While COVID-19 has no doubt impacted the real estate market, the actual impact has been vastly different to what was predicted by mainstream media.
“Most of the media initially focused on the likely impact on rents and house price falls,” says Founder and CEO of Properti.ai, Craig Deveson.
“We are seeing a multi-speed market where it varies from inter-city falls,, to increases in suburban and regional areas, particularly where the health outcome has been the strongest.
“Much of the analysis didn’t take into account record low-interest rates and increased house-hold income for many.”
Rather than creating the doom-and-gloom market that was forecast, the biggest change to the property market has been around buyer wants and needs.
“The work from home movement has gone from a niche idea to one embraced by large and small organisations alike, with a Hybrid work environment emerging in the future.
“This has seen property buyers look for extra space for home offices, as well as look at regional or outer city ring locations where it’s more affordable.”
The conflicting information has created a new challenge for agents, who have had to find a way to manage real market expectations versus the media.
“Lack of stock – sellers have been nervous, initially believing media reports over agents, however official reporting is at least three months behind.
“Buyers initially thought they could pick up a bargain due to forced sales, which largely hasn’t happened, and are now grappling with a very competitive market in key areas.”
As a result, agencies have had to think outside the square when it comes to marketing, and attracting both buyers and sellers.
To achieve this, two of Australia’s top selling agencies have adapted a new marketing platform from properti.ai that allows a customised marketing package to be tailored to the client’s needs.
“It’s no longer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ property marketing approach,” says Mr Deveson.
“Whilst many agents claimed customisation, they all advertised on the portals, put up a sign and printed some brochures.
“However, now with Properti.ai, the ability to target specific interstate buyers on other channels including social media, with tailored video and custom ads, plus adapting the campaign to using a pre-market approach, or to boost the reach of a traditional portal marketing approach, is now available.”
Properti.ai does three key things for agencies
- a) decreases costs and reliance on the major portals
- b) provides flexibility to target the next generation of buyers and sellers since COVID
- c) amplifies brand awareness and generates listing appraisals
While Gold Coast agencies were fortunate that restrictions were contained relatively early, Principal of DJ Stringer Real Estate, David Stringer, says COVID was – and is – very much a part of their business and daily lives.
“We are fortunate on the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers NSW in that the real estate sales industry has prospered immensely on the back of interstate buyers wanting to relocate to this region,” he says.
But that doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges, as both buyers and sellers faced the uncertainly caused by the unexpected pandemic.
“The unknown of a potential down-turn in the market, impact on both residential and commercial tenancies, and many interstate buyers in border lock down that were not able to inspect property to purchase.”
Mr Stringer decided quickly, that a strong social presence was required.
“This has been something in the pipe line for us for some time, however it became more apparent during the last several months or so that we needed to lift both our social presence and our online marketing.”
As well as employing a specialised social marketing person in house, the agency also engaged property.ai for advice and assistance along the way.
“I had heard of Craig’s IT brilliance from other circles and was encouraged by the simplicity of the programme, and importantly the support to implement same.”
Mr Stringer says the extra exposure has been particularly good for the sellers, and the agency has received positive feedback from buyers, who are noticing listings more than ever.
“Properti.ai is a simple, automated programme that covers all of the major social marketing platforms.
“They have a friendly knowledgeable team, that has definitely found a niche’ in social marketing for any real estate professional, at any level.”
CALIBRE REAL ESTATE
With the impact of COVID-19 creating a nervous market, Calibre Real Estate Principal, Alice Hagen quickly realised that targeting active buyers and sellers simply wouldn’t cut it.
The agency had been following tried and tested methods of advertising, through the major portals, using professional photos and 3d tour videos.
But chances are, unless you’re looking to buy or sell right now, you’re unlikely to be on browsing the portals.
“Buyers are active on social media, maybe not as active buyers per se, and maybe not intentionally to see houses,” says Ms Hagen.
“However, we wanted to reach a greater audience, so our properties would cut through to people when they weren’t intentionally looking for properties.”
Calibre chose Properti.ai for its adaptability within the proptech market, it’s ability to produce high quality videos automatically, as well as the capability of uploading to your channels without leaving the property.ai website.
“It was easy to set up, and everyone in the office has the ability to use it themselves and produce the videos. Simple.
“The result has been a great user experience, greater engagement through social media, more videos being produced and uploaded ‘inhouse’, and the ability to easily see the statistics on the property.ai platform
“We’ve seen a massive increase in social media engagement, comparative and competitive to the engagement levels of large franchise groups.”