Making the Most of Your Database in a Challenging Property Market

As an account manager at Social Garden, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with our property clients during the challenging market of 2022/2023. The ongoing interest rate hikes starting off in 2022 undoubtedly impacted buyer sentiments, making the market more cautious.

As a marketing professional working in property, I bet you’ve had your sales manager breathing down your neck for more quality leads. This has been a common scenario for our clients anyway, so we have learnt a lot on how to be agile and adaptable to support them in generating and converting leads during these times.

One thing we realised with the market rapidly changing from the heydays of 2020/2021 was that most property businesses were sitting on large databases of leads from previous years. In this blog, I’m excited to share some practical tips on how you can maximise the potential of your existing database! Let’s dive in.

Segmentation & personalisation is key

One of the first steps to getting more from your existing database is effective segmentation. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to segment your database into distinct groups based on factors such as their buying behaviour, preferences, and demographics.

I trust you have started by analysing your database and creating segments like first-time buyers, investors, upsizers, and so on. Tailoring your marketing messages to each group will lead to better engagement and response rates.

However, there are a few other key questions to ask your leads in a property market downturn, including ‘timeframe to purchase’ and other key intent markers such as ‘financial status’ and ‘land status’. We capture these values in all of our property marketing campaigns, and the aggregated data insights we could pull this year have been astonishing because the trends are clear. ‘Buy-now’ leads have rapidly disappeared in 2022/2023, and ‘still saving’ leads are massively increasing. Similarly, with the market slowing down, we have seen more titled land leads than ever before.

As such, there are a lot of future buyers sitting in your database, and personalisation is the secret sauce that can set you apart from your competitors as they get ready to buy.

Utilise the data you have on your existing database to craft personalised messages, and let them know that they can trust you! The brands that have the ability to build relationships with their clients in 2023 are the best set up for success.

Re-engagement campaigns

As the market becomes more cautious, some potential buyers might be taking a step back from their property search. Don’t let them slip away! Implement re-engagement campaigns to reconnect with those who have shown interest in the past, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. All the leads you’ve captured when the market was hot are now getting increasingly ready to buy, and they have most certainly progressed in their buying journeys.

Consider running targeted email campaigns offering incentives such as special deals, exclusive previews, or personalised financing options. These efforts can reignite their interest and prompt them to take action.

A simple three-email nurture campaign could be enough (and don’t be afraid to use plain text emails from one of your sales consultants for that extra personal touch!). Also, make sure to review your lead scoring to make sure you know when a contact is showing a higher level of interest. This might give you an opportunity to check in with that contact, either manually or through triggered automations.

Data enrichment for market insights

In uncertain times, data is gold. Apart from analysing your existing database, consider enriching your data with external sources to gain deeper market insights. Armed with this information, you can better advise your clients and offer them properties that match their requirements (e.g. lower-priced homes when customers borrowing capacity reduces).

At Social Garden, we picked up on the need for wider market updates — and with our aggregated data insights from 60+ property campaigns, we could pass on high-level trends to our clients. For example, we started introducing a Property Insights report to our monthly performance reports, where we added charts and commentary on what we were seeing across our property campaigns. We also added a Macro Insights section to help us keep a pulse on the Australian property market. Here, we share links to industry news and market research updates that both we as account managers and our clients benefitted from.

For you, this might be as simple as starting a Slack channel where you and your colleagues can share news updates on the market.

Referral programs: tap into existing connections

Word of mouth has always been a potent tool in the real estate industry, and it’s even more critical in a changing market. You can encourage your satisfied clients to become brand advocates through referral programs.

Offering incentives to clients who refer their friends or family not only helps you expand your database, but also builds trust as potential buyers are more likely to trust recommendations from people they know.

If you have some type of feedback system for your customers, such as a NPS program, a good start is to segment out your happy customer and present them with the opportunity to refer you to someone they know. Make sure that you have a ‘referral asset set’ ready, with things like brochures and testimonials to share with the referees.

The takeaway?

Navigating this property market may seem daunting — but with the right strategies, you can unlock the true potential of your existing database. Remember to segment your database, personalise your communication, and harness the power of data to stay ahead of the curve.

At Social Garden, our commitment is to see you thrive in any market condition. By implementing these tips, you’ll not only overcome the challenges but also build a strong foundation for future success.

Here’s to a prosperous future in the Australian property market! (We all know a change is coming!)

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