk is a fantastic way to consider, find, and explore new ideas.
Flip It Upside Down
So you’re looking at a possible idea. Say it’s a name. A logo. A website. But something isn’t quite right. What if you flip it all the way over to find new ideas? What is the opposite? And when you consider it, does it resonate? Is there a place to find a new perspective from flipping the idea and seeing the other side of it? Why or why not?
Often, our internal creative discussions start with “what if…” and that is why we succeed. Asking that question always leads to big ideas.
Sleep On It
This tactic is like “Walk Away For A Minute” taken up a notch. It works best when you’re partway through your creative process or have reached the end of a certain stage and can’t decide how to proceed to the next. In these cases, sometimes, the answer is to just muse for a moment. Again, your brain is great at working through things in the background, so sleeping on it (literally or figuratively) can really help you wrap your mind around a complex project or elusive strategy.
For example, at Threshold, we always encourage clients to give immediate ‘gut reaction’ feedback but also to think about it for a few days and offer additional thoughts after they’ve had time to sit with it. Sometimes, the presentation is what draws you. Or a color. Or a feeling. But ultimately, you need to make sure this is the right call for you and your company/property/startup/etc. and giving it some time can sometimes be the best way to get there.
That said, make sure the time you take is intentional and structure. Give yourself a deadline and think about the questions you need to answer in order to proceed. If you wake up the next morning and still like everything you saw, consider why. What appealed? Why did it resonate? How can we turn this into something that sells?
At Threshold, we are experts in this process, so we try to guide feedback based on our levels of experience. It’s a fun process, especially when timelines allow the opportunity to involve multiple stakeholders in the creative process to ensure the end result is something everyone feels invested in.
Phone a Friend
Sometimes, a single creative can do this. Often, it’s a group effort. “Hey, I have this idea, any thoughts,” is all it takes. Creative teams are naturally collaborative. We are stronger than each individual part, and the sum of a true team is far greater than you can imagine.
This is a strategy we use constantly as an agency team, but it applies to client teams too. If you can’t come to a consensus among those you collaborate with, it’s often wise to ask someone who understands the larger goals of the project. Their feedback, whether positive, negative, or neutral can help push past the half-baked concept and illuminate actionable steps toward a more perfect execution.
Threshold has a collaborative environment that demands that the best idea wins, regardless of who came up with it. At the same time, we pride ourselves on being a client partner who can work with everyone to make sure it’s a win all around. After all, if you can’t successfully champion the ‘why’ behind a particular strategy, there’s likely a better idea out there and working together is the best way to find it.
Creative blocks and “I’ll know it when I see it” attitudes are a pain for both agency creatives and client-side stakeholders. But a holistic thought process and a willingness to collaborate can turn something that seems impossible into some of the biggest wins of your real estate marketing plan.
Setting a new start community up for success is among the most complex projects you can undertake as a real estate developer or property manager. From branding and positioning to floor plan creation and event planning, the sheer number of marketing projects necessary to attract new residents and turn great construction into a successful community can quickly become overwhelming. That complexity is multiplied when you take into account the various touch points you’ll need along the way to translate a central brand identity across every digital and print asset, from websites to brochures to signage.
That’s why new start developers and asset managers often turn to full-service marketing agencies to help them navigate all the moving parts. A full-service agency is a marketing partner that covers the full array of digital, print, and strategic services that feed into a successful marketing plan for you property. Because new start developments are working from scratch to stand out among the competition and reach an untapped audience, working with a full-service partner is key. Spreading your marketing needs across multiple partners and vendors can compromise your strategic vision and dilute your brand identity, leading to less effective real estate marketing.
So what services should you look for in a real estate marketing partner? For new starts, here are the key services your marketing partner should be able to cover.
Research & Discovery
Any good real estate marketing plan begins with research and discovery. Skipping this step can be tempting if you are already familiar with your market (especially if you live locally yourself), but that’s never a good idea. Every new start enters a unique market defined by its precise location, existing competition, and ever-changing audience demographics and interests. That’s why we always recommend working with a marketing partner that will do their own research and discovery before launching into the branding process.
Although savvy developers usually conduct their own internal market research in order to design communities that will meet market demand, a marketing partner will cover additional nuances that help you activate a specific target audience and ensure your vision comes through loud and clear. While a developer might pay attention to rental rates, amenities, floor plan availability, and housing density in the area, a marketing partner might pay extra attention to competing brands, audience demographics, local history and culture, and other details that complete the picture of how your community can connect with new residents.
Naming & Branding
Without a cohesive naming and branding strategy, all marketing collateral suffers. You need a brand identity that is unique and recognizable so that potential renters have something to latch onto when comparing you to a sea of competitors. After all, details like amenities and floor plans matter when selecting a home, but what matters even more is how you tell the story of those advantages so that your audience takes the time to engage and learn more.
Telling this story begins with a suite of branding decisions that can be consistently applied across all collateral in order to amplify brand recognition and brand loyalty. That means naming, logo design, colors and patterns, typography, voice guidelines, and lifestyle imagery guidelines should all be established with your marketing partner, then codified into a comprehensive brand guidelines document so that future collateral builds upon the central brand identity.
Web Design & Development
In many cases, a landing page or full website is the first place your brand will come to life and get the chance to connect with your audience. Working with the same marketing partner on web design and development that you worked with for research, naming, and branding helps ensure that this crucial milestone fully realizes the brand identity you worked so hard to create. Few things can compromise an otherwise solid marketing plan more easily than a poorly executed website that is out of step with your larger marketing strategy.
Along the way, it’s also essential that your web designers and developers understand UX and SEO best practices so that your website isn’t just pretty and on-brand, but also pleasurable to use and easy to find so that your audience of potential renters can actually connect and take action. Make sure your marketing partner is well-versed in UX and SEO so that your websites and landing pages continue to pull their weight long after they’ve been launched. In fact, we recommend working with a real estate marketing partner that offers long-term hosting, management, optimizations, and periodic design refreshes on your site so that as trends change, you can stay ahead of the curve.
Print & Digital Asset Creation
In addition to website design and development, there is a wide array of digital and print assets that contribute to your brand efficacy and help your audience make their housing decision. Included in this category are assets like floor plans and site plans, virtual tours, photography and videography, brochures, flyers, business cards, and letterhead. Each of these separate touch points is a chance to amplify your brand identity and engage your audience. If executed poorly, they can have the opposite effect—diluting your brand identity and failing to connect with potential renters.
Once again, consistency is key when it comes to asset creation. Every asset should be an extension of your larger branding and marketing strategy in order to maximize ROI. Details like these can often go unnoticed unless they clash with your brand or otherwise fail to meet expectations, so they can sometimes become an afterthought for developers and property managers. A great marketing partner knows how important it is to get these details right so that everything fits seamlessly together.
The real estate marketing funnel is increasingly digital, but environmental graphics still play a key roll in raising awareness, driving foot traffic, and creating great tour experiences. From construction banners and billboard graphics to temporary lease space design decked out with floor plan graphics, rendering graphics, and targeted messaging that speaks to your unique differentiators, your marketing partner should be able to help with it all. Meanwhile, permanent signage should also be carefully crafted to amplify your brand identity so that you’re never at risk of blending in among your local competitors.
As you work hard to complete your new development project, your digital marketing should be working just as hard to raise brand awareness, generate leads, and nurture those leads so that your efforts pay off with a swift lease-up. When it comes to digital marketing, you’ll benefit from having the same partner involved in your ad campaigns and email tactics that was present for the research & discovery, branding, and design projects along the way. This digital marketing partner is then better equipped to target your unique audience with the right message at the right time in the right place.
Promo & Swag
As you prepare for open houses, housing fairs, grand opening events, and move-ins, branded promotional items can go a long way in keeping your new community top of mind with prospects and delivering a great move-in experience that turns residents into brand advocates. Welcome kits, giveaway items, and event promo should be more than an afterthought; the right item outfitted with a unique design can be the difference between a memorable brand experience and a throwaway object that people quickly forget about.
If you’re still looking for a new start marketing partner who covers all these bases from discovery to promo, we’d love to chat! Threshold covers all this and more in order to deliver cohesive marketing strategies that build on one another to accelerate lease-ups and drive high ROI. Keep us in mind for your next new start project or use our chatbot, Trent, to schedule a no-strings consultation to learn more about what we do.
As a real estate marketing agency based in Austin, we know how fun it can be to work with new developments in Austin. We know the Austin vibe. We know the districts and street names and how an Austinite would talk about them. We know what kinds of apartments and amenities and common in the market because we’ve searched for apartments in Austin ourselves. We have insider knowledge and insider passion about the Austin market. It can streamline the discovery process and inspire us to do excellent work in collaboration with our clients.
But do you want to hear a secret? Sometimes a local marketing agency isn’t the best pick. In fact, you can typically get the same quality of work—if not sometimes better—from a marketing agency partner outside the local market.
There are multiple reasons for this and they all come back to trade-offs. Yes, when you hire a local marketing agency, you’re likely getting certain advantages due to first-hand knowledge of the area. However, you’re also likely to suffer a variety of disadvantages affecting everything from pricing to the quality of work and the speed of your lease-up.
Wondering if a local marketing agency is right for your new development project? Let’s discuss some of the reasons why a local real estate marketing agency may not be your best pick. Along the way, you’ll also get crucial insights into what you should look for in a marketing partner when choosing between local and remote options.
Market Research Trumps Local Know-How
First-hand knowledge is an asset, there’s no denying it. But thorough market research is ultimately more important when it comes to making strategic marketing decisions. Local marketing agencies sometimes cut out the market research and discovery step entirely, believing they already know all they need to know to succeed in the market. Nine times out of ten, this is a huge mistake.
Market research and discovery is indispensable because it remains objective. When we have first-hand experience of something, we often feel we have the full picture, but really the picture is only as complete as our limited subjective view can make it. As a real estate marketing agency in Austin, we have many Austinites on our team, but not one of them has the complete picture of Austin demographics, rent rates, competitors, brand trends, local history, or current events without looking some things up. That’s why market research is so important. All these factors influence the success of new housing developments in Austin, especially due to the highly competitive nature of the housing market.
If you are considering a local real estate marketing partner, be sure to ask about their market research and discovery process first. Their answer could illuminate just how objective their process is and how deep they’ll dig to find the inspiration for out-of-the-box marketing strategies that will help you stand out from the crowd. Speaking of standing out…
Fresh Perspectives Create Innovative Outcomes
If marketers aren’t careful, we can easily rehash the same ideas time and time again. It’s only natural when we work on many projects that have similar goals and similar audiences. Out-of-the-box thinking doesn’t come naturally; it takes commitment and collaboration to pursue truly innovative ideas that stand out from the market.
The risk of in-the-box thinking is that much higher when working in a market that you are intimately familiar with. While you may have an advantage when it comes to ideas that resonate with your local market, you also have blinders on due to the natural inclination to focus on what’s familiar. It’s called confirmation bias; our brains tend to gravitate toward what coheres with our existing beliefs and experiences and ignore what doesn’t fit. This bias can be that much harder to overcome when we are so immersed in the familiarity of our own local market.
On the flipside, an outside perspective can provide a more reliable and efficient route to innovative ideas. From your brand’s look and feel to print marketing strategies to how you build your website, a non-local marketing partner may have the broader perspective and variety of experience that helps push you and your team out of your comfort zone and into marketing strategies that stand out from the crowd to drive buzz, loyalty, and leases.
If you’re considering working with a local agency, be sure to ask for examples of past work. This will help you assess how much range they have and their capacity for innovation within your local market. If their work samples all have a similar look and feel, that should be a red flag. It may also help to ask specifically about the most innovative project they have worked on so you can immediately get a sense of their potential for out-of-the-box ideas.
Local Agencies Have Fewer Resources
Because local marketing agencies tend to be smaller boutique agencies, they may or may not have the same resources that you’d find at an agency serving multiple markets. This is true in some areas more than others. For example, a local agency may have contacts with all the local printing vendors, but fewer digital marketing resources like a CTV marketing platform or a Google Premier Partnership.
Even when a local agency has plenty of local contacts to leverage for all your new development’s real estate marketing needs, you may not be getting the biggest bang for your buck. This is simply because local vendors tend to have local networks with fewer options overall, meaning they are less equipped to shop around and ensure a low rate in order to pass the savings along to you. An agency that serves markets across the country (or even across the globe) is likely to have a broader network of options as well as time-saving and cost-saving resources that allow them to promise more affordable rates. For example, at Threshold we have an established network of print vendors, audience databases, digital marketing partners, and more that we leverage to provide seamless outcomes for our clients while keeping costs low.
If you are considering working with a local real estate marketing agency, be sure to ask about not just their pricing but also their network of vendors for print and environmental graphics, digital marketing campaigns, videography and photography, video editing, and anything else your new development may need to establish great brand awareness and an accelerated lease-up.