Real estate marketing is a tough business, and when you add a digital component, it’s even more stressful.

I was paging through (well, not really, since I was looking at it on my iPad) the latest NAR report, Real Estate in a Digital Age, and there are some striking statistics in there that I think every broker or real estate agent should pay careful attention to, especially when organizing a real estate marketing strategy.

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One of the points that really stands out to me:

  • In 1981, 22 percent of home buyers read newspaper ads to find a home and eight percent used friends as an information source. In 2016, 44 percent looked for properties online first.

So nearly half the people considering a purchase are looking online before they talk to an agent, or check out anything that’s for sale and being marketed in another way.  That’s a huge number, especially when you take referrals into account.

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Another very interesting part of the report:

  •  The typical buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online. S/he looked at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the home buying process. S/he then contacted an agent and visited a median of 10 homes over 10 weeks again in 2016 before purchasing a home.

Again, we see that before a prospective buyer even talks to an agent, they’ve already started their search using their mobile device to see what’s available online.  I cannot stress enough that mobile is the key to successful marketing campaigns and if you aren’t using mobile in your real estate marketing setup, you are doing it wrong.

And a few more interesting points from the report:

  • Millennials make up the largest group of first-time home buyers at 66%, followed by Generation X at 26%

You are not going to reach millennials without using a good mobile strategy.  There is no other way to connect with them and get their attention.  They don’t do paper mail, they may go days without checking on a desktop or laptop computer, and they tend to make decisions based on what they see on their mobile devices.

  • 99% of Millennials cited using the internet whereas only 77% did from the Silent Generation

While you may reach non-millennials via other marketing methods, we’re still seeing that online marketing is a key across all the demographics.  Seriously, 77% of the oldest demographic bracket is using some form of digital search and display to help find the properties, or the agent, that they will buy or use in the end.

I do believe in single page property websites, virtual tours, drone footage, and all of the other digital methods of conveying a sense of a property to a prospective buyer.

But I also believe that, as a marketer, you must be proactive in creating relationships and possible opportunities to connect with prospective buyers – as well as reassuring prospective sellers that you will represent them in the most technologically sound way – and mobile is the key to doing this the right way.

There are any number of ways that you can employ mobile marketing and ad campaigns to help generate new business, more referrals, and more excitement about your properties – and you can also use these same selling points to convince prospective sellers to list with you instead of with your competition.  Obviously we prefer mobile wallet ad campaigns, and think they are a perfect fit for realtors, brokers, and real estate agents.

Rather than posting a giant list of advantages, I’m going to leave you with this short video that goes into more detail –