It’s not uncommon for real estate professionals to find new clients from word-of-mouth referrals and networking. But with the abundance of information now available online, property buyer and seller behaviors are shifting, and real estate agents need to find new ways to market and sell their services in order to stay relevant.
One of the most recent advancements helping those in the real estate industry is location intelligence. This essentially means taking large sums of data about a place and transforming it into useful insights to understand and visualize the context around where a property is located.
The global location intelligence market is anticipated to reach $25.25 billion by 2025, according to market research and consulting company Grand View Research Inc. What’s more, 66 percent of enterprises currently rank location intelligence as either critical or very important to their ongoing revenue growth strategies.
Of course, the idea is nothing new in real estate. Buyers agents routinely perform this task for their clients, helping them purchase property in areas with good schools, convenient public services, or nearby other developments that may positively affect the value of the property in the future.
But with big data tools and advancements in location-based technologies, agents are able to visualize a property’s surroundings and target their advertising efforts like never before, helping them save time, impress clients, and ultimately, grow their businesses. Here’s a look at how location intelligence is entering the real estate industry and a few of its use cases for real estate marketing.
Location intelligence tools can help real estate agents aggregate and visualize data for better insights into a property. For example, it’s possible to layer a map of a neighborhood with demographic, socioeconomic, or even local crime data to assess the opportunities and risks involved with a specific property based on its location and historical patterns. By combining data from a variety of sources, this helps buyers see what it would really be like to live in a certain area.
Real estate agents can also incorporate intelligent tools in their marketing plan for listings. The Walkscore widget showcases the ease of getting around a neighborhood, such as the distance from a property to a grocery store, park, school, or public transit system. Agents can also use REALTORS Property Resource® to create reports and maps that incorporate school data, flood zones, tax information and other important points of consideration for potential buyers.
Geofencing allows businesses to advertise to potential clients within a specific geographic area by constructing virtual limits around a location. Typically, geofencing uses some combination of GPS, radio frequency identifiers, Bluetooth technology, and beacons. While the technology is not new, the increasing presence of mobile devices has made geofencing more accessible to the average agent.
Geofencing allows real estate agents to create virtual boundaries around areas where they want to advertise their properties. For instance, a geofence could be set up nearby certain office areas or shopping centers where target demographics are likely to spend their time. The easiest way to do this is by using a mobile app. For instance, a brokerage might work with a developer to create an app so agents can select boundaries around a specific location. As customers enter that area, the app will trigger mobile alerts. Typically, customers will need to opt into location services on their devices for the geofence to work. Building a geofencing app from scratch can cost thousands of dollars; however, services such as Reach Local and Simpl.fi offer more affordable options.
A mobile app that allows customers to opt in to receive notifications is recommended, as some operating systems, such as Google’s Android, have recently disabled automatic “nearby notifications,” typically pushed by marketers to users without making them download an app.
Hyperlocal Ad Targeting
Location technology can also help your ad budget go further. Facebook, Twitter, and most other social networks offer businesses the ability to target audiences based on their location or specific geographic area. This is just one example of how location intelligence has worked its way into the marketing world, helping businesses tap into the demographic data of their target audience.
To bring this tactic to the next level, think about what other types of information can be layered onto location to give you even better targeting abilities. Transactional data, or information about consumers’ spending habits, can help you segment audiences more accurately. With an understanding of a target market’s lifestyle choices and spending power, real estate agents can design more accurate ad campaigns to reach those consumers at the right time. For instance, consumers who have the ability to purchase luxury vehicles may also be interested in luxury properties in specific areas.
As attention spans continue to shrink and competition for buying and selling properties online intensifies, brokerages must deliver relevant offerings at the right time—and the right place. Moving forward, location intelligence will play a major role in helping agents gather insights and make better decisions about listing ads, marketing, and strategic planning for their business.