If the rise of property portals is ‘chapter one’ of the evolution of estate agency, a completely digitized hybrid property sales process is ‘chapter two’, and this part of the story will be fueled by disruptive technologies, such as View My Chain. At least, that’s according to a recent report by investment company Exane BNP Paribas.
‘The future of estate agency: who wins?’ describes the significant changes that the estate agency industry is experiencing due to technological advances, as well exploring how online estate agents are disrupting the traditional bricks and mortar estate agency model. Admittedly, the unshakable grip that property portals have over estate agents has been explored many times. And, I’m sure you’ve read before that online estate agents are ‘the future’. However, the report also goes into detail about the next phase of digitization of the property buying process and how that impacts both estate agents (online and high-street) and property portals.
It’s agreed from both sides of the online/high-street argument that people still want and need human interaction during the sales process. The conclusion drawn in this report is that as online agents impact the industry, high street agents will react, driving a hybridisation of property sales as a whole. The majority of the process will be carried out online, but with a human expert guide (an estate agent). To a certain extent, thanks to property portals, this has already happened: an important segment of the sales process has moved entirely online.
The report states that for hybrid estate agencies to exist effectively, each segment of the sales process needs to be powered by appropriate new technologies that, in many cases, are only just being investigated properly by the industry. It singles out View My Chain as “an innovative new start-up that leverages big data to expedite the post SSTC to completion journey for vendors – a key area of friction in the house sale process.”
Needless to say, View My Chain works for both online and offline estate agency models. It is simply a means of speeding up an existing process through making information available that was previously unattainable or difficult to acquire. However, as the report suggests, the hybrid model of estate agency will depend on such technologies. If as predicted, fees decrease as online competition builds, innovative solutions such as View My Chain may be the difference in reducing time, saving money, keeping the vendor happy, and getting sales over the line.
For a recent publication of Kitchen & Bathrooms News, our Planning Director, Danny Crowe, spoke about the importance of life event marketing and specifically homemovers to kitchen and bathroom retailers.
As a kitchen or bathroom retailer, there’s nothing better than hearing a client say they are moving house. After all, homemovers are the most valuable customers on the planet, generating £12bn incremental annual spend in the UK. Homemovers are eight times more likely to buy a kitchen or bathroom than other consumers. They may only be 5% of the population, at any one time, but they account for more than 25% of spend in the home improvement sector.
How do you find homemovers to market to?
Life event marketing is an effective data-led technique that tracks consumers across key milestones, one of them being moving house. The homemover cycle pans about 18 months, from the moment someone thinks about putting their home on the market until about 12 months after they move in. With homemover data, kitchen and bathroom retailers can pinpoint exactly when potential customers are making major decisions about their home. Successful marketing relies on delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, but life event marketing adds another element – the right context. People who are about to buy, or have just bought a house have a much higher propensity to buy than other consumers, so the communications you deliver during that time are likely to be more effective.
In the pre-move phase, your message should be about inspiration. Don’t bombard them with offers. Give them ideas about how their new kitchen or bathroom could look and let them know you’re there when they’re ready. Once they’ve moved in, they are in purchase mode. This is the time to deliver relevant sales messages. Make sure the price point is right, based on the price of their property. As a rule, customers will spend about 1.5% of the property value on a new kitchen. This consideration should follow through to your retail displays. While luxury kitchens with big islands and AGAs may look attractive, it’s the smaller kitchens that may be more relevant.
Using life event data you can also identify consumers undergoing major home improvements. People who have applied for planning permission are more likely to be in the market for a kitchen or bathroom. Another interesting trigger is equity release. People who take money out of their homes have a high propensity to buy a kitchen or bathroom. Homemover data also helps you to exclude segments that are not relevant, such as renters or people moving into a new build. Driving desire and inspiration to a highly targeted audience can only increase showroom footfall and, ultimately, sales.
Updated daily with details of 99.6% of UK movers at the pre-move stage, TwentyCi’s Homemover database is the most in-depth and accurate in the UK. For more information about how TwentyCi can help with your Life Event Marketing, please leave your information below or email us